Havret takes the long road to US Open success

By Associated PressJune 21, 2010, 7:34 am

2010 U.S. Open

PEBBLE BEACH, California – U.S. Open runner-up Gregory Havret of France only booked his berth at Pebble Beach late last month thanks to some improbable putting in qualifying.

He made a 50-foot putt to get into a six-man playoff at an Open qualifier in England, then later sank a 20-footer to secure one of the final five spots in the 156-player field for Pebble Beach.

On Sunday, the little-known Havret finished an impressive runner-up to Graeme McDowell. Havret played his final round, a 1-over 72, with top-ranked Tiger Woods and a gallery of thousands who had no choice but to discover who he is.

Not bad for the 33-year-old Frenchman ranked 391st in the world who hadn’t finished higher than 10th in any European Tour event this year.

“All of a sudden I’m playing a Sunday with Tiger. It was very exciting,” Havret said afterward, balancing the emotions of being thrilled and disheartened at the same time. “I knew I had some chances and I did everything thinking I was able to win it. It’s a shame I came up short. … It’s fantastic emotion, in between the best surprise of my life and the best disappointment, too. But for sure, to play golf like this, compete for the title (is great).”

He shot 1-over 285 for the tournament, one stroke behind McDowell.

Havret’s round began in encouraging fashion. He made birdies on 1 and 6 before recording three bogeys on the final 11 holes, including at the troublesome 17th.

Then, Havret needed a birdie on the par-5 18th to pull even with McDowell and force McDowell to birdie 18 and avoid a playoff. Havret pulled his 8-foot birdie putt left and below the hole.
Gregory Havret
The 391st ranked Frenchman nearly came away with a major championship. (Getty Images)

“Well, that’s a very bad putt. Probably the worst of the week,” Havret said.

There weren’t many mistakes.

“He played beautifully today, he played beautifully,” Woods said. “He did everything he needed to do to win a championship. He hung in there and grinded. He was placing the ball in the correct spots. When he did miss, he missed in great spots and left himself with all the green to work with.”

Countryman Jean Van de Velde knows all too well about near-misses at a major.

Van de Velde walked on to the tee of the 72nd hole of the 1999 British Open at Carnoustie needing only a double-bogey 6 to take home the claret jug.

Instead, Van de Velde made an excruciating triple-bogey, hitting one shot off the bleachers, dumping another into the Barry Burn and dropping yet another into a bunker before finally sinking a 6-foot putt for a 7 that put him into a three-man playoff with Paul Lawrie and Justin Leonard.

Lawrie ended up winning and Van de Velde became a punchline for all late collapses on the golf course.

Havret seemed happy to provide a boost – not only for his country but for his golf future. A golfer since being encouraged to play by his father at age 10, Havret’s first title came in 2001 at the Italian Open and his biggest when he defeated then-world No. 3 Phil Mickelson in a playoff for the 2007 Scottish Open at Loch Lomond. That victory helped him break into the top-20 of the Order of Merit for the first time.

It was Havret who in the late 90s won three straight French Amateur titles just shortly after Woods burst onto the scene by winning three in a row at the U.S. Amateur from 1994-96.

Havret went to bed Saturday night determined to keep his performance in perspective, while also relishing a rare chance to play alongside Woods on golf’s big stage.

“I was very excited. I slept beautifully,” Havret said. “I woke up this morning very nicely, happy to play golf at a beautiful site with the best player in the world. When you look at him on TV and see what he’s doing, it’s always exciting to see that from very close and compare yourself to him. It was a very good experience.”
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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.