Golf Shares Spotlight - Until Monday

By Mercer BaggsAugust 27, 2003, 4:00 pm
NORTON, Mass. -- Andrew Magee pulled into his hotel parking lot Tuesday and saw something a bit unusual, something a tad uncommon in proximity to a professional golf tournament.
 
I was checking in last night and theyre all just kind of sitting on the couches, smoking cigarettes on the curb, laying on the curb,' he said. 'Without a black t-shirt and a tattoo, youre not going to fit in.'
 
Magee was talking in reference to the roadies that had overrun his hotel.
 
Golf isnt the only show in town this week.
 
Though the PGA Tour has returned to the Boston/Providence area for a regular event for the first time since 1998 ' Brookline Country Club in Sutton, Mass., hosted the 1999 Ryder Cup ' locals will have several other entertainment options.
 
In addition to the Deutsche Bank Championship, which will commence Friday and conclude Labor Day Monday, there is a KISS and Aerosmith combo Wednesday night and Jimmy Buffet gigs Thursday and Saturday nights.
 
The concerts will be played at the Tweeter Center, which is less than a mile from the tournament site, the TPC of Boston.
 
That means players in this most silent of sports will have to deal with a little noise pollution as bands gear up ' and not to mention the congested traffic when trying to leave the course.
 
We cant control that, because we dont own that property, said PGA Tour tournament director Mark Russell. So theyre going to be able to do what they want to do. But well live with it; were going to play and see what happens.
 
Robert Gamez, for one, isnt too concerned with the possible distraction. In fact, Id love to see Buffet play, he said. Its neat to have options, have other stuff to do.
 
And that stuff isnt limited to the music scene.
 
The New England Patriots contest their final pre-season game at home, in nearby Foxboro, against the Chicago Bears Wednesday night. And the Boston Red Sox host the American League East-leading New York Yankees in a crucial three-game set starting Friday.
 
The Sox host the Toronto Blue Jays Wednesday night, before playing another night game against New York Friday, and a couple of day games Saturday and Sunday.
 
Outside of a little game of golf this week, I want to get to a Yankees-Red Sox game, Paul Stankowski said. Ive never been to Fenway (Park).
 
Of course, with a $5-million purse up for grabs, and a $900,000 winners paycheck on the line, players wont be blinded by the nightlife.
 
What could be a cause for player concern, however, is routine. Most in the field didnt arrive onsite until Wednesday. And instead of officially keeping score Thursday, theyll be playing in a pro-am or practicing ' at an unfamiliar venue.
 
It throws you off, Gamez said of beginning and ending an event a day later than normal. Its a weird deal. But were all professionals and can handle it.
 
Its thrown everyones rhythm off a little bit, added Russell. But I think its good: a Labor Day, holiday finish. Well see what happens.
 
All involved are anxious to see how the course will play. The TPC of Boston was opened last June, and has been adjusted to meet tournament standards. Four new tee boxes have been built, and the eighth green has been reshaped.
 
Its new for everyone, including the players, the media and our guys, Russell said. Setting up the golf course, we dont know how the golf course is going to play, we dont know how long its going to play; we dont have any records from here, so were going to have to do the best we can do with that.
 
Fan support certainly isnt an official concern. Daily tickets, including for practice rounds, have been topped off to 25,000, and have been sold out throughout the week.
 
Obviously, the bevy of other attractions havent distracted people from wanting to witness the PGA Tour's first event in this region ' not including the Greater Hartford Open in Connecticut ' since the former CVS Charity Classic got the axe in 98 after a 34-year stint.
 
Yes, there will be Gene Simmons and his face-painted posse. Yes, the Parrotheads will flock. Yes, the NFL enthusiasm is palpable. And yes, the Evil Empire will invade Beantown.
 
But the area also has golf again. And they have Tiger, and the reigning U.S. and British Open champions. And 156 of the best players in the world. And come Monday, those left to entertain the masses wont have to share the spotlight with anyone else.
 
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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, GolfChannel.com 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.

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    Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

    Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

    Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

    What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

    Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

    Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

    Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

    Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

    Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

    Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry