Monthly Archives: May 2022

Jon Rahm returns to site of win, bizarre WD at the Memorial

By: PGA Tour

DUBLIN, Ohio – He won in 2020.

He led by six but had to withdraw with a positive COVID test in 2021.

Jon Rahm comes into the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday having seen the highest highs and the lowest lows at Muirfield Village – or so it seems. The truth, he says, is more complicated. Yes, he wanted to become the first player since Tiger Woods to successfully defend his Memorial title (2000-01), but not getting to do so wasn’t going to define his year.

“Yes, I walked off the course, I was told I couldn’t play, and I was mad for about 10 minutes,” he said. “I allowed myself to be upset. But instantly my switched flipped and I called my wife and I made sure that she was OK, and my son was OK.

“Once I knew they were okay,” he continued, “I was in my little trailer, that little COVID hut we had, and me and my caddie were laughing. We ordered milkshakes and we were laughing at the funny part of everything, right. I mean, the fact that that happened; that I had a six-shot lead and it’s gone, I can’t even play, right. I mean, it’s just – the irony of it all …”

Much has been said of Rahm’s maturation on the PGA TOUR, but perhaps no vignette better captures his equanimity than the Memorial a year ago. He had just completed his third round when he was told of the positive test, and while he was clearly aghast at the news, the image of him laughing about it soon after, milkshake in hand, speaks volumes.

Still intense, but possessed of plenty of perspective, Rahm, 27, has found a gear that is serving him well. When he was asked about his putting struggles earlier this season, he shrugged it off, said the flatstick would come around, and won the Mexico Open at Vidanta a month ago, his seventh TOUR win. He’s 11th in the FedExCup, second on the Official World Golf Ranking.

Now the husband and father of one, with another on the way, is headed into a two-week stretch in which he’ll be a big favorite (Memorial) and the defending champion (U.S. Open). He admits his game isn’t at its absolute peak, but it’s not far off.

“I’m comfortable and confident it could be getting better,” he said.

“I can tell you the first time I played here in 2017, I believe, for some reason, I absolutely hated it,” he added. “… I think it was my first missed cut as a pro (it was his second), and I was just like, ‘I’m done. Never going back.’ And Adam (Hayes), my caddie, kept telling me, ‘Man, I’m telling you, this place is great for you. You just need to learn … certain holes and certain shots.’”

Winning here in 2020 changed everything, and he has called the golf he played at last year’s Memorial some of the best of his career. Then he won the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. He’s a popular pick to capture his second Memorial this week.

Despite everything, he said, he won’t be playing with a chip on his shoulder.

“It’s a whole new tournament,” Rahm said. “I can’t be playing, let’s say, mad at what happened last year. Is it motivation? Yes. But you know, it’s not much more added to what I already had.”

Beau Hossler rides experience at Colonial to a share of the lead

By: PGA Tour

FORT WORTH, Texas — Beau Hossler earned a share of the lead Thursday while almost no one watched. He kept it Friday in front of thousands.

Hossler shot 9-under 66-65 at the Charles Schwab Challenge on two wildly different days at Colonial Country Club. His first round included eagles on two par-4 holes, both of them so late in the day that nearly everyone had vacated the property. His second round was an easier quest — five birdies, no bogeys, barely a sweat on his visored brow — down fairways lined with plentiful spectators getting a head start on the holiday weekend.

And that’s exactly what Hossler got, too. He and Scott Stallings took the early lead of the $8.4-million tournament, one of the oldest on the PGA TOUR.

“Today felt, frankly, never really stress-free, but as stress-free as it’s going to get,” Hossler said. “It felt like I was in play. I never was that out of position. Yesterday I was kind of grinding more.”

Through 36 holes, Hossler gained more than nine strokes on the field in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green, and nearly six in Strokes Gained: Approach the Green. He ranked first in both categories. He ranked second in scrambling, converting 10 of 11 attempts in the first two rounds.

With considerable wind in the forecast for Saturday, Hossler said he hoped his experience at Colonial — the former University of Texas Longhorn estimated he’d played the course more than 20 times since moving to Texas from California — would help his campaign to win for the first time in his five years on the TOUR. In fact, Hossler said, he welcomed menacing conditions.

“To be honest, from my perspective, the harder the golf course plays, I think it favors me,” he said. “I’ve never been a player that thrives on shooting 30-under par in a tournament.”

Hossler has made two cuts in four starts at the Charles Schwab. His best finish was a tie for 40th in 2019.

His current season includes a third-place finish at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and two Top 10s, the most recent at the Valero Texas Open. Hossler had his chances last month in San Antonio, but shot even-par 72 in the final round. He finished in a tie for fourth.

May is a different month. Colonial is a different course.

“Hopefully it plays difficult,” Hossler said, “and smart strategy and good commitment and good execution is what will come out on top.”

Power Rankings: Charles Schwab Challenge


Ages and number of appearances for each of the 15 projected contenders ranked open the capsules. (You’ll see the same leadoffs in Sleepers and Draws and Fades.) It’s definitely different, but if it seems silly, what transpired last year proved the point of the exercise. Detail on that, how Colonial Country Club tests and more below.


15 Davis Riley Davis Riley
Age 25; first appearance. Proof that the Power Rankings isn’t beholden to the trend among winners, the PGA TOUR rookie has finished a respective fifth, T9 and T13 in his last three starts.
14 Tommy Fleetwood Tommy Fleetwood
Age 31; first appearance. Not a rookie like Riley but a debutant, nonetheless. The Brit improved in every round of the PGA Championship and co-led the finale with a 67 to place T5.
13 Patton Kizzire Patton Kizzire
Age 36; seventh appearance. He’s the closest to the statistical center in the field. What’s eerie is that he finished T3 last year; the 2021 champion, Jason Kokrak, finished T3 in 2020.
12 Justin Rose Justin Rose
Age 41; ninth appearance. He’s part of the trend at Colonial. He was 37 and in his fifth start when he took the title in 2018, but he’s gone for four top 20s and hasn’t missed a cut.
11 Gary Woodland Gary Woodland
Age 38; fourth appearance. Placed ninth in 2020, T14 in 2021, recorded a scoring average of 67.875 in those eight rounds and has authored numerous examples of impressive form in 2022.
10 Abraham Ancer Abraham Ancer
Age 31; fifth appearance. Fresh off a T9 at the PGA Championship where he regained form tee to green. Hasn’t missed a cut at Colonial and finished T14 in each of the last two editions.
9 Max Homa Max Homa
Age 31; fourth appearance. Unfazed. In a zone. Perspective as a soon-to-be father that he’s acknowledged has influence, but his talent rules the day. Added a T13 at the PGA Championship.
8 Sungjae Im Sungjae Im
Age 24; fourth appearance. The positive spin of him missing the PGA Championship due to COVID-19 is that he’s rested and didn’t experience the rigors of last week’s major. T10 here in 2020.
7 Brian Harman Brian Harman
Age 35; 10th appearance. A recent surge lifted him into the bubble to qualify for the U.S. Open, but his confidence already should be high what with six top 25s at Colonial since 2015.
6 Sam Burns Sam Burns
Age 25; third appearance. He’s part of the small contingent for which the learning curve hasn’t applied. He’s so balanced. Just two months removed from defending his title at Copperhead.
5 Collin Morikawa Collin Morikawa
Age 25; third appearance. Leading the PGA TOUR in final-round scoring average (67) with eight rounds contributing. Still out to avenge his playoff loss here in 2020. T14 last year.
4 Justin Thomas Justin Thomas
Age 29; third appearance. Yes, it will be a challenge to amp back up after the emotional turmoil on Sunday at Southern Hills, but his floor is highest than most. He’s soared all season.
3 Will Zalatoris Will Zalatoris
Age 25; second appearance. He’s evolved from Zalatoris: God of the Non-members to Zalatoris: God of the Non-winners. Tops on TOUR in SG: Approach-the-Green and SG: Tee-to-Green.
2 Scottie Scheffler Scottie Scheffler
Age 25; third appearance. His missed cut at Southern Hills is evidence that he’s human, but he’s also rested for two more days in advance of his return home to the DFW metroplex.
1 Jordan Spieth Jordan Spieth
Age 28; 10th appearance. Bummed about a T34 at the PGA, but there’s no place like home. The former winner at Colonial (2016) also has a trio of runner-up finishes among eight top 15s.

Bryson DeChambeau, Viktor Hovland, Webb Simpson, Colonial CC member Ryan Palmer, defending champion Jason Kokrak and other previous winners of the Charles Schwab Challenge will be among the notables reviewed in Draws and Fades.

When considering which tournaments are the easiest to predict, the Charles Schwab Challenge is at the top beside the Masters. (However, given how the first major of the year has evolved in three spins since its November edition of 2020, it may no longer require the apprenticeship that generates expectations. More on that another time.) The construct of an invitational limited to 120 golfers helps, but next week’s Memorial Tournament presented by Workday, also host to 120 on the only course that’s ever hosted it (Muirfield Village), doesn’t follow a familiar script.

Get a load of this… The last 19 winners in advance of the 2021 Charles Schwab Challenge had an average age of 36 and had logged an average of six starts at Colonial prior to their first victory on the course. Last year, in what was his seventh appearance and within one week after his 36th birthday, Jason Kokrak prevailed. Remember, this Power Rankings already was citing both ages and total appearances. All Kokrak did was follow the instruction. (The specific time frame of the last 19 winners before Kokrak dates back to the year after Sergio Garcia broke through in 2001. He’s both the most recent first-time PGA TOUR winner at Colonial and the most recent to win his first appearance.)

Settling for finding the dartboard with a winner often defines the acceptable, but Kokrak split the arrow. Although there is a spectrum with two endpoints for just about everything, and despite how it shook out last year, no process of prognostication can rely solely on such basic variables, but the historic track in Fort Worth, Texas, caters to all skill sets, so attributes that underscore experience, like age and total appearances, are elevated.

Colonial is a stock par 70 that tips at 7,209 yards as it has since 2016. The 2021 scoring average of 70.208 landed within the cone of expectations, while it also reflected stronger winds in the first and final rounds.

Bentgrass greens average just 5,000 square feet, and they could reach 13 feet on the Stimpmeter, so approaches from bermuda rough, which could be as high as three inches, need to be precise. Last year’s field averaged 7.90 (of 14) fairways hit, about 11 greens in regulation per round and three par breakers after hitting GIR. That slotted Colonial within the third-hardest in all three of those measurements among all courses during the super season of 2020-21.

It’s never easy but Kokrak made it seem that way. He ranked eighth in distance of all drives, fourth in accuracy off the tee, first in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee, second in GIR, 10th in proximity to the hole and second in SG: Tee-to-Green. He also checked up seventh in SG: Putting and fifth in putting: birdies-or-better.

Kokrak also finished T12 in par-5 scoring. The pair of par 5s – Nos. 1 and 11 – annually ranks among the toughest sets of all courses, but that’s primarily due to the 635-yard 11th hole. Just two years ago, it was the eighth-hardest in relation to par on the course. Last year, it was fourth-easiest and Kokrak played it in bogey-free 2-under. He won by two strokes.

Overall scoring this week also should align with history, at least until the weekend. Wet weather will give way to a dry opening round on what could be receptive turf for low scores. Winds also will be light until the machine starts cranking on Friday afternoon. Come Saturday and Sunday, daytime highs likely will eclipse 90 degrees and gusts could exceed 30 mph. It has the makings of how the 36-hole leader’s score in relation to par could stand up for victory. So, once again, wisdom and experience in the conditions should factor.

30 Additional Players Exempt for 122nd U.S. Open


Thirty additional golfers, including major champions Adam Scott and Keegan Bradley, have earned full exemptions into the 2022 U.S. Open Championship, to be played June 16-19 at The Country Club, in Brookline, Mass. These exemptions bring the number of fully exempt players to 79.

Exemptions were awarded to 27 players who earned a place in the top 60 of the Official World Golf Ranking® (OWGR) as of May 23, who were not otherwise exempt. Scott, who will compete in his 21st U.S. Open, won the 2013 Masters Tournament. He is ranked No. 42. Bradley, who won the 2011 PGA Championship, is ranked No. 46. It will be Bradley’s 10th U.S. Open.

At No. 14, Will Zalatoris is the highest-ranked player in the current OWGR who was not previously exempt into the U.S. Open. Zalatoris, who will play in his fourth U.S. Open, finished second in the PGA Championship on Sunday, losing to Justin Thomas in a playoff. Mito Pereira moved up 51 spots from his previous world ranking to No. 49 by tying for third in the PGA and will compete in his second U.S. Open.

The other players who earned full exemptions through the current Official World Golf Ranking are: Adri Arnaus, Richard Bland, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood, Talor Gooch, Brian Harman, Tyrrell Hatton, Russell Henley, Lucas Herbert, Tom Hoge, Kevin Kisner, Si Woo Kim, K.H. Lee, Min Woo Lee, Marc Leishman, Sebastian Munoz, Alex Noren, Thomas Pieters, Seamus Power, Sepp Straka, Cameron Tringale, Harold Varner III and Cameron Young.

Fitzpatrick, who will compete in the U.S. Open for the eighth time, won the U.S. Amateur in 2013 at The Country Club. Harman (No. 53) and Fleetwood (No. 41), who were U.S. Open runners-up in 2017 and 2018, respectively, also earned entry through the OWGR.

Three other players earned exemptions based on their performances on other professional tours. Joohyung Kim was the top finisher on the 2020-21 Asian Tour Final Order of Merit. Jed Morgan earned his spot as the top finisher on the 2021-22 ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia Final Order of Merit. Shaun Norris is currently the leading player on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit.

Max Homa gained a full exemption when he captured the Wells Fargo Championship on May 8, his second PGA Tour victory this season that awarded a full-point allocation. He is also currently No. 29 in the OWGR.

In addition, the top 10 aggregate point earners, who are otherwise not exempt, in the four-event U.S. Open 2022 European Qualifying Series (Betfred British Masters, Soudal Open, Dutch Open and Porsche European Open) will earn places in the U.S. Open. Any multiple winners of PGA Tour events that award a full-point allocation for the season-ending Tour Championship will also earn an exemption. The number of fully exempt golfers may increase with the addition of the top 60 players from the OWGR as of Monday, June 6.

The first of nine U.S. final qualifiers for the 2022 U.S. Open is being held today in Dallas. Japan completed their 36-hole international qualifier earlier today.

Other 36-hole final qualifiers will take place at nine additional sites on June 6: RattleSnake Point Golf Club (CopperHead Course), Milton, Ontario, Canada; The Olympic Club (Ocean Course), San Francisco; The Club at Admiral’s Cove (North and West Courses), Jupiter, Fla.; Ansley Golf Club (Settindown Creek Course), Roswell, Ga.; Woodmont Country Club (North Course), Rockville, Md.; Century Country Club & Old Oaks Country Club, Purchase, N.Y.; Kinsale Golf and Fitness Club & Wedgewood Golf and Country Club, Columbus, Ohio; Springfield (Ohio) Country Club; and Pronghorn Resort (Nicklaus Course), Bend, Ore.

The U.S. Open has previously been contested at The Country Club in 1913, 1963 and 1988 and each championship was decided in a playoff. One of the five founding member clubs of the USGA, the club will host its 17th USGA championship overall and first since the 2013 U.S. Amateur.

A list of the 79 golfers fully exempt into the 2022 U.S. Open as of May 23 (not including the final qualifiers from Texas and Japan) can be found by clicking here.


Bubba Watson diagnosed with torn meniscus

By: PGA Tour

Bubba Watson looked like he was firing on all cylinders when he tied a tournament record with a second-round 63 at the PGA Championship at Southern Hills last week.

As it turns out, he wasn’t.

After congratulating PGA winner Justin Thomas on social media Monday, Watson, who fell back with rounds of 73-75 on the weekend to finish T30, said he was playing on a torn meniscus and would have to pull out of this week’s Charles Schwab Challenge.

Here is the post:

If Watson is out for four to six weeks, it could also mean missing the U.S. Open and Travelers Championship, where he’s a three-time champion. At 43, the 12-time PGA TOUR winner said last week, he’s had to make a few concessions to age, including using a lighter driver shaft.

“I’ve had a lot of issues over the last couple years,” Watson, who is 146th in the FedExCup and 69th in the Official World Golf Ranking, said at Southern Hills. “Had a lot of PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy) done on my wrist, PRP done on my knees. I’ve had a lot of issues.”

Melichova Begins NCAA Women’s Golf Championship on Friday

By: Old Dominion University

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Old Dominion senior golfer Jana Melichova will cap her magical career this weekend at the NCAA Championship at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. Melichova is the first women’s golfer in ODU history to qualify for the NCAA Championships.

Melichova begins play on Friday, May 20 at 4:20 p.m. EDT and continues through Sunday. The top-15 teams and top-nine individuals on non-advancing teams will advance to the final round on Monday, May 23.

A native of Pikovice, Czech Republic, Melichova tied for third at last week’s NCAA Ann Arbor Regional to advance to the NCAA Championship. She finished even par for the tournament and fired a 1-under 70 in the final round to secure her spot in Scottsdale.

Grayhawk Golf Club is a 6,384-yard par 72 course. The Tom Fazio-designed Raptor course offers thrilling challenges that commands a player’s respect through a high-stakes game of risk and reward.

Click here for more information on the NCAA Championship and click here to follow live results.

Howard University Sensational Golfer

By: Kurtis Alston

Howard University senior golfer Gregory Odom Jr. was a busy man helping the Howard University team capture the PGA Works Collegiate Championship. And the day after, he enjoyed his sponsor’s invitation to the Wells Fargo Championship.

Odom Jr. came in the Wells Fargo Championship as the top golfer at the PGA Works Collegiate Championship. He won that title just a year ago and was the first to win the award since the Howard golf team went on hiatus for 40-years.

Gregory, a native of Memphis, TN, is receiving one of the tournament’s four unrestricted sponsor exemptions into the 156-player field and will compete as an amateur.

“It’s crazy. It’s just crazy that I’m here on the PGA Tour at 21 years old and still a senior in college,” Odom said.

In the last two collegiate events, Odom Jr. finished in the top ten in Bison’s golf play. Gregory has a couple of top-five and one top-15 finish in the 2021-2022 season. Odom Jr. has one collegiate title, the PGA Works National Championship. The Championship will be at the player’s stadium course at TPC Sawgrass.

He finished second in the Tennessee State Championship his senior year at Middle College High School. In 2016 Odom Jr. earned All-State honors. Gregory was the 2017 First tee of Memphis Player of the Year and the 2017 boys high school USJGT player of the year.

Gregory might not have done as well as he hoped, but he did finish ahead of seven professional golfers. In rounds 77 and 75, Odom didn’t have the birds he needed to cut, but he still displayed what it takes for the next level. Odom Jr. had a nice tight drive of  285-305 yards. But his long iron looked like his best weapon.

Maybe Odom’s schedule played a part in him not cutting with him just playing 24 hours prior. But while being out there, he was the camera and fans’ favorite person. At every hole, you could hear fans saying, “That’s the kid from Howard.”

This time will not be the last time you hear Gregory Odom Jr.’s name, but hopefully, he will continue to rise to be the star the one’s around him know him to be.