Goosen Extends Advantage in France

By Sports NetworkSeptember 12, 2003, 4:00 pm
PARIS, France -- Retief Goosen shot a 6-under 65 Friday to extend his lead after two rounds of the Trophe Lancme. Goosen, who won this event in 2000, finished 36-holes at 14-under-par 128, four strokes ahead of the field.
 
Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium and Spain's Carlos Rodiles posted matching rounds of 66 to finish in a tie for second at 10-under-par 132. Ireland's Paul McGinley was one shot further back at 9-under-par 133.
 
Goosen torched Saint-Nom-La Breteche Golf Club on Thursday with an opening- round 63 to take the early lead. Nothing much changed for the South African on Friday and Goosen began to pull away from the field after his approach to the par-4 fifth landed in the cup for an eagle.
 
'I got off to a slow start today and made a good save from the bunker on the third before the eagle really got me going,' said Goosen, who was the runner-up to Sergio Garcia at this event in 2001.
 
The 2001 U.S. Open champion followed that remarkable shot with a string of three consecutive birdies to jump well ahead of his competitors at 13 under par.
 
Goosen cooled down on the inward half but tallied a birdie at the par-5 16th to pad his lead.
 
'Once I get in front I seem to be pretty comfortable there,' said the reigning Order of Merit champion, who has yet to win on the European Tour in 2003.
 
Rodiles started on the back side and collected four birdies over his first nine holes to make the turn at 9 under.
 
The 28-year-old stumbled with a bogey at the par-4 first but recovered nicely down the stretch with back-to-back birdies from the eighth. Rodiles remains in contention entering the weekend, but he has plenty of work ahead of him to catch a front-running Goosen at this the last edition of the tournament.
 
'It's just a pity that this is the last Trophe Lancme,' said Rodiles. 'I like the course and just seem to play well here, although I shot an 80 the first time I played it.'
 
South Africa's Hennie Otto, who held the first-round lead at this year's British Open Championship, finished six shots off the pace along with Mikael Lundberg of Sweden at 8-under-par 134.
 
Eduardo Romero of Argentina and Zimbabwe's Mark McNulty were one shot further back at 7-under-par 135.
 
Padraig Harrington carded a 3-under 68 to join Peter Fowler, Damien McGrane, Ian Poulter, Fredrik Widmark and leading Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin in a tie for ninth at 6-under-par 136.
 
The 36-hole cut fell at 1-under-par 141 with 81 players qualifying for the weekend. Among those who didn't make the grade was France's Thomas Levet, who lost to Ernie Els in a playoff at the British Open in 2002.
 
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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.