Wood Leads First Round Of Spring Q-School
The 23-year-old opened with a 3-under 69 and leads Australian Michael Curtain by one shot heading into Tuesdays second round. Dave Carr is two shots back, while eight others are at even-par 72.
Wood has played three Tour events this year after qualifying for the Scottsdale Swing at McCormick Ranch and the Lewis Chitengwa Memorial Championship, and receiving an exemption into the Michelin Ixtapa Classic. His best finish was a tie for 22nd at McCormick Ranch. On Monday, he carded a 2-under 34 on his front nine and rode that momentum to the early lead.
I just want to play solid this week, and this was a good way to start, said Wood. It is a lot easier playing relaxed then having to try to play catch-up later in the week.
The former Golden State Tour winner, who also advanced to the second stage of PGA Tour Qualifying last fall, realizes that he has cleared the first hurdle in the 90-hole marathon here in Kamloops. He had a chance to play with former U.S. amateur champion Hank Kuehne at McCormick Ranch earlier this year, and feels the experience should benefit him as the week goes on.
Playing with Hank made me realize there are lot of golfers on the Canadian Tour with high aspirations and a promising future. I was expecting good play, I just didnt know what I was getting into. But I am excited about getting the chance to come to Canada- it is the best thing for me right now.
Curtain, who turned pro in January, also holds status on the Davidoff Tour in Asia.
I thought it would be a good thing for me to come over here, said the 23-year-old. With the amount of events I was going to get into in Asia, it was silly for me to stay at home. I want to stay competitive and get all the experience I can in my rookie season.
Paul Scaletta, who finished second at last months Barefoot Classic after qualifying for the event, carded a 1-over 73 Monday. Should Scaletta earn a card here, he would move into 21st spot in the Order of Merit standings.
The field will be reduced to the low 60 scores plus ties after Thursdays fourth round. Those remaining will compete for one of 15 exempt and a minimum 10 non-exempt cards for the remainder of the 2002 Canadian Tour season to be awarded Friday.
First Round Scores
Wood, JeffFortuna, CA- 69-3
Curtain, MichaelAustralia- 70-2
Carr, DaveSacramento, CA- 71-1
Corrigan, MarkKamloops, B.C.- 72Even
Flugstad, BrianKenmore, WA- 72Even
Fukushima, KentGrande Prairie, AB- 72Even
Gibbs, JonathonBoise, ID- 72Even
Knowles, RaganAurora, CO- 72Even
Omelia, BryanVan Nuys, CA- 72Even
Risdon, DustinStrathmore, AB- 72Even
Stinson, KyleEdmonton, AB- 72Even
Brunson, DanielGreenville, SC- 731
Bykowski, ColinKelowna, B.C.- 731
Correa, LarrySan Diego, CA- 731
Hamilton, RobertCarmichael, CA- 731
Kureluk, JamieCalgary, AB- 731
Scaletta, PaulRichmond, VA- 731
Valentin, JeromeMission Viejo, CA- 731
Yamanaka, MotoNorwalk, CA- 731
Yoshitake, MasaVictoria, B.C.- 731
Bensel, KenBelligham, WA- 742
Burns, GordToronto, ON- 742
Forsman, JohanDenver, CO- 742
Jacques, RyanDexter, MO- 742
Petryk, LarrySmoky Lake, AB- 742
Snelling, JustinBoise, ID- 742
Dawson, PhilipShinyle Springs, CA- 753
Gentry, BrianTahoe City, CA- 753
Goma, ShinichiCoquitlam, B.C.- 753
Hong, ChangKorea- 753
Nitta, DaisukeJapan- 753
Serna, AntonioMexico- 753
Aga, MattLoveland, CO- 764
Buttar, BlairLeduc, AB- 764
Chubb, MatthewToronto, ON- 764
Karr, JimJupiter, FL- 764
Williams, MikeAntelope, CA- 764
Bach, TedSundre, AB- 775
Belbin, ChadKamloops, BC- 775
Fisher, JasonBakersfield, CA- 775
Hayashi, NoryJapan- 775
Nelson, BirkPhilomath, OR- 775
Takase, AtsushiNorthridge, CA- 775
Arps, JarrodAustralia- 786
Davey, SteveTallahassee, FL- 786
Hall, RichardEngland- 786
Havens, DavidCharlottesville, VA- 786
Moore, MichaelMississauga, ON- 786
Burke, JimCaldwell, NJ- 797
Park, PedroNew Zealand- 797
Yoo, RichardKorea- 797
Berthiaume, Marc-AndreMontreal, QC- 808
Hague, RyanVernon, B.C.- 808
Hogan, PatIndianopolis, IN- 808
Brown, MichaelGrenelefe, FL- 819
Michals, JayHouston, TX- 819
Webb, MikeEagle, ID- 819
Wright, SteveNanaimo, B.C.- 819
Duru, PaschalNigeria- 8210
Kubo, ShoheiNew Zealand- 8210
Wammer, PaulWestbank, B.C.- 8210
Crumb, JeffOliver, B.C.- 8412
Douglas, RobStratford, ON- 8412
Patrick, DarylCalgary, AB- 8412
Reid, ScottConover, NC- 8412
Mignone, MarkMission Viejo, CA- 8513
Danbom, JeffMilford, IA- 8614
McGarry, MikeLyndhurst, OH- 8614
Douglas, DarriekBermuda- 8715
Harding, TySanta Clara, CA- 8816
Kennedy, DeanVancouver, BCGW/D
Van Donk, DanDrain, ORGW/D
What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm
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
Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff
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.
Watching Andrew Landry and Jon Rahm in playoff. Walking off tee talking to each other. Are you kidding me ? Talking at all. ?— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.
0 words— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
The issue is I don’t want to make you a bit relaxed or comfortable. High pressure, good.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
Did you watch the end of the NFL games yesterday ? Enough said.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
I didn’t say you couldn’t be friends and competitive. But in a playoff, 1 tiny mistake and you lose, and that devastated me. Friends before and after, competitors during play.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
Did you win ? It’s all about surviving the competition to test yourself.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.
Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over
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.
Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions
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.