Random Thoughts from My Desk

By Kraig KannSeptember 6, 2007, 4:00 pm
This weeks column isnt about deep thoughts, or long conversation. Its not about research either.
After spending the week at the Barclays hosting our Sprint Post Game shows and a week sitting glued to week two of the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup, and other tournament golf, Im simply tossing you some one-liners that might allow you to fire back with a response.
  • Steve Strickers win at the Barclays and the way it happened was better for the Playoffs than Tiger winning ' which might have ended the run for the cup before anyone was winded.
  • Vijay Singh missing 2 straight cuts on the PGA TOUR? Amazing. And given that he was in danger again at the Deutsche Bank, somethings not right. (He didnt miss the cut ' and given that hed never missed 3 straight ' he wasnt going to)
  • Tiger Woods hitting a 30 yard cut fairway wood from a fairway bunker and hitting the green was proof that Woods is the best shotmaker in the game ' period.
  • The fact that Woods 3-putted the same hole and struggled with 3-putts for the week in Boston means hes human (which is nice.)
  • Phil Mickelson isnt as consistent as Woods week-to-week. but when hes on hes just as fun to watch.
  • Woods and Mickelson together for 3 of 4 rounds at the Deutsche Bank Championship? Cmon who could ask for anything better.
  • I really believe these Playoff events will come to mean more to win for players than the WGC events. More at stake, more pressure, and more emotion ' ask Steve Stricker who probably treasures his Barclays win more than his Accenture Match-Play title.
  • Rich Beem is the best there is ' in the pressroom. As well as hes played in the playoffs, its a shame hes not in Chicago ' at least for a press conference or two before the tournament.
  • Whos the first network to hire Beem someday as an on-course commentator? I hope its GOLF CHANNEL.

  • Sherri Steinhauers wire-to-wire win was exhilarating to watch. Im serious. Did you see the finish? Talk about clutch ' which is great for Betsy Kings Solheim Cup hopes.
  • Speaking of King. Her choice not to pick Christina Kim can certainly be questioned. Runner-up finishes in consecutive weeks and a whole lot of fire ' which never hurts in cup competition. Diaz has it. Castrale? Dont think so.
  • Annikas still stuck on 69 wins. Shocking. 7 events since her return from a ruptured disk in her neck. If there really is a golf god then please let her get there.
  • Arron Oberholser has the exact makeup youd like on a Ryder Cup team. I hope hes there when Azingers team visits Valhalla.
  • Dr. Gil Morgan beats Hale Irwin on the Champions Tour at Pebble Beach. More than 60 wins combined for the two men who used to dual week-to-week. If we cant get OMeara and Price then Morgan and Irwin make us think back to some good ol days.
  • Please no points next year for the FedEx Cup do it on money. And reward more guys for good play in each of the events. Brian Hewitt is advocating some bonus points or money for low round of the day, which keeps everyone involved. I like it.
  • As much as I loved the Deutsche Bank. I cant warm up to a Monday finish. Lets get this thing done on Sunday so everyone can enjoy the day with the family.
  • Nothing against Michelle Wie, but its been a nice break from the hype the last few weeks. Let her get her game back before the publicity train rolls again.
  • If Appalachian State can beat Michigan ' in Ann Arbor.. then the PGA TOUR needs to allow for a better chance of somebody outside number 15 winning the FedEx Cup. (PGA TOUR projections never allowed for someone outside 13 in their computer runs.)
  • I guarantee the BMW Championship will have a bigger feel than any WGC event played this year. Kudos to Commissioner Tim Finchem for the idea though it still needs some tweaking. (Dont know what that says about the WGC events moving forward.)
  • Actually, I wish theyd go away with the exception of the Match Play. Keep the venues but rid us of the no-cut, big purse event and find a way to give back to some of the tournaments that have lost their way. For example ' the folks in Milwaukee who support their event as well as anyone.
    Im sure Im missing something. But thats where you come in. And thanks for the responses I get each week ' positive or otherwise. Your thoughts are welcome.

    Email your thoughts to Kraig Kann
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.