Mattiace Delivers Comeback Win at FedEx

By Sports NetworkJune 30, 2002, 4:00 pm
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Len Mattiace overcame a seven-stroke deficit Sunday when he fired a 7-under 64 to win the St. Jude Classic at the TPC at Southwind. He finished the tournament at 18-under-par 266 and prevailed by one shot over Tim Petrovic.
 
Mattiace won for the second time in 2002 after capturing his first tour victory at the Nissan Open in February. He joined Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson as the only multiple champions on the PGA Tour this season.
 
'It's a great feeling to win a second time this year,' said Mattiace, who collected $684,000 for the win. 'I feel like I'm a better player overall. And I've done a lot better things on the golf course this year than I ever have in the past years. And the results are now showing it.'

Mattiace talks more about his win.

Canada's Glen Hnatiuk squandered his four-shot lead at the start of the round with costly bogeys at seven, eight and finally 13, where he fell into a tie for the lead for the first time in Sunday's final round.
 
At the 14th, Hnatiuk attacked a right pin placement and paid the price, missing right and seeing his chances for a first win on tour fall into the water.
 
Hnatiuk carded a 6-over-par 77 and tied for 14th at 12-under-par.
 
Notah Begay III, the 2000 champion at Southwind, shot 69 for third place at 16-under-par, followed by reigning PGA Champion David Toms, who closed with a 68 to finish at minus 15.
 
Mattiace used strong back-nine play to quietly move up the leaderboard. He made back-to-back birdies at 11 and 12 to get to within one shot of Hnatiuk's lead. When Hnatiuk bogeyed 13 and Mattiace drained a 12-footer for birdie from the back fringe at 15, the duo shared the top spot at 16-under-par.
 
After Hnatiuk's mistake at 14, Mattiace had the outright lead but wouldn't be alone at the top for long. Begay ran home a 10-foot birdie putt at the 14th to tie Mattiace at 16-under-par.
 
Mattiace quickly reclaimed the lead with a 10-foot birdie putt at the 16th and the lead would be extended thanks to Begay. At the 15th, Begay roped an approach shot that took a few hops and came to rest on a spectator's lap behind the green. Begay took a drop and chipped his third across the green, then missed his chip to save par and fell two behind Mattiace.
 
Mattiace padded his lead at 17 when he landed his 7-iron approach 12 feet from the hole. He rolled home that birdie to go ahead by three, but Petrovic was charging up the leaderboard.
 
Petrovic, in the final group with Hnatiuk, birdied the 15th hole to reach 16-under par and needed to take advantage of the par-5 16th to trim Mattiace's lead. Petrovic ripped his second at the 528-yard hole to eight feet but left his eagle putt short, tapping in for birdie.
 
Petrovic made a nice par save at 17 after driving into the right rough and missing the green short. At 18, Petrovic's approach landed 45 feet right of the flag but his putt missed left to secure the title for Mattiace.
 
'I wasn't really nervous, I was just trying to focus on my shots,' said Petrovic, whose final-round 68 helped him to his best career finish on the PGA Tour. 'I think it was a little too hot to be nervous out there. I was just trying to stand up.'
 
David Howser, who played on a sponsor's exemption, shot a 7-under 64 Sunday and tied for fifth at 14-under-par. Jim Carter, Tripp Isenhour and Matt Kuchar joined Howser four shots out of first.
 
Full-field scores from the FedEx St. Jude Classic

Getty Images

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

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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