Karlsson shares early clubhouse lead - COPIED - COPIED

By Associated PressAugust 7, 2008, 4:00 pm
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2008 US Open 81x90BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. ' With two-time defending champion Tiger Woods at home recuperating from knee surgery, everyone expected a wide-open PGA Championship at Oakland Hills.
The early returns certainly bore that out.
Jim Furyk, Sean OHair, Jeev Milkha Singh, Anthony Kim and Robert Karlsson were among those who had the lead or a share of it Thursday morning, with prominent names such as Sergio Garcia, Anthony Kim, Steve Stricker and Phil Mickelson not far behind.
Robert Karlsson
Robert Karlsson has his sights set on a fourth consecutive top-10 finish in a major. (Getty Images)
Among the early finishers, Singh and Karlsson shared the lead in the clubhouse at 2-under 68. OHair was still on the course at 2 under.
Garcias 69 had him a shot behind the co-leaders, while Mickelson recovered from a shaky start ' teeing off at No. 10 he bogeyed his first two holes ' and was at 1 under through 16 holes.
American Ken Duke joined Garcia in the clubhouse at 1 under.
Karlsson, the 6-foot-5 Swede who is the only player to finish in the top 10 of the years first three majors, stole most of the early thunder by following an opening double-bogey with three straight birdies to eventually get to 4 under that had him in front by two strokes. But two bogeys on the back nine dropped him into a tie with first Furyk, the 2003 U.S. Open winner, then OHair and finally Singh.
The greens are way firmer, way firmer. They were a lot more difficult today, Karlsson said of the treacherous putting surfaces at the Donald Ross-designed layout in suburban Detroit. Theres not going to be many scores under par. This is a tough golf course, but its set up perfect.
Singh, the son of an Olympic runner and the first native of India to gain a European Tour card, is playing in just his second PGA Championship. He missed the cut a year ago at Southern Hills.
Singh, no relation to three-time major champion Vijay Singh, was playing on an injured ankle.
I havent been able to practice in the last seven weeks, he said. Even this week, I only played nine holes on Tuesday and nine yesterday.
OHair, playing in only his fourth PGA Championship, was never over par. He birdied two early holes and matched a bogey at No. 7 with a birdie on the 11th hole to get to 2 under through 15 holes.
Kim and Furyk both climbed into a tie for the lead, only to fall back with late bogeys. Furyk bogeyed his final three holes to finish at 1 over. Kim got to 2 under but closed with two bogeys and had a 70.
Five of the top eight players on the leaderboard at one point were from the U.S.
Stricker was 1 over late in his round after birdieing two of his first four holes.
Karlsson tied for eighth at the Masters after a final-round 73, then tied for fourth at the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines and tied for seventh at the British Open at Royal Birkdale.
Like many in the 156-player field, Karlsson has a lot riding on this weekend ' even beyond the chance of winning his first major.
He currently stands fifth on the European Ryder Cup points list, but several strong contenders to make the squad are right behind him: Garcia, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose and Graeme McDowell. All are jostling for one of the 10 automatic berths on the European team captained by Nick Faldo.
Ranked No. 22 in the world, Karlsson has never finished higher than a tie for 29th in his previous six PGA Championship starts.
OHair must finish strong to make the U.S. side for the Ryder Cup. He comes into the seasons last major 13th in the rankings, with only the top eight come Sunday night assured of spots on the team. Captain Paul Azinger will pick four more players next month to round out the team for the competition at Valhalla in September.
No. 8 Stricker is followed by Woody Austin, Hunter Mahan, D.J. Trahan and Rocco Mediate, although anyone near the top could cement a spot on the team with a win in the PGA, which is worth double points in the rankings.
Sunny skies and moderate temperatures greeted those first off the tee in the seasons final major championship, with the wind picking up as those with an afternoon tee time began their rounds.
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    McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

    One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

    McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

    It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

    McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

    Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

    Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

    Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.