Omelia Jumps Into Lead With One Round Left
The 27-year-old carded a tournament-low 4-under 68 at The Dunes at Kamloops Thursday and is at 9-under 279 through 72 holes, two shots in front of Australias Michael Curtain. Current U.S. Amateur runner-up Robert Hamilton is at 3-under 285.
Chad Belbin, who played on the Tour last season, is the top Canadian at 2-over 290.
With cloudy skies and showers again greeting the early groups Thursday, Omelia didnt let the conditions affect him and now finds himself in the hunt to be the Q-School Medallist.
Of course I would like to win, but the goal still is to get my card, admitted Omelia. Ill go out and hit the best shots I can, and see what happens from there. I wont back off Friday, but at least I dont have to force the issue. Hopefully I can make a flight to Michigan (for next weeks Bay Mills Open) after my round.
Paired with Hamilton and Curtain for the second consecutive day, Omelia sensed the trio was all business Thursday, which helped him keep his game in focus.
It is a lot of fun to play with those guys, you know we are all serious and there is a definite professional atmosphere. No one is messing around out there. I work on playing my own game, but you cant help but fall into a rhythm with playing partners like that.
After an emotional weekend at The Masters in which he played with the legendary Arnold Palmer in Palmers final round at Augusta, Hamilton finds himself looking for his first professional card.
While still listed as an amateur, Hamilton will turn professional if he does the expected and earns Canadian Tour privileges Friday. Should he grab his card, Hamilton would join former U.S. amateur stars Hank Kuehne, Jeff Quinney, Steve Scott and James Driscoll for the remainder of the Tour campaign.
I know those guys pretty well, so it will be a lot of fun to go out and play with them to see if I can elevate my game, he said. Its been tough to sit around and basically just play golf with my buddies, so it will be exciting to get back into tournament mode.
To play in The Masters was big enough - to play with Arnold Palmer is an honor, to play with him in his final round made it even more special. It was a great way to wind up an amateur career and is something I will always remember.
Fourth Round ScoresOmelia, BryanVan Nuys, CA72-69-70-68 - 279-9
Curtain, MichaelAustralia70-71-69-71 - 281-7
Hamilton, RobertCarmichael, CA73-71-69-72 - 285-3
Correa, LarrySan Diego, CA73-75-69-69 - 286-2
Forsman, JohanDenver, CO74-70-70-72 - 286-2
Belbin, ChadKamloops, BC77-72-70-71 - 2902
Wood, JeffFortuna, CA69-76-75-70 - 2902
Yamanaka, MotoNorwalk, CA73-71-71-76 - 2913
Snelling, JustinBoise, ID 74-75-73-70 - 2924
Carr, DaveSacremento, CA71-75-78-69 - 2935
Davey, SteveTallahassee, FL78-69-73-73 - 2935
Brunson, DanielGreenville, SC73-72-77-72 - 2946
Fisher, JasonBakersfield, CA77-75-74-68 - 2946
Gentry, BrianTahoe City, CA75-73-72-74 - 2946
Scaletta, PaulRichmond, VA73-77-72-73 - 2957
Stinson, KyleEdmonton, AB72-75-72-76 - 2957
Buttar, BlairLeduc, AB76-79-70-71 - 2968
Corrigan, MarkCornwall, PEI72-73-79-72 - 2968
Fukushima, KentGrande Prairie, AB72-73-80-71 - 2968
Valentin, JeromeMission Viejo, CA73-74-76-73 - 2968
Bensel, KenBelligham, WA74-74-77-72 - 2979
Burns, GordToronto, ON74-77-72-74 - 2979
Bykowski, ColinKelowna, B.C.73-78-73-73 - 2979
Nelson, BirkPhilomath, OR77-74-77-70 - 29810
Petryk, LarrySmoky Lake, AB74-73-78-73 - 29810
Serna, AntonioMexico75-71-75-77 - 29810
Gibbs, JonathonBoise, ID72-73-75-79 - 29911
Havens, DavidCharlottesville, VA78-74-70-77 - 29911
Risdon, DustinStrathmore, AB72-77-75-75 - 29911
Brown, MichaelGrenelefe, FL81-73-71-75 - 30012
Goma, ShinichiCoquitlam, B.C.75-74-80-71 - 30012
Knowles, RaganAurora, CO72-77-75-76 - 30012
Yoshitake, MasaVictoria, B.C.73-74-77-76 - 30012
Dawson, PhilipShinyle Springs, CA75-73-76-77 - 30113
Flugstad, BrianKenmore, WA72-78-72-79 - 30113
Jacques, RyanDexter, MO74-78-71-78 - 30113
Kureluk, JamieCalgary, AB73-75-79-74 - 30113
Williams, MikeAntelope, CA76-73-78-74 - 30113
Chubb, MatthewToronto, ON76-78-78-70 - 30214
Aga, MattLoveland, CO76-79-71-77 - 30315
Karr, JimJupiter, FL76-77-79-71 - 30315
Wright, SteveNanaimo, B.C.81-72-76-75 - 30416
Arps, JarrodAustralia78-75-77-75 - 30517
Hayashi, NoryJapan77-75-76-77 - 30517
Moore, MichaelMississauga, ON78-77-74-76 - 30517
Hong, ChangKorea75-77-78-76 - 30618
Takase, AtsushiNorthridge, CA77-78-78-73 - 30618
Nitta, DaisukeJapan75-77-80-75 - 30719
Hall, RichardEngland78-79-76-75 - 30820
Reid, ScottConover, NC84-75-76-73 - 30820
Bach, TedSundre, AB77-80-76-79 - 31224
Kubo, ShoheiNew Zealand82-78-80-72 - 31224
Park, PedroNew Zealand79-77-78-78 - 31224
Webb, MikeEagle, ID81-81-78-72 - 31224
Hague, RyanVernon, B.C.80-78-77-78 - 31325
Yoo, RichardKorea79-75-82-77 - 31325
Hogan, PatIndianopolis, IN80-74-84-79 - 31729
Berthiaume, Marc-AndreMontreal, QC80-76-84-79 - 31931
Douglas, RobStratford, ON84-79-77-83 - 32335
Michals, JayHouston, TX81-80-82-80 - 32335
Patrick, DarylCalgary, AB84-82-79-78 - 32335
Mignone, MarkMission Viejo, CA85-85-78-77 - 32537
Crumb, JeffOliver, B.C.84-81-87-75 - 32739
Danbom, JeffMilford, IA86-85-84-76 - 33143
Duru, PaschalNigeria82-83-82-84 - 33143
Harding, TySanta Clara, CA88-80-85-78 - 33143
Douglas, DarriekBermuda87-88-79-79 - 33345
Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59
Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.
While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.
He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.
"A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."
Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.
"If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."
Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot
When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.
Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.
"I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"
The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.
Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.
"It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."
DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.
Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.
"It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."
Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.
Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.
"I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."
Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.
"If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."
LPGA lists April date for new LA event
The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.
When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.
The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.
The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.