Notes 15-Year-Old Has a Ball Despite Shooting 81

By Associated PressJune 15, 2006, 4:00 pm
U.S. OpenMAMARONECK, N.Y. -- The kid wore a big smile, even after shooting an 81 that didnt include a single birdie. Tadd Fujikawa made history at the U.S. Open on Thursday, and it had nothing to do with a lackluster round that included three double bogeys.
 
The USGA initially said the Hawaii high-schooler would be the second-youngest player to participate in an Open, behind only Tyrell Garth Jr., who played in 1941.
 
But after contacting Garth at his home in Texas on Wednesday, the USGA had to amend the record book. Turns out Garth was 15 years, 11 months and 27 days when he played. Thats actually older than Fujikawa, who is 15 years, 6 months, 7 days.
 
Tadd Fujikawa
Tadd Fujikawa became the youngest player to tee it up in the history of the U.S. Open.
Fujikawa, who stands 5-foot-1 and weighs about 135 pounds, officially put his name in the record book when he teed off at 9:12 a.m.
 
He four-putted No. 1 en route to a double bogey and added three more 6s after that before walking off the course with absolutely no complaints.
 
It was a lot of fun out there, actually, he said. I hit a lot of great shots. I think I missed a couple of drives that cost me a couple of double bogeys, (but) my score didnt really tell how my day went.
 
The point was that he was a 15-year-old playing in the U.S. Open, and that in itself was reason to be proud.
 
Just being here and having the crowd behind you and supporting you, its a really good feeling, he said. Its the U.S. Open, so I better have fun. No matter what I shoot, Ill have fun.
 
Fujikawa said he wasnt nervous, even though hed never before played in front of so many people or in such a prestigious tournament.
 
His mother hung around well after the round and said Tadd wished hed done better.
 
But hes not down or anything, Lori Fujikawa said. He just wants to get out there tomorrow and try again.
 
NO SENIOR DISCOUNT
At a time when he could be thinking about getting ready for the Champions Tour, John Cook is playing with the determination of a man half his age.
 
The 48-year-old Cook shot an impressive 1-over 71, making four birdies in one of the best rounds of the day.
 
Someone wondered why hes trying so hard to hone his game, when no one would blame him if he coasted until his 50th birthday.
 
If Im going to try and be competitive on the Champions Tour, Id better be good because I certainly dont want to go out there and just walk around and finish 40th every week, he said.
 
Cook hates losing, and he has no desire to embarrass himself by entering a tournament without the proper mind-set'or preparation.
 
Ive been competitive all my life, and Ive beat a lot of those guys a lot of times. Im not going to go out there and sleepwalk my way through it, he insisted. Youd better bring a lot of game with you or theyre going to beat your brains in.
 
Cook sure brought his game.
 
I made some quality birdies, he said. I had some opportunities for more, but theres just not much out there.
 
BEYOND THE NUMBERS
The number on Thomas Bjorns scorecard was a routine 4 on the par-4 11th hole. It was far from routine, though.
 
Bjorn blocked his tee shot so far to the right that it went beyond the rough and into the gallery. It struck a waist-high boulder and caromed another 40 yards to the right under a tree. Bjorn couldnt play out under the limbs because he faced 50 yards of mangled grass, so he hit a wedge and hoped for the best, and the ball stopped in the first cut on the opposite side of the fairway.
 
His third shot was almost as bad as the first, right and well short of the green. Bjorn hung his head as he walked to the ball. But all was well when he chipped across the green and the ball banged the flag and disappeared for par.
 
At this point, Bjorn started laughing. He finished with a 72.
 
LOCAL BOY MAKES GOOD
Andrew Svoboda has been playing Winged Foot since he was 10, but all that experience couldnt have prepared him for what he faced in his first U.S. Open.
 
As the first player to tee off at No. 1, he received applause that compared to the ovation Phil Mickelson received an hour later at No. 10.
 
It was something when they announced my name, and then there was such a loud cheer, he said. That definitely got my heart going.
 
The 26-year-old Svoboda figures he averaged 150 rounds a year at Winged Foot while growing up. That proved of little help in the first round of the Open, when he made nine bogeys and four birdies en route to a 75.
 
A lot of those pins we dont play in member play, thats for sure, he said.
 
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    Koepka (wrist) likely out until the Masters

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 9:08 pm

    Defending U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka is expected to miss at least the next two months because of a torn tendon in his left wrist.

    Koepka, who suffered a partially torn Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU), is hoping to return in time for the Masters.

    In a statement released by his management company, Koepka said that doctors are unsure when the injury occurred but that he first felt discomfort at the Hero World Challenge, where he finished last in the 18-man event. Playing through pain, he also finished last at the Tournament of Champions, after which he underwent a second MRI that revealed the tear.

    Koepka is expected to miss the next eight to 12 weeks.

    “I am frustrated that I will now not be able to play my intended schedule,” Koepka said. “But I am confident in my doctors and in the treatment they have prescribed, and I look forward to teeing it up at the Masters. … I look forward to a quick and successful recovery.”

    Prior to the injury, Koepka won the Dunlop Phoenix and cracked the top 10 in the world ranking. 

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    Cut Line: Color Rory unafraid of the Ryder Cup

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 19, 2018, 7:09 pm

    In this week’s edition, Rory McIlroy gets things rolling with some early Ryder Cup banter, Dustin Johnson changes his tune on a possible golf ball roll-back, and the PGA Tour rolls ahead with integrity training.


    Made Cut

    Paris or bust. Rory McIlroy, who made his 2018 debut this week on the European Tour, can be one of the game’s most affable athletes. He can also be pointed, particularly when discussing the Ryder Cup.

    Asked this week in Abu Dhabi about the U.S. team, which won the last Ryder Cup and appears to be rejuvenated by a collection of new players, McIlroy didn’t disappoint.

    “If you look at Hazeltine and how they set the course up – big, wide fairways, no rough, pins in the middle of greens – it wasn’t set up for the way the Europeans like to play,” McIlroy said. “I think Paris will be a completely different kettle of fish, so different.”

    McIlroy has come by his confidence honestly, having won three of the four Ryder Cups he’s played, so it’s understandable if he doesn't feel like an underdog heaidng to Paris.

    “The Americans have obviously been buoyant about their chances, but it’s never as easy as that,” he said. “The Ryder Cup is always close. It always comes down to a few key moments, and it will be no different in Paris. I think we’ll have a great team and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    September can’t get here quick enough.

    Mr. Spieth goes to Ponte Vedra Beach. The Tour announced this year’s player advisory council, the 16-member group that works with the circuit’s policy board to govern.

    There were no real surprises to the PAC, but news that Jordan Spieth had been selected to run for council chair is interesting. Spieth, who is running against Billy Hurley III and would ascend to the policy board next year if he wins the election, served on the PAC last year and would make a fine addition to the policy board, but it is somewhat out of character for a marquee player.

    In recent years, top players like Spieth have largely avoided the distractions that come with the PAC and policy board. Of course, we’ve also learned in recent years that Spieth is not your typical superstar.


    Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

    On second thought. In December at the Hero World Challenge, Dustin Johnson was asked about a possible golf ball roll-back, which has become an increasingly popular notion in recent years.

    “I don't mind seeing every other professional sport. They play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball,” he said in the Bahamas. “I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage.”

    The world No. 1 appeared to dial back that take this week in Abu Dhabi, telling BBC Sport, “It's not like we are dominating golf courses. When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy?”

    Maybe it didn’t feel that way, but DJ’s eight-stroke romp two weeks ago at the Sentry Tournament of Champions certainly looked pretty easy.

    Long odds. I had a chance to watch the Tour’s 15-minute integrity training video that players have been required view and came away with a mixture of confusion and concern.

    The majority of the video, which includes a Q&A element, focuses on how to avoid match fixing. Although the circuit has made it clear there is no indication of current match fixing, it’s obviously something to keep an eye on.

    The other element that’s worth pointing out is that although the Tour may be taking the new program seriously, some players are not.

    “My agent watched [the training video] for me,” said one Tour pro last week at the Sony Open.


    Missed Cut

    Groundhog Day. To be fair, no one expected Patton Kizzire and James Hahn to need six playoff holes to decide last week’s Sony Open, but the episode does show why variety is the spice of life.

    After finishing 72 holes tied at 17 under, Kizzire and Hahn played the 18th hole again and again and again and again. In total, the duo played the par-5 closing hole at Waialae Country Club five times (including in regulation play) on Sunday.

    It’s worth noting that the playoff finally ended with Kizzire’s par at the sixth extra hole, which was the par-3 17th. Waialae’s 18th is a fine golf hole, but in this case familiarity really did breed contempt.

    Tweet of the week:

    It was a common theme last Saturday on Oahu after an island-wide text alert was issued warning of an inbound ballistic missile and advising citizens to “seek immediate shelter.”

    The alert turned out to be a mistake, someone pushed the wrong button during a shift change, but for many, like Peterson, it was a serious lesson in perspective.

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    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.”