Kevin Na shoots 63 to take RBC Canadian Open lead

By Associated PressJuly 23, 2009, 4:00 pm
RBC Canadian OpenOAKVILLE, Canada ' Kevin Na hustled to finish his rain-delayed round in the Canadian Open. He ended up running the tables at Glen Abbey.
Na birdied the final five holes and nine of his last 12 for a 9-under 63 and a two-stroke lead over Retief Goosen, Scott Verplank and Joe Durant on Thursday during the suspended first round of the 100th Canadian Open.

Kevin Na grabbed the two-stroke lead with an impressive 9-under 63 Thursday at Glen Abbey. (Getty Images)
By finishing in fading light, he avoided an early trip back to the course Friday.
Thats all I was hoping for, said Na, winless in six seasons on the PGA Tour. I was just trying to get to the tee real quick and hit. Ended up being we had 10, 15 minutes to spare, but you never know when theyre going to call it.
After playing one hole in the morning, Na waited out a 7 1/2 -hour rain delay in the tournament plagued by wet conditions for the second straight year. Ninety-eight players were unable to finish the round, and 39 of them didnt even begin play.
I had my manager go to the hotel and grab my computer, Na said. For a couple hours I watched TV shows that I downloaded, and just ate a couple times and went to the car and took a nap. I swear, I mean, I got to the 11th hole where I was starting and I looked at the guy and I said, `Man, it feels like Friday. It was a long day.
Na moved to the United States at age 8 and took up golf a year later. At 17, he skipped his senior year of high school to turn professional. Now 25, he has seven top-11 finishes in 18 events this year, including a seventh-place tie Sunday in Milwaukee.
Once in a while we get it, he said.
Jimmy Walker was 6 under with four holes to play when play was suspended for the day because of darkness.
Mike Weir, trying to become the first Canadian to win the national championship since Pat Fletcher in 1954, opened with a 70.
It was not what we wanted for this event, Weir said. Its kind of playing soft'a dart show. Its too bad because the course is really good. Its in really good condition, but super soft.
Na closed his first nine, the back nine at Glen Abbey, with birdies on the par-5 16th and 18th, added birdies on Nos. 1 and 2 and birdied the final five for a front-nine 28, matching the tournament record set by Vijay Singh on the same nine in the second round of his 2004 victory.
The greens are holding, so you can get aggressive with the irons, Na said. But off the tee you must put yourself in the fairway. The rough is very thick.
Durant had a hole-in-one on the seventh hole.
It was like 147 to the hole, which for me was kind of an in-between shot, Durant said. I hit a nice little smooth 8-iron. It hit about 4 feet past and drew back in.
He also was relieved to finish the round.
We were running the last couple holes to try to get done, Durant said. Itll be nice to sleep in.
Goosen played the four par 5s in 5 under, making eagle at the 13th after the long rain delay and birdieing Nos. 16, 18 and 2.
Been a long round. Thirteen hours from tee-off to finish, said Goosen, coming off a fifth-place tie Sunday in the British Open. Ive been up since 4:30.
After the round began on time at 7 a.m., heavy rain forced the suspension of play at 8:38. The rain stopped just before noon and course workers needed more than 4 hours to drain the flooded bunkers and get the clay-based layout in shape to play.
If you play out here long enough, youre going to have some days like this, said Verplank, the 2001 winner at Royal Montreal. So, you kind of figure out what to do, and just go with it. Thats the way it is.
Because of the wet conditions after about 1 1/2 inches of rain hit the course overnight and in the morning, players were allowed to use preferred lies in the fairways ' just as they did in all four rounds last year.
DIVOTS: The Canadian Golf Hall of Fame opened an exhibit honoring Weir on Thursday. Weir will be inducted into the hall later this year. The exhibit includes his green jacket from the 2003 Masters. Defending champion Chez Reavie shot a 73. Bob Tway, the 2003 winner at Hamilton, withdrew during the round because of personal reasons. Steve Flesch withdrew before the round because of a neck injury.
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    McCoy earns medalist honors at 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 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 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 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.