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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    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

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    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.

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    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.

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    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 Web.com 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 Web.com 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