Ellis Leads Canadian Winter Q-School
The 25-year-old leads Dong Yi by one stroke heading into Wednesdays second round. Russell Surber of Blaine, Wash. fired a 69 while six others are three back.
Ellis wasnt the only player from the Golden State to fare well, as Californians hold down ten of the top 16 spots after the opening day.
Jeff Puska of Ladysmith, BC is the top Canadian after posting an opening round 71.
Once final round action wraps up Friday, the Canadian Tour will award exempt playing cards for the 2005 season to the low ten finishers with an additional ten players, plus ties, earning non-exempt status. Ninety-five golfers from five countries teed it up in the opening round.
With Southern California receiving a reprieve from the torrential rains that have pounded the area in recent days, Ellis calmly went out Tuesday and hit 11 of 14 fairways and missed just three greens in regulation all day.
That was just a solid round of golf, said Ellis, a three-time member of the NCAAs All-Pac Ten team while at the University of Oregon. I drove it well, hit some solid irons and made some putts. That usually leads to some good things. It was pretty stress-free.
Ellis, who turned professional a year and a half ago, advanced to the second stage of the PGA Tour qualifying tournament last fall but missed the final phase in the three-tiered marathon by one stroke. Looking to erase that disappointment here, he knows how vital it was to get a quick start out of the gate in Chino Hills. Sitting at the top of the leaderboard after one day, Ellis says he will take the same game plan into the second round and not let up at the 7,100-yard, par-72 Los Serranos CC track.
You dont want to put yourself behind the 8-ball early. You obviously want as much breathing room as possible heading into Friday. Ill keep firing, try to shoot the lowest possible score for four rounds and see where I am.
Last week, 14 players including U.S. amateur star Casey Wittenberg and Canadians Scott McNeil, Glenn Collins and Danny Sahl, earned Canadian Tour playing cards at the Florida Q-School.
The 2005 season kicks off Mar. 12-15 in Austin, Tex. with the Barton Creek Austin Canadian Tour Pro-Am Classic presented by Yes! Golf.
Scores Tuesday after the opening round of the Canadian Tours California Winter Qualifying School being held at the 7,104-yard, par-72 Los Serranos CC (a-denotes amateur):
1 Ellis, John San Jose, CA 33-34_67
2 Yi, Dong Alameda, CA 32-36_68
3 Surber, Russell Blaine, WA 34-35_69
4 Brunson, Daniel Greenville, SC 37-33_70
4 Henderson, Scott Dove Canyon, CA 36-34_70
4 Itzen, Justin Palm Desert, CA 34-36_70
4 Keller, Rob Temecula, CA 36-34_70
4 Kennedy, Robert Phoenix, AZ 35-35_70
4 Tomasulo, Peter Long Beach, CA 34-36_70
10 Beard, Michael Palm Desert, CA 35-36_71
10 Giarrantano, Tony Castle Rock, CO 35-36_71
10 Harrington, Scott Scottsdale, CA 35-36_71
10 Henson, Berry LaQuinta, CA 36-35_71
10 Puska, Jeff Ladysmith, BC 36-35_71
10 Sestero, Luke Scottsdale, AZ 36-35_71
10 Walton, Michael Palm Desert, CA 35-36_71
17 Hatley, Reid Spokane, WA 37-35_72
17 Riskam, Daniel Hermosa Beach, CA 36-36_72
17 Ruda, Jesse Santa Barbara, CA 37-35_72
20 Brown, Michael Cheltenham, PA 37-36_73
20 Frier, Steve Richmond, BC 39-34_73
20 Guetz, Bret Scottsdale, AZ 35-38_73
20 Lindstom, Jon Castle Rock, CO 38-35_73
20 Mackenzie, Brock Yakima, WA 36-37_73
20 Overson, Darrin Orem, UT 38-35_73
20 Smith, Todd Elk Grove, CA 37-36_73
27 Bergstedt III, Russell Phoenix, AZ 37-37_74
27 Buxbaum, Aaron Encinitas, CA 36-38_74
27 Coleman, Jim Bob Billings, MT 37-37_74
27 Floyd, Dan McKinney, TX 37-37_74
27 Fonner, Matthew Los Gatos, CA 37-37_74
27 Guetz, Brian Scottsdale, AZ 36-38_74
27 Kang, Tai Abbotsford, BC 36-38_74
27 Monfont, Kyle Dublin, OH 38-36_74
27 Puekdang, Ty Berkeley, CA 37-37_74
27 Sanchez, Cuauhtemoc Austin, TX 38-36_74
37 Aga, Matt Carlsbad, CA 37-38_75
37 Atlick, Scott Atherton, CA 42-33_75
37 Burnier, Jean-Luc Dana Point, CA 37-38_75
37 Gavlak, Zac Phoenix, AZ 40-35_75
37 Kawaguchi, Masa Japan 37-38_75
37 Kawano, Koichiro Japan 39-36_75
37 Kirkpatrick, Miles Stockton, CA 39-36_75
37 Kowaluk, Kurt Sudbury, ON 36-39_75
37 Mallinger, John Escondido, CA 39-36_75
37 Minamimoto, Osamu Japan 37-38_75
37 Nakane, Kenta Japan 35-40_75
37 Park, Pedro New Zealand 36-39_75
37 Potter, Dan Coeurd'Alene, ID 40-35_75
37 Smith, Blaise Chino, CA 37-38_75
37 Streat, Heath Australia 39-36_75
52 Dennis, Spencer Arroyo Grande, CA 39-37_76
52 Dorothy, Dean Aiea, HI 38-38_76
52 Heinz, Jerry Poway, CA 39-37_76
52 Kastner, Jason Hudson, QC 38-38_76
52 Martin, Nolan Cold Springs, CO 36-40_76
52 Moreno, JP Pico Rivera, CA 38-38_76
52 Patterson, Marcus Rancho Cordova, CA 37-39_76
52 Richardson, Brandon Junction City, OR 38-38_76
52 Smith, Warren Houston, TX 39-37_76
52 Tayler, Nik Australia 36-40_76
52 Uchibori, Yuki Japan 38-38_76
52 Vinson, CJ Phoenix, AZ 37-39_76
52 Watanabe, Steve San Francisco, CA 40-36_76
52 Wiles, Trevin Sandy, UT 39-37_76
66 Dickson, Chris Bright's Grove, ON 37-40_77
66 Ferlic, Gavin South Bend, IN 40-37_77
66 Inlow, Travis Calgary, AB 39-38_77
66 Jensen, Brent Pleasant Hill, CA 40-37_77
66 Kupeyan, Calvin Tecumseh, ON 38-39_77
66 McNally, Michael Billings, MT 43-34_77
66 Pederson, Shawn Lahana, HI 39-38_77
66 Robertson, John W. Olympia, WA 41-36_77
66 Shibuya, Randy Honolulu, HI 40-37_77
75 Blackwell, Shane Scottsdale, CA 39-39_78
75 Takase, Atsushi Japan 40-38_78
77 Kuraoka, Justin Rancho Cordova, CA 38-41_79
77 Newbolt, Tim Kihei, HI 40-39_79
77 Stevens, Noah Woodlands, TX 40-39_79
77 Streatfield, Andrew Marina, CA 35-44_79
81 Duran, Tony Phoenix, AZ 40-40_80
81 Kennedy, Dean Vancouver, BC 40-40_80
81 LeBlanc, Dale Scottsdale, AZ 42-38_80
81 Libby, Kyle San Jose, CA 40-40_80
81 Narita, Mitsutake Japan 37-43_80
81 Pekuri, Mark Santa Monica, CA 40-40_80
87 Johnstone, Evan Orinda, CA 40-41_81
87 Luce, Jeremy Austin, TX 42-39_81
87 Potter, Bryan Santa Monica, Ca 40-41_81
90 Aldrich, David (A) Grass Valley, CA 38-44_82
90 Smith, Ryan Australia 40-42_82
92 Hamano, Takashi Japan 40-43_83
92 Israel, Peter (A) Palm Desert, CA 43-40_83
94 Hilton, Jed Riverton, UT 42-45_87
95 Stahlheber, Charles Vancouver, WA 48-50_98
Randall's Rant: Woods' message to young rivals: Bring it on!
Bring it on!
OK, I’m not fluent in body language, and maybe that’s not exactly what Tiger Woods was communicating with his exuberant fist pump after closing out a 64 Sunday at the PGA Championship, but there was so much hope in the excitement he let loose with his closing birdie.
Hope beyond what was still going on behind him at Bellerive.
Hope in what lies ahead.
Bring it on!
You know Woods wanted Brooks Koepka to hear his legion roar, to let Koepka know he better not stumble back there behind him. You know he also wanted Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and all today’s stars to hear all those roars, to let them know he’s finally fit for a fight again.
Bring it on!
Yes, Koepka refused to flinch, and Woods ultimately finished second, but that rollicking last fist pump told you what Sunday’s finish meant to Woods.
He’s going to win again.
That’s the confidence won closing the way he did, celebrating at the 72nd hole in a way we’ve only ever seen him do on his way to hoisting a trophy.
Because that’s where he is headed again.
He can and will win again.
Bring it on!
That’s the thrilling promise Sunday brought to all of golf.
Koepka wasn’t about to get out of Woods’ way, in the fashion the players of another era seemed to do when weekend roars preceded a Woods stampede. Koepka did today’s players a favor sending his own message. He was a rock. He didn’t flinch and didn’t fold in the wake of all those deafening Tiger roars.
If Koepka flinches Sunday, it sends the wrong message to all these other young guys. It gives them all pause. It makes them all wonder if Tiger’s aura really does come with some unfair advantage, with a one- or two-shot advantage in his ability to ride the noisy chaos to heights they can’t. We heard more than one young star complain this spring about the boisterous crowds that followed Woods.
These young guys don’t need that in their heads.
So Koepka didn’t back down, and Johnson, Thomas, McIlroy, Spieth, Day, Fowler and Rahm aren’t likely to, either.
That’s the great fun Woods’ comeback brings. The battles all these young guys say they want with the legend are real possibilities now, with all those Tiger birdies and Tiger roars confirming Sunday that he is ready to begin giving them what they want.
“I’ve always wanted to battle it out in a major with Tiger,” Jordan Spieth said during The Open last month. “Who hasn’t? It’s kind of a dream come true, just to have the opportunity.”
The wonder in Sunday’s finish is that Woods was so good spraying his driver all over the place early in the round. Back in the day, he would have said he shot that 64 with his “B” game. You won’t hear him say things like that now, but the beauty in the round was knowing how he may have turned a 70 into a 64. It was in knowing how much better he still might get on these old legs.
It’s a shame we have to wait eight months for the Masters to see if his run of T-6 at The Open and 2nd at the PGA Championship continues on a majestic trajectory, because the message I heard in his last fist pump is still ringing in my ears.
Bring it on!
Eight Men, Four Women Advance to "Tennessee Big Shots," Airing Monday, Aug. 13 at 6 p.m. ET Live on Golf Channel
Airing Live on Golf Channel, Fourth Televised Event of 2018 is Final Tour Stop Prior to Season-Culminating Volvik World Long Drive Championship
Field Boasts Six of Top-10 in World Led by No. 1 Justin James, Three-Time 2018 Winner Will Hogue; & Two-time World Champion Phillis Meti
The World Long Drive Association (WLDA) season continues tonight with the Tennessee Big Shots benefiting Niswonger Children’s Hospital, airing live at 6 p.m. ET on Golf Channel. The live telecast will showcase the eight men and four women having advanced from preliminary rounds where they’ll compete in single-elimination matches until respective champions are crowned. The Open (Men’s) Division field will feature six of the top-nine competitors in the World Long Drive rankings, including No. 1 Justin James (Jacksonville, Fla.) along with Will Hogue (Memphis, Tenn.), who has accumulated three wins to-date in 2018. The Women’s Division will feature two-time world champion Phillis Meti (Auckland, New Zealand) and Alexis Belton (Ruston, La.,) who won the Clash in the Canyon earlier this year. Chloe Garner (Johnson City, Tenn.,) also is returning from injury in her first competition of 2018 in what will be a de-facto “home game,” while LPGA Tour player Emily Tubert (Burbank, Calif.) is the fourth semifinalist, competing in her first-ever WLDA competition.
“We’ve finally reached the home stretch of the season,” said Jonathan Coachman, play-by-play host for World Long Drive Association events on Golf Channel. “With the World Championship only weeks away, the competitors understand the need to be on their game. I’ve always said that champions show up anytime, anywhere, for anything. They better have that mind-set, beginning with tonight’s Tennessee Big Shots.”
OPEN DIVISION QUARTERFINAL MATCHES (Seeded by world ranking):
WOMEN’S DIVISION SEMIFINAL MATCHES:
Chloe Garner (Johnson City, Tenn.) vs. Emily Tubert (Burbank, Calif.)
Being staged from Cattails at Meadowview Golf Course in Kingsport, Tenn., the inaugural event – in partnership with Ballad Health’s Niswonger Children’s Hospital – is the fourth WLDA event of 2018 scheduled to air live on Golf Channel. Tennessee Big Shots is being contested in association with the Niswonger Children’s Hospital Classic. The eventalso marks the penultimate WLDA competition of the year, with the season-culminating Volvik World Long Drive Championship taking place Aug. 30-Sept. 5.
COVERAGE: Live coverage of the Tennessee Big Shots will air on Golf Channel from 6-8 p.m. ET on Monday, Aug. 13, with Golf Central previewing the event from 5-6 p.m. ET. Encore showings of the competition are scheduled to air on Golf Channel following the live telecast, from 10 p.m.-Midnight ET and 12:30-2:30 a.m. ET.
The production centering around live coverage of the competition will utilize six dedicated cameras, capturing all angles from the hitting platform and the landing grid, including a SuperMo camera as well as two craned-positioned cameras that will track the ball in flight once it leaves the competitor’s clubface. An overlaid graphic line on the grid, the “DXL Big Drive to Beat,” (similar to the “1st & 10 line” made popular in football) will display the longest drive during a given match to signify the driving distance an opposing competitor will need to surpass to take the lead. The telecast also will feature a custom graphics package suited to the anomalous swing data typically generated by Long Drive competitors, tracking club speed, ball speed and apex in real-time via Trackman. Trackman technology also will provide viewers with a sense of ball flight, tracing the arc of each drive from the moment of impact.
BROADCAST TEAM: Veteran sports broadcaster Jonathan Coachman will conduct play-by-play alongside Art Sellinger, World Long Drive pioneer and two-time world champion (1986, ’91). Golf Channel’s Jerry Foltz will offer reports from the teeing platform and conduct interviews with competitors in the field.
DIGITAL & SOCIAL MEDIA COVERAGE: Fans can stay up-to-date on all of the action surrounding the Tennessee Big Shots by following @GolfChannel and @WorldLongDrive on social media. Golf Channel social media host Alexandra O’Laughlin will be on-site contributing to the social conversation as the event unfolds, and, the telecast will integrate social media-generated content during live coverage using the hashtag, #WorldLongDrive.
Golf Channel Digital also will feature content from the Tennessee Big Shots leading up to and immediately following the live telecast.
2018 WORLD LONG DRIVE ASSOCIATION SCHEDULE:
WINNER(S) / DEFENDING CHAMP
East Coast Classic
West Columbia, S.C.
Clash in the Canyon (*Golf Channel*)
Alexis Belton, Will Hogue
Ak-Chin Smash in the Sun (*Golf Channel*)
Phillis Meti, Will Hogue
Atlantic City Boardwalk Bash (*Golf Channel*)
Atlantic City, N.J.
Sandra Carlborg, Mark Costello
Bluff City Shootout
Bash For Cash
Port Rowan, Ont., Canada
WinStar Midwest Slam
Tennessee Big Shots benefitting Niswonger Children’s Hospital (*Golf Channel*)
Volvik World Long Drive Championship (*Golf Channel*)
Sandra Carlborg, Justin James
Showcasing the truly global nature of World Long Drive, several events throughout 2018 are staged through officially sanctioned WLDA international partners, including stops in Germany, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom, along with an all-encompassing international qualifier for the Open Division of the Volvik World Long Drive Championship in September.
Making Ryder Cup picks: Furyk begins his toughest task
ST. LOUIS – By the time Brooks Koepka teed off for the final round of the PGA Championship, Jim Furyk was already back at his rental house and settled in to watch what would be an eventful final round.
Furyk's day was just getting started.
Although he’d been up since dawn and had already put in a full day at Bellerive with a 7:56 a.m. tee time, Sunday began a process the U.S. Ryder Cup captain has prepared for and anticipated for two years.
“I didn’t get a lot of sleep this week,” Furyk conceded on Sunday following a closing 71 at Bellerive. “At times I found myself with my mind wandering. The afternoon tee times I’m sitting around in the morning and my mind starts wandering and I start looking at stats and start thinking about the Ryder Cup. There’s a million things going on.”
The American captain is officially on the clock. The final round of the year’s final major was the deadline to qualify for this year’s Ryder Cup team, and Furyk now begins the process of narrowing the list of potential captain’s picks.
Davis Love III, who took two turns in the captain’s chair, will tell you this is the toughest part of the gig. Forget about pairings and course setup and vice captains - getting the picks right is what separates a good captain from a great one.
“I saw him around this week kind of frazzled like I was; they are pulling him everywhere,” Love said. “Now it’s a tough couple of weeks. At dinner the other night we were talking about what we were going to do [regarding picks] and I was like, ‘Well, you have to wait for [Sunday] and you’ll get a better idea.”
On that front, the wait is over. The top eight players on the U.S. point list are now locked in and Furyk and his vice captains – Love, Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods – can begin the artful process of creating a list of possible picks based on a wide variety of criteria.
The automatic qualifiers are Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Webb Simpson, who held on to the final spot thanks to his tie for 19th at the PGA.
“For some guys we’re going to look at the body of work for a year, for some players we’re going to look at a hot player right now, some guys we’re going to look at pairings and how they fit into the team we have right now,” Furyk said.
Furyk will make three of his captain’s picks on Sept. 3 following the Dell Technologies Championship and his final selection a week later after the BMW Championship.
The short list of possible picks would include Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson, Woods, Xander Schauffele, Matt Kuchar, Kevin Kisner and Tony Finau, Nos. 9 through 15, respectively, on the final point list.
Schauffele and Finau had something of a playing interview at Bellerive when they were paired with Furyk for Rounds 1 and 2.
“Tony made a pile of birdies, he’s explosive as far as firepower and how far he hits it but I was impressed with his putting, to be honest with you. I knew he could hit it far and kind of knew how he played, but he really played well,” said Furyk, who also played with Finau on Saturday at the PGA.
Mickelson will be a particularly interesting option for Furyk. For the first time in his Ryder Cup career, which began in 1995, Lefty failed to qualify for the U.S. side and the de facto team room front man would be tough to pass over.
“His game has been in a good position all year, he’s putted great, I think Jason Day is the only player with better putting stats this year,” said Furyk, who met with Mickelson after he missed the cut in St. Louis. “He’s working on a couple of things in his game right now that we talked about.”
Woods also creates some interesting scenarios. His runner-up finish at the PGA vaulted him from 20th to 11th on the final point list and essentially assured what many believed to be a foregone conclusion. Woods will be among Furyk’s captain’s picks, the only real question when it comes to the 14-time major champion is whether he can play and drive a vice captain’s cart.
“He’s on that list we’ve talked about and I think we still need to hash that out,” Furyk said. “Is it possible [to do both jobs]? Sure, we just need to decide if that’s best for the team.”
If Woods and Mickelson have already been penciled in as picks, which many believe they have, that essentially leaves a half dozen players vying for the final two spots.
An 11th-hour charge over the next three weeks could certainly sway Furyk, and he’s made it clear that Le Golf National, site of this year’s matches outside of Paris, favors a certain type of game, think a fairways-and-greens type like Kisner or even Brian Harman, who finished 17th on the point list.
“I’ve taken a look at the golf course and what I think will really work,” Furyk said.
There’s also an undercurrent of interest in Furyk going young with his picks to give a player like DeChambeau or Schauffele a chance to experience the unique pressures of a Ryder Cup “road game,” but Furyk didn’t seem as interested in developing future talent as he is in winning.
“Our goals for long term are important and young blood is a good thing, but I would never sacrifice this team or 2018 for 2022,” he said. “The goal is still to go to Europe and try to retain the cup. That said, having a mix of veteran and young players is a good thing.”
If Furyk sounds a little vague when it comes to his potential picks it should be no real surprise. Getting the picks right is the most demanding part of any captain’s job and he’s just getting started.
Lowry calls out official over drop ruling at PGA
Despite the fact that Shane Lowry matched his best worldwide finish of the year at the PGA Championship, the Irishman didn't mince words over a frustrating ruling that played out late in the final round.
Lowry was 10 under and four shots behind Brooks Koepka when he stepped to the 16th tee, but he sailed his tee shot on the par-3 well right and behind a TV camera tower. What ensued was a lengthy delay as Lowry consulted with rules officials over whether he was entitled to a free drop and where he might take relief.
According to Lowry, the two officials failed to render a final decision and left it up to the player as to how to proceed. He eventually opted to play the ball from its original position next to the tower, pitching it into some rough in front of him and eventually making bogey. He also bogeyed the 17th, turning a possible top-5 finish into a tie for 12th.
"I think the referee didn't have the balls to make a decision there, and if he did I would have had an easier shot," Lowry told the Irish Times. "If you put (European Tour official) John Paramor or any of the good referees out there, and he would have given me full relief. But he wasn't giving me full relief, he was telling me to drop it in a tree basically."
Lowry's discussion with officials dragged on to the point that his playing competitor, Justin Thomas, opted to play out of turn with a pitch shot of his own. He also went on to make a bogey, but after the round told reporters that he didn't blame Lowry for how the situation played out.
"It had nothing to do with Shane. The rules officials were having a hard time coming up with a ruling," Thomas said. "They were kind of looking at each other and saying, 'Well, what do we do?' And Shane's like, 'Look, just tell me if I get a drop or not.' And I'm a quick player, and that's why I went."
Lowry's title chances were gone long before the rules fiasco, but his poor close had other ramifications. The 31-year-old's three-year exemption on the PGA Tour for winning the 2015 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational expires after this week's Wyndham Championship, and the T-12 finish at Bellerive only moved Lowry from No. 156 to No. 139 in the season-long points race with the top 125 retaining full cards for the 2019 season.