Notes Stupples Goes On Wild Birdie Streak

By Associated PressJune 25, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 U.S. WomenCHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. -- After consecutive bogeys on the front nine, Karen Stupples told herself to be patient, the birdies would come.
Did they ever.
Stupples had birdies on six straight holes in the middle of the third round at the U.S. Women's Open on Saturday, putting herself in position to add another major title to the Women's British Open she won last year.

Stupples ended the day with a three-putt bogey on the difficult par-4 18th, but finished 1 over and was tied for the lead with teens Michelle Wie and Morgan Pressel.
``The bogey can come very quickly out here and I had to try and maintain my patience because I was 3 over par,'' Stupples said. ``I know that I'm capable of making at least somewhere between two and five birdies a round.''
She did more than that.
It started on the uphill, par-4 ninth hole, where Stupples hit 3-wood off the tee and knocked a 7-iron to 20 feet. A five-footer at 10 followed, then she got up and down from a bunker on the par-5 11th. Stupples hit it to 8 feet on the par-3 12th, 5 feet at No. 13 and was 7 feet away on the difficult 14th.
And it could have been seven birdies in a row. Stupples' putt at No. 15 was on line, but came up just short.
``I wimped out,'' she said.
It was still good enough to put Stupples in the final group with Pressel for Sunday's final round. And of the eight players within two shots of the lead, she's the only one who knows how to close out a major.
The 32-year-old Brit proved that at last year's Women's British, when she opened eagle-double eagle and shot a record-tying 64 in the final round to hold off Rachel Teske.
Not bad for someone who didn't turn pro until she was 25 and toiled on the LPGA Tour in relative anonymity for five years before her breakthrough in 2004.
``Every year I have made little improvements in my game to try and see where I am and try to get better,'' Stupples said. ``Last year, it just happened in a big flash. All of a sudden I went 'Poof!' and got better very quickly.''
Nicole Perrot was the surprise leader after a 1-under 70 in the second round moved her two shots ahead of Michelle Wie and Lorena Ochoa.
The pressure of leading the U.S. Open seemed to get to her.
Perrot opened the third round by missing a short putt for bogey and had four more bogeys on the front nine to turn at 6-over 41. The 2001 U.S. Junior champion from Chile gathered herself and shot 1 over on the back side, but finished the round 5 over -- four shots out of the lead.
``The first two days I really had two solid rounds, but today I didn't hit it as well and was more in the rough,'' Perrot said. ``I had putts that didn't make, and it was just one of those days.''
The final group of Michelle Wie and Nicole Perrot spent a good portion of the front nine on the clock because of slow play.
Tom Meeks, senior director of rules and competition, was in a cart monitoring the group from the fifth fairway when he said that Wie had 40 seconds to hit the shot. Meeks was counting the seconds over a minute when Wie backed off her 5-iron.
``Doesn't matter now. It's a bad time,'' Meeks said, before speeding off to tell Wie of her bad time.
``I didn't think I was playing that slow,'' Wie said. ``He told me I had a time of 1 minute, 37 seconds. After that, I was running around. I was out of breath.''
Perrot didn't handle it much better. She had four bogeys in six holes after learning they were on the clock.
``It was kind of tough to get focused (being timed) all those times,'' she said.
After starting her round with a bogey, defending champion Meg Mallon used birdies on the seventh and 10th holes to get to 2 over -- just two shots off the lead.
Then disaster struck at the par-3 12th.
Mallon hit a 5-iron, thinking it would be the perfect club to put ball in the middle of the green. Instead, it hit into the bank fronting the green and hung up in the rough just beyond a pond.
Mallon tried to hit a pop shot with a wedge from there, but the ball hit into the hill and rolled right. Another attempt, same result.
Mallon finally got it on the green with her fourth shot and two-putted for a triple-bogey 6. She ended up with a third-round 75 and finished 7 over overall, six shots behind the leaders.
``I was going along really nicely and had a lot of momentum going and had a big momentum buster,'' she said. ``It was really disappointing because I felt like my game was in control and I was where I wanted to be in the tournament.''
Co-leader Morgan Pressel got a scare on the 18th hole and it had nothing to do with golf. Walking next to the lake along the left side of the fairway, the 17-year-old jumped toward her caddie when a swan sitting on the shore flapped its wings. ``I wasn't paying attention and all of a sudden a saw this white thing out of the corner of my eye.'' ... Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan was in the gallery watching Annika Sorenstam. ... Colin Cann, Paula Creamer's regular caddie, rode around in a cart to watch her play the third round. He's been off the bag since breaking his ankle at Kingsmill last month.
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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

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    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

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    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

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    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.