Stock Watch: Jones' major step; Missing Tiger

By Ryan LavnerDecember 1, 2015, 2:18 pm

Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.

RISING

Charl Schwartzel (+6%): Why he only seems to win now during a four-month period in the winter still doesn’t compute. That sweet swing should lead to plenty of Ws when the tournaments actually matter.

Matt Jones (+5%): History is unlikely to repeat itself, of course, but Jones can delight in knowing that the past two Aussie Open champs went on to win multiple majors the following year.

Pace of play conference (+4%): Kudos to Europe’s leaders for being willing to confront the issue of slow play. Even better was their idea to publish the names of the lollygaggers and their bad times – a welcome contrast to the blind-eye approach taken by Camp Ponte Vedra.

Diana Murphy (+1%): Only the second woman to be promoted to the USGA presidency, Murphy unfortunately is walking straight into a hornet’s nest, with ticked-off everyday golfers who can’t anchor their putters, count solo rounds or play in less than four-and-a-half hours. Should be a fun one-year term.


FALLING

Tiger (-1%): This week is just another sad reminder that he’s on the shelf while there is so much great golf to celebrate.

World Challenge (-2%): Little wonder there’s such a stellar turnout this week: The 18-man exhibition offers 46 world-ranking points to the winner – or as many as the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, AT&T Byron Nelson Championship, Travelers Championship, Frys.com Open and CIMB Classic champions.

Handicap systems (-3%): Golf Canada smartly announced it won’t adopt the blue blazers’ rule that prohibits solo rounds for handicap posting. Not surprisingly, the three FAQs post on the USGA website did little to stop the deluge of criticism. In fact, it may have only further infuriated the lone rangers.

Early college commitments (-7%): A 13-year-old’s early verbal to Florida turned the spotlight once again on the disturbing trend in college athletics. Sadly, you can’t blame the coaches for trying to lock up these kids while they’re still in middle school – the pressure to win at the college level is greater than ever before, and if they don’t extend an offer then you can bet someone else will.

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Glover trails Straka at Web.com Tour Championship

By Associated PressSeptember 23, 2018, 12:19 am

ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – Sepp Straka moved into position Saturday to earn a PGA Tour card in the Web.com Tour Championship, shooting a 7-under 64 to take the third-round lead.

With the top 25 earners in the four-event Web.com Tour Finals getting PGA Tour cards Sunday, Straka birdied the final three holes to reach 18-under 195 - a stroke ahead of Curtis Luck, Lucas Glover and Denny McCarthy at Atlantic Beach Country Club.

''It's always good to get an extra birdie in late. I got three of them to finish, which was nice,'' Straka said. ''It's very bunched up there, so you can't really take off, you've got to keep the pedal down and see where you end up at the end.''

Straka entered the week tied for 80th in the card race with $2,744. The 25-year-old former Georgia player from Austria won the KC Golf Classic in August for his first Web.com Tour title. He finished 31st on the money list to advance to the four-tournament series.

''My ball-striking is really good,'' Straka said. ''It's been good all week. It's been really solid. I really haven't gotten in a whole lot of trouble and have been able to capitalize on a good number of chances with the putter. Hit a couple of bad putts today, but some really good ones to make up for it.''


Full-field scores from the Web.com Tour Championship


Luck also shot 64. The 22-year-old Australian went into the week 16th with $41,587.

''Obviously, it just comes down to keeping that momentum going and trying not to change anything,'' Luck said. ''That's the really important thing and I felt like I did that really well. I played really aggressive on the back nine, still went after a lot of shots and I hit it close a lot out there.''

Glover had a 68. The 2009 U.S. Open champion entered the week 40th with $17,212.

McCarthy shot 67. He already has wrapped up a card, earning $75,793 in the first three events to get to 11th in the standings.

The series features the top 75 players from the Web.com regular-season money list, Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup standings, and non-members with enough money to have placed in the top 200. The top-25 finishers on the Web.com regular-season money list are competing against each other for tour priority, with regular-season earnings counting in their totals. The other players are fighting for the 25 cards based on series earnings.

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Woods, McIlroy in Sunday super group in finale

By Mercer BaggsSeptember 23, 2018, 12:12 am

ATLANTA – Rory McIlroy has made known his disdain for “super groups” in early tournament rounds.

Well, he’s now got one on Sunday at the Tour Championship. And it doesn’t get more super than this.

McIlroy will play alongside Tiger Woods in the final pairing, in the final round at East Lake Golf Club. Woods leads McIlroy – and Justin Rose – by three shots.


Projected FedExCup standings

Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos


“All I can do is worry about myself,” McIlroy said. “It doesn't matter who it is I'm playing with. It's obviously exciting for the golf tournament. It's exciting for golf, in general, that he's up there. But for me, all I can do is concentrate on myself. The game is hard enough without having to – without looking at other people. Go out there, take care of my business, and hopefully that's good enough.”

This is the fifth time that McIlroy and Woods have been grouped this year. They were alongside one another in the first two rounds of the Genesis Open and the first two rounds of the PGA Championship.

In the four previous rounds, McIlroy finished better twice, Woods once, and they tied once.

“It's going to be fun. We haven't done that much of late, because I've not been there,” Woods said of going head-to-head with McIlroy for a title. “He has been there, and he's won a bunch of tournaments. So it's nice for us to go back out and play against one another, be in the mix.”

We know Woods will be wearing his traditional red in the final round. As for McIlroy?

"I think I'll wear red," McIlroy joked. "No, geez, I've regretted wearing black out here today. It was hot."

They go out at 2:05 p.m. ET.

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Stricker, Jobe share lead in Sioux Falls

By Associated PressSeptember 22, 2018, 11:57 pm

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Steve Stricker and Brandt Jobe topped the Sanford International leaderboard again Saturday after another cool and breezy day in the inaugural PGA Tour Champions event.

After matching Jerry Smith and David McKenzie with first-round 7-under 63s, Striker and Jobe each shot 67 to get to 10-under 130 at Minnehaha Country Club.

''It was a challenge out there today,'' Stricker said. ''It was gusty, the wind came out of the south, where we played yesterday it was out of the north, so it was a totally different golf course.''

Jobe made an 18-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th, and Stricker missed a 6-footer to leave them tied.


Full-field scores from the Sanford International


''It's pretty straightforward off the tee and the greens are what make it difficult at times and you've just got to be in the right spot to have good birdie putts at it,'' Stricker said. ''If not, then you've got to play pretty defensive at times. ... It's a simple game plan, but try to stay out of trouble and keep trying to put pressure on everybody.''

Stricker won in Arizona and Mississippi in consecutive starts in May for his first senior victories. Next week in France, he will be one of U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk's assistants.

Jobe birdied four of the last five holes. He won last year in Iowa for his lone senior title

''I think we kind of got used to what the wind was,'' Jobe said. ''Of course, there's some scoring holes on the back. The front played very difficult. It was just kind of try not to screw up for a while there.''

Smith was a stroke back after a 68.

Scott McCarron also had a 68 to get to 8 under. Woody Austin was 7 under after a 64.

McKenzie had a 77 to drop into a tie for 43rd at even par.

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Final-round tee times: Tiger, Rory in last pairing

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 22, 2018, 11:40 pm

It's Tiger Woods. It's Rory McIlroy. It's the final pairing in the final round of the Tour Championship.

Here's a look at tee times for Sunday at East Lake Golf Club.

(All times ET)

11:45AM: Patrick Reed (+8), Phil Mickelson (+11)

11:55AM: Keegan Bradley (+5), Bubba Watson (+5)

12:05PM: Brooks Koepka (+4), Francesco Molinari (+4)

12:15PM: Kevin Na (+2), Patrick Cantlay (+2)

12:25PM: Bryson DeChambeau (+2), Cameron Smith (+2)

12:35PM: Jason Day (E), Rickie Fowler (E)

12:45PM: Marc Leishman (E), Patton Kizzire (E)

12:55PM: Tommy Fleetwood (-2), Hideki Matsuyama (-1)

1:05PM: Justin Thomas (-4), Webb Simpson (-3)

1:15PM: Gary Woodland (-4), Xander Schauffele (-4)

1:25PM: Aaron Wise (-4), Dustin Johnson (-4)

1:35PM: Tony Finau (-5), Billy Horschel (-5)

1:45PM: Jon Rahm (-6), Paul Casey (-5)

1:55PM: Justin Rose (-9), Kyle Stanley (-6)

2:05PM: Tiger Woods (-12), Rory McIlroy (-9)