Mickelson Takes Charge at Bob Hope

By Sports NetworkJanuary 23, 2004, 5:00 pm
04 Bob Hope Chrysler ClassicLA QUINTA, Calif. -- Phil Mickelson continued his stellar play at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic with an 8-under 64 on Friday to take a two-shot lead after the third round. Mickelson, who won this event in 2002, finished with a 54-hole total of 21-under-par 195.
Jay Haas, another former winner of this event, finished in second place at 19-under-par 197 along with Ben Crane. Paul Azinger and Todd Fischer were one shot further back at 18-under-par 198.
Mickelson, who is coming off a year in which he went without a win on the PGA Tour, put together a pair of solid rounds on two of the courses in rotation at this five-round event before taking on the Arnold Palmer Private Course at PGA West on Friday.
'I don't know if I'd say it's a dream start but it's a nice start to the year,' said Mickelson. 'I think the nicest thing about it is the work that I've put in the off-season, I can see it paying off.'
The left-hander played the back side first and knocked at 8-iron to 15 feet for a birdie at the 10th. He added a birdie at the 11th and played his tee shot to 10 feet at the par-3 12th. Mickelson calmly drained the putt for his third consecutive birdie to start the day.
Mickelson landed a sand-wedge inside 12 feet for a birdie at par-4 16th but sent his second shot in the drink at the par-4 18th en route to a bogey.
He recovered on the front side with another remarkable stretch that saw him run home an eight-foot putt for a birdie at the first. Mickelson then two-putted for a birdie at the par-5 second and made it three in a row with a birdie at the third to pull two clear of the field at 19 under.
While Haas looked to keep things close, Mickelson kept on rolling and dropped a 5-iron inside 10 feet for a birdie at the par-4 seventh.
At the par-4 eighth, Mickelson played a sand-wedge to 18 feet and rolled in the birdie putt to secure a two-shot edge heading into the weekend.
'I've been very excited about 2004,' said Mickelson. 'I just could not wait for the year to get started. I couldn't wait to get 2003 behind me. I'm very encouraged by the way the first three rounds have gone.'
Haas played Indian Wells on Friday, a course Mickelson had his way with the day before, and fell hard out of the gate with a double bogey at the opening hole.
He countered with back-to-back birdies starting at the par-4 second but found trouble again with a bogey at the par-3 fourth.
At the par-5 fifth, Haas knocked a 5-wood inside 12 feet and converted the eagle putt to turn things around.
The eagle was all the 50-year-old needed as he drained a 15-foot putt at the par-4 seventh for his first of five consecutive birdies.
'I didn't get too panicky after the first hole because I knew the course usually yields a lot of birdies,' said Haas, who titled at this event in 1988. 'I just felt like I played well and they would come.'
Haas added a birdie at the 14th and played a sand-wedge within 10 feet of the cup for a birdie at the par-4 17th on his way to a round of 64, a score good enough to possibly entice the veteran to putting off going to the Champions Tour for another year?
'I certainly don't want to forget about it,' Haas said of the elder circuit. 'I feel that if I split my time that I wouldn't give myself the best opportunity to do well on the PGA Tour, nor would I give myself the best opportunity to succeed on the Champions Tour.'
Overnight leader Kenny Perry posted a 3-under 69 at Bermuda Dunes to join Skip Kendall, Kirk Triplett and Geoff Ogilvy in a tie for sixth place at 17-under-par 199.
Robert Gamez played the back nine first at Indian Wells and collected three birdies over his first nine holes before catching fire on the front half.
The 35-year-old ran off seven birdies and an eagle coming home for a 27 on the front nine. Gamez matched the all-time PGA Tour mark for best nine-hole score and also shot a 12-under 60 in the process.
'I guess I finally played well,' said Gamez, who established a new course record at Indian Wells. 'I hit some good shots and some putts, but I knew I was hitting well and starting to strike it well. Then the front nine just clicked.'
Gamez finished at 16-under-par 200 along with Bob Burns, Richard S. Johnson, Loren Roberts and John Senden.
Defending champion Mike Weir finished 10 shots off the pace in a group at 11- under-par 205.
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    CareerBuilder purse payouts: Rahm wins $1.062 million

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 12:50 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry on the fourth hole of sudden death to win the CareerBuilder Challenger. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out in La Quinta, Calif.:

    1 Jon Rahm -22 $1,062,000
    2 Andrew Landry -22 $637,200
    T3 Adam Hadwin -20 $306,800
    T3 John Huh -20 $306,800
    T3 Martin Piller -20 $306,800
    T6 Kevin Chappell -19 $205,025
    T6 Scott Piercy -19 $205,025
    T8 Brandon Harkins -18 $171,100
    T8 Jason Kokrak -18 $171,100
    T8 Sam Saunders -18 $171,100
    T11 Harris English -17 $135,700
    T11 Seamus Power -17 $135,700
    T11 Jhonattan Vegas -17 $135,700
    T14 Bud Cauley -16 $106,200
    T14 Austin Cook -16 $106,200
    T14 Grayson Murray -16 $106,200
    T17 Andrew Putnam -15 $88,500
    T17 Peter Uihlein -15 $88,500
    T17 Aaron Wise -15 $88,500
    T20 Ricky Barnes -14 $57,754
    T20 Stewart Cink -14 $57,754
    T20 Brian Harman -14 $57,754
    T20 Beau Hossler -14 $57,754
    T20 Charles Howell III -14 $57,754
    T20 Zach Johnson -14 $57,754
    T20 Ryan Palmer -14 $57,754
    T20 Brendan Steele -14 $57,754
    T20 Nick Taylor -14 $57,754
    T29 Lucas Glover -13 $36,706
    T29 Russell Knox -13 $36,706
    T29 Nate Lashley -13 $36,706
    T29 Tom Lovelady -13 $36,706
    T29 Kevin Streelman -13 $36,706
    T29 Hudson Swafford -13 $36,706
    T29 Richy Werenski -13 $36,706
    T36 Jason Dufner -12 $27,189
    T36 Derek Fathauer -12 $27,189
    T36 James Hahn -12 $27,189
    T36 Chez Reavie -12 $27,189
    T36 Webb Simpson -12 $27,189
    T36 Tyrone Van Aswegen -12 $27,189
    T42 Bronson Burgoon -11 $18,983
    T42 Ben Crane -11 $18,983
    T42 Brian Gay -11 $18,983
    T42 Chesson Hadley -11 $18,983
    T42 Patton Kizzire -11 $18,983
    T42 Hunter Mahan -11 $18,983
    T42 Kevin Na -11 $18,983
    T42 Rob Oppenheim -11 $18,983
    T50 Alex Cejka -10 $14,025
    T50 Corey Conners -10 $14,025
    T50 Michael Kim -10 $14,025
    T50 Kevin Kisner -10 $14,025
    T50 Sean O'Hair -10 $14,025
    T50 Sam Ryder -10 $14,025
    T50 Nick Watney -10 $14,025
    T57 Robert Garrigus -9 $13,039
    T57 Tom Hoge -9 $13,039
    T57 David Lingmerth -9 $13,039
    T57 Ben Martin -9 $13,039
    T57 Trey Mullinax -9 $13,039
    T57 Brett Stegmaier -9 $13,039
    T63 Scott Brown -8 $12,449
    T63 Wesley Bryan -8 $12,449
    T63 Brice Garnett -8 $12,449
    T63 Sung Kang -8 $12,449
    T67 Talor Gooch -7 $12,095
    T67 Tom Whitney -7 $12,095
    T69 Matt Every -6 $11,623
    T69 Billy Hurley III -6 $11,623
    T69 Smylie Kaufman -6 $11,623
    T69 Keith Mitchell -6 $11,623
    T69 Rory Sabbatini -6 $11,623
    T69 Chris Stroud -6 $11,623
    75 John Peterson -5 $11,210
    76 Abraham Ancer -4 $11,092
    77 Ben Silverman 4 $10,974
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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.