Notes Sleep Walking Goose Lefty Leaves Quietly

By Associated PressAugust 12, 2006, 4:00 pm
2005 The INTERNATIONALCASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- Retief Goosen had trouble concentrating during the third round of the International on Saturday.
 
'I was brain dead today, or should I say this afternoon,' said Goosen, who had to play five holes in the morning to complete the rain-delayed second round before playing his entire third round.
 
'I got onto a roll nicely this morning and then this afternoon I couldn't focus, couldn't concentrate, couldn't see well at all and I couldn't make a putt,' Goosen said.
 
The tournament's defending champion struggled on his first nine holes and ended the day with a total score of 18 -- three above the cut for Sunday.
 
The third round began when he pitched a shot to within five feet, but missed the birdie putt. On No. 2, Goosen glared at the hole after leaving a 12-foot putt wide right. He three-putted for bogey on No. 4 and settled for pars on the holes leading up to the turn. Each was for birdie and each putt was left short.
 
'I think I had 37 putts,' Goosen said. 'You aren't going to go anywhere with that.'
 
The trend continued on the first two holes of the backside, lipping out a birdie putt on No. 10 and leaving another putt short on No. 11. He picked up four points by getting birdies on the two par 5s, hole Nos. 14 and 17.
 
'Tomorrow I'm going to need a couple of birdies and a couple of eagles,' Goosen said. 'That's the only way you're going to make up ground quickly.'
 
LEAVING QUIETLY
While at the International, Phil Mickelson wanted to make a statement about his game. Instead he quietly left with putting problems as he moved on to Chicago for the PGA Championship.
 
Mickelson came up short of making the International's first cut that reduced the field to 70 players.
 
The two-time winner of the event (1993 and '97) finished with a two-day total of five points. He had a point after one round and managed to add only four more in the second round, but he had held out hope when the projected cut stayed at five until Saturday morning.
 
The cut didn't come until late morning. Poor weather Friday forced 72 golfers to finish their second rounds early Saturday.
 
'It's been fun,' Mickelson said Thursday. 'I just haven't been putting well and I was hoping that I have a chance to direct that on the weekend.'
 
The chance never came.
 
FAILING TO MAKE IT
Besides Mickelson, other past winners sent packing were Jose Maria Olazabal (1991), Steve Lowery (1994), Clarence Rose (1996) and Rich Beem (2002).
 
Former champions Ken Green (1986), John Cook (1987), Joey Sindelar (1988), Brad Faxon (1992), Lee Janzen (1995) and Vijay Singh (1998) didn't compete.
 
Greg Norman (1989), Davis Love III (1990, 2003), David Toms (1999), Ernie Els (2000), Tom Pernice (2001), Rod Pampling (2004) and defending champion Retief Goosen (2005) played Saturday.
 
MAN ON A MISSION
Zach Johnson doesn't mask his intentions.
 
'Making the Ryder Cup is my biggest goal,' he said. 'You can throw it up with the Super Bowl and the Final Four. For American golfers it is the largest sporting thing in golf.'
 
Johnson entered the weekend ninth among the point standings. He completed the third round of the International with 27 points and the tournament lead.
 
That means he won't have to impress Ryder Cup team captain Tom Lehman. The top 10 points leaders get invited to join the U.S. team, and Lehman adds two more to complete the team.
 
'I've thought about it a lot and had to maintain my focus on one week at a time,' Johnson said. 'If I get too caught up in it everything goes astray.'
 
Johnson had one of the best shots of the tournament when he holed a 60-degree wedge shot for eagle from 97 yards out on the first hole.
 
MAKING UP GROUND
J.B. Holmes was in danger of not making the cut. He began his final three holes, Nos. 7, 8 and 9, with 14 points.
 
By the time he signed his scorecard, he was at 19 points. He birdied Nos. 7 and 8 and holed a shot from 95 yards out on No. 9 to earn eagle.
 
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    Watch: Daly makes birdie from 18-foot-deep bunker

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 11:14 pm

    John Daly on Friday somehow got up and down for birdie from the deepest bunker on the PGA Tour.

    The sand to the left of the green on the 16th hole at the Stadium Course at PGA West sits 18 feet below the surface of the green.

    That proved no problem for Daly, who cleared the lip three times taller than he is and then rolled in a 26-footer.

    He fared just slightly better than former Speaker of the House, Tip O'Neill.

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    Koepka (wrist) likely out until the Masters

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 9:08 pm

    Defending U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka is expected to miss at least the next two months because of a torn tendon in his left wrist.

    Koepka, who suffered a partially torn Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU), is hoping to return in time for the Masters.

    In a statement released by his management company, Koepka said that doctors are unsure when the injury occurred but that he first felt discomfort at the Hero World Challenge, where he finished last in the 18-man event. Playing through pain, he also finished last at the Tournament of Champions, after which he underwent a second MRI that revealed the tear.

    Koepka is expected to miss the next eight to 12 weeks.

    “I am frustrated that I will now not be able to play my intended schedule,” Koepka said. “But I am confident in my doctors and in the treatment they have prescribed, and I look forward to teeing it up at the Masters. … I look forward to a quick and successful recovery.”

    Prior to the injury, Koepka won the Dunlop Phoenix and cracked the top 10 in the world ranking. 

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    Cut Line: Color Rory unafraid of the Ryder Cup

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 19, 2018, 7:09 pm

    In this week’s edition, Rory McIlroy gets things rolling with some early Ryder Cup banter, Dustin Johnson changes his tune on a possible golf ball roll-back, and the PGA Tour rolls ahead with integrity training.


    Made Cut

    Paris or bust. Rory McIlroy, who made his 2018 debut this week on the European Tour, can be one of the game’s most affable athletes. He can also be pointed, particularly when discussing the Ryder Cup.

    Asked this week in Abu Dhabi about the U.S. team, which won the last Ryder Cup and appears to be rejuvenated by a collection of new players, McIlroy didn’t disappoint.

    “If you look at Hazeltine and how they set the course up – big, wide fairways, no rough, pins in the middle of greens – it wasn’t set up for the way the Europeans like to play,” McIlroy said. “I think Paris will be a completely different kettle of fish, so different.”

    McIlroy has come by his confidence honestly, having won three of the four Ryder Cups he’s played, so it’s understandable if he doesn't feel like an underdog heaidng to Paris.

    “The Americans have obviously been buoyant about their chances, but it’s never as easy as that,” he said. “The Ryder Cup is always close. It always comes down to a few key moments, and it will be no different in Paris. I think we’ll have a great team and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    September can’t get here quick enough.

    Mr. Spieth goes to Ponte Vedra Beach. The Tour announced this year’s player advisory council, the 16-member group that works with the circuit’s policy board to govern.

    There were no real surprises to the PAC, but news that Jordan Spieth had been selected to run for council chair is interesting. Spieth, who is running against Billy Hurley III and would ascend to the policy board next year if he wins the election, served on the PAC last year and would make a fine addition to the policy board, but it is somewhat out of character for a marquee player.

    In recent years, top players like Spieth have largely avoided the distractions that come with the PAC and policy board. Of course, we’ve also learned in recent years that Spieth is not your typical superstar.


    Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

    On second thought. In December at the Hero World Challenge, Dustin Johnson was asked about a possible golf ball roll-back, which has become an increasingly popular notion in recent years.

    “I don't mind seeing every other professional sport. They play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball,” he said in the Bahamas. “I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage.”

    The world No. 1 appeared to dial back that take this week in Abu Dhabi, telling BBC Sport, “It's not like we are dominating golf courses. When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy?”

    Maybe it didn’t feel that way, but DJ’s eight-stroke romp two weeks ago at the Sentry Tournament of Champions certainly looked pretty easy.

    Long odds. I had a chance to watch the Tour’s 15-minute integrity training video that players have been required view and came away with a mixture of confusion and concern.

    The majority of the video, which includes a Q&A element, focuses on how to avoid match fixing. Although the circuit has made it clear there is no indication of current match fixing, it’s obviously something to keep an eye on.

    The other element that’s worth pointing out is that although the Tour may be taking the new program seriously, some players are not.

    “My agent watched [the training video] for me,” said one Tour pro last week at the Sony Open.


    Missed Cut

    Groundhog Day. To be fair, no one expected Patton Kizzire and James Hahn to need six playoff holes to decide last week’s Sony Open, but the episode does show why variety is the spice of life.

    After finishing 72 holes tied at 17 under, Kizzire and Hahn played the 18th hole again and again and again and again. In total, the duo played the par-5 closing hole at Waialae Country Club five times (including in regulation play) on Sunday.

    It’s worth noting that the playoff finally ended with Kizzire’s par at the sixth extra hole, which was the par-3 17th. Waialae’s 18th is a fine golf hole, but in this case familiarity really did breed contempt.

    Tweet of the week:

    It was a common theme last Saturday on Oahu after an island-wide text alert was issued warning of an inbound ballistic missile and advising citizens to “seek immediate shelter.”

    The alert turned out to be a mistake, someone pushed the wrong button during a shift change, but for many, like Peterson, it was a serious lesson in perspective.

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    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.