Gary Woodland's win at the Reno-Tahoe Open earned him a spot in the PGA. (Fiume/Getty Images)
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
Gary Woodland and Matt Jones earned spots in the PGA Championship field Sunday. Woodland received a tee time at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y., by winning the Reno-Tahoe Open. Jones got into the field when Tiger Woods won the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
A spot in the PGA field was being held for the Bridgestone winner, but Woods already was exempt into the year’s final major, leaving the spot unfilled. It was given to Jones, who was the tournament's first alternate. Woodland's win at the Reno-Tahoe Open was his second on the PGA TOUR; he also won the 2011 Tampa Bay Championship presented by Everbank.
J.J. Henry is now the PGA Championship’s first alternate, followed by Jeff Overton.
This will be Woodland’s third PGA Championship start. He finished 12th in 2011 at Atlanta Athletic Club and 42nd last year at Kiawah Island. Jones has played one PGA, missing the cut in 2010.
Gary Woodland picked up his second PGA TOUR victory on Sunday, winning the Reno-Taho Open in the modified stableford scoring format with 44 points in Reno, Nev.
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Woodland got his first victory in two years Sunday at the Reno-Tahoe Open. (Dunn/Getty Images)
Gary Woodland is a winner again on the PGA TOUR.
Two years after his first career victory, Woodland shot a final-round 69 Sunday to earn 7 points and win the Reno-Tahoe Open with 44 points for the week.
Jonathan Byrd and Andres Romero finished second 9 points back in the Modified Stableford Scoring System format, which awards points for birdies and eagles and deducts points for bogeys or worse.
Woodland opened the day with a 7-point lead but started slowly with just one birdie and a dozen pars over his first 13 holes. Still, he never came close to losing his lead.
The 29-year-old padded his cushion with three birdies over his final five holes to win easily.
The victory earns Woodland 300 FedExCup points and moves him to 54th in the standings. It also locks up his PGA TOUR card through the 2014-15 season and earns him a spot in next week's PGA Championship.
Gary Woodland picked up 16 points on Saturday at the Reno-Tahoe Open. (Dunn/Getty Images)
By PGATOUR.COM staff
Behind four back-nine birdies, Gary Woodland took control of the Reno-Tahoe Open on Saturday in Reno, Nev.
Woodland picked up 16 points in the third round of the modified stableford scoring event at Montreux Golf & Country Club to get to 37 points overall. He led Brendan Steele (30), David Mathis (29) and Andres Romero (27).
Woodland's only victory on the PGA TOUR came at the 2011 Tampa Bay Championship presented by EverBank. He's currently 116th in FedExCup points and trying to solidify his spot inside the top 125 for the FedExCup Playoffs.
Woodland, who ranks second on the PGA TOUR in driving distance with an average of 305.6 yards per drive, has made 16 of 20 cuts this season but hasn't earned a top-10 finish.
"I might have to go out and make birdies tomorrow," Woodland said. "So it is what it is. I'm just going to go out and try to get as many points as I can and execute my game plan and hopefully it should be enough."
Gary Woodland's late push moved him into second place at the Reno-Tahoe Open. (Getty Images)
By PGATOUR.COM staff
Gary Woodland erased a rough stretch where he dropped three points in a four-hole stretch with six points in his last five holes to finish Friday one behind clubhouse leader Andres Romero in the Modified Stableford format Reno-Tahoe Open.
Woodland bogeyed holes 17, 1 and 2 in the middle of his round but picked up birdies on holes 5-7 to cancel those dropped points and move into second place at Montreux Golf and Country Club.
The one-time TOUR winner hasn’t finished better than a tie for 16th this year and is chasing his first top-10 finish since last season’s Frys.com Open. At 116th in the FedExCup standings, his spot in the 125-man field at the Playoff-opening Barclays is anything but safe.
“I'm in a better spot mentally right now,” he said. “I'm very happy about where I'm at, and I'm excited about where my game's going. Starting to play well, hopefully (I’ll) have a good weekend.”
In this format, birdies are more important than ever. They’re worth two points while a bogey costs a player just one. Through 36 holes, Woodland has 12 birdies against three bogeys for his 21-point total. Romero is at 22 with 15 birdies offset by five bogeys and one double bogey (which cost him three points).
When Woodland left the course there were 19 competitors within seven points of the lead. That deficit can be made up in just two holes, so the weekend remains wide open.
“You're going to have to make birdies,” Woodland said. “ Obviously anytime somebody can make an eagle or double eagle real quick, obviously the scores change quickly. I know you'll have to make a lot of birdies and hopefully we're on top at the end.”
Gary Woodland made seven birdies and no bogeys Thursday. (Fiume/Getty Images)
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
Two players trying to clinch their spots in the FedExCup Playoffs are the early leaders at the Reno-Tahoe Open. Gary Woodland shot a bogey-free 65 Thursday at Montreux Golf & Country Club to earn 14 points in this modified Stableford format and take a one-point lead over Greg Chalmers.
Birdies are worth two points, pars are worth zero and bogeys are worth -1 in this format, where the player with the most points wins. Woodland made five birdies and no bogeys on his front nine, then made seven consecutive pars before birdies on his final two holes. Reno's altitude makes Woodland -- No. 2 on TOUR in driving distance (305.6 yards per measured tee shot) -- even longer. He can reach Montreux's par-5s with mid-irons. He birdied three of the four par-5s Thursday, reaching the 18th green with a 6-iron second shot.
"My goal is just keep playing well and everything will take care of itself," said Woodland, who qualified for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola in 2011. "Obviously you play well you get into the Playoffs; you play well in the Playoffs, you can do anything."
Woodland, 29, entered the week at No. 116 in the FedexCup, while Chalmers is 118th. Three weeks remain before the start of the FedExCup Playoffs. Players also have next week’s PGA Championship and the following week’s Wyndham Championship to clinch their spot among the top 125 in the FedExCup standings. The top 125 in the FedExCup (and money list) also retain their full playing privileges for the 2013-14 season.
"There is a lot of pressure right now," Chalmers said. "Last week there was a lot of pressure. Every week feels like a mini exam, a mini Q‑School kind of thing. There is a lot of pressure on a lot of shots."
Woodland was among the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Ranking after winning the 2011 Tampa Bay Championship presented by Everbank. He’s made the cut in 16 of 20 starts this year, but also has no top-10s. He’s finished T-16 three times this year, his best finishes of the season.
Chalmers, 40, has just two top-10s in 21 starts this season, a T-10 at the Northern Trust Open in February and T-4 at the Tampa Bay Championship presented by Everbank in March. He’s made just six cuts in his past 15 starts, finishing no better than T-37 in that span.
After teeing off at No. 10, Chalmers made birdie on his first five holes, then birdied the par-5 18th to make the turn in 6-under 30. He made one birdie and one bogey on his back nine to shoot 66, which was worth 13 points.
Neither Woodland nor Chalmers are in next week’s PGA Championship. The Reno-Tahoe Open champion earns a spot in the field.
Gary Woodland tied his low round of the season on Saturday.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- Gary Woodland is a realist.
He was very pleased with the 64 he shot in the third round of The Greenbrier Classic, but he knew his position in the top 10 on the leaderboard likely wouldn't stand when Saturday's competition was complete. Not when The Old White TPC was being so generous and so many people seemed to be taking advantage.
"The leaders, they're probably not even at lunch yet," Woodland said with a wry smile. "So hopefully I'm not too far back and I can make a run at it tomorrow."
Woodland started the third round well off the pace at 1 under after making the cut on the number. But he made five birdies and an eagle before making his lone bogey at the 18th hole to tie his best round of the season and vault into the mix.
"It was nice to get off early," said Woodland, who played in the fourth group of the day. "The greens were perfect this morning, so fortunately I hit it well and gave myself some chances. Still left some out there, obviously tough making bogey on the last, but all in all I played well today and hopefully moved up quite a bit."
Woodland has missed two cuts at The Greenbrier Classic but he also finished one shot out of the playoff in 2011. Saturday's round of 6 under was his career low at The Old White TPC.
"The golf course suits me well, I'm playing well, suits me well," Woodland said. "So hopefully, like I said, hopefully I'm within striking distance and I'll get a low one tomorrow."
Woodland has dealt with an injury to his left hand for the better part of the last 18 months. He also sought the counsel of Butch Harmon and his son Claude to re-tool his swing.
"This game's tough enough when you're healthy let alone when you're battling injuries for that long," Woodland said. "You add the swing changes and that in there, it was a tough year and a half, but we've turned the corner and we're working upwards now."
Woodland declares himself healthy and appears to have turned the corner of late with three top-20 finishes in his last four starts. He's swinging more aggressively -- more like he did in 2011 when he won his first PGA TOUR event and ranked fifth in driving distance.
"It was as frustrating probably as I've ever been in my career and then it's satisfying right now because I'm starting to play good and we're starting to see more and more results," Woodland said.
Like on Saturday at The Old White TPC.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Always with a flair for the dramatic, Phil Mickelson rolled in a 17-footer for birdie at the 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale to grab a share of the lead at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Mickelson's birdie, which came under the watchful eyes of the always vocal crowd on the famous par 3, put him in a three-way tie with Ryan Palmer and Gary Woodland at 5 under. Mickelson, who is a two-time champion of this event, has played seven holes.
Mickelson, who put a new driver in his bag this week, has hit 4 of 6 fairways and all seven of his greens in regulation. He's also one-putted five times and used just nine total.
Palmer briefly held sole possession of the top spot when he rolled in a 13-foot birdie putt on the first hole, his 10th of the day. Palmer has hit every green in regulation so far in the first round.
The big-hitting Woodland nearly drove the green at the 17th hole, a 313-yard par 4, to pick up his fifth birdie in eight holes.
Tied at 4 under are Matt Every, Charlie Wi and PGA TOUR rookie Nicolas Colsaets. Every just made the turn and birdied Nos. 1 and 2 to make it three in a row while Wi shot 31 on the front nine and Colsaerts shot 4 under on the back.
Gary Woodland switched to a steel shaft in his Callaway X Hot Pro 17-degree fairway wood.
By Jonathan Wall, Equipment Insider
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Callaway Golf tour manager Dean Tekyl is used to having players ask for a slight adjustment to a club to get a couple of extra yards, but early in the week at the Humana Challenge Gary Woodland made an unusual request: He wanted a club that didn't fly as far as the one he'd been using.
Woodland felt his new X Hot Pro 17-degree fairway wood (bent open to 15 degrees) -- a club he was hitting 294 yards into the wind -- was too long for his liking. Tekyl and Woodland discussed a number of options before settling on an X-100 steel shaft.
“It was actually Gary’s idea,” Tekyl said. “Heavier is better for him. If he swings it, I think he can be more aggressive with it. The new club is a heavier swing weight and heavier overall. The dispersion is tighter and he swings down on it more like an iron. He loves the new setup and it went straight in the bag.”
Woodland spent Monday and Tuesday testing the new fairway wood against his previous model that had a Graphite Design prototype shaft. Following a morning session on Tuesday, Woodland felt comfortable enough with the new steel shaft version to put it in play this week.