Montys Major-less Streak Mounts

By Associated PressJune 18, 2006, 4:00 pm
U.S. OpenMAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Colin Montgomerie had only Colin Montgomerie to blame.
 
He came to the U.S. Open this week with four second-place finishes in majors. Make it five.

This time, though, he pretty much beat himself with one awful swing.
 
Montgomerie started Sunday's final round at Winged Foot tied for fourth, three shots off the lead. Four hours later, he stood in the 18th fairway tied for the lead with Phil Mickelson at 4 over par, 172 yards from what surely could be no worse than a playoff.
 
Colin Montgomerie
Colin Montgomerie's decision to change clubs in the 18th fairway may have cost him the U.S. Open.
Then, inexplicably, a 7-iron got away from him and found the deep rough right of the green. Montgomerie ended up with double bogey, and another runner-up finish.
 
'Other chances I've had, other players have done very well,' Montgomerie said. 'This is the first time I've really messed up, which is OK. You're entitled to a couple of mess-ups along the way.'
 
The droll Scot finished at 6-over 286, one shot behind champion Geoff Ogilvy and tied with Mickelson, who also double-bogeyed the final hole, and Jim Furyk, who bogeyed it.
 
Montgomerie lost the 1994 U.S. Open to Ernie Els in a three-way playoff and the 1995 PGA Championship in a playoff with Steve Elkington. He also was runner-up to Els in the 1997 U.S. Open and to Tiger Woods in last year's British Open, at St. Andrews in Scotland.
 
At age 42, time would seem to be running out to shake the mantle of best golfer never to win a major. Yet Montgomerie didn't sound that way.
 
'At my age I've got to think positively. Being 43 next week, it's nice to think I can come back nine years after contending and do well again,' he said. 'I look forward to coming back next year and try another U.S. Open disaster.'
 
The quip drew the laughs he expected from reporters. However, the disappointment was obvious.
 
After making a 75-foot birdie putt on the par-4 17th to move into the tie for the lead, Montgomerie hit a big drive on the 450-yard closing hole. He decided to change the iron he would use for his second shot.
 
'I switched from a 6 to a 7. I thought the adrenaline would kick in and I hit it about 10 yards further,' he said. 'I caught it slightly heavy and it went slightly right. It was a poor shot and I put myself in a poor position, there was no question about that.'
 
From the deep rough, Montgomerie chipped to 15 feet from the cup and three-putted for a 1-over 71.
 
'I did the hard thing, hit the fairway. That's my strength normally,' he said. 'We put ourselves into poor position after two shots, and then it was difficult from then on because that green is very fast.'
 
There was still no major for Monty.
 
There was no third in a row for Mickelson and there was no second for Furyk, who won the U.S. Open in 2003.
 
Furyk bogeyed the 18th for a 70, missing a 5-foot par putt that it turned out would have meant a playoff.
 
'I'm disappointed. I played my heart out and it didn't work,' he said. 'It was a lot of fun to be in the thick of it, but overall I'm also disappointed because I let an opportunity to win the U.S. Open slip by.'
 
Padraig Harrington was alone at 287 after a closing 71 in which he bogeyed the last three holes. He had a triple-bogey 7 on 18 in the third round.
 
'I'm very disappointed obviously. Three pars to win the Open. It probably doesn't get any easier than that. It sounds very easy, anyway,' he said. 'I certainly ruined this one.'
 
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    Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

    Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

    Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

    In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

    Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

    After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

    Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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    Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

    Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

    “I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”

    After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

    Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

    The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.

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    Landry stays hot, leads desert shootout at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 12:35 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Andrew Landry topped the crowded CareerBuilder Challenge leaderboard after another low-scoring day in the sunny Coachella Valley.

    Landry shot a 7-under 65 on Thursday on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course to reach 16 under. He opened with a 63 on Thursday at La Quinta Country Club.

    Jon Rahm, the first-round leader after a 62 at La Quinta, was a stroke back. He had two early bogeys in a 67 on the Nicklaus layout.


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    Jason Kokrak was 14 under after a 67 at Nicklaus. Two-time major champion Zach Johnson was 13 under along with Michael Kim and Martin Piller. Johnson had a 64 at Nicklaus.

    Landry, Rahm, Kokrak and Johnson will finish the rotation Saturday at PGA West's Stadium Course, also the site of the final round.

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    Mickelson 'displeased' with iron play; 10 back

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:18 am

    All of Phil Mickelson’s offseason work on his driver has paid off through two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    His iron play? Not as sharp, and it’s the reason why he heads into the weekend 10 shots off the lead.

    “I’ve been pretty pleased, overall, with the way I’ve been driving the ball, and very displeased with the way my iron game has been,” said Mickelson, who shot 68 Friday on PGA West’s Nicklaus course. He has hit only 21 of 36 greens so far this week. “Usually my iron play is a lot better than what it’s been. So I’ll go work on it and hopefully improve each round in this tournament and build a solid foundation for the upcoming West Coast events.


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    “I feel like if I continue to drive the ball the way I am, and if I got my iron play back to my normal standard, I should have the results that I’ve been expecting.”

    Mickelson, of course, is always bullish this time of year, but he has been able to find 10 of 14 fairways each of the past two rounds, including at narrower La Quinta Country Club, which doesn’t always fit his eye.

    “This is actually the best I’ve driven it in a lot of years,” he said.

    Currently in a tie for 67th, Mickelson will need a solid round on the more difficult Stadium course Saturday to ensure that he makes the 54-hole cut. He hasn’t missed a cut in his first West Coast event of the new year since 2009.