Toms Trails Tour Rookie by One

By Sports NetworkMay 27, 2004, 4:00 pm
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- PGA Tour rookie Vaughn Taylor posted a 5-under-par 66 on Thursday to take the first-round lead of the St. Jude Classic at the TPC at Southwind.
 
Defending champion David Toms and Paul Stankowski carded matching rounds of 4-under-par 67. Heritage winner Stewart Cink, Lian-wei Zhang and Hirofumi Miyase are tied for fourth place at minus-3.
 
'I hit a lot of good shots under tough conditions today, drove the ball in play for the most part,' said Toms. 'I missed a few fairways but never was really in any trouble. I holed some putts early today, a couple of nice putts, which I haven't been doing, so it was just a good, solid day, a good start for me.'
 
The course played differently than years past as the greens were fast and firm. Normally players go flag hunting at this tournament but only 20 golfers broke par on Thursday.
 
Taylor started on the back nine Thursday at the TPC at Southwind and promptly broke into red figures. He sank a 15-foot birdie putt at the 10th, but dropped a shot at the 14th. Taylor hit his approach long and right and missed the 15-footer for the par save.
 
Taylor rebounded at the next hole when his wedge stopped 10 feet from the hole and he rolled home the birdie putt. He closed out his opening nine with a 30-foot chip-in at No. 18.
 
The 28-year-old moved up the leaderboard with his play after the turn. Taylor holed a 40-foot birdie putt at the first and made it two in a row with a 30-footer at No. 2.
 
He drained a 20-footer for birdie at the fifth, then made an 8-footer for birdie at the par-3 eighth to reach 6 under par. At the ninth, Taylor drove into the water off the tee and after his penalty stroke, missed the green with his third. Taylor chipped to 4 feet and ran home the par-saving putt to take the first-round lead for the first time in his brief PGA Tour career.
 
'I'm looking forward to tomorrow,' said Taylor. 'There's three more days left and a lot of golf to be played. I'm just going to enjoy it and hopefully keep it up.'
 
Toms, who won by three over Nick Price last year, tallied three birdies over his opening nine holes, the back nine at Southwind. He got to 5 under par after a 20-foot eagle putt at the third, but things briefly fell apart for the 2001 PGA Champion.
 
He split the fairway at the par-5 fifth, but his 3-iron approach went over the green and he made bogey. Toms came back with an 8-foot birdie at the sixth, but a wedge in the water at the ninth cost him a stroke and a share of first.
 
Stankowski, who is battling a wrist injury, recorded four birdies in his first 10 holes. He found the water with a 5-iron at the par-3 14th, but chipped to a foot and saved bogey.
 
Stankowski looked to be in trouble at No. 15 when his drive landed in a divot. He muscled a sand-wedge 6 feet and made the birdie putt to get within one of Taylor.
 
'I'm pleased with how I finished,' said Stankowski. 'I hit the ball very solid off the tee and I hit the irons pretty good, made a couple putts. That's something lately I have not done well, so it's nice to putt well and give myself a shot.'
 
Brent Geiberger and Patrick Sheehan are knotted in seventh place at 2-under-par 69.
 
Tom Lehman, returning to the tour after knee surgery, shot a 1-under 70 and is tied for ninth place with Greg Chalmers, Todd Fischer, Ben Crane, Charles Howell III, J.J. Henry, Tripp Isenhour, Rich Barcelo, Michael Bradley, Steve Allan, J.P. Hayes and last week's Henrico County Open winner on the Nationwide Tour Daniel Chopra.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - FedEx St. Jude Classic
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  • Watch: Fleetwood gets emotional with family after Race to Dubai win

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 19, 2017, 5:30 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood took home the season-long Race to Dubai title on Sunday after a T-21 finish at the DP World Tour Championship.

    He was, understandably, emotional after learning his fate while sitting with his wife and baby following a career year in which he won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open and finished fourth at the U.S. Open.

    Luckily for us, cameras were rolling:

    Matsuyama after Koepka rout: 'Huge gap between us'

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 4:22 pm

    Hideki Matsuyama offered a blunt assessment after finishing 10 shots behind Brooks Koepka at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix event.

    Koepka waxed the field en route to successfully defending his title in Japan, shooting a 20-under par total that left him nine shots clear of a runner-up group that included PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. Koepka's score was one shot off the tournament record, and his margin for victory eclipsed Tiger Woods' eight-shot romp in 2004.

    Matsuyama appeared set to make a final-round charge after a birdie on No. 2 was followed by an ace on the par-3 third hole. But he played the next eight holes in 3 over and eventually finished alone in fifth place following a 2-under 69. Afterwards, he stacked his game up against that of Koepka in a telling comment to the Japan Times.

    "I feel there's a huge gap between us," Matsuyama said.

    The Japanese phenom entered the week ranked No. 4 in the world, though he will be passed in the next rankings by Jon Rahm following the Spaniard's win in Dubai. Matsuyama won twice this year on the PGA Tour, including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he has largely struggled since missing out on a maiden major title at the PGA Championship, where he tied for fifth.

    Matsuyama was a runner-up to Koepka at the U.S. Open earlier this summer, and the 25-year-old seems headed back to the drawing board before defending his title at the Hero World Challenge in two weeks.

    "I don't know whether it's a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well," Matsuyama said. "It seems there are many issues to address."

    McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

    When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.

    Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.

    Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.

    While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

    Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.

    Rahm wins finale, Fleetwood takes Race to Dubai

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 1:42 pm

    Jon Rahm captured the final tournament on the European Tour calendar, a result that helped Tommy Fleetwood take home the season-long Race to Dubai title.

    Rahm shot a final-round 67 to finish two shots clear of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry at the DP World Tour Championship. It's the second European Tour win of the year for the Spaniard, who also captured the Irish Open and won on the PGA Tour in January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    "I could not be more proud of what I've done this week," Rahm told reporters. "Having the weekend that I've had, actually shooting 12 under on the last 36 holes, bogey-free round today, it's really special."

    But the key finish came from Justin Rose, who held the 54-hole lead in Dubai but dropped back into a tie for fourth after closing with a 70. Rose entered the week as one of only three players who could win the Race to Dubai, along with Sergio Garcia and Fleetwood, who started with a lead of around 250,000 Euros.


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    With Fleetwood in the middle of the tournament pack, ultimately tying for 21st after a final-round 74, the door was open for Rose to capture the title thanks to a late charge despite playing in half the events that Fleetwood did. Rose captured both the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open, and was one round away from a two-trophy photo shoot in Dubai.

    Instead, his T-4 finish meant he came up just short, as Fleetwood won the season-long race by 58,821 Euros.

    The title caps a remarkable season for Fleetwood, who won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship as well as the French Open to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes and a fourth-place showing at the U.S. Open.

    "I find it amazing, the season starts in November, December and you get to here and you're watching the last shot of the season to decide who wins the Race to Dubai," Fleetwood said at the trophy ceremony. "But yeah, very special and something we didn't really aim for at the start of the year, but it's happened."