Perry Campbell share lead at a windy Masters

By Associated PressApril 10, 2009, 4:00 pm
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AUGUSTA, Ga. ' Kenny Perry thought he had a storybook ending to his career when he helped the Americans to a Ryder Cup victory on his native Kentucky soil and shared an emotional embrace with his father.
 
But that triumphant ride toward retirement is taking a stunning detour down Magnolia Lane.
 
With one last birdie to cap off what he called one of the best rounds he ever played, Perry shot a 5-under 67 on a blustery Friday at the Masters to share the lead with Chad Campbell going into the weekend.
 
About the only thing Perry hasnt done is win a major, however, the 48-year-old could be golfs oldest major champion if he pulls this off.
 
Ive had a great career, and Id be very satisfied if it ended today, Perry said. The Ryder Cup, I cant express to yall how much that meant to me. That was the ultimate of anything I have ever, ever been a part of or accomplished, be it any of my 13 wins.
 
But Dad has always said, You need to win that green jacket. He always calls me and tells me.
 
Augusta National was tougher than the opening round, but even with tougher pins and a gusts that swirled through Amen Corner and lasted deep into the afternoon, the fireworks were just as endless.
 
Campbell got off to another solid start and finished with a 25-foot birdie for a 70, sharing the lead with Perry at 9-under 135. They had a one-shot lead over former U.S. Open champion Angel Cabrera, who had a 68.
 
Anthony Kim set a tournament record with 11 birdies on his way to a 65 '10 shots better than his first round ' to get into contention in his Masters debut. Phil Mickelson was on the verge of missing the cut until he played his last seven holes in 5 under for a 68. Sergio Garcia shot a 67, the first time he has broken par at the Masters in five years.
 
There were a record 17 eagles in the second round, breaking by two the mark set in 1997.
 
Tiger Woods couldnt join this parade of birdies and eagles for the second straight day. All three of his birdies were followed by bogeys, and his 72 left him seven shots behind. Woods has never won a major when trailing by more than six shots after 36 holes.
 
It was just tough all round, said Woods, who headed straight for the practice range.
 
Maybe for him, but not for the 25 players who managed to break par.
 
It was tough on Gary Player, Fuzzy Zoeller and Greg Norman for other reasons.
 
Player completed his remarkable career at the Masters by competing for the 52nd and final time. The 73-year-old South African, who won three green jackets, knelt before reaching the 18th green and clasped his hands to thank the gallery.
 
Zoeller also is calling it quits after an Augusta National career remembered for winning the first sudden-death playoff at the Masters in 1979, and for his racially insensitive comments after Woods won in 1997.
 
The return of the Shark lasted only two days. Norman shot 40 on the back nine for a 77 to miss the cut by two shots in what likely will be his last time playing the Masters, 22 years without ever getting upstairs to the champions locker room.
 
Is there room up there for a 48-year-old from Kentucky?
 
Everything is a bonus now, it really is, Perry said. Im just going through each and every day enjoying life a little bit. I think I can win. Im not going out there very casually. Im burning inside, wanting to kick everybodys butt.
 
Jack Nicklaus was 46 when he became the oldest Masters champion in 1986. The oldest to win any major was Julius Boros, who was 48 when he won the 1968 PGA Championship. Perry is about four months older.
 
Despite his paltry record at the Masters ' five missed cuts in eight appearances ' a victory would not be all that surprising. Perry won earlier this year in Phoenix and is No. 11 in the world ranking.
 
He has a new driver that makes him feel as though he will hit every fairway, a 64-degree sand wedge that has helped take the edge off the scary chips around the green, and he is putting better than ever. No wonder he made it through Friday without a single bogey.
 
That was probably one of the greatest rounds Ive ever played, Perry said. I just didnt have any nerves. I was so comfortable out there today. I dont know how to explain it. But it was just easy.
 
It was easy enough for Todd Hamilton, the former British Open champion who has had only two top 10s since his victory at Royal Troon five years ago. In his final year of eligibility at the Masters, he had a 70 and was in fourth place at 6-under 138.
 
Kim was in the group at 4-under 140 that included Garcia and Jim Furyk (74), while Mickelsons late rally put him in a tie for 11th at 141 along with Geoff Ogilvy (70), Steve Stricker (69) and 46-year-old Vijay Singh (70).
 
I havent been making 11 birdies in two days, so to make 11 in one day is pretty special, said the 23-year-old Kim, regarded as the next American star in golf. And obviously, to do it at Augusta is amazing. Hopefully, I can build off that, and if I keep the putter hot, I like my chances here.
 
Padraig Harringtons hopes of a third straight major took a dive with a 73, leaving him seven shots behind. Not only was he crushed by seeing four putts spin around the lip, the Irishman was assessed a one-shot penalty on the 15th hole when a gust moved his ball after he had grounded his putter.
 
He was tied with Woods, and not about to give up ' not this year, on this golf course.
 
Here at Augusta, it is not a big deal to be seven behind, Harrington said. There are a number of players under par and were expecting a tougher challenge over the weekend.
 
Campbell has been here before, leading after two rounds in 2006 when he wound up in a tie for third. He pulled away early with great wedge play that set up two birdies and a 7-iron to short range on the fourth hole, one of several where the tees were moved up.
 
I dont really know exactly what I learned, Campbell said, referring to his 36-hole lead three years ago, but I know its nice that Ive been in that position before. Theres still a long ways to go, but its definitely nice to not be on foreign ground.
 
The cut was at 1-over 145, the lowest since Augusta National went through its first big overhaul to lengthen the golf course.
 
Among those going home were Ernie Els and Fred Couples for the second straight year, Adam Scott and two of the teenagers ' 17-year-old Ryo Ishikawa and 18-year-old Danny Lee, the U.S. Amateur who will turn pro on Monday.
 
The other teen, 19-year-old Rory McIlroy, was in a tie for sixth at 4 under until he four-putted the 16th green, then took triple bogey on the 18th hole to make the cut on the number.
 
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    Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

    By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

    Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

    ''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''


    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


    First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

    ''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

    David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

    The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    ''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

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    The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

    By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

    Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

    Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

    I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

    One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

    So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

    You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

    Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

    I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

    This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

    Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

    On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

    The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

    “What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

    Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

    Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

    Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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    Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

    Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

    Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

    In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

    Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

    After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

    Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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    Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

    Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

    “I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

    Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

    The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.