October 23-26, 2008
Tournament #46 of 48
Grayhawk GC (Raptor) [Scottsdale, AZ]
Par 35-35=70 - 7,125 yards
Years hosted: 2007-present
Purse: $5,000,000 (Winner-$900,000)
Field size: 132
Cut: Top 70 & ties after 36 holes (if >78 golfers are tied, another cut of Top 70 & ties will occur after 54 holes)
Last Friday, Daniel Chopra double-eagled the par-5 9th hole at TPC Summerlin. It was the first albatross on the PGA Tour this year and first on tour since Stewart Cink, using a hybrid, drained his second shot on the 6th hole at TPC Sugarloaf in the final round of the 2007 AT&T Classic. Dating back to 2005, there have been a total of 14 albatrosses. For this week's challenge, name the golfer that can boast that he's had two of those 14.
HINTS: Two different years. Was the first to card one in both years. This current Bubble Boy has played in every event in this year's Fall Series and is in the field at the Frys.com. He was a Nationwide Tour grad in 2001 and has retained full status on the PGA Tour since. ANSWER can be found at "The 19th Hole."
The PGA Tour's Final Mini-West Coast Swing, or the catchy PGATFMWCS, ends this week in Scottsdale, which just happens to be where a plethora of members call home. No disrespect to the locals (some happen to be my relatives) but there are other places more deserved of one tour stop, much less two. Try Denver. Minneapolis. Pittsburgh. Chicago, too. Alas, with only so many warm-weather months and the tour's stubbornness to play just one event per week most of the time (so selfish), it needs to return to the East Valley to secure a few good men.
What's interesting about last year's inaugural Frys.com is that only two (Billy Mayfair, Pat Perez) of the 11 that finished inside the Top 10 are Scottsdale residents. (Runner-up, Mark Hensby, lives in Mesa, and recently transplanted Ryan Moore also posted a Top 10 but hadn't moved into his new digs yet.) So much for sleeping in your own bed. In fact, unless it's Tiger Woods anywhere (except at Riviera or TPC Sawgrass), never put too much stock into the home game. Go ahead and toss that theory out the window. Start over by looking back a week, because the Frys.com is shaping up to be a continuation of the Timberlake, only with thinner rough.
[Quick interject/reminder . Last year's Fry's Electronics Open is now the Frys.com Open. Last year's Frys.com Open is now the Justin Timberlake clambake. Back to our program .]
The greens at Grayhawk's Raptor Course will be quick, but consider two caveats to that. First, this isn't the U.S. Open. Second, nearby resident, Aaron Baddeley, summed up the putting surfaces on Tuesday in this fashion: "I played last week, and they were actually quicker than what they are today, and they're just rolling perfectly. Depending on the weather, we should see some good scores, but the course plays longer than last year because of the overseed." (Source: pgatour.com) Right. Firm and fast to these guys is akin to you and me putting on our driveways. Grayhawk would take a P.R. beating if the rank and file were complaining about Stimpmeter readings over 12 when those same fellas are worried enough about retaining their lifestyles of the rich and obscure.
So, the formula is simple. Birdies, birdies, birdies. Light rough will turn it into TPC Sugarloaf West (or was that really Grayhawk East?). Of course, the drought in the desert is expected, but the thick stuff needs the winter to, well, thicken.
Speaking of lush, the par-3 16th hole at Grayhawk will be hosting a promotion of suds, er, sorts. For every birdie, the price for one beer will get slashed - from $4 to $2 - for 15 minutes thereafter. Undoubtedly, an inverse relationship will apply to the length of the lines found using the, cough, "sign of Lite relief." And no word on the deal for a hole-in-one (there were zero aces at the 16th last year).The Elements
Weather conditions this week completely explain why snowbirds begin returning to the Valley of the Sun at this time of year. Basically, it's going to be a carbon copy of the perfection in which the touring pros played in Las Vegas last week. The sun will shine all day, every day, with a daytime high dancing around 90 degrees until November. The bonus is that the morning lows will bottom out at a welcoming 60 degrees. Winds in the 10-15 mph range on Thursday will abate by the evening hours and remain calm for the remainder of the tournament.Course Scoring Averages - 2007
Round 1 - 69.870
Round 2 - 69.708
Round 3 - 69.987
Round 4 - 72.392 (steady winds of 20-30 mph ruled the day)
2007: Mike WeirIn Defense
Mike Weir. Has four Top 10s in last five starts (and five over his last seven). Why quit now? He's the friggin' defending champ, too.
Projection: Top 10
After what was likely an epic victory celebration in Las Vegas, Marc Turnesa withdrew and returned home to Florida.Champion
Charley Hoffman. No, Blondielocks hasn't had a Top 10 in six months but he found a groove at TPC Summerlin, shooting 67-67-68-68=T15. And the hotter it is, the better he gets.Top 5
Davis Love III. It's like 1997 all over again lately. DL3 has squeezed in a pair of Top 6s in his last three starts to reach #125 on the money list. It's merely a layover into safety well inside the Top 125.
Daniel Chopra. After flaming out in the playoffs, he took six weeks off before his T-15 at the Timberlake. One of the best putters on tour should thrive on the perfect greens at Grayhawk.
Mathew Goggin. After Justin Rose, Ian Poulter and Paul Casey, the Aussie is in that 1B level of non-winners, with guys like Tim Clark, Pat Perez, Steve Marino and Ryan Moore. So, you wouldn't be wrong to say that he's due. Closed out the Timberlake with a 65.
John Mallinger. Nearing that 1B level with Goggin. Started 64-64 in Vegas, ultimately "fading" to a T-3 after a pedestrian aggregate of 6-under on the weekend. He showed off his much underrated putter with a 64-footer for par at the 72nd hole to secure that Top 5.Top 10
Tim Clark. He lives nearby so don't be shocked at his entry this week. In fact, I don't think we should ever be surprised if a non-winner, albeit with documented success, decides to tee it up whenever he can. In truth, I'm hedging up a bit only because Clark can battle with the best in a scoring race like this week. Otherwise, he's prone to slow starts after putting the clubs away for a few weeks. This is his first event since THE TOUR Championship. In other words, don't lead off with him this week but plug him in there somewhere.
Brian Davis. Ignoring the DQ at the Texas Open, the Brit has a pair of T-15s coming in. I wish he exuded more confidence in his decision-making, because it's obvious that it's the last obstacle to his first trophy presentation. He finished T-6 at last year's Frys.com.
Ryan Moore. Ever since losing in the playoff to Adam Scott at the Byron Nelson, Moore has had trouble putting four rounds together, with just one Top 10 (T-10, Memorial) to prove it. But he finished T-6 at last year's Frys.com and is home this week. Of course, if that Sunday 73 at the Timberlake (at his previous home) scares you off, I completely understand.
Steve Allan. Started the Fall Series T4-T3-T19 before missing the Timberlake altogether on merit. I don't know how you can't continue to ride this guy as long as he earns a tee time.Top 25
Pat Perez. Four Top 25s including two Top 10s over his last four starts. Finished T-6 at last year's Frys.com.
Tim Herron. Enters fresh off a T-6 at the Timberlake, thanks to a Sunday 62, and a T-8 in Texas. He's certainly not playing like the 147th-ranked golfer in the world, two spots above Tom Lehman and six behind George McNeill.
Mark Hensby. If it's crunch time, then Hensby must be lurking. Has finished T15-T30-T24 over the last three events. Was the runner-up at last year's Frys.com but that was boosted by a second-round 61, which is the course record at the Raptor.
Jason Day. First of all, I can't imagine that this heralded rookie won't crack the Top 125 by the end of the season. What he lacks in experience, he makes up for in precocity and there's no barometer for that. Now, he finished T-24 in Las Vegas, shedding a disappointing missed cut at the Texas Open, and needs to bank about $130K to feel safe for 2009. A Top 10 would get it done and he certainly has it in him, but I don't roll the dice on rookies in fantasy golf. Given two weeks and he's a lock.
Scott Sterling. Already a late bloomer, the 36-year old rookie is late to the punch this season, but has cashed in nine straight starts, capped by his first career Top 10 last week (T-8, Timberlake). He posted a Sunday 64 to make it happen and propel himself to #148 on the money list. Believe it or not, there are more dangerous bets out there this week.26+
Aaron Baddeley. Before you think I'm hating on the guy, this merely serves as a warning that Baddeley's wife is in her ninth month of pregnancy and could pop anytime, which could lead to a WD for her husband. But this could also be an opportunity to either extend your league lead or rejoin the pack ahead of you. Like many others in the field, this is a home game for Badds and his last U.S. start of 2008.
Jonathan Byrd. Although he went an aggregate 1-over-and-out of the Timberlake, Byrd hasn't missed two consecutive paydays in 15 months. (Of course, when I usually points out facts like these, you know what happens .)
Billy Mayfair. Last year's solo 3rd was what you'd expect from a Scottsdale resident, but Mayfair has been too streaky with his putter lately to crack my Top 25 this year. Plus, he's coming off an uncharacteristic MC at the Timberlake, where he took 34 putts in the opening round.
Dean Wilson. Has cashed in seven of his last eight starts, but just one of them was a Top 25 (T-22, BMW). Finished T-25 at last year's Frys.com, which was his final start of 2007.
Chez Reavie. Another local, beware the Sunday 75 at TPC Summerlin. His best finish in seven starts since winning the Canadian is a T-33 at the BMW.MC
Arron Oberholser. Home this week but I just wonder if his body can't keep pace in firestorm scoring conditions. He went 73-70=MC at the Timberlake.
Jeff Quinney. Since the U.S. Open, Quinney has missed eight cuts, was disqualified from the Wyndham and finished T-63 in Canada. Yikes.
Matt Jones. Scottsdale resident scored an aggregate 1-under over his final 54 holes in Las Vegas. Over last 10 starts, has zero Top 60s and has missed six cuts.
Tommy Armour III. Has scuffled for the better part of three months. Cited sinus issues as his reason for withdrawing from the Timberlake. Of course, he also holds the PGA Tour scoring record, which he pasted in the history books after a similar run of poor play in 2003. In fact, that historical Texas Open was TA3's lone Top 10 of the year.
Cliff Kresge. Has broken par just once in his last 10 rounds; that goes back to the third round of the Canadian Open. Has missed four cuts since. At 91st on the money list, Kresge needs about $350K just to get to #70 and qualify for the limited-field invitationals.Bubble Boys
For the Fall Series, I will give sort out the simple data for the guys on both sides of the bubble ($800K-$840K) that arescheduled to play
in the current event. Everyone listed is in danger of losing his tour card. So, because they are already exempt for 2009, you will not see guys like Nick Watney (118th) and Todd Hamilton (154th) even though they are in the field.
Inside Top 125
Money List: 116th
Money List: 117th
Money List: 119th
Money List: 121st
Money List: 122nd
Money List: 124th
Davis Love III
Money List: 125th
Money List: 126th
Money List: 127th
Money List: 128th
Money List: 129th
Money List: 130th
Money List: 131st
Money List: 132nd
Money List: 133rd
Money List: 135th
Money List: 136th
Money List: 137th
Money List: 139th
Money List: 140th
Money List: 142nd
Money List: 143rd
Money List: 144th
Frank Lickliter II
Money List: 145th
Money List: 147th
Money List: 148th
Money List: 149th
Money List: 150th
[NOTE: These are guys that started the year with full status or were exempt from the Q School/Nationwide Tour reshuffle.]
Money List: 160th
Money List: 163rd
Money List: 167th
Money List: 170th
Money List: 175th
Money List: 180th
NOTE: Will receive a medical extension in 2009.
Money List: 194th
Money List: 195th
Money List: 245th
NOTE: Will receive a medical extension in 2009.
The final reshuffle was made at the conclusion of the Viking Classic; therefore, only earnings will be updated here now. Golfers whose earnings are in bold type are projected to have secured a 2009 PGA Tour card. From the fantasy perspective, this list provides non-weekly formats a projected value (i.e. likelihood of qualifying for a field on merit, ability to set schedule) of golfers playing out of this category.
Final "number." Golfer, 2008 earnings
* - In the field at the Frys.com OpenFINAL RANK
1. Nicholas Thompson, $1,593,329
2. *John Merrick, $1,288,338
3. *Kevin Streelman, $1,187,455
4. *Michael Letzig, $858,477
5. Tim Wilkinson, $1,134,947
6. *Brad Adamonis, $862,413
7. *Martin Laird, $752,188
8. *Patrick Sheehan, $771,662
9. *Matt Jones, $720,929
10. *Jason Day, $698,393
11. *James Driscoll, $697,399
12. *Jon Mills, $489,510
13. *Frank Lickliter II, $518,973
14. Roland Thatcher, $445,212 (out until 2009)
15. *Justin Bolli, $438,022
16. *Tag Ridings, $466,527
17. *Y.E. Yang, $412,805
18. *Brett Rumford, $386,419
19. *Scott Sterling, $470,722
20. Carlos Franco, $368,200
21. *Omar Uresti, $299,189
22. *Brenden Pappas, $247,934
23. *Kenneth Ferrie, $236,639
24. *Jin Park, $227,102
25. *Kent Jones, $271,772
26. *John Riegger, $236,459
27. *Bob Sowards, $251,459
28. *Jimmy Walker, $232,569
29. *Chad Collins, $241,809
30. *Brad Elder, $221,421
31. *Todd Demsey, $185,676
32. Tom Scherrer, $143,962
33. *Chris Stroud, $315,279
34. *Alejandro Canizares, $134,899
35. *David Lutterus, $120,088
36. *Jim McGovern, $124,203
37. *Kyle Thompson, $145,523
38. *Paul Claxton, $116,678
39. Michael Bradley, $104,816
40. *Jason Allred, $100,596
41. *Cody Freeman, $68,673
42. *Ron Whittaker, $59,977
43. Jonathan Kaye, $41,375 (probably out until 2009)
44. *Travis Perkins, $36,583
45. *Tommy Gainey, $48,905
46. Duffy Waldorf, $7,350 (out until 2009)
47. Carl Paulson, $0 (hasn't played anywhere since 2005)
NOTE: Timberlake Open champ, Marc Turnesa, is the fifth golfer from this category (Richard S. Johnson, Chez Reavie, Parker McLachlin, Dustin Johnson) to win in 2008. He will play out of the Winners category through 2010 and has been removed from this list.Medical Extensions
Golfer (PRIORITY RANKING) - has: # of events played/$ earned . remaining: # of events remaining under extension/$ remaining unearned
* - In the field at the Frys.com Open
Ben Crane [MAJOR) - has met his requirement and will retain this status for the remainder of 2008
Jason Bohn (MAJOR) - has met his requirement and will retain this status for the remainder of 2008
*Brett Quigley (MAJOR) - has met his requirement and will retain this status for the remainder of 2008
Dudley Hart (MAJOR) - has met his requirement and will retain this status for the remainder of 2008
*Shane Bertsch (MAJOR) - has met his requirement and will retain this status for the remainder of 2008
Chris Perry (MAJOR) - has: 0/$0 . remaining: 18/$515,445
Joey Snyder III (MAJOR) - has: 0/$0 . remaining: 25/$647,466
Brandt Jobe (MAJOR) - has: 19/$293,214 . remaining: 4/$480,950
David Berganio, Jr. (MAJOR) - has: 1/$0 . remaining: 5/$346,345
Hank Kuehne (MAJOR) - has: 0/$0 . remaining: 18/$636,221
Paul Azinger (MAJOR) - has: 9/$42,590 . remaining: 5/$568,521
Wes Short, Jr. (MAJOR) - has: 0/$0 . remaining: 15/$743,061
David Duval (MAJOR) - has: 19/$92,296 . remaining: 1/$620,939
Patrick Moore (NATIONWIDE/3 WINS) - has: 0/$0 . remaining: 12/$452,636
Jonathan Kaye (Q SCHOOL/NATIONWIDE) - has: 8/$41,375 . remaining: 13/$743,805
Michael Bradley (Q SCHOOL/NATIONWIDE) - has: 12/$104,816 . remaining: 2/$648,475
Carl Paulson (Q SCHOOL/NATIONWIDE) - has: 0/$0 . remaining: 15/$428,522
10/22 . Kris Cox (35); Peter Tomasulo (27)
10/23 . Chi Chi Rodriguez (73); Michael Sim (24)
10/24 . Ian Baker-Finch (48); Jim Benepe (45)
10/25 . Mark McNulty (55)
10/26 . none
10/27 . Robert Damron (36)
10/28 . Mark James (55); Jay Don Blake (50)
After the Frys.com Open, the tour will return east to its home state of Florida for a pair to put a wrap on the season. As always, we want you to keep it right here until the end, but I'd also like you to make an early mental note to check back regularly after the season is over. I have several ideas that will work their way into this space to help bridge the conclusion of the 2008 schedule with the preparation of the 2009 campaign, eventually culminating with a season preview, a full-member ranking for next year and several surprises to kick off the new season. Since I jumped aboard after this year's schedule had commenced, I'm excited to start anew with you. Frankly, I've felt like the long relief guy that's going 47 events of a 48-event schedule, and I'm more of the starting pitcher personality. But we all gotta pay our greens fees.
"Starter" ANSWER: Tim Petrovic. His first one came on the 11th hole of the Palmer Course at PGA West in the first round of the 2005 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic (he signed for a 67 that day). For an encore, he found the cup with a six-iron on the 10th at Poppy Hills in the third round of the 2007 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am en route to a 69.
Since 1983, there have been 73 double-eagles on the PGA Tour, an average of 2.81 per year.