TOUR Life Week 1 in the Majors

By Nick FlanaganSeptember 25, 2007, 4:00 pm
Editor's note: Nick Flanagan competed in his first event as a card-carrying PGA TOUR member in this past week's Turning Stone Resort Championship. Here is a look at his week on TOUR, on and off the course.
 
INSIDE THE ROPES:
The course at Turning Stone was in perfect condition, the greens possibly as good as anything I have putted on all year; although, my putting stats didn't reflect that.
 
Nick Flanagan
Aside from a little problem with his putter, Week 1 of the Fall Series was a success for Nick Flanagan. (WireImage)
I was reasonably happy and satisfied with my tie for 18th. I hit the ball well and as this was my first game in almost a month I can't complain. I had the last tee time on the first two days and knew that I needed a strong finish to make the cut on Friday. I birdied two out of the last three holes to make it on the number and in doing so knocked out all those on 3 under, which included my mate Michael Sim.
 
I have been working on getting my backswing steeper as I tend to let it get a little flat at times. I struggled with my putting and putted as bad as I have all year, so I have a lot of work to do there.
 
OUTSIDE THE ROPES:
This week I shared accommodations with my good friend - and the afforementioned - Michael Sim. We roomed together throughout 2006 on the Nationwide Tour and it was great to be back together again. I arrived back in the States on Friday, September 14th and met up with my coach in Orlando, Florida, where I practiced over the weekend before arriving at the Turning Stone Resort late on Monday afternoon.
 
Michael and I had a great time catching up and just hanging out together. I spend a lot of my down time on the computer talking to my friends back in Australia and those on other golf tours around the world etc.
 
On Tuesday, Michael and I had a practice round together in the morning and in the night we went out to dinner with a few of the guys who I have been unable to catch up with during the year, which was a lot of fun. The rest of the week was just spent eating at the Resort most nights and taking it quiet until Sunday.
 
I have been working hard on putting some weight on and building myself up. I have always struggled to put on weight and keep it on so I am continually working with my trainer to find the right formula to make this happen. Since my hernia operation in June, after which I lost around 10 lbs, I have managed to put on 12 lbs which is a major achievement for me. I have been working at the gym consistently and having three protein shakes a day.
 
After Michael missed the cut, he headed down to Mississippi to prepare for next week's event and I then hooked up with another aussie mate, Nathan Green, who is from the same city as me back in Australia. Nathan educated me on black jack in the casino - I won early in the week but lost a little on Sunday. Nonetheless, it was a lot of fun.
 
This week I have been overwhelmed by the e-mails congratulating me on my promotion and wishing me good luck - thank you to everyone, I feel very honoured that you took the time to do that.
 
FROM THE PARKING LOT TO THE FIRST TEE:
I felt so well looked after this past week, from the courtesy car I was provided with on arrival at the airport to the hospitality of everyone involved in the event.
 
I received some new pants early in the week and as I am only 5'9', my pants always have to be taken up a couple of inches. When on the Nationwide Tour I always had to find someone somewhere to do this for me - not always an easy thing in small towns. This week I asked the Conceirge in the resort if he could advise me on where to take them. He simply said, 'We have a seamstress on hand to do those type of things for you, Sir,' which I thought was amazing. Then when I told him to put the charges on my room account, he said there would be no charge! The pants were back in my room that night. Now that is service!
 
I did a little shopping at the tournament - my Dad collects golf balls and so I got him one along with a flag. Mum got a set of crystal coasters.
 
I did a brief Media Conference on Wednesday, which was pretty neat. Though afterwards, it took awhile to walk back to the clubhouse as I was stopped at least three times by journalists wanting some one-on-one stuff.
 
In the locker room there were at least five or six players (not Aussies) who came up and congratulated me on my 'battlefield promotion;' they didn't have to do that so it meant a lot. I felt very comfortable in my new surroundings.
 
I played with Rocco Mediate in the final round which was great. I was a little serious on the first tee, but Rocco put me at ease. He was really talkative and loads of fun to play with, and it made me relax totally which no doubt contributed to my good finish.
 
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Related Links:
  • Nick Flanagan's 2007 Results
  • Full Coverage - Turning Stone Championship
  • Full Coverage - Viking Classic
  • Fall Series Coverage
  • Getty Images

    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

    Getty Images

    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

    Getty Images

    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.