TOUR Notes Tiger Vies for Another Record

By Pga Tour MediaJanuary 22, 2008, 5:00 pm
News and notes from PGA TOUR officials for the PGA, Champions and Nationwide tours.
PGA Tour (75x100) PGA TOUR:
  • Tiger Woods will be looking for his fourth consecutive Buick Invitational title this week in San Diego. Only four players in TOUR history have won the same event four consecutive times'Young Tom Morris (British Open), Walter Hagen (PGA Championship), Gene Sarazen (Miami Open) and Woods (Arnold Palmer Invitational). Woods will have a chance later this season to win his fourth in a row at both the WGC-CA Championship and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
  • Look for a Southern Californian to win this week in San Diego. Eight of the last 10 Buick Invitational champs have been natives of Southern California'Scott Simpson (1998), Tiger Woods (1999, 2003, 2005-07) and Phil Mickelson (2000-01). In fact, 12 of the last 16 and 14 of the last 20 winners of the tournament have been from the area.
  • Dont expect a first-time winner this week. The last player to claim his first career title at the Buick Invitational was Jay Don Blake back in 1991.
  • Last weeks winner, D.J. Trahan, has already surpassed his FedExCup point total of last year. Trahan earned 2,766 regular season points last year (117th place) and after winning the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic last week, he has 4,546 this year and stands third on the list.
  • Scott McCarron finished T70 last week at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in his first start since midway through the 2006 season. Hes been recovering from elbow surgery in August of 2006.
  • Theres a host of NCAA champions teeing it up this week in San Diego. The field at the Buick Invitational boasts nine players who have won the NCAA individual title'Phil Mickelson (1989-90, 1992), Todd Demsey (1993), Justin Leonard (1994), Tiger Woods (1996), Charles Warren (1997), Charles Howell III (2000), Troy Matteson (2002), Ryan Moore (2004) and Jamie Lovemark (2007). Lovemark is still an amateur.

    Champions Tour CHAMPIONS TOUR:
  • Fred Funk enters this weeks Turtle Bay Championship full of confidence. Not only did he win last weeks MasterCard Championship at Hualalai, he won last years Turtle Bay Championship by 11 strokes'the largest winning margin of any 54-hole event in Champions Tour history.
  • Fred Funk will be looking to become the third player to win the MasterCard Championship at Hualalai and the Turtle Bay Championship in the same season. Hale Irwin won the Hawaii Slam in 1997 and Loren Roberts repeated the feat in 2006.
  • Hale Irwin will be looking for his seventh Turtle Bay Championship title this week. His six victories in this event are far and away the best in Champions Tour history. No one else has ever won the same event more than four times. He also holds the record for winning the same event the most times in a row'five at the Turtle Bay Championship.
  • D.A. Weibring, Loren Roberts and Mark Wiebe extended streaks last week that began in 2007. Weibring now has 20 consecutive rounds of par or better while Roberts has 16. Wiebes streak of consecutive holes without a 3-putt has reached 288.

    Nationwide Tour NATIONWIDE TOUR:
  • The Nationwide Tour will kick off its 19th season this week at the Panama Movistar Championship. Three of the four past champions of the event are scheduled to compete this week at the Panama GC'Vance Veazey (2005), Tripp Isenhour (2006) and Miguel Carballo (2007).
  • The field in Panama includes 24 players who have won on the PGA TOUR a total of 36 times.
  • The Nationwide Tour has five players 22 years of age or younger among its membership. D.H. Lee (4-9-87) is the youngest followed by Won Joon Lee (10-23-85), Brendon Todd (7-22-85), Colt Knost (6-26-85) and Chris Kirk (5-8-85).
  • D.J. Trahans win at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic last week was the 219th win on the PGA TOUR by a former Nationwide Tour player.
    Related Links:
  • PGA TOUR Statistics
  • Champions Tour Statistics
  • Nationwide Tour Statistics
  • Getty Images

    After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

    Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

    Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

    Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

    It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard

    On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

    There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

    He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

    His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

    Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

    Getty Images

    Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

    With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

    He picked up one more No. 2, too.

    The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

    In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

    Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

    “It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

    Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

    Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

    He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

    Getty Images

    Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

    Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

    Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

    His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

    “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

    Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

    Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

    Getty Images

    Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

    Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

    Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

    What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

    Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

    Best of the rest: A two-time winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

    Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

    Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

    Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

    Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry