Guess Who Singh Takes Chrysler Lead

By Sports NetworkOctober 30, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Chrysler ChampionshipPALM HARBOR, Fla. -- Vijay Singh, the top-ranked player in the world, moved a step closer to his ninth victory of the season on Saturday as he posted a 4-under 67 to take the 54-hole lead of the Chrysler Championship. He stands at 12-under-par 201 and is one ahead of Tommy Armour III at the Copperhead Course at Westin Innisbrook Resort.
If Singh finishes better than a tie for sixth on Sunday, he will become the first player in PGA Tour history to eclipse the $10 million mark in single-season earnings. If Singh visits the winner's circle Sunday afternoon, then captures next week's Tour Championship, he would become the fourth player to collect double digit wins in one year.
'I'm not really worried about the 10 wins. I just want to play well until the end of the season,' said Singh, who can join Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan and Sam Snead as the only golfers with 10 or more victories in one calendar year. 'If I win this week, fine, then I have to do it again next week, and next week is a really difficult tournament to do.
'I haven't even won this week, I'm just leading. I just have to focus on what I'm doing, be in the present and stay in the present.'
Armour, who established a PGA Tour record for lowest 72-hole score with a 254 at last year's Texas Open, shot a 3-under 68 on Saturday. Jesper Parnevik and Kirk Triplett both carded 68s in the third round and share third place at 10-under-par 203.
Singh struggled early on Saturday with back-to-back bogeys at two and three, but rebounded with a birdie at four and a 7-foot birdie putt at the fifth.
After an 8-footer for birdie at the seventh, Singh then tapped in a short birdie putt at the par-5 11th to join a logjam in first at 10 under par. He missed the green left with his second shot at the par-5 14th, but chipped to 4 feet to set up birdie and caught Armour in the lead at 11 under par.
At the par-3 17th, Singh hit a 4-iron 25 feet short of the flag. His birdie putt disappeared in the cup and Singh took his sixth 54-hole lead this season. He won the previous five in 2004 and has hoisted the trophy the last 10 times he held at least a piece of the 54-hole lead.
'At a tough golf course like this you don't worry about what the leads are, you just keep pace and keep your patience and see if you can get a chance on Sunday,' said Singh, who overtook Tiger Woods atop the world rankings after his win at the Deutsche Bank Championship. 'Fortunately I've done better than that this year.'
Armour traded a birdie for a bogey at the first and third holes, then ran home a 20-footer for birdie at the sixth. He reached 10 under par with a 15-foot birdie putt at the seventh and never found himself far off the lead from that point.
At the par-5 11th, Armour hit his drive near a tree, then pitched out to the fairway. He knocked his third to 10 feet and holed the putt to take sole possession of first at minus-11.
Singh caught Armour at 14, but Armour failed to record another birdie the rest of the way. He had good looks at birdie at 14 and 15, but missed. Armour got up and down from a greenside bunker at 17 and avoided a potentially serious problem at the closing hole.
His drive found the rough on the left side and his 7-iron second shot hit the grandstand on the left side. Armour's ball bounced off the seats and landed on the fringe. He nearly chipped in, but settled for par.
'I actually was just aiming at the pin, and if it goes a little left I'll hit in the stands and I'll be able to drop it over there and have some kind of chip up at the pin,' said Armour. 'End of the year in the last group with the No. 1 player in the world? Pretty good.'
Two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal (67) and Tom Carter (65) are both outside the top-125 on the money list and are in danger of losing their PGA Tour cards unless they can post good finishes in this week's final full-field event of the year. The duo is knotted in fifth place at minus-8.
Jeff Sluman, who shared the 36-hole lead, struggled to a 3-over 74 and is tied for seventh place with former PGA Championship winner David Toms (67), Robert Allenby (69), Carl Pettersson (71) and Tim Herron (67). The group is tied at 7-under-par 206.
Herron is 34th on the money list and with a big finish and some help, can break into the top 30 for an invitation to next week's Tour Championship.
Jonathan Byrd, who shared the second-round lead with Sluman, was worse than his fellow co-leader on Saturday. Byrd shot a 4-over 75 and is part of a group tied for 12th at minus-6.
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    Awards season: Handing out the 2017 Rexys

    By Rex HoggardDecember 14, 2017, 7:00 pm

    After careful consideration and an exhaustive review of 2017 we present The Rexys, a wildly incomplete and arbitrary line up following one of the most eventful years in golf.

     There will be omissions – just keep your calls, concerns and even e-mails to yourself. We appreciate your patronage, but not your feedback.

    It’s Not You, It’s Me Award. You know the deal: You can’t be a part of two until you’re a better one; but on this front it’s really just a desire to find a better two.

    It was a tough year for caddies, and not just any caddies. In June, Phil Mickelson split with longtime bagman Jim “Bones” Mackay. Both player and caddie cited the need for “change,” but the move reverberated throughout the game.

    “The fairytale is over,” mused one caddie when told of the high-profile split.

    In the wake of the Lefty/Bones break, Rory McIlroy split with his caddie J.P Fitzgerald, and Jason Day replaced looper/swing coach Colin Swatton on his bag. It all proves yet again that there are only two kinds of caddies, those who have been fired and those who are about to be fired.

    Run for the Rose Cup. Sergio Garcia got the green jacket, a lifetime exemption to the game’s most coveted member-member and a long-awaited major, but Justin Rose took home the slightly less prestigious “Rose Cup.”

    Following a frenzied afternoon at Augusta National in April, Rose lost to Garcia on the first playoff hole, but he won so much more with his honesty and class.

    “You're going to win majors and you're going to lose majors, but you've got to be willing to lose them,” Rose figured following the final round. “You've got to put yourself out there. You've got to hit the top of the leaderboard. There's a lot of pressure out there and if you're not willing to enjoy it, then you're not ready to win these tournaments. I loved it out there.”

    Few have made losing look so dignified and fewer still are as easy to root for.

    Half-Empty Cup. It was the perfect setting, with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the promise of the Tristate masses descending on this fall’s Presidents Cup.

    If only all those rowdy New Yorkers had something to cheer.

    For the sixth time in the last seven matches, the U.S. team rolled to a victory of at least three points. This particular edition was even in danger of ending on Saturday afternoon thanks to a particularly dominant performance by a young American squad led by Steve Stricker.

    Officials spoke of the purity of the competition and the attention the ’17 cup generated, but however you spin the 19-11 rout, this cup is half empty.

    Enigma Award. The actual hardware is simply an oversized question mark and was sent directly to Tiger Woods’ South Florida compound following the most curious of seasons.

    While it’s become customary in recent years to consider the uncertain path that awaits the 14-time major winner, this most recent calendar brought an entirely new collection of questions following fusion surgery on his lower back in April, his arrest for DUI on Memorial Day and, finally, a glimmer of hope born from his tie for ninth at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month.

    When will he play again? Can he compete against the current generation of world-beaters? Can his body withstand the rigors of a full PGA Tour schedule? Should Jim Furyk make him a captain’s pick now or wait to see if he should be driving a vice captain’s golf cart instead?

    Little is certain when it comes to Woods, and the over-sized question mark goes to ... the guy in red and black.

    After Further Review Chalice. In April, Lexi Thompson endured a heartbreaking loss at the ANA Inspiration, the byproduct of a surreal ruling that arrived a day late via a viewer e-mail and cost the would-be winner a major championship.

    The entire event was so unsavory that the USGA and R&A made not one but two alterations to the rules and created a “working group” to avoid similar snafus in the future.

    That working group – it turns out the U.S. Ryder Cup team has some sort of copyright on “task force” – initially issued a decision that introduced a “reasonable judgment” and a “naked eye” standard to video reviews, and last week the rule makers kept the changes coming.

    The new protocols on video review will now include an official to monitor tournament broadcasts and ended the practice of allowing fans to call in, or in this case e-mail, possible infractions to officials. The USGA and R&A also eliminated the two-stroke penalty for players who sign incorrect scorecards when the player is unaware of the penalty.

    While all this might be a step in the right direction, it does nothing to change Thompson’s fate. The AFR Chalice won’t change the harsh reality, but at least it will serve as a reminder of how she helped altered the rulemaking landscape.

    Nothing Runs Like a Deere Award. Nothing gets fans fired up like officials turning fields of fescue rough into hay on the eve of a major championship, and the USGA’s decision to do some 11th-hour trimming at Erin Hills in June certainly caught many by surprise.

    Officials said the nip/tuck on four holes was in reaction to a particularly foreboding forecast that never materialized, and the maintenance drew the ire of some players.

    “We have 60 yards from left line to right line,” Rory McIlroy said. “You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here; if we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.”

    The record low scoring at the U.S. Open – winner Brooks Koepka finished with a 16-under total – didn’t help ease the fervor and had some questioning whether the softer side of the USGA has gone a bit too far?

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    Podcast: Daly takes big pride in 'Little John'

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 5:28 pm

    John Daly is a two-time major champion, but the newest trophy in his household belongs to someone else.

    That’s because Daly’s son, 14-year-old Little John “LJ” Daly, rallied to capture an IJGT junior golf event over the weekend. The younger Daly birdied the first extra hole to win a five-person playoff at Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

    Daly recently sat down for a Golf Channel podcast to describe what it’s like to cheer for his son and PNC Father-Son Challenge partner, share the unique challenge presented by the upcoming Diamond Resorts Invitational and reflect on some of the notable highs of a career that has now spanned more than 25 years.

    Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid

    By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

    Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

    Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.

    Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters

    Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

    World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

    Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.

    Nathaniel Crosby at the 1983 Bing Crosby Pro-Am at Pebble Beach. Getty Images

    Crosby selected as 2019 U.S. Walker Cup captain

    By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 3:19 pm

    The USGA announced that former U.S. Amateur champ Nathaniel Crosby will serve as the American captain for the 2019 Walker Cup, which will be played at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.

    Crosby, 56, is the son of entertainment icon and golf enthusiast Bing Crosby. He won the 1981 U.S. Amateur at The Olympic Club as a teenager and earned low amateur honors at the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He also played in the 1983 Walker Cup, coincidentally held at Royal Liverpool, before embarking on a brief career in professional golf, with his amateur status reinstated in 1994.

    "I am thrilled and overwhelmed to be chosen captain of the next USA Walker Cup team," Crosby said in a statement. "Many of my closest friends are former captains who will hopefully take the time to share their approaches in an effort to help me with my new responsibilities."

    Crosby takes over the captaincy from John "Spider" Miller, who led the U.S. squad both in 2015 and earlier this year, when the Americans cruised to a 19-7 victory at Los Angeles Country Club.

    Crosby is a Florida resident and member at Seminole Golf Club, which will host the 2021 matches. While it remains to be seen if he'll be asked back as captain in 2021, each of the last six American captains have led a team on both home and foreign soil.

    Started in 1922, the Walker Cup is a 10-man, amateur match play competition pitting the U.S. against Great Britain and Ireland. The U.S. team holds a 37-9 all-time lead in the biennial matches but has not won in Europe since 2007.