Snead and Davis Lead in Maryland

By Sports NetworkJune 22, 2002, 4:00 pm
Hunt Valley, MD - J.C. Snead broke the course record at Hayfields Country Club Saturday with an eight-under-par 64 and moved into a share of first place with Rodger Davis at the Greater Baltimore Classic. The duo stands at 11-under-par 133 after 36 holes and owns a one-shot lead over John Mahaffey.
John Jacobs and Jim Ahern share fourth place at eight-under par.
Snead broke the old mark of 65 set here last year by Bruce Fleisher and 2001 champion Allen Doyle. The 64 matched the tournament record for 18 holes which was set by Jose Maria Canizares during the first round of the 2000 event, which was held at Hobbit's Glen Golf Club.
'I didn't play that much better today than yesterday except for making eagle at No. 12 and holing the bunker shot at No. 18,' said Snead, who opened with a three-under 69 on Thursday.
Snead flew out of the gate Saturday with four birdies in a row, starting at No. 1. He ran home a 15-foot par save at the ninth to make the turn in four- under 32.
The 61-year-old started strongly on the back nine with a birdie at the par- three 11th. He then holed an eight-iron from 133 yards at the 398-yard 12th for eagle.
Snead dropped a shot at the 15th hole when he landed in a bunker and failed to get up and down. He reached the par-five 16th green in two and two-putted for birdie. When he holed a blast from a bunker at 18, he assumed the top spot on the leaderboard at 11-under par.
'That was fun today,' said Snead, whose 64 was his lowest score since a 63 in the final round of the 1997 Comfort Classic. 'I kept the ball in play all day. I got off to a good start with the 15-foot birdie on No. 1 and then three straight after that. The good save for par at No. 9 kept things going.'
Snead had not held a piece of the lead after 36 holes since he was alone on top at the 1996 Vantage Championship. He went on to finish fifth in that tournament. His last victory came at the 1995 Senior Players Championship.
Davis, a co-leader after the first round, collected three front-nine birdies but ran into trouble with his flat stick around the turn. He three-putted from 15 feet at the 11th for a bogey and missed a four-footer for birdie at the next hole.
Davis sank a 10-foot birdie at the 14th hole. A tap-in birdie at the 16th gave him a round of four-under 68 and a share of the lead.
'If anything, it's a little disappointing,' said Davis, who finished third at the Farmers Charity Classic at the end of May. 'I missed some short putts but all in all I hit the ball solid again.'
Fleisher (70), Bobby Walzel (69) and Doug Tewell (69) finished tied for sixth at seven-under-par 137.
Doyle shot a second-round 69 and was tied for 15th place at minus-five.
Full field scores from the Greater Baltimore Classic
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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.