SAN MARTIN, Calif. -- At 135th on the money list entering the week, Paul Casey needs to play well to secure his PGA TOUR card for next season. That sounds strange given Casey’s ability, but he’s battled injury all year and has played in just 13 events.
Well, he’s putting together the kind of performance he needs. He just made the turn to the front here at CordeValle in 31, making six birdies -- including four in a row to close out the back -- and just one bogey. That moves Case into a share of the lead at the moment with Garrett Willis at 6 under.
Another shot back from that is Shane Bertsch, while Bud Cauley is one of three players currently at 4 under. Without status this year, Cauley could use a good performance as well.
SAN MARTIN, Calif. -- Tee times for the first two rounds of this week’s Frys.com Open. Here’s a look at some of the notable groups. Let us know which groups you’re most interested in following.
|Players||Tee time (Starting hole)||Comment|
|Rd. 1: 3:10 p.m. ET (1st)
Rd. 2: 10:40 a.m. ET (10th)
|Woods is playing for the first time since missing the cut at the PGA, while Cantlay, the top-ranked amateur in the world, is looking to extend his streak of top-25s in TOUR events to five this year.|
|Rd. 1: 3:00 p.m. ET (1st)
Rd. 2: 10:30 a.m. ET (10th)
|Casey is trying to work his way into the top 125 on the money list. Lunde is trying to hold on to his spot atop the Kodak Challenge leaderboard.|
|Rd. 1: 10:40 a.m. ET (10th)
Rd. 2: 3:10 p.m. ET (1st)
|Els has never gone an entire season on TOUR without a top-10, but that’s what he’s facing this year. Cabrera is trying to end a streak of four consecutive missed cuts on TOUR.|
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Paul Casey entered the Wyndham Championship ranked 147th in the FedExCup. In a weird way, though, that might be working in his favor.
The Englishman feels like he has nothing to lose. So instead of obsessing over how many points he needs to earn to climb into the top 125 and earn a spot in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup, Casey has his eye squarely on the Sam Snead Trophy.
The approach appears to be working, too. Casey fired a 65 on Thursday that left him two strokes off the lead held by Jeff Quinney and Tommy Gainey -- and as a byproduct of that success, he's projected to climb 25 spots to No. 122 in the FedExCup.
"I've got nothing to lose this week," Casey said. "So I'm trying
to put myself in a position to win this golf event. I believe I got
to be top four to seal a place for next week and there are top-10
situations, depending on what other guys do.
"So, I'd love to be part of that. I don't need to get too far ahead, don't need to start thinking about that on a Thursday. For me it's focusing on today and I did a very good job of that, actually. I really went out there very relaxed and -- yeah, I didn't get too caught up in sort of worrying about FedEx stuff.
"Because I'm not on the bubble, quite a way outside, I don't need to worry about it quite as much. ... I'm going to go ahead and enjoy and put myself in a position to win it."
ON THE WAY UP
JEFF QUINNEY: No longer fully exempt on TOUR, Quinney is making just his 11th start this year. As a result, he came to Greensboro ranked 215th in the FedExCup and in real danger of missing the Playoffs for the second straight season. A year ago, it was a real heartbreaker, too -- Quinney finished at No. 126, two strokes shy of advancing. On Thursday, though, Quinney fired a 63 that left him tied for the lead with Tommy Gainey and he's currently projected at No. 79. a prodigious jump of 136 spots.
"The only chance I get in the Playoffs is probably winning this week and coming with the attitude of ... basically just push all your chips in and this is what I got," Quinney said., "It's my last chance and don't hold back, try to get out of my own way."
ERNIE ELS: The South African has played in every Playoffs event during the first four years of the FedExCup. In fact, he was ranked No. 1 entering The Barclays last year. Els has struggled with his putter this year, though, and he added Greensboro to his schedule -- making his first apppearance since 1997 -- because he found himself ranked No. 126, trailing Camilo Villegas by .437 of a point. He opened with a 65, though, and projects to move up 17 spots.
"I say to the guys my playoffs have started this week, because
if I don't play well this week I'm not advancing," Els said. "So
most of the other guys have four playoff events, I've got five. I
feel like I need to do well and enough to get to The Barclays and
It's hard not to think about it. There's quite a bit of pressure on us guys lower down the field. You need to perform well."
JUSTIN LEONARD: The Texan, who tied for third at last year's Wyndham Championship, opened with a solid round of 66 on Thursday. Leonard finished Thursday night projected as the bubble boy, which would make a move of 17 spots.
"I'm trying to build a little bit of momentum," Leonard said. "Obviously it's been a disappointing and frustrating year but my game has been better the last few weeks. I haven't been able to get really good scores out of it and so, you know, I would love to play well this week and make the Playoffs but really just I want to kind of build the things on I'm working on and see if some good things happen and I'm going to play a few events in the fall. Hopefully, I'd certainly like to be playing next week."
HEADED IN THE WRONG DIRECTION
CAMILO VILLEGAS: He came into the week as the bubble boy at No. 125 and shot an even-par 70. He battled back from bogeys at his first two holes, but couldn't get anything going. As a result, Villegas projects to fall six spots in the rankings and is also in danger of missing the cut.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: The Irishman was the last player to commit to the Wyndham Championship, making his decision after the second round of the PGA Championship and delaying what would have been a family vacation to the Bahamas. He came to Greensboro for the first time ever ranked No. 130 in the FedExCup and didn't help his standing in Round 1. Harrington played well early on Thursday, making the turn 3 under but he ended up shooting a 71 that left him in a tie for 71st.
CAMERON BECKMAN: Beckman didn't do himself any favors on Thursday with a late string of three straight bogeys on his back nine en route to a 73. He's tied for 135th at the Wyndham Championship, as a result, and projects to drop from No. 124 to 129th in the FedExCUp standings. He'll likely need to go low on Friday to have a chance.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The 2011 season has hardly been what Paul Casey had hoped. It's August, after all, and the affable Englishman, who has won 12 times around the world. is still looking for his first top-10 finish on the PGA TOUR.
Casey is off to a great start at the Wyndham Championship, though, after a round of 65 lifted him within two strokes of Jeff Quinney's lead. And if he continues to play well, Casey might play his way into the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup.
"I'd love to be part of that," said Casey, who ranks 147th in the standings and needs to move into the top 125. "I don't need to get too far ahead, don't need to start thinking about that on a Thursday. For me it's focusing on today and I did a very good job of that, actually."
Casey, who battled a nagging rib injury two years ago, has been bothered by a swollen joint in the big toe on his right foot this year. He first noticed it in May and actually thought he'd been bitten by a spider or "some creepy crawly." But when it persisted, Casey began to wonder whether it was a fracture so he went through a series of tests, including x-rays and even blood tests for gout.
An MRI finally revealed that Casey had a case of what is commonly known as turf toe. In retrospect, Casey admits he probably should have rested the toe but instead he's played through the injury. The toe is strapped up and he's taking anti-inflammatory drugs.
The injury has had quite an affect on Casey's swing. He started to put more weight on his heels and he can't fire off his right foot very well. The pain has forced other alterations, as well.
"I can't put any pressure down into the ground from the right
foot and sort of the transition where right foot should roll to the
left side and up on to the toe, I can't do that," Casey said. "So I
kind of sort of flinch at the ball, right foot and the right sort
of knee as a very sharp movement now sort of out. The best way to
describe it, the right knee should move towards the left knee but
mine doesn't, sort of wants to move straight out to take the
pressure off that right foot.
"It results in making it almost impossible to hit longer clubs, especially drivers and 3-woods. I mean it's sort of in a very stuck position coming into the golf ball. I've been sort of flicking at it, try to control it. You can't do it with high clubhead speed."
In the last two weeks, though, Casey has felt better, and Thursday's performance was another building block.
"Rest is the thing I should be doing the most which is why I won't hit any golf balls this afternoon, straight back to the hotel," he said. "… I'm excited about it and I'd love to play next week and that's the goal and try and win this week and, if I don't, I get a nice rest period. The rest of the year could salvage what has been a very disappointing season so far."
Ever play in a charity scramble where you get a free throw of your golf ball? Well, that wasn’t exactly on the rules sheet for Monday’s Telus Skins Game in Alberta, Canada, but avid cricket player Paul Casey saw a 132-yard par-3 and could only think of one thing.
“I played a lot of cricket growing up and I am good at throwing balls … it just looked like the perfect yardage and I thought ‘why not,’” Casey told The Canadian Press.
Playing in a group with Jhonattan Vegas, Lucas Glover, Anthony Kim and Canadian Stephen Ames, Casey figured he’d make things interesting with the throw – which sailed over a pond and landed on the green, some 30 feet from the hole. He then hit a wedge which landed closer to the pin, but spun into the rough.
“I was a little disappointed I didn't get the wedge shot closer than my throw,” he said.
He had hoped to get his partners to bet him on whether he could throw the ball on the green – and his partners wisely declined. In the official action, Jhonattan Vegas was the big winner with $55,000 won on the first nine holes of competition.
The event raised $28,000 for charity on the first of two days of play, which concludes Tuesday.
IN POSITION: Two players in the field this week at the RBC Canadian Open have an opportunity to move atop the FedExCup standings with a victory. Luke Donald (currently 6th) and Matt Kuchar (No. 8) are both within striking distance of FedExCup leader Nick Watney.
NEEDING A MOVE: Of the 31 players ranked between 110th and 140th in the FedExCup standings, 20 will be playing this week at Shaughnessy. Spots in the top 125 will be there for the taking with four players ranked between 121st and 125th not playing this week. Stephen Ames, playing in his homeland, 2010 regular season points leader Ernie Els and 126th-ranked Steven Bowditch are among those within 75 points of the top 125 with a chance to move up this week. More on the Playoffs bubble
CROSSING THE LINE: There was just one change to the top 125 last week. George McNeill, who tied for 2nd at the Viking Classic, moved from 132nd to 92nd. Falling back was Zack Miller, who dropped from 124th to 127th.
WHO’S UP, WHO’S DOWN? McNeill’s 40 position leap was the second biggest of the week but 10 spots shy of the 50-position move from Tom Pernice Jr., who went from 212th to 50th after a T2 at Annandale. Anthony Kim moved inside the top 100, to 85th, after a top 10 at the British Open. Camilo Villegas, down seven spots to 114th, is among the players who fell furthest last week. More movers
NEW ARRIVALS: Nine players earned their first FedExCup points of 2011 last week during the dual tournaments at Royal St. George’s and Annandale. Tom Watson posted a T22 finish at the British Open and debuts at 214th in the FedExCup standings while Peter Lonard tied for 9th at the Viking Classic to reach 221st.
A YEAR OF CHANGE: If the season were to end today, two of the 30 players in last year’s TOUR Championship (Paul Casey and Ernie Els) would miss out on the Playoffs altogether. Interestingly, Els and Casey will be playing in the same group during Rounds 1 and 2 this week. A total of 34 of the top 125 in the FedExCup standings were not in the Playoffs a year ago, highlighted by former leader and current No. 7 Mark Wilson, who has won twice in 2011.
MORE ON LAST WEEK’S WINNER: Chris Kirk became the fifth rookie to win on TOUR in 2011 with his victory at the Viking Classic. Kirk, who was the No. 2 graduate on the Nationwide Tour last year, is currently second in the Rookie Rankings behind Masters champion Charl Schwartzel. Kirk has four top 10s on the year including his win and a tie for second behind Phil Mickelson at the Shell Houston Open.
BETHESDA, Md. -- The second round is starting to wind down -- bad weather held up play for just over 40 minutes earlier in the day -- and still no one has been able to come close to catching leader Rory McIlroy and his 11-under total.
Y.E. Yang had the best chance, but as he finishes up on the 18th he’s still six shots back.
Others in contention -- if you could being nine shots back in contention -- include Sergio Garcia and Matt Kuchar, among others. They’re tied for third at the moment but as mentioned are well back.
At the other end of the board, a number of notables are fighting to make the cut or are already outside it.
The cut is at 4 over. Among those on the wrong side of that number are Rickie Fowler, Hunter Mahan, Paul Casey and Nick Watney, to name a few.
Meawhile, Bubba Watson, Adam Scott and Anthony Kim are all right on the number as they finish their rounds. Stay tuned.
Nike has provided a preview of what some of their players will be wearing this week for the U.S. Open. Here’s a look at the clothes Anthony Kim, Paul Casey, Lucas Glover and Stewart Cink are expected to wear for each of the four rounds (should each make the cut, of course) at Congressional.
Paul Casey is right where he started the opening round ... at 7 under. And the 18th hole was a good example why.
Casey bombed his drive on the par-4 18th and stuck his approach to 12 feet, but he missed the putt. That par wrapped up a 71 that included 32 putts. He had only 28 in Round 1.