No bogeys, no problem: Noh leads Zurich by 2

By Associated PressApril 26, 2014, 10:21 pm

AVONDALE, La. – If Sueng-Yul Noh can hold on to the lead in the Zurich Classic, he'll do it in front of fans who can appreciate how much bigger Noh's mission is than simply winning his first PGA Tour event.

Wearing yellow and black ribbons on his hat to honor victims of the April 16 South Korean ferry accident, Noh used a string of birdies late in his round Saturday to surge two strokes ahead of Keegan Bradley atop the leaderboard.

It is Noh's first career lead through three rounds on the tour, and comes in a city where sports – particularly the success of the NFL's Saints – became an uplifting force after Hurricane Katrina.

Noh finds himself representing – and captivating – a nation mourning the more than 300 dead or missing – many of them students – from the sinking of a ferry in the waters off his home country.

''Hopefully, I'll make all the Korean people happy,'' Noh said. ''It was very sad news for the Korean ship, so hopefully another bogey-free round tomorrow, and hopefully good news for the Koreans.''

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Noh is the first player to complete 54 holes at the TPC Louisiana without a bogey. He shot a 7-under 65 to reach 18-under 198. No player has completed all four rounds on the course at better than 20 under, the score Billy Horschel posted last year, when he became the sixth player in the last nine years to secure his maiden PGA Tour triumph in New Orleans.

Noh will try to continue the trend when he tees off in the same group as Bradley, who is no stranger to winning. His three career tour victories include a major in the 2011 PGA Championship.

Bradley said he doubted that he would intimidate Noh, but added, ''It is definitely hard getting your first win.''

Bradley began the day tied for seventh at 9 under. He pulled into a tie with Noh for first on No. 15 with his seventh birdie of the day.

Then, Noh, who was tied for third at 11 under after two rounds, made birdie putts of 13 feet on 14 and 10 feet on 15 before hitting a 112-yard approach shot to a foot for another birdie on 16, bringing him to 18 under.

Bradley also shot 65, making eight birdies. He also made one bogey on the par-3 ninth hole, when his ball landed left of the green, rolled down a bulkhead lined with cypress planks and into a water hazard from which alligators have been making routine appearances this week. It didn't faze him, though.

''I'm most proud this week of where I've been mentally on the golf course and how calm I've felt,'' Bradley said. ''I love being in this position, a couple back going into Sunday. I'd like to be a couple in the lead, too, but I love chasing.''

Robert Streb was third, three shots back after a 68. Paul Casey's 64 was the day's best round. He moved up to a tie for seventh with Charley Hoffman at 13 under.

Ben Martin, who had a three-shot lead after two rounds, shot a 73 to drop into a tie for fourth with Jeff Overton and Andrew Svoboda at 14 under. Overton shot 67, and Svoboda 70.

Noh is in his third year on the tour, but finished outside the top 125 on the money list last season, forcing him to play in Tour Finals events to retain his tour card.

''Very disappointed in the whole season last year,'' Noh said. ''I learned from that time. ... So I'm very ready for tomorrow.''

He had never before been higher on the leaderboard than tied for second through three rounds. That happened once at the 2012 AT&T National, but he shot a 2-over 73 in his final round to finish tied for fourth, his best finish in 77 previous PGA Tour starts.

Martin had raced to the lead with a course-record 10-under 62 in his first round, and his 36-hole score of 129 also was a course record. Teeing off with the final group, his trouble began on the par-5 second hole. He pushed his second shot to the right toward the crowd. As Martin's father, Jim, yelled, ''Fore!'' LSU student Cameron Slane turned his body defensively and felt the ball carom off the back of his head and shoulder.

The ball kicked to the right and into a cluster of long pampas grass. Martin took a drop and wound up with a bogey.

''Thursday's round and today are kind of a 180-degree difference,'' Martin said. ''After Thursday, I wasn't on Cloud 9 and after today I'm not in the dumps. So I've still have a good mindset going into tomorrow.''

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Watch: Tiger birdies 3 of 4, then goes OB

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 18, 2018, 8:30 pm

Starting Sunday five off the lead, Tiger Woods teed off in his final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a laced 2-iron and a par at No. 1.

Woods hit the green at the par-3 second but left himself a 50-foot birdie putt and a 6-footer to save par, which he walked in.

A two-putt 4 at the par-5 fourth gave Woods his first birdie of the day and moved him to 8 under for the week. Apparently energized, Tiger pulled driver at the short par-4 fifth and unleashed this violent swing.

A pitch from the thick rough hit a sprinkler head and stopped on the apron, leading to this birdie try, which fortunately hit the pin but unfortunately didn't fall.

Looking to pick up another stroke - or two - at the par-5 sixth, Woods took his drive 317 yards over the water and hit this second shot from 227 yards to 13 feet, leading to another two-putt birdie when his eagle try burned the right edge.

Returning to his trusty 2-iron, Tiger found the fairway at the par-4 eighth and then threw this dart from 176 yards to 6 feet and rolled in his third birdie putt of the day to move to 10 under.

His momentum was slowed by his first bogey of the day at No. 9, the product of an errant drive and its ensuing complications. As a result, Woods made the turn 2 under on his round, 9 under for the week, and still five off the lead, like when he started the day.

But Woods wouldn't wait long to make up for his mistake, immediately responding with another flagged iron and another birdie at No. 10.

He continued his assault on Bay Hill's par-5s at the 12th, getting up and down from the sand for a birdie-4 that moved him to 11 under par, just two off the lead.

And with this roll at 13 giving him his third birdie in four holes, the charge was officially on, with Woods just one back.

Just when it looked like Woods was primed for a late run at his 80th PGA Tour victory, Woods stepped to the tee at the par-5 16th, where he had missed wide right three days in a row, and sniped his drive out of bounds into a backyard miles left.

He made 4 on his second ball for a bogey-6 to drop back to 11 under, three behind.

(More coming...)

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Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Tiger TrackerMarch 18, 2018, 5:00 pm

Tiger Woods will start Sunday five off the lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. How will he follow up last week's runner-up? We're tracking him at Bay Hill.

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McIlroy: Time for Tour to limit alcohol sales on course

By Ryan LavnerMarch 18, 2018, 1:50 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Rory McIlroy suggested Saturday that the PGA Tour might need to consider curbing alcohol sales to stop some of the abusive fan behavior that has become more prevalent at events.

McIlroy said that a fan repeatedly yelled his wife’s name (Erica) during the third round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

“I was going to go over and have a chat with him,” McIlroy said. “I think it’s gotten a little much, to be honest. I think they need to limit the alcohol sales on the course, or they need to do something, because every week it seems like guys are complaining about it more and more.

Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

“I know that people want to come and enjoy themselves, and I’m all for that, but sometimes when the comments get personal and people get a little bit rowdy, it can get a little much.”

This isn’t the first time that McIlroy has voiced concerns about fan behavior on Tour. Last month at Riviera, he said the rowdy spectators probably cost Tiger Woods a half-shot a round, and after two days in his featured group he had a splitting headache.

A week later, at the Honda Classic, Justin Thomas had a fan removed late in the final round.

McIlroy believes the issue is part of a larger problem, as more events try to replicate the success of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which has one of the liveliest atmospheres on Tour.

“It’s great for that tournament, it’s great for us, but golf is different than a football game, and there’s etiquette involved and you don’t want people to be put off from bringing their kids when people are shouting stuff out,” he said. “You want people to enjoy themselves, have a good day.”

As for a solution, well, McIlroy isn’t quite sure.

“It used to be you bring beers onto the course or buy beers, but not liquor,” he said. “And now it seems like everyone’s walking around with a cocktail. I don’t know whether (the solution) is to go back to letting people walking around with beers in their hands. That’s fine, but I don’t know.”

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Confident Lincicome lurking after 54 holes at Founders

By Randy SmithMarch 18, 2018, 2:45 am

PHOENIX – Brittany Lincicome is farther back than she wanted to be going into Sunday at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, but she’s in a good place.

She’s keeping the momentum of her season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic victory going this year.

Her confidence is high.

“Last year, I won in the Bahamas, but then I didn't do anything after that,” Lincicome said. “I don't even know if I had a top 10 after my win in the Bahamas. Obviously, this year, I want to be more consistent.”

Lincicome followed up her victory in the Bahamas this year with a tie for seventh in her next start at the Honda LPGA Thailand. And now she’s right back on another leaderboard with the year’s first major championship just two weeks away. She is, by the way, a two-time winner at the ANA Inspiration.

Missy Pederson, Lincicome’s caddie, is helping her player keep that momentum going with more focus on honing in the scoring clubs.

“One of our major goals is being more consistent,” Pederson said. “She’s so talented, a once in a generation talent. I’m just trying to help out in how to best approach every golf course.”

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

Pederson has helped Lincicome identify the clubs they’re likely to attack most with on the particular course they are playing that week, to spend more time working with those clubs in practice. It’s building confidence.

“I know the more greens we hit, and the more chances we give ourselves, the more our chances are to be in contention,” Pederson said. “Britt is not big into stats or details, so I have to figure out how to best consolidate that information, to get us exactly where we need to be.”

Lincicome’s growing comfort with clubs she can attack with is helping her confidence through a round.

“I’ve most noticed consistency in her mental game, being able to handle some of the hiccups that happen over the course of a round,” Pederson said. “Whereas before, something might get under her skin, where she might say, `That’s what always happens,’ now, it’s, `All right, I know I’m good enough to get this back.’ I try to get her in positions to hit the clubs we are really hitting well right now.”

That’s leading to a lot more birdies, fewer bogeys and more appearances on leaderboards in the start to this year.