Notes Surprise Whos the Low South African

By Associated PressApril 9, 2005, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Trevor Immelman hasn't enjoyed the success as a pro in the United States that he did as an amateur.
That could change this weekend.
The South African climbed onto the leaderboard at the Masters with five birdies in six holes Saturday afternoon, putting him in a tie for seventh at 3-under. He was at 5-under for the third round with three holes left when play was halted.
``It was, without a doubt, the best stretch I've had here,'' he said. ``It felt fantastic.''
Immelman looked as if he was going to follow in the footsteps of countrymen Gary Player and Ernie Els. He won the 1996 Junior PGA Championship, the 1998 U.S. Public Links, and finished second in the 1997 U.S. Junior Amateur. He also made the cut in the 1999 Masters, finishing 56th.
But almost six years after Immelman turned pro, he's still looking for his first win on the PGA Tour. His best finish is a tie for ninth in the 2003 NEC Invitational. He does have three wins on the European Tour.
``I'm young and inexperienced,'' the 25-year-old said. ``I think I've just got to pay my dues a little bit. I don't think it's anything other than that.''
Immelman looked pretty savvy Saturday.
``Even though it's the Masters and it's a huge tournament, if your shot is on, you've got to go for it,'' he said. ``I don't want to put too much pressure on myself. I'm just going out and doing what I can.''
The 18th hole got a bit dangerous Saturday morning, when a strong breeze blowing into the golfers' faces sent several shots flying way off line.
Stuart Appleby nearly struck patrons camped out along the left side with his approach to the green.
``Sorry about that,'' the Aussie quipped when he arrived at the spot.
``I was trying to hit it over there,'' he added, pointing to the flag at least 50 feet away. Appleby wound up making a nice pitch onto the green, salvaging par.
In the very next group, Lee Westwood hooked his second shot even farther left than Appleby. The ball flew into the seating section atop a 25-foot-high viewing tower and plunked a reporter in the side. It eventually dropped to the ground not far from where Appleby's ball landed. Westwood also managed to pitch onto the green and save par, but it didn't save him from missing the cut.
Ryan Moore wasn't the only amateur to make the cut.
Luke List, who lost to Moore in the U.S. Amateur last August, shot a 3-under 69 on Saturday, allowing him to stick around for the rest of the weekend. List shot a 2-over 146 for the first two rounds.
``I'm psyched, I really am,'' the Vanderbilt sophomore said. ``I'm really pumped. We'll see if I can get myself into red numbers.''
After his first round, List was just hoping to get below the cut line. He had a pair of double-bogeys on his way to a 5-over 77. But he rallied Saturday, making four birdies as he played the front nine at 3-under.
He also made a nice par save on the 17th hole. After hitting a tree with his second shot, he got up and down with a pitch from about 60 yards out.
``Previously I was worried about making the cut,'' List said. ``Today I was able to block it out. I just told myself, `I can't control it.'''
Just in case anyone missed Thomas Bjorn's first eagle, he did it again, two holes later.
Bjorn eagled Nos. 13 and 15 during his second round Saturday morning. He hit a utility wood to 3 feet on No. 13, then put a 4-iron within a foot on the 15th. He's the ninth player to eagle Nos. 13 and 15 in the same round.
Bjorn finished the second round at 5-under 67, and moved into third place at 8-under midway through the third.
``I think this ties my best score here,'' said Bjorn, who also had a 67 in the second round in 2002.
Augusta National is usually pristine, with perfectly manicured grass, picture-perfect flora and well-dressed galleries.
Before the sun came out Saturday afternoon, the grounds looked more like a carnival at the end of a hard week's run.
After getting nearly two inches of rain Thursday and Friday, the public areas of the course were a sloppy, soupy mess. Rivers of mud bubbled up, making footing treacherous and ruining all those perfectly-planned outfits.
Spectators sat on the grass at their own risk. People in flip-flops tried to pick their way around the mud, with little success. The carpet of needles under the pine trees looked more like sludge.
Players weren't immune from the mess, either. Shingo Katayama pulled up the legs of his white pants as he walked through one particularly bad patch, trying to avoid getting splattered even more.
Related Links:
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  • 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:

    Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience

    By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.

    This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.

    “I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”

    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic

    Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.

    In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

    If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Tour finals.

    “He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”

    Cook fires 62 for one-shot lead at RSM Classic

    By Associated PressNovember 17, 2017, 10:26 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook made a 6-foot birdie putt on his final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead going into the weekend at the RSM Classic.

    Cook has gone 36 holes without a bogey on the Plantation and Seaside courses at Sea Island Golf Club. He played Seaside - the site of the final two rounds in the last PGA Tour event of the calendar year - on Friday and ran off four straight birdies on his opening nine holes.

    ''We've just been able to it hit the ball really well,'' Cook said. ''Speed on greens has been really good and getting up-and-down has been great. I've been able to hit it pretty close to the hole to make some pretty stress-free putts. But the couple putts that I have had of some length for par, I've been able to roll them in. Everything's going well.''

    The 26-year-old former Arkansas player was at 14-under 128 and had a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay, who shot 64 on Seaside. No one else was closer than five shots going into the final two rounds.

    The 45-year-old Gay won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2013.

    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic

    ''I've hit a lot of greens and fairways,'' Gay said. ''I've hit the ball, kept it in front of me. There's a lot of trouble out here, especially with the wind blowing, so I haven't had to make too many saves the first couple days and I putted well.''

    Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. He earned his PGA Tour card through the Tour, and has hired Gay's former caddie, Kip Henley.

    ''With him being out here so long, he knows everybody, so it's not like I'm completely the new kid on the block,'' Cook said. ''He's introduced me to a lot of people, so it's just making me feel comfortable out here. He knows his way around these golf courses. We're working really well together.''

    First-round leader Chris Kirk followed his opening 63 on the Plantation with a 70 on the Seaside to drop into a tie for third at 9 under with C.T. Pan (65) and Vaughn Taylor (66).

    Brandt Snedeker is looking strong in his first start in some five months because of a sternum injury. Snedeker shot a 67 on the Plantation course and was six shots back at 8 under.

    ''I was hitting the ball really well coming down here,'' Snedeker said. ''I was anxious to see how I would hold up under pressure. I haven't played a tournament in five months, so it's held up better than I thought it would. Ball-striking's been really good, mental capacity's been unbelievable.

    ''I think being so fresh, excited to be out there and thinking clearly. My short game, which has always been a strength of mine, I didn't know how sharp it was going to be. It's been really good so far.''