Canadian Tour Swings Through California
Once opening round action gets underway Thursday, 156 golfers will be looking for bragging rights in the Tours third official event of the season, not to mention the $16,000 winners check that will be handed out Sunday afternoon.
The Golf Channel will broadcast all four rounds of the Northern California Classic live to an international viewing audience beginning at 1:30 pm Pacific each day.
This marks the second consecutive year that the Canadian Tour will pay a visit to California for a pair of official events. In 2004, Erik Compton and Ben Pettitt picked up hardware on the West Coast.
A stellar field of up-and-coming stars and established veterans are slated to compete at Brookside, including current money leader Scott Gibson, who ran away with a nine-shot triumph in the opening event of the season in Texas for his first Tour win. Californians Matt Bettencourt and Robert Hamilton, the 2001 U.S. Amateur runner-up, will also look to step into the winners circle playing in their own backyard. Rob Johnson of Terre Haute, Ind., who has three Tour victories in the past two seasons, Michael Beard, Stephen Gangluff, Chris Wall, John Mallinger, Craig Kanada, Bobby Kalinowski and Michael Harris are a few of the U.S.-born players slated to compete.
There will also be some impressive names teeing it up on sponsors exemptions this week including Stockton native Ricky Barnes, the 2002 U.S. Amateur Champion, five-time PGA Tour champion Blaine McCallister and former PGA Tour regulars Joe Acosta, Jr. and Casey Martin.
Derek Gillespie of Oshawa, Ont. and Winnipegs Rob McMillan, who are tied for third on the money list after two events, lead the Canadian charge into California. Other Canadians to keep an eye on this week include Darren Griff, Matt McQuillan, Dan Swanson, Ben Ferguson, Adam Short, Craig Matthew, Chris Baryla and Stuart Anderson. Several international players will also be searching for a win at Brookside, including South African Alan McLean, who now lives in Thunder Bay, Ont., Brazils Alex Rocha, Anders Hultman of Sweden, Australian Ben Bunny and Iain Steel of Malaysia.
Tournament organizers Ed Brink and Pat Bennett have announced that gate receipts from the Northern California Classic will be split between a pair of Stockton charities, the American Cancer Society (San Joaquin/Calaveras Unit) and the Hospice of San Joaquin.
Some of the biggest names in professional golf have plied their trade on the Canadian Tour including 2003 Masters champion Mike Weir, 2005 Masters runner-up Chris DiMarco, Stuart Appleby, Craig Parry, Steve Stricker and Scott McCarron. The top 25 Tour grads have won more than $150 million on golfs biggest stage.
First Look: WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play groups
Group 1: (1) Dustin Johnson, (32) Kevin Kisner, (38) Adam Hadwin, (52) Bernd Wiesberger
Group 2: (2) Justin Thomas, (21) Francesco Molinari, (48) Patton Kizzire, (60) Luke List
Group 3: (3) Jon Rahm, (28) Kiradech Aphibarnrat, (43) Chez Reavie, (63) Keegan Bradley
Group 4: (4) Jordan Spieth, (19) Patrick Reed, (34) Haotong Li, (49) Charl Schwartzel
Group 5: (5) Hideki Matsuyama, (30) Patrick Cantlay, (46) Cameron Smith, (53) Yusaku Miyazato
Group 6: (6) Rory McIlroy, (18) Brian Harman, (44) Jhonattan Vegas, (51) Peter Uihlein
Group 7: (7) Sergio Garcia, (20) Xander Schauffele, (41) Dylan Frittelli, (62) Shubankhar Sharma
Group 8: (8) Jason Day, (25) Louis Oosthuizen, (42) Jason Dufner, (56) James Hahn
Group 9: (9) Tommy Fleetwood, (26) Daniel Berger, (33) Kevin Chappell, (58) Ian Poulter
Group 10: (10) Paul Casey, (31) Matthew Fitzpatrick, (45) Kyle Stanley, (51) Russell Henley
Group 11: (11) Marc Leishman, (23) Branden Grace, (35) Bubba Watson, (64) Suri
Group 12: (12) Tyrrell Hatton, (22) Charley Hoffman, (36) Brendan Steele, (55) Alexander Levy
Group 13: (13) Alex Noren, (29) Tony Finau, (39) Thomas Pieters, (61) Kevin Na
Group 15: (15) Pat Perez, (24) Gary Woodland, (37) Webb Simpson, (50) Si Woo Kim
Group 16: (16) Matt Kuchar, (27) Ross Fisher, (47) Yuta Ikeda, (54) Zach Johnson
Randall's Rant: Hey, loudmouth, you're not funny
Dear misguided soul:
You know who you are.
You’re “that guy.”
You’re that guy following around Rory McIloy and yelling “Erica” at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
You’re that guy telling Justin Thomas you hope he hits it in the water at the Honda Classic.
Amusing to you, maybe, but as funny as a fart in an elevator to the rest of us.
What’s a sport to do?
McIlroy suggested limiting liquor sales at tournaments, restricting alcohol consumption to beer.
Imagine the outrage if that happened in an NFL game.
So, really, what is golf to do?
So if you’re “that guy,” welcome to our lawn, just don’t leave your lunch on it, please.
How Faxon became 'The Putting Stroke Whisperer'
Faxon mulled the question for a moment, shrugged and finally said, “Rhythm and tempo.”