2015 Frys.com Open: Leaderboard: TV Times
WE’RE not too fussed with the fact that the new US PGA TOUR season starts again this week … and yes the “old” one did just finish a couple of weeks back. The previous system gave everybody a bit of a break and gave other tours around the world a bit more breathing space.
But the new “wrap-around” early start does give many players – particularly some of the veterans and rookies – a chance to get things on track.
At the Frys.com Open at the Silverado Resort & Spa in California that includes 10 Aussies at various stages of their careers.
At one end of the spectrum there’s players such as Jarrod Lyle and Stuart Appleby returning after layoffs and needing to consolidate their TOUR cards. At the other end are rookies Cameron Smith and Rhein Gibson.
In the middle there are tour regulars including Presidents Cup stand out Steven Bowditch, Matt Jones, Geoff Ogilvy, John Senden, Aaron Baddeley and Robert Allenby, who is using his career money list exemption to play the TOUR this season.
Jarrod Lyle has been hard at work, even going to the gym five days a week to lose 20 pounds, and will be striving to regaining the tour card he lost when diagnosed with cancer in 2012.
“You don’t see too many fat golfers running around the country anymore,” said Lyle, who has 10 starts to earn $217,680 to fulfill his major medical and earn his card. “I’m starting to do things I never did and never thought I could. Mentally it has been a big change, too. I’m pushing myself more than I used to.” [See the US PGA TOUR feature story on Lyle]
Stuart Appleby also needs to regain his card after back surgery cut short his 2014/15 season in February.
The 20-year TOUR veteran played just seven events last season and finished outside the top-200 on the Fed Ex Cup list. He needs to earn some $615,000 this season to regain his full status but wasn’t setting the world afire with his performances at the Web.com Tour finals last month, missing two cuts and withdrawing from a third.
Smith and Gibson will be itching to get their TOUR careers underway with both showing great promise.
Smith, who leapt to prominence with his T4 finish at the US Open has been sidelined with illness for several weeks while Gibson qualified with top notch performances in the Web.com finals.
The headliner this week is undoubtedly Rory McIlroy, getting an early start after something of a lost season after his soccer-induced injury mid year. He’s vowed to give that pastime up this season as he focusses on duelling with fellow young guns Jordan Spieth and Jason Day.
The world No.3 will be joined by No. 7 Justin Rose, No.12 Brooks Koepka and No.15 Hideki Matsuyama.
Coverage on Fox Sports beginning Friday 8am to 11am.
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US PGA 2015-16 Season Preview Video