Big names trail Vaughan at US Senior Open

By Associated PressJuly 30, 2010, 6:23 am

2010 U.S. Senior OpenSAMMAMISH, Wash. – The fans following Fred Couples and Tom Watson early Thursday morning were sometimes six- and seven-deep, wedging themselves between tree trunks and ducking under limbs.

Very quietly, and without much attention, Bruce Vaughan was the player taking early control of the U.S. Senior Open.

Taking advantage of cool morning conditions and mostly avoiding the canopy of trees engulfing Sahalee Country Club, Vaughan opened with a 4-under 66 on Thursday to take a two-stroke lead.

The 2008 Senior British Open champion – his only victory on the Champions Tour – made just two bogeys in a steady round, while favorites such as Couples and Watson were far more shaky.

“It’s just the first day. I mean, there is a lot of golf left and a lot of trouble out there for the next three days,” Vaughan said.

Trouble seemed to be the story of the day.

Whether it was the firm greens sending irons from the fairway hoping 2 feet in the air, or the sprawling limbs in the sea of cedar, fir and pine trees gobbling up wayward shots, the U.S. Golf Association made certain Sahalee was no easy hike through the woods.

About the only favorable bounce went to Mark Calcavecchia, who glanced his side-hill second shot on No. 18 off a green side tree. Instead of bouncing into trouble, Calcavecchia’s ball stopped just short of the green, and he rolled it up to the front pin for birdie.

Otherwise, Sahalee was unrelenting.

“It seems like the top 100 players in the world were here, rather than a 156 old guys,” Calcavecchia said after his 69. “This is probably the hardest pin placements I’ve seen in years. It was tough.”

Couples, the hometown favorite playing 20 miles east from where he grew up, nearly saw his round unravel when a blocked tee shot on No. 1 – his 10th hole – plugged in a fern bush at the base of two cedars. After taking an unplayable lie, Couples managed bogey, but made another two holes later to fall to 3 over.

Then came Couples’ one run. The 50-year-old star, playing in his first U.S. Senior Open, strung together three straight birdies to salvage an even-par round of 70.

“I think the score I shot is phenomenal,” Couples said. “I would have taken 70 before the round started. … I was very, very mediocre. I don’t know what else to tell you. I can tell you I birdied three holes in a row, three good holes.

While Couples was riding a roller coaster of bogeys and birdies, Vaughan was steady. He birdied the 16th and 18th holes – the 18th a brutal, uphill 465-yard par 4, converted from a par 5. Vaughan added birdies at the second, third and sixth holes on his back nine, before bogeying the par-3 ninth, his final hole of the day.

“More shocked probably than anything,” Vaughan said. “I did everything you were supposed to do. It was nothing crazy.”

Loren Roberts and amateur Tim Jackson, the leader a year ago after two rounds, shots 68s. Bernhard Langer, the British Senior Open winner Sunday, and Tom Lehman were another stroke back along with Calcavecchia, Joe Ozaki and Michael Allen. Ozaki hit a tee shot on the par-5 second hole that traveled 50 yards before finding the limbs of a cedar. He still managed par.

Other favorites were far off the leaderboard. Defending champ Fred Funk shot 76. U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin needed a birdie on his final hole to shoot 72. Jay Haas was 2 under on his first nine, before a trio of bogeys coming home. He had a 70.

“The rough is not brutal, but you almost can’t get to the green anyway because there is always a tree in the way,” Haas said.

Watson and Couples were the marquee group teeing off before 8 a.m. The 60-year-old Watson said earlier this week he thought there would be a number of high scores during the tournament. But with cool, receptive conditions, Watson was aggressive and found himself in a tie for the lead at 3 under after dropping a downhill birdie putt on the third, his 12th hole, to go with birdies on Nos. 12, 17 and 2.

Watson said the fatigue of traveling eight time zones from the Senior British Open to the West Coast finally caught up with him, though. He made bogeys with poor iron shots at Nos. 6, 8 and 9 to close his round of 70.

“I’m tired and hurting,” Watson said. “When you wake up at 1 o’clock in the morning and can’t go back to sleep, it’s tough to play.”

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...


2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia


And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title


Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open


Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59


Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63


Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut


Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club


Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth


The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ


Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year


And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win


Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.