Notes DiMarcos Bent Putter Ogilvys Recovery

By Associated PressAugust 19, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 PGA ChampionshipMEDINAH, Ill -- Chris DiMarco couldn't figure out why his putting game was off the previous two weeks.
Turns out the problem was the equipment, not the golfer.
DiMarco noticed during a practice round that his putter's grip was bent about 30 degrees. He straightened that out, and was 8-under after three rounds.
'I was just out here, trying to figure out what was going on,' he said after shooting 67 on Saturday. 'I looked down at my grip and saw it was bent.'
DiMarco thinks the putter got bent on the way back from the British Open. After finishing second at Hoylake, he missed the cut at the Buick Open and International.
'The last two weeks,' he said, 'I missed a lot of putts to the right.'
In the past, Geoff Ogilvy might have crumbled after a start like this. Instead, the reigning U.S. Open champion remains in contention, three strokes off the lead.
Things didn't look good when he missed a 6-foot putt and double-bogeyed the first hole. But he eagled the No. 5 and shot 4-under for the day.
'I might not have fallen apart and had hundreds, but I don't know if I would have come back as well as I did,' Ogilvy said. 'In a major that's a pretty disappointing thing -- you sit there all night, thinking you're in contention and ... you drop two shots on the first hole. It feels like you're dropping three shots, really. Yeah, it wasn't a fun way to start.'
Billy Mayfair said his mother was alert after suffering a heart attack and stroke earlier in the week.
'She knows I'm playing in the tournament, and she still thinks she's at home, but she's in the hospital and that's OK,' he said. 'Her vitals are getting better.'
Billy Mayfair, meanwhile, is at 5-under despite a tough couple of weeks. He underwent cancer surgery about two weeks ago after finding a growth in his testicles.
A two-way tie for seventh most likely would put Tim Herron on the U.S. Ryder Cup team. He is in a four-way tie for eighth at 8-under.
'You think about it when you're away from (the course), but when I step on the tee, I've just got to play golf,' Herron said. 'That's all I can do.'
At 10-under and tied for fifth, it will take quite an effort by Sergio Garcia to catch the leaders.
He has a good history at Medinah, though.
Garcia delivered a memorable moment, with his shot from the base of an oak tree to the green on the 16th hole in 1999. Playing in only his second major as a pro, Garcia wound up runner-up to Tiger Woods, losing by one stroke.
'I guess I do like the course,' Garcia said. 'I've done well on it, (but) I don't know whether I can do it. I've been playing well all week. That helps.'
Luke Donald and Tiger Woods share the lead at 14-under.
There are six players 10-under par or better. To those who think the parade of birdies diminishes the PGA Championship as a major, Phil Mickelson offered this rebuttal.
'I would disagree with them,' he said.
'Because I think they're wrong,' Mickelson said.
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.