Lehman Looks to Ends Drought

By Sports NetworkOctober 9, 2004, 4:00 pm
Michelin Championship at Las VegasLAS VEGAS -- Tom Lehman fired a 6-under 66 Saturday on Bear's Best to move one shot clear of the field through three rounds of the Michelin Championship at Las Vegas. Lehman completed 54 holes at 17-under-par 198.
 
Andre Stolz posted a 7-under 65 on the TPC at Summerlin to move into a share of second place at 16-under-par 199. Dicky Pride, who also played Summerlin, joined Stolz in second place with a 66.
 
Lehman began his day on the 10th tee at Bear's Best and dropped his second shot within 4 feet to setup birdie on his first hole. He got up-and-down for birdie from a greenside bunker at the par-5 12th to move to minus-13.
 
The 45-year-old stumbled to a three-putt bogey at the 14th. Lehman came right back with an 8-foot birdie putt at 15. He made it two in a row as his second to the 16th came to rest 3 feet from the hole.
 
Lehman, whose last win came at the 2000 Phoenix Open, two-putted for birdie on No. 17 to make it three straight, which got him to 15 under.
 
Around the turn, Lehman rolled in a 25-foot birdie putt at the first. At the next, he stuck his third shot to the par-5 within a foot of the hole to make it two in a row.
 
The 1996 British Open champion tripped to a bogey at the fourth. He atoned for that mistake and grabbed the overnight lead with a two-putt birdie at the par-5 eighth.
 
'I hit the ball extremely well,' said Lehman, who owns five PGA Tour titles. 'I drove it well so I reached the par-5s easily. Winning would help me renew the belief in myself. If you don't take advantage of your good shots, you're beating your head against the wall.'
 
Stolz, like Pride, started on the 10th tee at Summerlin. He dropped in a 6-footer for birdie at the 11th and came back with a 20-foot birdie putt at the next. The 34-year-old Stolz made it three straight as he two-putted for birdie from 40 feet out at the 13th.
 
The Australian birdied the 15th, but stumbled to a bogey at 17 to slip back to minus-12. Stolz ran in a 30-foot eagle putt at the third. He closed with birdies on seven and nine to share second place.
 
'It was a pretty awesome start. I hit some good shots,' said Stolz. 'When I play well, I play really well and when I play bad, I really play bad.'
 
Pride was steady out of the gate with five straight pars. He drove the green at the 15th and two-putted for birdie. He again two-putt for birdie at the next to move to 12 under.
 
The 1994 FedEx St. Jude Classic winner dropped a 9-iron 4 feet from the cup at the 18th, his ninth, for his third birdie. At the fourth, Pride ran home a 30-footer for birdie, but faltered to a three-putt bogey at the next.
 
Pride sank a 15-foot birdie try at the sixth. He closed with birdies at eight and nine to get within one shot of Lehman.
 
'I was really pleased finishing with two birdies,' Pride said. 'I actually had a lot of birdie putts that just didn't go in.'
 
Second-round leader J.L. Lewis managed a 1-under 70 at TPC at The Canyons, the third of the three courses being used for the opening three rounds. He stands alongside Bob Estes (68), Olin Browne (69), Tim Petrovic (68), Duffy Waldorf (69), Greg Chalmers (64) and Harrison Frazar (68) in fourth place at 15-under-par 200.
 
Phil Mickelson withdrew before Saturday's third round, citing illness. Mickelson shot 68-66 his first two rounds.
 
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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