Rhoden in the Hunt at Champions Q-School

By Sports NetworkNovember 19, 2005, 5:00 pm
Champions TourCALIMESA, Calif. -- Kirk Hanefeld fired a 5-under 67 Saturday to climb to the top of the leaderboard at the Champions Tour National Qualifying Tournament.
 
Hanefeld ended 72 holes at 3-under-par 285, while there are still two more rounds before seven players can gain fully exempt status on the Champions Tour. The next eight players will earn conditional status.
 
Scott Masingill carded a 4-under 68 as winds that have driven up scores through the first three rounds calmed somewhat on Saturday. Masingill is alone in second place at 2-under-par 286.
 
Former major league pitcher Rick Rhoden matched the low round of the week as he fired a 6-under 66. He moved to minus-1 and shares third place with Norm Jarvis (69).
 
Hanefeld, who had the low round to the week before today with Friday's 68, jumped out of the gate with a birdie on No. 2 on the Champions Course at PGA Southern California Golf Club.
 
He got to even-par for the tournament with a birdie at the sixth. Hanefeld then birdied the eighth to keep rolling. He parred his next two holes.
 
Hanefeld birdied the par-5 11th and made it two straight as he birdied the 12th to get to 3 under. Hanefeld parred each of his last six holes to remain there.
 
Masingill, whose best finish on the Champions Tour is a tie for 22nd at the 2003 3M Championship, also began the day at plus-2, but birdies on the second and third got him to even-par for the event.
 
He jumped to minus-2 as he posted consecutive birdies from the par-4 sixth. Around the turn, Masingill birdied the 10th to take the lead at 3 under.
 
Masingill stayed atop the leaderboard as he birdied No. 12 to move to 4 under. However, he stumbled to back-to-back bogeys from the 17th to slip back to minus-2.
 
Second- and third-round leader Joe Ozaki managed an even-par 72 in round four. He stands at even-par 288 and shares fifth place with Bill Longmuir (70).
 
Chris Starkjohann was the other player to fire 66 today and that moved him to 1-over-par 289. He was joined in a tie for seventh place by Rick Karbowski, Frank Shikle, Darrell Kestner, Massy Kuramoto and Katsuysohi Tomori.
 
After three more players withdrew on Saturday, that meant ten players total withdrew during the first four days of the six-day event. The cut fell at 18-over-par 306 with exactly 70 players moving on to the final two rounds. Vance Haefner, who played on the Champions Tour six times in 2005, was among the 12 players that missed the cut.
 
Related links:
  • Leaderboard - Champions Tour Final Qualifying Tournament
  • Full Coverage - Champions Tour Final Qualifying Tournament
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    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

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.