Lucas Glover pouring in birdies at Hazeltine

By Associated PressAugust 15, 2009, 4:00 pm
2009 PGA ChampionshipCHASKA, Minn. ' U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover has more birdies than Tiger Woods through the first three rounds of the PGA Championship.
 
But the mistakes he has been making at Hazeltine have cost him dearly heading into Sundays final round. Glover shot 1 under 71 on Saturday and is 4 under for the tournament, four strokes back of Woods, who has 12 birdies to Glovers 13 this week.
 
Yeah, it wasnt all there today, but not too unhappy with 1-under, Glover said. I feel like I left a few out there with my putter, but you know, played all right and still right there. So you know, something crazy tomorrow, you never know.
 
The difference so far has been Glovers seven bogeys. He had two on the back nine on Saturday ' Nos. 10 and 13 ' to stunt his progress.
 
Ive been driving it good. Ive been doing that all year, to be honest with you, Glover said. Thats why Ive been playing well on some difficult golf courses. Ive been driving it good and making a lot of my short putts. When you do that on a hard course, youre going to do all right.
 
And there are far worse places to be on the final day of a major than four strokes back.
 
We all know how Tiger is the last round, so its going to take something crazy, but you know, I made a bunch of birdies this week, he said. I just need to putt a bunch together in one round.
 

 
BACK TO EARTH: Grant Sturgeons short game finally caught up with him.
 
The club pro, who was even par through the first two days of the PGA Championship, blew up with an 8-over 80 on Saturday. He plummeted from a tie for 13th after 36 holes to a tie for 70th.
 
I just struggled, he said. The short game, its just pretty bad. And you hit a few bad shots and it just turned into an 80.
 
Sturgeon is among 20 club pros who earned a spot into the final major of the year through the PGA Professional National Championship. There used to be 40 teachers among the touring pros, a number that keeps dwindling amid criticism in some corners that the teaching pros are watering down the strongest field of the year.
 
No club pro has finished in the top 20 in nearly two decades.
 
But Sturgeon reminded everyone that club pros are more than ceremonial players. His 36-hole score was better than major champions Phil Mickelson, Angel Cabrera, Stewart Cink, Zach Johnson, Fred Couples you get the picture.
 
I was actually probably more calm today than I was the first two days, Sturgeon said. I dont think that factored into me playing poorly. I just really struggled with my short game and put too much pressure on my long game and then I started to struggle a little bit.
 
Sturgeon bogeyed three of his first five holes and made two more on the back nine. He finished the day in particularly ugly fashion, making a triple-bogey on the par-4 18th.
 
It was still awesome out there, I had an absolute blast, he said. Ill go out there tomorrow and try to get back to what happened on Thursday and Friday.
 

 
JENKINS HONORED: The PGA held an honorary press conference on Saturday for famed journalist Dan Jenkins, who is covering his 201st major championship.
 
The author and Golf Digest columnist was at his very best during the press conference, serving up a big helping of his dry wit and hilarious one-liners.
 
Somebody asked me, How long are you going to do this, the 79-year-old said. I told them Im not qualified to do anything else. Ill be here until they carry me out. The message on my tombstone will be, I knew this was coming.
 
Jenkins has covered everyone from Ben Hogan to Jack Nicklaus to Tiger Woods and all golfers in between. He is showing his versatility at Hazeltine, offering up tweets for Golf Digest. This is the 45th PGA Championship he has covered.
 
Its been great fun, Jenkins said. And Im delighted to be recognized for living this long.
 

 
DIVOTS: Tom Lehman, the only Minnesota native in the field, shot 76 and is tied for 55th at 6 over. South African Richard Sterne withdrew on the 15th hole because of an injury to his left hand. He was 5-over par when he withdrew. There were only two eagles for the round, one by Vijay Singh at the par-5 seventh hole and the other on the par-4 14th by Rich Beem, who won the PGA Championship here in 2002.
 
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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.