Two Too Many Swings

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 24, 2008, 4:00 pm
Editor's Note: In Backspin, the editorial staff takes a look back on the biggest stories from the past week in golf -- with a spin.
MONSTER MASHED: Geoff Ogilvy earned his first PGA TOUR victory since capturing the 2006 U.S. Open by winning the WGC-CA Championship Monday at Doral at 17 under. The event was extended an extra day due to inclement weather in the Miami area. Ogilvy made par on each of his final nine holes Monday to secure fourth career TOUR title.
Backspin Ogilvy is one of the most honest players on TOUR. He's also never one to back down from a challenge. Of the Aussie's afforementioned four TOUR victories, two have come in WGC events (2006 WGC-Match Play) or in majors. And just like he at Winged Foot in '06, a chip-in for par late in the round helped save the day.

DRIVE ENDS AT FIVE: Tiger Woods PGA TOUR win streak was halted at five at the WGC-CA Championship. Woods finished in fifth place with a score of 15 under. The loss alos ended his three-year run at champion at Doral.
Backspin Well, it turns out hes human after all. But even on an off week, if you can call it that, Tiger still had a chance to win in the end. But instead of focusing in on what went wrong, lets appreciate his incredible run. This is the first time Woods has lost since finishing second to Phil last September, and the first time he didnt place in the top two since July! Five official PGA TOUR wins in a row, seven total, including his tournament and the Dubai Desert Classic, and 9 of the last 10. Truly remarkable. Next up: The Masters Tournament.

BIG EASY'S BIG MOVE: South African Ernie Els told the press this week about his intentions of moving his home base from England to possibly south Florida. Els has lived alongside the famed Wentworth course in England for most of his professinal career.
Backspin Els' reasoning for the major move (he used to live in Lake Nona outside of Orlando) was partly because of the better winter-time climate in Florida compared with that of rainy, cold London. But most importantly was the fact that he believes that there are better opportunities Stateside that exist for his son, Ben, who Els recently revealed suffers from autism. 'The schools for Ben, especially theres really good stuff happening over here for him,' Els said.

HE'S KRAFTY: Greg Kraft earned his first PGA TOUR victory Sunday by outlasting Bo Van Pelt and Jerry Kelly, the highest-ranked player in the field, at the inaugural Puerto Rico Open. Kraft earned $630,000'more than hes made on the PGA TOUR combined since 2003.
Backspin Who loves opposite-field events more than the career journeyman. First, Brian Gay won in Mexico the same week of the WGC-Accenture Match Play and now Kraft in Puerto Rico. Anyone winless on TOUR with about 10 years service can next look forward to the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee, the week of the British Open.

OWW WIE: .Michelle Wie withdrew from the Safeway International on Friday after tweaking an injury to her left wrist during practice last week. The 18-year-old Wie received a sponsor exemption to play in the upcoming event at Superstition Mountain in Arizona. She has played in just one tournament this year, and finished 20 strokes behind winner Paula Creamer in the Fields Open in Hawaii.
Backspin It is hard to tell whether this is a step forwards or backwards for Wie. On one hand she showed some common sense in not forcing the issue with her wrist, and risking further injury that would keep her out of future events. On the other this could be a nagging injury that could keep the Stanford freshman from ever reaching her full potential and living up to the lofty expectations placed on her. In other words, it's pretty typical for the on-going Wie saga.

BACK AND FORSYTH: Alastair Forsyth erased a five-stroke deficit Sunday before beating Hennie Otto in a playoff to win the Madeira Island Open. The 32-year-old Scot birdied the 18th hole twice, once in regulation and then again on the extra hole, to force and win the playoff to collect his first title since the 2002 Malaysian Open, when he overcame Australian Stephen Leaney for his first title.
Backspin The win was a complete change in fortune this year for Forsyth who had missed the cut in each of his five events this year. But his successful 7-footer in overtime earned him the $180,000 first prize and made him 2-out-of-2 in playoffs as a professional. Its the worst start Ive ever made, added Forsyth, but Id played well at the end of last season and just got a bit rusty over the winter. Otto was looking for his debut in the winners circle to regain his tour card but gave away his lead early in his round..

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Louis Oosthuizen arrived on Sunday for the WGC-CA Championship, although his clubs did not make it; Stephanie Sparks, GOLF CHANNEL personality, accepted a sponsors exemption to the third-annual Ginn OPEN, April 14-20 at Ginn Reunion Resort; Erik Compton underwent two heart procedures this past week.
Backspin Oosthuizen finally got his clubs and shot 74-72 alongside Tiger. He finished tied for 68th for the event; Sparks LPGA career was cut short after the 2000 season due to back surgery. But her attitude is thus, 'After my second back surgery I thought Id never have a chance of being inside the ropes again. Having this opportunity is unexpected, and I will be enjoying every single second of it. I dont know how Ill play, but its about taking in every moment of it.'; Just days after his surgery, Compton, a Miami native, was on-site at Doral. He first had a heart transplant at the age of 12. That heart lasted 16 years. He needs another one now to continue his life.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - WGC-CA Championship
  • Full Coverage - Puerto Rico Open
  • Full Coverage - Madeira Island Open
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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.