Records Peats and Feats

By Dena DavisApril 20, 2009, 4:00 pm
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LIFE OF BRIAN: PGA Tour Journeyman Brian Gay rewrote the golf history books Sunday, capping off a record-breaking tournament with a 7-under 64 final round at Harbour Town and setting marks for scoring, margin of victory and fewest bogeys over 72 holes. The 37-year-old, who grinded on Tour more than a decade before notching his first career win in his 293rd start last year, at long-last earned himself an invitation to the Masters ' something his opposite-event victory in Mexico at the 2008 Mayakoba Classic did not afford him.
BackspinAfter years of near-misses and coming up warning-track-power short, Gay went deep with a moonshot-blast clear out of the Verizon Heritage ballpark. He must have felt like the Cleveland Indians at the new home of the Yankees. Yes, the Harbour Town stadium definitely suited him, as did the tartan jacket ' which we think is an auspicious sign for the former University of Florida All-American, who spent part of his childhood in Moultrie, Georgia. Back then, he and his family made several pilgrimages to the pearly gates of Augusta National, where the young Joseph Brian Gay dreamed of one day playing for the green jacket. If Gay's last two seasons on Tour are any indication of where this reserved, man-of-few-words is headed, then we like him as the quiet dark horse in the 2010 Masters field. Particularly, if the Gators win another National Championship in football. Interestingly, the only golfer to win two Southeastern Conference championships has now scored a pair of PGA Tour touchdowns with both coming mere months after a BCS national championship for his school.


HERE'S TO YOU, GAYLE DIMAGGIO... Pro-Am staple Bill Murray's wayward tee shot on No. 9 hole at TPC Tampa Bay, knocked a neighborhood woman in the noggin as she was standing in her own backyard in Friday's opening round of the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am. Gayle DiMaggio, who lives with her husband in a house on the course, was looking to get a glimpse of the tournament's celebrities when Carl Spackler hooked his drive right into her head. After returning home from the hospital with stitches, she had only one request for Murray: a signed copy of his movie Caddyshack.
BackspinFirst, there's a joke in there somewhere about a comedian leaving her in stitches... Too easy? Maybe. But we're not above layups here. A point is a point. And our second point is, if we're Gayle DiMaggio, we are milking this injury for all it's worth. We'd also insist on signed copies of Stripes, Ghostbusters, Lost in Translation, Groundhog Day, Rushmore, a role with him in his next movie, a shout-out in US Weekly magazine in the 'Stars! They're just like us!' section, a few rounds of golf at Pebble, and maybe a leisurely golf cart cruise thru Stockholm, Sweden with the funny man at the wheel. Yes, a nation turned it's lonely eyes to DiMaggio, and Gayle blew it. She had the opportunity to let her fellow man live vicariously through her as Bill Murray's new 'BFF.' Instead, she settled for a stinking DVD marred with illegible ink. So, yeah. She has that going for her, which is nice...


ONE THE HARD WAY: Nick Price ended an 0-for-38 streak on the Champions Tour Sunday, when he clinched the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am title for his long-awaited maiden Senior victory. But the 'W' was not without some drama as the Zimbabwean carded three double-bogeys in his final-round front nine ' finding water on two of those holes. Price had to birdie Nos. 13-15 to get back to 9 under and regain some confidence. I am absolutely dumbfounded by this round,' the 52-year-old said afterward. 'I might make some bogeys, but not three double bogeys like that. It supposed to be easier when you get older.
BackspinNot really, Nick. When you're oh-fer, it gets harder to win as you get older. Just ask Sergio Garcia.


WHAT ARE THE (T)ODDS?: Brendon Todd made Nationwide Tour history by making a hole-in-one at the same hole two days in a row at the Athens Regional Foundation Classic this week. The Todd (for you 'Scrubs' fans) made the first ace on Thursday with a 7-iron on the par-3 17th hole from 157-yards. On Friday, he opted for an 8-iron at the same tee box at the Jennings Mill Country Club course and slam-dunked that one, as well. Its still hard to believe, Todd said after posting a 1-under 71 in the second round. Its a bit surreal, even now.
Backspin It is hard to believe, Brendon. You now hold a record that even Tiger Woods may never touch. Those odds are crazy. I suppose the next thing you'll tell me is that the hard-luck sports city of Philadelphia scored three 'aces' of their own this weekend with a Phillies walkoff home-run, a Flyers post-season victory, and a Sixers last-second winner in the playoffs. Now, that would be unbelievable. (Although, that town could use something special to help ease the loss of the great Harry Kalas.) All we know is that the stars must have been aligned in Athens, GA. It's no coincidence that Todd's alma mater, located just another 7-iron ace away from his rare feat, celebrated an unprecedented fifth consecutive national title for the Lady Dawgs women's gymnastics team the very same weekend. Not even Tiger has five-peated like that.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Colin Montgomerie verbally dressed down a photographer who was snapping pictures in his backswing during his second round Friday at the Volvo China Open .... Tiger Woods was courtside for his Orlando Magic's first playoff game Sunday, a surprising 100-98 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers ... Boo Weekley failed to defend his title at the Verizon Heritage coming up well short of completing the Harbour Town hat-trick...
Backspin When informed of Monty's outspoken reaction to the camera man during in the Scot's 1-over 73 round in Beijing, John Daly and Stevie Williams said they were not impressed ... The world's No. 1 golfer witnessed a stunning late-game fold by his favorite NBA team Sunday in the 'Blue-and White-Ignite' Amway Arena. We're just relieved Kenny Perry isn't a Magic fan (though he follows the blue and white of the University of Kentucky). Two Sundays in a row of that collapsing nonsense would be devastating for the poor guy .... It's probably for the best that Weekley only managed a T13 finish at his Hilton Head home-away-from-home. Had the Milton, Florida native three-peated, he surely would've had to share his title success with Pat Riley when the mass-produced camoflauge-tartan commemorative t-shirts and koozies brought royalties into question. Unlesssssss, Boo had coined his own phrase....'Tartan-peat.'
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Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

“I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

“The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

He's making his first start in the event.

''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

How rare is his missing the cut there?

The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.