Big Week For European Ryder Cuppers

By Mercer BaggsAugust 22, 2001, 4:00 pm
When Curtis Strange selected Scott Verplank and Paul Azinger, the 2001 United States Ryder Cup team was finalized.
Now they need to know whom exactly they will face.
The European Ryder Cup team will be finalized in two weeks following the conclusion of the BMW International on Sept. 2.
That adds greater importance to this weeks WGC-NEC Invitational in Akron, OH.
Theres $5 million up for grabs, and a guarantee of $25,000 for finishing dead last in the 39-man field ' good news, considering the European Ryder Cup points list is based on money.
In addition to the NEC Invitational and BMW International, European players can also earn points at the Scottish PGA Championship, also being played this week.
The current top 12 players on the European Ryder Cup list are stateside this week. That includes Paul McGinley, Bernhard Langer, Phillip Price, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Ian Poulter ' who stand in 8th-12th places, respectively.
And with the consensus that European Captain Sam Torrance will use his two captains picks on Sergio Garcia and Jesper Parnevik ' neither of who qualified this week to try and earn their way onto the team ' theres plenty of pressure on those at the bottom of the list.
I have to play well this week to earn enough to get onto the team, said Jimenez.
The importance of this week cant be understated. An impressive finish can solidify a players position in the most anticipated Ryder Cup in match history.
It can also positively alter ones schedule.I want to make enough points to where I cant be passed, said McGinley of this week. I dont want to play the BMW. I want to take two weeks off and reassess things before a very busy time of the year.
If things go according plan, the Irishman will skip the trip to Germany and take a two-week hiatus before playing the WGC-American Express Championship in St. Louis, MO.
He then plans to play the Trophee Lancome in Paris and hopefully, the Ryder Cup.
Of course, thats the ideal scenario.
Others this week would like McGinley to log a few more frequent flier miles.
Price can secure a spot at The Belfry with a repeat of last years performance at the Firestone Country Club.
The Welshman finished 11 shots back of winner Tiger Woods; though, it was good enough for a share of second place with Justin Leonard and a $437,500 check.
Ive never gone back to somewhere, to the same venue that Ive done that well at, said Price, a two-time European Tour winner. Im hoping that its going to be a boost. I suppose well find out come Sunday.
Should he make the team, this would be Ryder Cup No. 1 for Price; the same holds true for McGinley and Poulter.
Ive watched enough of them on the television and I want to be a part of it, Price said.
Poulter may not have played in a Ryder Cup before, but he does have a bit of experience.
I was there in 93, sleeping in a tent about three miles away from the course, he recalled. It was fantastic. Just the atmosphere and the pure adrenaline of the excitement of it all, really. It was just an amazing week, really. And I thought it would be quite nice to feel that feeling for real.
Jimenez had that feeling in 1999, when he went 1-2-2.
Langer didnt compete in 99, but has nine Cups under his belt. The 43-year-old German has a career 18-15-5 record in the matches; only Nick Faldo (23) has more victories among active players.
I like the makeup of our team, Langer said. I think we have a good mix of experience and some new guys in there.
I mean, theres one or two guys you might like to see in there, but, you know, it just shows that European golf has grown in depth, too.
Darren Clarke, Thomas Bjorn, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Pierre Fulke are currently the top five players, repsectivley, in the European standings.
They are all secure.
Colin Montgomeire stands sixth, with Niclas Fasth in seventh place.
Fasth and Fulke are the only players currently inside the top-7 who have not played in a Ryder Cup.
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CareerBuilder purse payouts: Rahm wins $1.062 million

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 12:50 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry on the fourth hole of sudden death to win the CareerBuilder Challenger. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out in La Quinta, Calif.:

1 Jon Rahm -22 $1,062,000
2 Andrew Landry -22 $637,200
T3 Adam Hadwin -20 $306,800
T3 John Huh -20 $306,800
T3 Martin Piller -20 $306,800
T6 Kevin Chappell -19 $205,025
T6 Scott Piercy -19 $205,025
T8 Brandon Harkins -18 $171,100
T8 Jason Kokrak -18 $171,100
T8 Sam Saunders -18 $171,100
T11 Harris English -17 $135,700
T11 Seamus Power -17 $135,700
T11 Jhonattan Vegas -17 $135,700
T14 Bud Cauley -16 $106,200
T14 Austin Cook -16 $106,200
T14 Grayson Murray -16 $106,200
T17 Andrew Putnam -15 $88,500
T17 Peter Uihlein -15 $88,500
T17 Aaron Wise -15 $88,500
T20 Ricky Barnes -14 $57,754
T20 Stewart Cink -14 $57,754
T20 Brian Harman -14 $57,754
T20 Beau Hossler -14 $57,754
T20 Charles Howell III -14 $57,754
T20 Zach Johnson -14 $57,754
T20 Ryan Palmer -14 $57,754
T20 Brendan Steele -14 $57,754
T20 Nick Taylor -14 $57,754
T29 Lucas Glover -13 $36,706
T29 Russell Knox -13 $36,706
T29 Nate Lashley -13 $36,706
T29 Tom Lovelady -13 $36,706
T29 Kevin Streelman -13 $36,706
T29 Hudson Swafford -13 $36,706
T29 Richy Werenski -13 $36,706
T36 Jason Dufner -12 $27,189
T36 Derek Fathauer -12 $27,189
T36 James Hahn -12 $27,189
T36 Chez Reavie -12 $27,189
T36 Webb Simpson -12 $27,189
T36 Tyrone Van Aswegen -12 $27,189
T42 Bronson Burgoon -11 $18,983
T42 Ben Crane -11 $18,983
T42 Brian Gay -11 $18,983
T42 Chesson Hadley -11 $18,983
T42 Patton Kizzire -11 $18,983
T42 Hunter Mahan -11 $18,983
T42 Kevin Na -11 $18,983
T42 Rob Oppenheim -11 $18,983
T50 Alex Cejka -10 $14,025
T50 Corey Conners -10 $14,025
T50 Michael Kim -10 $14,025
T50 Kevin Kisner -10 $14,025
T50 Sean O'Hair -10 $14,025
T50 Sam Ryder -10 $14,025
T50 Nick Watney -10 $14,025
T57 Robert Garrigus -9 $13,039
T57 Tom Hoge -9 $13,039
T57 David Lingmerth -9 $13,039
T57 Ben Martin -9 $13,039
T57 Trey Mullinax -9 $13,039
T57 Brett Stegmaier -9 $13,039
T63 Scott Brown -8 $12,449
T63 Wesley Bryan -8 $12,449
T63 Brice Garnett -8 $12,449
T63 Sung Kang -8 $12,449
T67 Talor Gooch -7 $12,095
T67 Tom Whitney -7 $12,095
T69 Matt Every -6 $11,623
T69 Billy Hurley III -6 $11,623
T69 Smylie Kaufman -6 $11,623
T69 Keith Mitchell -6 $11,623
T69 Rory Sabbatini -6 $11,623
T69 Chris Stroud -6 $11,623
75 John Peterson -5 $11,210
76 Abraham Ancer -4 $11,092
77 Ben Silverman 4 $10,974
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After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard

On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.