Final Eagle Lifts Delsing to the Top

By Sports NetworkOctober 25, 2002, 4:00 pm
PRATTVILLE, Ala. -- Jay Delsing fired a course-record 63 in the second-round of the Buy.Com Tour Championship to take a one shot lead at 8-under 136.
 
Delsing's 63 bettered the former course-record of 65 at the 7,685-yard Senator Course at Capitol Hill that Todd Barranger carded on Thursday. He also set the Buy.Com Tour Championship record, breaking the mark of 64 set by Alabama native Spike McRoy two years ago.
 
Jeff Klauk, Eric Meeks and Mike Heinen are one behind Delsing at minus 7. Barranger and Keoke Cotner are two back of the leader at 6-under.
 
Delsing stepped to the 18th tee needing no worse than par on the final hole to tie the previous course record. However, he holed out from 208 yards for eagle to break the record by two shots.
 
'I feel fortunate to get back into contention and have a chance to compete on the weekend,' said Delsing, who stands 19th on the Buy.Com Tour money list. 'I played great (Thursday) from tee-to-green, but didn't putt very well.'
 
The winner of this year's Omaha Classic started his round slowly. He rolled in a 40-footer on two for birdie, before sinking a five-foot birdie putt at the 681-yard par-5 fifth.
 
'That hole (five) was something. I hit 3-wood off the tee and a 5-wood for a second shot,' Delsing said. 'We were laughing because we were trying to figure out the yardage and we needed an abacus. I had 414 yards to the front for my second shot. If we ever get to the day where somebody can reach that, then I'm just going to pack them in.'
 
Delsing held his round together with an up-and-down from 100 yards at the sixth.
 
'Rounds like this are always held together by a couple of really good pars that you make after you hit a bad drive or a bad chip,' said Delsing. 'This golf course is relentless in terms of never letting up. It keeps you down and kicks away at you.'
 
Delsing then caught fire carding four birdies in a five-hole stretch starting at seven. He sank a 12-footer at the par-3 seventh, then got up-and-down on eight, before sinking a six-footer on the ninth to make the turn at 31.
 
Around the turn, he continued his streak at 11 by making a five-footer to go to 6-under for his round. However, Delsing faltered at the next with his only bogey of the round, when he three-putted from 35-feet.
 
Delsing got that stroke right back with a birdie on 13. He got to 7-under for his round with a birdie at 17. After hitting 3-wood off the 18th tee, Delsing then holed a 4-iron from 208 yards.
 
'It's amazing, just when you get to the point where you get really fed up with this game, the golf gods throw you a bone like this,' said Delsing. 'It was a special day for me.'
 
Barranger is one of many players looking for a big week that will secure their spot in the top 15. Barranger, currently 15th on the money list struggled to a 73 after shooting a 65 Thursday, which bettered his first-round score at this event by 20 strokes from a year ago.
 
Gavin Coles and Roland Thatcher are three shots back at 5-under 139. Patrick Moore, Jason Gore, Ken Green, Steven Alker, Tyler Williamson, Jason Buha, Charles Warren and Aaron Baddeley are one behind that pair.
 
Gore and Moore are two of the four men at this event looking for their third wins of the season. Gore, Moore, Cliff Kresge and Arron Oberholser are the two-time winners on the Buy.Com Tour this season. If one of these four were to win this event, they would gain the automatic 'Battlefield' promotion to the PGA Tour.
 
Oberholser struggled to a 1-over 73 on Friday and is at minus-1 143. Kresge recovered from a bad first-round to card a 69 Friday to climb to even-par 144.
 
Full-field scores from the Buy.Com Tour Championship
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With blinders on, Rahm within reach of No. 1 at Torrey

By Rex HoggardJanuary 23, 2018, 10:10 pm

SAN DIEGO – The drive over to Torrey Pines from Palm Springs, Calif., takes about two and a half hours, which was plenty of time for Jon Rahm’s new and ever-evolving reality to sink in.

The Spaniard arrived in Southern California for a week full of firsts. The Farmers Insurance Open will mark the first time he’s defended a title on the PGA Tour following his dramatic breakthrough victory last year, and it will also be his first tournament as the game’s second-best player, at least according to the Official World Golf Ranking.

Rahm’s victory last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, his second on Tour and fourth worldwide tilt over the last 12 months, propelled the 23-year-old to No. 2 in the world, just behind Dustin Johnson. His overtime triumph also moved him to within four rounds of unseating DJ atop the global pecking order.

It’s impressive for a player who at this point last year was embarking on his first full season as a professional, but then Rahm has a fool-proof plan to keep from getting mired in the accolades of his accomplishments.

“It's kind of hard to process it, to be honest, because I live my day-to-day life with my girlfriend and my team around me and they don't change their behavior based on what I do, right?” he said on Tuesday at Torrey Pines. “They'll never change what they think of me. So I really don't know the magnitude of what I do until I go outside of my comfort zone.”

Head down and happy has worked perfectly for Rahm, who has finished outside the top 10 in just three of his last 10 starts and began 2018 with a runner-up showing at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and last week’s victory.

According to the world ranking math, Rahm is 1.35 average ranking points behind Johnson and can overtake DJ atop the pack with a victory this week at the Farmers Insurance Open; but to hear his take on his ascension one would imagine a much wider margin.

“I've said many times, beating Dustin Johnson is a really, really hard task,” Rahm said. “We all know what happened last time he was close to a lead in a tournament on the PGA Tour.”


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Rahm certainly remembers. It was just three weeks ago in Maui when he birdied three of his first six holes, played the weekend at Kapalua in 11 under and still finished eight strokes behind Johnson.

And last year at the WGC-Mexico Championship when Rahm closed his week with rounds of 67-68 only to finish two strokes off Johnson’s winning pace, or a few weeks later at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play when he took Johnson the distance in the championship match only to drop a 1-up decision to the game’s undisputed heavyweight.

As far as Rahm has come in an incredibly short time - at this point last year he ranked 137th in the world - it is interesting that it’s been Johnson who has had an answer at every turn.

He knows there’s still so much room for improvement, both physically and mentally, and no one would ever say Rahm is wanting for confidence, but after so many high-profile run-ins with Johnson, his cautious optimism is perfectly understandable.

“I'll try to focus more on what's going on this week rather than what comes with it if I win,” he reasoned when asked about the prospect of unseating Johnson, who isn’t playing this week. “I'll try my best, that's for sure. Hopefully it happens, but we all know how hard it is to win on Tour.”

If Rahm’s take seems a tad cliché given the circumstances, consider that his aversion to looking beyond the blinders is baked into the competitive cake. For all of his physical advantages, of which there are many, it’s his keen ability to produce something special on command that may be even more impressive.

Last year at Torrey Pines was a quintessential example of this, when he began the final round three strokes off the lead only to close his day with a back-nine 30 that included a pair of eagles.

“I have the confidence that I can win here, whereas last year I knew I could but I still had to do it,” he said. “I hope I don't have to shoot 30 on the back nine to win again.”

Some will point to Rahm’s 60-footer for eagle at the 72nd hole last year as a turning point in his young career, it was even named the best putt on Tour by one publication despite the fact he won by three strokes. But Rahm will tell you that walk-off wasn’t even the best shot he hit during the final round.

Instead, he explained that the best shot of the week, the best shot of the year, came on the 13th hole when he launched a 4-iron from a bunker to 18 feet for eagle, a putt that he also made.

“If I don't put that ball on the green, which is actually a lot harder than making that putt, the back nine charge would have never happened and this year might have never happened, so that shot is the one that made everything possible,” he explained.

Rahm’s ability to embrace and execute during those moments is what makes him special and why he’s suddenly found himself as the most likely contender to Johnson’s throne even if he chooses not to spend much time thinking about it.

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Rahm focusing on play, not shot at No. 1

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 9:06 pm

SAN DIEGO – Jon Rahm’s meteoric rise in the world rankings could end with him reaching No. 1 with a win this week at Torrey Pines.

After winning last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, his fourth title in 51 weeks, Rahm has closed the gap on Dustin Johnson – less than 1.5 average points separates them.

With Johnson not playing this week, the 23-year-old Spaniard has a chance to reach the top spot for the first time, but only if he defends his title at the Farmers Insurance Open.


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“Beating Dustin Johnson is a really, really hard task. It’s no easy task,” he said Tuesday. “We still have four days of golf ahead and we’ll see what happens. But I’ll try to focus more on what’s going on this week rather than what comes with it if I win.

“I’ll try my best, that’s for sure. Hopefully it happens, but we all know how hard it is to win on Tour.”

Rahm has already become the fourth-youngest player to reach No. 2 in the world, behind Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy. 

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Rahm: Playoff wasn't friendly, just 'nervous'

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 8:53 pm

SAN DIEGO – Too chummy? Jon Rahm says he and Andrew Landry were just expending some nervous energy on the walk up to the fairway during the first playoff hole of the CareerBuilder Challenge.

“I wouldn’t have been that nervous if it was friendly,” Rahm said with a smile Tuesday. “I think it was something he said because we were talking going out of the first tee.

“I didn’t know Andrew – I think it was a pretty good time to get to know him. We had at least 10 minutes to ourselves. It’s not like we were supporting each other, right? We were both in it together, we were both nervous together, and I felt like talking about it might have eased the tension out of both of us.”


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On Sunday, two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange saw the exchange on TV and tweeted: “Walking off the tee talking to each other. Are you kidding me? Talking at all?”

Strange followed up by saying that, in a head-to-head situation, the last thing he’d want to do was make his opponent comfortable. When his comments went viral, Strange tweeted at Rahm, who won after four holes: “Hopefully no offense taken on my comment yesterday. You guys are terrific. I’m a huge fan of all players today. Made an adverse comment on U guys talking during playoff. Not for me. A fan.”

Not surprisingly, the gregarious Rahm saw things differently.

“We only talked going out of the first tee up until the fairway,” he said. “Besides that, all we said was, ‘Good shot, good putt, see you on the next tee.’ That’s what it was reduced to. We didn’t say much.” 

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Tiger grouped with Reed, Hoffman at Torrey Pines

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 8:35 pm

SAN DIEGO – Tiger Woods will make his 2018 debut alongside Patrick Reed and Charley Hoffman.

The threesome will go off Torrey Pines’ South Course at 1:40 p.m. ET Thursday at the Farmers Insurance Open. They begin at 12:30 p.m. Friday on the North Course.

Woods is an eight-time winner at Torrey Pines, including the 2008 U.S. Open, but he hasn’t broken 70 in his last seven rounds on either course. Last year, he shot rounds of 76-72 to miss the cut.


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Reed, who has grown close to Woods after being in his pod during the past two international team competitions, is coming off a missed cut last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Hoffman, a San Diego native, has only two top-10s in 20 career starts at Torrey.

Other featured groups for the first two rounds include:

• Jon Rahm, Jason Day and Brandt Snedeker: 1:30 p.m. Thursday off South 1, 12:20 p.m. Friday off North 10

• Rickie Fowler, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele: 12:30 p.m. Thursday off North 10, 1:30 p.m. Friday off South 1

• Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Hideki Matsuyama: 12:40 p.m. Thursday off North 10, 1:40 p.m. Friday off South 1