Lancaster Eagle Gazette http://lancastereaglegazette.sportstonews.com Golf Video, News, Scores and Updates Wed, 17 Jan 2018 22:38:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.9 Shackelford: Why can’t Tiger or Phil still win a major? http://lancastereaglegazette.sportstonews.com/2018/01/17/shackelford-why-cant-tiger-or-phil-still-win-a-major/ http://lancastereaglegazette.sportstonews.com/2018/01/17/shackelford-why-cant-tiger-or-phil-still-win-a-major/#respond Wed, 17 Jan 2018 17:00:27 +0000 http://lancastereaglegazette.sportstonews.com/2018/01/17/shackelford-why-cant-tiger-or-phil-still-win-a-major/ Shackelford: Why can't Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson still win a major?

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If Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal can still win majors, why can’t Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson?

Practically ancient in the world of tennis, legends Federer and Nadal reasserted themselves in 2017. And that’s a sport where no one is supposed to win majors in their thirties.

With both Woods and Mickelson seemingly healthy, 2018 will tell us if modern science, coupled with status and experience, will present us with fortysomethings battling twentysomethings for major glory.

Golf has typically honored late-career runs by those of a certain vintage, but not since Hale Irwin at Medinah in 1990 have we seen a genuinely resurgent late-career win. That suggests the golf gods have decreed this is a young man’s (and young woman’s) game. Yet watching Woods lash away in December’s Hero World Challenge with speed, torque and a carefree aggressiveness we haven’t seen from him in years, there is an inclination to think time hasn’t completely run out on the 42-year-old who ushered in today’s power-friendly playing style.

Coming off a fourth back surgery in April, the last a vertebrae fusion, Woods finished T-9 in the 18-man Hero World field. The swing and swagger appeared back. There didn’t seem to be anything the Big Cat couldn’t do.

“I’m excited the way this week has gone,” Woods said afterward. “I’m excited with not only the competitive rounds but also all the functions at night. I still got my training in. It was a very good week.”

What about Mickelson, the shockingly flexible 47-year-old who is still one of the top three players from 100 yards and in? He seems unfazed by psoriatic arthritis and a pair of hernia surgeries. Who’s to say Lefty can’t ride the momentum of a Presidents Cup 3-0-1 week to right a ship that was understandably disabled by some pretty big distractions? Say, FBI agents showing up at your place of work.

Before the 2017 Masters, Mickelson indicated he believes age is but a number.

“I don’t think much about age right now,” he said. “I think that guys’ careers are being extended a lot longer because of the way fitness has taken over. And it’s not like I’m a pillar of fitness, but I spend a decent enough time to be able to physically perform and practice and play the way I’d like to play.”

Young gun and reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year Justin Thomas made it clear. It would be foolish to count out Woods or Mickelson.

“The golf ball doesn’t know how old you are,” said Thomas, 24. “There’s no reason that because you’re a certain age or you’re this or that, it doesn’t mean you can’t do something.”

As with tennis in the 1990s, golf has shifted to an era where power has consistently prevailed over finesse and extreme accuracy. The days of old guys using smarts and experience could be lost to the Trackman-infused, technology-supported aggressiveness that Thomas and most other young players employ. But then Jordan Spieth comes along and spoils the argument with his savvy strategy, great iron play and brilliant short game to hang around some weeks, while completely dominating others.

If all goes well in 2018, these contrasting approaches will deliver us generational crossroads.

Thomas rightly believes Augusta National is the most likely spot for Tiger and Phil to surface atop a major championship leaderboard. The Masters has provided many instances of old sages chasing down the youngsters – Hogan and Nicklaus to name two. Nicklaus’ 1986 championship was one for the ages. Then there was the 58-year-old Golden Bear with a stunning final-round charge in 1998. A 53-year-old Hogan made waves in 1966. The precedent has been set.

“There’s a reason that Freddie played well there for so long and Bernhard Langer and Larry Mize have had great rounds there the last couple years,” Thomas said. “It’s just such an advantage in knowing the course; the more you play it, it really just makes a world of difference.”

In Thomas’ developmental years on the PGA Tour prior to his breakout 2017 Player of the Year season, he often argued with his golf professional father about the role of experience. Maybe a bit caught up in the youth-superiority hype, Thomas was often surprised to see how old-fashioned experience could make up for talent deficiencies.

“The thing is, all these veterans they have so much experience and they know the places so well to where they are always going to be there if they are putting the work in and their game’s good,” he said.

But as Thomas notes, “you just don’t know if the motivation is exactly the same” for some.

We will find out soon enough if Woods and Mickelson are as motivated as Federer and Nadal. For golf history’s sake, let’s hope so. 

(Note: This story appears in the January 2018 issue of Golfweek.)

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The Forecaddie: Round of applause for Duffy Waldorf, the senior tour’s bell cow http://lancastereaglegazette.sportstonews.com/2018/01/17/the-forecaddie-round-of-applause-for-duffy-waldorf-the-senior-tours-bell-cow/ http://lancastereaglegazette.sportstonews.com/2018/01/17/the-forecaddie-round-of-applause-for-duffy-waldorf-the-senior-tours-bell-cow/#respond Wed, 17 Jan 2018 17:00:06 +0000 http://lancastereaglegazette.sportstonews.com/2018/01/17/the-forecaddie-round-of-applause-for-duffy-waldorf-the-senior-tours-bell-cow/ The Forecaddie: Round of applause for Duffy Waldorf, the senior tour’s bell cow.

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As someone who stays active walking many fairways these days, The Forecaddie certainly admires the schedule that Duffy Waldorf played last year.

At 55, Waldorf is coming off a season where he played all 26 events on the PGA Tour Champions. To save everyone the math, that equates to 81 rounds. How did he do it? Less practice time and more kettle-bell workouts.

“The key is to pace yourself, especially when you have multiple events in a row, take some days off,” Waldorf told The Man Out Front before starting his new year at the Diamond Resorts Invitational in Orlando last week. “It limits the practice a little bit, but that’s fine; for me, I think it’s better for me to play. It can be a challenge, and there are definitely some ebbs and flows, so I wouldn’t recommend it for everybody. … You know, I got up at like 5:30 this morning and I felt very tired, and I thought, ‘My gosh, this is my first event of the year? I must’ve played too many last year.’”

Waldorf was one of just three players, along with Scott McCarron and Jeff Sluman, who didn’t miss an event last year on the senior circuit. So after Waldorf wrapped up his season with a T-27 showing at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship and a 30th-place finish in the season-long points race, surely he hit the pillow for some much-needed rest? Nope. He added another event, the TaylorMade Pebble Beach Invitational.

“That was actually my 28th total event for the year,” Waldorf said, “and I won it, so I’m glad I added it.”

Waldorf, who captured the 1984 Cal State Amateur at Pebble Beach, fired a final-round, 7-under 65 to win by a shot over 2017 Schwab Cup champ Kevin Sutherland, fellow PGA Tour Champions player Tom Pernice Jr. and Web.com Tour rookie and former LSU standout Sam Burns. The field also included several PGA Tour, Web.com Tour, PGA Tour Champions and LPGA players, including McCarron, Maverick McNealy, Bryce Molder, Mike Weir and Alison Lee.

Impressive stuff if you ask TMOF, who was left so inspired by Waldorf that he’s looking to add kettlebells to his workout routine in 2018. These tournaments don’t cover themselves, you know.

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The Forecaddie: What is a golfer, anyway? http://lancastereaglegazette.sportstonews.com/2018/01/17/the-forecaddie-what-is-a-golfer-anyway/ http://lancastereaglegazette.sportstonews.com/2018/01/17/the-forecaddie-what-is-a-golfer-anyway/#respond Wed, 17 Jan 2018 16:50:42 +0000 http://lancastereaglegazette.sportstonews.com/2018/01/17/the-forecaddie-what-is-a-golfer-anyway/ The Forecaddie: What is a golfer, anyway?

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The Forecaddie: What is a golfer? Paul Casey’s response might surprise you.

The Forecaddie is rethinking his definition of what constitutes a “golfer” after hearing Paul Casey’s definition ahead of the $3 million Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.

Seems you don’t have to play 18 or even nine holes to classify as a “golfer.” All you have to do is play a computer game or go to a driving range. That’s Casey’s take.

A recent survey in the United Kingdom revealed that 70 percent of the British public think golf is the most boring spectator sport. A YouGov survey of 1,600 British adults saw golf top the most boring list ahead of the NFL at 59 percent and cricket at 58 percent.

Maybe the royal and ancient game might not have topped the list if those surveyed had the same definition of golf as Casey.

“The number of friends I have who play Topgolf, who play some kind of computer golf game, will have some kind of fantasy golf league, they consider themselves golfers,” Casey said.  

“They might not have a clue to play golf around 18 holes or have desire to, but are they golfers? Yeah, they are golfers, because they buy into the sport and they like the sport. I don’t think we have an issue.”

The Man Out Front thinks Casey’s definition of what constitutes a golfer could have national golf associations worldwide scurrying to revise participation numbers upwards. It just might not lend succour to golf course operators struggling to sell green fees.

It begs the question: just what is a “golfer?”

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2018 CareerBuilder Challenge field, by the rankings http://lancastereaglegazette.sportstonews.com/2018/01/17/2018-careerbuilder-challenge-field-by-the-rankings/ http://lancastereaglegazette.sportstonews.com/2018/01/17/2018-careerbuilder-challenge-field-by-the-rankings/#respond Wed, 17 Jan 2018 16:29:43 +0000 http://lancastereaglegazette.sportstonews.com/2018/01/17/2018-careerbuilder-challenge-field-by-the-rankings/ Looking to build a fantasy golf team for this week’s CareerBuilder Challenge in La Quinta, Calif.

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Looking to build a fantasy golf team for this week’s CareerBuilder Challenge in La Quinta, Calif.? These breakdowns can help.

Below is a field list for the event, with each player’s Golfweek/Sagarin ranking and Official World Golf Ranking indicated beside his name.

Player                             GW/Sagarin      OWGR     
Brandt Snedeker 8 63
Jon Rahm 9 3
Webb Simpson 16 38
Phil Mickelson 17 43
Kevin Kisner 19 27
Brian Harman 24 20
Zach Johnson 28 47
Lucas Glover 31 88
Chez Reavie 34 91
Jason Dufner 35 41
Patrick Reed 39 25
Brendan Steele 41 46
Charles Howell III 43 67
Kevin Chappell 47 32
Kevin Streelman 50 170
Stewart Cink 52 145
Bud Cauley 53 107
Andrew Landry 56 184
Peter Uihlein 61 55
Austin Cook 63 118
J.J. Spaun 65 114
Jason Kokrak 68 142
Kevin Na 72 94
David Lingmerth 73 127
Sung Kang 75 83
Bill Haas 76 58
James Hahn 80 59
Adam Hadwin 82 60
Martin Laird 85 120
Bubba Watson 89 93
Ryan Armour 91 159
Nick Taylor 92 202
Tom Hoge 93 214
Vaughn Taylor 95 313
Hudson Swafford 96 90
Seamus Power 97 348
Harold Varner III 99 146
Jhonattan Vegas 101 39
Chesson Hadley 103 80
Wesley Bryan 106 69
Scott Brown 107 108
Ben Martin 111 210
Scott Stallings 114 296
Tyrone Van Aswegen 117 337
Andrew Putnam 119 371
Ben Silverman 121 248
Bronson Burgoon 122 451
Jimmy Walker 124 73
David Hearn 125 306
Brian Gay 126 206
Luke List 127 140
Beau Hossler 132 303
Grayson Murray 137 112
Nate Lashley 138 269
Patton Kizzire 144 54
Jonathan Randolph 145 239
Martin Flores 146 295
Brandon Hagy 147 325
Chris Kirk 150 169
Rob Oppenheim 151 249
Ben Crane 152 435
Sean O’Hair 153 102
Danny Lee 158 115
Daniel Summerhays 159 174
Matt Jones 160 253
C.T. Pan 161 182
Corey Conners 162 625
Cameron Percy 163 397
Geoff Ogilvy 164 321
Chad Campbell 167 256
Ryan Blaum 170 316
Adam Schenk 172 294
Brian Stuard 173 168
Abraham Ancer 174 272
Blayne Barber 178 360
Brice Garnett 180 216
Keith Mitchell 185 335
Aaron Wise 187 223
Mac Hughes 189 147
J.J. Henry 196 519
Trey Mullinax 201 352
Ryan Palmer 204 212
Camilo Villegas 208 367
Brandon Harkins 209 329
Jonathan Byrd 210 264
J.T. Poston 213 291
Russell Knox 214 77
Nick Watney 215 400
Alex Cejka 218 197
Roberto Díaz 220 539
Zac Blair 221 398
Conrad Shindler 227 368
Peter Malnati 229 692
Talor Gooch 233 198
Stephan Jaeger 235 281
Scott Piercy 237 124
Ricky Barnes 240 356
Denny McCarthy 241 586
Ted Potter Jr. 242 221
Whee Kim 243 111
Robert Garrigus 246 241
Sam Ryder 248 268
Michael Kim 254 339
Shawn Stefani 255 349
Jim Herman 258 185
Nicholas Lindheim 260 290
Cameron Tringale 261 333
Rory Sabbatini 263 366
Fabián Gómez 266 474
Lanto Griffin 268 382
John Huh 277 433
Joel Dahmen 278 523
Richy Werenski 283 286
Rod Pampling 292 257
Hunter Mahan 297 639
Jason Gore 301 544
Troy Merritt 302 507
Harris English 305 287
Steve Wheatcroft 322 572
Chris Stroud 326 163
Derek Fathauer 332 355
Johnson Wagner 336 351
Tom Lovelady 337 391
Billy Hurley III 351 237
Tyler Duncan 356 380
Sam Saunders 358 250
Jeff Gove 362 876
Dominic Bozzelli 373 255
Brett Stegmaier 376 674
Xinjun Zhang 392 271
Martin Piller 395 305
Smylie Kaufman 403 243
Matt Atkins 413 427
Zecheng Dou 423 345
John Peterson 426 679
Greg Chalmers 496 456
Matt Every 504 711
Kyle Thompson 513 354
Tom Whitney 541 815
Jon Curran 560 491
Andrew Yun 607 419
Ethan Tracy 617 499
Andrew Loupe 693 682
Mark Wilson 823 1042
Mike Weir 824 1275
D.J. Trahan 951 1928
Sangmoon Bae N/R 1928
Charlie Beljan N/R 1928
Michael Block N/R 1928
Mark Brooks N/R 1928
John Daly N/R 1144
Lee Janzen N/R 1928
Colt Knost N/R 552
Maverick McNealy N/R 1900
Corey Pavin N/R N/R
Charles Reiter N/R 1928

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Quest for Ryder Cup pushes Paul Casey back to Euro Tour http://lancastereaglegazette.sportstonews.com/2018/01/17/quest-for-ryder-cup-pushes-paul-casey-back-to-euro-tour/ http://lancastereaglegazette.sportstonews.com/2018/01/17/quest-for-ryder-cup-pushes-paul-casey-back-to-euro-tour/#respond Wed, 17 Jan 2018 14:34:41 +0000 http://lancastereaglegazette.sportstonews.com/2018/01/17/quest-for-ryder-cup-pushes-paul-casey-back-to-euro-tour/ Quest for Ryder Cup pushes Paul Casey back to Euro Tour this year.

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ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Watching Europe lose the 2016 Ryder Cup was a major factor in Paul Casey’s decision to rejoin the European Tour, the Englishman has said. 

Casey returns to the European circuit after a three-year absence. Falling out of the top 50 and having a young family prompted that decision, but Casey found the anguish of watching Europe lose at Hazeltine hard to take.

“Watching the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine I was frustrated that I couldn’t contribute,” Casey said on the eve of the $3 million Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. “The result was a hard one to watch knowing that you’ve got no impact whatsoever.

“It’s a major part of this decision.”

There’s another contributing factor. The three-time Ryder Cup player is now 40, and knows his chances of helping Europe win the Ryder Cup are dwindling.

“The opportunity to play for Europe is now on the table at a Ryder Cup, and just something I just wanted to do, knowing that the clock is ticking. At age 40 I don’t have that many opportunities.

“Of all the golf I’ve played and victories I’ve had, it’s amazing how the three Ryder Cups, sort of nine days of golf that I’ve been part of, feature so heavily in the amazing memories I’ve had, great memories I’ve had in my golfing career. There’s nothing quite like that.”

Casey is making his second European start of the 2018 season after helping Europe win last week’s EurAsia Cup. Mentoring a couple of young Englishmen in that event has also whetted his appetite for his first Ryder Cup since 2008.

“The role that I feel I can now play and the assets I have to contribute to a team are great, when maybe in the beginning I couldn’t play those other roles. I wasn’t the experienced guy. Teaming up with a Tyrrell Hatton or a Tommy Fleetwood and being almost double their age is a cool role, and one that hopefully I can play in Paris.”

Casey is wise to choose Abu Dhabi as the first stroke-play event on his schedule. He’s a two-time winner in Abu Dhabi (2007 and 2009).

A third win would be the perfect way to return to the European fold.

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The Forecaddie: Make the last at Evian one to remember http://lancastereaglegazette.sportstonews.com/2018/01/17/the-forecaddie-make-the-last-at-evian-one-to-remember/ http://lancastereaglegazette.sportstonews.com/2018/01/17/the-forecaddie-make-the-last-at-evian-one-to-remember/#respond Wed, 17 Jan 2018 03:00:33 +0000 http://lancastereaglegazette.sportstonews.com/2018/01/17/the-forecaddie-make-the-last-at-evian-one-to-remember/ The Forecaddie: Make the last at Evian one to remember

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In the spirit of change for the New Year, the Man Out Front would like to see the Evian Championship take a page from its past and return the 18th hole to a risk/reward par 5.

From a fan’s perspective, it’s more thrilling to watch players make a heroic bid for eagle on the 72nd hole (e.g., the ANA) rather than grind it out for par (or even lay up in the case of 2016 champ In Gee Chun) to win a major. Last year, of course, Anna Nordqvist duked it out in a playoff against Brittany Altomare during a hailstorm on the 18th at the Evian and won with bogey. Not a good look for the LPGA.

“The difference between saving par and making birdie or eagle adds to the final history of the tournament, the prestige of the winner,” said Mo Martin, who famously won the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Birkdale with an eagle on the last.

Not every player in the field can reach the 18th as a
par 4, particularly when it’s damp and into the wind.
Add in the slope to the fairway and it’s tough even to keep it in the short grass. Long-bombing Brittany Lincicome hits a mid-iron into the hole and thinks it’s unfair that shorter hitters have to lay up.

Karrie Webb believes that if the 18th green remains as severe as it is currently, then the hole should be played as a reachable par 5. To stay as a par 4, Webb said, the two-tiered green needs to be softened, with less slope, no larger tier and a bigger landing areas to make it more accepting of longer clubs.

Annika Sorenstam eagled the 18th in a playoff to win her first Evian title.

More of that, please.

(Note; This story appears in the January 2018 issue of Golfweek.)

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The Forecaddie: This Nicklaus can jam with the best http://lancastereaglegazette.sportstonews.com/2018/01/17/the-forecaddie-this-nicklaus-can-jam-with-the-best/ http://lancastereaglegazette.sportstonews.com/2018/01/17/the-forecaddie-this-nicklaus-can-jam-with-the-best/#respond Wed, 17 Jan 2018 03:00:15 +0000 http://lancastereaglegazette.sportstonews.com/2018/01/17/the-forecaddie-this-nicklaus-can-jam-with-the-best/ The Forecaddie: This Nicklaus can jam with the best

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The Man Out Front couldn’t help but notice Jack Nicklaus may have a budding musician in the family.

The 77-year-old was recently at the PNC Father/Son Challenge competing with 15-year-old grandson Gary Nicklaus Jr. (who goes by “G.T.”). The teenager produced  a lot of chatter with his musical prowess.

There were roughly 150-200 people at a Dec. 15 Father/Son banquet, one at which G.T. performed at Peter Jacobsen’s request.

G.T., who plays the piano and guitar, sings and has started writing his own music, jumped at the chance. That’s because G.T. relishes the spotlight, to his dad’s amazement.

“When I was 15, you weren’t going to get me up in front of a banquet full of people,” Gary Nicklaus Sr. said with a laugh.

G.T. performed “Broken Halos” by Chris Stapleton and “One Day” by Matisyahu, singing both while playing guitar. How was it all received?

Rick Smith, G.T.’s golf teacher, put it best.

“Every guy, from Lanny (Wadkins) to Peter Jacobsen to Justin Leonard walked out and they went, ‘I hope he has a giant wheelbarrow for all the money he’s going to make,’” Smith said.

Wadkins confirmed his awe, noting “he’s got a future in whatever he wants.” G.T. is also a good golfer – he’s shot 82 from the tournament tees at Augusta National – and harbors possible pro golf dreams.

So is golf or music his future?

“I have a passion for both of them,” G.T. said. “I’d say that I’ll work hard at both of them and see. … They’re both hard careers to pursue, so whichever one takes me.”

It’s good to be a Nicklaus, TMOF reckons.

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Golf year begins with alligator vs. python showdown in Florida http://lancastereaglegazette.sportstonews.com/2018/01/16/golf-year-begins-with-alligator-vs-python-showdown-in-florida/ http://lancastereaglegazette.sportstonews.com/2018/01/16/golf-year-begins-with-alligator-vs-python-showdown-in-florida/#respond Tue, 16 Jan 2018 23:37:53 +0000 http://lancastereaglegazette.sportstonews.com/2018/01/16/golf-year-begins-with-alligator-vs-python-showdown-in-florida/ Golf year begins with alligator vs.

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Alligator sightings on are routine on golf courses across Florida – but any battle between an alligator and a python is worth another look.

“Wild” day on the 10th hole today! That’s a an alligator and a Burmese python entwined. The alligator seems to have the upper hand.

Posted by Richard Nadler on Friday, January 12, 2018

This clash took place at Golf Club at Fiddler’s Creek in Naples.

This particular showdown is also noteworthy because pythons are an invasive species in Florida – having come to the state in the 1980s – and have earned the scorn of anglers, farmers and outdoor lovers across the Sunshine State.

In March 2017, the South Florida Water Management District began a sanctioned python hunt. The program had removed 833 invasive snakes from the Everglades as of January 12.  

The non-native snakes have become an apex predator in the Everglades – sharing space with alligators and crocodiles (yes, they have those in Florida, too) atop the food chain. Hunters and their crews are paid by the state for each snake. They earn $50 if a python measures up to four feet, then an extra $25 for each foot after that. The state of Florida also pays a $200 bonus for pythons found guarding a nest with eggs.

Thanks go out to this formidable gator for doing its part.

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2018 CareerBuilder Challenge preview http://lancastereaglegazette.sportstonews.com/2018/01/16/2018-careerbuilder-challenge-preview/ http://lancastereaglegazette.sportstonews.com/2018/01/16/2018-careerbuilder-challenge-preview/#respond Tue, 16 Jan 2018 23:34:02 +0000 http://lancastereaglegazette.sportstonews.com/2018/01/16/2018-careerbuilder-challenge-preview/ The PGA TOUR returns to the mainland in Southern California as play gets underway at PGA West.

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The PGA TOUR returns to the mainland in Southern California as play gets underway at PGA West. Hudson Swafford defends his title in a tournament that has yielded five first-time winners in the last 11 years.

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Hudson Swafford back to defend before CareerBuilder http://lancastereaglegazette.sportstonews.com/2018/01/16/hudson-swafford-back-to-defend-before-careerbuilder/ http://lancastereaglegazette.sportstonews.com/2018/01/16/hudson-swafford-back-to-defend-before-careerbuilder/#respond Tue, 16 Jan 2018 23:26:02 +0000 http://lancastereaglegazette.sportstonews.com/2018/01/16/hudson-swafford-back-to-defend-before-careerbuilder/ Prior to the 2018 CareerBuilder Challenge, defending champion, Hudson Swafford, speaks about his win last year and what he has changed this season and where he wants to end up the year.

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Prior to the 2018 CareerBuilder Challenge, defending champion, Hudson Swafford, speaks about his win last year and what he has changed this season and where he wants to end up the year.

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