Worth Watching

By Mercer BaggsJune 9, 2008, 4:00 pm
2008 U.S. OpenThe 108th U.S. Open will begin Thursday at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, Calif. Tee times were released last week, with the top 12 players on the Official World Golf Ranking grouped together in threesomes. Here are some groups, including the marquee trio, worth keeping an eye on come Round 1.
*Starting on 10th tee


7:00 a.m. PT: D.A. Points, Patrick Sheehan, David Hearn
The first group out off the first tee. We assume the starter has to be out there to announce this group, but even he might not show up until one hour and six minutes later.
8:06 a.m. PT: Adam Scott, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods
The top three players in the world. Together in the same threesome. Nothing contrived there. Getting a good view of this group teeing off will be like trying to get bread in post-war Russia.
8:06 a.m. PT*: Woody Austin, Pat Perez, Thomas Levet
Believe it or not, there will actually be people following this group and not the one going off the first hole at the same time. Perez is a local who has, by his estimate, played the South Course some 250 times. As for Austin, its actually more fun to hear what he has to say after a round than to watch him play. Something like: Yes, I shot 77 and Tiger shot 62, but my game has the power to stop tornadoes in the Midwest.
8:28 a.m. PT: Michael Campbell, Jesper Parnevik, Todd Hamilton
Carnac says, Who are two players who never should have won a major championship and one who should have?
8:39 a.m. PT: Miguel Angel Jimenez, Boo Weekley, Shingo Katayama
For the rest of his life, in major championships, Boo is going to be grouped with either people from his hometown or people who speak a foreign language. How many times is he going to be asked if they were speaking three different languages out there: Spanish, Japanese and Redneck? Thats not really funny the first time you hear it.
9:12 a.m. PT: Jeffrey Bors, Sean English, Travis Bertoni
We have no idea who these three people are. In fact, there are a few groups out there with three names weve never before heard. Thats the U.S. Open for you. Guess we could look up who they are. If we werent really lazy.
12:52 p.m. PT: Stewart Cink, Sergio Garcia, Vijay Singh
According to Phil Mickelson, Garcias a major champion now that hes won THE PLAYERS. That should take off all the pressure this week. Sometimes Phil says things that make Woody go, Huh?
1:03 p.m. PT: Trevor Immelman, Zach Johnson, Mike Weir
These three have combined for three Masters titles, which is he same amount I have. Yes, Im a three-time Dart Golf Masters champion. Lets see one of these guys win a major at 2 a.m., in an Irish Pub, listening to some indiscernible Celtic music, and cross-eyed from double-tall glasses of Jim Beam. I am not a role model.
1:14 p.m. PT*: Ian Poulter, Paul Casey, Luke Donald
Three young Englishmen grouped together. Clever.
1:36 p.m. PT: Angel Cabrera, Padraig Harrington, Davis Love III
The USGA normally groups the reigning U.S. Open champion, reigning British Open champion and the reigning U.S. Amateur champion in the same group, but since Colt Knost turned pro and is not eligible for this event he ruined that tradition. Instead Cabrera and Harrington get Love, who hasnt won any of the aforementioned events and had to qualify just to get in.
1:36 p.m. PT*: Justin Rose, Geoff Ogilvy, Ernie Els
If Rose and Els were the only players competing in the final round would Ogilvy still win?
1:47 p.m. PT: Bubba Watson, J.B. Holmes, Brett Wetterich
These three rank Nos. 1, 2 and 5 on TOUR in driving distance. Bubba finished T5 last year at Oakmont, so maybe he can bully Torrey Pines, too, with his length. The real question, however, is not who is the longest player among this group, but who has the worst haircut? Were going with a Watson-Holmes tie. At least Wetterich doesnt look like his mom did a quick brush on his head before picture time.
1:47 p.m. PT*: Camilo Villegas, Charles Howell III, Martin Kaymer
You might be more far more familiar with Villegas and Howell, but Kaymers probably the best player among this young trio. He won the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship this year and finished runner-up in Dubai. Hes also on the verge of making the European Ryder Cup team. Camilo and Charles have made a lot of commercials.
2:09 p.m. PT*: Rory Sabbatini, David Toms, Colin Montgomerie
Mark it down: I believe this is the year Colin Montgomerie finally wins the U.S. Open! And I believe celebrities when they get busted for buying drugs and say they were just researching a role. And I believe you can stop a moving car with your feet like Fred Flintstone. And I believe in Scientology.
Related Links:
  • Full U.S. Open Tee Times
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Open
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.