Kim Poulter trade shots Perry lacks focus

By Associated PressSeptember 26, 2008, 4:00 pm
THE TOUR Championship by Coke 2007 LogoATLANTA ' Kenny Perry has fallen from home-state hero to homesick in just a few days.
On Sunday, Perry was the toast of Kentucky, celebrating with his 84-year-old father after helping lead the U.S. Ryder Cup team to a victory over Europe in Louisville.
It made my career, he said.
It was a career high that is proving difficult to follow in the Tour Championship. Perry shot a 75 on Friday and was 11-over 151 after two rounds at East Lake.
As a sobering follow-up act to the euphoric giddiness of the Ryder Cup, Perry is 29th in the 30-man field.
Horrible, Perry said. Worst experience of my life, just about.
I dont want to be here, Perry said after finishing Fridays round with a double bogey-bogey. Its ruined my greatest week in my life, coming here. It really has.
I dont want to play golf. I want to go home. I want to go home and celebrate.
Perry said his right shoulder is aching and hes physically and mentally zapped. He said he even considered withdrawing.
But I committed, he said. That would look real bad if I withdrew.
Perry compared playing this week to a football team trying to play another game after winning the Super Bowl.
I have no focus, he said. I dont even care. Im just trying to get my last-place check, post a 72-hole number and go home. I really am. This week has ruined my week, the week I geared up for my whole life. It doesnt make sense for me to be here this week.
Anthony Kim says if he meant to bump Ian Poulter during the Ryder Cup, the Englishman would have felt it.
Poulter told British newspapers after the Ryder Cup that Kim lowered his shoulder and bumped him as Poulter walked off the tee in a Saturday afternoon fourballs match at Valhalla. Kim sat out that session and was following Kenny Perry and Jim Furyk, who lost on the 18th hole to Poulter and Graeme McDowell.
That is pathetic, Poulter told the Daily Express. This is the Ryder Cup. It should be played in the right spirit and he should grow up.
Asked for his version, Kim said he never saw Poulter.
Kenny had hit a shot to about a foot-and-a-half, and I was going over there, Kim said. I wasnt even paying attention, and I looked up, and Ian had just bounced off me. I dont know what happened. I didnt even see him, to be honest with you. Obviously, he took it pretty personally.
Somebody said that I bumped him, and I said, Listen, if I was going to bump somebody, youre going to know Im going to bump you. I wasnt out there to bump anybody. Thats not the spirit of the Ryder Cup. Im sorry he took it personally.
Vijay Singh only has to complete all four rounds at East Lake to clinch the FedEx Cup, so he has been accepting congratulations even while opening with rounds of 73 and 74.
When I started off I was a little bit too overwhelmed with the situation I was in, Singh said Friday. Wherever you go, whatever I did yesterday, it was like people were congratulating me before the tournament even started.
Singh, laughing, added I want to get congratulated after the tournament. So that kind of plays a weird thing in your mind. I tried to keep focused. Two more days, see what I can do.
Ernie Els completed his 73 with a par putt on No. 18, but a double bogey on No. 17 was one reason he walked straight to the practice green for more putting.
I just had a bit of a rough day, Els said. Im not putting as well as I did yesterday. My driving let me down a little bit. I hit in the water off the tee on 17 and I missed some other fairways which cost me some shots.
Im not too far away but its disappointing on a day like today when I could have scored well.
When Els said he was not far away, he was referring to his game, not the leaderboard, where he was eight shots behind leader Anthony Kim.
I kind of played myself into the toilet today, Els said. Ive been working so hard on my game. Im close on a lot of things. Today I kind of went backward a little bit. Id like to move forward over the weekend and shoot some low scores.
Perry wasnt happy to be asked to submit to a drug test following his opening round on Thursday. Random drug testing is the rule on the PGA, but he said he thought hed already filled his quota with a test earlier in the season.
I know Dudley Hart, Briny Baird, Carl Pettersson, theyve never been drug tested once and Ive already been drug tested twice, the 48-year-old Perry said. I dont understand it. I thought theyd do the whole tour, cycle itself around before wed go for a second time. I didnt realize I could be tested as many as 10 times in a year.
Perry said he saw others, including Stewart Cink, Justin Leonard and Singh, who were tested a second time.
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  • If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

    She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

    You don’t believe it, though.

    She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

    Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

    Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

    “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

    Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

    Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

    At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

    She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

    She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

    And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.

    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship

    There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

    It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

    Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

    Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

    “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

    About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

    Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

    “She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

    David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

    “She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

    Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

    Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

    “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

    Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

    “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

    Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

    “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

    Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

    National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

    The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

    Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

    These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:

    Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience

    By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.

    This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.

    “I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”

    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic

    Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.

    In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

    If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Tour finals.

    “He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”

    Cook fires 62 for one-shot lead at RSM Classic

    By Associated PressNovember 17, 2017, 10:26 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook made a 6-foot birdie putt on his final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead going into the weekend at the RSM Classic.

    Cook has gone 36 holes without a bogey on the Plantation and Seaside courses at Sea Island Golf Club. He played Seaside - the site of the final two rounds in the last PGA Tour event of the calendar year - on Friday and ran off four straight birdies on his opening nine holes.

    ''We've just been able to it hit the ball really well,'' Cook said. ''Speed on greens has been really good and getting up-and-down has been great. I've been able to hit it pretty close to the hole to make some pretty stress-free putts. But the couple putts that I have had of some length for par, I've been able to roll them in. Everything's going well.''

    The 26-year-old former Arkansas player was at 14-under 128 and had a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay, who shot 64 on Seaside. No one else was closer than five shots going into the final two rounds.

    The 45-year-old Gay won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2013.

    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic

    ''I've hit a lot of greens and fairways,'' Gay said. ''I've hit the ball, kept it in front of me. There's a lot of trouble out here, especially with the wind blowing, so I haven't had to make too many saves the first couple days and I putted well.''

    Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. He earned his PGA Tour card through the Tour, and has hired Gay's former caddie, Kip Henley.

    ''With him being out here so long, he knows everybody, so it's not like I'm completely the new kid on the block,'' Cook said. ''He's introduced me to a lot of people, so it's just making me feel comfortable out here. He knows his way around these golf courses. We're working really well together.''

    First-round leader Chris Kirk followed his opening 63 on the Plantation with a 70 on the Seaside to drop into a tie for third at 9 under with C.T. Pan (65) and Vaughn Taylor (66).

    Brandt Snedeker is looking strong in his first start in some five months because of a sternum injury. Snedeker shot a 67 on the Plantation course and was six shots back at 8 under.

    ''I was hitting the ball really well coming down here,'' Snedeker said. ''I was anxious to see how I would hold up under pressure. I haven't played a tournament in five months, so it's held up better than I thought it would. Ball-striking's been really good, mental capacity's been unbelievable.

    ''I think being so fresh, excited to be out there and thinking clearly. My short game, which has always been a strength of mine, I didn't know how sharp it was going to be. It's been really good so far.''