Notes Olazabal Right at Home

By Associated PressApril 9, 2004, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Something about the Masters brings out the best in Jose Maria Olazabal's game.
After missing the cut at The Players Championship two weeks ago, Olazabal said he was struggling. He didn't like his short game. He didn't like his long game. His work around the greens left something to be desired, too.
Yet here he is at Augusta National, two strokes behind leader Justin Rose at 4-under 140.
'It must be something with this place, I don't know,' the two-time winner said after shooting 69 on Friday, his second straight round under par. 'I don't feel much different to how I felt. But every time I come here, I try to do my best. I feel in a way a little bit at peace with myself.'
Olazabal has missed only one cut since winning his first green jacket in 1994. He came back from a devastating foot injury to win again in 1999 and has finished in the top 10 the past two years.
But Olazabal is at a loss to explain what it is about him and Augusta.
'I don't know if it fits my game,' he said. 'It is true that the knowledge of the golf course, it's a great point in the favor of the player that knows the course really well. It allows you to chip around the greens or putt around the greens.
'That's the only reason for it. The only reason I can see, anyway.'
After playing the front nine at even par, Olazabal found his rhythm on the back. He eagled the par-5 13th and followed with birdies on 14 and 15. He faltered at the end, though, bogeying the 18th.
'It's always nice to have two solid rounds,' he said. 'It's always nice to have a solid tournament. But I'm going to need a longer spell than just a week.'
No Relief
Talk about being in a rut.
Still angry after he didn't get a favorable ruling when his approach shot on 13 landed in a tire track, Jay Haas made a double-bogey on the next hole and finished with a 3-over 75 Friday. After being just two shots off the lead in the first round, he's now six strokes behind leader Justin Rose.
'I didn't shoot myself in the foot too badly. If I can shoot in the 60s ... I could be back in it,' Haas said.
Young Guns
When Brandt Snedeker's ball went into the water on the 15th hole, all he could think about was the cut.
Not to worry. Despite his splashdown Friday, the U.S. Amateur Public Links champion hung around for the weekend at the Masters. So did fellow amateur Casey Wittenberg, runner-up at the U.S. Amateur.
Both were at 4-over 148, 10 strokes behind leader Justin Rose.
'Relieved. Relieved is the best way to put it,' Snedeker said.
Snedeker got his first Masters off to a quick start Thursday with birdies on all three holes of the treacherous Amen Corner en route to a 1-over-par 73. He couldn't duplicate that Friday, but he did get a standing ovation.
Snedeker had to settle for a bogey after dunking his approach shot in the water on the par-5 15th. That would have unnerved some veterans, but Snedeker calmly rebounded, putting his tee shot within 5 feet on the par-3 16th and bringing the fans to their feet.
'That's something I'll definitely remember for the rest of my life,' Snedeker said, beaming. 'It gives me goosebumps just to think about it.'
Wittenberg had perhaps the toughest draw of any of the amateurs, playing his first two rounds with Tiger Woods. Hundreds, if not thousands of people were watching his every move.
Wittenberg did just fine, though, shooting an even-par 72 to make the cut.
'Tiger was tremendous to me. He couldn't have been any nicer,' Wittenberg said. 'It was a lifetime experience.'
Bob Estes set aside the distraction of playing with Arnold Palmer and shot a 33 on his back nine to make the cut on the number. ... Gary Player, normally dressed head-to-toe in black, mixed it up, wearing an all-white outfit. He shot 80. ... Sandy Lyle, the 1988 champion, finished at 2-over to make his first cut since 1999.
Related links:
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    Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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    What's in the bag: API winner McIlroy

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 19, 2018, 12:59 pm

    Rory McIlroy closed in 64 to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Here's a look inside the winners' bag.

    Driver: TaylorMade M3 (8.5 degrees), with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 70X shaft

    Fairway woods: TaylorMade M3 (15 degrees) with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 80TX, (19 degrees) with Fujikura Rombax P95X shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P-750 (4), P-730 RORS prototype (5-9), with Project X 7.0 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (48, 52, 56 degrees), Hi-Toe(60 degrees), with Project X Rifle 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade TP Black Copper Soto prototype

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    API purse payout: What Rory, Tiger, field made

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 19, 2018, 12:08 pm

    Rory McIlroy won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and collected one of the biggest non-major paychecks of the year. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out at Bay Hill.

    1 Rory McIlroy -18 $1,602,000
    2 Bryson DeChambeau -15 $961,200
    3 Justin Rose -14 $605,200
    4 Henrik Stenson -13 $427,200
    T5 Tiger Woods -10 $356,000
    T5 Ryan Moore -10 $320,400
    T7 Marc Leishman -8 $249,992
    T7 Kevin Chappell -8 $249,992
    T7 Luke List -8 $249,992
    T7 Sean O'Hair -8 $249,992
    T7 Patrick Rodgers -8 $249,992
    T7 Patrick Reed -8 $249,992
    13 Chris Kirk -7 $186,900
    T14 Kyle Stanley -6 $137,950
    T14 Charles Howell III -6 $137,950
    T14 Sam Horsfield -6 $137,950
    T14 Bud Cauley -6 $137,950
    T14 Grayson Murray -6 $137,950
    T14 Byeong Hun An -6 $137,950
    T14 Rickie Fowler -6 $137,950
    T14 Charley Hoffman -6 $137,950
    T22 Brian Gay -5 $89,000
    T22 Harris English -5 $89,000
    T22 Jason Day -5 $89,000
    T22 Graeme McDowell -5 $89,000
    T26 Tom Hoge -4 $59,319
    T26 Martin Laird -4 $59,319
    T26 Emiliano Grillo -4 $59,319
    T26 Tommy Fleetwood -4 $59,319
    T26 Francesco Molinari -4 $59,319
    T26 Keegan Bradley -4 $59,319
    T26 Zach Johnson -4 $59,319
    T26 William McGirt -4 $59,319
    T26 John Huh -4 $59,319
    T26 Talor Gooch -4 $59,319
    T36 Alex Noren -3 $41,919
    T36 Kevin Na -3 $41,919
    T36 Brandon Harkins -3 $41,919
    T36 Brian Stuard -3 $41,919
    T36 Austin Cook -3 $41,919
    T41 Ian Poulter -2 $30,305
    T41 C.T. Pan -2 $30,305
    T41 Adam Scott -2 $30,305
    T41 Aaron Wise -2 $30,305
    T41 Kevin Streelman -2 $30,305
    T41 J.B. Holmes -2 $30,305
    T41 Jamie Lovemark -2 $30,305
    T41 Ollie Schniederjans -2 $30,305
    T49 Lucas Glover -1 $21,965
    T49 Ernie Els -1 $21,965
    T49 Hideki Matsuyama -1 $21,965
    T49 Chesson Hadley -1 $21,965
    T49 Sam Burns -1 $21,965
    T54 Li HaoTong E $20,470
    T54 Mackenzie Hughes E $20,470
    T54 Brian Harman E $20,470
    T54 Billy Horschel E $20,114
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    After Further Review: Woods wisely keeping things in perspective

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 19, 2018, 3:17 am

    Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On Tiger Woods' career comeback ...

    Tiger Woods seems to be the only one keeping his comeback in the proper perspective. Asked after his tie for fifth at Bay Hill whether he could ever have envisioned his game being in this shape heading into Augusta, he replied: “If you would have given me this opportunity in December and January, I would have taken it in a heartbeat.” He’s healthy. He’s been in contention. He’s had two realistic chances to win. There’s no box unchecked as he heads to the Masters, and no one, especially not Woods, could have seen that coming a few months ago. – Ryan Lavner

    On Tiger carrying momentum into API, Masters ...

    Expect Jordan Spieth to leave Austin with the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play trophy next week.

    After all, Spieth is seemingly the only top-ranked player who has yet to lift some hardware in the early part of 2018. Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas have all gotten it done, as have Jason Day, Phil Mickelson and most recently Rory McIlroy.

    Throw in the sudden resurgence of Tiger Woods, and with two more weeks until the Masters there seem to be more azalea-laden storylines than ever before.

    A Spieth victory in Austin would certainly add fuel to that fire, but even if he comes up short the 2015 champ will certainly be a focus of attention in a few short weeks when the golf world descends upon Magnolia Lane with no shortage of players able to point to a recent victory as proof that they’re in prime position to don a green jacket. – Will Gray

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    Davies not giving up on win, HOF after close call

    By Randall MellMarch 19, 2018, 3:06 am

    PHOENIX – Laura Davies knows the odds are long now, but she won’t let go of that dream of making the LPGA Hall of Fame.

    At 54, she was emboldened by her weekend run at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup. She tied for second, five shots behind Inbee Park.

    “The more I get up there, I might have a chance of winning again,” Davies said. “I'm not saying I will ever win, but today was close. Maybe one day I can go closer.”

    Davies is a World Golf Hall of Famer, but she has been sitting just outside the qualification standard needed to get into the LPGA Hall of Fame for a long time. She needs 27 points, but she has been stuck on 25 since her last victory in 2001. A regular tour title is worth one point, a major championship is worth two points.

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    Over her career, she has won 20 LPGA titles, four of them major championships. She was the tour’s Rolex Player of the Year in 1996. She probably would have locked up Hall of Fame status if she hadn’t been so loyal to the Ladies European Tour, where she won 45 titles.

    Though Davies didn’t win Sunday in Phoenix, there was more than consolation in her run into contention.

    “Now people might stop asking me when I'm going to retire,” she said.