Scott Soars to the Top at Booz Allen

By Sports NetworkJune 25, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Booz Allen ClassicPOTOMAC, Md. -- Adam Scott fired a 9-under 62 on Friday to take the second-round lead of the Booz Allen Classic. He stands at 14-under-par 128 and leads by two at the TPC at Avenel.
 
Scott, the winner of this year's Players Championship, established a new 36-hole record for this event with his 128 total. He broke the 130 mark Fred Funk set in 1998.
 
Charles Howell III, who broke the course record Thursday with a 10-under 61, posted a 2-under 69 on Friday and is tied for second with Olin Browne, who carded a 5-under 66 in the second round. The duo is knotted at 12-under-par 130.
 
Glen Day also fired a 62 on Friday and is tied for fourth with 2002 PGA Champion Rich Beem. Beem, who won this event in 1999, shot a 67 to match Day at minus-11.
 
Scott started on the second nine Friday and parred his first two holes. He knocked a 7-iron to 10 feet to set up birdie at the 12th and tallied back-to-back birdies at 15 and 16. Scott ran home a 6-footer for birdie at No. 18 to make the turn at 4-under-par 31.
 
The 23-year-old Australian wasted little time in getting into red figures on his second nine. He sank a 20-footer for birdie at the first, but parred his next two holes.
 
At the fourth, Scott hit a 6-iron to 20 feet and rolled in the birdie putt. He made it back-to-back birdies at the fifth with a 10-footer, then recorded his third birdie in a row at the par-5 sixth when he missed the green with his second, but chipped to 7 feet.
 
Scott had the 36-hole tournament record if he parred in, but the 15th-ranked player in the world padded his new mark. He holed an 8-foot birdie putt at the eighth to match his lowest round on the PGA Tour.
 
'I played really good the last two days,' said Scott, who also fired a 62 in the final round of last year's Honda Classic. 'I've not really been in too much trouble so far and I made my share of putts, which was nice.'
 
After Scott's impressive victory at the TPC at Sawgrass, he was considered a front-runner for the Masters two weeks later. He missed the cut at Augusta and missed the weekend in three of four events since then, but Scott seems to have pinpointed the problem.
 
'I really struggled with putting last week at the U.S. Open,' said Scott, who missed the cut at Shinnecock Hills. 'The greens here this week, I've seen a couple go in and got a really good feel for it.'
 
Howell came back down to earth after Thursday's round of two eagles, eight birdies and two bogies. On Friday, Howell was 1-over at the turn, but tallied three birdies on his second nine for his 69.
 
'As easy as yesterday seemed, today seemed a bit of a grind,' said Howell, who has only two top-10s in the 2004 season. 'I got off to an okay start, and any time you shoot 10 under, there is still a weird feeling about the following day. At the same time, I've got a chance here going into the weekend, which is not something I have been able to say very often this year.'
 
Browne was flawless for the second day in a row. He collected five birdies and finds himself in position for his first victory on tour since the 1999 Colonial.
 
'The good thing is a lot of the stuff I have been doing helps me identify the things that I've done well in the past and I feel like I'm starting to do those things again,' said Browne, who has made only four cuts in 14 starts this year. 'Maybe that can carry over on the weekend.'
 
Tom Lehman shot a 67 on Friday and is alone in sixth at minus-9. Bill Haas, the son of Jay Haas who is competing as a professional for the first time, carded a 65 and is tied for seventh with Arron Oberholser (65) and defending champion Rory Sabbatini (67). That trio finished 36 holes at 8-under-par 134.
 
The 36-hole cut fell at 1-under-par 141 and among the players who will miss the weekend are: Hank Kuehne (143), Justin Leonard (144), Scott Hoch (145) and Funk (146).
 
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    Stock Watch: Strange grumpy; Tiger Time again?

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 1:00 pm

    Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.

    RISING

    Jon Rahm (+9%): This should put his whirlwind 17 months in the proper context: Rahm (38) has earned four worldwide titles in 25 fewer starts – or a full season quicker – than Jordan Spieth (63). This kid is special.

    Tommy Fleetwood (+7%): Putting on a stripe show in windy conditions, the Englishman defended his title in Abu Dhabi (thanks to a back-nine 30) and capped a 52-week period in which he won three times, contended in majors and WGCs, and soared inside the top 15 in the world.

    Sergio (+3%): Some wholesale equipment changes require months of adjustments. In Garcia’s case, it didn’t even take one start, as the new Callaway staffer dusted the field by five shots in Singapore.

    Rory (+2%): Sure, it was a deflating Sunday finish, as he shot his worst round of the week and got whipped by Fleetwood, but big picture he looked refreshed and built some momentum for the rest of his pre-Masters slate. That’s progress.

    Ken Duke (+1%): Looking ahead to the senior circuit, Duke, 48, still needs a place to play for the next few years. Hopefully a few sponsors saw what happened in Palm Springs, because his decision to sub in for an injured Corey Pavin for the second and third rounds – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard – was as selfless as it gets.


    FALLING

    Austin Cook (-1%): The 54-hole leader in the desert, he closed with 75 – the worst score of anyone inside the top 40. Oy.

    Phil (-2%): All of that pre-tournament optimism was tempered by the reality of his first missed cut to start the new year since 2009. Now ranked 45th in the world, his position inside the top 50 – a spot he’s occupied every week since November 1993 – is now in jeopardy.

    Careful What You Wish For (-3%): Today’s young players might (foolishly) wish they could have faced Woods in his prime, but they’ll at least get a sense this week of the spectacle he creates. Playing his first Tour event in a year, and following an encouraging warmup in the Bahamas, his mere presence at Torrey is sure to leave everyone else to grind in obscurity.

    Curtis Strange (-5%): The two-time U.S. Open champ took exception with the chummy nature of the CareerBuilder playoff, with Rahm and Andrew Landry chatting between shots. “Are you kidding me?” Strange tweeted. “Talking at all?” The quality of golf was superb, so clearly they didn’t need to give each other the silent treatment to summon their best.

    Brooks Koepka (-8%): A bummer, the 27-year-old heading to the DL just as he was starting to come into his own. The partially torn tendon in his left wrist is expected to knock him out of action until the Masters, but who knows how long it’ll take him to return to game shape.

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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.