Hall of Fame Worthy

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2008, 5:00 pm
In Backspin, GolfChannel.com takes a look back on the biggest stories from the past week in golf ' with a spin.
SIX FOR THE SHRINE: Six people were inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame last Monday night in St. Augustine, Fla. The group included architect Pete Dye; long-time amateur sensation Carol Semple Thompson; Australian legend Bob Charles; late major champions Craig Wood and Denny Shute; and the late great writer, Herbert Warren Wind.
Backspin There weren't any real 'headliners' in this group, but it was interesting that Davis Love III won on the eve of the induction ceremony. Love has 20 PGA Tour wins, including one major and two Players Championships. Is that good enough for future enshrinement? We say he needs another major to earn a Hall-of-Fame resume. As far as Dye's enshrinement is concerned ' who among us has not dreamed of stepping to the tee box on the 17th at Sawgrass?

SO CLOSE: Erik Compton posted a 1-over-par 73 on the final day of PGA Tour second-stage Q-School to fail to advance by a single stroke. A late bogey caused the two-time heart-transplant patient to now have to rely on sponsor's exemptions for the 2009 season.
Backspin What a tough ending for what has undoubtedly been a tough year for the 29-year-old Compton. But at the same time, what a great year for a young man who has twice been declared dead. Taking the glass is half-full approach was his instructor Jim McLean, saying afterwards, 'He didnt miss. Its more like a phenomenal win.' We agree ' whole-heartedly.

NO. 1 ON NO. 44: Tiger Woods spoke to CNBC this past week on the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States. Woods said it was a dream come true to see a man of color ascend to the White House.
Backspin Like Woods, Obama is multi-racial. And like Woods, we at Backspin appreciate the significance of his election. Maybe Woods, soon to be 33 and a father of two, will become more outspoken on events outside the world of golf.

HORSESHOES AND HAND GRENADES: Annika Sorenstam was oh-so-close to getting into a playoff at the inaugural Lorena Ochoa Invitational, but instead finished a single stroke behind Angela Stanford, a now two-time winner on the LPGA this season.
Backspin Annika's putt on the final hole Sunday did a near 360 before finishing on the lip of the hole. It was disappointing to the thousands of fans on hand who were there celebrate not only the near-end of Annika's great career, but also their favorite golfing daughter, host Lorena. The one question we have is: Did Angela not get to read the revised version to the ending of this script?

LET ME CHECK MY SCHEDULE: The PGA Tour released its 2009 schedule, at least through the FedEx Cup playoffs. Of significance was the fact that purses were raised more than $8 million. Also, the Valero Texas Open was moved out of the Fall Series and into the position of the now defunct Atlanta event to create a three-tournament Texas Swing in May.
Backspin Speaking of the Fall Series, that part of the schedule is still up in the air. It's amazing that in these economic times that Finchem and company could secure full sponsorship for the season (based on what they've released thus far). The Backspin staff sponsored a tournament once, but it only included four people and was played on a par-3 course. We tried to get Tiger to play, but could only come up with $12.22 for an appearance fee. We used that money for beer instead.

GOT MILK(HA)?: Some big names were halfway around the world this past week for the Barclays Singapore Open. And lo-and-behold Mr. Singh took home the title over the likes of Padraig Harrington, Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els.
BackspinWhen we say 'Mr. Singh,' we of course mean Mr. Jeev Milkha Singh. Which begs the question: With a middle name like 'Milkha' how long before we see Jeev on the pages of Sports Illustrated in a 'Got Milk?' ad campaign? OK, probably never.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: The team Jay Haas, Fred Funk and Nick Price won the Wendy's Three-Tour Challenge for the Champions Tour. ... Ian Poulter pulled out of the Singapore Open after his driver was stolen and he couldn't find a proper replacement.
Backspin The senior trio split $500,000, while the LPGA team of Cristie Kerr, Natalie Gulbis and Helen Alfredsson, and the PGA Tour team of Stewart Cink, Kenny Perry and Rocco Mediate each split $250,000 apiece. ... Isn't it amazing that the average golfer uses any number of drivers off the rack and a professional ' who actually has talent ' can't use anything without perfect specifications?

Related Links:
  • Full Coverage ' Lorena Ochoa Invitational
  • Full Coverage ' Barclays Singapore Open
  • More Headlines
  • Getty Images

    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

    Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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