Whitehouses 66 Grabs Top Spot in Moscow

By Sports NetworkAugust 11, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Cadillac Russian OpenMOSCOW, Russia -- England's Tom Whitehouse fired a 6-under- par 66 Thursday to take the first-round lead at the Russian Open.
Whitehouse stands one stroke clear of five players tied for second place at 5-under-par 67, including countryman and two-time Russian Open champion Iain Pyman. The others are Spain's Jesus Maria Arruti, Scotland's David Drysdale and Mikael Lundberg and Fredrik Widmark of Sweden.
Ben Mason and Shaun P. Webster of England, Spain's Jose Manuel Carriles and Welshman Craig Williams are one stroke further back in a tie for seventh place.
This tournament is the third dual-ranking event of the 2005 season for the European and Challenge Tours. And with the PGA Championship being played eight time zones away, no player ranked in the Order of Merit's top-100 is in the field.
Whitehouse, who is looking for his first European Tour victory, dropped in seven birdies with just one bogey during a round dampened by rainy conditions and made tougher by a wrist injury he suffered while sleeping Wednesday night.
'I woke up this morning with a lot of pain on the inside of my wrist,' said Whitehouse. 'I put some ice on it this morning and it really hurt, but I just gritted my teeth for the first nine to be honest and it kind of eased off as I went round.
'I could still feel it and I hit some strange shots, but the sore wrist made it easier to take because you can just blame the sore wrist rather than thinking that you have made a bad swing.'
Whitehouse has a friend in pain in reigning European Tour Golfer of the Month Colin Montgomerie, who shook off a wrist injury to join the field at the PGA Championship.
'It's funny because I was watching Colin Montgomerie getting grilled by the American press about the fact he hadn't hit a shot out of the rough before playing in the U.S. PGA today,' said Whitehouse. 'But I think he's right to do so because it really hurts playing out of the rough when you have a wrist injury. I can vouch for that.'
Showing no ill-effects, Whitehouse moved to minus-2 with birdies at the par-5 second and par-3 fourth at Le Meridien Moscow Country Club, Russia's only 18-hole golf course. He dropped a shot at No. 6, but made the turn at 2 under after a birdie at the seventh and consecutive pars at eight and nine.
The 25-year-old Briton dropped in another birdie at the par-4 10th, one of four birdies on his back-nine. The others came at Nos. 12, 14 and 15, moving him to minus-6 on the day.
The two-time champion Pyman played 4-under-par on the front-nine, getting his round off to a good start with an eagle at the par-5 second and three more birdies before the turn.
'I think when you have won at a certain place, you are automatically confident about the course and playing the tournament,' said Pyman, whose round of 67 came despite three bogeys. 'Also, I have been playing well for the past month or so anyway. I've been in the top-ten at the last two Challenge Tour events, so it was a case of coming here and trying to keep that going.'
Sharing 11th place at 3-under-par 69 are Ireland's Stephen Browne, France's Bertrand Cornut, England's David Dixon, Denmark's Jeppe Huldahl and Hernan Rey of Argentina. Thirteen golfers are tied for 16th place one stroke further back.
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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.