Dufner leads Johnson by one at Crowne Plaza

By Associated PressMay 26, 2012, 10:06 pm

FORT WORTH, Texas – Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson have set up what will basically be a match-play final round for the winner's plaid jacket at the Colonial.

It will be Dufner, whose only two PGA Tour victories came in the last four weeks, against the 2007 Masters champion who got the last of his seven wins two years ago at Hogan's Alley.

''It seems like one of us is either going to win or finish second,'' Dufner said after his 4-under 66 in the third round Saturday.

After two bogeys the previous three holes, Dufner matched playing partner Johnson's birdie putt on the 17th hole and overcame a wayward final tee shot to save par and keep the lead.


Video: Colonial highlights

Photos: Colonial Round 3


Dufner's 15-under 195 total put him a stroke ahead of Johnson, who shot 65. Tom Gillis was a distant third at 7 under after a 69.

''I really wasn't aware of (the separation) until I looked at the board on 13. It was more than I anticipated,'' Johnson said. ''It seemed like I didn't hear too many roars in front of us, so that's a telling sign. ... I still have 18 holes and that's my focus. I totally anticipate Dufner to keep doing what he's doing. There's not a whole lot going on that's wrong.''

Dufner, the winner last week in the Byron Nelson Championshipabout 30 miles away, is trying to win for the third time in his last four starts. He also is trying to do something only Ben Hogan has done.

Hogan, Dufner's hero, is the only player to win both PGA Tour events in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in the same year. When he did it in 1946, they weren't played in consecutive weeks.

The last player to win in consecutive weeks on the PGA Tour was Tiger Woods in 2009. Nobody won more than two tournaments last season.

Like Johnson, who wore a plaid-collared shirt Saturday, the first time Dufner realized the gap from everyone else had widened was when he saw that scoreboard at 156-yard 13th hole. And he had a three-stroke lead then.

''From that point on I kind of knew that ... we are going to be battling it out in kind of a unique situation,'' Dufner said. ''The leaderboards here most of the year have been pretty packed and you got a lot of guys having a chance to win the title the last nine holes.''

Dufner avoided a playoff at the Nelson with a 25-foot birdie on the 72nd hole. He has led or shared the lead after 12 of his last 35 rounds, including five of the last seven.

After bogeys at Nos. 14 and 16, Dufner's approach at the 379-yard 17th rolled about 8 feet from the flag.

Johnson, within a stroke of the lead after a 17-foot birdie at the par-3 16th, followed Dufner at No. 17 with a shot to the same spot – his ball up and stopped against the one already on the green. After a rules official sorted out the marks, Johnson curled in a birdie putt. Dufner then did the same to keep his lead.

When his final tee shot of the day went way left, closer to the 10th fairway than the 18th, Dufner got his next shot on the green and two-putted from 68 feet to save par.

Before winning at New Orleans on April 29, the 35-year-old Dufner was winless in his previous 163 PGA Tour starts. He then took a week off to get married, returned to play at The Players Championship before winning the Nelson.

Bo Van Pelt had his streak of 13 consecutive sub-par rounds at Hogan's Alley end with a 71. But he was fourth at 204, one ahead of John Huh and Ryan Palmer.

When Dufner and Johnson completed their first nine holes, they were tied at 13 under and had a five-stroke lead on the rest of the field. Dufner then had three straight birdies.

Dufner made a 20-foot birdie putt at the 386-yard 10th hole, where Johnson had his first two-putt of the round – from nearly 51 feet – to save par.

Dufner had a streak of 38 consecutive bogey-free holes snapped at the 449-yard 14th when he drove into the rough then missed the green with the second shot. But Johnson had his first three-putt of the tournament at the same hole, from 60 feet after his approach from a fairway bunker.

At No. 15, Johnson's second shot settled into a grassy clump only inches from rolling over a ledge into a ditch. With his feet together to keep from falling over himself, Johnson's pitch from about 81 feet rolled only inches from the cup to set up a tap-in par-save.

Johnson needed only eight putts for a 31 on the front nine, though some of those putts were just to save par since he hit just three of those greens in regulation.

''Today was a battle as far as my ball-striking. With the exception one lucky shot on 15, I didn't put myself in terrible position,'' Johnson said. ''I just scored. I think Dufner played better than I did, but I scored.''

Divots: Masters runner-up Louis Oosthuizen opened his third round with four consecutive birdies. He was in a group of seven players tied for seventh, but 11 strokes behind Dufner. .. That group at 206 includes Kelly Kraft, the 2011 U.S. Amateur who turned pro after the Masters. The former SMU player was 6 under through his first eight holes and played even the rest of the round. ... Vijay Singh, who got the last of his 34 PGA Tour wins four years ago, was 4 under through six holes Saturday. He had four consecutive bogeys on the back nine.

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.

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Awards season: Handing out the 2017 Rexys

By Rex HoggardDecember 14, 2017, 7:00 pm

After careful consideration and an exhaustive review of 2017 we present The Rexys, a wildly incomplete and arbitrary line up following one of the most eventful years in golf.

 There will be omissions – just keep your calls, concerns and even e-mails to yourself. We appreciate your patronage, but not your feedback.



It’s Not You, It’s Me Award. You know the deal: You can’t be a part of two until you’re a better one; but on this front it’s really just a desire to find a better two.

It was a tough year for caddies, and not just any caddies. In June, Phil Mickelson split with longtime bagman Jim “Bones” Mackay. Both player and caddie cited the need for “change,” but the move reverberated throughout the game.

“The fairytale is over,” mused one caddie when told of the high-profile split.

In the wake of the Lefty/Bones break, Rory McIlroy split with his caddie J.P Fitzgerald, and Jason Day replaced looper/swing coach Colin Swatton on his bag. It all proves yet again that there are only two kinds of caddies, those who have been fired and those who are about to be fired.



Run for the Rose Cup. Sergio Garcia got the green jacket, a lifetime exemption to the game’s most coveted member-member and a long-awaited major, but Justin Rose took home the slightly less prestigious “Rose Cup.”

Following a frenzied afternoon at Augusta National in April, Rose lost to Garcia on the first playoff hole, but he won so much more with his honesty and class.

“You're going to win majors and you're going to lose majors, but you've got to be willing to lose them,” Rose figured following the final round. “You've got to put yourself out there. You've got to hit the top of the leaderboard. There's a lot of pressure out there and if you're not willing to enjoy it, then you're not ready to win these tournaments. I loved it out there.”

Few have made losing look so dignified and fewer still are as easy to root for.



Half-Empty Cup. It was the perfect setting, with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the promise of the Tristate masses descending on this fall’s Presidents Cup.

If only all those rowdy New Yorkers had something to cheer.

For the sixth time in the last seven matches, the U.S. team rolled to a victory of at least three points. This particular edition was even in danger of ending on Saturday afternoon thanks to a particularly dominant performance by a young American squad led by Steve Stricker.

Officials spoke of the purity of the competition and the attention the ’17 cup generated, but however you spin the 19-11 rout, this cup is half empty.



Enigma Award. The actual hardware is simply an oversized question mark and was sent directly to Tiger Woods’ South Florida compound following the most curious of seasons.

While it’s become customary in recent years to consider the uncertain path that awaits the 14-time major winner, this most recent calendar brought an entirely new collection of questions following fusion surgery on his lower back in April, his arrest for DUI on Memorial Day and, finally, a glimmer of hope born from his tie for ninth at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month.

When will he play again? Can he compete against the current generation of world-beaters? Can his body withstand the rigors of a full PGA Tour schedule? Should Jim Furyk make him a captain’s pick now or wait to see if he should be driving a vice captain’s golf cart instead?

Little is certain when it comes to Woods, and the over-sized question mark goes to ... the guy in red and black.



After Further Review Chalice. In April, Lexi Thompson endured a heartbreaking loss at the ANA Inspiration, the byproduct of a surreal ruling that arrived a day late via a viewer e-mail and cost the would-be winner a major championship.

The entire event was so unsavory that the USGA and R&A made not one but two alterations to the rules and created a “working group” to avoid similar snafus in the future.

That working group – it turns out the U.S. Ryder Cup team has some sort of copyright on “task force” – initially issued a decision that introduced a “reasonable judgment” and a “naked eye” standard to video reviews, and last week the rule makers kept the changes coming.

The new protocols on video review will now include an official to monitor tournament broadcasts and ended the practice of allowing fans to call in, or in this case e-mail, possible infractions to officials. The USGA and R&A also eliminated the two-stroke penalty for players who sign incorrect scorecards when the player is unaware of the penalty.

While all this might be a step in the right direction, it does nothing to change Thompson’s fate. The AFR Chalice won’t change the harsh reality, but at least it will serve as a reminder of how she helped altered the rulemaking landscape.



Nothing Runs Like a Deere Award. Nothing gets fans fired up like officials turning fields of fescue rough into hay on the eve of a major championship, and the USGA’s decision to do some 11th-hour trimming at Erin Hills in June certainly caught many by surprise.

Officials said the nip/tuck on four holes was in reaction to a particularly foreboding forecast that never materialized, and the maintenance drew the ire of some players.

“We have 60 yards from left line to right line,” Rory McIlroy said. “You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here; if we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.”

The record low scoring at the U.S. Open – winner Brooks Koepka finished with a 16-under total – didn’t help ease the fervor and had some questioning whether the softer side of the USGA has gone a bit too far?

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Podcast: Daly takes big pride in 'Little John'

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 5:28 pm

John Daly is a two-time major champion, but the newest trophy in his household belongs to someone else.

That’s because Daly’s son, 14-year-old Little John “LJ” Daly, rallied to capture an IJGT junior golf event over the weekend. The younger Daly birdied the first extra hole to win a five-person playoff at Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

Daly recently sat down for a Golf Channel podcast to describe what it’s like to cheer for his son and PNC Father-Son Challenge partner, share the unique challenge presented by the upcoming Diamond Resorts Invitational and reflect on some of the notable highs of a career that has now spanned more than 25 years.

Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.


Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters


Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.