Ellis Leads Canadian Winter Q-School

By Marty HenwoodMarch 1, 2005, 5:00 pm
Canadian Tour-LargeCHINO HILLS, Calif. -- Californian John Ellis opened with a 5-under 67 in his home state Tuesday to take the early lead at the Canadian Tours California Winter Qualifying School.
 
The 25-year-old leads Dong Yi by one stroke heading into Wednesdays second round. Russell Surber of Blaine, Wash. fired a 69 while six others are three back.
 
Ellis wasnt the only player from the Golden State to fare well, as Californians hold down ten of the top 16 spots after the opening day.
 
Jeff Puska of Ladysmith, BC is the top Canadian after posting an opening round 71.
 
Once final round action wraps up Friday, the Canadian Tour will award exempt playing cards for the 2005 season to the low ten finishers with an additional ten players, plus ties, earning non-exempt status. Ninety-five golfers from five countries teed it up in the opening round.
 
With Southern California receiving a reprieve from the torrential rains that have pounded the area in recent days, Ellis calmly went out Tuesday and hit 11 of 14 fairways and missed just three greens in regulation all day.
 
That was just a solid round of golf, said Ellis, a three-time member of the NCAAs All-Pac Ten team while at the University of Oregon. I drove it well, hit some solid irons and made some putts. That usually leads to some good things. It was pretty stress-free.
 
Ellis, who turned professional a year and a half ago, advanced to the second stage of the PGA Tour qualifying tournament last fall but missed the final phase in the three-tiered marathon by one stroke. Looking to erase that disappointment here, he knows how vital it was to get a quick start out of the gate in Chino Hills. Sitting at the top of the leaderboard after one day, Ellis says he will take the same game plan into the second round and not let up at the 7,100-yard, par-72 Los Serranos CC track.
 
You dont want to put yourself behind the 8-ball early. You obviously want as much breathing room as possible heading into Friday. Ill keep firing, try to shoot the lowest possible score for four rounds and see where I am.
 
Last week, 14 players including U.S. amateur star Casey Wittenberg and Canadians Scott McNeil, Glenn Collins and Danny Sahl, earned Canadian Tour playing cards at the Florida Q-School.
 
The 2005 season kicks off Mar. 12-15 in Austin, Tex. with the Barton Creek Austin Canadian Tour Pro-Am Classic presented by Yes! Golf.
 
Scores Tuesday after the opening round of the Canadian Tours California Winter Qualifying School being held at the 7,104-yard, par-72 Los Serranos CC (a-denotes amateur):
 
1 Ellis, John San Jose, CA 33-34_67
2 Yi, Dong Alameda, CA 32-36_68
3 Surber, Russell Blaine, WA 34-35_69
4 Brunson, Daniel Greenville, SC 37-33_70
4 Henderson, Scott Dove Canyon, CA 36-34_70
4 Itzen, Justin Palm Desert, CA 34-36_70
4 Keller, Rob Temecula, CA 36-34_70
4 Kennedy, Robert Phoenix, AZ 35-35_70
4 Tomasulo, Peter Long Beach, CA 34-36_70
10 Beard, Michael Palm Desert, CA 35-36_71
10 Giarrantano, Tony Castle Rock, CO 35-36_71
10 Harrington, Scott Scottsdale, CA 35-36_71
10 Henson, Berry LaQuinta, CA 36-35_71
10 Puska, Jeff Ladysmith, BC 36-35_71
10 Sestero, Luke Scottsdale, AZ 36-35_71
10 Walton, Michael Palm Desert, CA 35-36_71
17 Hatley, Reid Spokane, WA 37-35_72
17 Riskam, Daniel Hermosa Beach, CA 36-36_72
17 Ruda, Jesse Santa Barbara, CA 37-35_72
20 Brown, Michael Cheltenham, PA 37-36_73
20 Frier, Steve Richmond, BC 39-34_73
20 Guetz, Bret Scottsdale, AZ 35-38_73
20 Lindstom, Jon Castle Rock, CO 38-35_73
20 Mackenzie, Brock Yakima, WA 36-37_73
20 Overson, Darrin Orem, UT 38-35_73
20 Smith, Todd Elk Grove, CA 37-36_73
27 Bergstedt III, Russell Phoenix, AZ 37-37_74
27 Buxbaum, Aaron Encinitas, CA 36-38_74
27 Coleman, Jim Bob Billings, MT 37-37_74
27 Floyd, Dan McKinney, TX 37-37_74
27 Fonner, Matthew Los Gatos, CA 37-37_74
27 Guetz, Brian Scottsdale, AZ 36-38_74
27 Kang, Tai Abbotsford, BC 36-38_74
27 Monfont, Kyle Dublin, OH 38-36_74
27 Puekdang, Ty Berkeley, CA 37-37_74
27 Sanchez, Cuauhtemoc Austin, TX 38-36_74
37 Aga, Matt Carlsbad, CA 37-38_75
37 Atlick, Scott Atherton, CA 42-33_75
37 Burnier, Jean-Luc Dana Point, CA 37-38_75
37 Gavlak, Zac Phoenix, AZ 40-35_75
37 Kawaguchi, Masa Japan 37-38_75
37 Kawano, Koichiro Japan 39-36_75
37 Kirkpatrick, Miles Stockton, CA 39-36_75
37 Kowaluk, Kurt Sudbury, ON 36-39_75
37 Mallinger, John Escondido, CA 39-36_75
37 Minamimoto, Osamu Japan 37-38_75
37 Nakane, Kenta Japan 35-40_75
37 Park, Pedro New Zealand 36-39_75
37 Potter, Dan Coeurd'Alene, ID 40-35_75
37 Smith, Blaise Chino, CA 37-38_75
37 Streat, Heath Australia 39-36_75
52 Dennis, Spencer Arroyo Grande, CA 39-37_76
52 Dorothy, Dean Aiea, HI 38-38_76
52 Heinz, Jerry Poway, CA 39-37_76
52 Kastner, Jason Hudson, QC 38-38_76
52 Martin, Nolan Cold Springs, CO 36-40_76
52 Moreno, JP Pico Rivera, CA 38-38_76
52 Patterson, Marcus Rancho Cordova, CA 37-39_76
52 Richardson, Brandon Junction City, OR 38-38_76
52 Smith, Warren Houston, TX 39-37_76
52 Tayler, Nik Australia 36-40_76
52 Uchibori, Yuki Japan 38-38_76
52 Vinson, CJ Phoenix, AZ 37-39_76
52 Watanabe, Steve San Francisco, CA 40-36_76
52 Wiles, Trevin Sandy, UT 39-37_76
66 Dickson, Chris Bright's Grove, ON 37-40_77
66 Ferlic, Gavin South Bend, IN 40-37_77
66 Inlow, Travis Calgary, AB 39-38_77
66 Jensen, Brent Pleasant Hill, CA 40-37_77
66 Kupeyan, Calvin Tecumseh, ON 38-39_77
66 McNally, Michael Billings, MT 43-34_77
66 Pederson, Shawn Lahana, HI 39-38_77
66 Robertson, John W. Olympia, WA 41-36_77
66 Shibuya, Randy Honolulu, HI 40-37_77
75 Blackwell, Shane Scottsdale, CA 39-39_78
75 Takase, Atsushi Japan 40-38_78
77 Kuraoka, Justin Rancho Cordova, CA 38-41_79
77 Newbolt, Tim Kihei, HI 40-39_79
77 Stevens, Noah Woodlands, TX 40-39_79
77 Streatfield, Andrew Marina, CA 35-44_79
81 Duran, Tony Phoenix, AZ 40-40_80
81 Kennedy, Dean Vancouver, BC 40-40_80
81 LeBlanc, Dale Scottsdale, AZ 42-38_80
81 Libby, Kyle San Jose, CA 40-40_80
81 Narita, Mitsutake Japan 37-43_80
81 Pekuri, Mark Santa Monica, CA 40-40_80
87 Johnstone, Evan Orinda, CA 40-41_81
87 Luce, Jeremy Austin, TX 42-39_81
87 Potter, Bryan Santa Monica, Ca 40-41_81
90 Aldrich, David (A) Grass Valley, CA 38-44_82
90 Smith, Ryan Australia 40-42_82
92 Hamano, Takashi Japan 40-43_83
92 Israel, Peter (A) Palm Desert, CA 43-40_83
94 Hilton, Jed Riverton, UT 42-45_87
95 Stahlheber, Charles Vancouver, WA 48-50_98
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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.

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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.

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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 Web.com 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 Web.com 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