Notes Caseys Collapse Oberholser Out

By Associated PressApril 13, 2008, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Steve Flesch was doing just what he needed to do in brutal conditions. Plod along, make a bunch of pars and hope it would be enough to win.
Then he got to Amen Corner. After dunking his ball in Raes Creek, Flesch didnt have a prayer.
The left-hander took a double-bogey 5 at the picturesque 12th hole, where he knocked his tee shot into the water. Flesch went from just two strokes out of the lead to four, and it all fell apart from there. He played the last seven holes at 6 over, ruining any shot at his first major.
Flesch finished in a tie for fifth after closing with a 78, leaving him six strokes behind winner Trevor Immelman.
I was playing all right, Flesch said. The wind just got really tricky on the back nine and we just pulled the wrong club on the 12th hole and it went straight up and went in the water.
It didnt get much better from there. After making par at the par-5 13th' one of the best shots at birdie on the course'he made four bogeys in a row.
I was just kind of trying to make some putts, trying to make some birdies, trying to be aggressive, and got a little too aggressive on a couple shots, he said. Its a little disheartening and very disappointing, but thats all right. Its still my best finish in a major, and hopefully if I get in the situation again, itll turn out differently.
Flesch went with an 8-iron at the pivotal 12th, believing it would be enough to clear the water on a 154-yard hole thats tucked away in a far corner of the course.
He was wrong.
When I was over it, there wasnt much wind at all and I was aiming it left of the bunker and I hit it solid, Flesch said. But halfway through the flight, it just stood straight up into the wind and I could tell halfway there that it wasnt going to make it.
After taking a drop and a one-shot penalty, Flesch pitched his ball over the water. But he missed a short bogey putt and walked off knowing his chances of winning were probably gone. In the pressure-packed environment of a Sunday at Augusta, his putter deserted him.
As good as I putted the first three days, I just didnt putt very well on the back nine, he said. And thats just how it goes. The back nine on Sunday out here, they get a little more difficult.
While everyone else was getting blown around Augusta National, Miguel Angel Jimenezs day was a breeze.
The Spaniard shot a 4-under 68 Sunday, the best score of the day and only one of four below par. Not bad for a guy who was so close to the cut line he was playing with a marker Saturday.
That was the goal, no? Just to make the cut on Friday and then hope to jump up as much as possible, said Jimenez, who shot a 77 on Thursday but rebounded with a 70 on Friday to make the cut on the number. After starting Sunday in a tie for 35th, Jimenez moved all the way up to a tie for eighth.
Jimenez holed a 7-iron on the par-4 No. 7 for an eagle, but even more impressive were his three birdies on the back nine when the wind was really beginning to blow. He finished with a flourish, chipping in for a final birdie on 18.
Make no mistake, though. Despite his red numbers, this round was far from easy.
It was a tough day today there. And with under par, I believe its going to be tough to do, Jimenez said. You have to take care of too many things that are going on on the golf course to play with the wind, no? But I was hitting the ball very solid.
A gust of wind blew away Paul Caseys chances of contending for his first major title.
The Englishman, who started the final round four shots off the lead, was standing over a par putt at the sixth hole when his ball moved every so slightly. He called a one-stroke penalty on himself, then putted out for a bogey that should have been a par.
He followed with two more bogeys, made the turn with a 5-over 41 and was no longer a factor.
That took the wind out of my sails, because it was so difficult out there today, Casey said. That kind of threw me for a couple of holes and that was it. Going into the back nine, Im too far back, simple as that.
Casey finished with a 7-over 79, dropping him all the way back to even par for the tournament and into a tie for 11th.
As they say, what doesnt kill you makes you stronger, he said. I still had a great week. Its very disappointing today and Ill go away and think about this, but I have got to take the positives out of it as I always try to do. There was some very, very good golf that I played this week.
Casey wasnt the only one to impose a penalty on himself for the ball moving after it was addressed. Bernhard Langer took away a stroke in the first round, and amateur Michael Thompson called the same penalty on Friday. Both missed the cut.
Arron Oberholsers bogey on the 18th hole might be the last anyone sees of him for a while.
Oberholser has been struggling all year with hand and shoulder injuries, and had already said he will take at least the next two months off. He had talked at one point about playing a few events at the end of the season, but said Sunday hes not even sure about that.
Hes already received a medical exemption for next year.
I dont know that youll be hearing from me the rest of the year, he said. I might just scratch the whole thing and call it a mental health year because Im tired of it. Im sick of it. I didnt enjoy one shot out here today and I enjoyed very few shots this week. Im just burnt out.
Oberholser had surgery last October to correct a recurring problem in his left hand. But he thinks he might have come back too soon because the area' right where he grips the golf club'still hurts with every swing. He doesnt plan to even touch a club for two months, and hopes that will help because more surgery is not an option.
Ill quit golf before Ill have another surgery, he said. Ill quit competitive golf. Mark my words. Its not worth it to me.
Despite his struggles, Oberholser played solidly and began Sunday in good shape for a top-16 finish, which would have earned him an invitation back for next year. But he straggled home with a 5-over 77, including a double bogey on the par-5 15th.
He finished the tournament at 4-over 292, tying for 25th.
I dont care about the top 50 anymore. I dont care about coming back to the Masters. I dont care about making the majors. I just want to be healthy, Oberholser said. Ill take healthy and the Nationwide Tour vs. playing out here constantly hurt.
At least Zach Johnson gets to keep his spot in the champions locker room.
Any chance Johnson had of winning another green jacket ended early Sunday. After a birdie on No. 2, he finished the front nine with three bogeys in the last five holes. He finished with a 5-over 77, and wound up in a tie for 20th.
Johnson was there for the green jacket presentation, but only to give it to the newest winner, Trevor Immelman.
Having the green jacket on my back for a year has been fantastic, Johnson said. Its one of those things you dont want to give up. But, you know, thats why we play it every year.
Johnsons victory at last years Masters was considered by many to be little more than a fluke of the weather. The blustery cold prevented others from going low and allowed him to play it safe'he didnt go for a single par 5 all week' and his 1-over 289, tied for highest winning scorer in Masters history.
But he showed this week that he can play a little at Augusta National. After shooting a 76 on Friday, he came back with a 68 Saturday that tied for low round of the day. He finished the tournament at 3-over 291.
The more you play it the better off you become. Its just experience, Johnson said. You cant put a price on playing it year in and year out. Thats just, the more I play it, the better off Im going to become.
Tiger Woods finished second for a second straight year. The scoring average in cool, blustery conditions Sunday was 74.66, highest of the week. No one in the final 11 groups broke par Sunday. Trevor Immelman joins Gary Player as the only South Africans to win the Masters. Immelman is the first foreign champion since Canadas Mike Weir in 2003.
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  • Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

    Updated at 11:14 a.m. ET

    An Instagram user known as hwalks posted photos to her account that included images of Tiger Woods, President Trump and Dustin Johnson Friday at Trump National, as well as video of Woods' swing.

    Original story:

    Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

    President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

    Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.

    Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

    By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

    Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

    ''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''

    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open

    Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

    Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

    ''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

    Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

    Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

    ''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''

    Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

    By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

    Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

    Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

    What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

    Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

    Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

    Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

    Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

    Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.