Questions for Kraig - Houston Tex

By Kraig KannMarch 10, 2002, 5:00 pm
Canadian Tour-LargeHey, great response to our new tournament question series which should allow you the viewer to be in touch with our live tournament coverage. This week it's the Canadian Tour, but going forward it will include our tournament coverage from the PGA, LPGA and Buy.Com Tours. So let's give it a go. Here are the questions we've selected this week:
1) What is the Canadian Tour's final event? Do the players get a Buy.Com card if they are high up in the Canadian Tour money list?
Stephen Thomson
Ontario, Canada
Stephen, the final tournament on the Canadian Tour this year is the Casino de Charlevoix Cup at Le Manoir Richelieu in Pointe-au-Pic,QC with a purse of $100,000 canadian. This is an invitational event and is the 19th on the schedule this year. The top finishers on the Canadian Tour money list do not get a Buy.Com card but there is a perk. The top two players on the money rankings at year's end receive an exemption into the second stage of the PGA Tour's Qualifying Tournament.
2) With the lineup in the field this week for the Canadian Tour, has the Buy.Com Tour become the AAA league of golf and the Canadian Tour really taken over as the building block for younger players?
Jeffrey Williams
No hometown given
Jeffrey, the Buy.Com Tour is still widely regarded as the top proving ground for future PGA Tour players. Sure it has some veterans with PGA Tour experience, but it is still the best level of competition to prove yourself for the next level. Names like Pat Perez, and this week Rod Pampling played the Buy.Com last year and are having great success this year as PGA Tour rookies. The Canadian Tour is a step below, but definitely an option for those who can't get exempt status on the Buy.Com Tour. And who knows, last year Jess Daley and Kenneth Staton used the Canadian Tour as their springboard to the PGA Tour this season. So who knows!
4) Who is the biggest success story from the Canadian Tour in the last 10 years?
Cleveland, Ohio
Bob, you would have to say Mike Weir only because of his success at the PGA Tour level. He's won a PGA Tour event, plus a World Golf Championship event and the Tour Championship last year. If it's just money earned on the PGA Tour, then Kirk Triplett is the man who played the Canadian Tour at one time who's won the most money on the PGA Tour. But Chris DiMarco is catching up quickly.
5) Does Mike Weir play any Canadian Tour events or is he exclusive to the PGA Tour?
Columbia, SC
Chris, Mike is really exclusive to the PGA Tour now. He didn't play a single Canadian Tour event last year. He was the 1997 money leader on the Canadian Tour. Bet they wish he'd play a few, huh?!
6) Often commentators speak of getting up and down. What is this referring to?
No hometown given
Jamie, this means chipping or pitching the ball close and then holeing the putt to save a par or make a birdie; i.e., 'He got up and down from the bunker to save his par.'
7) Who plays under greater pressure, these guys playing in golf's trenches or players on the PGA Tour battling the best players in the world?
Chicago, Illinois
Kendall, that's a great question and can be argued either way. I'd say the pressure to compete at the lower levels might be a bit tougher because there's not much money in the bank to fall back on as their career is beginning. It must be tough to play your way into a career, so to speak. The guys at the PGA Tour level certainly play under pressure. Who'd say a duel for the U.S. Open or the battle to keep a spot in the top 125 isn't tough? But my hunch is that their family still has a little cash to fall back on.
8) Just curious as to why the Canadian Tour does not have any special exemptions for Monday Qualifiers (non-members) for finishing in top 25 or top 10, like the Buy.Com and PGA Tours do? If a player plays well enough and proves himself, don't you think he should receive an exemption to play the following week?
A Monday Qualifier
No hometown given
Great question, and we're on your side, but the rule is that non-members of the Canadian Tour must win to be included in the field the following week and earn status from that point on. Maybe it'll change. It should.
9) Why does the course look so brown? What's wrong with the grass?
Billings, Montana
James, we've mentioned this a lot this week. It's not your television set going black. The course is Bermuda, which at this stage is dormant, making it brown in color. The green grass will come through as the weather warms up, but it's not in poor condition. They've actually had really poor weather in Houston of late, making things tougher. But the course is in good shape, especially for this time of the year.
10) Do the Canadian Tour players get perks similar to the PGA Tour players?
Ft. Meyers, Florida
Devon, the answer is all relative. For some players, just playing on the tour is a perk! But there are no courtesy cars or great lunch buffets or spa trips for the wives or day care. And at last, the checks aren't as 'perky' either.
Thanks to all of you for watching. Pass the word and enjoy the tournament coverage on the Golf Channel.
Getty Images

After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard

On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

Getty Images

Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

Getty Images

Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

Getty Images

Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry