Notes Weir within inches of major record

By Associated PressJune 19, 2009, 4:00 pm
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2009 U.S. OpenFARMINGDALE, N.Y. ' Mike Weir came within one stroke of matching the best round ever in any of golfs major championships.
There have been four 63s in the 108 U.S. Opens, the last by Vijay Singh in the second round at Olympia Fields in 2003. Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf both shot 63 in the opening round at Baltusrol in 1980. Those three rounds, like Weirs, were shot on courses that played to a par of 70.
The best round in relation to par was Johnny Millers 8-under 63 in the final round at Oakmont in 1973, which gave him a one-shot victory over John Schlee.
There have been 10 63s in the PGA Championship, seven in the British Open and two in the Masters.
Weir made eight birdies and a double bogey for a 33-31'64 and said 63 wasnt on his mind.
It really wasnt. I didnt think much about it, he said. I was just in one of those days where I was so focused on what I was doing.
Weir was 2 over through his first nine holes of the second round when play was suspended by darkness. He was two strokes behind Lucas Glover, who had completed 13 holes.

STAY OR GO: When the horn sounded at 8:24 p.m. ET to suspend the round because of darkness, players had the option of completing the hole they were on or marking their ball and finishing when play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m.
One group was divided over what to do. Ricky Barnes, Matt Kuchar and Billy Mayfair were in the fairway on No. 18, their ninth hole of the round, when the horn sounded. Mayfair, who was 4 over for the tournament at that point, marked his ball in the fairway and headed in.
Barnes, one stroke out of the lead at 5 under, and Kuchar, who was 3 over, both hit into the green.
Barnes two-putted for a par, while Kuchar three-putted for a bogey.

OR ELS: Two-time U.S. Open champion Ernie Els had an opening-round 78 and was 12 over through 11 holes when play was suspended.
Els, who won the Open in 1994 and 1997, has only missed the cut twice in his 16 appearances ' 1995 and 1999.
After finishing 14th last year at Torrey Pines, Els missed the cut in the Masters in April, and this would be the first time since 1995 he has missed the cut in the years first two majors.

AMATEUR HOUR: Three of the 14 amateurs in the field bettered or matched par and two of them completed their rounds in the morning when good scores were much tougher to come by.
Drew Weaver, the 2007 British Amateur champion and a junior at Virginia Tech, shot a 1-under 69, one stroke better than Cameron Tringale, who played at Georgia Tech, and Kyle Stanley, who played at Clemson.
Weaver and Tringale both completed their first rounds Friday morning when the course was still drying out from Thursdays daylong rain, while Stanley played his round under sunny skies.
Ben Martin, who also played at Clemson, was at 72, a shot better than Nick Taylor, a native of Canada who played at the University of Washington.
Rickie Fowler, who just finished his sophomore season at Oklahoma State, was one of the amateurs who made the cut last year at Torrey Pines. He shot an opening 78 at Bethpage.
Its definitely a lot easier playing with a caddie in the rain, he said. In college golf you have an umbrella, bag and rain gear. It gets tough just doing that let alone playing in the rain, but this course is definitely a million times better than a college golf course.
David Erdy, the youngest player in the field at 19, qualified as an alternate and was paired with 2007 Masters champion Zack Johnson and Lee Westwood, who finished third in last years U.S. Open.
They were two great guys, he said after shooting a 78, I talked to them the whole round. Lee was cracking jokes and Zach was just a great guy to be around.

YO, ROCCO: Rocco Mediate became a fan favorite in last years U.S. Open at Torrey Pines when he lost to Tiger Woods in a 19-hole playoff. He may be on the other side of the country this year, but his popularity was still evident as he shot a first-round 68.
He was asked how many times he heard his name yelled out on Bethpage Black.
About 4 million, he said. Unbelievable out there today. It was great, absolutely fantastic.

FILM STUDY: Ian Poulter completed a par round of 70 Friday morning and knew he wouldnt be back to start his second round until some time Saturday. He was asked what he planned for the rest of the day Friday.
Im going to watch `Hangover at the cinema, he said, referring to the popular comedy. Ive heard its very good ' and it sums up my last three days.

TIGERS TALE: When Tiger Woods won the 2002 Open at Bethpage Black he led from wire to wire and his worst round was a closing 72 that gave him a 3-under 277 total and a three-stroke victory over Phil Mickelson.
Woods completed an opening-round 74 on Friday that left him tied for 81st.
I wasnt playing poorly, he said. I was even par with four to go and I was right where I needed to be, and two bad shots and a mud ball later, here we go and Im at 4 over par.

DIFFERENT CONDITIONS: There were 13 rounds below par in the opening round and all but two ' Drew Weaver and Graeme McDowells 69s ' were shot by the second wave of players who were able to play the entire round under sunny skies.
Weaver and McDowell were among those golfers who started their round in drenching rain on Thursday and finished it Friday morning before the sun broke through cloud cover.
Those who finished their first rounds were told they would not be starting their second round until at least 9 a.m. Saturday, meaning another long day without golf.
Id like to get straight out there right now, McDowell said. The weather is perfect out there.

SIM SHOOTING: Michael Sim, the 24-year-old Australian who has won twice on the Nationwide Tour this year and is its leading money-winner with almost $400,000, shot a first-round 71, one of the top scores from the players who started Thursday and finished Friday.
This is a different stage out here. You just have to stay focused and enjoy the moment. Its the hardest test in golf, said Sim, who would earn an in-season promotion to the PGA Tour with another Nationwide victory. Im driving the ball well and my distance control has been really good. I dont think I really have too many weaknesses in my game now.

A FOOT SHORT: Sean OHair closed his 1-under 69 with a double-bogey 6 on No. 18.
My goal this week was to not make any double bogeys because you know youre going to make your share of bogeys, he said. I had to take an unplayable lie off my tee shot, but if it had literally gone another foot I would have been in the fairway bunker and would have had a fair chance at a par. So the goal here is to just try to keep it in play and make pars.

STILL SEVENTY: Padraig Harrington, last years British Open and PGA Championship winner, shot a first-round 76. Harrington hasnt broken 70 on the PGA Tour since a first-round 69 in the Masters. He missed the cut in the Memorial (75-77) and St. Jude Classic (72-72) the last two weeks.
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    Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

    Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

    The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

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    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

    He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

    Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

    Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

    In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

    Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

    Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

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    Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

    By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

    The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

    They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

    Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

    Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

    Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

    ''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

    The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

    In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

    Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.