Notes Campbell Criticizes 18 Norman Faldo Tied

By Associated PressJuly 16, 2005, 4:00 pm
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- Michael Campbell isn't a big fan of the Old Course's closing hole.
 
The U.S. Open champion, contending again at the British Open after a 4-under 68 on Saturday, was asked if the short par-4 -- a mere 357 yards -- was a good way to finish a major.
 
Most players drive the green or come up just short, setting up the chance for a two-putt birdie. And the big hitters don't even have to use their driver.
 
No. 18 ranked as the easiest hole on Saturday, producing two eagles, 42 birdies and 32 pars. Only four players managed to bogey the hole.
 
``If they bring it back another 40 or 50 yards to the left-hand side, it would be a tough hole then,'' Campbell said.
 
The New Zealander has birdied the hole all three days. He goes into the final round with a 7-under 209, five strokes behind leader Tiger Woods.
 
``It's a very, very short hole for a finishing hole,'' Campbell said. ``You can't really miss the fairway, because it's so wide'' with the adjacent first fairway.
 
``But move it back 40 yards, that brings it back into play.''
 
Ten years ago, Campbell led going to the final round of the Open at St. Andrews, but a 76 ruined his hopes. After a discouraging slump and tedious comeback, he finally broke through at Pinehurst last month.
 
``I feel very, very confident,'' he said. ``I feel the experience is going to hold me through if I do get in a situation where I'm in the running for another major championship.''
 
Campbell believes his performance at St. Andrews shows he's ``not just a flash in the pan.''
 
``I'm here for a very long time and I want to win more majors, more major championships,'' he said.
 
NICK AND THE SHARK:
Nick Faldo and Greg Norman had some memorable encounters over the years, and they're still going strong in the 134th British Open.
 
Both shot 70 on Saturday and were at 3-under 213 going to the final round at St. Andrews.
 
Norman, who turned 50 this year, will play in his first 50-and-over event next week, the Senior British Open at Royal Aberdeen. He then heads to the U.S. Senior Open in Kettering, Ohio.
 
``I still love to play and I still love to compete,'' Norman said.
 
Faldo will be eligible for senior events in two years, but he's holding up pretty well against the youngsters in between his duties as a commentator for ABC.
 
In fact, he's doing double-duty at the Old Course, heading to the TV booth after Saturday's round.
 
Fifteen years ago, Norman and Faldo were both at 12 under and paired together for the third round at St. Andrews. Faldo shot 67 on the way to one of his three British Open titles; Norman shot 76 on the way to another missed opportunity in the majors.
 
In 1996, Norman and Faldo played together on Sunday in the final group at the Masters. The Shark blew a six-stroke lead with a 78, handing Faldo his third green jacket.
 
Norman, who did win the British twice for his lone major victories, is playing his first event since undergoing back surgery three months ago.
 
This week, it was quite an accomplishment just to make the cut. He'll likely be a contender in his senior debut.
 
``I'm just going to treat it like a golf tournament,'' Norman said. ``I'm very, very happy making this one the first one back from surgery, and I'm very happy to make the (Senior) British Open my first one as a senior major. Obviously, with the history I have over here -- I really started my career in Europe -- so it's not a bad way to start my senior career.''
 
Norman won't be a regular on the Champions Tour, but he plans to play the senior majors.
 
Faldo also sees himself playing with the 50-and-over set once he's eligible.
 
``I'm planning to, but I want to be competitive,'' he said. ``If I really think I'm competitive, then I'll give it a go. If I'm not, I don't need to go out there and feel like I'm not going to win. In that case, I'll just stay in the booth and analyze.''
 
SEAN'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE:
After qualifying for his British Open just last weekend, Sean O'Hair scrambled to get a passport and a flight across the Atlantic. He didn't even arrive at St. Andrews until Wednesday.
 
The hectic schedule hasn't hurt his play.
 
The 23-year-old American, who won the John Deere Classic last Sunday to earn a spot in the British Open, is six strokes behind leader Tiger Woods after shooting 70 on the tricky Scottish links.
 
``I'm just trying to enjoy the moment, and I'm trying to soak up all the experiences for this week,'' he said Saturday. ``But it's been crazy.
 
``I haven't gotten to enjoy it yet. But I'll be taking two weeks off to let it all sink in.''
 
FALDO'S RECORD:
Nick Faldo announced proudly that he beat Jack Nicklaus' record for sub-70 British Open rounds on the same day the Golden Bear made his St. Andrews farewell.
 
Only one problem: Faldo eclipsed the mark three years ago at Muirfield.
 
The Englishman took his record of below-70 rounds to 36 with a 69 on Friday. Nicklaus, who played his final major the same day, went into the 60s 33 times at the British.
 
LEADING TIGER:
Tiger Woods is right where he wants to be -- out front.
 
In nine previous major wins, including this year's Masters, Woods either led or had a share of the lead after three rounds.
 
Overall, he's 31-of-34 when out front after 54 holes.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - 134th Open Champoinship
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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.