Matteson's 61 leads Deere; Stricker shoots 65

By Associated PressJuly 13, 2012, 1:17 am

SILVIS, Ill. – Troy Matteson made 10 birdies Thursday en route to a bogey-free round of 10-under 61 for a three-stroke lead after one round of the John Deere Classic.

Matteson, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour, birdied five holes on each nine of the TPC Deere Run to surpass the 7-under 64 of second-place Ricky Barnes. Matteson started by making birdies on three of his first four holes and finished with birdies on four of his first five.

He nearly holed out from a bunker on the par-4 ninth for a 60, but settled for par.

Barnes, out in the second group of the day, birdied all three par 5s and two of the four par 3s to pace the morning half of the field.

Robert Garrigus, among a group tied for third at 6-under 65, eagled the par-5 17th by hooking a 270-yard second shot around a tree to set up a 30-foot eagle putt.

Steve Stricker, chasing a fourth straight victory in the Deere, shot a 65 punctuated by an 80-yard wedge for an eagle 2 on the par-4 14th.

Zach Johnson, the highest ranked player in the tournament at sixth in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup point standings, shot 3-under 68 thanks to a 4-under 31 on his last nine holes.

Low scores are common in the Deere. TPC Deere Run has yielded at least one 62 or better since 2008, including a first-round 59 by Paul Goydos two years ago. Friday, the field averaged about 69.6 strokes per player. Only 46 players finished over par.

Matteson has had an average year to this point, missing the cut in 11 of 21 tournaments, including his first five starts. His best finish is a tie for 26th at the Honda Classic. But he lowered his best score for the year, a 65 at the Humana Classic, by four strokes in taking the lead. It's his best start in any Tour tournament.

It was only the third time this year he's broken 70 in the first round.

'I've always been one of the slow-starting Thursday players,' Matteson said. 'If I could do one thing differently in my entire career, it would be to be a faster starter.'

Matteson rolled in 31- and 9-footers for birdies on his first two holes, then ran a birdie attempt on his third hole over the edge of the hole, settling for a tap-in par. A 20-footer for a birdie 3 opened his back nine, which was spiced by a near-eagle on the par-4 fifth, his 14th hole. His birdie putt was 10 inches.

Matteson scored back-to-back 61s en route to winning the Open in 2009.

Barnes is 89th in the point standings and 101st on the money list, but birdied three of his first five holes.

His card was marred only by a bogey on the par-4 ninth when he failed to get up and down from the rough. He considered it only a start.

'You'll have to be in the 20s (under par) to have a chance to win,' Barnes said. 'At most tournaments, when you're 4 under through eight holes, you're in the lead or tied. Here, you have to keep up that kind of pace.'

Stricker's eagle from the 14th fairway accelerated his back nine of 6-under 30. He played the front nine in even-par 35 before a 10-foot birdie putt on the par-5 10th hole began his run toward the leaders.

He birdied the 15th and 17th holes to jump into a tie for third with six other players, including Garrigus and Luke Guthrie, the recent Illinois graduate playing in his second tournament as a professional.

Guthrie earned $67,872 by tying for 19th in his first Tour start, at the St. Jude Classic in Memphis, Tenn.. His bogey-free 65, which featured a 64-foot eagle putt on the par-5 second hole, was his fourth round under par in five as a pro.

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Highlights: Woods shoots Saturday 69 at API

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 17, 2018, 8:40 pm

Tiger Woods made six birdies Sunday, including one at the home hole, to shoot 3-under 69 and move to 7 under par for the week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

When he walked off the golf course, he was four off the 11-under pace set by Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson and Bryson DeChambeau, all of whom were still on the course.

"I'm going to have to shoot a low one tomorrow, and probably get a little bit of help," Woods told Golf Channel's Steve Sands in a post-round interview. "But my responsibility is to go out there and shoot a low one first."

Woods didn't bogey the first hole on Saturday like he did the day prior - but he did drop at a shot at the par-3 second when he failed to get up and down from the bunker.

Luckily, it wouldn't take him long to get that stroke back. One hole later, at the dogleg-left, par-4 third, Woods ripped a 2-iron off the tee, hit a less-than-stellar approach long and right, and poured in this 38-footer for birdie to get back to even par on the day.

He followed with another at the par-5 fourth, smoking a drive 313 yards uphill, short-siding himself with his second shot, and playing this deft pitch to set up a tap-in 4.

After a par save from the bunker at 5, Woods missed the fairway right at the par-5 sixth, laid up with his second, spun a wedge to 15 feet with his third, and rolled in this third birdie of the day to move to 6 under for the week.

Woods' momentum was slowed by a bogey at 8, the product of an errant tee shot, and a missed birdie try at 9 left Tiger to make the turn in 1 under-35, minus-5 for the week.

He quickly returned to 6 under for the championship when he hit an approach from 186 to inside 10 feet at the par-4 11th and walked in the putt:

Following four straight pars, Woods for the second day in a row made an unlikely birdie at the par-5 16th after missing the fairway to the right and declining to layup.

Woods would drop one more shot coming in when his ball fried in the front bunker at 17, leading to a bogey, but this closing birdie at 18, his sixth of the day, got him into the clubhouse 3 under for the round and 7 under for the week. It also elicited a rare straight-down fist pump.

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Two-time major champ Pettersen pregnant

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 7:14 pm

PHOENIX – Suzann Pettersen is pregnant with her first child.

Pettersen’s husband, Christian Ringvold, confirmed the news with Golf Channel’s Jerry Foltz.

Pettersen, 36, who married Ringvold in January of 2017, is due in the fall. The 15-time LPGA winner and two-time major champion has yet to make her first start this year. She’s an eight-time Solheim Cup veteran.

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Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Tiger TrackerMarch 17, 2018, 3:00 pm

It was a 3-under 69 on Saturday for Tiger Woods for a 7-under total through three rounds. We tracked him at Bay Hill.

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Fowler among 5 to skip WGC-Match Play

By Ryan LavnerMarch 17, 2018, 2:24 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Five of the top 64 players in the world will skip next week’s WGC-Dell Match Play.

Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka and Adam Scott all will miss the second WGC event of the year, held next week at Austin Country Club.

As a result, the last man into the field is world No. 69 Luke List. Kevin Na, Charles Howell III, Joost Luiten and Keegan Bradley also got into the field.

Julian Suri and Bill Haas are the first two alternates, if anyone else withdraws from the round-robin-style match-play event.

This is the second year in a row that Rose, Fowler, Stenson and Scott will not play in Austin. Koepka reached the quarterfinals each of the past two years, but he is still recovering from a wrist injury.

The final seeding for the event will be determined after this week’s tournaments. The bracket show is at 7:30 p.m. Monday, live on Golf Channel.