Questions for Kraig - Austin Tex

By Kraig KannMarch 17, 2002, 5:00 pm
Canadian Tour-LargeHey folks, Kraig Kann here in Austin, Tex., for the Canadian Tour's Texas Challenge. For the second week, the number of responses to our coverage has been terrific. Remember, you send the question including your name and where you're from and I'll answer one on the air over the weekend and put them all in this column which will appear at the So thanks for the great questions.
Curt Byrum, Jerry Foltz and Bryan DeCorso have had fun reading these over with me. Here we go!
1) Kraig, in your opinion, who is the most talented player on the Canadian Tour?
Witchita, Kansas
Steve, that's a very good question. Based on the last few weeks if you're going on sheer talent and potential ability Hank Kuehne gets my vote. The consenus out here is that his length and overall skills exceed the rest of the field. Steve Scott has a lot of ability as well. So does Jeff Quinney and even a guy like Rob McMillan from Canada. But Kuehne has em' all beat. His skills are amazing.
2) Which Canadian player scored a hole-in-one on a par-4 on last year's Canadian Tour?
George Smith
No hometown given
George, that was Todd Fanning who we featured Saturday during our coverage wearing a heart-rate monitor. It happened last year at the Shell Payless Open and tour officials told us they think it happened at the 6th hole. Great stuff.. and great memory by you. We still may see one this week at the 9th hole here at Circle C Ranch so keep your eyes in focus.

3) I was wondering what percentage of the players on the Canadian Tour actually get sponsorships and what kind of money are they making?
No hometown given
Matt, the percentage is very few and those who may be getting some endorsement money are getting very little compared to even a player from the Buy.Com Tour. This is a true proving ground tour with defininte talent. Guys like Quinney, Scott and Kuehne have a little endorsement value and a few established Canadians like Todd Fanning or Robb McMillan. But they're not getting rich off it.
4) Has a Canadian-born player ever won one of the four 'major' golf championships?

Vancouver, B.C.
Rich.. the answer is no. But don't count out Mike Weir he's got the ability for sure!

5) Will the Golf Channel be in Scottsdale with the Canadian Tour? If so, when will that be and what course are they playing?

Ann Sheppard
Scottsdale, Ariz.
Come out and see us, Ann. In two weeks the Canadian Tour makes a 'Scottsdale Swing' with a tournament at McCormick Ranch and then the next week there's a tournament at Eagle Mountain. Spread the word and keep the weathermen honest!
6) How do players qualify for the Canadian Tour? There are so many tours and so many players, is there a central organization that players refer to that gives them their options? If not how do they know?

Ann Sheppard
Scottsdale, Ariz.
There are 3 Qualifying Schools for the Canadian Tour. The recent Winter Qualifying Tour allowed Hank Kuehne, Jeff Quinney and James Driscoll among others to get their cards. There will be a Spring Q-School later this year in Canada and a Fall Q-school for Canadians who've lost they're playing privleges. There is no 'central organization' as you call it. Players find out about tours and options from their agents and from word of mouth. It's not a very complicated process actually.
7) I have some confusion on where to drop when you have hit the ball over the green into a hazard. Should you take the 2-club length rule from nearest point of entry from behind the green (which would put you closer to the hole) or do you go back to the original spotfrom where you hit?
David A. Ardis
No hometown given
David, you can take your 2-club drop no nearer the hole in any direction. But if you can't drop it without being nearer the hole, you must either go back to the original spot where you played from or you can go behind the hazard or on the other side of the hazard keeping the hazard between you and the green. Our announcers had a good time talking about this one.
8) Why is the Canadian Tour playing so many events outside of Canada??!!
Keith B.
Boulder, Col.
Hey Keith, what's the temperature up in Canada right now? About 12 degrees probably and there can't be too many courses open. Thus the idea, which has been a very good one, to get the season rolling south of the Canadian border. Eight events in the United States this year and one in Mexico plus the already completed Panama Open.
9) When was the Canadian Tour founded? Was it very long ago?
Joey Burris
Chicago, Ill.
Joey, the tour which is now the Canadian Tour began in 1983. That was the first year there was an 'order of merit winner'. But this tour actually has roots before that played by mostly Canadian born players. The Tour then grew into what is now the Canadian Tour which will play 16 full-field events this year, 19 total for a purse of $3.2 million Canadian.
10) Hi Kraig, I am 16-years-old with a 5.2 handicap and play on a junior tour here in B.C. What tournaments I should play in order to make myself known or ready myself for a professional career. Do you suggest I play in amateur or junior events?
Darren Ottenbreit
British Columbia
Hi Darren, we actually answered your question during our telecast on Saturday. Curt Byrum praised you for a solid handicap, but let you know that there's a lot of work to do. You need to come to the United States and compete in the American Junior Golf Association events. That's where the best young players are competing these days. Great competition. Play in those events and don't be disturbed by 17-year-old Ty Tryon who has a PGA Tour card already. Some guys like yourself are in need of a very good instructor who can work with you. And some guys just bloom a bit late. Good luck!!
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Fleetwood rallies to defend Abu Dhabi title

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 pm

The 2018 European Tour season has begun just as the 2017 one ended: with Tommy Fleetwood's name atop the standings.

Facing the most difficult conditions of the week, Fleetwood charged down the stretch to shoot a 7-under 65 in the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, good enough for a two-shot win and a successful title defense.

Abu Dhabi was the start of Fleetwood's resurgence a year ago, the first of two European Tour victories en route to the season-long Race to Dubai title. This time around the Englishman started the final round two shots off the lead but rallied with six birdies over his final nine holes to reclaim the trophy.

Fleetwood was five shots behind countryman Ross Fisher when he made made the turn, but he birdied the par-5 10th and then added four birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 12-16. The decisive shot came on the final hole, when his pitch from the left rough nestled within a few feet of the hole for a closing birdie.

Fleetwood's 22-under total left him two shots ahead of Fisher and four shots clear of Rory McIlroy and Matthew Fitzpatrick. After entering the week ranked No. 18, Fleetwood is expected to move to at least No. 12 in the world when the new rankings are published.

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Garcia cruises to five-shot win in Singapore

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:10 pm

SINGAPORE - Sergio Garcia played 27 holes on the last day without dropping a shot to win the Singapore Open by five strokes Sunday in an ominous display of his newfound self-belief as he prepares to defend his Masters title.

Still brimming with confidence after claiming his first major title at Augusta National last year, Garcia started his new season with a runaway victory at the Sentosa Golf Club, finishing at 14-under 270.

Returning to the course just after dawn to complete his third round after play was suspended on Saturday because of lightning strikes, Garcia finished his last nine holes in 4 under for a round of 66 to take a one-shot lead into the final round.

With organizers desperate to avert the constant threat of more bad weather and finish the tournament on time, Garcia promptly returned to the first tee shortly after and fired a flawless 3-under 68, cruising to victory with 10 straight pars as his rivals floundered in the stifling humidity.

''It may have looked easy, but it wasn't easy. You still have to hit a lot of good shots out there,'' Garcia said. ''It's always great to start with a win, to do it here at this golf course against a good field in Asia on conditions that weren't easy. Hopefully I can ride on this momentum.''

Garcia's closest rivals at the end were Japan's Satoshi Kodaira (71) and South African Shaun Norris (70). Both birdied the last hole to share second spot but neither was ever close enough on the last day to challenge the leader.

Full-field scores from the Singapore Open

''I could not reach Sergio. I was thinking, 12 or 13 under for the win, but he went beyond that,'' Kodaira said.

Jazz Janewattananond (71) and his fellow Thai Danthai Bonnma (73) finished equal fourth at 8 under, earning themselves a spot in this year's British Open, while American Sean Crocker, who was given an invitation to the event after turning pro late last year, also won a place at Carnoustie by finishing in a tie for sixth.

Garcia made just three bogeys in 72 holes and his victory provided the 38-year-old with the 33rd title of his professional career and his sixth on the Asian Tour.

He has also won three titles in the last 12 months, including the Masters, and his game looks to be in better shape now than it was a year ago.

He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for Augusta National because of the steamy conditions and the testing stop-start nature of the tournament, which is regularly stopped because of inclement weather.

Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore a year ago, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

"I'm extremely happy with how the week went. It was a tough day and a tough week, with the stopping and going. Fortunately, the weather held on. Still, it was hard to play 27 holes under this heat and I can't wait to get a cold shower,'' Garcia said. ''I came with some good confidence and wishing that I will play well. I hit the ball solid the whole week and didn't miss many shots.''

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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.