TOUR Notes Johnson Seeking Ga Trifecta

By Pga Tour MediaSeptember 11, 2007, 4:00 pm
News and notes from PGA TOUR officials for the PGA, Champions and Nationwide tours.
 
PGA Tour (75x100) PGA TOUR:
  • Zach Johnson has a chance at winning three tournaments this year in the state of Georgia when he tees it up this week at THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola. Earlier this year he won the Masters Tournament and the AT&T Classic. If he does so, hell be the first TOUR player to win three events in the same state in the same season since Tom Watson captured three titles in California in 1980.
     
  • More on Johnson: If he wins this week, hell have two wins this season in Atlanta. The last player to win two events in the same city in the same year was Tiger Woods who won twice in San Diego in 2003. By the way, Phil Mickelson won twice in Atlanta back in 2000.
     
  • Only two players have recorded Top-10 finishes in each of the three PGA TOUR Playoff events'Steve Stricker and Rory Sabbatini.
     
  • This weeks field for the final PGA TOUR Playoff event for the FedExCup features 30 players who hail from nine countries. Theres one rookie (Brandt Snedeker) and 24 players ranked among the Top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking, including the top 13 players.
     
  • There are eight first-time participants in this weeks TOUR Championship'Aaron Baddeley, Jonathan Byrd, Hunter Mahan, Justin Rose, Heath Slocum, Brandt Snedeker, Camilo Villegas and Boo Weekley.
     
  • With his victory last week at the BMW Championship, Tiger Woods now has seven tournaments that hes won at least four times each. He has six wins each at the World Golf Championships-CA Championship and Bridgestone Invitational. He has five wins at the Buick Invitational and four each at the PGA Championship, Masters, Arnold Palmer Invitational and BMW Championship.
     
  • More on Tiger: He has six wins this season, marking the fifth time in his career hes had at least that many wins in one year. Only Sam Snead, who won six or more events in a year six times, has done it more.
     
  • The top four players entering this weeks TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola'Tiger Woods, Steve Stricker, Phil Mickelson and Rory Sabbatini'finished in exactly that order earlier this year at the Wachovia Championship.
     

    Champions Tour CHAMPIONS TOUR:
  • The Champions Tour is off this week and only five events remain to qualify for the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship.
     
  • Jeff Sluman makes his Champions Tour debut this week at the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn. Sluman won six times on the PGA TOUR, including the 1988 PGA Championship. Hell serve as Jack Nicklaus Captains Assistant for the third time in the upcoming Presidents Cup matches.
     
  • Theres 240 Charles Schwab Cup points available this week to the winner which means that Jay Haas lead is safe for at least another week. Haas has a 258-point lead over Brad Bryant and a 437-point lead over Loren Roberts as the season winds down.
     
  • The last two winners of the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn ended long winless streaks. Jay Haas won the 2005 event for his first win in a TOUR-sponsored event since 1993 and Andy Bean won last years tournament for his first win since 1986.
     

    Nationwide Tour NATIONWIDE TOUR:
  • Two members of the Class of 2006 have advanced all the way to the final week of the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup. Rookie Brandt Snedeker and Boo Weekley are among the final 30 players competing this week at THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola.
     
  • When Franklin Langham won last weeks Utah EnergySolutions Championship it came 14 years, one month and two days after his first win on the Nationwide Tour, the 1993 Permian Basin Open. Thats the longest time between first and last victory in Nationwide Tour history.
     
  • This weeks Oregon Classic presented by Kendall Automotive Group will feature every winner on the 2007 Nationwide Tour with the exception of recent PGA TOUR graduate Nick Flanagan and Paul Claxton. The field also boasts 48 of the Top 50 money winners, with Flanagan and Claxton again the exceptions.
     
    Related Links:
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  • Champions Tour Statistics
  • Nationwide Tour Statistics
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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

    Getty Images

    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."

    Getty Images

    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.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    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.

    Getty Images

    Mickelson starts fast, fades to 70 at La Quinta

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

    Phil Mickelson got off to a fast start in his first competitive round of 2018 - for six holes, at least.

    The 47-year-old is making his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, and only his third competitive appearance since the BMW Championship in September. Four birdies over his first six holes indicated that a strong opener might be in the cards, but Mickelson played his subsequent holes in 2 over.

    It added up to a 2-under 70 at La Quinta Country Club, typically the easiest of the three courses in rotation this week, and left Mickelson eight shots behind Jon Rahm.

    "It was fun to get back out and be competitive," Mickelson told reporters. "I for some reason am stuck on 70 here at La Quinta, whether I get off to a good start or a bad one, I end up shooting the same score."


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Mickelson stunted his momentum with a tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 eighth hole, but he managed to save bogey and otherwise drove the ball relatively well. Instead, he pointed to his normally reliable iron play as the culprit for his back-nine backslide on a day when more than 120 players in the 156-man field broke par.

    Mickelson will now head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course with the Stadium Course on tap for Saturday's third round. While there were several low scores Thursday at La Quinta, Mickelson remains bullish about the birdie opportunities that still lie ahead.

    "This isn't the course where I go low on," Mickelson said. "I feel more comfortable on Stadium and Nicklaus. Neither of them are nearly as tight and I tend to score a lot lower on those other two than I do here, historically."