Broadhurst leads, Couples lurking in Wisconsin

By Associated PressJune 24, 2017, 9:17 pm

MADISON, Wis. – Paul Broadhurst shot a 3-under 69 in windy conditions Saturday at University Ridge to maintain a two-stroke lead in the PGA Tour Champions' American Family Insurance Open.

Broadhurst followed birdies on the par-5 16th and par-3 17th with a bogey on the par-4 18th to finish at 12-under 132.

''It was a tougher day today with the wind,'' Broadhurst said. ''I kept plugging away, really. ... I hit a poor driver on 18. There's plenty of room right and I toed over underneath the trunk and it cost me a bogey. I'm still two ahead, so got to be happy.''

The 51-year-old Englishman opened with a 63. He won the Senior British Open and PURE Insurance Championship last year.

''There's no magic to think about,'' Broadhurst said. ''It's just try and get some rest if you can and come out and hope the game's in good shape tomorrow. ... The rhythm went a little bit with the wind. It always does. I find it difficult to keep the rhythm smooth when it's really windy. I know what the problem is, so I can fix it for tomorrow.''

Lee Janzen and Scott Verplank were tied for second. They each shot 66.

''I was very happy with 6 under,'' Verplank said. ''It was pretty tough. The wind's blowing pretty hard and kind of whipping around through the trees. So yeah, I scored very well today. I live in Oklahoma City and I grew up in Dallas, so it's usually pretty windy there. I don't necessarily say I like playing in the wind, but I'm kind of used to it. I just dealt with that pretty well.''

Tournament host Steve Stricker had a 69 to join Fred Couples (68) and Gene Sauers (66) at 9 under. Stricker is making his first start in his hometown event after turning 50 in February. He tied for 16th last week in the U.S. at Erin Hills.

''It was a little bit of a grind out there for me today,'' Stricker said. ''A couple tough holes with the wind conditions. So, it was a good day just to grind it out. Hopefully, come back tomorrow a little more charged up. Felt a little lazy and lackadaisical at times.''

Fellow Madison player Jerry Kelly was tied for 11th at 6 under after a 70.

''You can't win on call, you know? It just doesn't happen that way,'' Kelly said. ''I'm doing everything I can. It's not like I'm not trying. It's frustrating when it doesn't happen, but it's not like I'm hacking it around the place, either.''

Janzen birdied the par-4 14th and 15th and eagled 16.

''I feel good enough about my game that I'm patient, that I'm not worried about a hole that everybody else is birdieing if I make par, it's no big deal, or any adversity that comes my way,'' Janzen said. ''I had a three-putt early in the round, but it was no big deal.''

Couples played the back nine in 5 under, birdieing four of the first five holes and finishing with another birdie.

''It was a lot windier,'' Couples said. ''There were some holes out there that played brutal and there were some holes that, if you judged the wind right, they were easier second shots. It seems very calm right here, but when you go on that back nine, it's blowing everywhere.''

Defending champion Kirk Triplett shot a 73 to drop into a tie for 41st at 2 under.

Nick Faldo was even par after a 73. He's making his first start PGA Tour Champions start since 2015.

McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.

Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.

Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.

While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.

Rahm wins finale, Fleetwood takes Race to Dubai

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 1:42 pm

Jon Rahm captured the final tournament on the European Tour calendar, a result that helped Tommy Fleetwood take home the season-long Race to Dubai title.

Rahm shot a final-round 67 to finish two shots clear of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry at the DP World Tour Championship. It's the second European Tour win of the year for the Spaniard, who also captured the Irish Open and won on the PGA Tour in January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

"I could not be more proud of what I've done this week," Rahm told reporters. "Having the weekend that I've had, actually shooting 12 under on the last 36 holes, bogey-free round today, it's really special."

But the key finish came from Justin Rose, who held the 54-hole lead in Dubai but dropped back into a tie for fourth after closing with a 70. Rose entered the week as one of only three players who could win the Race to Dubai, along with Sergio Garcia and Fleetwood, who started with a lead of around 250,000 Euros.


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With Fleetwood in the middle of the tournament pack, ultimately tying for 21st after a final-round 74, the door was open for Rose to capture the title thanks to a late charge despite playing in half the events that Fleetwood did. Rose captured both the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open, and was one round away from a two-trophy photo shoot in Dubai.

Instead, his T-4 finish meant he came up just short, as Fleetwood won the season-long race by 58,821 Euros.

The title caps a remarkable season for Fleetwood, who won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship as well as the French Open to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes and a fourth-place showing at the U.S. Open.

"I find it amazing, the season starts in November, December and you get to here and you're watching the last shot of the season to decide who wins the Race to Dubai," Fleetwood said at the trophy ceremony. "But yeah, very special and something we didn't really aim for at the start of the year, but it's happened."

Battling mono, Kaufman tied for lead at CME

By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 2:05 am

NAPLES, Fla. – Kim Kaufman’s bout with mononucleosis might leave fellow tour pros wanting to catch the fever, too.

A couple months after Anna Nordqvist battled her way into contention at the Women’s British Open playing with mono, and then thrived at the Solheim Cup with it, Kaufman is following suit.

In her first start since being diagnosed, Kaufman posted an 8-under-par 64 Saturday to move into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. It was the low round of the day. She’s bidding to win her first LPGA title.

“I’ve been resting at home for two weeks,” Kaufman said. “Didn’t do anything.”

Well, she did slip on a flight of stairs while recuperating, hurting her left wrist. She had it wrapped Saturday but said that’s mostly precautionary. It didn’t bother her during the round.


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“I’m the only person who can take two weeks off and get injured,” Kaufman joked.

Kaufman, 26, left the Asian swing after playing the Sime Darby Malaysia, returning to her home in South Dakota, to see her doctor there. She is from Clark. She was told bed rest was the best thing for her, but she felt good enough to make the trip to Florida for the season-ending event.

“We had some really cold days,” Kaufman said. “We had some snow. I was done with it. I was coming down here.”

How does she feel?

“I feel great,” she said. “I’m a little bit shaky, which isn’t great out there, but it’s great to be here doing something. I was going a little bit stir crazy [at home], just kind of fighting through it.”

Kaufman made eight birdies in her bogey-free round.

New-look Wie eyes CME Group Tour Championship title

By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:32 am

NAPLES, Fla. – Michelle Wie is sporting a new look that even has fellow players doing double takes.

Bored during her six-week recovery from an emergency appendectomy late this summer, Wie decided to cut and die her hair.

She went for golden locks, and a shorter style.

“I kind of went crazy after being in bed that long,” Wie said. “I just told my mom to grab the kitchen scissors and just cut all my hair off.”

Wie will get to sport her new look on a big stage Sunday after playing herself into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. With a 6-under-par 66, she is in contention to win her fifth LPGA title, her first since winning the U.S. Women’s Open three years ago.


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Wie, 28, fought her way back this year after two of the most disappointing years of her career. Her rebound, however, was derailed in late August, when she withdrew from the final round of the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open to undergo an emergency appendectomy. She was out for six weeks.

Before the surgery, Wie enjoyed getting back into contention regularly, with six finishes of T-4 or better this season. She returned to the tour on the Asian swing in October.

Fellow tour pros were surprised when she came back with the new look.

“Definitely, walk by people and they didn’t recognize me,” Wie said.

Wie is looking to continue to build on her resurgence.

“I gained a lot of confidence this year,” she said. “I had a really tough year last year, the last couple years. Just really feeling like my old self. Really feeling comfortable out there and having fun, and that's when I play my best.”