Notes Doyle Chuckles Thorpes Take

By Associated PressJuly 6, 2007, 4:00 pm
U.S. Senior OpenHAVEN, Wis. -- Two-time defending champion Allen Doyle could only chuckle about his two rounds at Whistling Straits. The conditions were perfect for low scores and Doyle was considered a favorite.
 
Nothing else went right.
 
'It was just kind of an odd week for us,' he said.
 
Doyle's run at three straight titles ended just after he teed off in the tournament when he carded a double bogey on the first hole. On Friday, he shot a 72, but still fell well below the cut line and finished the tournament 11 over.
 
'We just had a bad round,' Doyle said. 'You hope it doesn't happen, but it did. We had high hopes and we go home a little disappointed, but that's the way it is. We went home the last two years probably sky high, so we go home a little disappointed.'
 
Doyle was already 7 over in his first round when play was halted on Thursday as thunderstorms rolled through the Straits. He dropped four more shots when he got back to the course early Friday morning.
 
'It played as easy as we could get it,' Doyle said. 'I hit the ball OK, but when you get one a little left and a little right and you don't have plays, then you make bogeys. And you make a few more, and then you're trying to make something happen that doesn't happen.'
 
Loren Roberts, playing in his group, said that Doyle just had a horrible first round.
 
'I felt bad for him,' said Roberts, who is in a tie for second in the tournament at 5-under par. 'He got in the rough a few times and really couldn't get out. He didn't chip or putt well.'
 
Doyle, who has an unorthodox swing and doesn't have the name recognition of other elite golfers, sought to become the first player on the tour to win three straight U.S. Senior Opens.
 
Instead, he'll join Gary Player and Miller Barber as the only other golfers to win back-to-back U.S. Senior titles.
 
'When everybody was saying three-peat, I was saying there was a reason no one has,' Doyle said. 'I tried to underplay it and downplay it some, but golf's a game when you're on, you're on and you can make things happen. And when you're a little off sometimes, you just can't make them happen.'
 
Doyle said he thought he drove the ball pretty well, but every mistake he made came back to hurt him -- including drives that were in decent position, but left him with difficult follow-up shots.
 
'He worked hard, he tried on every single shot,' caddie Sonny Skinner said. 'We'll just go get them next year.'
 
THORPE'S TAKE
Jim Thorpe won three PGA TOUR tournaments, including one in Milwaukee in 1985, and has a dozen more wins on the Champions Tour.
 
Almost every time the 58-year-old pro tees it up, he's the only black player in the field. And, he doesn't see that changing any time soon.
 
'It's just not happening,' Thorpe said of the surge in black golfers that had been expected because of the success of Tiger Woods. 'The opportunities are there. We have a lot of programs to get young people involved but it's just not there yet.'
 
Thorpe shot a 70 Friday to make the cut in the U.S. Senior Open.
 
He said the First Tee and several other programs have helped introduce many minority youngsters to golf, but there are no programs to help them continue improving after they grow out of the programs at 16 or 17.
 
'We need to capture these kids who have the potential ... and help them get to the next level, college and the pros,' Thorpe said.
 
Thorpe believes that getting people committed to developing programs to help talented teens advance to golf's highest levels is necessary before there will be more blacks playing in tour events.
 
'I think that's the only way you're going to see the scales get a little bit closer to balance,' he said. 'Tiger and Vijay Singh are the only two guys of color on the regular tour. We need to take a stand and develop a program and take some of these younger golfers go all the way.'
 
AMATEUR HOUR
Jim Rollefson's nerves playing as an amateur in the U.S. Senior Open were quickly abated. All he had to do was look at his caddie.
 
The 58-year-old golfer from New Berlin, Wis., used the oldest of his three sons to handle his bag this week.
 
'He knows that he can trust me in terms of seeing what's there, even though I'm not a teacher or whatever,' Ryan Rollefson said. 'The main thing is to talk him through things.'
 
It was the first time Ryan Rollefson caddied for his father at this level of competition. He also accompanied his dad two weeks ago on a practice round at Whistling Straits.
 
'It's a good honor and the main responsibility is to keep him calm,' said the 27-year-old former NAIA All-American soccer player and 2002 graduate of Grace College in Indiana. 'I know it means the world to him.'
 
Rollefson missed the cut after shooting rounds of 81 and 84, but five amateurs advanced to weekend play. They were Brady Exber, Danny Green, Marty West, Jim Knoll and George Zahringer.
 
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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 Web.com 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.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    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.