Langers collapse gives Morgan Jenkins lead

By Associated PressFebruary 14, 2009, 5:00 pm
Champions TourBOCA RATON, Fla. ' Maybe its fitting that in a city filled with retirees, a pair of 60somethings are in the lead entering the final round of the Allianz Championship.
 
Gil Morgan, 62, shot a flawless 7-under 65 on Saturday and is tied with 61-year-old Tom Jenkins after two rounds. Both got to the top of the leaderboard at 10 under after Bernhard Langer ' a mere youngster at 51 ' simply collapsed over the final four holes.
 
Fourteen different Champions Tour players have won after turning 60, with Morgan the last in September 2007. He would become the third to do it multiple times, joining Hale Irwin (three) and Jimmy Powell (two).
 
And Morgan knows, with a new influx of talent joining the 50-and-over series every year, chances like these wont come with regularity.
 
At some point in time, were going to be too old to play. Our games arent going to be good enough to play, Morgan said.
 
Clearly, that time hasnt come yet.
 
Morgan ' once a dominant player on the Champions Tour ' started off with two birdies and kept rolling from there. His only mistake so far on The Old Course at Broken Sound was a double-bogey on the par-4 7th hole Friday. Other than that, 12 birdies, 23 pars.
 
You know youre probably not going to be there as much as you were in the past, Morgan said. So if theres an opportunity, you want to try to take advantage of it if you can.
 
Even as he said that, Langer was leading at 11 under, and Morgan surmised that he would have to do some Langer-chasing on Sunday.
 
He was wrong.
 
In a stupefying three-hole stretch, Langer gave back four shots, two bogeys and a double knocking him from the lead and souring his mood.
 
I should be three ahead, said Langer, who shot 73, nine strokes off his sizzling opening round, and was in a tie for ninth in his adopted hometown ' where about one in every four residents is 65 or older. And Im three behind.
 
All told, 13 players will start Sunday within four shots of the lead.
 
Jenkins shot 67 for the second straight day. If that wasnt newsy enough, he added to the Tiger Woods rumor mill following the round, saying Mark OMeara told him the worlds No. 1 player plans to return at the Accenture Match Play Championship. If Woods doesnt begin his comeback from knee surgery there, Jenkins said, hell be playing the CA Championship at Doral and then Bay Hill.
 
Woods has until Friday to decide whether to enter Match Play.
 
I understand his leg is great and hes stronger than ever, said Jenkins, who, like Woods, recently underwent knee surgery. Im looking forward to seeing it.
 
Jenkins is a seven-time winner on the Champions Tour, the last victory coming in 2006.
 
I feel stronger now than I did at 50, and Im 61, Jenkins said. Im determined to keep going. As long as I can keep touching the ground with my palm, Im going to keep playing.
 
Mike Goodes (68) and Jerry Pate (71) were one shot off the lead, while Dan Forsman (65), Mark James (69), Larry Mize (69) and Fulton Allem (70) all were at 8 under.
 
Morgans was the round of the day, matched by Forsman and Jay Haas, who was runner-up at the Allianz two years ago.
 
Haas figured his even-par 72 on Friday pretty much knocked him out of contention for the win, but will start Sunday alongside Langer, three shots back of the leaders.
 
You cant give Bernhard two a side for two straight days. It just doesnt work, Haas said. Out here, very rarely do you see a guy shoot an even-par round and still have a chance to win.
 
Notes: Morgan would be the third-oldest (62 years, 4 months, 22 days) winner in Champions Tour history. Mike Fetchick (on his 63rd birthday) won the 1985 Hilton Head Seniors Invitational, and Gary Player (62 years, 9 months, 22 days) won the 1998 Northville Long Island Classic. If Jenkins were to win, hed be the eighth-oldest on the 50-and-over tour to do so. Craig Stadler withdrew with back spasms. Loren Roberts started Saturday with four straight birdies, then gave it all back with a quadruple-bogey on the par-5 first, his 10th hole of the day. Andy Bean (69) has nine straight rounds in the 60s, dating to last season. Jeff Sluman (71) shot his 30th straight round of par or better, coming within seven of Roberts Champions Tour record.
 
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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

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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:

    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 Web.com 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 Web.com 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.''