Notes Demostrator Protests Rave Reviews for Course

By Associated PressJuly 23, 2006, 4:00 pm
135th Open Championship HOYLAKE, England -- Tiger Woods can't seem to win a British Open without some type of disruption. There was a streaker at St. Andrews, and purple flour bomb Sunday at Royal Liverpool as he was about to play his third shot from behind the 18th green.
 
A man was heard to shout, 'Fathers For Justice' as six flour bombs were thrown onto the putting surface, drawing boos from the fans sitting around the 18th green. The man was led away by police, who wore plastic gloves to clean away the residue.
 
The flour bombs left small purple stains on the grass but didn't seem to affect the players.
 
'We only saw the paint,' said Sergio Garcia, who was Woods' playing partner. 'We didn't see when they threw it. It's very disappointing to see that happen in a championship like this one is, the best championship in the world. It didn't affect me at all. I wasn't putting through the paint anyway.'
 
Fathers 4 Justice is a campaign for father's rights in child custody cases. Similar devices were thrown at Prime Minister Tony Blair in the House of Commons two years ago during a debate.
 
BIG DAY:
Marius Thorp won't forget Sunday at Royal Liverpool anytime soon.
 
The European Amateur champion got to play the final round with five-time British Open champion Tom Watson. He ended it with a birdie on the final hole for a 1-under 71 to win the silver medal that goes to the low amateur.
 
Thorp finished at even-par 288. His only competition came from U.S. Amateur champion Edoardo Molinari of Italy, who finished at 295.
 
'I played with one of the biggest legends in the game and that was simply fantastic,' Thorp said. 'I learned so much today.'
 
Watson learned a bit, too, such as what it was like to be 18 again.
 
'He's fearless with the putter. I remember those days,' Watson said. 'I reveled in it and I wish I could be like that these days.'
 
Thorp said his parents introduced him to golf, despite the lack of courses in Norway. He said he was inspired by watching Tiger Woods on television.
 
On Sunday, Thorp played in the same final round as Woods, then got his last thrill of the day when he stood next to him at the medal ceremony to receive his award.
 
RISING SUN:
Hideto Tanihara started the final round hopeful of becoming the first Japanese player to win a major.
 
He ended it by missing an 8-foot birdie putt that cost him an automatic ticket to the Masters, spoiling an otherwise good week.
 
Tanihara, playing in his second British Open, closed with a 1-under 71 and tied for fifth with Sergio Garcia at 11-under 277, seven shots behind Tiger Woods. The top four and ties from the British Open are exempt to the Masters.
 
'It's kind of bittersweet,' he said. 'I felt I left a few shots out there today, but on the other hand it is a great finish.'
 
The one consolation? He won't have to qualify for the British Open next year because the top 10 automatically return.
 
'This is by far my best achievement,' Tanihara said. 'I never expected to be in the top 10, but I did expect to play well this week.'
 
Tanihara has played on the Japanese Tour for the last five years, where he has won three times, including once this year. In his last Open appearance in 2003, he missed the cut.
 
RAVE REVIEWS:
Royal Liverpool hadn't been in the British Open rotation for 39 years. Based on how the players felt about it, the venerable club won't have to wait that long again.
 
'Hopefully the R&A will now put this course back on the rotation sooner rather than later,' former U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell said.
 
Tiger Woods called it a 'fantastic test' that allowed for more creativity than usual for a British Open. It was a brown links course, courtesy of a hot, dry spell in England that turned the rough into wispy strands of grass.
 
Asked if the Open should return to Royal Liverpool, the champion replied, 'Yes.'
 
The last Open at Royal Liverpool was in 1967, but the course was dropped from the rotation because of logistical problems getting people to and from the course squeezed into a Liverpool suburb.
 
Those problems were largely overcome at this Open, with some 38,000 people a day attending, and players generally liked what they saw.
 
'It's a very good golf course and it's right there in front of you,' Thomas Bjorn said. 'It's a good test and while it's not the longest the way it played, somehow it has still put up a good test.'
 
Former champion David Duval also liked what he saw.
 
'It was as much about the links experience as any I've played, even St. Andrews,' Duval said.
 
WEARING TWO HATS:
Steve Lucas kept regular hours in the insurance business until he took on a part-time job as caddie for his son-in-law, Sean O'Hair. Lucas was a steadying influence for O'Hair, whose father used boot-camp tactics to train his son to play golf.
 
After a year on tour and a victory last year in the John Deere Classic, O'Hair decided to switch to a professional caddie.
 
Lucas was behind the ropes Sunday, chomping on a cigar, shouting encouragement to his son-in-law. Standing behind the 17th green, he sounded like a caddie again.
 
'Front middle. Let it funnel to the hole,' Lucas said.
 
The ball soared toward the flag, narrowly missed the bunker and stopped 4 feet away for a birdie. Lucas raised both hands over his head and clapped, turning from caddie to father-in-law again.
 
O'Hair birdied the 18th for a 67, matching Tiger Woods for best score of the final round, and he tied for 14th.
 
PLAYING FOR PAY:
Edoardo Molinari stayed an amateur long enough to play in the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open.
 
But after closing with a 75, the Italian is ready to turn pro.
 
Molinari, who earned his exemptions by winning the U.S. Amateur last year, will make his pro debut this week at the Deutsche Bank Players Championship in Germany through a sponsor's invitation.
 
He signed with a Swiss sports agency.
 
'The last year has been an incredible journey with many fantastic experiences,' Molinari said.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - 135th Open Championship
  • Course Tour - Royal Liverpool
  • Full Coverage - 135th Open Championship
     
    Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

    She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

    You don’t believe it, though.

    She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

    Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

    Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

    “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

    Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

    Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

    At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

    She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

    She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

    And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.


    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


    There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

    It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

    Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

    Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

    “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

    About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

    Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

    “She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

    David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

    “She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

    Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

    Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

    “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

    Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

    “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

    Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

    “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

    Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

    National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

    The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

    Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

    These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:

    Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience

    By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.

    This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.

    “I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”


    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


    Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.

    In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

    If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Web.com Tour finals.

    “He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”

    Cook fires 62 for one-shot lead at RSM Classic

    By Associated PressNovember 17, 2017, 10:26 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook made a 6-foot birdie putt on his final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead going into the weekend at the RSM Classic.

    Cook has gone 36 holes without a bogey on the Plantation and Seaside courses at Sea Island Golf Club. He played Seaside - the site of the final two rounds in the last PGA Tour event of the calendar year - on Friday and ran off four straight birdies on his opening nine holes.

    ''We've just been able to it hit the ball really well,'' Cook said. ''Speed on greens has been really good and getting up-and-down has been great. I've been able to hit it pretty close to the hole to make some pretty stress-free putts. But the couple putts that I have had of some length for par, I've been able to roll them in. Everything's going well.''

    The 26-year-old former Arkansas player was at 14-under 128 and had a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay, who shot 64 on Seaside. No one else was closer than five shots going into the final two rounds.

    The 45-year-old Gay won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2013.


    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


    ''I've hit a lot of greens and fairways,'' Gay said. ''I've hit the ball, kept it in front of me. There's a lot of trouble out here, especially with the wind blowing, so I haven't had to make too many saves the first couple days and I putted well.''

    Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. He earned his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour, and has hired Gay's former caddie, Kip Henley.

    ''With him being out here so long, he knows everybody, so it's not like I'm completely the new kid on the block,'' Cook said. ''He's introduced me to a lot of people, so it's just making me feel comfortable out here. He knows his way around these golf courses. We're working really well together.''

    First-round leader Chris Kirk followed his opening 63 on the Plantation with a 70 on the Seaside to drop into a tie for third at 9 under with C.T. Pan (65) and Vaughn Taylor (66).

    Brandt Snedeker is looking strong in his first start in some five months because of a sternum injury. Snedeker shot a 67 on the Plantation course and was six shots back at 8 under.

    ''I was hitting the ball really well coming down here,'' Snedeker said. ''I was anxious to see how I would hold up under pressure. I haven't played a tournament in five months, so it's held up better than I thought it would. Ball-striking's been really good, mental capacity's been unbelievable.

    ''I think being so fresh, excited to be out there and thinking clearly. My short game, which has always been a strength of mine, I didn't know how sharp it was going to be. It's been really good so far.''