Oh Canada Three Canadians Lead In Edmonton

By Marty HenwoodJuly 11, 2002, 4:00 pm
Canadian Tour-Large
EDMONTON, AB'Canadians Rob McMillan, David Hearn and Todd Doohan share the lead after Thursdays opening round of the Canadian Tours $150,000 TELUS Edmonton Open.
All three opened with a 7-under 65, one shot shy of the Glendale G&CC course record set by Lee Trevino in 1985. Eight others, including Darren Griff (Salt Spring Island, BC), Brennan Webb (Bracebridge, ON), Eddie Maunder (Whitby, ON) and Stuart Anderson (Fort McMurray, ON) are just one shot back. Americans David Mathis, Mike Grob and Steve Pleis, as well as Brazilian Alex Rocha, are also at 6-under. Three more Canadians, Derek Gillespie, Wes Heffernan and Matt Daniel, sit at 5-under 67 with Bob Conrad of Seattle, WA.
Coming off a tie for second at last weeks Victoria Open, Hearn, 23, picked up where he left off on Thursday with an eagle on the par-5 opening hole. He had a chance at equalling Trevinos benchmark coming up the final fairway, but just missed a long par putt and had to settle for bogey.
I got off to a quick start and was just able to carry it from there, said Hearn, a former standout at the University of Wyoming. Im not at all happy with the bogey coming in, but I felt very comfortable out there all day long.
Just a year after playing on Canadas championship Four Nations Cup squad, Hearn is enjoying a stellar rookie campaign on the Canadian Tour. He also finished runner-up to Chris Wisler at the Lewis Chitengwa Memorial Championship in May, and added a third-place showing at the Barefoot Classic.
Hearn, who currently sits eighth on the Order of Merit, has watched a few of his friends, including Gillespie and McMillan, win Tour events this year and wants to get in on the act.
Ive been working really hard in the off-season, and its starting to show results. A lot of good buddies have won this year, and Id like to join them. I think I am getting close, and hopefully my time will come soon.
Last Thursday, just before the opening round of the Victoria Open, Griff ran into a stroke of bad luck. Just minutes before his tee time, he locked himself out of his car, with his clubs still inside. Griff played the first five holes with just three clubs- by the time his sticks were delivered to him on the sixth tee, Griff was 5-over and well on his way to missing the cut. On Thursday, he was taking everything in stride.
For the most part, Ive been playing decent when I have all my clubs, smiled Griff, who finished third at the Greater Vancouver Classic two weeks back. Now that I have them all in my possession, everything seems to be OK. But its early yet, and there is a lot of golf to be played before Sunday.
McMillan and Gillespie won back-to-back events in Myrtle Beach, SC earlier this year, the first time since 1997 that Canadians pulled off that feat. After grabbing a share of the lead late Thursday, McMillan stressed the future looks bright for Canadian golf.
I think its great to see so many guys from Canada near the top of the leaderboard, said the three-time Tour winner. Its been a great year for us. To have three guys in the top ten on the money list (McMillan, Gillespie, and Hearn), when was the last time that happened? Ive always said weve had the talent, and now the guys are starting to play with confidence.
NOTES: Former N.H.L. star goaltender Grant Fuhr, who received a sponsors exemption into the event, carded a 2-over 74.Temperatures reached the high 90s Fahrenheit Thursday, with much of the same forecast for Fridays second round.Defending champion Aaron Barber opened with a 1-under 71.
Full-field scores from the Telus Edmunton Open
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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.