Singh Still Rolling in Pennsylvania

By Sports NetworkSeptember 24, 2004, 4:00 pm
2004 84 Lumber ClassicFARMINGTON, Pa. -- Vijay Singh carded a 4-under 68 Friday to stay on top after the second round of the 84 Lumber Classic. Singh finished 36 holes at 12-under-par 132 for a two-shot edge over Ben Curtis.
Chris DiMarco, who went 2-1-1 at the Ryder Cup last week, fired a 65 to move into third place at 9-under-par 135. Joey Sindelar, Kent Jones and J.P. Hayes were two shots further back at 7-under-par 137.
Singh has won seven times this season, but none of those were wire-to-wire wins. He is halfway to making win No. 8 wire-to-wire, and the top player in the game calmly made his way around the Mystic Rock Course at Nemacolin to carry the lead into the weekend.
'I played quite well today,' said Singh. 'The only difference was not hitting it as close as I did yesterday and not making the putts, but I did hit it close.'
He played the back side first and jumped out of the gate with a birdie at the par-4 10th after his second shot dropped within 8 feet of the hole. Singh then pitched his third to 4 feet for a birdie at the par-5 11th, but stumbled to a bogey at the very next hole.
Singh recovered at the 15th and drained an 18-foot putt for a birdie. He then hit his approach to 7 feet at the par-5 16th, but was only able to two-putt for a birdie.
At the par-5 fifth, Singh chipped his third shot from off the green within 3 feet of the hole for another birdie. Singh had a birdie chance at the par-5 eighth, but three-putted for par. He then parred the ninth to finish two shots clear of Curtis.
'Today I had another chance to shoot a low one,' said Singh. 'I gave myself a lot of chances for birdies.'
Curtis had an early start to his round and ran off five birdies over his first eight holes to jump to 10 under. The 2003 British Open champion faltered to a bogey at the 14th, but dropped his approach inside 9 feet at the last to take second place alone.
DiMarco also started on the 10th and collected three birdies on the back nine to make the turn at 5 under. The 36-year-old added four birdies on the front side to move into contention heading into the weekend.
'It's about time I made some birdies,' said DiMarco, who won this event in 2000. 'It was nice. I hit it close and I made a couple of good putts. I actually missed a couple too, I missed two 4-footers out there for birdie.'
Zach Johnson, Len Mattiace, Richard S. Johnson and Brent Geiberger are knotted at 6-under-par 138. K.J. Choi, Robert Gamez, Duffy Waldorf and Matt Gogel were one shot further back at 5-under-par 139.
A total of 74 players survived the 36 hole cut, which fell at 1-under-par 143. David Duval, who had made the cut in each of his last two events, will miss the weekend after a round of 74.
Former PGA champions Shaun Micheel and Rich Beem also failed to make the cut as well as Brad Faxon, Scott Verplank, Rory Sabbatini and last year's 84 Lumber Classic winner J.L. Lewis.
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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.