Notes: Scott clarifies he's not suing PGA Tour

By Associated PressMay 29, 2013, 10:31 pm

DUBLIN, Ohio – Adam Scott wants to make it perfectly clear that he isn't suing the PGA Tour.

Scott, the Australian who used the anchored putting stroke to win the Masters in April, is part of a group that has retained a lawyer to look into the situation. Hiring legal representation, he said Wednesday on the eve of The Memorial Tournament, was just a way of not being left out of the loop.

''My intention is just to get all the information given to me possible from the PGA Tour,'' he said. ''And just really, for me, like anyone else in a business, to have some professional guidance on this issue.''

The two governing bodies of the sport, the U.S. Golf Association and The Royal & Ancient Golf Club, have outlawed the anchored putting stroke used by four of the last six major champions. The rule takes effect in 2016 prohibiting players from anchoring a club against their bodies. Those two groups have urged the PGA Tour to join them so that the sport is played under one set of rules.

Scott is just trying to protect himself.

''I don't think I have the ability to get that (information) or ask the right questions, necessarily. I'm not a lawyer. And that's not my area of expertise,'' he said. ''So I just want to get that information and make sure that my views are expressed to the Tour and that's that. There's no intention of filing suit or making problems.''

Vijay Singh has sued the PGA Tour for exposing him to ''public humiliation and ridicule'' during a 12-week investigation into his use of deer antler spray, a substance that was on the tour's list of banned substances. The tour subsequently dropped its case against him and Singh filed the lawsuit later.

Addressing the issue of the banned putting motion, Scott said he was only trying to level the playing field.

''This is a business and I'm treating it professionally and I have professional counsel to do that,'' he said. ''I'm sure the tour has professional counsel when they make decisions about things or the USGA or R&A, for that matter. They wouldn't do this without professional help either, so that's all it is.''


WHERE'S TIGER? Many golf fans, conditioned by the emphasis placed on winning major championships, might not be fully aware that Tiger Woods has won four times in seven PGA Tour starts this season. That is a remarkable winning percentage for a tour player.

Davis Love III said people need to appreciate just how good he has been.

''People say, 'What's the matter with Tiger?' Nothing's the matter with him. As long as he plays, he wins,'' Love said Wednesday during preparations for the Memorial Tournament. ''When he was out for 6 months at a time, he didn't have a chance to win. But when he's been playing, he consistently wins one out of every four times he plays.''

Or, of course, even more often than that.

Woods is rested after taking time off – he was spotted water skiing with his kids and Olympic skiing star Lindsey Vonn – and ready to defend his title at the Muirfield Village layout where he has won a record five times.

''It's been a nice two weeks off, and now it's time to get out and play and come to an event that I've always loved playing,'' he said.

Woods said he's in a good place with his swing.

''I feel comfortable with the motion I'm making,'' he said, his cap pulled down low over his eyes. ''All the stretches where I've played well for a few years, I just felt good about what I was able to do as far as my misses and being able to fix it on the fly. ... I have a better understanding of how to make adjustments. That's huge.''

Rory McIlroy, No. 2 in the world rankings and a spot behind Woods, believes Woods is far and away the favorite at the Memorial.

''Most golf courses set up well for Tiger Woods, I guess,'' McIlroy said, grinning. ''The guy is good wherever he goes and plays. It's not like he goes to the same course and wins. He can win anywhere.''

Love believes that superstars raise the bar so high that they are victimized when they are merely great and not in the stratosphere in their accomplishments.

''We expect too much as fans out of Tiger, like we expected too much out of Michael Jordan,'' the veteran said. ''Like Michael should make every jump shot at the end of the game or something's wrong. They do it so many times they raise people's expectations. In the same respect, you don't give them enough credit because people think, 'Well, Tiger hasn't won the last three weeks. What's the matter with Tiger?' Well, odds are, the fourth week he's going to win.''

Woods is now 37 years old. He has won 14 majors – granted, none since the 2008 U.S. Open – and has 78 career PGA Tour victories. In addition to the humiliating series of affairs that ruined his marriage and changed how many think of him, he's also had four surgeries on his left knee.

Time wears down everyone, even one of the greatest golfers ever.

''You can tell when he walks, he's not Tiger – we're not what we were when we came out on Tour, none of us,'' Love said. ''I don't think we give him enough credit for how consistent he's been.''

Yet Woods sounds as if he's at a peak.

''What you're seeing more this year is that I've gotten more precise,'' he said. ''I've been able to work on the other parts of my game and made them strengths.''


FLOYD IS HONORED: Raymond Floyd, who won four major championships and 22 PGA Tour titles, is the latest player or contributor added to the list of honorees of the Memorial Tournament.

Floyd was introduced during a special ceremony Wednesday on the driving range at Muirfield Village.

His voice breaking, the 70-year-old credited his wife of 39 years, Maria, for making him a better person and player.

''I would not be here without her,'' he said.

It was Maria, dying of cancer, who had prompted him to accept the honor when tournament founder Jack Nicklaus first called him a year ago.

After a parade of people recited his accomplishments and told stories about him, Floyd said, ''I never knew I was this good. I'm humbled to be in such company.''

Past Memorial Tournament honorees also include Tom Watson, Nancy Lopez, Seve Ballesteros, JoAnne Carner, Lee Trevino, Payne Stewart, Sam Snead, Walter Hagen, Gary Player, Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones, Arnold Palmer and Nicklaus.

Nicklaus was asked to reminisce about playing against Floyd.

''What I always remember about Raymond is his competitiveness,'' he said. ''When he got in contention, generally speaking, he won.''


SPREADING THE LOVE: U.S. Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples has tapped one of his best friends, Davis Love III, as one of his assistants for this fall's team competition at Muirfield Village.

Both Love and Couples are playing in the Memorial this week, also at Muirfield. Love said he was surprised to join Jay Haas on Couples' staff.

''I really actually wasn't expecting it because we hadn't talked about it,'' Love said. ''To be around a team again so soon is really great for me, because we had a great experience for two years. It would be nice to jump right back in and let him make the speeches.''

Love was captain of the U.S. Ryder Cup team last fall which built a gaping 10-6 lead heading into the final day but then lost eight singles matches and tied one to lose, 14 1/2 to 13 1/2. The victory was Europe's fifth in the last six matches.

The 49-year-old Love can't wait to get back into a team competition, but would prefer to do it as a player. He had surgery on his neck in February and didn't play until The Players Championship earlier this month.

Love said he preferred to be in a support role on the team.

''I'll be the behind-the-scenes golf-cart charger or whatever,'' he said.

Love holds a 16-8-5 record in Presidents Cup play, including a 5-2-1 mark when teamed with Couples.

''He is one of my closest friends,'' Couples said in announcing the decision.

The Presidents Cup will be played Oct. 3-6.

Love said he would like nothing more than to someday be in charge of the American side.

''I would love to do it,'' he said. ''Hopefully down the road a Presidents Cup captaincy will come up. It would be fun.''

The International team is led by captain Nick Price, with assistants Shigeki Maruyama, Mark McNulty and Tony Johnstone.


DIVOTS: The Muirfield Village grille room is famous for its milkshakes. At least two players could be spotted, on a sunny day with temperatures in the high 90s, sipping on shakes in between shots on the range. ... Daniel Summerhays, who finished tied for fourth behind Tiger Woods a year ago at the Memorial, took the place of Robert Garrigus, whose wife is expecting. ... Lucas Glover is a father for the first time. His wife gave birth to a daughter two weeks ago named Lucille.

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Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

"Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.



The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

“An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”



Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


“I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

“Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.