Q-School Medalist Leads FBR

By Sports NetworkFebruary 4, 2006, 5:00 pm
2006 FBR OpenSCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- PGA Tour rookie John B. Holmes fired a 6-under 65 Saturday to grab a one-stroke lead through three rounds of the FBR Open. Holmes stands at 16-under-par 197 through 54 holes.
 
Ryan Palmer tied the low round of the day as he posted a 7-under 64 to move into a tie for second place at 15-under-par 198. He was tied there by second-round leader J.J. Henry (70).
 
Phil Mickelson
Defending champion Phil Mickelson is eight back after a 70.
Justin Leonard climbed into a tie for fourth place at minus-13 thanks to a 65. He was joined there by former PGA Champion David Toms, who notched his second straight 66. Dean Wilson and Camilo Villegas each shot 66 and are one stroke back at 12-under-par 201.
 
Phil Mickelson, the defending champion, could only manage a 1-under 70. He stands in a tie for 18th place at 8-under-par 205.
 
Saturday's third-round action was played in front of a record crowd of 168,333 fans. That came after more than 117,000 fans packed the TPC of Scottsdale on Friday.
 
Holmes began the day four strokes behind Henry, but quickly cut into that deficit with back-to-back birdies from the first. He drained a 20-footer for birdie on the fourth to move to 13 under.
 
However, Holmes was unable to get up and down for par at five. He quickly erased that mistake with a birdie from 5 feet out on No. 6. The 23-year-old nearly drove the green at the 403-yard, par-4 10th.
 
His chip hit the stick, but rolled 5 feet by the hole. Holmes made the birdie putt to move one clear of Henry. Holmes, who was the medalist at the 2005 PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament, two-putted for birdie from 35 feet at the par-5 13th to move to 15 under.
 
Holmes, who is playing in his fourth event as a professional, dropped his approach shot 11 feet from the cup at the 14th and he sank that for birdie. He closed with four straight pars to cling to a one-stroke cushion heading to the final round.
 
'I just want to go out there Sunday and keep doing what I'm doing,' said Holmes. 'I'll just go out there and try to shoot at some pins and make some birdies. It's been working so far, so I don't really need to change anything.'
 
Henry also opened with a birdie on the first. After four straight pars, he faltered to a three-putt bogey on the sixth. Henry missed the green on the ninth and was unable to save par from 11 feet out.
 
He got one stroke back with a two-putt birdie at the 13th. A bogey at the next dropped Henry three strokes behind Holmes, his playing partner. Henry nearly chipped in for eagle on 16, but settled for a tap-in birdie to get back to minus-14.
 
Henry stuck his approach 5 feet from the hole at 18 and drained that for birdie to end one shot back.
 
'Obviously I knew I wasn't going to putt like I did Friday, and I knew it was going to be a tough day to play,' Henry said. 'I was a little anxious at the start. But I'm in a great spot. If somebody told me I'd be one shot out of the lead with one round to play, I'd take that every time.'
 
Palmer, who won the 2004 FUNAI Classic, opened with a birdie on the third to get to 9 under. The Texan then ran off three straight birdies from the sixth. A bogey on the ninth dropped him to 11 under heading to the back nine.
 
The 29-year-old made his next move late on the back nine. He birdied the 14th and made it two straight with a birdie on 15. At the raucous par-3 16th, Palmer sank another birdie. He birdied the 17th to get within one of Holmes' lead.
 
'It was a great day. The key was getting off to a fast start,' said Palmer. 'I birdied three and when I get under par early, it gets my momentum going. I drove the ball great again. I'm back to my old putter and making some putts. When you drive the ball good and make some putts, you're going to compete.'
 
Rory Sabbatini was the other player to fire a 7-under 64 Saturday. That helped him move to 11-under-par 202 where he stands in a tie for eighth place with Scott Verplank (67). Jonathan Byrd and Steve Lowery are one stroke further back.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - FBR Open
  • Full Coverage - FBR Open
  • Getty Images

    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

    Getty Images

    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

    Getty Images

    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

    Getty Images

    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.