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Jim McCabe

Stories by Jim

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Stefani regains exempt status, pays it forward

Feeling a responsibility to live up to a sponsor exemption, Shawn Stefani came through recently in Texas to regain fully exempt status on PGA Tour -- then found a way to give back.

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PGA Tour notes: Spieth learns; Knox fulfills; more

Jordan Spieth's learning experiences in Sunday final groups, as well as Russell Knox fulfilling a dream from his college days, highlight Jim McCabe's weekly notes from the PGA Tour.

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5 Things: Battles at top, on cut line of Players

From stars at the top such as Martin Kaymer and Jordan Spieth to stars at the bottom such as Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy, here are 5 Things to know from Friday’s second round.

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At 44, Els catches second wind on Tour

For so many years, Ernie Els gave thought to what it might be like to just play the PGA Tour. His 4-under 68 Thursday at The Players Championship opened his seventh consecutive Tour event with a bang.

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WGC-Match Play squeezed out of early '15 slot

Although the future of the WGC-Match Play Championship remains one big question mark, there seems to be one certainty: It won’t be in its traditional spot on the PGA Tour's calendar.

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Absence of top-10s underscores Mickelson's start

You can look at it in a number of ways and digest all the curiosities, but the bottom line to each is this: It’s the most unproductive start to a season that Phil Mickelson has had since he turned pro in mid-1992.

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Recent PGA Tour winners defy world rankings

J.B. Holmes became the third player in the past six weeks to win from beyond the top 150 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

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Cink, Ogilvy hunger for return among elite

With Earth's population in the billions, being ranked in the top 155 golfers isn't awful. But to former top-5 players Stewart Cink and Geoff Ogilvy, "No. 200 sounds pretty bad when you’ve been in the top 10,” as Cink put it.

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Three greens behind schedule at TPC Sawgrass

PGA Tour players received text messages late Sunday night that said three greens at TPC Sawgrass will be off-limits during practice for this week's Players Championship.

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McIlroy back in the mix after 65 at Wells Fargo

After making the cut on the number, Rory McIlroy came out early Saturday and carded a 7-under 65 to move back into contention at the Wells Fargo Championship.

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De Jonge bounces back with 62 at Wells Fargo

After shooting 8-over 80 in the first round of the Wells Fargo Championship, Brendon de Jonge bounced back with a second-round 62 Friday at Quail Hollow Club.

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Notes: Zurich's latest 1st; Horschel's drop; more

The seventh player in 10 years to make the Zurich Classic his first Tour win, Seung-Yul Noh now must avoid being the fifth to have a second victory elude him; plus more news and notes from PGA Tour.

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Casey improvs way to T-11 in New Orleans

It wouldn’t be considered sound strategy to play a tournament without having gone around for a practice round. But for Paul Casey, circumstances forced a change of plans before finishing T-11 at New Orleans.

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Miller tries many doors in quest for Tour opening

When the door shut on Mike Miller's bid to win an exemption into a recent Web.com Tour event, he could have returned to the eGolf Tour. Instead, coming close made him determined to Monday qualify.

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PGA Tour season shows shakeup at top

Nos. 1, 2 and 3 from last year's final FedEx Cup points standings -- Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker, respectively -- sit 91st, 204th and 164th, respectively, with only nine of the top 30 intact.

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5 Things: Noh steadies himself for win; Bradley falters

Seung-Yul Noh fought off early jitters and an early birdie from Keegan Bradley to take control of the Zurich Classic on Sunday, securing his first PGA Tour victory in the process.

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Notes: Players' playoff; golf's 'adult spring break'

Two players who have lost the Players Championship in playoffs have mixed feelings about its new format; a PGA Tour player says the tournament after the Masters feels like 'adult spring break;' plus more news and notes.

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Kuchar, Donald find top 10 often

Matt Kuchar's RBC Heritage win was his eighth top 10 of the season and 45th since 2010 -- outpacing Luke Donald, who has 37 in that span on PGA Tour, and Dustin Johnson, who has 33.

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Some numbers say don't 'Bubba-proof' Augusta

If it sounds a bit extreme to suggest that alterations need to be made to Augusta National to combat Bubba Watson after he won his second Masters, plenty of numbers suggest such measures might be an overreaction.

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After 21 years, will Watson's Ryder Cup thinking change?

As 1993 U.S. Ryder Cup captain, Tom Watson chose two players low on points but high on past victories. As the 2014 roster takes shape, it remains to be seen what Watson's priority will be.

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Taylor, Marino looking to follow Stefani's Tour path

Vaughn Taylor has traveled the globe in 2014, but a two-hour drive to Hilton Head for the RBC Heritage has been the highlight of his year. Meanwhile, Steve Marino is using this week to reintroduce himself to the Tour.

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Spieth hit by ball during pro-am at RBC Heritage

Jordan Spieth, fresh off a T-2 finish at the Masters, was hit by a wedge shot from his amateur playing partner during the pro-am at the RBC Heritage.

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Ageless master Toski settles into the right position again

Bob Toski continues to have an amazing effect on the golf world.

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Masters 2014: A look back through the numbers

There were plenty of interesting numbers to dissect at the conclusion of play at the 2014 Masters, including who showed the most prowess on the four par 5s for the week.

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Notes: Defending title at Masters nearly impossible

Much was made of Adam Scott’s tough task of successfully defending his Masters title – and for good reason. Statistics shows that it’s the toughest of the majors to defend.

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Blixt's roller-coaster ride ends smoothly at Augusta

Jonas Blixt is not a big fan of actual roller coasters, but his up-and-down play on Saturday showed that he can withstand the turbulence to stay in contention.

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Left out: Mickelson, Garcia headline shocking cuts

Three-time champ Phil Mickelson can blame three blow-up holes for his absence this weekend at Augusta National, while the likes of Keegan Bradley, Sergio Garcia and Dustin Johnson are shockingly heading home as well.

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Augusta's 12th hole proves to be a gigantic pain

Augusta National's par-3 12th looks like a cupcake on paper. So why was it the second-toughest hole Thursday at the Masters? You can ask Brandt Snedeker, Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel and . . . well the list keeps going.

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Kevin Stadler outshines father with 2-under 70

After all the talk of the first father-son duo to compete in Masters, Kevin Stadler shot a 2-under 70 in the first-round at Augusta National to outshine his father.

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A different tack on predicting the Masters winner

Why should folks from Australia or Northern Ireland feel a bit better about their chances this week? Our Jim McCabe explains . . .

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Notes: '88 loss still stings for Calcavecchia

Mark Calcavecchia isn't shy about his heartbreak over losing the 1988 Masters after Sandy Lyle somehow managed to birdie the 18th hole to win in dramatic fashion.

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Goss looking to ride wave of Aussie success

Adam Scott? Defending champ. Jason Day? A perennial contender in all things majors. Steven Bowditch, John Senden, Matt Jones? All coming off wins on the PGA Tour over the last month. So Aussie Oliver Goss has to be liking his chances at Augusta, right?

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McCabe: Veteran credits Casper for saving his life

Clebe McClary was ready to give up, lying in a hospital bed in Japan, having lost his left arm and left eye in Vietnam. And then a visit from PGA Tour great Billy Casper changed the course of McClary's life. On Tuesday, they reunited for the first time in 46 years.

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Reed taking on history with first Masters trip

Patrick Reed knows that only three first-timers have ever won at Augusta National, but the confident 23-year-old isn't one to back down from a challenge.

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Scott returns to Augusta 'well-grounded'

Other than adding a splash of green to his wardrobe, Adam Scott returns to Augusta National ‘well grounded.’

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Players get first look at 'new' 17th hole at Augusta

As veterans and youngsters alike took to early practice rounds at Augusta National on Sunday, it wasn't just the lack of the 17th hole's Eisenhower Tree that was noticeable.

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Drive, Chip and Putt succeeds wildly

The inaugural Drive, Chip, and Putt Championship featured 88 youngsters who had advanced through a competition backed by the PGA of America and USGA -- and was turned into a home run by Augusta National’s total support.

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Youths target winning putt at Augusta

The Drive, Chip and Putt finals will give youngsters from throughout the U.S. an opportunity this Sunday to feel the sort of magic that allows Masters winner to walk a little taller when they visit Augusta National each spring.

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Pro notes recap: Mindsets leading up to Masters; more

From Matt Every backing out of two tournaments in Texas to Jim Furyk stressing confidence over numbers, Masters preparations take different mentalities, while the age-50 set earns dual PGA Tour and Champions Tour status; plus more in our pro notes recap.

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Notes: Mickelson's audible; Toms' slump; more

Phil Mickelson found himself in a sponsor's "shift" out of a pro-am, while David Toms talks about the core of a slump and Stephen Ames' son does him proud as a 14-year-old caddie.

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Durant sees opportunity, not dilemma, in age 50

Ah, the perks of reaching age 50 in pro golf. Double the options, for some -- including Joe Durant, who will continue playing the PGA Tour when he can while adding Champions Tour events.

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Tour players discuss pre-Masters no-shows

Would playing in the Valero Texas Open have hindered Matt Every’s Masters preparation? Perhaps. But to hear at least one PGA Tour veteran's take, it would have enhanced his character.

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Furyk leans on 'confidence,' not stats

Ask 10 players what “being on form” means going into the Masters and you might get nine different answers. To Jim Furyk, “it’s confidence,” not numbers.

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Watson, Faldo to play in April's RBC Heritage

Tom Watson and Nick Faldo have committed to playing in the upcoming RBC Heritage Classic (April 17-20), the week after the Masters.

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Mickelson readies for first Texas Open since '92

Phil Mickelson spent plenty of time practicing Wednesday for the Valero Texas Open -- even until his last putt couldn't be seen falling into the cup -- although TPC San Antonio requires different strategy than Augusta National.

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Notes: Walker's moving days; Johnson's 80; more

Jimmy Walker returns to his hometown event, the Valero Texas Open, for the first time as a PGA Tour winner, while Zach Johnson looks to erase an 80; plus more in PGA Tour news and notes.

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Maggert, Andrade cash on Champions Tour

The early money earned by Champions Tour rookies Jeff Maggert and Billy Andrade is nothing to laugh at, but it does offer a stark reminder that the 50-year-olds aren't on the PGA Tour anymore.

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In San Antonio, Alvarado seeks path back to Tour

Benjamin Alvarado was two tournaments into his return toward the PGA Tour, after being sidelined for months with an injury to his left kneecap, when he got a sponsor’s exemption Monday into the Valero Texas Open.

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Tour players recall Balicki's 'passion for college golf'

Rickie Fowler chose to break the news about going pro with a simple phone call to one man – Ron Balicki. That's the impact he had on the game's brightest, up-and-coming stars – they knew he cared about their stories.

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Notes: Langley's path; MacKenzie's return; more

Scott Langley seeks a springboard from his top-three finish at the Valspar Championship, while Will MacKenzie enjoys a successful return -- plus more news and notes from the PGA Tour this week.