Quotable Quotes from Hazeltine
Monday - A day of rain, yet still, 40,000 fans filled the course.
* Tom Lehman, Minnesota native - Question: 'Tom, for a Monday, are you surprised to see so many people here?' Answer: 'No, no.'
* Tiger Woods, winner of two of three major championships in 2002 - One of the many questionable questions the best player in the world often encounters: 'Tiger, now that you did not win the British Open, looking back, could you say it's good for golf maybe that you didn't win all four in one year this year; and that in the big picture, that's a good thing for golf?' Answer (after a look of disbelief and a shake of the head) 'You know what, dude? I can't give that to you.'
* Then another entertaining exchange with an erstwhile reporter: 'Tiger, for the local media, what do you think about Minnesota? Have you had time to take in any of the sites and have you been to the Mall of America?' Tiger: 'House, course. Course, house. House course, course house.'
* British Open Champion Ernie Els on his travels with the Claret Jug: 'I've taken it everywhere. I took it to Denver a couple of weeks ago. I was home in London, we took it around the area, shall I say, and had quite a few nice drinks out of it, just some really cool, cold drinks.'
* Phil Mickelson, 'The Best Player Never to Have Won a Major;' 'I think it would be wrong to put the whole outlook of a year based on four tournaments.'
* Defending PGA champion David Toms on playing the first two rounds with Tiger and Ernie: 'Well, just maybe give me a bigger set of blinders, because, you know, there's going to be a lot of things going on - a lot of people out there.'
* Fred Funk and Jim Furyk tie for the first-round lead with 68. Tiger shoots 71. An exchange with Mr. Furyk: 'What would be the most interesting description of your swing?' Jim: 'An octopus falling out of a tree or a man trying to kill a snake in a phone booth.'
* Mr. Funk, whose bio appears immediately before Furyk's in the PGA Tour media guide: 'The F-U's are on top.'
* A reporter asks Tiger, who missed five of seven fairways with his driver: 'You often use colorful language to describe your game. If you had to describe your driving in a colorful way today, how would you describe it?' Tiger: 'Blue.'
* Funk, Retief Goosen, Justin Leonard and Rich Beem are tied for the lead at 6-under par. Justin, who got married on 02/02/02: 'Getting married is probably the smartest thing I've done.'
* An exchange concerning Rich Beem's long-time reliance upon Pepto: Reporter: 'Before the round, you take a swig of Pepto Bismol?' Rich: 'Yes, sir. I do.' Reporter: 'What's that for?' Rich: 'So I don't go number-two on the golf course.'
Saturday, August 16
* Justin Leonard, At 9-under-par, leads Beem by three, Funk by four and Woods by four. Reporter to Justin: 'The Tiger question: Tiger has never come from behind to win a major. You have a five-shot lead heading into the final round over him. Is a five-shot lead safe?' Leonard: 'I'd like to say that, but, then again, I came back from five shots to win a major championship.'
* Question to Tiger: 'Is five shots too much to make up in these conditions?' A smiling Woods, using exaggerated, elongated words: 'Oh, five shots is waaaaayy too much.'
* Rich Beem on what he expects of his emotions Sunday, playing in the final pairing with Leonard: 'They are going to be running pretty fast and furious and I will be sucking oxygen.'
* Beem shoots 68 to win by one stroke over Woods, who shoots 67. Question to the champion: 'Yesterday, you were in here saying you didn't think you had what it took to win a major.' Rich: 'I didn't know if I had what it took to win it. Obviously, I found out today that I do, and I'm actually still surprised at myself.'
* Tiger is asked if the posting of Beem's eagle on No. 11 rattled him, causing his three-putt bogey on the 13th hole: 'No, it didn't have any affect on my putt. Sometimes - I heard the guys on TV said it affected me, but sometimes they have no idea what they are talking about.' (Smile)
And that dear readers, is where we end it. Sometimes those guys on TV have no idea what they are talking about.
Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder
Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.
Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.
“I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”
The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.
“The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”
Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.
Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder
LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook played a six-hole stretch in 6 under and shot an 8-under 64 in breezy conditions Saturday to take the lead at the CareerBuilder Challenge.
Cook began the run at La Quinta Country Club with birdies on Nos. 4-5, eagled the sixth and added birdies on No. 7 and 9 to make the turn in 6-under 30.
After a bogey on the 10th, he birdied Nos. 11, 12 and 15 and saved par on the 18th with a 20-footer to take a 19-under 197 total into the final round on PGA West's Stadium Course. The 26-year-old former Arkansas player is making his first start in the event. He won at Sea Island in November for his first PGA Tour title.
Fellow former Razorbacks star Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were a stroke back. Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 on the Stadium Course. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. They are both winless on the PGA Tour.
Jon Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium Course to reach 17 under. The top-ranked player in the field at No. 3, Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.
Scott Piercy also was two strokes back after a 66 at the Stadium.
Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course, and Harkins shot 68 on the Stadium Course.
Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium Course to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time.
The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.
Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. The Southern California recruit had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over for the week.
John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine – and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.
Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years
Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.
He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.
How rare is his missing the cut there?
The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.
The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.
The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.
Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.
Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.
Defending champ Gana co-leads Latin America Amateur
Toto Gana moved into early position to try to win a return trip to the Masters Saturday by grabbing a share of the first-round lead at the Latin America Amateur Championship.
The defending champ posted a 3-under-par 68 at Prince of Wales Country Club in his native Chile, equaling the rounds of Argentina’s Mark Montenegro and Colombia’s Pablo Torres.
They are one shot ahead of Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz and Mario Carmona, Argentina’s Horacio Carbonetti and Jaime Lopez Rivarola and the Dominican Republic’s Rhadames Pena.
It’s a bunched leaderboard, with 19 players within three shots of each at the top of the board in the 72-hole event.
“I think I have my game under control,” said Gana, 20, a freshman at Lynn University. “I hit the ball very well, and I also putted very well. So, I am confident about tomorrow.”
The LAAC’s champion will get more than a Masters invitation. He also will be exempt into the The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event he is eligible to play this year. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.
The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.