Getty Images

Time is now for International team to win

By Rex HoggardSeptember 26, 2017, 7:12 pm

JERSEY CITY, N.J. – Nick Price played in the third match back in 1994 when the PGA Tour’s experiment with a match-play team event was launched.

Price lost that first fourball Presidents Cup match to Davis Love III and Fred Couples. Twenty-three years later he’s still facing Boom-Boom and DL3, both assistants for the U.S., with painfully similar results.

For Price, who turned in his scorecard for a captain’s golf cart in 2013 at the biennial bout between the U.S. and International teams, it’s been a definition of insanity deal ever since.

To put Price’s history with the Presidents Cup in context, the last time his International side won the event he was ranked No. 6 in the world, and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas were 5 years old.

Although there will be non-stop chatter about how evenly matched the teams are and how competitive this edition will be, on this the Presidents Cup is what its record says it is – a 1-9-1 International rout.

It’s not as though Price isn’t aware of the competitive swoon his side faces, it’s just that his options are limited.

Even before Price’s first turn as captain at the ’13 matches he’d made his plea to anyone who would listen at the Tour that change was needed if the Presidents Cup was going to be competitive.


Presidents Cup: Articles, video and photos


For Price and the other members of the International side, there was nothing wrong with the Presidents Cup that some new math couldn’t fix. Specifically, he wanted the matches to follow the same format as the Ryder Cup, which features just 28 points up for grabs compared with 34 at the ’13 Presidents Cup.

The Tour balked, the Internationals lost by three points.

Two years later, Price made another run at the Tour to adjust the points to mirror the format used at the Ryder Cup, which is the undisputed pinnacle of team golf.

Price and others contend that reducing the points would allow the International team, which is not as deep as the U.S. squad, to be more competitive, and prior to the ’15 matches the Tour agreed, to a point, and reduced the number of available points to 30.

The result was the closest match in a decade, with the cup decided on the final green by the final match when Bill Haas defeated Sangmoon Bae to secure a 15 1/2 to 14/ 1/2 U.S. victory.

On Tuesday at Liberty National, Price was asked if he made another run at the Tour and new commissioner Jay Monahan to further reduce the amount of points to 28.

“No, I didn’t. It would be very hard to go and push after what happened in South Korea,” Price said. “If you were commissioner and I came to you and said I want to reduce another two points, you’d say what was wrong with South Korea. I wouldn’t have had a strong leg to stand on with that argument, so I didn’t touch it.”

Perhaps this is the new normal. Maybe the matches are entering a long-awaited era of parity like that enjoyed at the Ryder Cup, which has been decided in recent years by the slimmest of margins. On paper, however, Price should ready himself for more of the same.

The average world ranking of the U.S. team is 15th and captain Steve Stricker’s crew won a combined 17 events this season on Tour, including three of the four major championships. That modern day Murder’s Row will face an International team with an average world ranking of 32nd and just eight combined victories this year on Tour.

These events aren’t won on paper, but you can’t hide talent. Or, more to the point, Price can’t hide mediocrity.

In ’15 in South Korea, Price had the benefit of a breakout performance from Branden Grace, who went 5-0 teamed with Louis Oosthuizen. Asked on Tuesday who this week’s “Grace” would be, he rattled off a list of potential leaders that included Anirban Lahiri.

Lahiri is one of the game’s most thoughtful and endearing players, but he has just two top-10 finishes this year on Tour and he failed to earn even a half point two years ago in South Korea. Perhaps it’s simply optimism, be it hopeless or otherwise, but under the current points structure it’s Price’s only option if his team is going to win the event for the first time since 1998.

“The next few we’ll see,” Price reasoned. “Maybe this is the optimum, maybe 30 is the right number. I don’t know. It’s just that the Ryder Cup has been proven over the last 30, 40 years, so maybe this is the better way to go. Time will tell.”

Perhaps, but how much time does the event have until it loses any semblance of competitive relevance?

In 2015, Price talked about the need to simply have a close match, a competitive match, something his players could see as progress; but the time for moral victories is over.

Anything short of an absolute sea change for the International side and it will be time for Price and Co. to make another plea for a points change, and time for the Tour to finally take action.

Getty Images

CareerBuilder purse payouts: Rahm wins $1.062 million

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 12:50 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry on the fourth hole of sudden death to win the CareerBuilder Challenger. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out in La Quinta, Calif.:

1 Jon Rahm -22 $1,062,000
2 Andrew Landry -22 $637,200
T3 Adam Hadwin -20 $306,800
T3 John Huh -20 $306,800
T3 Martin Piller -20 $306,800
T6 Kevin Chappell -19 $205,025
T6 Scott Piercy -19 $205,025
T8 Brandon Harkins -18 $171,100
T8 Jason Kokrak -18 $171,100
T8 Sam Saunders -18 $171,100
T11 Harris English -17 $135,700
T11 Seamus Power -17 $135,700
T11 Jhonattan Vegas -17 $135,700
T14 Bud Cauley -16 $106,200
T14 Austin Cook -16 $106,200
T14 Grayson Murray -16 $106,200
T17 Andrew Putnam -15 $88,500
T17 Peter Uihlein -15 $88,500
T17 Aaron Wise -15 $88,500
T20 Ricky Barnes -14 $57,754
T20 Stewart Cink -14 $57,754
T20 Brian Harman -14 $57,754
T20 Beau Hossler -14 $57,754
T20 Charles Howell III -14 $57,754
T20 Zach Johnson -14 $57,754
T20 Ryan Palmer -14 $57,754
T20 Brendan Steele -14 $57,754
T20 Nick Taylor -14 $57,754
T29 Lucas Glover -13 $36,706
T29 Russell Knox -13 $36,706
T29 Nate Lashley -13 $36,706
T29 Tom Lovelady -13 $36,706
T29 Kevin Streelman -13 $36,706
T29 Hudson Swafford -13 $36,706
T29 Richy Werenski -13 $36,706
T36 Jason Dufner -12 $27,189
T36 Derek Fathauer -12 $27,189
T36 James Hahn -12 $27,189
T36 Chez Reavie -12 $27,189
T36 Webb Simpson -12 $27,189
T36 Tyrone Van Aswegen -12 $27,189
T42 Bronson Burgoon -11 $18,983
T42 Ben Crane -11 $18,983
T42 Brian Gay -11 $18,983
T42 Chesson Hadley -11 $18,983
T42 Patton Kizzire -11 $18,983
T42 Hunter Mahan -11 $18,983
T42 Kevin Na -11 $18,983
T42 Rob Oppenheim -11 $18,983
T50 Alex Cejka -10 $14,025
T50 Corey Conners -10 $14,025
T50 Michael Kim -10 $14,025
T50 Kevin Kisner -10 $14,025
T50 Sean O'Hair -10 $14,025
T50 Sam Ryder -10 $14,025
T50 Nick Watney -10 $14,025
T57 Robert Garrigus -9 $13,039
T57 Tom Hoge -9 $13,039
T57 David Lingmerth -9 $13,039
T57 Ben Martin -9 $13,039
T57 Trey Mullinax -9 $13,039
T57 Brett Stegmaier -9 $13,039
T63 Scott Brown -8 $12,449
T63 Wesley Bryan -8 $12,449
T63 Brice Garnett -8 $12,449
T63 Sung Kang -8 $12,449
T67 Talor Gooch -7 $12,095
T67 Tom Whitney -7 $12,095
T69 Matt Every -6 $11,623
T69 Billy Hurley III -6 $11,623
T69 Smylie Kaufman -6 $11,623
T69 Keith Mitchell -6 $11,623
T69 Rory Sabbatini -6 $11,623
T69 Chris Stroud -6 $11,623
75 John Peterson -5 $11,210
76 Abraham Ancer -4 $11,092
77 Ben Silverman 4 $10,974
Getty Images

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

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

Each week, GolfChannel.com 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.