Shriners Hospitals for Children Open 2017
November 6, 2017
Patrick Cantlay won the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on Sunday in a playoff for the first victory in a PGA Tour career mostly derailed by a severe back injury.
The 25-year-old former UCLA star hit from behind a tree and got up-and-down for par from off the back of the 18th green to beat Alex Cejka and Whee Kim on the second extra hole.
''I knew that I'd be able to get to where I wanted to be if I felt healthy,'' Cantlay said. ''If I felt like I didn't have pain and I could practice and prepare for tournaments. I know how to practice and prepare for tournaments, so I can do what I want. I feel like I can play well and compete with anybody.''
Cantlay bogeyed the final two holes of regulation for a 5-under 67 to get in at 9-under 275 at windy TPC Summerlin. Cejka shot a 63 more than two hours before Cantlay and Kim - playing together in the third-to-last group - finished the round.
The three played the 456-yard, par-4 18th twice in the playoff, matching bogeys the first time. On the second extra hole, Cantlay escaped the trees in the right rough, hitting a 4-iron from 185 yards.
''I felt like as long as I kept it below the tree branch that was in front of me and cut it enough, I felt like it would go in a pretty decent spot,'' Cantlay said. ''I maybe didn't cut it as much as I wanted to. I think the rough stopped it from being able to spin and get any cut on it, but it ended up in a good spot. It was a good shot.''
Kim bogeyed 18 in regulation for a 66, then went bogey-double bogey on the hole in the playoff.
''It was brutally tough,'' Kim said. ''The wind is blowing, and it's really tough.''
Cejka birdied the final four holes in regulation for a back-nine 30.
''It was looking very slim, and then the wind picked up,'' Cejka said about the getting in the playoff. ''Luckily, the guys were dropping shots and I had the chance. But, you know, it's a tough hole here. You've got to win with a par. I made two bogeys in the playoff, so that's a little bit disappointing.''
The 46-year-old Czech-born German lives in Las Vegas.
''It's tough to play at home,'' Cejka said. ''There is a lot of pressure, and people expect good things from you.''
Cantlay broke through to win after a remarkable return last season from the back problems. Out of golf since 2013, he didn't miss a cut and made it to the Tour Championship while playing only 12 events. Part of that was due to an ankle injury that slowed him for two months.
''There's not a lot of give up in me,'' Cantlay said. ''I never really thought about giving it up. I thought maybe there was a chance my back would never feel good enough to play again. But, fortunately, I feel great. I have a good program. I figured out a way to feel good all the time. It's all good. I'm happy to be playing.''
Cantlay didn't decide to enter Las Vegas a week ago Friday when he was at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai. He earned $1,224,000, a two-year exemption and moved into the top 50 in world.
''Goals for the rest of the season, definitely majors,'' Cantlay said. ''It will be nice to be into all of those, and making it all the way to the FedEx final and playing well in those events, those are big. First time playing last year, and really realized the gravity of them, and would like to do well and compete there, too.''
Cantlay birdied Nos. 11-14 before the sloppy finish in the difficult conditions.
''The last four, with the wind kicking up, that wind in and off the left on 18 makes that hole particularly difficult, and I was just trying to hit quality shots all the way to the end,'' Cantlay said. ''The finish did not happen how I thought it would, but it was just enough.''
Patton Kizzire (64), J.T. Poston (66) and Chesson Hadley (68) finished a stroke out of the playoff. Hadley bogeyed the 18th in the second-to-last group.
Beau Hossler, tied for the third-round lead with J.J. Spaun, had a 73 to drop into a tie for seventh at 7 under with Bryson DeChambeau (67) and Tom Hoge (69).
Spaun played the final four holes in 5 over for a 74. He bogeyed the 15th and closed with two double bogeys to drop into a tie for 10th at 6 under.
November 5, 2017
Beau Hossler and J.J. Spaun shared the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open lead Saturday after another breezy day at TPC Summerlin.
The 22-year-old Hossler birdied the par-4 15th and 18th holes for a bogey-free 5-under 66 - the best round of the day in the difficult conditions.
''It was one of those days you couldn't get ahead of yourself at all,'' Hossler said. ''As soon as you do that, you get yourself in trouble. I just tried to keep the ball on the fairway and keep it below the hole as much as possible and manage my game. To get out of there bogey-free is kind of a miracle, to be honest.''
The 27-year-old Spaun, the leader after the completion of the second round in the morning, bogeyed the par-3 17th and saved par with a 10-footer on the 18th for a 73.
''I just was trying to get comfortable out there,'' Spaun said. ''I was really uncomfortable considering the conditions and the position I was in. But, yeah, I kind of kept things together. Those last five holes were pretty brutal. So, to not really give too many shots back on those holes, it's not so bad as it looks.''
Hossler and Spaun, both winless on the PGA Tour, were at 9-under 204 - the highest leading third-round total by six strokes since the tournament went to one course in 2008.
Tony Finau was three strokes back after a 69. Tom Hoge (67), Gary Woodland (68), Chesson Hadley (69) and Patrick Cantlay (70) were 5 under.
''It was tough, but you've got to control your ball flight,'' Finau said. ''The balls are flying all over the place, but mentally you've just got to try to stay in it and take one shot at a time.''
Hossler got used to playing in the wind at the University of Texas.
''That was part of the reason why I went to Texas,'' Hossler said. ''Coming from Southern California you're kind of in a bubble with perfect weather and no wind. So I was really struggling with that. When I go to school, playing in this kind of wind fairly regularly, not all the time. Certainly there were some windy days in Texas. So that experience has really helped me. I feel like I can control my ball in the wind a little bit better. Also, underrated. It's sneaky hard to putt when it's windy.''
Hossler tied for 10th last week in Mississippi for his first top-10 in 14 starts.
Spaun bogeyed three of the first five holes and had his lone birdies on Nos. 10 and 13.
''That's all I could ever want is to have a chance on Sunday,'' Spaun said. ''I'm looking forward to it. I know it's not going to be easy. But whatever happens, happens. It's definitely a learning experience. Hopefully, I get it done.''
Spaun is making his 35th career PGA Tour start. He finished 97th last season as a rookie in the FedExCup.
November 4, 2017
J.J. Spaun shot a 6-under 65 on Friday at breezy TPC Summerlin to take the lead in the suspended second round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
Spaun rebounded from a bogey on the par-4 third with birdies on the par-4 fourth and par-3 fifth and closed with a birdie on the par-5 ninth to get to 11-under 131.
''I think we were just real deliberate on our numbers out there,'' Spaun said. ''It's super swirly, windy. ... Out here you've got so many undulations around the greens and you've got tight hazards next to the pins and the greens, so it's crucial to get the right number, and we did that well today. That kind of set us up for having a bunch of looks out there.''
Kelly Kraft was second at 8 under with three holes left when play was suspended for the day because of darkness. He had a hole-in-one on par-3 fifth, using a 6-iron on the 174-yard hole.
Spaun is making his third start of the season after finishing 97th in the FedEx Cup standings. He missed the cut in the opener at Silverado and tied for 34th last week in Mississippi.
''I'm putting well, I'm hitting it well, I'm just trying to play simple golf,'' Spaun said. ''I know it's not going to be easy on the weekend, but just trying to keep things in perspective and stay within myself and give myself a shot on Sunday.''
Robert Garrigus was four strokes back at 7 under after a 65.
''I really didn't swing it as good as I wanted to off the tee,'' Garrigus said. ''I was hitting some squirrelly shots, but the putter worked really well today, which can cure a lot of things.''
Aaron Baddeley and Patton Kizzire each shot 66 to get to 6 under, and first-round leader Whee Kim was 5 under after a 72.
''It was windy today,'' Baddeley said. ''There were a couple holes there where it was like a two- or three-club wind, which is really unusual here in Vegas. But it's just nice because it really brings out the good ball-hitters and also the people who can be patient in this type of weather.''
Charley Hoffman was 3 under after a 71 in his hometown event.
Bubba Watson was in position to make the cut on the number at 1 over in his first event of season, shooting 72-71. Defending champion Rod Pampling also was 1 over after a 73.
November 3, 2017
South Korean Whee Kim continued his good start to the season with a bogey-free six-under-par 65 to take the first-round lead at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas on Thursday.
Kim took advantage of a calm morning and completed most of his round before a breeze sprang up at the TPC Summerlin, the course where Tiger Woods recorded his first professional win in 1996.
J.J. Spaun, Ryan Blaum, John Huh and German Alex Cejka all carded 66 to trail by one stroke, with Jimmy Stanger also one behind after 15 holes. Stanger was one of 30 players unable to complete the round due to darkness.
“I think I played pretty decent,” Kim told PGA Tour radio. “It’s a nice start. I think I’m in a really good position.”
The 25-year-old has made the cut in barely half of his 80 starts since joining the PGA Tour but things have started to look up in the last six months.
He was joint runner-up at the St. Jude Classic in June and two weeks ago finished fourth at the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges, the PGA Tour's first official money event held in South Korea.
Two-times Masters champion Bubba Watson, coming off a mediocre season in which he finished 75th in the points standings, battled to a 72 in his first start in two months.
He told media earlier this week that he was going back to playing with Titleist golf balls. He previously had a deal with Volvik, who are best known for their brightly-colored balls.
This week’s event is the sixth of 45 on the 2017-18 PGA Tour schedule.
|T4||USA||J. T. Poston||-8||18||69||71||70||66||276|
|T10||USA||A. J. McInerney||-6||18||71||70||70||67||278|
|T10||USA||J. J. Spaun||-6||18||66||65||73||74||278|
|T63||USA||Harold Varner III||3||18||70||72||72||73||287|
|CUT||USA||J. B. Holmes||2||18||70||74||-||-||144|
|CUT||USA||Billy Hurley III||5||18||73||74||-||-||147|
|CUT||USA||Ted Potter Jr.||5||18||75||72||-||-||147|
|CUT||RSA||Tyrone van Aswegen||5||18||75||72||-||-||147|
|CUT||TPE||Cheng Tsung Pan||6||18||75||73||-||-||148|
|CUT||USA||Maverick McNealy (a)||7||18||74||75||-||-||149|
|CUT||USA||D. A. Points||12||18||77||77||-||-||154|