Monday Scramble: Love, Tiger, DeChambeau impress

By Will GrayAugust 24, 2015, 4:00 pm

Davis Love III beat the young guys, Bryson DeChambeau destroyed the field and Tiger Woods showed that rumors of his demise may have been greatly exaggerated. All that and more in this week's AARP-approved edition of the Monday Scramble. 

So much for this being a young man's game. At 51 years old, Love fired a final-round 64 to win the Wyndham Championship for the third time. It was the 21st PGA Tour win of his career, first since 2008, and it showed that the greats can always surprise you.

Love joins Tom Watson as the only players to win a Tour event after serving as a Ryder Cup captain, and his return to the winner's circle is all the more impressive considering he has returned from a pair of surgeries in recent years. While many of his peers graduated to the Champions Tour, Love has maintained a schedule on the main circuit for each of the last two years in an effort to challenge himself against players half his age. 

Love began the day four shots off the pace, and he was listed at the Westgate Las Vegas Sports Book at 80-1 to win entering the final round. But the grandfather showed that he could still hang with the young kids, belting drives over 300 yards and making eagle on both of the par 5s at Sedgefield Country Club. 

Love is one of the more popular players on Tour, as evidenced by the support he received to captain the U.S. Ryder Cup team for the second time next year at Hazeltine. But entering the week at No. 186 in the FedEx Cup standings, even he may not have anticipated an outcome like this - or a schedule that will now include stops at The Barclays, the Deutsche Bank Championship, the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and the Masters.

Not bad for an old guy.

1. He didn't get a Hail Mary victory to crash the playoff party, but Woods certainly made the most of his maiden appearance in Greensboro. He shared the lead at the halfway point, rekindled many aspects of his game and showed off some of his trademark confidence and swagger that has been largely dormant the last two years.

There were fist pumps, there were crowd roars and there were many, many club twirls.

Several pundits, myself included, were surprised to see Woods peg it at the Wyndham. But months from now, this could be viewed as a big step in a larger turnaround. 

2. Anyone questioning Woods' status in the game need only catch a glimpse at some of the crowds that followed him around all week at Sedgefield. Tournament organizers printed tens of thousands of extra tickets, full-throated applause followed his every shot and move, and galleries were six-deep to watch him warm up.

This week was a great example why the question, "Who will be the next Tiger Woods?" is a silly query. There is only one. 

3. While there were plenty of positives to take from his week, Woods' title run ended in disastrous fashion. He shanked and flubbed his way to a triple bogey on No. 11, and while he closed with a handful of birdies, those gasp-inducing chips brought back unpleasant memories from earlier this year in Phoenix.

Woods' short game has progressed immensely since his struggles at TPC Scottsdale, but Sunday showed that the scar tissue created by the yips is never that far below the surface – even for 14-time major champions. 

4. With his victory, Love became the third-oldest player to win in PGA Tour history. Here is a look at some of the over-50 company he joined (side note - apparently Greensboro is home to the fountain of youth):

  • Sam Snead: 52 years, 10 months, 8 days, 1965 Greater Greensboro Open
  • Art Wall: 51 years, 7 months, 10 days, 1975 Greater Milwaukee Open
  • Davis Love III: 51 years, 4 months, 11 days, 2015 Wyndham Championship
  • Jim Barnes: 51 years, 3 months, 7 days, 1937 Long Island Open
  • John Barnum: 51 years, 1 month, 5 days, 1962 Cajun Classic
  • Fred Funk: 50 years, 8 months, 12 days, 2007 OHL Classic at Mayakoba
  • Craig Stadler: 50 years, 1 month, 18 days, 2003 B.C. Open

5. When Love played a twilight practice round with Woods Tuesday in Greensboro, it was so late in the day that some of the flags had already been removed from the greens. It seemed like an inconsequential nine-hole jaunt, but both Love and Woods found a little something this week in the Tar Heel State. Perhaps now more players will abandon the dewsweeping practice routine in favor of a "last man out" strategy.

6. Love wasn't the only guy to earn a spot at The Barclays at the buzzer, as Jason Gore, Jonas Blixt, Ryo Ishikawa and Camilo Villegas all cracked the FedEx Cup top 125 in the final event of the regular season. It was a more active bubble than in years past – only one player made it last year, and none the year prior - but it provided some compelling storylines (abacus optional) for one of the year's more underrated events.

Of course, there are always two sides to the bubble. In addition to the five players bumped out of the top 125, Scott Langley bogeyed four of his final six holes to finish 127th on the points list. 

7. Woods' appearance at Sedgefield was just the latest feather in the cap of a mid-level PGA Tour event this season. He also made an unexpected start in Phoenix, his first since 2001, and Jordan Spieth not only teed it up at the John Deere Classic as a two-time major champ, he won the thing. 

Top players will always rely on their status as independent contractors when crafting their schedules, but these appearances show that much can be gained from guys deviating from their typical slate and adding a one-off event every few years. 

8. Brooks Koepka keeps rolling along. Koepka got off to a slow start at Sedgefield, but he finished the week T-6 after missing just two greens in regulation over his final 41 holes. Koepka's record since mid-June: T-3, T-18, T-10, T-18, T-6, T-5, T-6. Attention, Captain Haas.

9. Speaking of Haas, son Bill has now played his way right onto the Presidents Cup bubble in his bid to earn a spot on the team captained by his father, Jay. Bill has had a, well, Haas-like season: a quietly consistent campaign, highlighted by his win in Palm Springs with a few top-10s sprinkled in for good measure.

It's unlikely that he would receive a captain's pick from his father - this isn't the board room or the NFL coaching carousel, where nepotism can reign supreme - so Haas will likely have to earn his spot in Korea the hard way over the next two weeks.

10. DeChambeau cruised to victory at the U.S. Amateur, joining some impressive company in the process. After capturing the NCAA individual title earlier this year, the SMU standout pulled off a double that only Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Woods and Ryan Moore had previously accomplished in the same year. That's a pretty good list. 

With his vector putting, unique clubs and methodical approach -  when was the last time you floated golf balls in epsom salt to identify imbalances? - DeChambeau stands out in a crowd. But his game has been doing plenty of talking this summer as well, and he has separated himself as a player to watch in the coming months and years.

11. Sean Crocker made waves during his run to the quarterfinals at Olympia Fields, largely for his on-course swagger. While some of his tactics bordered on poor etiquette - namely walking off the green before his opponent putted out - I'm all for players showing some emotions inside the ropes. Golf doesn't have to be a stuffy game with bland characters, and when players show some fiery reactions to shots, it makes the viewing more compelling. 

12. With the possible exception of taking 52-year-old Mike McCoy over four-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champ Nathan Smith, the final U.S. Walker Cup roster didn't have much controversy. McCoy, Scott Harvey, Robby Shelton, Jordan Niebrugge and Denny McCarthy round out the American side for Royal Lytham, as McCarthy survived the prospect of getting bumped by former Virginia teammate and U.S. Amateur finalist Derek Bard.

Those roster decisions, however, don't take away from the fact that the entire selection process is shrouded in an level of secrecy that is unnecessary, if not counterproductive. 

13. It's been a bit of a quiet summer for Lydia Ko, as Inbee Park supplanted her atop the Rolex rankings and won the Ricoh Women's British Open. But Ko's playoff win at the Canadian Pacific Women's Open - the 18-year-old's eighth LPGA victory - proves that she is still one of the game's brightest stars. 

14. If Ko ever wants to leave New Zealand, she should probably just start house shopping north of the border. This was her third win in the last four years at the Canadian Open, and her second victory at Vancouver Golf Club, where she was already an honorary member after winning as a 15-year-old amateur in 2012.

Should the LPGA decide to revitalize the old du Maurier at some point - I mean, if you've got five majors, why not push for six? - Ko seems like a lock, regardless of venue.

15. Yet another close call for Stacy Lewis, whose season continues to be defined by her near-misses. Lewis remains the best American in the women's game, but she still hasn't won since last June and now has seven top-3 finishes this year. She'll get back in the winner's circle eventually, but you know what they say: the waiting is the hardest part. 

16. You might not have noticed, but Patton Kizzire is putting together a season to remember on the Tour. The Auburn product notched another victory Sunday at the News Sentinel Open, and his 2015 tally now reads as follows: 18 starts, 11 top-10 finishes, two wins and a pair of runner-up finishes. He has clearly been the best player this year on the developmental circuit.

17. What a season for Austin Cook. Beginning the year with no PGA Tour status and next to no status on the Tour, Cook used a combination of Monday qualifiers and top-10 finishes to burst onto the scene. The Wyndham was his seventh PGA Tour start of the year, and Cook racked up five top-25 finishes to the tune of $537,648. Talk about taking advantage of your opportunities.

18. Tiger's not the only big name missing the playoffs, as guys like Graeme McDowell, Ernie Els and Martin Kaymer (more on him below) will also miss out. The PGA Tour is the biggest meritocracy in sports, and nowhere is that more evident than in the season-long standings. There are no sponsor exemptions into the playoffs. 

When you're a little-known professional making just his second start of the year on the European Tour, why not make a big splash? That's just what 27-year-old Andreas Harto did at the Made in Denmark, following a birdie on the par-3 16th with a proposal. His girlfriend said yes, the fans gathered on Himmerland Hill offered a hearty ovation, and the couple now has a top-shelf engagement story.

As far as golf course proposals go, it's not quite Mark Hubbard bending to one knee behind the 18th green at Pebble Beach, but still a solid effort:


A look at this week's award winners ... 

Need a Scheduling Mulligan (or two): Kaymer will miss the playoffs next week, but his struggles this season had even bigger ramifications. Because the Wyndham was only his 13th start of the season, Kaymer will lose his PGA Tour membership for next season despite wins at The Players and U.S. Open just last year. The Tour requires members to tee it up at least 15 times each season to maintain membership for the following year, so this seems like an unfortunate situation that could have easily been avoided with a few more "reps." 

The Streak Lives On: Despite a missed cut in Greensboro, Jeff Overton held onto the 125th spot in the FedEx Cup standings by the slimmest of margins over Will MacKenzie. It allowed Overton to maintain his run of making the postseason every year since its inception in 2007. Only 22 players can still make that claim, a group that includes a few of the usual suspects (Mickelson, Zach Johnson, Sergio Garcia) as well as some guys whose consistency is underrated (Pat Perez, Rory Sabbatini, John Senden and Jerry Kelly). 

You Couldn't Have Felt That Twinge Last Night?: Erik Compton got off to a great start at Sedgefield, but he opted to withdraw prior to the third round because of an ankle injury. The only issue, though, was that exactly 70 players made the cut and had Compton withdrawn before close of business following the second round, the cut line would have been adjusted. Nineteen more players would have seen the weekend, including Ollie Schniederjans, who needed to make the cut to qualify for the Tour Finals.

Compton's decision certainly wasn't malicious, but the timing was unfortunate for several of the trunk-slammers leaving Greensboro Friday night. 

Best Video of the Week: When choosing between taking off your jacket and applauding an excellent shot, why not just go for both? 

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Monday Scramble: Just getting started

By Will GrayJanuary 22, 2018, 4:30 pm

Tommy Fleetwood dazzles, Jon Rahm outlasts, Phil Mickelson falters, Rory McIlroy starts the year on the right foot and more in this week’s edition of Monday Scramble:

He didn't hit a single shot on Sunday, but the biggest winner of the weekend may have been Thomas Bjorn.

That's because the burly Dane watched one potential European Ryder Cup stud after another either lift a trophy or show significant signs of promise.

First it was Sergio Garcia cruising to victory in Singapore, then Tommy Fleetwood's stirring rally in Abu Dhabi. By the time Jon Rahm finished off the CareerBuilder Challenge in the waning daylight, the European skipper likely had a grin plastered from ear to ear.

There will be countless ebbs and flows of momentum before the first shot is struck at Le Golf National, but this week proved once again that the Americans won't be the only ones sporting some serious depth at the biennial matches.

1. The most dazzling display Sunday came from Fleetwood, who successfully defended his title in Abu Dhabi thanks to an absolutely unconscious back nine.

The Englishman was five shots back when he made the turn, but six birdies over his final nine holes turned that deficit into a two-shot win.

It was in Abu Dhabi last year that he sparked a career turnaround, winning the event en route to the season-long Race to Dubai title. He turned up once again this year with ample confidence and a new wedding ring, and the results were much the same.

He doesn't have the star power of some of his contemporaries, but it's becoming increasingly clear that Fleetwood can more than hold his own against even the best in the game.

2. Hours before Fleetwood caught fire, it was Garcia rolling to a five-shot win in Singapore to complete the transition from tournament headliner to tournament champion.

Garcia was just days removed from his 38th birthday and making his first start with a full bag of Callaway clubs. But he showed no signs of offseason rust or equipment adjustment while capturing his second worldwide win since slipping into his green jacket.

The Spaniard has certainly enjoyed the fruits of his Masters victory nine months ago, but it's apparent that he has no plans to rest on the laurels of last spring.

3. He didn't leave Abu Dhabi with the trophy, but McIlroy may have found something more lasting: confidence.

It was in his first start last year that McIlroy injured his rib and plummeted into a vicious cycle of attempted rehabs and ill-fated comebacks. This time around, he came out of the gates with a relaxed swagger en route to a tie for third.

As Ryan Lavner wrote, it was an ideal beginning to a big year for McIlroy, who has already offered up the notion that 2018 could be the busiest season of his career as he chases the final leg of the career Grand Slam and a return to golf's upper echelon.

After the first leg of a two-week stay in the Middle East, that plan is off to a promising start.

4. Let's take a moment to marvel at McIlroy's record in Abu Dhabi, where he has done everything but win the tournament.

In his last nine appearances, McIlroy has finished fifth or better eight times. That stretch includes four runner-up results and now two straight T-3 finishes.

There remain two equally remarkable factors to McIlroy's run: the fact that he somehow hasn't managed to lift the trophy (yet), and the lone outlier: a missed cut in 2013 after his celebrated switch to Nike.

5. With darkness rapidly encircling the Coachella Valley, Rahm managed to shake off Andrew Landry and capture his second career PGA Tour victory.

Rahm's 20-foot birdie on the fourth playoff hole proved the difference in Palm Springs, where he entered as the highest-ranked player in the field and supported that status with his stout play.

Rahm barely took his foot off the gas, both across the difficult closing stretch at PGA West and during the playoff when he sent one approach after the next hurtling toward the pin. It's the fourth worldwide win in less than a year for Rahm, who continues to outpace even the rosiest of projections for his burgeoning career.

6. The win moves Rahm past Jordan Spieth to world No. 2, making him the fourth-youngest player to ever reach such heights.

One year ago, the Spaniard was ranked 137th in the world. His win at the Farmers Insurance Open the following week altered his trajectory, and he now finds himself only one rung away from the top of the ladder.

While so much focus has been (deservedly) heaped upon players like Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, perhaps it's Rahm who has the best chance to eventually unseat world No. 1 Dustin Johnson. He'll have a chance to chip into that deficit this week as he defends his title at Torrey Pines.

7. Speaking of Torrey Pines, it's officially Farmers Insurance Open week which means that Tiger Woods watch is about to kick off in earnest.

It's something of a tradition to see Woods strolling the fairways of the South Course, where he has won eight times including the 2008 U.S. Open. But this week will bring heightened expectation following Woods' better-than-anticipated return from injury last month at the Hero World Challenge.

Granted, Torrey Pines is a far cry from the forgiving fairways of Albany. But if Woods is able to put together two solid rounds and make the cut, it should be seen as a step in the right direction.

Of course, for all of Woods' success in San Diego, it's also the place where he struggled with chipping yips prior to a withdrawal in 2015 and missed the cut last year in his final official PGA Tour start of the year. So his results this time around might be anyone's guess.

Ken Duke is one of the bona fide nice guys on Tour, and he proved it this weekend in Palm Springs.

Duke is playing off past champion status this season, and he unsuccessfully petitioned tournament officials at the CareerBuilder Challenge for a sponsor invite. With 156 players in the field, Duke was the odd man out at No. 157 and relegated to first alternate status.

He didn't get into the tournament proper, but Duke was willing to step in when Corey Pavin's first Tour start since 2015 ended with a withdrawal after just 17 holes. Because of the tournament's pro-am format, Pavin's amateur partner was left without a pro for the next two rounds.

So in came Duke to play what amounted to a 36-hole pro-am, an effort of good faith to help an event that couldn't find room for him at the start of the week:

It's not often you see a pro compete where his score only counts for his amateur partner. But such was Duke's situation this week, and kudos to him for handling it with class.

This week's award winners ...

Unusually Short Stay: Phil Mickelson. Lefty has become a regular in Palm Springs, but three shaky rounds left him with his first missed cut in this event since 1994 - a few months before Rahm was born.

Nice Job, Kid: Sungjae Im. The 19-year-old Korean joined Jason Day as the only two teenagers to win on the Tour, as Im shot a final-round 65 to win the season opener in the Bahamas.

A for Effort: Andrew Landry. Landry put up a stellar fight in Palm Springs, holing a birdie putt on the 72nd hole to force a playoff and going shot-for-shot with Rahm for nearly an hour. He came up short in his effort to win for the first time, but Landry certainly has plenty of positive takeaways from his week in the desert.

On the Disabled List: Brooks Koepka. The reigning U.S. Open champ is out for the next couple months because of a torn ligament in his wrist, with hopes of returning before the Masters. The diagnosis comes after Koepka finished last at both the Hero World Challenge and Sentry Tournament of Champions.

Still the Bridesmaid: Ross Fisher. The Englishman now has 14 runner-up finishes on the European Tour after he coughed up a late lead to Fleetwood. It's been a resurgent year for Fisher, including nine top-10s and three runner-ups in his last six starts. But he's still looking for his first win in nearly four years.

More Euro Momentum: Not to be outshone by Fleetwood and McIlroy, Matthew Fitzpatrick (T-3) and Thomas Pieters (T-5) both started the year on the right foot in Abu Dhabi. Both men were at Hazeltine two years ago, and expect one (or both) to factor on the team in Paris this fall.

Blown Fantasy Pick of the Week: Bill Haas. A two-time winner and the all-time leading money-winner in Palm Springs, Haas never factored and eventually missed the cut. Honorable mention here goes to 2014 champ Patrick Reed who also stayed home on Sunday.

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Rosaforte Report: Landry's grit born in a Pea Patch

By Tim RosaforteJanuary 22, 2018, 3:40 pm

In this week's Rosaforte Report: The birthplace of Andrew Landry's grit, Tiger's former coach invites instruction debate, downtime may be good for Brooks Koepka, Stacy Lewis is amped for 2018, and a "very boring" birthday gift for Jack Nicklaus.

The beauty and drama of tournament golf played out in the California desert on Sunday when Andrew Landry, a journeyman who learned the game on a shabby nine-hole course called the Pea Patch in Port Groves, Texas, took the hottest young player in the game, Jon Rahm, to four holes of a sudden death playoff before finally succumbing. It was riveting drama in a yard-for-yard, stride-for-stride and putt-for-putt contrast that ended with the sun setting over the Santa Rosa Mountains.

With it, the 23-year-old Rahm went to No. 2 in the world and the 30-year-old Landry, a grinder finally off the Tour, moved from 184th to a career high 102nd in the world ranking.

The 5-foot-7 Landry, who had his “Tin Cup” moment in the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont, where he held the first-round lead and hung with the big boys until a T-15 finish, never backed off in the shadow of the 6-foot-2 Rahm, just as he never backed away from bets in the Tuesday and Saturday games at the Pea Patch. That’s where he would write his name on the chalkboard for the “Dog Fights” that were the club’s version of the SWAT competition that is an Oakmont tradition.

“Those money games are what made us,” Andrew’s brother, Adam, told me the day his sibling became the proverbial no-name leader after shooting the lowest opening round (66) in U.S. Open-Oakmont history.

Andrew Landry lost his money game to Rahm, but his second-place finish still paid out $637,200, putting him over the $1 million mark for the season, and sending him off to the Farmers Insurance Open with a message that this isn’t the last time we’ll hear from him.

“We’ll take it and move on to Torrey Pines,” Landry said before exiting Palm Springs. “It’s obviously a great course for me. I’m driving the ball really well and I’m doing everything really good, so we’ll try again next week.”

GREAT(S) DEBATES: Chris Como may not be Tiger Woods’ teacher anymore, but he was recently appointed director of instruction at Dallas National, one of the plush practice environments in golf. He is also architect of an interesting forum on the mental game and the philosophy of instruction Tuesday at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla., which features Claude Harmon III, David Leadbetter, Jim McLean, Mike Adams, Fran Pirozzolo, Hal Sutton, Brad Faxon and Brandel Chamblee.

“It’s an event that invited open dialog and debate about all the topics of golf instruction,” Como said in a text message. “The goal is to put a bunch of smart people in the same room together to move our industry forward in a positive direction.”

This should be entertaining dialog, especially coming two days before Tiger makes his comeback at the Farmers.

Stacy Lewis at the 2017 LPGA Cambia Portland Classic

STACY'S SPARK: On the week when she was named winner of the Ben Hogan Award for overcoming scoliosis, Stacy Lewis did what Hogan epitomized – she doggedly continued to work on her game.

Heading into her 10th season on the LPGA tour and facing her 33rd birthday on Feb. 16, Lewis flew from Houston to Florida, on her way to the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic, for checkups with instructor Joe Hallett and performance coach Dave Donatucci.

After workouts and an evaluation at his gym, Donatucci noted the veteran’s vertical leap was 2 inches higher than she’s ever jumped before. “Physically, she’s in a great place,” Donatucci said. Mentally, she is in a great place as well, breaking a 39-month winless streak in September with a victory in the Cambia Portland Classic. After playing lessons at Old Palm and The Floridian, Hallet told me, “There’s an energy there that she’s always had.”

Other than Cristie Kerr, who is 40, the top 10 players in the Race to the CME Globe were all in their 20s. Lewis, who was 13th, told the Houston Chronicle she played some of her best golf the last six to seven tournaments of 2017. “Honestly it doesn’t feel like that start to a new year,” she said. “It just feels like a little bit of a break and I’m starting up again.”

KOEPKA'S HEALING TIME: Claude Harmon III had an interesting take on the torn wrist tendon that will sidelineU.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka until the Masters. “To be honest, the time off for the injury part of it doesn’t worry me,” Harmon said, using last year as his point of reference.

Looking back to the start of 2017, Koepka missed cuts at the Farmers Insurance Open, was T-42 as defending champion of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, missed cuts at the Genesis Open and the Honda Classic, finished T-48 in the no-cut WGC Mexico Championship, and didn’t play on the weekend at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Three months later, Koepka overpowered Erin Hills and tied Rory McIlroy’s U.S. Open scoring record of 16 under par. Harmon used McIlroy’s third-place finish at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in his return “as something to look at and emulate.”

The hard part is that Koepka closed out the 2017 season with a second-place finish in the WGC-HSBC Champions in China and a nine-stroke win over Xander Schauffele in the Dunlop Phoenix, rising to a career high seventh in the world. But between cardio at Joey D’s gym and putting practice (once he gets doctor’s clearance), Harmon doesn’t think Koepka will look at the next three months as down time.

BIG-TIME PERFORMER: Thomas Pieters was back in the top-five of a premier tournament again, finishing T-5 in Abu Dhabi after a run of nine events at the end of 2017 that did not match the first eight months of his rookie year.

Coming off a Ryder Cup performance in 2016 that set European records for most points (4) and wins (4) by a rookie, Pieters was T-2 at the Genesis Open, T-5 at the WGC-Mexico Championship, T-4 at the Masters and solo fourth at the Bridgestone Invitational.

In a news conference after his opening-round 67, Pieters admitted it was nice having fun again and attributed the lack of enjoyment to some struggles he was having off the golf course.

“With a lot of players these days, it’s more off the course than on the course; life in general sometimes causes problems,” swing instructor Pete Cowen told me Monday morning from Dubai, without getting into specifics. “Pieters is looking a lot better. I think he’s now in a great frame of mind.”

After winning the NCAA Championship as a sophomore for Illinois in 2012, the now 25-year-old Belgian is 34th in the world, 33 spots behind his goal.

“Tom Pieters doesn’t want to be a superstar, he just wants to be the best player,” Cowen said. “That’s what drives him … what I like about him. He wants to be the best, and will do whatever it takes to be the best.”

GIFT OF LOVE: What do you give a man that has everything for his 78th birthday? For Barbara Nicklaus it was classified in a text message with a smiley face emoji as a “Very boring!!!!!” gift of two pairs of pants and a shirt.

As you can see from the above photo, just being together with his family and bride of 57 years at The Bears Club was enough.

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Golf Channel to Deliver Worldwide Coverage of the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show, "The Major of Golf Business," Tueday-Friday, Jan. 23-26

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJanuary 22, 2018, 2:45 pm

Morning Drive, Golf Central to Give Viewers Insider Access to the PGA Show with Nearly 20 Hours of Live Coverage; Golf Channel’s School of Golf Instruction Program to Originate From On-Site

Golf Channel’s Portfolio of Lifestyle Brands – GolfNow, Golf Channel Academy, Revolution Golf and World Long Drive On-Site at the PGA Show Contributing to the Network’s Comprehensive Coverage


ORLANDO, Fla. (Jan. 18, 2018) – Golf Channel announced plans for its comprehensive coverage of the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show – the largest golf convention and business gathering in the world – with nearly 20 hours of news and instruction coverage Tuesday, Jan. 23 – Friday, Jan. 26. Golf Channel’s coverage will span across the four days, beginning Tuesday with the “PGA Show Demo Day” from the Orange County National Golf Center & Lodge driving range in Winter Garden, Fla., and continuing Wednesday-Friday at the PGA Merchandise Show from the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

With an insider look at the PGA Merchandise Show – a golf industry event that is not open to the public – Golf Channel’s coverage via Morning Drive and Golf Central will be delivered to a worldwide audience in more than 36 countries. Coverage will provide viewers live interviews with industry leaders, professional golfers from the world’s major tours, PGA of America members and a comprehensive overview of the latest products and trends for 2018 from some of the nearly 1,100 golf brands exhibiting on-site.

PGA Merchandise Show Week Programming Schedule: Jan. 23-26 (All Times Eastern)


Morning Drive

7-11 a.m. (Live)



Golf Central

5-6 p.m. (Live)



School of Golf

8-9 p.m.



Morning Drive

7-11:30 a.m. (Live)



Golf Central

5-6 p.m. (Live)



Morning Drive

8:30-11:30 a.m. (Live)



Golf Central

7-8 p.m. (Live)



Morning Drive

8:30-11:30 a.m. (Live)



Golf Central

7-8 p.m. (Live)




Golf Channel’s expansive coverage of the PGA Merchandise Show will utilize several on-air personalities from the network’s news division, beginning with Charlie Rymer and Lauren Thompson offering coverage of the PGA Show Outdoor Demo Day on Tuesday. In addition to Rymer and Thompson, Wednesday-Friday coverage from the PGA Show Floor will include Matt Adams, Cara Banks, Lisa Cornwell, Matt Ginella, Damon Hack, Bailey Mosier and Gary Williams.


Golf Channel’s PGA Merchandise Show on-air coverage will be available to stream via Golf Channel Digital Tuesday-Friday. Comprehensive online editorial coverage also will be available throughout the week, with contributions from writers Jay Coffin and Will Gray. Golf Channel’s social media platforms will keep viewers engaged in the conversation about what’s generating buzz at the #PGASHOW throughout the week via the network’s social media channels – @GolfChannel and @GCMorningDrive on Twitter, @GolfChannel and @GCMorningDrive on Instagram and GolfChannel and GCMorningDrive on Facebook. Golf Channel social media host Alexandra O’Laughlin will host Golf Channel’s digital and social media coverage throughout the week.


Golf Channel’s coverage of “Demo Day” will begin Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 7 a.m. ET with Morning Drive airing live and on-site to highlight the latest in golf equipment from the expansive driving range at Orange County National. Rymer and Thompson will host Morning Drive on-site, featuring interviews and product demonstrations.


Coverage of the PGA Show will transition indoors to the Orange County Convention Center, Wednesday-Friday, Jan. 24-26 to give viewers an all-access tour of the PGA Show. Morning Drive and Golf Central will provide on-site reports throughout the week, with featured interviews and segments originating from the PGA Show Floor. Coverage from the Convention Center will originate from a large, multi-purpose space elevated above the PGA Show Floor, with three set configurations for interviews, along with a putting green and a golf simulator for product demonstrations. Golf Channel also will feature a “Fly Cam,” a unique camera technology made popular in televising football and other sports. Suspended above the PGA Show Floor, the Fly Cam will span more than 700 feet, giving viewers an aerial viewpoint of the vast floor and the exhibitors. New for 2018 will be a “Jib Cart,” a mobile cart with a camera jib affixed allowing high shots of the booths throughout the Show Floor.


School of Golf, Golf Channel’s signature instruction program that airs on Tuesday nights, will kick off its eighth season with a one-hour special at Demo Day on Tuesday, Jan. 23, airing in primetime from 8-9 p.m. ET. Originating from the Cleveland Golf/Srixon/XXIO booth on the Orange County National driving range and hosted by Martin Hall and Blair O’Neal, the show will include special guests and interactions with a live audience.


In addition to Golf Channel’s on-air and digital coverage, the network’s lifestyle brands – GolfNow, World Long Drive, Golf Channel Academy and Revolution Golf will showcase their services at the PGA Show with special clinics, product demonstrations and on-site activations.


GolfNow, the industry’s leader in golf-related technology and services, will be exhibiting Wednesday-Friday from Booth #2173. In addition to showcasing advanced technologies that have created the largest tee-time marketplace in golf, GolfNow also will be educating course owners and operators about innovations and services designed to help them run their businesses more efficiently and successfully. GolfNow Business experts will be on hand at GolfNow’s 2,400-square-foot booth, offering its course partners technology demonstrations, as well as consultation on any of the GolfNow Services: Plus, a top-line focused consultative performance system for golf courses, including marketing, sales and automated pricing; Answers, a call center for golf courses, answering customer calls day and night; and Ride, a no-cost purchasing program that saves course operators from 6-35 percent on items they buy day-to-day, such as food, office supplies and agricultural products.


Thursday at 2 p.m. ET, World Long Drive competitors will be at the PGA Show to compete in a World Long Drive Bracket Challenge. Hosted by Golf Channel’s social media host Alexandra O’Laughlin and airing live via Golf Channel’s Facebook Live, the competition will take place at Golf Channel’s simulator on the Show Floor featuring eight men and four women, including World No. 2 Ryan Reisbeck, No. 3 Maurice Allen, No. 5 Trent Scruggs and 2017 Volvik World Long Drive Women’s Champion Sandra Carlborg.


Wednesday-Friday, Golf Channel Academy coaches will provide on-site instruction clinics at Golf Channel’s simulator set on the Show Floor. Wednesday’s clinics will feature driving, full swing, wedge play and putting clinics. Thursday’s clinic will include the full swing and Friday’s clinic will feature the short game, all streamed live via Golf Channel Academy’s Facebook page.


Revolution Golf, the industry’s largest direct-to-consumer digital platform delivering high-quality video-based instruction, travel content and integrated e-commerce will have a significant presence at the PGA Show. Golf Channel’s newest digital acquisition, Revolution Golf will be shooting digital segments at Demo Day and throughout the PGA Show Floor, including segments with its team of instructors.

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CareerBuilder purse payouts: Rahm wins $1.062 million

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 12:50 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry on the fourth hole of sudden death to win the CareerBuilder Challenger. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out in La Quinta, Calif.:

1 Jon Rahm -22 $1,062,000
2 Andrew Landry -22 $637,200
T3 Adam Hadwin -20 $306,800
T3 John Huh -20 $306,800
T3 Martin Piller -20 $306,800
T6 Kevin Chappell -19 $205,025
T6 Scott Piercy -19 $205,025
T8 Brandon Harkins -18 $171,100
T8 Jason Kokrak -18 $171,100
T8 Sam Saunders -18 $171,100
T11 Harris English -17 $135,700
T11 Seamus Power -17 $135,700
T11 Jhonattan Vegas -17 $135,700
T14 Bud Cauley -16 $106,200
T14 Austin Cook -16 $106,200
T14 Grayson Murray -16 $106,200
T17 Andrew Putnam -15 $88,500
T17 Peter Uihlein -15 $88,500
T17 Aaron Wise -15 $88,500
T20 Ricky Barnes -14 $57,754
T20 Stewart Cink -14 $57,754
T20 Brian Harman -14 $57,754
T20 Beau Hossler -14 $57,754
T20 Charles Howell III -14 $57,754
T20 Zach Johnson -14 $57,754
T20 Ryan Palmer -14 $57,754
T20 Brendan Steele -14 $57,754
T20 Nick Taylor -14 $57,754
T29 Lucas Glover -13 $36,706
T29 Russell Knox -13 $36,706
T29 Nate Lashley -13 $36,706
T29 Tom Lovelady -13 $36,706
T29 Kevin Streelman -13 $36,706
T29 Hudson Swafford -13 $36,706
T29 Richy Werenski -13 $36,706
T36 Jason Dufner -12 $27,189
T36 Derek Fathauer -12 $27,189
T36 James Hahn -12 $27,189
T36 Chez Reavie -12 $27,189
T36 Webb Simpson -12 $27,189
T36 Tyrone Van Aswegen -12 $27,189
T42 Bronson Burgoon -11 $18,983
T42 Ben Crane -11 $18,983
T42 Brian Gay -11 $18,983
T42 Chesson Hadley -11 $18,983
T42 Patton Kizzire -11 $18,983
T42 Hunter Mahan -11 $18,983
T42 Kevin Na -11 $18,983
T42 Rob Oppenheim -11 $18,983
T50 Alex Cejka -10 $14,025
T50 Corey Conners -10 $14,025
T50 Michael Kim -10 $14,025
T50 Kevin Kisner -10 $14,025
T50 Sean O'Hair -10 $14,025
T50 Sam Ryder -10 $14,025
T50 Nick Watney -10 $14,025
T57 Robert Garrigus -9 $13,039
T57 Tom Hoge -9 $13,039
T57 David Lingmerth -9 $13,039
T57 Ben Martin -9 $13,039
T57 Trey Mullinax -9 $13,039
T57 Brett Stegmaier -9 $13,039
T63 Scott Brown -8 $12,449
T63 Wesley Bryan -8 $12,449
T63 Brice Garnett -8 $12,449
T63 Sung Kang -8 $12,449
T67 Talor Gooch -7 $12,095
T67 Tom Whitney -7 $12,095
T69 Matt Every -6 $11,623
T69 Billy Hurley III -6 $11,623
T69 Smylie Kaufman -6 $11,623
T69 Keith Mitchell -6 $11,623
T69 Rory Sabbatini -6 $11,623
T69 Chris Stroud -6 $11,623
75 John Peterson -5 $11,210
76 Abraham Ancer -4 $11,092
77 Ben Silverman 4 $10,974