Trahan Chasing Win Card in Miss

By Sports NetworkSeptember 28, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Southern Farm Bureau ClassicMADISON, Miss. -- Like many of the players who competed there last year, D.J. Trahan found Annandale Golf Club a different course on Thursday.
'Oh, it's night and day. I mean, it was unbelievable,' Trahan said after firing a 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead after the first round of the Southern Farm Bureau Classic.
This tournament, which is playing opposite the star-studded WGC-American Express Championship, was postponed by four weeks last year.
It was one of the more trivial things affected by Hurricane Katrina and its unprecedented devastation on the region (Madison is located about 3 1/2 hours due north of New Orleans).
Heath Slocum won with a 21-under-par score, playing in ideal scoring conditions and on soft greens. This year, new Bermuda grass has made the greens more difficult to hit.
'I honestly didn't know that they were changing the greens until we got here, so it was quite a shock,' said Trahan. 'What a great decision on their part because the greens are phenomenal and it's a totally different golf course this year.'
More of a thinking man's course, as one player described Thursday.
'Absolutely,' agreed Trahan, who finished 12th last year. 'When you are in the middle of the fairway, you actually have to think...You are almost thinking that you can't honestly go at that pin because it is almost impossible to stop it on the green.'
Trahan had eight birdies and one bogey in his round and closed strong with a 5-under 31 on the back nine. Currently 142nd on the money list, the second-year PGA TOUR player is shooting for a good finish to improve his position.
Only a top-125 finish on the money list will garner Trahan his card for next season.
'You're trying to block it out, because you're out there playing,' Trahan said. 'Obviously, your position on the money list isn't going to help you at all if you are thinking about it while you are on the golf course.
'If you're obsessed with loathing over that, you might as well do that over dinner or something because it's going to be a detriment to you over the golf course.'
Trahan has held only one other overnight lead on the PGA TOUR -- following the third round at last year's Chrysler Classic of Greensboro, where he finished tied for 13th.
A one-time winner on the Nationwide Tour, his best-ever finish on the PGA TOUR was a fourth-place tie at the U.S. Bank Championship in July.
'I'm certainly hoping for some good things coming down the last few weeks here,' Trahan said.
Glen Day, Nick Watney and Gabriel Hjertstedt both shot 5-under 67 to share second place behind Trahan. Day believes the winning score this year will be significantly lower than in the past.
'I say five or six shots (lower),' he said. 'I say 15 or 16 under.'
Sharing fifth place at 4-under 68 were Ted Purdy, Skip Kendall, Brad Faxon, Jason Gore, Mathias Gronberg and Henrik Bjornstad.
Fred Funk, a two-time champion, led a group of six players who were tied for 11th place at 3-under 69.
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.