Lancaster Surprise Leader at John Deere

By Associated PressJuly 12, 2007, 4:00 pm
2006 John Deere ClassicSILVIS, Ill. -- It took Neal Lancaster a while to wake up. When he finally did, he was already well on his way to shooting his best round in two years.
 
Lancaster fired a 7-under 64 in the morning wave Thursday at the John Deere Classic, shocking even himself with a display of accuracy that netted the 44-year-old grinder eight birdies and a one-shot lead at TPC Deere Run.
 
'I was hitting it right at the flag,' a smiling Lancaster said after finding 16 greens in regulation and 12 of 14 fairways. 'Actually, I was shocked a couple of times.'
 
He led Duffy Waldorf, Kenny Perry, Scott Gutschewski, Jason Dufner and Paul Stankowski by one shot.
 
Waldorf was tied for the lead with one hole left, but he made bogey from a bunker at the 18th and shot a 6-under 65 to join the others in a tie for second place.
 
Bob May and Kevin Sutherland shared seventh place at 5-under 66, and there were 12 players tied for ninth at 67.
 
Lancaster started in the first morning group off No. 10, beginning his round at 7:00 a.m. local time. Playing partner Greg Owen asked him on No. 4 -- their 13th hole -- if he was awake yet.
 
'Not yet,' Lancaster responded.
 
But he had already made five birdies by then -- back-to-back from the 10th and 14th holes, and another at the 18th to make the turn in just 31 shots.
 
Just as the wind began to pick up, Lancaster set off on another birdie run beginning at No. 4, where he made the first of three straight birdies to get to 8-under par.
 
The wind aided his group at their last hole, par-4 ninth, where it was blowing in the direction of the green. But Lancaster made his only bogey there to fall back to 7-under.
 
'I hit three-wood off the tee. I think the two guys I was playing with hit driver, wedge, and the hole is 500 yards,' said Lancaster, who shot a 64 for the first time since 2005.
 
'With no humidity the course is going to dry out over the next three days. But the wind is picking up. Some holes are playing longer. The greens are soft, very receptive, and you've just got to make putts. If it's not the Open, you've got to make putts.'
 
Waldorf needed just one putt on 11 holes, the last coming after he knocked a 134-yard approach shot to 5 feet at the 17th to set up a birdie that briefly tied him with Lancaster atop the leaderboard.
 
'I had a lot of different lengths, but my speed was good,' said Waldorf, who led the field in putts per greens in regulation. 'It's nice to make some longer putts. It helps to get your round going.'
 
But Waldorf found a greenside bunker with his second shot at the 18th, then missed a 12-foot par putt to drop out of a tie for the lead.
 
With no top-10 finishes this season, the 44-year-old Waldorf currently ranks 144th in FedEx Cup points. Only the top 144 players will be eligible for the new PGA TOUR playoffs beginning in August.
 
'I feel like this is my run to see if I can move my way up the list,' said Waldorf, a four-time PGA TOUR winner.
 
Among the players tied with Waldorf for second place only Perry ranks in the top 100 in FedEx Cup points. Lancaster, the leader, is among the lowest-ranked players in the field in FedEx Cup points at No. 208.
 
In fact, the field includes only one player inside the top five: Masters champion Zach Johnson, who ranks fifth. Johnson had a 1-under 70 Thursday and was tied for 56th place.
 
With the top players either taking off or playing in Scotland ahead of the British Open, this week's field is lacking in star power.
 
The tournament took a further hit when Michelle Wie, scheduled to play for the third time on a sponsor's exemption, withdrew to continue rehabilitation on her injured wrist.
 
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  • Watch: Pros try to hit 2-yard wide fairway in Dubai

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 18, 2017, 5:20 pm

    While in Dubai for the DP World Tour Championship, the European Tour prestented a little challenge to Ross Fisher, Richie Ramsay, Nicolas Colsaerts and Soren Kjeldsen. On a stretch of road outside of town, the four players had to try and hit a 2-yard wide fairway. Check out the results.

    Rose (65) leads Rahm, Frittelli in Dubai

    By Associated PressNovember 18, 2017, 3:24 pm

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Justin Rose will take a one-shot lead into the final day of the season-ending Tour Championship as he attempts to win a third straight title on the European Tour and a second career Race to Dubai crown.

    The 37-year-old Rose made a gutsy par save on the final hole after a bogey-free round for a 7-under 65 Saturday and overall 15-under 201.

    The Englishman leads South African Dylan Frittelli, who produced the day's best score of 63, and Spain's Jon Rahm, who played in the same group as Rose and matched his 65.

    Rose is looking to be Europe's season-ending No. 1 for the second time. His leading rival for the Race to Dubai title, Tommy Fleetwood, is only two shots behind here after a second straight 65 on the Earth course of Jumeirah Golf Estates.

    Fleetwood did his chances no harm by overcoming a stuttering start before making eight birdies in his final 11 holes to also post a 65. The 26-year-old Englishman was tied for fourth place at 13 under, alongside South African Dean Burmester (65) and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat (67), who closed with five birdies in a row.

    ''So, last day of the season and I've got a chance to win the Race to Dubai,'' Fleetwood said. ''It's cool.''


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    Masters champion Sergio Garcia, the only other player with a chance to win the Race to Dubai title, is tied for 13th on 10 under after a 67.

    Fleetwood had a lead of 256,737 points going into the final tournament and needs to equal or better Rose's finishing position to claim the title. If Rose doesn't finish in the top five and Garcia doesn't win, Fleetwood will have done enough.

    Rose is hoping to win a third straight tournament after triumphs in China and Turkey.

    Rose, who made some long putts for birdies apart from chipping in on the 13th hole, looked to be throwing away his advantage on the par-5 18th, when his second shot fell agonizingly short of the green and into the water hazard. But with his short game in superb condition, the reigning Olympic champion made a difficult up-and-down shot to stay ahead.

    ''That putt at the last is a big confidence-builder. That broke about 18 inches right-to-left downhill. That's the kind of putt I've been hoping to make. That was a really committed stroke. Hopefully I can build on that tomorrow,'' said Rose. ''I know what I need to do to stay at the top of the leaderboard. If I slip up tomorrow, he's (Fleetwood) right there. He's done everything he needs to do on his end, so it's a lot of fun.''

    The last player to win three tournaments in a row on the European Tour was Rory McIlroy, when he won the Open Championship, the WGC-Bridgestone and the PGA Championship in 2014.

    Fleetwood was 1 over after seven holes but turned it on with a hat trick of birdies from the eighth, and then four in a row from No. 13.

    ''I wanted to keep going. Let's bring the tee times forward for tomorrow,'' quipped Fleetwood after closing with a birdie on the 18th. ''Just one of them strange days where nothing was going at all. A couple sloppy pars on the par 5s, and a bad tee shot on fifth and I was 1-over through seven on a day where scoring has been really good ... Ninth and 10th, felt like we had something going ... it was a really good last 11 holes.''

    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.


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    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: