Crowded Leaderboard in Vancouver

By Marty HenwoodAugust 1, 2003, 4:00 pm
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- It will be a two-day sprint to the finish after Fridays second round of the Canadian Tours Greater Vancouver Classic.
 
Through the opening 36 holes of the tournament, no less than five players'Canadian amateur James Lepp as well as Americans Mario Tiziani, Matt Bettencourt, Mark Johnson and Josh Habig-- share the lead at 8-under 136. Paul Devenport of New Zealand is just one stroke back while another 14 players are within three shots of the lead.
 
Jesse Hibler began the day at 2-over before a course record-tying 64 vaulted him to 6-under and within striking distance. A total of 68 players were 1'under 143 or better to make the cut.
 
Playing in the shadow of his Abbotsford hometown, amateur standout Lepp shocked the Vancouver media Thursday when he announced he was leaving the University of Illinois, where he was last years Big Ten Player of the Year, to attend the University of Washington this fall. The news made every major sportscast in Vancouver Thursday night but could very well pale in comparison if he can keep his current pace over the next two days.
 
As has been the case all week long, conditions were mild with sunny skies for most of Friday, although swirling winds settled down just as the afternoon wave teed it up at Swan-e-set Bay Resort and CC. Habig, who began the day with a two shot cushion, couldnt get it going and kept it even for the day, allowing the four players who began the afternoon at 6-under an ideal opportunity to make their move. Lepp obliged, going 3-under through his first six holes before back-to-back bogeys on seven and eight dropped him one shot off the lead. He bounced back on the back side and a 20-foot birdie on the 17th got him back on level ground with the leaders.
 
I didnt feel as comfortable over the ball as I did (Thursday) and I had a couple of hiccups on the front side, said the 19-year-old Lepp. If I play the way I did today, it isnt going to be good enough. I think I had a test of the nerves today, so I should be all right for the weekend.
 
The last amateur to win a Canadian Tour title was Rob McMillan who, ironically, won the 1996 Xerox Manitoba Open in his hometown of Winnipeg. When told of the feat moments after signing his scorecard Friday, Lepp appeared surprised but vowed not to put any undue pressure on himself.
 
Well, it would mean a lot to me and my career if I could do it but, to be honest, I hadnt really thought about it. I know Rob is a great player, and it would be something to be proud of. But I dont think of it as amateurs against pros'theyre all golfers.
 
With current money leader Rob Johnson missing his second consecutive cut since winning the TELUS Edmonton Open two weeks ago, the door is now open for Tiziani to move a step closer to the Order of Merit crown. At seasons end, the top two off the money list will be exempted into second stage of PGA Tour qualifying. Trailing Johnson by just over $20,000 through the first eight events of the season, Tiziani knows that Sundays $28,000 payday would go a long way towards making a charge with just two events left after this weekend.
 
Well, you never want to wish anything bad on anyone, I just want to take control of what it is I have to do, said Tiziani, who won his first Tour title at the Northern Ontario Open in June. In order to get one of those two spots, I know I need to win again. Im going to go out there this weekend, give em hell and see if I can bring it home.
 
Five months after his Tour-best second-place showing at the TravelTex.com Canadian Tour Challenge, Johnson seems poised to take a step up the ladder this week in suburban Vancouver. Hitting his third shot from 75 yards out on the par-5 fifth, his approach found the bottom of the cup for eagle before a birdie on the next hole threw him right into the mix. His playing partners also had it going Thursday, with Aussie Scott Hend posting a 6-under 66 and Chris Wisler coming in at 70.
 
To be honest, I had no idea Scott was 6-under, admitted the 49-year-old Johnson, who is hoping to qualify for the Champions Tour later this fall. That guy hits the ball so far its hard to keep track, but I imagine in a way we fed off each other. It was a lot of fun out there today. Ive got a game plan for this week, and so far so good. Im not going to chance anything on the weekend.
 
Bettencourt, who joined the Tour back in February, has made four of eight cuts so far this season with a best showing of 30th at the Northern Ontario Open. It looked as though the 28-year-old would have the outright lead heading into the weekend before a double-bogey on the 17th dropped him back into the logjam atop the leaderboard.
 
That was a frustrating way to end, but this has been the best ball-striking two rounds I have ever had, said Bettencourt, who hit 34 of 36 greens through the opening two days. I thought someone would get to 11 or 12-under today, so it sets up for a great weekend. Lets just go out and have some fun'thats what its all about.
 
NOTES: Rookie Jason Allred had an eventful day Friday. After an early morning session on the practice range, Allred returned to his hotel to get changed. When he returned, his car window had been smashed and his clubs were gone. Allred borrowed fellow Tour player Lee Williamsons sticks and shot 68 to get to 6-under. When asked what he planned to use this weekend, Allred laughed and said, I dont know. Maybe I should talk to Lee again after that round.Asian star Kyi Hla Han qualified for this event Monday but failed to make the cut with a 9-over 153 total. Han finished 38th at the 2003 Caltex Singapore Masters in January. The event was won by Canadian Tour champion Lian Wei Zhang of China, who defeated Ernie Els in a playoff.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Greater Vancouver Classic
  • Greater Vancouver Classic Leaderboard
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    Golf Channel to Deliver Worldwide Coverage of the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show, "The Major of Golf Business," Tueday-Friday, Jan. 23-26

    By Golf Channel Public RelationsJanuary 22, 2018, 2:45 pm

    Morning Drive, Golf Central to Give Viewers Insider Access to the PGA Show with Nearly 20 Hours of Live Coverage; Golf Channel’s School of Golf Instruction Program to Originate From On-Site

    Golf Channel’s Portfolio of Lifestyle Brands – GolfNow, Golf Channel Academy, Revolution Golf and World Long Drive On-Site at the PGA Show Contributing to the Network’s Comprehensive Coverage

     

    ORLANDO, Fla. (Jan. 18, 2018) – Golf Channel announced plans for its comprehensive coverage of the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show – the largest golf convention and business gathering in the world – with nearly 20 hours of news and instruction coverage Tuesday, Jan. 23 – Friday, Jan. 26. Golf Channel’s coverage will span across the four days, beginning Tuesday with the “PGA Show Demo Day” from the Orange County National Golf Center & Lodge driving range in Winter Garden, Fla., and continuing Wednesday-Friday at the PGA Merchandise Show from the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

    With an insider look at the PGA Merchandise Show – a golf industry event that is not open to the public – Golf Channel’s coverage via Morning Drive and Golf Central will be delivered to a worldwide audience in more than 36 countries. Coverage will provide viewers live interviews with industry leaders, professional golfers from the world’s major tours, PGA of America members and a comprehensive overview of the latest products and trends for 2018 from some of the nearly 1,100 golf brands exhibiting on-site.

    PGA Merchandise Show Week Programming Schedule: Jan. 23-26 (All Times Eastern)

    Tuesday

    Morning Drive

    7-11 a.m. (Live)

     

    Tuesday

    Golf Central

    5-6 p.m. (Live)

     

    Tuesday

    School of Golf

    8-9 p.m.

     

    Wednesday

    Morning Drive

    7-11:30 a.m. (Live)

     

    Wednesday

    Golf Central

    5-6 p.m. (Live)

     

    Thursday

    Morning Drive

    8:30-11:30 a.m. (Live)

     

    Thursday

    Golf Central

    7-8 p.m. (Live)

     

    Friday

    Morning Drive

    8:30-11:30 a.m. (Live)

     

    Friday

    Golf Central

    7-8 p.m. (Live)

     

     

    BROADCAST TEAM

    Golf Channel’s expansive coverage of the PGA Merchandise Show will utilize several on-air personalities from the network’s news division, beginning with Charlie Rymer and Lauren Thompson offering coverage of the PGA Show Outdoor Demo Day on Tuesday. In addition to Rymer and Thompson, Wednesday-Friday coverage from the PGA Show Floor will include Matt Adams, Cara Banks, Lisa Cornwell, Matt Ginella, Damon Hack, Bailey Mosier and Gary Williams.

    DIGITAL & STREAMING COVERAGE

    Golf Channel’s PGA Merchandise Show on-air coverage will be available to stream via Golf Channel Digital Tuesday-Friday. Comprehensive online editorial coverage also will be available throughout the week, with contributions from writers Jay Coffin and Will Gray. Golf Channel’s social media platforms will keep viewers engaged in the conversation about what’s generating buzz at the #PGASHOW throughout the week via the network’s social media channels – @GolfChannel and @GCMorningDrive on Twitter, @GolfChannel and @GCMorningDrive on Instagram and GolfChannel and GCMorningDrive on Facebook. Golf Channel social media host Alexandra O’Laughlin will host Golf Channel’s digital and social media coverage throughout the week.

    PGA SHOW DEMO DAY COVERAGE

    Golf Channel’s coverage of “Demo Day” will begin Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 7 a.m. ET with Morning Drive airing live and on-site to highlight the latest in golf equipment from the expansive driving range at Orange County National. Rymer and Thompson will host Morning Drive on-site, featuring interviews and product demonstrations.

    PGA MERCHANDISE SHOW FLOOR COVERAGE

    Coverage of the PGA Show will transition indoors to the Orange County Convention Center, Wednesday-Friday, Jan. 24-26 to give viewers an all-access tour of the PGA Show. Morning Drive and Golf Central will provide on-site reports throughout the week, with featured interviews and segments originating from the PGA Show Floor. Coverage from the Convention Center will originate from a large, multi-purpose space elevated above the PGA Show Floor, with three set configurations for interviews, along with a putting green and a golf simulator for product demonstrations. Golf Channel also will feature a “Fly Cam,” a unique camera technology made popular in televising football and other sports. Suspended above the PGA Show Floor, the Fly Cam will span more than 700 feet, giving viewers an aerial viewpoint of the vast floor and the exhibitors. New for 2018 will be a “Jib Cart,” a mobile cart with a camera jib affixed allowing high shots of the booths throughout the Show Floor.

    SCHOOL OF GOLF KICKS OFF EIGHTH SEASON WITH ONE-HOUR SPECIAL FROM DEMO DAY

    School of Golf, Golf Channel’s signature instruction program that airs on Tuesday nights, will kick off its eighth season with a one-hour special at Demo Day on Tuesday, Jan. 23, airing in primetime from 8-9 p.m. ET. Originating from the Cleveland Golf/Srixon/XXIO booth on the Orange County National driving range and hosted by Martin Hall and Blair O’Neal, the show will include special guests and interactions with a live audience.

    GOLF CHANNEL’S PORTFOLIO OF LIFESTYLE BRANDS ON-SITE AT PGA SHOW

    In addition to Golf Channel’s on-air and digital coverage, the network’s lifestyle brands – GolfNow, World Long Drive, Golf Channel Academy and Revolution Golf will showcase their services at the PGA Show with special clinics, product demonstrations and on-site activations.

    GOLFNOW EXHIBITING AT BOOTH #2173

    GolfNow, the industry’s leader in golf-related technology and services, will be exhibiting Wednesday-Friday from Booth #2173. In addition to showcasing advanced technologies that have created the largest tee-time marketplace in golf, GolfNow also will be educating course owners and operators about innovations and services designed to help them run their businesses more efficiently and successfully. GolfNow Business experts will be on hand at GolfNow’s 2,400-square-foot booth, offering its course partners technology demonstrations, as well as consultation on any of the GolfNow Services: Plus, a top-line focused consultative performance system for golf courses, including marketing, sales and automated pricing; Answers, a call center for golf courses, answering customer calls day and night; and Ride, a no-cost purchasing program that saves course operators from 6-35 percent on items they buy day-to-day, such as food, office supplies and agricultural products.

    WORLD LONG DRIVE BRACKET CHALLENGE

    Thursday at 2 p.m. ET, World Long Drive competitors will be at the PGA Show to compete in a World Long Drive Bracket Challenge. Hosted by Golf Channel’s social media host Alexandra O’Laughlin and airing live via Golf Channel’s Facebook Live, the competition will take place at Golf Channel’s simulator on the Show Floor featuring eight men and four women, including World No. 2 Ryan Reisbeck, No. 3 Maurice Allen, No. 5 Trent Scruggs and 2017 Volvik World Long Drive Women’s Champion Sandra Carlborg.

    GOLF CHANNEL ACADEMY INSTRUCTION

    Wednesday-Friday, Golf Channel Academy coaches will provide on-site instruction clinics at Golf Channel’s simulator set on the Show Floor. Wednesday’s clinics will feature driving, full swing, wedge play and putting clinics. Thursday’s clinic will include the full swing and Friday’s clinic will feature the short game, all streamed live via Golf Channel Academy’s Facebook page.

    REVOLUTION GOLF TO SHOOT DIGITAL INSTRUCTION SEGMENTS ON-SITE AT PGA SHOW

    Revolution Golf, the industry’s largest direct-to-consumer digital platform delivering high-quality video-based instruction, travel content and integrated e-commerce will have a significant presence at the PGA Show. Golf Channel’s newest digital acquisition, Revolution Golf will be shooting digital segments at Demo Day and throughout the PGA Show Floor, including segments with its team of instructors.

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    CareerBuilder purse payouts: Rahm wins $1.062 million

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 12:50 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry on the fourth hole of sudden death to win the CareerBuilder Challenger. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out in La Quinta, Calif.:

    1 Jon Rahm -22 $1,062,000
    2 Andrew Landry -22 $637,200
    T3 Adam Hadwin -20 $306,800
    T3 John Huh -20 $306,800
    T3 Martin Piller -20 $306,800
    T6 Kevin Chappell -19 $205,025
    T6 Scott Piercy -19 $205,025
    T8 Brandon Harkins -18 $171,100
    T8 Jason Kokrak -18 $171,100
    T8 Sam Saunders -18 $171,100
    T11 Harris English -17 $135,700
    T11 Seamus Power -17 $135,700
    T11 Jhonattan Vegas -17 $135,700
    T14 Bud Cauley -16 $106,200
    T14 Austin Cook -16 $106,200
    T14 Grayson Murray -16 $106,200
    T17 Andrew Putnam -15 $88,500
    T17 Peter Uihlein -15 $88,500
    T17 Aaron Wise -15 $88,500
    T20 Ricky Barnes -14 $57,754
    T20 Stewart Cink -14 $57,754
    T20 Brian Harman -14 $57,754
    T20 Beau Hossler -14 $57,754
    T20 Charles Howell III -14 $57,754
    T20 Zach Johnson -14 $57,754
    T20 Ryan Palmer -14 $57,754
    T20 Brendan Steele -14 $57,754
    T20 Nick Taylor -14 $57,754
    T29 Lucas Glover -13 $36,706
    T29 Russell Knox -13 $36,706
    T29 Nate Lashley -13 $36,706
    T29 Tom Lovelady -13 $36,706
    T29 Kevin Streelman -13 $36,706
    T29 Hudson Swafford -13 $36,706
    T29 Richy Werenski -13 $36,706
    T36 Jason Dufner -12 $27,189
    T36 Derek Fathauer -12 $27,189
    T36 James Hahn -12 $27,189
    T36 Chez Reavie -12 $27,189
    T36 Webb Simpson -12 $27,189
    T36 Tyrone Van Aswegen -12 $27,189
    T42 Bronson Burgoon -11 $18,983
    T42 Ben Crane -11 $18,983
    T42 Brian Gay -11 $18,983
    T42 Chesson Hadley -11 $18,983
    T42 Patton Kizzire -11 $18,983
    T42 Hunter Mahan -11 $18,983
    T42 Kevin Na -11 $18,983
    T42 Rob Oppenheim -11 $18,983
    T50 Alex Cejka -10 $14,025
    T50 Corey Conners -10 $14,025
    T50 Michael Kim -10 $14,025
    T50 Kevin Kisner -10 $14,025
    T50 Sean O'Hair -10 $14,025
    T50 Sam Ryder -10 $14,025
    T50 Nick Watney -10 $14,025
    T57 Robert Garrigus -9 $13,039
    T57 Tom Hoge -9 $13,039
    T57 David Lingmerth -9 $13,039
    T57 Ben Martin -9 $13,039
    T57 Trey Mullinax -9 $13,039
    T57 Brett Stegmaier -9 $13,039
    T63 Scott Brown -8 $12,449
    T63 Wesley Bryan -8 $12,449
    T63 Brice Garnett -8 $12,449
    T63 Sung Kang -8 $12,449
    T67 Talor Gooch -7 $12,095
    T67 Tom Whitney -7 $12,095
    T69 Matt Every -6 $11,623
    T69 Billy Hurley III -6 $11,623
    T69 Smylie Kaufman -6 $11,623
    T69 Keith Mitchell -6 $11,623
    T69 Rory Sabbatini -6 $11,623
    T69 Chris Stroud -6 $11,623
    75 John Peterson -5 $11,210
    76 Abraham Ancer -4 $11,092
    77 Ben Silverman 4 $10,974
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    After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

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

    Each week, GolfChannel.com 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

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    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.