McKenzie Sutterfield On Top After Opening Day

By Marty HenwoodJuly 18, 2002, 4:00 pm
Canadian Tour-LargeWINNIPEG, MB -- Australian David McKenzie and Brad Sutterfield of St. George, UT lead after Thursdays opening round of the Canadian Tours MTS Classic.
Both players opened with a 6-under 65 at Pine Ridge GC, one shot better than Bobby Kalinowski of Scottsdale, AZ. Six others, including Kent Fukushima (Grande Prairie, AB), Chad Belbin (Kamloops, BC), Todd Doohan (Sarnia, ON) and Winnipegs Dean North, are at 4-under 67 after one day.
Sitting at 5-under playing his 16th hole Thursday, McKenzie made a clutch up-and-down for par before draining a birdie putt on his final hole to wind up tied atop the leaderboard.
I didnt really hit it into trouble all day, and that gave me a chance for birdie on a lot of holes, said McKenzie. The conditions were ideal out there- if you didnt get to 4 or 5-under, you knew you left some shots on the course. So Im happy with the start. Why go chasing someone when you can be standing with them?
McKenzie is hoping to follow in the recent footsteps of fellow Australian Ben Ferguson. In 2000, after spending the year before on the Tour, Ferguson not only won the MTS Classic, but also went on to get his PGA Tour a few months later. McKenzie played the Tour a year ago, and is poised to be around come Sunday afternoon.
If you look at what Ben did, hopefully it will all be a good omen, added McKenzie, who is looking to for his first Tour win after five top-ten showings this year. It seems like every time I am in the hunt, guys keep beating me or I beat myself. But if I can keep getting into the top five often enough, eventually Ill get there.
Sutterfield, who played on the PGA Tour back in 1997, ran into a little good fortune on the par-4 11th. After hitting left into the trees, the 33-year-old hit a provisional ball before beginning the search for his original tee shot. Just as the five-minute search time limit was about to wind up, Sutterfield was getting set to hit his provisional when a spotter found his ball in the rough. He then chipped out and saved par.
I got a big break there, I went from possibly making triple-bogey to par, he added. I seemed to get more relaxed after that. I was actually wondering if it was possible to get a flight out of Winnipeg Friday night. It was frustrating when I hit that shot, and the way it has gone for me the last few weeks, those things can snowball.
Playing in the lead group of the day, Kalinowski got off to a quick start with 4-under 32 on the front nine, including a birdie on the par-3 ninth. Playing 232 yards onto a dome-shaped green, most golfers are more than satisfied with par on Pine Ridges signature hole- in fact, in the 90-year history of the course, there have been just ten holes-in-one on number nine. A plaque hanging in a hallway at Pine Ridge reads the hole is nationally recognized as one Canadas 18 most difficult holes.
On any Tour Ive played, that is without question the toughest par-3 I have ever seen, said Kalinowski, whose other stints have included time on the Asian PGA and Tours. So a birdie there gave me a big lift heading to the back nine. A quick start is key with these guys. If you have a rough start, youll be out of the golf tournament in a hurry.
Full field scores from the MTS Classic
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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.