Couples Scott Catch Fire at Shootout

By Sports NetworkNovember 12, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 Franklin Templeton ShootoutNAPLES, Fla. -- Fred Couples and Adam Scott fired an 11-under 61 in the better-ball format Saturday to take the lead heading into the final round at the Franklin Templeton Shootout.
Couples and Scott stand at 19-under-par 125 through two rounds at Tiburon Golf Course. They hold a two-shot lead over John Houston and Kenny Perry, who played their final two holes at minus-3 to finish with a 63 and make the final pairing.
Fred Couples
Why is Freddie Couples smiling? It must be 'Silly Season' time.
Fred Funk and Jason Gore, who led after the Friday's modified alternate shot round, shot a 7-under 65 on Saturday and are alone in third place at minus-16.
Mark O'Meara and Nick Price are in fourth place at 15-under after a 65, while Ryan Moore and Jesper Parnevik also shot a 65 to finish the round one stroke further back in fifth.
In the better-ball format, each golfer plays through every hole using his own ball. The player whose score is the lowest counts as the team score for that hole.
Like first-round leaders Funk and Gore -- as well as two-time defending champions Hank Kuehne and Jeff Sluman -- Couples and Scott possess a balance of distance and accuracy which is so important in an event like this.
'We talked about playing together a long time ago, and obviously I love the way he hits the ball,' Couples said of Scott, who is 21st in scoring average and 23rd in driving distance on the PGA Tour this year.
'As you saw today, he (Scott) drives it a hundred miles. He's got a beautiful stroke, and you're never in trouble.'
Impressively, the leaders strung together six birdies in a row to reach 15 under after 10 holes.
During that stretch, Couples rolled in a 3-foot putt after just missing a hole-in-one at the par-3eighth. He also sunk a 5-foot birdie putt at 10 to get to minus-15.
Couples and Scott both missed long putts at the par-4 11th to end their birdie streak, but they still held a three-stroke lead over Huston and Perry.
At the 12th, Couples lipped out a very long uphill putt that would have moved the duo four clear. Instead, they were ahead by two shots after Huston and Perry reached 13 under.
But Couples and Scott restored their three-stroke lead with a birdie at 14, and then extended it to four shots when Scott chipped in for birdie from the fringe at the 15th to put them at minus-17.
Couples made par from the fringe at the par-3 16th, and the overnight lead was pretty much in hand for the duo at that point. For Scott, it was a matter of following his partner's lead.
'I figure I'll just saddle up again and ride him like I did today,' Scott said, looking forward to Sunday's scramble and eyeing the $630,000 winner's share of the $2.6 million purse.
Of course, their lead looked a lot stronger before Perry finished with eagle-birdie on his and Houston's final two holes.
'It's a bit of a shootout, I guess,' said Scott.
Kirk Triplett and Jay Haas are alone in sixth place at 12-under-par 132 after a second-round 65.
Sluman and Kuehne (67) have some ground to make up if they are going to three- peat. They share seventh place at minus-11 with the teams of John Daly and Tim Herron (65) and Mark Calcavecchia and Loren Roberts (63).
Paul Azinger and Olin Browne shot a 68 and are in 10th place at 10 under, while tournament host Greg Norman and partner Steve Elkington are one stroke further back in 11th after a 66.
Peter Jacobsen and Scott McCarron (69) are last at minus-7.
Related links:
  • Leaderboard - Franklin Templeton Shootout
  • Full Coverage - Franklin Templeton Shootout
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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.