Beem Among Leaders in Scotland

By Sports NetworkSeptember 29, 2005, 4:00 pm
2004 Dunhill Links ChampionshipST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- Rich Beem carded a 5-under-par 67 on Thursday to grab a share of the lead after the opening round of the dunhill links championship. Beem was joined atop the leaderboard by David Howell and Alessandro Tadini.
 
The dunhill links is much like the Pebble Beach Pro-Am on the PGA Tour as players are paired with amateurs for the first three rounds and are spread over three courses.
 
Each of the three leaders posted their scores at Carnoustie Golf Club. The other two courses used are Kingsbarns Golf Links and the Old Course at St. Andrews Golf Club, which hosted the 2005 British Open Championship.
 
Sam Torrance carded a 4-under-par 68 at St. Andrews. He shares fourth place with nine other players. Bradley Dredge, Kenneth Ferrie and Keith Horne shot their 68s at Kingsbarns, while Nick O'Hern, Brett Rumford, Paul Casey, Darren Clarke, Brian Davis and Nick Dougherty posted their 68s at Carnoustie.
 
Beem opened with a birdie at the 12th, his third. He came back two holes later with a birdie on the 14th, the other back nine par-5. The 2002 U.S. PGA champion converted another birdie try on the 15th. After dropping a shot on 16, he closed his opening nine with a birdie at the last.
 
The 35-year-old played the front nine in minus-1 with a birdie on the par-4 fourth. That got him to minus-5. He parred out from there.
 
'I hit the ball well today and I putted great,' said Beem. 'I think your short game has to save you around here and mine did today. I made a lot of good up and downs and while I didn't hole a lot of long putts, I hit them all solid.'
 
Howell also started on the 10th tee at Carnoustie. Like Beem, Howell opened with birdies on 12 and 14. The two-time winner on the European Tour tripped to a bogey on the 15th.
 
The 30-year-old parred four straight holes around the turn, but Howell got that lost stroke back with a birdie on the second.
 
Howell jumped to minus-4 when he holed a shot from 160 yards out for eagle on the par-4 seventh. Howell then birdied the ninth, his last, to share the lead.
 
'I am confident at the moment and I have learned over the past couple of years that if I play nice golf I generally contend in tournaments, which means I don't have to worry,' said Howell. 'I couldn't ask for any more at the moment, things are going great.'
 
Tadini played the front nine first and played it at even par with a birdie on the fourth and a bogey on the par-4 ninth. Around the turn, the Italian caught fire.
 
The 31-year-old birdied the 10th. Tadini ran off four straight birdies from the 12th to move to minus-5. However, he stumbled to a bogey on the 16th before getting that stroke back at the last with a birdie on the par-4 closing hole.
 
'I putted beautifully today and that is the reason why I am where I am. I practiced here Wednesday, but the wind was different today,' Tadini said. 'I'm delighted especially because the last time I played here was in the Amateur Championship back in 1992.'
 
A group of 13 players are two shots off the pace at 3-under-par 69. Included in that group are Eduardo Romero, Graeme McDowell, Francesco Molinari, Christian Cevaer and Anders Hansen. Molinari is playing with his brother Edoardo, who won the U.S. Amateur championship earlier this summer.
 
Defending champion Stephen Gallacher is well off the pace as he opened with a 2-over-par 74 at Carnoustie.
 
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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.