Playoff FeverWe Got It - COPIED

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 28, 2008, 4:00 pm
In Backspin, GolfChannel.com takes a look back on the biggest stories from the past week in golf ' with a spin.
 
JUST THE START OF THINGS: Vijay Singh closed out a dramatic first week of the FedExCup playoffs by topping Sergio Garcia on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff. It was Singhs second big win in the last month and vaulted him to atop The Playoffs standings.
 
Backspin As the Olympics finally came to a close, Singh and Garcia did their best to fill the void left in the drama department. And just when Garcia rolled in a long, long birdie putt on the first hole of sudden death, it appeared the Spaniard had finally caught a break. But Singh, not to be outdone, then decided to go all Padraig Harrington on him and struck back with a dagger of his own to force an extra hole. Another birdie of the following hole gave Singh his 33rd career PGA TOUR victory and again left Garcia on the outside looking in.
 

HELLO, WORLD: Danny Lee got up early against Drew Kittleson in the 36-hole U.S. Amateur final, withstood a rally from his opponent, then put the hammer down to secure a 5-and-4 victory to become the youngest winner in the events history, edging Tiger Woods by seven months in that department.
 
Backspin The historic victory caps off a wild few weeks for the 18-year-old Lee. A New Zealander who was born in South Korea, the top-ranked amateur is coming off a win at the prestigious Western Amateur and then an impressive tie for 20th at the PGA TOURs Wyndham Championship. Ironically, now comes the hard part for the teenager ' should he turn professional and give up his exemptions into the U.S. and British Opens, and an invitation to the Masters Tournament? Tough decisions for a teenager indeed.
 

WALKING ON WATER: Promoting the release of his new video game, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09, a new viral video surfaced where Woods walks on water and hits a shot off a lily pad. The video plays off a glitch in the 2008 game, where Woods could walk on water and hit a shot.
 
Backspin The folks at EA are certainly walking on thin ice considering how PC conscience today's society has become, which is probably why it was released on YouTube. But from a purely entertainment perspective, the video is golden. And heck, who knows, would it really be that surprising if there weren't any special effects involved?
 

KERR-TAIN CALL: Cristie Kerr rolled in a 15-footer for birdie to defeat Helen Alfredsson and Sophie Gustafson on the first playoff hole to win the Safeway Classic. It was the 11th career LPGA win for Kerr, who erased a four-shot deficit in the final round.
 
BackspinKerr was dynamite down the stretch, with birdies on four of the final seven holes including a 15-footer at the last to put her in the playoff. The win was not only her first of the season, but her first since capturing the U.S. Womens Open in 2007.
 

PADDY'S MOVE: Padraig Harrington has decided to take up a part-time residence in the United States, choosing White Oak Golf and Equestrian Community in western North Carolina as the site for his new home. Harrington, not surprisingly, will be a spokesman for the development.
 
BackspinAlso not surprising is the fact Harrington will probably be spending more time in the States and playing more on the PGA TOUR. As a newly minted three-time major champion ' joining Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh and Ernie Els ' the Irishman will no doubt start cashing in on his newfound superstardom and the financial windfall that comes with it. Life is good. Apparently even equestrian-like good!
 

TAKE A LOOK AT ME NOW: Another Irishman made a move this past week, as Northern Irishman Darren Clarke won the KLM Open on the European Tour to jump up in the standings on the Ryder Cup qualification list.
 
Backspin With only one week to go before the European ' and American ' team is finalized Clarke likely won't make it on his own merit. But his victory should make him a genuine candidate for a captain's pick. Nick Faldo's head must be spinning as he will likely have to choose from Clarke, Paul Casey and Ian Poulter. The one most hurt by all this is Colin Montgomerie, who can all but kiss Valhalla goodbye.
 

ONE AND DONE:For some, The Playoffs were over in the blink of an eye. Major champions Zach Johnson and David Toms each missed the cut at The Barclays and didn't make the top 120, which qualify for the upcoming Deutsche Bank Championship. Jason Bohn and Bob Tway decided not to play at The Barclays and are out of the playoffs as well.
 
Backspin Instead of being in New Jersey for The Barclays, Tway was in North Carolina caddying for his son, Kevin, at the U.S. Amateur. Last week only 24 players were out of the FedExCup picture, however this week the cutoff point is at 70th position. With less than 2,000 points separating 70th to 120th expect even more fireworks this week at the BMW Championship.
 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:Canada's Mike Weir sported a 'playoff beard' at last week's Barclays. Weir is currently featured in a commercial where hockey legend Wayne Gretzky advises the Canadian lefty to grow a beard for the FedExCup playoffs just as hockey players do for the Stanley Cup playoffs ... Scott Piercy won for the second time in two weeks on the Nationwide Tour at the NE Pennsylvania Classic ... Tom Kite fired to final round 66 to win the Boeing Classic by two strokes over Scott Simpson.
 
Backspin The first playoff beard in the history of the PGA TOUR, and of course it is sported by a Canadian. Since Weir finished in a tie for seventh, we can most likely expect it to stay. Here's to Weir keeping it and more importantly not trimming it 'It's been amazing. I felt it's been coming, even when I was 123rd on the money list,' Piercy said. Doubtful, but no one is arguing with his results Kite needed to birdie three of the last four holes to overtake Simpson, whose miss from 2 feet for par sealed his fate.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage -- The Barclays
  • Full Coverage -- U.S. Amateur
  • Full Coverage -- Boeing Classic
  • Full Coverage -- Safeway Classic Presented by Pepsi
  • Full Coverage -- The KLM Open
  • Full Coverage -- Northeast Pennsylvania Classic
  • More Headlines
  • Battling mono, Kaufman tied for lead at CME

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 2:05 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – Kim Kaufman’s bout with mononucleosis might leave fellow tour pros wanting to catch the fever, too.

    A couple months after Anna Nordqvist battled her way into contention at the Women’s British Open playing with mono, and then thrived at the Solheim Cup with it, Kaufman is following suit.

    In her first start since being diagnosed, Kaufman posted an 8-under-par 64 Saturday to move into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. It was the low round of the day. She’s bidding to win her first LPGA title.

    “I’ve been resting at home for two weeks,” Kaufman said. “Didn’t do anything.”

    Well, she did slip on a flight of stairs while recuperating, hurting her left wrist. She had it wrapped Saturday but said that’s mostly precautionary. It didn’t bother her during the round.


    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


    “I’m the only person who can take two weeks off and get injured,” Kaufman joked.

    Kaufman, 26, left the Asian swing after playing the Sime Darby Malaysia, returning to her home in South Dakota, to see her doctor there. She is from Clark. She was told bed rest was the best thing for her, but she felt good enough to make the trip to Florida for the season-ending event.

    “We had some really cold days,” Kaufman said. “We had some snow. I was done with it. I was coming down here.”

    How does she feel?

    “I feel great,” she said. “I’m a little bit shaky, which isn’t great out there, but it’s great to be here doing something. I was going a little bit stir crazy [at home], just kind of fighting through it.”

    Kaufman made eight birdies in her bogey-free round.

    New-look Wie eyes CME Group Tour Championship title

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:32 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – Michelle Wie is sporting a new look that even has fellow players doing double takes.

    Bored during her six-week recovery from an emergency appendectomy late this summer, Wie decided to cut and die her hair.

    She went for golden locks, and a shorter style.

    “I kind of went crazy after being in bed that long,” Wie said. “I just told my mom to grab the kitchen scissors and just cut all my hair off.”

    Wie will get to sport her new look on a big stage Sunday after playing herself into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. With a 6-under-par 66, she is in contention to win her fifth LPGA title, her first since winning the U.S. Women’s Open three years ago.


    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


    Wie, 28, fought her way back this year after two of the most disappointing years of her career. Her rebound, however, was derailed in late August, when she withdrew from the final round of the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open to undergo an emergency appendectomy. She was out for six weeks.

    Before the surgery, Wie enjoyed getting back into contention regularly, with six finishes of T-4 or better this season. She returned to the tour on the Asian swing in October.

    Fellow tour pros were surprised when she came back with the new look.

    “Definitely, walk by people and they didn’t recognize me,” Wie said.

    Wie is looking to continue to build on her resurgence.

    “I gained a lot of confidence this year,” she said. “I had a really tough year last year, the last couple years. Just really feeling like my old self. Really feeling comfortable out there and having fun, and that's when I play my best.”

    You Oughta Know: LPGA's Sunday scenarios

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:17 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – The CME Group Tour Championship is loaded with pressure-packed subplots Sunday at Tiburon Golf Club.

    Here’s what You Oughta Know about the prizes at stake:

    Race to the CME Globe

    Lexi Thompson and Sung Hyun Park are 1-2 in CME Globe points. They are best positioned Sunday to take home the $1 million jackpot in the season-long competition.

    Thompson and Park are tied for fifth in the tournament, one shot off the lead. If either of them wins, she will take home the jackpot.

    The way it’s unfolding Thompson is a good bet to take home the jackpot by merely finishing ahead of Park, unless they both stumble badly on Sunday.

    Ariya Jutanugarn is also one shot off the lead. She must win to take home the jackpot, but she would also need Thompson to finish ninth or worse and Park to finish eighth or worse and nobody else among the top 12 in points to make a bold Sunday charge.

    Stacy Lewis is one shot off the lead with a longshot chance at the jackpot. She must win the tournament while Thompson finishes 26th or worse, Park finishes 12th or worse and nobody else among the top 12 in points makes a bold Sunday charge.

    So Yeon Ryu and Shanshan Feng are among others who still have a shot at the $1 million prize, but they have fallen back in the pack and need bold Sunday charges to take home the jackpot.

    Rolex Player of the Year

    The Rolex Player of the Year Award remains a four-player race.

    Ryu (162), Feng (159), Park (157) and Thompson (147) all have a chance to win the award.

    Park and Thompson are best positioned to make Sunday moves to overtake Ryu.

    Park needs to finish sixth or better to win the award outright; Thompson needs to win the tournament to win the award.

    It’s simple math.

    The top 10 in the tournament will be awarded points.

    1st - 30 points

    2nd – 12 points

    3rd – 9 points

    4th – 7 points

    5th – 6 points

    6th – 5 points

    7rd – 4 points

    8th – 3 points

    9th – 2 points

    10th – 1 point

    Vare Trophy

    Thompson took a 69.147 scoring average to Naples. Park needs to finish nine shots ahead of Thompson to have a shot at the trophy.

    Money-winning title

    Park leads the tour in money winnings with $2,262,472. Ryu is the only player who can pass her Sunday, and Ryu must win the tournament to do so. Ryu is tied for 32nd, five shots off the lead. If Ryu wins the tournament, she also needs Park to finish worse than solo second.

    Rolex world No. 1 ranking

    World No. 1 Feng, No. 2 Park and No. 3 Ryu are separated by just three hundredths of a point.

    Because they are so close, the scenarios for overtaking Feng are head spinning.

    At No. 4, Thompson is a full average ranking point behind Feng, but she could become the sixth different player this season to move to No. 1. Thompson, however, has to win Sunday to have a chance to do so, and then it will depend on what Feng, Park and Ryu do. Again, the scenarios are complex.

    Cook leads RSM Classic by three at Sea Island

    By Associated PressNovember 19, 2017, 12:28 am

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook shot a 4-under 66 on Saturday to increase his lead to three strokes in the RSM Classic.

    Cook, a shot ahead after a second-round 62, had five birdies and a bogey - his first of the week - to reach 18-under 194 with a round left at Sea Island Golf Club's Seaside Course.

    ''Putting is key right now,'' Cook said. ''Been able to make a lot of clutch putts for the pars to save no bogeys. Hitting the ball pretty much where we're looking and giving ourselves good opportunities on every hole.''

    Former University of Georgia player Chris Kirk was second after a 64.

    ''I'm really comfortable here,'' Kirk said. ''I love Sea Island. I lived here for 6 1/2 years, so I played the golf course a lot, SEC Championships and come down here for the RSM Classic. My family and I, we come down here a few other times a year as well.''

    Brian Gay was another stroke back at 14 under after a 69.

    ''I love the course,'' Gay said. ''We keep getting different wind directions so it's keeping us on our toes. Supposed to be another completely different wind direction tomorrow, so we're getting a new course every day.''


    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


    J.J. Spaun had a 62 to get to 13 under.

    ''I just kind of played stress-free golf out there and kept the golf ball in front of me,'' Spaun said. ''I had a lot of looks and scrambled pretty well, even though it was only a handful of times, but pretty overall pleased with how I played today.''

    Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. The 26-year-old former Arkansas player earned his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour.

    ''I think with an extra year on the Web this past year, I really grew mentally and with my game, just kind of more confidence,'' Cook said. ''I was able to put myself in contention on the Web.com more this year than I have in the past. I think I've just, you know, learned from experiences on the Web to help me grow out here.''

    He planned to keep it simple Saturday night.

    ''I've got my parents here and my in-laws are both here as well as my wife,'' Cook said. ''Go home and just have a good home-cooked meal and just kind of enjoy the time and embrace the moment.''

    Kirk won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2015 at Colonial.

    ''It's nice to be back in contention again,'' Kirk said. ''It's been a little while for me. But I felt great out there today, I felt really comfortable, and so hopefully it will be the same way tomorrow and I'll keep my foot on the pedal and stay aggressive, try to make some birdies.''