Goosen Langer Trail Six-Pack of Leaders

By Sports NetworkSeptember 8, 2005, 4:00 pm
2004 Linde German MastersCOLOGNE, Germany -- Among the six players tied atop the leaderboard at the German Masters on Thursday, two weren't sure they would even be teeing off.
England's Barry Lane battled a knee injury on the way to a 6-under-par 66 in the first round to share the lead with five others, including Marc Cayeux of Zimbabwe, who filled in for injured Italian Emanuele Canonica.
Also carding 66s at Golf Club Gut Larchenhof were Austria's Markus Brier, Welshman Bradley Dredge, England's Andrew Marshall and Peter Senior of Australia.
The leaders stand one stroke ahead of a group of seven players tied for seventh place at minus-5, including world No. 5 Retief Goosen and four-time champion Bernhard Langer of Germany.
All in all, there are 65 players within five strokes of the leaders.
Lane aggravated a knee injury while practicing on Tuesday, but that didn't stop the 45-year-old from carding a bogey-free round. He played 3 under on both sides and hit one of the day's best shots at the par-3 eighth, where his tee shot landed within an inch of the hole.
'When I woke up this morning I said to my wife, 'I really don't know if I will be playing today,'' acknowledged Lane, the 1992 champion. 'It was that bad. But I took some anti-inflammatories and...I played. Hopefully it is going to be all right for tomorrow, but you never know.'
Cayeux collected seven birdies in his first round after Canonica withdrew because of a neck injury. The 27-year-old's only dropped shot came with a bogey at the 582-yard par-5 seventh.
'Being here Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and not knowing if you are playing or not is a horrible thing,' said Cayeux. 'There is always one guy every week who is the first alternate and it's not a nice position to be in, but this week it was me.'
In fact, Cayeux, who has played in 25 European Tour events this year, wasn't sure he was even going to stick around as the first alternate.
'To be honest, the way I felt, I wanted to go home,' admitted Cayeux. 'This morning I even looked on the Internet to check my ticket and change it to go back home to Zimbabwe. I have been five months away and haven't been home and I am really tired. But I'm glad I didn't now.'
Senior and Dredge matched Lane with bogey-free rounds of their own, while Brier stumbled to a pair of bogeys and Marshall dropped just one shot. Brier's round included a 45-foot eagle putt at the par-5 third -- his 12th hole.
Langer carded eight birdies in his round, but also stumbled to three bogeys on the day. After consecutive bogeys at Nos. 9 and 10, he rattled off birdies in four of his next five holes to reach minus-5.
'I made two stupid bogeys...and that really got me upset in a way,' said Langer, who is a co-promoter of the event with his brother. 'I went back to one under, and then got three (birdies) in a row after that and played solid the rest of the way.'
Defending champion Padraig Harrington of Ireland sputtered to a 3-over 75 and is tied for 116th place with seven others. He is one of just 45 players who finished their rounds over-par. Eighty-seven others were even-par or better.
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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.