TOUR Notes McNeill-Crenshaw Connection

By Pga Tour MediaOctober 16, 2007, 4:00 pm
News and notes from PGA TOUR officials for the PGA, Champions and Nationwide tours.
PGA Tour (75x100) PGA TOUR:
  • When George McNeill won last weeks Open benefiting Shriners Hospital for Children, he became the ninth Q-School medalist to win on the PGA TOUR the following season. The others to do so are Bob Dickson, Ben Crenshaw, Jerry Pate, John Fought, Brett Ogle, Woody Austin, Mike Weir and J.B. Holmes.
  • Aaron Baddeley will attempt to win his second event of the season in Scottsdale this week at the Frys Electronics Open. Earlier this year, Baddeley won the FBR Open just a few minutes down the road from Grayhawk GC at the TPC Scottsdale. 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.
  • Six players have jumped into the top 125 since the start of the Fall Series'Bill Haas, Alex Cejka, Johnson Wagner, Jesper Parnevik, Mathias Gronberg and Michael Allen.
  • More on Gronberg: The Swede enters this weeks Frys Electronics Open on a roll. He began the Fall Series in 155th place on the money list, but after finishing T3-T7 in the last two weeks, hes vaulted all the way to 120th.
  • Putting may still be the key to success. Of the top 25 putters on TOUR, six are among the top 10 money winners. On the other hand, of the top 25 Ball-Strikers on TOUR, only two are among the top 10 on the money list and six are outside the top 125.
  • Scottsdale has been very good to several players who are expected to compete this week at the Frys Electronics Open. Seven have won the FBR Open, including Mark Calcavecchia who has won it three times and Phil Mickelson who has won it twice. In fact, the last three FBR Open champs are in the field this week in Aaron Baddeley, J.B. Holmes and Mickelson.
  • The old guard has done itself pretty proud this year. Two players 50 or older are among the top 125 on the money list (Fred Funk, Bernhard Langer) and six more players age 47-48 are on the list as well (Michael Allen, Tommy Armour III, Mark Calcavecchia, Tom Lehman, Tom Pernice Jr. and Kenny Perry).

    Champions Tour CHAMPIONS TOUR:
  • Bernhard Langers 25-under-par effort in winning last weeks Adminstaff Small Business Classic equaled the Champions Tours all-time record for a 54-hole event set by Loren Roberts at the 2006 MasterCard Championship.
  • More on Langer: He is the first native of Germany to win on the Champions Tour. Since the tour began in 1980, winners have come from 12 countries outside the United States.
  • With two weeks left in the season, the Charles Schwab Cup race looks to be just like last year when the crown wasnt decided until the very final putt of the season. After a T4 last week, Jay Haas has closed to within a mere 69 points of leader Loren Roberts.

    Nationwide Tour NATIONWIDE TOUR:
  • Only three events remain on the 2007 Nationwide Tour schedule and the battle for a place among The 25 is extremely close. Entering this weeks play, Brenden Pappas (No. 25) holds a slim $432 lead over No. 26, Franklin Langham.
  • The victory last week by George McNeill was the 215th on the PGA TOUR by a former Nationwide Tour player and the 19th this season.
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    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

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    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.

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    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.