Twitty Takes Top Honors at Q-School

By Sports NetworkNovember 17, 2001, 5:00 pm
Howard Twitty fired a 4-under-par 68 in Friday's final round to capture medalist honors at the 2001 Senior Tour National Qualifying Tournament at the Champions Course at the PGA of Southern California Golf Club. The 52-year-old Twitty posted a 72-hole total of 12-under 276 to finish three shots ahead of Larry Ziegler.
Twitty shot a 67 to grab a share of the third-round lead with Australian Rodger Davis, who had sole possession of the top spot after two rounds. After tallying five birdies and a bogey on the front side Friday, Twitty shot even-par on the inward nine and held on for the $42,000 first prize.
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'I played pretty good again today and it feels good to be the medalist,' said Twitty, who was making his third appearance at Senior Tour Q-School after tying for sixth in 1998 and second in 1999.
Twitty, who had one win in each the 1970s, '80s and '90s while on the PGA Tour, recorded three top-10 showings on the elder circuit in 2001 to finish 44th on the money list with $431,932 in earnings.
'Finishing in the top eight will allow me to arrange my schedule for the year and that was the primary reason I came here,' he added. 'I was really pleased how I played this week, especially playing under the gun as we did.'
The top eight finishers this week -- Twitty, Ziegler, Davis, Jack Spradlin, Daniel O'Neill, Don Pooley, Mike Smith and Dick Mast -- received full playing privileges for the 2002 Senior Tour season.
Although Smith and Mast ended the four rounds tied with five others at 4-under 284, they took the seventh and eighth spots after a playoff. Smith birdied the first extra hole and Mast the second to join the players with fully-exempt status for next year.
The players who finished ninth to 16th -- R.W. Eaks, Butch Sheehan, Fred Gibson, Bill Brask, Clyde Hughey, David Eger, Mark Pfeil and Doug Johnson -- will be conditionally exempt. Since ninth-place R.W. Eaks and 14th-place David Eger won't turn the required age of 50 until next spring, Danny Edwards and Steve Stull, who finished 17th and 18th, respectively, will play in their places to start the 2002 season.
Among those to lose their playing cards were Senior Tour veterans Ted Goin, Jim Holtgrieve, David Lundstrom, Mark Hayes, Kurt Cox, Frank Conner, Tom McGinnis and Jesse Patino.
Finishing one stroke out of the final spot was Bill Thorpe, brother of four-time Senior Tour winner Jim Thorpe. Thom Piscopink, who grabbed the first-round lead with a 66, shot 78-78-70 over the last three days to tie for 40th.
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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.

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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.


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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.