TOUR Notes Arnie to Have Impact at Hope

By Golf Channel NewsroomJanuary 15, 2008, 5:00 pm
News and notes from PGA TOUR officials for the PGA, Champions and Nationwide tours.
PGA Tour (75x100) PGA TOUR:
  • International players Daniel Chopra of Sweden and K.J. Choi of South Korea have won the first two PGA TOUR events of the season. If you include the end of the 2007 season, international players have won the last five TOUR events. The 2003 season started with a record four international winners in a row.
  • Keeping note number one mind, in the 48-year history of the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic only three international players have won'Bruce Devlin in 1970, Jesper Parnevik in 2000 and Mike Weir in 2003.
  • While he isnt playing this week, Arnold Palmer will still have an impact on the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. A five-time winner of the event, including his final PGA TOUR title in 1973, Arnie designed three of the four courses that will be used in this weeks rotation'the Classic Club, the Palmer Private Course at PGA West and the Palmer Course at SilverRock Resort.
  • Jerry Kelly continued his sterling play at the Sony Open in Hawaii last week with his third-place finish. The site of Kellys first TOUR win in 2002, Kelly has recorded 28 rounds in the 60s in his last 33 tries at Waialae CC.
  • Every week really does count. When Charley Hoffman won the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic last year and earned 4,500 FedExCup points, it represented 75.7% of his regular season total. Hoffman went on to reach the third PGA TOUR Playoff event for the FedExCup before being eliminated.
  • Steve Stricker has picked up right where he left off last season. Including his final four starts of last year, Stricker has five finishes in the Top 10 in his last six starts with 19 rounds in the 60s out of 24.
  • As hot as Stricker has been, Rory Sabbatini may be even hotter. Including his last four starts last year, the South African has five Top 10s in his last six outings and has posted 21 rounds in the 60s in his last 24 tries.
  • Several PGA TOUR rookies enjoyed a nice start to their seasons last week in Hawaii with 15 making the cut and five finishing in the Top 25. Dustin Johnson was the top rookie finisher last week thanks to his T10.
  • Golf becomes more global by the week it seems. A total of 25 different countries have at least one player in the Top 100 in the current Official World Golf Ranking.

    Champions Tour CHAMPIONS TOUR:
  • The Champions Tour kicks off its season this week with the MasterCard Championship at Hualalai. While its the first event of the year for most everyone else, Fred Funk has already got two tournaments in Hawaii under his belt. Funk finished T25 at the Mercedes-Benz Championship and T10 at the Sony Open in Hawaii on the PGA TOUR the past two weeks.
  • Hale Irwin is the defending champ at the MasterCard Championship at Hualalai after breezing to a five-stroke victory last year. Substantial margins of victory are nothing new to Irwin. Hes won 12 of his career titles on the Champions Tour by four strokes or more and 10 by five or more.
  • Only two players in Champions Tour history have won the same event 10 years apart. Both Hale Irwin and the late George Archer have accomplished the feat'both at the MasterCard Championship at Hualalai. Archer won in 1990 and 2000 and Irwin won in 1997 and 2007.
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    Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 2:30 pm

    Tiger Woods shot his second consecutive 70 on Friday at Carnoustie and enters weekend play at even par for the championship, still in contention for major No. 15.

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    Scott and Sunesson a one-week partnership

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 2:13 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Adam Scott has been in between caddies for the last month and went with a bold stand-in for this week’s Open Championship, coaxing veteran looper Fanny Sunesson out of retirement to work for him at Carnoustie.

    Sunesson caddied for Nick Faldo in his prime, as the duo won four major titles together. She also worked for Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia before a back injury forced her to retire.

    But for this week’s championship, Scott convinced the Swede to return to the caddie corps. The results have been impressive, with the Australian following an opening 71 with a second-round 70 for a tie for 16th place.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    “It's been going great. Fanny is, obviously, a fantastic caddie, and to be able to have that experience out there with me is certainly comforting,” Scott said. “We've gotten along really well. She's picked up on my game quickly, and I think we think about things in a very similar way.”

    Scott was also asked about a potential long-term partnership between the duo, but he didn’t sound hopeful.

    “It's just for this week,” he said. “It would be up to her, but I don't think she's making plans of a comeback. I was being a bit opportunistic in contacting her and coaxing her out of retirement, I guess. But I think she's having a good week. We'll just take it one week at the moment.”

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    After tense Augusta Sunday, Rory ready to be aggressive

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 1:51 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy temporarily lost his superpowers during the Masters.  

    In one of the most surprising rounds of the year, he played tentatively and carefully during the final day. Squaring off against the major-less Patrick Reed, on the brink of history, with the backing of nearly the entire crowd, it was McIlroy who shrank in the moment, who looked like the one searching for validation. He shot a joyless 74 and wound up six shots behind Reed.

    No, the final round was nowhere near as dispiriting as the finale in 2011, but McIlroy still sulked the following week. He binge-watched TV shows. Devoured a few books. Guzzled a couple of bottles of wine. His pity party lasted a few days, until his wife, Erica, finally dragged him out of the house for a walk.

    Some deeper introspection was required, and McIlroy revealed a healthier self-analysis Friday at Carnoustie. He diagnosed what went wrong at Augusta, and then again two months later at the U.S. Open, where he blew himself out of the tournament with an opening 80.

    “I was worrying too much about the result, not focusing on the process,” he said. “Sunday at Augusta was a big learning curve for me because, even if I hadn’t won that tournament, but I went down swinging and aggressive and committing to every shot, I would have walked away a lot happier.”

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    And so McIlroy has a new mantra this week at The Open.

    Let it go.

    Don’t hold back. Don’t worry about the repercussions. Don’t play scared.

    “I’m committed to making sure, even if I don’t play my best golf and don’t shoot the scores I want, I’m going to go down swinging, and I’m going to go down giving my best,” he said. “The result is the byproduct of all the little things you do to lead up to that. Sometimes I’ve forgotten that, and I just need to get back in that mindset.”

    It’s worked through two rounds, even after the cool, damp conditions led McIlroy to abandon his ultra-aggressive strategy. He offset a few mistakes with four birdies, shooting a second consecutive 69 to sit just a couple of shots off the lead.

    During a sun-splashed first round, McIlroy gleefully banged driver on almost every hole, flying or skirting the bunkers that dot these baked-out, undulating fairways. He wasn’t particularly accurate, but he also didn’t need to be, as the thin, wispy rough enabled every player to at least advance their approach shots near the green.

    Friday’s weather presented a different challenge. A steady morning rain took some of the fire out of parched fairways, but the cooler temperatures also reduced much of the bombers’ hang time. Suddenly, all of the bunkers were in play, and McIlroy needed to adjust his driver-heavy approach (he hit only six) on the fly.

    “It just wasn’t worth it,” he said.

    McIlroy hit a few “skanky” shots, in his words, but even his bigger misses – on the sixth and 17th holes – were on the proper side, allowing him to scramble for par and keep the round going.

    It’s the fifth time in his career that he’s opened a major with back-to-back rounds in the 60s. He’s gone on to win three of the previous four – the lone exception that disastrous final round (80) at Augusta in 2011.

    “I don’t want to say easy,” he said, “but it’s felt comfortable.”

    The weekend gets uncomfortable for everyone, apparently even four-time major winners who, when in form, ooze confidence and swagger.

    Once again McIlroy has that look at a major.

    The only thing left to do?

    Let it go.

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    Z. Johnson may have to pay for the jet home

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 1:23 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Zach Johnson will have some bragging rights when he gets back to the ultimate golf frat house on Friday after a second-round 67 moved him into the lead at The Open.

    Johnson is rooming with Jordan Spieth, Jason Dufner, Kevin Kisner, Jimmy Walker, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler this week at Carnoustie. It’s a tradition that began two years ago at Royal Troon.

    Kisner joked on Thursday after he took the first-round lead that the perks for the house/tournament front-runner were limited: “I probably get to eat first,” he said.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    There is, however, one running wager.

    “Two years ago we, I don't know if you call it bet, but agreement that, if you win, you get the jet and you buy it, so we go home,” said Johnson, who added that because of varying travel arrangements, the wager might not be needed this year. “I didn't pay last year. Somebody else did.”

    Spieth won last year’s championship at Royal Birkdale.

    Despite the expense, Johnson said he didn’t know how much it costs to charter a private flight back to the United States, but it’s a good problem to have.

    “I’d be happy to fork it over,” he smiled.