No Hanging Chad Here

By Kraig KannMay 21, 2001, 4:00 pm
Week eight on the Buy.Com Tour schedule ended the same way each of the first seven ended - there was a new winner and thus there is a new man at the top of the money list heading into the tour's off-week.
26-year-old Chad Campbell had been hailed as a 'can't-miss' prospect since the beginning of the year. Sunday in Richmond, Va., at Stonehenge Golf and Country Club, Campbell started hot with a streak of birdies and finished with a birdie to capture his first Buy.Com Tour victory. His 21-under-par performance in the tournament earned him a first-place check of $76,500.
After making birdies at Nos. 1, 2 and 3 and then holing his 3rd shot at the par-5 4th for eagle, Campbell let it be known there was no hanging Chad on this particular Sunday; the rest of the field would have to out-shoot him.
They tried. Oh they tried. Veteran Kelly Gibson, who fired 64 on Saturday went low again with a Sunday round of 66. Darron Stiles had his own string of birdies to begin the day. He birdied each of the first four, but couldn't overcome Campbell's start of 6-under after six holes. J.J. Henry, himself a 26-year-old who went birdie-for-birdie with Campbell on Saturday, couldn't keep up on Sunday. He shot 1-under par on the day, finishing well back of Campbell's scorching pace of 65, the low round of the day.

So it's Campbell - a tour rookie - who wins the Richmond Open. His resume says we shouldn't be surprised. After all, he hasn't missed a cut all year and stood 9th on the money list coming into the week. If you think that sounds appealing, consider his year in 2000! All Campbell, who hails from Texas, did was win eight of the first 16 Hooters Tour events. He won 13 in all on the Hooters Tour. But until Richmond he still felt he had something to prove, and boy did he prove it!
What does this say about Campbell? It cements his place among the best on the Buy.Com Tour and makes believers out of those who were asking the young Texan to 'prove it' on the bigger stage. Now, first on the money list with more than $160,000 dollars for the year, Campbell has set himself up for more than just a good year financially. He also has a PGA Tour card well in his sights, which will be awarded to the each of the top 15 on the Buy.Com money list at year's end.
It's nice to see the Tour allow for its young guns to shine, and you can bet he'll tell you it was pleasing to beat the many veterans littering the leaderboard throughout the week. The likes of Gibson, Mike Heinen, Jim McGovern and local Richmond hero Bobby Wadkins all made their presence known, but in the end, as Gibson himself said after his round, 'No way to keep up with the kid - he's good!'
So add Campbell's name to the 'keep an eye on this kid' list, which now includes Jonathan Byrd, who won in Greenville, S.C., at the age of 23, Ryuji Imada, and David Gossett. All have been drawing raves from those in 'the know.' It's what makes this tour so much fun to cover, and so much fun to watch.
A final message then, to all those around the country and Canada too: head out to your nearest Buy.Com Tour event. These guys ARE good, and in a few years they'll be beating a group of veterans on the PGA Tour!
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Tour still focused on security after death of suspected Austin bomber

By Rex HoggardMarch 21, 2018, 4:07 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – Although the suspect in the wave of Austin-area bombings was killed early Wednesday, the PGA Tour plans to continue heightened security measures at this week’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club.

According to various news outlets, Mark Anthony Conditt has been identified as the bombings suspect, and he was killed by an explosion inside his car in Round Rock, Texas, which is 19 miles north of Austin Country Club.

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“We do not comment on the specifics of our security measures, but we are continuing to work in close collaboration with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in Austin to ensure the safety of our players and fans at this week’s tournament,” the Tour said in a statement. “Regardless of the recent developments, our heightened security procedures will remain in place through the remainder of the week.”

Authorities believe Conditt is responsible for the five explosions that killed two people and injured five others in Austin or south-central Texas since March 2.

Play began Wednesday at the Match Play.

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Monahan addresses alcohol, fan behavior at events

By Rex HoggardMarch 21, 2018, 3:53 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – Fan behavior has become a hot-button topic on the PGA Tour in recent weeks, with Rory McIlroy suggesting on Saturday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational the circuit should “limit alcohol sales on the course.”

The Tour’s policy is to stop selling alcohol an hour before the end of play, which is normally around 5 p.m., and on Wednesday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play commissioner Jay Monahan said it’s something the Tour is monitoring.

“When you have people who aren’t behaving properly and they’ve had too much alcohol, then I agree [with McIlroy],” Monahan said. “In those incidences those people who are making it uncomfortable for a player alcohol sales should be cut off.”

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Fan behavior became an issue with some players when Tiger Woods returned to competition at last month’s Genesis Open. During the final round of the Honda Classic Justin Thomas had a fan removed when he yelled for Thomas’ tee shot at the par-4 16th hole to “get in the bunker.”

Monahan declined to address Thomas’ situation at PGA National specifically, but he did seem to suggest that as interest grows and the Tour continues to attract more mainstream sports crowds, vocal fans will continue to be the norm.

“I believe that there was more that went into it that preceded and in a situation like that we’re hopeful our players will reach out to our security staff and they can handle that,” Monahan said. “[But] yelling, ‘get in the bunker,’ that’s part of what our players have to accept. In any sport, you go to an away game, in any other sport, and people aren’t rooting for you. Sometimes out here you’re going to have fans that aren’t rooting for you, but they can’t interfere with what you’re trying to do competitively.”

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Senden playing first event since son's brain tumor

By Will GrayMarch 21, 2018, 3:03 pm

John Senden is back inside the ropes for the first time in nearly a year at this week's Chitimacha Louisiana Open on the Tour.

Senden took a leave of absence from professional golf in April, when his teenage son, Jacob, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He didn't touch a club for nearly four months as Jacob endured six rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, a gauntlet that stretched from April until mid-November.

But Senden told that his son's tumor has shrunk from the size of a thumbnail to the size of a pinky nail, and after a promising MRI in January he decided to plan his comeback.

"I haven't really played in 12 months, but in that time Jacob has really, really hung tough," Senden said. "His whole body was getting slammed with all these treatments, and he was so strong in his whole attitude and his whole body. Just really getting through the whole thing. He was tough."

Senden was granted a family crisis exemption by the Tour, and he'll have 13 starts to earn 310 FedExCup points to retain his playing privileges for the 2018-19 season. He is allowed five "rehabilitation" starts as part of the exemption, but will reportedly only make one this week before returning to the PGA Tour at the RBC Heritage, followed by starts in San Antonio, Charlotte and Dallas.

Senden, 46, has won twice on Tour, most recently the 2014 Valspar Championship.

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Added videos shed light on Reed rules controversy

By Will GrayMarch 21, 2018, 2:39 pm

Additional fan videos shed some light on a rules controversy involving Patrick Reed during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, when Reed suggested that Jordan Spieth would have gotten free relief after he was denied a favorable ruling.

Reed had sailed the green with his approach on the 11th hole Sunday at Bay Hill, coming to rest under a palm tree. As the below thread of videos from fan Tyler Soughers illustrates, Reed wanted a free drop because he believed a nearby television tower was in the way of the shot he planned to play.

The initial rules official didn't "see" the shot Reed planned to attempt given the tight confines, and his decision to deny Reed a free drop was upheld by a second rules official. Reed eventually tried to play the ball, moving it a few feet, before being granted relief from the tower from the ball's new position. He ultimately made double bogey on the hole and tied for seventh.

After finally taking his free drop away from the tower, Reed was heard muttering to nearby fans, "What a crock of s---."

Reed and Spieth will have plenty of time to discuss their favorite rulings Friday, when the two players face off on the final day of round-robin play in Group 4 during the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin.