Notes Down Under Aussie Caddie Smackdown

By Associated PressJune 15, 2008, 4:00 pm
2008 U.S. OpenSAN DIEGO -- Stuart Appleby was, uh, down under in a hurry in the third round of the U.S. Open.
 
The leader by one shot after 36 holes at Torrey Pines South Course, the Australian began to fall apart on the 37th hole. By the time he finished his bogey-strewn round of 8-over 79, he was an also-ran at 5-over 218. That was eight shots behind Tiger Woods, who had a 1-under 70 on a painful left knee to take the lead at 3-under 210.
 
The final damage for Appleby: seven bogeys and one double bogey. His only birdie came way, way too late, on the 18th.
 
Teeing off with Rocco Mediate in the final group, Appleby set the tone for his awful afternoon by making bogey from the bunker on the first hole by missing a 5-foot putt.
 
This is the first Open played on a city-owned course, and at the worst possible time Appleby looked like a muni-course player.
 
He four-putted No. 5 for his double bogey. On No. 9, he turned a three-foot birdie chance into a three-putt bogey.
 
After rolling in a 10-foot birdie putt on 18, he raised his arms'yes, he can make one, and yes, it was finally over. He had 34 putts, tied for 68th in the 80-man field.
 
A day earlier on 18, Appleby sank a 45-foot birdie putt to take his first lead in a major since he was one shot ahead of Woods going into the final round of the 2007 Masters.
 
He and Woods played together that day at Augusta. Woods finished second to Zach Johnson while Appleby made a 6 on the first hole, trudged through a cold, windy day and wound up shooting 75 to finish seventh.
 
SURGING SERGIO
Imagine where Sergio Garcia would be if he hadnt made such a mess of his first seven holes at the U.S. Open.
 
The tournament had barely started Thursday and Garcia already was in danger of missing the cut. Two double bogeys put him 6 over before hed even made his first turn.
 
Sergio has been surging ever since, going 3 under on his last 47 holes, including consecutive rounds of 1-under 70 on Friday and Saturday at Torrey Pines South Course.
 
Garcia was tied with Mike Weir, Ernie Els and John Merrick at 3-over 216 going into Sundays final round. That was six shots behind Tiger Woods, who had a 70 on a sore left knee Saturday to take the lead at 3-under 210. A lot of ground to make up, for sure, especially considering Woods has never lost a major from the lead.
 
Recovering from his early mistakes has been nice. Garcia wishes theyd never happened.
 
That definitely wasnt the plan, I can tell you that, said the Spaniard, who just flat-out missed fairways and greens in his first seven holes. But, yeah, you know, when youre comfortable with your game, when you have confidence in your game, you know you can come back.
 
Garcias only bogeys Saturday were on Nos. 6 and 8, sandwiched around the first of three birdies.
 
I would love to be a couple better, just to make sure that I was a little closer, he said. But, you know, every time you shoot under par here you shouldnt be too greedy, I guess. So its not too bad, and thats what I did the last few days. Unfortunately I just had a bad start on Thursday. But Im slowly coming back.
 
Garcia had a nice birdie on the par-5 13th, the hole where Phil Mickelson imploded with a quadruple-bogey 9 and Woods wowed the crowd with an eagle.
 
Garcia hit a strong drive just down the right side of the fairway, a 5-iron that landed short of the pin and ran about 25 feet beyond, then two-putted for birdie.
 
Its getting there, Garcia said. Like I said, I played very nicely yesterday. I felt very, very good yesterday. Today I felt like I hit a lot of good shots, maybe not as many as yesterday, but its not easy. Its a U.S. Open. Thats why its a major. But Im pretty happy and looking forward to hopefully having a good finish tomorrow.
 
THERES ALWAYS NEXT YEAR
San Diego native Phil Mickelson looked like hed just seen a ghost when he walked off Torrey Pines South Course on Saturday, his 5-over 76 having dropped him to 9-over 222.
 
Yeah, his quadruple-bogey 9 on the 13th hole was supernatural, all right, something he hadnt done at city-owned Torrey Pines since he was kid.
 
He had waited six years to play for the national championship on a course he had grown up playing, and now the chance to win it was gone.
 
After cooling down for about 15 minutes, that sly Mickelson grin had partially returned.
 
I think its an exciting Open, Lefty said. Im certainly disappointed that Im not in the mix right now. That was the goal. So Im going to come out tomorrow, enjoy my final round. And Bethpage is one of the best places ever' one of the best memories in the game of golf Ive ever had. I get to go back there next year for the U.S. Open. So Im excited about the chance to try to break through and win my first U.S. Open there.
 
In 2002, Mickelson finished second to Tiger Woods at Bethpage Black, which is owned by the state of New York and became the first truly public course to host an Open. Torrey Pines is the second.
 
CADDIE SMACKDOWN
The USGA decided there was no need to beef up security around the Phil Mickelson-Adam Scott pairing Saturday, one day after Scotts caddie went into the gallery to confront a heckler at the U.S. Open.
 
That group has had extra security the whole time as it is, said Dan Hoban, the USGAs director of security. We have 50,000 people and we just had two drunks that got out of control. As far as were concerned, its over.
 
It might not be over for caddie Tony Navarro, who could face disciplinary action for leaving the field of play and striking a fan.
 
On the final hole of play for the threesome of Tiger Woods, Mickelson and Scott on Friday, two fans, a father and a son, were arrested by San Diego police for investigation of public intoxication. Thomas W. Campbell, 62, of Upland, Calif., and Thomas J. Campbell, 37, of Apple Valley, Calif., spent the night in detox, Hoban said.
 
After hearing a fan verbally abuse him and his golfer, Scotts caddie went under the ropes that separate the fans from the field of play on the ninth hole and head-butted the younger Campbell, according to witnesses. The two wrestled to the ground and Mickelsons caddie, Jim Mackay, went through the ropes to assist Navarro and summon police.
 
The Campbells were handcuffed and taken away, and the 7-year-old son of the younger Campbell was placed in the care of an aunt, Hoban said.
 
BIG BOAT
America, the 139-foot replica of the schooner that gave the Americas Cup its name, was sailing on the Pacific Ocean just off Torrey Pines on Saturday, flying a giant American flag from its mainmast. Operated by businessman Troy Sears, America is berthed at a downtown marina on San Diego Bay.
 
The U.S. Open is the first major played in San Diego. The city has previously been host to three Super Bowls, the Americas Cup three times, two World Series and one Final Four.
 
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  • Cut Line: Lyle faces third bout with cancer

    By Rex HoggardNovember 24, 2017, 5:40 pm

    In this week’s holiday edition, Cut Line is thankful for the PGA Tour’s continued progress on many fronts and the anticipation that only a Tiger Woods return can generate.

    Made Cut

    The Fighter. That was the headline of a story Cut Line wrote about Jarrod Lyle following his second bout with cancer a few years ago, so it’s both sad and surreal to see the affable Australian now bracing for a third fight with leukemia.

    Lyle is working as an analyst for Channel 7’s coverage of this week’s Emirates Australian Open prior to undergoing another stem cell transplant in December.

    “I’ve got a big month coming,” Lyle said. “I’m back into hospital for some really heavy-duty treatment that’s really going to determine how things pan out for me.”

    Twice before things have panned out for Lyle. Let’s hope karma has one more fight remaining.

    Changing times. Last season the PGA Tour introduced a policy to add to the strength of fields, a measure that had long eluded officials and by most accounts was a success.

    This season the circuit has chosen to tackle another long-standing thorn, ridiculously long pro-am rounds. While there seems little the Tour can do to speed up play during pro-am rounds, a new plan called a 9&9 format will at least liven things up for everyone involved.

    Essentially, a tournament hosting a pro-am with four amateurs can request the new format, where one professional plays the first nine holes and is replaced by another pro for the second nine.

    Professionals will have the option to request 18-hole pro-am rounds, giving players who limit practice rounds to just pro-am days a chance to prepare, but otherwise it allows Tour types to shorten what is an admittedly long day while the amateurs get a chance to meet and play with two pros.

    The new measure does nothing about pace of play, but it does freshen up a format that at times can seem tired, and that’s progress.

    Tweet of the week: @Love3d (Davis Love III‏) “Thanks to Dr. Flanagan (Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center) for the new hip and great care! Can’t wait to get back to (the PGA Tour).”

    Love offered the particularly graphic tweet following hip replacement surgery on Tuesday, a procedure that he admitted he’d delayed because he was “chicken.”

    The surgery went well and Love is on pace to return to the Tour sometime next spring. As for the possibility of over-sharing on social media, we’ll leave that to the crowd.


    Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

    Distance control. The Wall Street Journal provided the octagon for the opening blows of a clash that has been looming for a long time.

    First, USGA executive director Mike Davis told The Journal that the answer to continued distance gains may be a restricted-flight golf ball with an a la carte rule that would allow different organizations, from the Tour all the way down to private clubs, deciding which ball to use.

    “You can’t say you don’t care about distance, because guess what? These courses are expanding and are predicted to continue to expand,” Davis said. “The impact it has had has been horrible.”

    A day later, Wally Uihlein, CEO of Acushnet, which includes the Titleist brand, fired back in a letter to The Journal, questioning among other things how distance gains are putting a financial burden on courses.

    “The only people that seem to be grappling with advances in technology and physical fitness are the short-sighted golf course developers and the supporting golf course architectural community who built too many golf courses where the notion of a 'championship golf course' was brought on line primarily to sell real estate,” Uihlein wrote.

    For anyone paying attention the last few years, this day was inevitable and the likely start of what will be a drawn out and heated process, but Cut Line’s just not sure anyone wins when it’s over.

    Tiger, take II. Tiger Woods’ return to competition next week at the Hero World Challenge was always going to generate plenty of speculation, but that hyperbole reached entirely new levels this week as players began giving personal accounts of the new and improved 14-time major champion.

    “I did talk to him, and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years,’” Day said as he prepared for the Australian Open. “If he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.”

    Rickie Fowler added to the frenzy when he was asked this month if the rumors that Woods is driving the ball by him, by 20 to 30 yards by some reports, are true?

    “Oh, yeah,” he told Golf.com. “Way by.”

    Add to all this a recent line that surfaced in Las Vegas that Woods is now listed at 20-1 to win a major in 2018, and it seems now may be a good time for a restraint.

    Golf is better with Woods, always has been and always will be, but it may be best to allow Tiger time to find out where his body and game are before we declare him back.


    Missed Cut

    Searching for answers. Twelve months ago, Hideki Matsuyama was virtually unstoppable and, regardless of what the Official World Golf Ranking said, arguably the best player on the planet.

    Now a year removed from that lofty position, which featured the Japanese star finishing either first or second in six of his seven starts as the New Year came and went, Matsuyama has faded back to fifth in the world and on Sunday finished fifth, some 10 strokes behind winner Brooks Koepka, at the Dunlop Phoenix.

    “That hurt,” Matsuyama told the Japan Times. “I don’t know whether it’s a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well. It seems there are many issues to address.”

    Since his last victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Matsuyama has just two top-10 finishes on Tour and he ended his 2016-17 season with a particularly poor performance at the Presidents Cup.

    While Matsuyama’s take seems extreme considering his season, there are certainly answers that need answering.

    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 trumpgolfcount.com 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.