Notes Painful cut for big names Amateur hour

By Associated PressJune 20, 2009, 4:00 pm
2009 U.S. OpenFARMINGDALE, N.Y. ' Sixty players ' the lowest number possible ' made the 36-hole cut for the U.S. Open on Saturday, with 11 players one stroke away from being able to play the final two rounds at Bethpage Black.
Peter Tomasulo, who missed the cut at Torrey Pines last year in his first Open by two strokes, was among those who missed this year by one.
Tomasulo shot a 3-over 73 in the first round and lost three more strokes to par in the second round before a run of four straight birdies starting at No. 1, his 10th hole of the day, had him at 2 over. However, the 27-year-old, who has made the cut in three of 14 PGA Tour events this year, bogeyed three of his last five holes to drop to 5 over.
Nathan Tyler, a second-year pro playing in his first Open, was in the final group on the course and needed a birdie on the par-4 18th to make the cut. He drove the ball in the fairway but pulled his second shot into high, heavy grass near a greenside bunker. He didnt advance the ball with his first swing, knocked it into the bunker with his second and then holed out from the sand for a bogey 5, missing the cut by two strokes.
There were plenty of big names heading home, too, including former major champions Padraig Harrington, Ernie Els, David Toms, Justin Leonard and Michael Campbell.
Toms, Rory Sabbatini, Luke Donald and Miguel Angel Jimenez were at 5 over, one stroke better than Brian Gay, who won the St. Jude Classic last week, and Leonard.
Harrington, the reigning British Open and PGA Championship winner, finished at 12 over, while Ernie Els, the 1994 and 1997 U.S. Open champion, missed the cut for just the third time in 17 Open appearances, finishing at 15 over, one shot better than Campbell, the 2005 Open champion.
Paul Casey, ranked No. 3 in the world, was 10 over.
Harrington shot consecutive 76s to miss the cut in a major for the first time since the 2007 U.S. Open at Oakmont. The British Open and PGA champion hasnt broken 70 on the PGA Tour since a first-round 69 in the Masters.
Such is life. Cant do anything about it now, Harrington said.
Hes having trouble consistently fading his shots.
I dont have any shape at the moment, the Irishman said. When youre not playing well, its not easy to play with no shape. Thats something for me to look into. Ive only got half the fairway to look at because I dont know which way its going to go.

WESTWOOD HO!: Lee Westwood was third in last years Open, his third top 10 finish in nine appearances.
One of the players stuck with the label of best not to have won a major, Westwood started this Open inauspiciously with a 2-over 72, then jumped into a tie for seventh after 36 holes with a 66.
Westwood had six birdies, including three in a row to start the second round, and two bogeys to move up the leaderboard and into contention.
Ive always wanted to win a major, but you can only do what you think is the right thing. I can only do what I think is the right thing for Lee Westwood to win one of those, he said. Ive been doing that, and last year gave me a good chance ' came up one shot out of the playoff, but gave me a lot of confidence.

AMATEUR HOUR: Nick Taylor led the three amateurs who made the cut by tying a record that was last matched in 1971.
Taylor, a rising senior at the University of Washington and the 2009 Pac-10 player of the year, shot a 5-under 65 at Bethpage Black on Saturday, the third time an amateur shot a round that low in an Open.
Taylors 138 total left him six strokes off the lead of Ricky Barnes and had him as low man among the 14 amateurs in the field. Drew Weaver of Virginia Tech was at 141 after a second-round 72 and Kyle Stanley, the NCAA Division I runner-up this year from Clemson, shot a second-round 74 to make the cut on the number at 4 over.
James McHale shot a 6-under 65 at St. Louis Country Club in 1947, and James Simons had a 5-under 65 at Merion Golf Club in 1971.
Its a good feeling to be able to make the cut and play the weekend, Taylor said. You know, Im a couple under par, and tomorrow I have really no expectations, so just go out and play as well as I can and not have any pressure for the most part.

DOUBLE DIP: Ricky Barnes, the leader after 36 holes, is trying to become the 12th golfer to win the U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur titles, a list that includes some of the sports greatest names.
Bobby Jones won four Opens ' all as an amateur ' and five Amateurs, while Jack Nicklaus won four Opens and two Amateurs and Tiger Woods won three Amateurs to go with his three Opens. Others who have the career double include Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Gene Littler and Jerry Pate.
Only two players won both titles the same year, Charles Evans Jr. in 1916 and Jones in 1930.

HERES MUD: The topic of having to play a golf ball with mud on it has been a hot one since the rain started falling Thursday morning.
Graeme McDowell, who started the third round at 1-over 141, has one of the better philosophies about the subject.
Theres mud and theres wet and theres stuff on your golf ball from time to time, he said Saturday. Like I say, youve just got to club up a little bit and hope the ball stays on the planet.

JONES WITHDRAWS: Matthew Jones was the only player in the field of 156 to withdraw before the cut was made.
Jones, a native of Australia playing in his first Open, withdrew Saturday morning because of a back injury.
A former All-America at Arizona State, Jones shot an opening-round 78 and was 2 over through nine holes in his second round when play was suspended Friday night because of darkness.
Related Links:
  • Full U.S. Open Scores
  • Full Coverage - The 109th U.S. Open
  • Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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

    Getty Images

    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 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."

    Getty Images

    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.


    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.