Hanging Out With a New Crowd - This Chads going to the PGA Tour

By Kraig KannOctober 7, 2001, 4:00 pm
A birdie at the last hole did the trick. Chad Campbell's 8-under par total after four rounds at the Monterey Peninsula Classic did a couple things. First place earned him $81,000 and the top spot on the Buy.com Tour's all-important money list. But more importantly, it sends Chad Campbell to the PGA Tour immediately!
 
Three wins will get you the promotion, known on this tour as the 'Battlefield Promotion'. These days that's a rather sensitive issue on tour because of the country's current state with Afghanistan. But it seems rather perfect when talking about this accomplishment because of the venue on which Campbell made history. The Bayonet Course at Seaside,CA is part of the old military base at Fort Ord. Named after the 7th infantry division, the course is as tough a track as there is on the Buy.com Tour. In fact, it's the toughest this year to date!
The scoring average for the field hovered around 75 strokes all week on this 7117 yard par 72 layout filled with a mix of doglegs, disastrous rough and darned quick greens. That Campbell shot 8-under par is not only amazing, but also says a lot about the player he is.
 
The 27-year-old Texan showed up on this tour in January as a rookie who'd dominated on the Hooters Tour, earning player of the year honors in both 1998 and 2000. In fact, he won eight of the first 16 events on the schedule in 2000. Still, you earn respect at the next level by proving it, and Campbell didn't waste much time in sending a message!
 
In the first event of the year he finished second! In the eighth event of the year he won at Richmond, Va. Later he won at the Permian Basin Open and by then was threatening the top spot on this tour's money list.
 
He had something and somebody to shoot at as the year progressed. Heath Slocum was at the top of the coveted money list and with his third win at Omaha, Slocum was off the PGA Tour as only the second man in Buy.Com Tour history to earn the promotion by way of three wins. With Slocum departed, Campbell became 'the man' and had his own sights on the goal of 'three-wins and see ya'.
 
Edging Deane Pappas by a shot with birdie at the last, the two men were the only two in the field to play Bayonet at par or better for four days. Now, he's gone and I couldn't be happier for him. Neither could his fellow Buy.com Tour professionals.
 
Said Ty Armstrong, 'Yeah, I think he's proved everywhere he's played that he's a good player. I think he's got a good chance to play well out there.' Armstrong should know. He's been there and realizes its not that easy to play out there for any period of time.
 
Added Curt Byrum, 'How'd he shoot 8-under?!' Byrum, the television commentator and player sees a Campbell with a lot of talent. 'If he just quietly goes out there and does his thing, I think he'll do great. He's going out there with total confidence. Its tough to win three times.'
 
Campbell is a kid you can't help but root for. Young and talented. Quietly humble and a very hard worker who doesn't get caught up in himself. It's great to see the youth movement progress to the next level and have the ability to make an impact.
 
By the way, just to my left, down the hall is gate A-8 in the San Jose, Calif. airport. And standing in line with a ticket to Las Vegas, Nev. is Chad Campbell. The PGA Tour stops there next week, and Campbell is off to start making an impact at the next level!
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Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

"A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

"If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

"I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"


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The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

"It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

"It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

"I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

"If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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LPGA lists April date for new LA event

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.