Bo Van Pelt leads Houston as darks stops play

By Associated PressApril 4, 2009, 4:00 pm
2007 Shell Houston OpenHUMBLE, Texas ' Bo Van Pelt moved to 11 under par to take a one-shot lead through eight holes of his third round at the Shell Houston Open just before play was suspended Saturday because of darkness.
 
Fred Couples, Paul Casey, Colt Knost and Tommy Armour III were all at 10 under when the horns sounded at 7:34 p.m. The players will resume the round early Sunday, then immediately tee off for the final 18.
 
Fred Couples
Fred Couples went to college at the University of Houston. (Getty Images)
Van Pelt, winless in eight-plus years on the PGA Tour, shot a 67 in the second round, then birdied three of the first seven holes in his third round.
 
Knost, playing with Van Pelt, was leading at 11 under until a three-putt bogey at the par-5 eight. Van Pelt hit a pitch to 3 feet and sank the birdie putt to switch places with Knost and take the outright lead.
 
Couples, fourth at Redstone last year, had birdies on both par 5s on the front nine, then sank a 6-foot birdie putt on the 10th to join the group at 10 under. Casey, who shared the second-round lead at 8 under, birdied the par-5 fourth and holed a 37-footer on No. 7.
 
Robert Karlsson, Lee Westwood and Geoff Ogilvy were among the group at 9 under. Padraig Harrington and Justin Leonard were among six players at 8 under.
 
Greg Norman, making a rare appearance on the regular tour to prepare for next weeks Masters, played 36 holes Saturday and was 6 under par after three completed rounds.
 
The tournament will resume on Sunday without Phil Mickelson, who missed the cut at 9 over par.
 
Mickelson followed a first-round 77 with a 76 on Saturday that included two triple bogeys. But Mickelson didnt seem worried about his game heading into next weeks Masters. He hadnt played since winning the WGC-CA Championship on March 15 and said he needed to play some tournament rounds, regardless of the scores.
 
It was really good that I played here, cause I made some mistakes during these first two rounds that you just cant do competitively, Mickelson said. Stuff like that, I needed to get out of my system after a couple of weeks off.
 
It doesnt feel like my game is far off. Im not overly concerned with what the number showed. Im looking forward to next week.
 
Casey, Ogilvy, Armour, Knost and John Senden were tied for the second-round lead at 8 under.
 
The breeze picked up by mid-morning, after Ogilvy, Senden and Knost finished their second rounds. The wind didnt seem to faze Couples or Leonard ' Couples was one shot off the lead and Leonard two back when the third round began.
 
When the wind is blowing, its hard out there, but I got it around, said Couples, who shot a 69 in the second round. I came into today, after being 4-under, I knew there would be a lot of guys ahead of me. But I just thought, If I hit it solid, I can keep ground. Its a good spot to be in.
 
Like Couples, Leonard bogeyed the difficult 18th to wrap up a second-round 70. He only needed 15 putts on Saturday, but felt like he shouldve had even fewer.
 
Hopefully, the next couple rounds, Ill get those putts to start going in, he said. Im playing solid, not doing anything really special. Would like to have a few more putts go in.
 
Divots: Vijay Singh, Steve Stricker, K.J. Choi and David Toms were among the other big names who missed the cut. Toms needed a win here to qualify for Augusta, but will miss the Masters for the first time since 2004. Jeff Overton and Michael Campbell withdrew Saturday morning. Former President George H.W. Bush and wife Barbara got a standing ovation when they showed up in the pavilion behind the 18th green about noon. The Bushes live in Houston. The 488-yard 18th was the hardest hole on the course midway through the tournament, with an average score of 4.229.
 
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    Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

    By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

    Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

    ''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''


    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


    First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

    ''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

    David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

    The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    ''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

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    The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

    By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

    Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

    Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

    I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

    One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

    So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

    You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

    Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

    I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

    This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

    Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

    On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

    The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

    “What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

    Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

    Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

    Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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    Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

    Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

    Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

    In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

    Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

    After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

    Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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    Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

    Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

    “I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

    Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

    The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.