Notes Poor Play Costly to Campbell

By Associated PressApril 12, 2006, 4:00 pm
U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell lost his chance to play in the Memorial with three bad weeks.
 
Campbell is only allowed to play 10 times on the PGA Tour, including the four majors and three World Golf Championships. If he could have earned $197,843 over the last month, that would have given him the equivalent of 150th place on last year's money list and made him eligible for unlimited sponsor's exemptions the rest of the year, such as the Memorial.
 
But he missed the cut at the Bay Hill Invitational, The Players Championship and the Masters.
 
Campbell chose not to join the PGA Tour and play a minimum of 15 events. He had hoped to play 12 -- the tour turned down his request -- which would have allowed him into the Memorial and the Barclays Classic, a week before defending his U.S. Open title.
 
Missing the cut was no surprise at the Masters. Campbell has never made it to the weekend at Augusta National in six starts.
 
WORLD RANKING AT 20
The official world golf ranking turned 20 this month, and one thing hasn't changed.
 
Fred Couples can still be found among the top 50 in the world.
 
Bernhard Langer was No. 1 when the world ranking made its debut the week before the 1986 Masters. He was followed by Seve Ballesteros, Sandy Lyle, Tom Watson and Mark O'Meara. All of them except Langer -- currently No. 57 -- are no longer in the top 200.
 
Couples was No. 42 in the original ranking. He moved up to No. 21 this week.
 
The world ranking has been altered over the years. When it was launched 20 years ago, golfers were measured over three years, instead of the two-year period with gradual reductions in points every 13 weeks.
 
Only a dozen players have been ranked No. 1 -- Langer, Ballesteros, Greg Norman, Nick Faldo, Ian Woosnam, Couples, Nick Price, Tom Lehman, Ernie Els, David Duval, Vijay Singh and Tiger Woods.
 
Woods has held the No. 1 ranking the longest at 385 weeks, while Lehman was
 
RETURN INVITATION
From the moment Arron Oberholser arrived at Augusta National, he kept stating with confidence that this would be the first of many times playing in the Masters.
 
Closing with a 71 assured at least one more. Oberholser finished at even-par 288 and tied for 14th; the top 16 and ties are invited back to Augusta next year.
 
'I'm still learning these greens,' he said. 'They still spook me in spots, but I can see myself contending here in future years.'
 
Billy Mayfair was playing the Masters for the first time since 2003, and he also earned a tee time next year by tying for 14th, while Scott Verplank, Geoff Ogilvy and Rod Pampling tied for 16th.
 
The future for Rocco Mediate is more uncertain, especially with a back that has bothered him for years and gave out on him after he made the turn Sunday. Mediate went from a chance to win and play the Masters the rest of his life, to a chance to finish in the top 16, to an 80 that put him in a tie for 36th.
 
DIVOTS
The Memorial has awarded one of its exemptions to Kevin Hall, a former Big 10 champion from Ohio State who has been deaf since he was 2. Hall was given an exemption to Pebble Beach earlier this year and missed the cut. He made it through the first stage of Q-school last year. ... Phil Mickelson's 29 victories on the PGA Tour have come in eight states -- California (9), Georgia (6), Arizona (5), Colorado (2), Texas (2), Connecticut (2), Florida (1) and Ohio (1) and New Jersey (1). Vijay Singh has won 27 times on the PGA Tour in 17 states, four of those victories in Texas. He also won in Canada. ... A course that is getting tougher each year allowed the Masters to keep one streak alive. It is the only major in which no one has posted all four rounds in the 60s. ... Vijay Singh closed with a 71 at the Masters, ending a streak of seven
 
STAT OF THE WEEK
Kirk Triplett (Tucson) is the only PGA Tour winner this year who did not play in the final group.
 
FINAL WORD
'When I start missing them, they don't go in.' -- Fred Couples, the Yogi Berra of golf, on his putting at the Masters.
 
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Watch: Pros try to hit 2-yard wide fairway in Dubai

By Grill Room TeamNovember 18, 2017, 5:20 pm

While in Dubai for the DP World Tour Championship, the European Tour prestented a little challenge to Ross Fisher, Richie Ramsay, Nicolas Colsaerts and Soren Kjeldsen. On a stretch of road outside of town, the four players had to try and hit a 2-yard wide fairway. Check out the results.

Rose (65) leads Rahm, Frittelli in Dubai

By Associated PressNovember 18, 2017, 3:24 pm

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Justin Rose will take a one-shot lead into the final day of the season-ending Tour Championship as he attempts to win a third straight title on the European Tour and a second career Race to Dubai crown.

The 37-year-old Rose made a gutsy par save on the final hole after a bogey-free round for a 7-under 65 Saturday and overall 15-under 201.

The Englishman leads South African Dylan Frittelli, who produced the day's best score of 63, and Spain's Jon Rahm, who played in the same group as Rose and matched his 65.

Rose is looking to be Europe's season-ending No. 1 for the second time. His leading rival for the Race to Dubai title, Tommy Fleetwood, is only two shots behind here after a second straight 65 on the Earth course of Jumeirah Golf Estates.

Fleetwood did his chances no harm by overcoming a stuttering start before making eight birdies in his final 11 holes to also post a 65. The 26-year-old Englishman was tied for fourth place at 13 under, alongside South African Dean Burmester (65) and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat (67), who closed with five birdies in a row.

''So, last day of the season and I've got a chance to win the Race to Dubai,'' Fleetwood said. ''It's cool.''


DP World Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the DP World Tour Championship


Masters champion Sergio Garcia, the only other player with a chance to win the Race to Dubai title, is tied for 13th on 10 under after a 67.

Fleetwood had a lead of 256,737 points going into the final tournament and needs to equal or better Rose's finishing position to claim the title. If Rose doesn't finish in the top five and Garcia doesn't win, Fleetwood will have done enough.

Rose is hoping to win a third straight tournament after triumphs in China and Turkey.

Rose, who made some long putts for birdies apart from chipping in on the 13th hole, looked to be throwing away his advantage on the par-5 18th, when his second shot fell agonizingly short of the green and into the water hazard. But with his short game in superb condition, the reigning Olympic champion made a difficult up-and-down shot to stay ahead.

''That putt at the last is a big confidence-builder. That broke about 18 inches right-to-left downhill. That's the kind of putt I've been hoping to make. That was a really committed stroke. Hopefully I can build on that tomorrow,'' said Rose. ''I know what I need to do to stay at the top of the leaderboard. If I slip up tomorrow, he's (Fleetwood) right there. He's done everything he needs to do on his end, so it's a lot of fun.''

The last player to win three tournaments in a row on the European Tour was Rory McIlroy, when he won the Open Championship, the WGC-Bridgestone and the PGA Championship in 2014.

Fleetwood was 1 over after seven holes but turned it on with a hat trick of birdies from the eighth, and then four in a row from No. 13.

''I wanted to keep going. Let's bring the tee times forward for tomorrow,'' quipped Fleetwood after closing with a birdie on the 18th. ''Just one of them strange days where nothing was going at all. A couple sloppy pars on the par 5s, and a bad tee shot on fifth and I was 1-over through seven on a day where scoring has been really good ... Ninth and 10th, felt like we had something going ... it was a really good last 11 holes.''

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: