Notes An Aussies Bingo Lubed Up Mechanic

By Associated PressJune 13, 2008, 4:00 pm
2008 U.S. OpenSAN DIEGO -- With a 45-foot putt on the par-5 18th, Stuart Appleby rolled into the lead of the U.S. Open and knocked out 11 players, including 2007 Masters winner Zach Johnson.
 
Bingo, the Australian said about his putt that gave him a 1-under 70 and a two-day total of 3-under 139. Hes a stroke ahead of Tiger Woods, Rocco Mediate and Robert Karlsson.
 
Applebys putt certainly was worth a salutation of Good on ya, mate.
 
He got his line right and tried not to hit it too hard.
 
Typical stuff when youre at 50 feet, he said. Youre trying to just use your natural feel. I hit it and I thought, Well, that looks up, it doesnt look long. Because it didnt have that feeling off the putter. Probably a couple seconds out, I thought, This could go in. Then the crowd does their thing, and it all adds to what looks like a good putt.
 
Had the putt missed, Johnson and 10 other players who were 8-over-par would have made the cut to play the weekend. Instead, their tournament was over.
 
Also missing the cut were two of the last three U.S. Open winners. Defending champion Angel Cabreras struggles on Torrey Pines South Course ended with a 13-over 155, and 2005 champion Michael Campbell shot 83 on Friday to drop to 19-over 161.
 
In all, 80 of the 156 players made the weekend, including Irishman Padraig Harrington and Spaniard Sergio Garcia, who both had been in danger of missing the cut.
 
Harrington, the reigning British Open champion, started the day seven strokes over par, but his 4-under-par 67 Friday was the second-best round of the tournament and gave him a two-round total of 3-over 145.
 
Garcia shot a 1-under 70 in the second round for a 146 total. After starting 6 over for his first seven holes Thursday, he was 2 under for his last 29.
 
I knew I made four birdies yesterday and I said to myself if I can make four more today and keep the rest of it tidy, I knew Id have a good score. I was aiming for 69, but 67 is a nice return. It even felt like it might have been one or two better than that.
 
Harrington kept it tidy all right, by playing bogey-free golf. He said the difference from the first round to the second was that he just holed the odd par putt here and there.
 
I am in good shape in the championship now and if the wind picks up and the greens firm up, well see where I am at the end of the day, he said. The positive thing is that Im right back in the tournament and Ill try to have a great weekend.
 
Three amateurs also made the cut: Derek Fathauer at 146, Michael Thompson at 147 and Rickie Fowler at 149. No amateurs made it the last two years.
 
Cabrera was the second defending champion in three years to miss the cut. Campbell failed to make it at Winged Foot in New York two years ago after winning the 2005 Open at Pinehurst.
 
Cabrera opened at Torrey Pines with an 8-over 79 and followed that with a 76 on Friday for a 13-over 155.
 
PERSPECTIVE
Mark OMeara, the 1998 Masters and British Open winner, was among those who missed the cut by a stroke, but he took it in stride.
 
Im 51. What the hell. Im out here, he said.
 
OMeara once lived in San Diego County and won the Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines in 1997.
 
NO FIX NEEDED
Theres nothing The Mechanic needs to do to fix his golf swing.
 
Miguel Angel Jimenez played his way into contention by shooting a 5-under 66 to move within two shots of leader Stuart Appleby.
 
Jimenez hit 15 of 18 greens, made seven birdies against two bogeys and made up a lot of ground after his opening 75.
 
Every chance I had for birdie, I made the birdie, the Spaniard said.
 
Jimenez, who finished eighth at the Masters but is still looking for his first major championship at age 44, gave himself a chance to do just that with the round of the tournament.
 
Its very important, he said of his chances of winning a major. This is my 26th year on the tour, and Im 44. I would love to have one for my career.
 
Jimenez, who got his nickname because of his affinity for high-performance vehicles, is not only hitting the ball well but playing with a lot of confidence. He is coming off a win in his last tournament, the BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour, where he has won twice this year.
 
Hes also getting a break in the smoking department. Jimenez likes to enjoy a cigar on the course and he can at Torrey Pines, which is non-smoking for everyone outside the ropes but allows smoking inside them.
 
FLOOD OF CONCERNS
Zach Johnson made only four birdies to go along with eight bogeys and two double bogeys in his 36-hole total of 8-over 150, but he was more concerned with the situation in his hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where rising floodwaters Friday forced the evacuation of a downtown hospital and sent thousands of residents fleeing for higher ground.
 
Im playing golf, you know? In the grand scheme of things, it really means nothing, the 2007 Masters champion said. Im trying as hard as I can out here. Im not saying my play has anything to do with the situation back home, but its on my mind. Its impossible not to be.
 
You look at all the situations that have gone on, the tornadoes, obviously the flooding, and, you know, Im chasing a white ball, Johnson said. So the deaths from the tornadoes and certainly the evacuations from the floods, thats perspective right there. Im very lucky.
 
Johnson said his mothers office at the Archdiocese of Eastern Iowa was under water and she didnt know when shed be able to return to work. His fathers chiropractic clinic, also downtown, is closed, with sandbags surrounding the sewer system.
 
My charitys there, too, Johnson said. Its probably under water. I dont know.
 
So who could really blame him for all those bogeys?
 
When youre trying to focus on your nations event, your nations Open, its extremely difficult to focus. I pride myself on being mentally strong, but its hard, Johnson said. Its very difficult.
 
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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.


    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.