Yanagisawa Grabs Medalist Honors at Canadian Q-School

By Marty HenwoodJune 10, 2005, 4:00 pm
LANGLEY, B.C. -- The Canadian Tour unveiled its 16 latest members Friday as Spring Qualifying wrapped up in suburban Vancouver.

Former Tour regular Will Yanagisawa of Long Beach, Calif. erased a three-shot deficit with a final round 5-under 65 to take medallist honours at 8-under 272. New Zealands Nick Davey, another former Tour member, finished two strokes back while Americans Byron Smith and Ryan Camp, who shared the lead heading into the final round, came in at 5-under 275 at Belmont GC.

The lone Canadian to earn one of the seven full exempt cards was Billy Noon of Maple Ridge, BC, who ended up in a tie for fifth at minus-2.

Nine others, including Canadians Mike Mezei, Eddie Maunder, Chris Wood, Dan Roberts, Tim Wilson and Hasoi Koh, will have non-exempt status for the remainder of the 2005 season.

Those earning playing cards Friday will not have to travel far to get their first taste of Tour action. The Times Colonist Open will be held in Victoria beginning Thursday.

Yanagisawa was a member of Stanfords NCAA national championship squad in 1994, a team that also featured Notah Begay and Casey Martin. After playing with Tiger Woods in their senior seasons at Stanford the following year, Begay and Yanagisawa both came north and earned Canadian Tour playing privileges. In the past few years, Yanagisawa has taken his swings in Asia and spent time as a teacher.

Nearly a decade later, he has, in a way, come home.

Im happy to be back, it feels great, said a relieved Yanagisawa, who has played in a pair of events this season on sponsors exemptions. Coming back to the Canadian Tour seemed like a natural choice. I always wanted to come back and play here.

Starting the day three back of Camp and Smith, Yanagisawa turned at 2-under and began to make his move by chipping in for birdie on the par-4 13th. He then birdied 16 and 17 and, playing one group in front of the leaders, watched as his 65 held up for a two-shot win.

When the leader (Smith) came back to the rest of us (Thursday), I knew I had a chance. Playing a Q-school is the same process as a regular event. You want to execute your shots and not worry about what anyone else is doing. After the birdie on 13, I knew if I could get a couple more coming in I could put some heat on those guys.

Noon, who failed to keep his card in his rookie campaign a year ago, gave a couple back late in the day when, looking to move a couple of pegs up the leaderboard, he bogeyed his last two holes and settled for a share of fifth.

I didnt really keep it together today, said Noon. Coming in, I knew I had a card in my pocket and I took a couple of chances late.

In the summer of 2003, Noon won an employee showdown at Swan-e-set Bay Resort to earn a berth in the Greater Vancouver Classic, where he eventually finished in a tie for 12th with Tour champions Mario Tiziani and Brad Sutterfield. Two months later, Noon was in Whitby, Ont., earning full-time status on the Canadian Tour at Fall Qualifying.

His first season is something Noon doesnt care to remember.

You cant get too frustrated with your rookie season, admitted Noon. You have to learn from it. I struggled last year and put up too many big numbers. I feel more comfortable this time around.

As he prepared to make the ferry ride to Victoria, Yanagisawa was itching to get back to playing full-time.

Its right down the road, so to speak, so its nice not to have to travel, he said. There are a lot of perks on this Tour this summer, and someone has to go get them. Im excited about getting out there next week.
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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.