Toms Takes Charge in Charlotte

By Sports NetworkMay 10, 2003, 4:00 pm
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- David Toms fired a 6-under 66 on Saturday to jump into the lead after the third round of the Wachovia Championship. Toms is 11-under-par 205 through three rounds and holds a five-stroke lead.
 
Kirk Triplett, who carded a 5-under 67 Saturday, is tied for second with Robert Gamez and J.P. Hayes. That trio stands at 6-under-par 210.
 
Toms' 66 was the round of the day. He opened with a birdie at the par-4 first. The 2001 PGA Championship winner then drained back-to-back birdies from the sixth to climb into the lead at 8-under. He closed the front side with a pair of pars for a 3-under 33.
 
He started the back side at Quail Hollow Golf Club in style. Toms' second shot to the par-5 came up just short. He hit his pitch shot right at the cup, it seemed as though it would be too hard, but the ball hit the pin and dropped in the cup for eagle to get him to minus-10.
 
'When I was on the range, I was thinking about shooting 2- or 3-under, just like the first two days,' Toms said. 'But that eagle kind of got me going.'
 
Toms however bogeyed the next after hitting his second shot long and left. He was unable to get up-and-down and dropped back to 9-under. Toms then ran off three straight pars to maintain his lead.
 
Toms, a seven-time winner on tour, then two-putted for birdie at the 15th to climb back to minus-10. At the next hole, Toms' drive found a fairway bunker. He then calmly blasted his second shot within eight feet of the cup and drained the birdie putt for a four-shot lead.
 
He two-putted from 70 feet out at the par-4 17th to maintained a streak of no three putts on the week. After a par on 18, Toms went to the clubhouse leading by five.
 
'That surprises me,' said Toms, when told of his large lead. 'I guess it means the guys behind me weren't playing that well.'
 
Toms, who hasn't won in his last 41 tournaments, does have success holding the lead. He has held the lead six times entering the final round and gone on to win four of those tournaments.
 
'It's been a long time for me,' said Toms, whose last win came at the 2001 Michelob Championship. 'For guys who don't quite have the ability of Tiger Woods, Ernie Els or Phil Mickelson, it isn't easy. I can't be off and win golf tournaments.'
 
Triplett's 67 tied two others for the second-best round of the day. He parred just two holes en route to a front-nine 34. Triplett, who will be paired with Toms on Sunday, opened with a bogey, but came right back to birdie two consecutive holes.
 
After a par at the fourth, Triplett eagled the par-5 fifth, but faltered with a bogey at the next. He closed the front side with birdies on Nos. 7 and 9.
 
On the back nine, Triplett birdied the 12th and 15th, but mixed in a bogey at 14 to grab a share of second place.
 
'I was a little more aggressive with my putting and iron shots today,' said Triplett. 'I hit a lot of good shots, made a few putts and missed a few, too.'
 
Gamez had four birdies and three bogeys in a round of 71. Hayes, who at one point was within four shots of the lead, bogeyed the last to drop back into a second place tie. He had three bogeys and three birdies for an even-par round of 72.
 
Fred Funk, Brent Geiberger, Charles Howell III, Spike McRoy and Nick Price, who held at least a share of the lead after the first two rounds, are tied for fifth place at 5-under-par 211. Howell seemed to be on pace to join Toms in the final pairing Sunday, but he bogeyed the 16th and 17th. Those were his first bogeys of the tournament.
 
Fred Couples, who has battled a bad back throughout his career, struggled with it again Saturday. After reading his putt on the 10th green, Couples nearly buckled to his knees as he tried to stand up straight. He battled through the pain, but managed just a 2-over 74. He shares 10th place with six other players at 4-under-par 212.
 
'I'm walking and swinging, but it's like a flinch at every shot,' said Couples. 'I hit a couple of very good shots, but most of them were pull-hooks. I need to go rest, then play much better and move my way back up.'
 
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    After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

    Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

    Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

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    It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


    On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

    There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

    He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

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    Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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    Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

    With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

    He picked up one more No. 2, too.

    The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

    In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

    Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

    “It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

    Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

    Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

    He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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    Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

    Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

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    Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

    Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

    Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

    What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

    Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

    Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

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    Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry