Featured groups: Frys.com Open

By Will GrayOctober 10, 2012, 8:49 pm

The PGA Tour heads to wine country for the second event of the Fall Series as CordeValle Golf Club hosts the Frys.com Open. Who will put together a big week as opportunities for players to cement 2013 playing status continue to dwindle?

Click here for a full list of first round tee times. Here are a few groups to keep an eye on this week in San Martin, Calif.:

7:40 a.m. (off 10 tee): Ernie Els, Ben Curtis, Trevor Immelman

A trio of major winners start things early Thursday morning, with all three looking to improve upon mediocre recent results. Els has yet to record a top-25 finish since lifting the Claret Jug, and Curtis has missed four cuts in his last six starts after a win in Texas and runner-up finish at The Players in May. Outside of a weekend challenge at Kiawah, Immelman hasn't cracked the top 60 of an event since the Memorial.

7:50 a.m. (10 tee): Camilo Villegas, Davis Love III, Vijay Singh

Two of the field's elder statesmen, Love (48) and Singh (49) find themselves grouped together Thursday. DL3 appears to have the stamina of a player half his age, playing last week in Las Vegas immediately following the Ryder Cup at Medinah and squeezing in an exhibition at Cypress Point this week before teeing it up at CordeValle. Having missed only one cut in his last 14 starts, Singh shows no sign of slowing as a date with the Champions Tour approaches. Meanwhile, Villegas finished T-30 last week at TPC Summerlin in his first action since missing the FedEx Cup playoffs for the first time in his career.

8:20 a.m. (1 tee): Ricky Barnes, Bud Cauley, Hank Kuehne

Galleries will be drawn to Cauley, the 22-year-old who finished third here last year to secure his 2012 playing status. He's been impressive in his first full campaign on Tour, notching six top-10 finishes and advancing to the third round of the FedEx Cup playoffs. Barnes continues to seek that elusive first career Tour win, while Kuehne, the 1998 U.S. Amateur champion, will look to play the weekend in a Tour event for the first time since April.

12:20 p.m. (1 tee): Gary Woodland, Angel Cabrera, Luke Guthrie

One of the hottest players of the last two months finds himself paired with two of the game's biggest bombers. Guthrie left the University of Illinois this summer to turn pro, and promptly won back-to-back starts on the Web.com Tour. Having battled injury for much of 2012, Woodland will be making his first start since the Wyndham Championship while Cabrera, a two-time major champion, will look to build upon his T-22 finish last week in Las Vegas.

12:30 p.m. (1 tee): Bryce Molder, Jerry Kelly, Justin Leonard

The event's defending champion finds himself paired with two Tour veterans whose 2013 status is still to be determined. Kelly enters this week 134th on the all-important money list, while Leonard - 15 years removed from his triumph at Royal Troon and four years since his last Tour victory - finds himself 131st on the money list. While both can rely upon top-25 career money list exemptions for 2013 if necessary (Leonard is ninth; Kelly 25th), they would rather play their way into the top 125 over the next three events and save the one-time exemptions for a rainy day.

1:10 p.m. (10 tee): Billy Horschel, Scott Brown, Russell Knox

Nos. 147 (Horschel) and 148 (Brown) on the 2012 money list find themselves paired together as both are in need of a solid result to edge closer to a 2013 Tour card. After struggling to start the season, Knox has now made five consecutive cuts and his T-13 finish in Vegas was his best result this year.

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After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard

On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry