Bradley's Byron Nelson lead down to one

By Associated PressMay 18, 2013, 11:07 pm

IRVING, Texas – Keegan Bradley still hasn't gotten things right on the 18th hole at the Byron Nelson Championship, even when finally going left.

The bogeys on the closing hole at TPC Four Seasons haven't cost him the lead yet.

Bradley overcame consecutive bogeys early and bogeyed No. 18 for the third round in a row Saturday to finish with a 2-under 68 that kept him in the lead.

''(Sunday) is the day. Right down the middle,'' Bradley said about that last hole. '''I'm due!''

Bradley's 13-under 197 total gave him a one-stroke lead over Sang-Moon Bae, who had his third consecutive 66. Tom Gillis was two strokes back after a 67.

After going way right off the tee at No. 18 the first two rounds, Bradley smashed his drive Saturday down the left side toward the water. The ball stayed dry, but settled behind a large rock and he had to punch back into the fairway. His approach settled on the front edge of the green and he almost saved par – the ball rolled just over the lip of the cup.

''I thought I made the putt, which would have been exciting,'' he said. ''But 5 on that hole from where I hit it off the tee is a pretty good score.''


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On Sunday, Bradley will be trying to win at TPC Four Seasons for the second time in three years. He could also become the Nelson's first wire-to-wire winner since Tom Watson led alone at the end of all four rounds in 1980.

''Should be easier than having to come from behind,'' he said. ''I have felt comfortable out there, haven't felt nervous. I feel like I put the time in, I feel like this is where I should be when I play well is near the lead or in the lead.''

Bradley got his first PGA Tour victory as a rookie at the Nelson two years ago. He followed that by winning the PGA Championship later that season and the World Golf Championship-Bridgestone Invitational in 2012. The nephew of LPGA great Pat Bradley came from behind on the final day for all of those wins.

After following his opening course-record 60 with a 69 on Friday, Bradley started the third round with a three-stroke lead. He stayed alone at top of the leaderboard throughout.

Scott Piercy's 66 matched Bae and three others for the best round on a breezy Texas day. Piercy was fourth at 10 under, two strokes ahead of Gary Woodland (68), Harris English (68), John Huh (69) and 2011 Masters champ Charl Schwartzel (69).

When 83 players made the cut of even par, there were threesomes instead of traditional twosomes for the third round. That put Bradley in the same group with Bae and Gillis, who started the round tied for second place.

A secondary cut trimmed the field to 72 players for the final round, when Bradley plays with Bae in the final group. Gillis is paired with Piercy.

''Keegan is playing pretty good, but you got to play 'em all, see how it shakes out,'' said Gillis, who missed the cuts in his previous five tournaments.

Gillis was the last player in the field with a bogey Saturday, when he three-putted from 20 feet at the 203-yard 17th. He got that stroke right back when he blasted out of a greenside bunker for an unexpected birdie at No. 18.

''Makes dinner taste better, that's for sure,'' Gillis said.

Bradley first got to 12 under with a 13-foot birdie at the 505-yard third hole and saved par at the next hole after driving into a fairway bunker.

His consecutive bogeys came when he two-putted for bogey after missing the green at the par-3 fifth and then drove into the rough at No. 6. But after a long wait to tee off at the 542-yard seventh hole, Bradley got to the green in two and two-putted from 14 feet for a birdie.

When Bradley's drive at No. 11 settled just a few inches above the top edge of a bunker, it looked like he might have some trouble. But he hit his approach shot onto the green, 34 feet from the cup, and sank the birdie putt to get to 13 under. He blasted within 12 feet from a greenside bunker at the par-5 16th hole for birdie.

Bae, the 26-year-old South Korean who has 11 international victories but none on the PGA Tour, was quickly within a stroke of the lead after birdies on the first two holes. He made a 9-footer on the first and curled in a 32-foot birdie putt at the 223-yard second hole.

A 12-footer for birdie at the eighth hole got Bae to 10 under, again only a stroke back. But Bradley made a 14-foot birdie putt to close out the front nine and made the turn with a two-stroke lead over Bae and Gillis, who also made a birdie from 14 feet at the ninth hole to get to 10 under.

''Only play just my game,'' Bae said when asked how difficult it will be trying to overtake Bradley. ''Nobody knows.''

Notes: English twice had three birdies in a row, including approaches of 5-6 feet on holes 11-13 to get to 10 under right after missing a 3-foot par putt at No. 10. ... Huh, the 2012 PGA Tour rookie of the year, had an eagle 2 at the 14th hole when he holed a shot from 162 yards. ... Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera missed the green at the par-3 fifth hole, but chipped in from 27 feet for his second consecutive birdie to make up for the double-bogey 6 at No. 3. He finished with 11 consecutive pars in a 70 that left him seven strokes off the lead.


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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.