TOUR Notes Phil Completes California Slam

By Pga Tour MediaFebruary 19, 2008, 5:00 pm
News and notes from PGA TOUR officials for the PGA, Champions and Nationwide tours.
 
PGA Tour (75x100) PGA TOUR:
  • Scott Verplank added to his streak of consecutive par-or-better rounds last week at the Northern Trust Open. On his way to a T5 finish, Verplank stretched his streak to 27 consecutive rounds of par-or-better dating back to last season. Hes a little more than halfway to the record 52 in a row set back in 2001 by Tiger Woods.
     
  • When Stuart Appleby tees it up on Wednesday at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship, he will continue to be the only player to compete in every World Golf Championship event since their inception. The Accenture Match Play Championship will be his 27th consecutive World Golf Championship tournament.
     
  • When Phil Mickelson won last weeks Northern Trust Open, he became just the third player to win all four of the current California TOUR events. Mickelson joins Billy Casper and Johnny Miller as the only players to win the Buick Invitational, Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and Northern Trust Open in their careers.
     
  • Phil Mickelson is the new leader in the FedExCup points race. Hes the fourth different player to hold the top spot this year joining Daniel Chopra, K.J. Choi and J.B. Holmes. This weeks Accenture Match Play Championship will offer 4,725 FedExCup points with the winner earning 26,250.
     
  • When there is a short match at the Accenture Match Play Champion;ship, Stephen Ames is often involved. Ames has won a match 8&7 (Robert Karlsson, 2007) and lost matches 9&8 (Tiger Woods, 2006) and 7&6 (Mark Hensby, 2005).
     
  • This weeks Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya will feature nine players who have won major championships on the TOUR--Mark Brooks, John Daly (2), Lee Janzen (2), Shaun Micheel, Larry Mize, Greg Norman (2), Corey Pavin, Nick Price (3) and Bob Tway.
     

    Champions Tour CHAMPIONS TOUR:
  • For the first time since 1994, the first four tournament winners of the season came from behind the final day to win. Fred Funk, Jerry Pate and Scott Hoch (twice) have all started the final round behind the leader.
     
  • When Scott Hoch won last weeks ACE Group Classic, it marked the first time in his career that he collected titles in consecutive starts. The closest he came was when he won the 1996 Michelob Championship at Kingsmill and then finished T3 in his next start at the Deposit Guaranty Classic.
     
  • Gary Players second-round 70 last week at The ACE Group Classic bettered his age by two. Its the eighth time hes done that and the 18th time hes at least shot his age on the Champions Tour.
     
  • Tom Kite finished T2 last week in Tampa for his 16th career runner-up finish on the Champions Tour. He had 29 second-place efforts during his PGA TOUR career. He also has nine Champions Tour victories and 19 PGA TOUR titles to his credit.
     

    Nationwide Tour NATIONWIDE TOUR:
  • Last weeks HSBC New Zealand PGA Championship was rain-shortened to 36 holes and while the money was official for Darron Stiles, the victory was not. It was the fourth scheduled 72-hole tournament in Tour history to be reduced to 36 holes and the first since the 2001 Price Cutter Charity Championship.
     
  • More on Stiles: His victory boosted his career earnings on the Nationwide Tour past the $1 million mark. He joins Paul Claxton and Tom Scherrer as the only players in Tour history to eclipse that figure.
     
  • While this is the seventh consecutive year the Tour has visited Australia, this weeks Moonah Classic is considered a new event. The previous Tour stop in Australia was played in Adelaide while this weeks tournament will be held in Fingal, outside of Melbourne.
     

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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.