Notes Norman Watson Come Up Short

By Associated PressJuly 31, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 U.S. Senior OpenKETTERING, Ohio -- Two of the biggest names in golf, senior or otherwise, lingered near the leaderboard but never really threw a scare into the leaders in Sunday's final round of the U.S. Senior Open.
Greg Norman shot a solid 69 that left him at 276, just two shots back of winner Allen Doyle. But Norman didn't make a birdie on the back nine and never got closer than two shots.
``I've really got no complaints with the way I played. It was just really frustrating with the putter,'' Norman said. ``I'm sure there are a lot of players who are saying the same thing, except for the guy who won the tournament.''
Tom Watson closed with a 71 to finish at 277, three shots behind the winner.
Disappointed by the way he played, Watson said he wasn't displeased with the way his month has gone.
``It was a good July,'' Watson said. ``I had a third at the British Open against the kids. I played half decently. Then I won (at the Senior British Open), then I finished top 10 here. It wasn't too bad of a run.''
It's a short, crooked 380-yard par-4, the kind of hole that makes pros salivate and duffers smile: Big curving drive and a short iron to a large green, and then a putt for birdie.
But in the final round of the U.S. Senior Open on Sunday, the 11th hole at NCR Country Club got the best of the 50-and-over crowd.
Loren Roberts came to the hole fresh from back-to-back birdies, carrying a one-shot lead over Craig Stadler and D.A. Weibring.
``Basically, the 11th hole was my whole tournament,'' Roberts said.
Stadler, who had double-bogeyed the ninth hole and then three-putted the next for par, needed a birdie to turn things around. Instead, he hit a pull-hook off the tee deep into the woods, punched out, and then airmailed his approach about 30 feet over the pin. Two putts later, he had another bogey and was on his way to a dreadful 76.
Things were even worse for the usually rock-solid Roberts. From the middle of the fairway, he chopped his wedge into the front bunker and was left with an awkward lie. After digging into the trap with his heels, he blasted a shot out of the sand that only advanced the ball 2 feet.
An angry Roberts stepped up to the ball, and without taking a look, hit his fourth shot onto the green some 20 feet past. Two putts later, he had a double-bogey and Weibring had the lead all by himself -- a lead he would later hand to Allen Doyle when he bogeyed the 17th and 18th holes.
``I drove it just perfectly,'' Roberts said of his travails at 11. ``I had 87 yards to carry the bunker and 92 to the hole, then I probably put my worst swing I've ever put on a wedge.''
Roberts, who finished with a 73 and missed a playoff with Doyle by a shot, said hitting it into the sand was like knocking the ball into a lake.
``I've never seen sand this tough,'' Roberts said. ``The bunkers were definitely hazards this week.''
In an otherwise humdrum day, Bruce Lietzke hit an unforgettable shot while playing out the string far off the pace in the U.S. Senior Open.
On the 549-yard, par-5 sixth hole, Lietzke holed out on his second shot from 219 yards with a rescue club.
``It's pretty cool,'' said Lietzke, who shot a 67 to finish at 281. ``I've had nine holes-in-one, but only two double-eagles. There are guys out here who have spent their whole careers without getting one. So it's pretty extra special. It's hard to do.''
For good measure, he birdied the holes before and after the double-eagle.
After shooting 1-over par through his first 58 holes of the tournament, Lietzke was 5-under for the next three holes.
It was only the second double-eagle in a USGA Open championship, the other coming at the 1985 U.S. Open at Oakland Hills when T.C. Chen posted a 2 at the 527-yard, par-5 second hole.
Rick Rhoden spent 15 years in the major leagues, posting a 151-125 record with the Dodgers, Pirates, Yankees and Astros.
On Sunday at the U.S. Senior Open, the former pitching ace had an ace.
Rhoden scored a hole in one with a 6 iron at the 170-yard, par-3 second hole at NCR Country Club in the final round.
The comeback wasn't a once in a lifetime occurrence for Doyle. He shot a 64 in the final round of the 1999 PGA Seniors Championship to overcome a four-stroke deficit and win. ... Doyle's previous senior major victory was the 2001 Ford Senior Players Championship. ... Doyle hit 11 of 14 fairways, averaged 302 yards on his measured drives and needed just 25 putts in his closing 63. ... Greg Reynolds and George Zahringer shared the low amateur honors at 4-over 288. ... The 2006 Senior Open is at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kansas.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - U.S. Senior Open
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    Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

    Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

    Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

    As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

    "That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

    Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

    Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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    Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

    If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

    Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

    But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

    Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

    Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

    Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

    Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

    Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

    Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

    Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

    Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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    Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

    SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

    Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

    “It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

    Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

    “What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

    Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

    “When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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    Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

    SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

    Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

    Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

    Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.