Love Still Waiting - With Us

By Kraig KannOctober 28, 2005, 4:00 pm
By all accounts, when the calendar turns to November, the PGA Tour will sit down to begin working out the details of the PGA Tours future schedule set to take effect in 2007.
Ive talked about the possibilities before. Everyones written about the uncertainty and the speculation. The tour players are mumbling about it, too.
Among the well-connected in PGA Tour circles is Davis Love III. The major champion has been a PGA Tour policy board member along with David Toms, Scott McCarron, Joe Durant.
While Love is currently focused on staying healthy and working his way back toward victory, his schedule is also tied up with efforts to keep the PGA Tour headed in the right direction.
Its non-stop right now, Love said. The Board members that are on now, and carry on for the next year, well next year especially, and then into 07, they got their work cut out for them certainly. And I think thats a good thing.
Word has it that Commissioner Tim Finchem will have some things to say next week at the Tour Championship.
So will the PGA Tour officially move the Players Championship from March to May? Will the PGA Tour schedule effectively have a stopping point at Labor Day? Will there be a handful of events to follow so that the tour season doesnt just end all together?
Love himself realizes all the ducks arent yet in a row and he, too, is speculating to some degree.
I mean, even Tim is guessing some. So we are all guessing on whats going to happen.
Love does assure us that the number of events on the PGA Tour schedule wont change in 07.
There will be just as many rounds of golf in 07 as there are in 06.
It appears more certain than ever now that the Tour Championship will move up to the Labor Day time frame.
In other words, finish before football is firmly the focus.
Thats always been a great idea for 10 or 15 years, Love said. What we are looking at, if you go back and look at The Presidents Cup, and San Francisco (AmEx), they both got huge ratings just into the start of the football season. So if we can carry it that far, thats about as far as we think we can carry the audience into football.
Love loves his NASCAR, and while he took a while to warm up to the chase for the cup race thats employed currently, hes a big fan now. To that end, the race to the Tour Championship is a good plan.
And while there was apparently a plan being discussed to start the 08 schedule right after the 07 Tour Championship, that idea might have lost steam.
The goal now is to find a way to keep interest in a series of events beyond Labor Day to settle the top 125, 150 and other important numbers when some big name players might just pack it in. I said, 'some.'
You know Vijay is not going to pack it in. Im not going to pack it in. Guys are going to play.
Love was then asked if Phil would pack it in.
Probably. And maybe David Toms packs it in, Love said. I hope they do. If they stop at the Ryder Cup and they dont play until January, they cant beat us, I dont think in January and February. So I hope they do pack it in.
Love scoffed at the idea that the goal was to make the PGA Tour season shorter. He says the idea was to make the season more exciting. And ultimately nobody will agree on everything. But Love, unlike many, has a clear mind about doing whats right for the tour, whats right for golf and its loyal fans. Divisive attitudes have no place in working toward progress.
There is always 20 or 30 guys that complain. And there are always 20 or 30 guys that are really happy. And the rest of them are just trying to get better at golf.
'Look what baseball did. They added another round of playoffs. Look at football, they have more games. Hockey ' they restructured the whole game. If youre going to ask people to keep paying more and more money for it, you got to give them more value. And thats what were trying to do.
From a long-suffering Chicago White Sox fan, homegrown in Chicago and suddenly pinching myself, I know all about patience. Waiting for the right chemistry takes time. The PGA Tour will get it right - especially with guys like Davis Love in the mix of decision making.
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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

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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.

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''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.

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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.

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Defending champ Gana co-leads Latin America Amateur

By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 11:20 pm

Toto Gana moved into early position to try to win a return trip to the Masters Saturday by grabbing a share of the first-round lead at the Latin America Amateur Championship.

The defending champ posted a 3-under-par 68 at Prince of Wales Country Club in his native Chile, equaling the rounds of Argentina’s Mark Montenegro and Colombia’s Pablo Torres.

They are one shot ahead of Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz and Mario Carmona, Argentina’s Horacio Carbonetti and Jaime Lopez Rivarola and the Dominican Republic’s Rhadames Pena.

It’s a bunched leaderboard, with 19 players within three shots of each at the top of the board in the 72-hole event.

“I think I have my game under control,” said Gana, 20, a freshman at Lynn University. “I hit the ball very well, and I also putted very well. So, I am confident about tomorrow.”

The LAAC’s champion will get more than a Masters invitation. He also will be exempt into the The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event he is eligible to play this year. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.