Pavin a Winner Once Again

By Associated PressJuly 30, 2006, 4:00 pm
US Bank Championship in MilwaukeeMILWAUKEE -- Corey Pavin found the winning formula again: precise putting, a lucky bounce and his old caddie to show him the way.
 
The 46-year-old Pavin won his first PGA Tour title in 10 years Sunday, closing with a 3-under 67 for a two-stroke victory over Madison native Jerry Kelly in the U.S. Bank Championship.
 
Corey Pavin
Corey Pavin hit 18 of 18 greens in regulation Sunday.
Pavin, whose last win came in the 1996 Colonial, earned his 15th tour victory by averaging just 26.5 putts per round and getting a timely eagle on the par-4 eighth. He finished with a 20-under 260 total.
 
Kelly also closed with a 67. Jeff Sluman (64) was 17 under, Frank Lickliter (69) and D.J. Trahan (69) followed at 15 under and Woody Austin (65), Joey Sindelar (67) and Billy Andrade (68) were 14 under.
 
Pavin, who also won the tournament 20 years ago, became the eighth two-time champion in Milwaukee and received $720,000. He reunited with longtime caddie Eric Schwarz earlier this month in Connecticut at the Buick Championship, and his once accurate putting stroke returned.
 
'In Hartford, his alignment was real bad,' Schwarz said. 'It took about two, three hours to get him straightened out.'
 
Did it ever.
 
While Kelly said he wanted to go head-to-head with the leader in the final round, Pavin seemed like an unlikely candidate, ranking 194th in driving distance and 175th in putting on tour.
 
But the 1995 U.S. Open winner scorched the short 6,759-yard Brown Deer Park Golf Course early with a PGA Tour-record 26 on the par-34 front nine Thursday with just 10 putts. He finished the first round with a 61 and shot a 64 in the second to reach 15 under and tie the tour scoring record for the first 36 holes at 125.
 
'Corey had success because he kept it in play,' Sluman said. 'I think after three rounds, he had 17 less putts than me. If you putt like that, you can't hit it bad enough not to have a great tournament.'
 
Kelly had the backing of the partisan crowd expecting the Wisconsinite who lost in a playoff here in 1996 to finally win the tournament he calls a 'major.'
 
The gallery and even those outside the course loudly urged Kelly on as he tried to pump them up by waving his arms for more noise during his final round, especially down the stretch. Walking up one fairway, a man riding a bicycle in the subdivision across the street began shouting for Kelly hysterically.
 
But Pavin relished the chance to be the outsider and spoil everyone's fun.
 
Kelly, who started play Sunday two shots behind Pavin, spoiled his own chances.
 
He did not make a bogey, but missed 13 birdie putts, the closest from 7 feet, and did not make a putt longer than 5 feet.
 
After an eagle attempt on No. 15, Kelly birdied to move to 18 under, two strokes behind Pavin. But he again missed birdie putts on Nos. 16, 17 and 18.
 
'My speed was just a little off on my putting, and I didn't adjust very well throughout the day,' Kelly said. 'I started out with a whole bunch of downhillers that I had to protect and when I got to the uphillers, I felt like I was going to hammer it by and I never did.'
 
Meanwhile, Pavin's biggest shot wasn't a putt at all.
 
It came on the par-4 eighth hole, when he opened a four-stroke lead over Kelly. Pavin hit a drive 270 yards to the center of the fairway, and his second shot, a 6-iron from 172 yards, bounced three times and rolled into the cup for an eagle.
 
'That was huge, I was playing real solidly and hitting a lot of greens, but I couldn't seem to get a putt to go in,' Pavin said. 'Then I hole a shot and that gave me a nice cushion.'
 
The first person to congratulate him? Kelly.
 
'I respect him and I really like him a lot, he's a good friend,' Kelly said. 'And I'm really mad at him when he did that. It's a great shot. You want to beat a guy at his best.'
 
It was all Kelly could do because of his lousy putting, and Pavin said he struggled to contain his emotions just before his last putt.
 
'I've never given up on myself,' Pavin said. 'I felt good that I could prove it to myself that I could win again.'
 
Divots:
Pavin became the third wire-to-wire winner in Milwaukee, joining Ed Sneed in 1974 and Ben Crane in 2005. Pavin also became the third wire-to-wire winner this season, joining Phil Mickelson (BellSouth Classic) and Stuart Appleby (Houston Open). ... Pavin's 1986 win was worth $72,000. ... Fans without cable missed the end of the tournament. CBS decided to return to regular programming and The Golf Channel picked up live coverage with the leaders at No. 11. A tour spokesman said CBS consulted the PGA Tour before the decision. Inclement weather forced the tee times to be moved back two hours.
 
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.