Johnson Leads Stadler Moves into 2nd

By Sports NetworkApril 29, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 BMW Charity Pro-Am at the CliffsASHEVILLE, N.C. -- Richard Johnson of Wales posted a 4-under 67 on the Walnut Cove course Saturday to take the third-round lead of the BMW Charity Pro-Am at the Cliffs. He stands at 10-under-par 204 and is one ahead of four players.
 
The first three rounds of the event were spread over three courses - the par-72 The Cliffs Golf & Country Club (Cliffs Valley), the par-71 The Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards and the par-71 The Cliffs at Walnut Cove. Sunday's final round will be staged at the Cliffs Valley course.
 
Kevin Stadler (68), Jess Daley (67), Ken Duke (68) and overnight leader Chris Stroud (71) are knotted in second place at 9-under-par 205. Scott Weatherly managed an even-par 71 at Walnut Cove and is alone in sixth place at minus- eight.
 
Johnson began on the back nine Saturday and hit a poor drive at his opening hole. Luckily, he got a wedge on the ball and knocked his approach close to set up a birdie.
 
He parred his next six holes, then reached the green in two with a 4-iron at the par-5 17th. Johnson two-putted to make the turn at 2-under-par 33 for his round and minus-8 for the championship.
 
On the second nine, Johnson wasted little time in breaking into red figures. He hit a 4-iron to 25 feet and converted the birdie putt at the first hole.
 
Johnson continued his fine play at the par-5 sixth as, once again, he reached the putting surface with a 4-iron second shot. He could not convert the eagle try, but settled for a birdie to reach 10 under par.
 
That score did not last long as he bogeyed No. 7. Johnson reached the par-5 eighth green with a 3-wood and two-putted for another birdie. At the ninth, Johnson holed a clutch par save to keep sole possession of the spot atop the leaderboard.
 
'I played pretty good today,' acknowledged Johnson, a two-time winner on the Nationwide Tour. 'I hit it solid all day. I made birdies when I needed to. Hopefully I'll be able to sink a few putts tomorrow.'
 
Johnson has not held the 54-hole lead in a Nationwide Tour event since the 2000 Ozarks Open. He has not won on the circuit since the Monterey Peninsula Classic of the same year, but Johnson is not all that shocked to be sitting in the lead.
 
'It doesn't surprise me,' said Johnson. 'Tee to green I've been solid all week, but I haven't gotten anything out of my game. Today I was able to take advantage of some opportunities and I went pretty low.'
 
Stadler got his round off to a great start with a tap-in birdie at the first at the Cliffs Valley course. He notched back-to-back birdies from the seventh and rolled in a 15-footer for birdie at 17 to get within one of the lead.
 
'I'm not hitting it great, but I'm making a bunch of pars,' said Stadler, who won on the European Tour earlier this season. 'I didn't expect to do much this week. I'm just not confident.'
 
The three players Stadler shares second with all played the Walnut Cove course and began on the back nine.
 
Daley mixed six birdies and two bogeys, while Stroud tallied three birdies and three bogeys. Duke recorded four birdies and a single bogey.
 
Chez Reavie, Matt Weibring and Jason Buha all shot 68s on Saturday and are tied for seventh place at minus-7.
 
The 54-hole cut fell at 1-under-par 213 with 74 players advancing to Sunday.
 
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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