Reese Pieces Together Days Best

By Mercer BaggsOctober 25, 2001, 4:00 pm
Don Reese, the last man eligible for this weeks Buy.Com Tour Championship, is at the top of the leaderboard through one round in Prattville, Ala.
The 47-year-old Reese shot 4-under-par 68 to lead Rod Pampling by one shot. Eric Meeks and Tim Petrovic are tied for third place after a posting a pair of 2-under 70s.
Reese finished tied for third in last weeks Shreveport Open, earning just enough money to qualify for the season finale. At 55th on the current money list, Reese will need to cash the $108,000 first-place prize in order to crack into the top 15 in earnings.
The top 15 players on the money list at the conclusion of this event will earn their 2002 PGA Tour cards.
Current 2001 Buy.Com money list
The first player out on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trails 7,656-yard Senator Course - the longest layout ever in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event - Reese carded five birdies over his first eight holes. He stumbled a bit with bogeys at Nos. 9 and 14, but recovered with a final birdie at the par-5 17th.
'It was weird being out there by myself,' said Reese, who played college golf at Troy State, about 90 minutes southeast of Prattville. 'I've never done that before. Golf is all about rhythm and pace, and I was setting my own all day. It was nice.
'I didn't have anything outside of 10 feet at the start,' he said. 'I was trying not to think about it as I was going along. I wasn't concerned with anything.'
Reese is completing his 10th year on the Buy.Com Tour (1990-94 and 1997-2001). Hes won once ' the 1991 Lake City Classic ' but has never finished better than 30th on the money list.
He last played on the PGA Tour in 1995, thanks to a tie for 10th in the 94 Qualifying Tournament. He made 10 of 26 cuts that year and finished 217th in earnings. Reese also played on the big tour in 1982 and 89.
Pampling has already secured a spot on the 2002 PGA Tour. He entered this week third on the money list, but still seeks his first title of the year.
Meeks is 39th in earnings, and Petrovic is 7th.
In the Player of the Year battle, Chad Campbell (No. 1 on the money list) shot 1-under 71 to tie for fifth place, while Heath Slocum (No. 2) opened in 4-over 76.
Both players have three victories to their credit this season.
Todd Barranger won this years Dayton Open, but it probably wont be enough to earn his PGA Tour playing privileges next year. Barranger (No. 15 on the money list) recorded two quadruple bogeys on Thursday en route to a 13-over 85.
Heres how the rest of the players on the top-15 bubble fared in Round One:
12. Jason Hill+3 (75)T36
13. Richard Zokol+5 (77)T46
14. Michael Long+4 (76)T41
15. Todd Barranger+13 (85)53
16. Paul Claxton+1 (73)T20
17. Steve Haskins+2 (74)T32
18. Ryuji Imada+6 (78)T49
19. Tjaart Van der Walt+1 (73)T20
20. Kelly Gibson+1 (73)T20
Full-field scores from the Buy.Com Tour Championship
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Golf's Olympic format, qualifying process remain the same

By Rex HoggardMarch 19, 2018, 6:25 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – Potential Olympic golfers for the 2020 Games in Tokyo were informed on Monday that the qualification process for both the men’s and women’s competitions will remain unchanged.

According to a memo sent to PGA Tour players, the qualification process begins on July 1, 2018, and will end on June 22, 2020, for the men, with the top 59 players from the Olympic Golf Rankings, which is drawn from the Official World Golf Ranking, earning a spot in Tokyo (the host country is assured a spot in the 60-player field). The women’s qualification process begins on July 8, 2018, and ends on June 29, 2020.

The format, 72-holes of individual stroke play, for the ’20 Games will also remain unchanged.

The ’20 Olympics will be held July 24 through Aug. 9, and the men’s competition will be played the week before the women’s event at Kasumigaseki Country Club.

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Webb granted U.S. Women's Open special exemption

By Will GrayMarch 19, 2018, 6:22 pm

Karrie Webb's streak of consecutive appearances at the U.S. Women's Open will continue this summer.

The USGA announced Monday that the 43-year-old Aussie has been granted a special exemption into this year's event, held May 31-June 3 at Shoal Creek in Alabama. Webb, a winner in both 2000 and 2001, has qualified for the event on merit every year since 2011 when her 10-year exemption for her second victory ended.

"As a past champion, I'm very grateful and excited to accept the USGA's special exemption into this year's U.S. Women's Open," Webb said in a release. "I have always loved competing in the U.S. Women's Open and being tested on some of the best courses in the country."

Webb has played in the tournament every year since 1996, the longest such active streak, meaning that this summer will mark her 23rd consecutive appearance. She has made the U.S. Women's Open cut each of the last 10 years, never finishing outside the top 50 in that span.

Webb's exemption is the first handed out by the USGA since 2016, when Se Ri Pak received an invite to play at CordeValle. Prior to that the two most recent special exemptions went to Juli Inkster (2013) and Laura Davies (2009). The highest finish by a woman playing on a special exemption came in 1994, when Amy Alcott finished sixth.

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Notah: Driver is Tiger's No. 1 pre-Masters concern

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 19, 2018, 5:49 pm

Tiger Woods mounted a Sunday charge at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, sending shockwaves through Bay Hill when it looked as though he might finally claim PGA Tour victory No. 80.

But the charge came to an end at the par-5 16th, where Woods had missed wide-right three days in a row before going OB-left on Sunday en route to bogey.

Woods’ API performance featured just a handful of drivers each day, as firm and fast conditions allowed him to make frequent use of a 2-iron off the tee.

That strategy led to a second top-5 finish in as many weeks, but if Woods wants to win again, if he wants claim another major, he is going to sort out his issues with the big stick.

A guest Monday morning on the Dan Patrick Show, Golf Channel’s Notah Begay believes the driver will be a focus for Woods in his pre-Masters preparation.

“Project No. 1 over the next two weeks is going to be the driver. … Any time he has to turn a shot right to left with trouble on the left, he struggles a little bit,” Begay said.

“Off the sixth tee, off the ninth tee, there was some errant shots. And then we saw the really horrible tee shot yesterday at 16. He talked about in the post-round comments. He just didn’t commit to a shot, and the worst thing that a professional athlete can do to themselves to compromise performance is not commit.

“And so he made a terrible swing, and that’s the miss that is really difficult for him to recover from, because the majority of his misses are out to the right. So, when you eliminate one half of the golf course, you can really make your way around … a lot easier. When you have a two-way miss going, which sometimes creeps into his driver, it really makes it difficult to take out some of the trouble that you’re looking at when you’re standing on the tee box.

“So he has to focus in on trying to find some way to navigate Augusta National with the driver, because it’s a course that’s going to force you to hit driver.”

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McIlroy trails only Woods in Masters betting odds

By Will GrayMarch 19, 2018, 5:47 pm

After rallying for victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Rory McIlroy is once again among the betting favorites for the upcoming Masters.

McIlroy was available at 16/1 at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook last week, listed behind six other players. But after his three-shot win at Bay Hill, his odds were trimmed to 10/1, leaving him behind only betting favorite Tiger Woods.

Next month will mark McIlroy's fourth opportunity to close out the final leg of the career Grand Slam by slipping into a green jacket. Here's a look at the current betting odds, with the first round only 17 days away:

8/1: Tiger Woods

10/1: Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas

14/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose

16/1: Jason Day, Jon Rahm

18/1: Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson

25/1: Paul Casey, Bubba Watson

30/1: Sergio Garcia, Tommy Fleetwood, Hideki Matsuyama

40/1: Henrik Stenson, Marc Leishman

50/1: Alex Noren

60/1: Matt Kuchar, Louis Oosthuizen, Adam Scott, Tyrrell Hatton, Thomas Pieters

80/1: Branden Grace, Brian Harman, Tony Finau, Charley Hoffman, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Cantlay

100/1: Zach Johnson, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Webb Simpson, Bryson DeChambeau, Xander Schauffele, Charl Schwartzel, Daniel Berger, Kevin Kisner