Furyks late birdie give him a share of the lead

By Associated PressJune 5, 2009, 4:00 pm
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DUBLIN, Ohio ' One last birdie for Jim Furyk put him one more stroke under par, which he found more gratifying than being in a share of the lead with Jonathan Byrd on Friday at the Memorial.
 
A blue sky and warm sun translated into fast greens at Muirfield Village, leading to a crammed leaderboard going into a weekend loaded with possibilities.
 
Tiger Woods had his worst score in nearly two years ' a 2-over 74 ' and still was only six shots behind.
 
Furyk had two bogeys from the bunker on the back nine, but finished with an 8-iron that stopped on the top shelf about 8 feet away for birdie on the 18th that gave him a 2-under 70. He hasnt been atop the leaderboard this deep into a tournament since winning the Canadian Open in 2007, his last PGA Tour victory.
 
Byrd had a bogey-free 68 in the morning, also making a birdie on the 18th.
 
They were at 7-under 137.
 
Asked how he felt about being tied for the lead, Furyk replied, Id rather be as many under par as possible.
 
I just want to go out there and play one more solid round tomorrow and hopefully sit in the same spot, and put myself in good position for Sundays round, said Furyk, the 2002 Memorial winner. Ill just be jockeying for position and trying to play another good round.
 
And hell have plenty of company.
 
Mike Weir (69) and Mark Wilson (70) were another shot back at 6-under 138. The top 16 players were separated by a mere three shots going into the weekend.
 
Woods was not among that group, but came away from a pedestrian round with a fighting chance.
 
He missed only two of the generous fairways in the second round, but bogeys kept piling up with shots that were just enough long or short to present problems. He went long on the 18th hole into rough and had no hope of getting the ball closer than 30 feet. And on the par-5 fifth, he came up short and in the water, compounding the error by missing a par putt inside 4 feet.
 
If youre missing it on the short side, youre not going to make pars here, Woods said after the 74, his highest score since also shooting a 74 in the second round of the 2007 British Open at Carnoustie. You have to make sure you hit the ball on the correct side. I didnt do that today.
 
Woods was at 1-under 143. That was only six shots from the lead with 36 holes to play, although he had 23 players ahead of him, a list that includes Ernie Els (70), Stewart Cink (72) and Davis Love III (68) at 4-under 140.
 
A victory by Love would allow him to skip 36 holes of U.S. Open qualifying on Monday.
 
Also at 140 was Luke Donald, who opened with a 64 and a three-shot lead that vanished with a 40 on his opening nine. He wound up a dozen shots worse with a 76, although he was very much in contention.
 
The question was whether the leading score would continue to dwindle as the greens got even faster.
 
Woods said he ran into the course superintendent before teeing off in the morning and was told the greens were running at 14 on the Stimpmeter. Thats not slow, he said..If youre putting uphill for birdies or pars, it doesnt look that hard, Love said. If youre putting down hill all day, which you can easily do, or youre hitting it over the greens and chipping back, its tough.
 
Els continues to struggle with the putter, missing three birdie chances inside 8 feet. He made it easy on himself at the end of the round, holing a bunker shot at No. 9 for birdie that put him in the mix.
 
Furyk made all three of his bogeys from a bunker, but he atoned for that with enough quality shots to share the lead. Among his more impressive birdies was a 3-iron to about 10 feet on the par-3 fourth hole, especially because it was above the hole.
 
One of those you just breathe on it and hit the right line, he said.
 
Byrd failed to make birdie on any of the par 5s, but the disappointment was soothed by keeping bogeys off his card. He realized the course was getting tougher, and he welcomed a chance to show his mettle on the weekend.
 
Were halfway home on this golf tournament. Theres a lot left, Byrd said. The course is going to get more difficult and a lot faster, which Im prepared for. I feel my game is sharp enough to suit tougher conditions.
 
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  • Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

    By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

    Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

    Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

    Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

    “Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

    Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

    “When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

    Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

    “Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

    In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

    “Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

    Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

    “The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

    Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

    “Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

    Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

    Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

    LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

    Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

    Christina Kim:

    LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

    LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

    LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

    LPGA pro Jennie Lee:

    Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

    Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

    ''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''


    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


    Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

    ''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

    Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

    ''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

    Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.

    Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

    Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

    Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.