Notes Goosens Caddie on a Limb

By Associated PressFebruary 26, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 WGC Accenture Match PlayCARLSBAD, Calif. -- There wasn't much of a buzz in the air at the Match Play Championship on Saturday, what with most of the top seeds gone, but there was a caddie in a tree.
 
Retief Goosen was 2-up on Chris DiMarco when he sent his tee shot on the par-5 No. 8 at La Costa into a tree on the left side of the fairway.
 
Caddie Colin Byrne volunteered to try to retrieve it and got a boost into the tree from a couple of volunteers. After about five minutes of poking around with a club, Byrne dislodged a ball.
 
``It was a Titleist, but not mine,'' Goosen said after the match, which he lost, 2 and 1.
 
``You've got to take a chance,'' Goosen said. ``He said he wanted to go up. If there was a chance of finding it, why not?''
 
Goosen conceded the hole, figuring that if he took the penalty and went back to the tee, the best he could shoot would be a 6.
 
Byrne said going up the tree was ``one of the many duties of the job. You never know what's going to happen.
 
``I couldn't see anything up there,'' Byrne said.
 
Goosen will play the other semifinal loser, Ian Poulter, for third place on Sunday. Their 18-hole match will tee off just before DiMarco and David Toms begin the second 18 holes of their 36-hole championship match.
 
``Now, the wheels are a bit flat,'' Goosen said. ``It's going to be tough to come out tomorrow and try and put something in. But third place is better than fourth, so I'll give it my best shot.''
 
Third place is worth $560,000 and fourth place, $450,000.
 
WHAT RATINGS?
DiMarco doesn't give a hoot if TV viewers are apathetic about a less-than-marquee matchup for the championship match.
 
``Eight million viewers or two viewers, I don't really care,'' he said. ``I know my parents will be watching. My wife, too. So there's three.''
 
DRYING OUT
The tee boxes on Nos. 3, 4 and 9 were back to normal as the course continued to dry out from heavy rain earlier in the week.
 
STARS & STRIPES
Chris DiMarco proved he can beat someone other than an American.
 
DiMarco beat Stewart Cink in the quarterfinals Saturday morning to become the first semifinalist in the seven-year history of the Match Play Championship to win four straight matches against Americans.
 
He beat Tim Herron in the first round, John Daly in the second round and Jay Haas in the third round.
 
In the semis, DiMarco rallied from 3-down after the first three holes to beat South Africa's Retief Goosen 2 and 1 to advance to Sunday's championship match against American David Toms, a 3-and-2 winner against England's Ian Poulter.
 
G'BYE, MATES
There was no thunder from Down Under in the Match Play Championship quarterfinals Saturday morning. Nick O'Hern, Adam Scott and Robert Allenby, the surviving three members of a contingent of 10 Aussies who started the tournament, all lost in the round of eight.
 
O'Hern, who beat Tiger Woods in the second round Friday morning, lost 3 and 1 to Ian Poulter. Scott was a 2-and-1 loser to David Toms, and Robert Allenby lost 4 and 3 to Retief Goosen.
 
LEFTY WINS THE LEFT COAST
Although he was eliminated in the third round of the Match Play Championship on Friday, Phil Mickelson still won the PGA Tour West Coast Swing and a $500,000 bonus.
 
Mickelson, who won the FBR Open and Pebble Beach back-to-back, entered the Match Play Championship in first place and one of eight players who had a chance to win or share the ``King of Swing'' title. The standings are based on top 10 finishes in the nine West Coast tournaments.
 
Adam Scott was the last player to have a chance at unseating Lefty, but he lost in the Match Play quarterfinals on Saturday to David Toms to finish second, earning $300,000. Scott had a nice little payday, as he also made $240,000 by making it to the quarters.
 
Tiger Woods, upset in the second round on Friday morning, finished third and won $200,000.
 
Mickelson also won the ``King of Swing'' in 1998 and 2004.
 
FILL-IN CADDIE
Adam Scott beat Trevor Immelman in the first round Thursday, then borrowed his caddie for the rest of the week at La Costa. Scott's regular caddie, Tony Navarro, had to leave Thursday night when he learned his mother was dying in Illinois.
 
Navarro is best known for his years working with Greg Norman.
 
POWER LINE RELOAD
Retief Goosen had to hit two tee shots on the 14th hole of his semifinal match against Chris DiMarco, although this was one of the few occasions in golf where penalty shots were not involved.
 
Power lines run across the 14th and 11th fairway, and a rules official is stationed in a cart to make sure tee shots do not hit them. Goosen's drive nicked the line, allowing him to reload.
 
He split the middle of the fairway on his next shot.
 
Related Links:
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  • 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.''