Perry Grabs the Lead Langer One Back

By Associated PressMay 9, 2008, 4:00 pm
2007 THE PLAYERSPONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Kenny Perry, Bernhard Langer and Paul Goydos arent quite ready to switch to shuffleboard.
 
The wily PGA TOUR veterans showed they can still hang with the youngsters, taking up three of the top four spots on the leaderboard after two rounds at The Players Championship.
 
Then again, who better to handle demanding conditions at TPC Sawgrass than three guys whove been around it more than a few times.
 
Its the type of course where it doesnt hurt to have played it a bunch, Langer said.
 
Langer proved that Friday, shooting a 5-under 67 in the blustery second round, moving one shot behind Perry (6-under 138) and setting up a final pairing thats a combined 97 years old.
 
Langer already has won twice this year'on the Champions Tour.
 
The two-time Masters champion and former Ryder Cup captain thought about withdrawing Thursday morning when he felt pain in his lower back, which caused his groin and left knee to ache. Throw in some shoulder soreness, and the 50-year-old German hardly seemed ready to compete against a field that includes some players who werent even born when he won his first Masters
 
I think I can win, Langer said.
 
So do Perry and Goydos, who is also one stroke off the lead, along with Sergio Garcia .
 
The 47-year-old Perry went to the PGA TOURs weekly Bible study at Fred Funks home Wednesday night and found some inspiration. He discovered Funks crystal trophy from the 2005 Players, the one in which he became the tournaments oldest champion (48).
 
I got a good look at his trophy, said Perry, who rubbed it for good luck. That guy inspired me.
 
Goydos, 43, is the youngest of the three and maybe the least experienced.
 
Im more journeyman than veteran, said Goydos, who has won only twice in his 15 years on tour.
 
Perry, Langer and Goydos looked like they might be chasing Garcia, but the 28-year-old Spaniards poor putting overshadowed his accurate driving. Garcia hit all 14 fairways, missed only three greens and took 33 putts on his way to a 73.
 
What cost him the 36-hole lead was a double bogey on the notorious par-3 17th'and he didnt even hit into the murky lagoon surrounding the island green.
 
Garcias tee shot went over the back of the green and rolled down the artificial turf path, leaving him a chip over a corner of the water. His shot came out hot, rolled off the green and only a slight rise in the first cut of rough kept it dry. He chipped weakly and missed another putt, then missed a 7-foot birdie putt on the last.
 
I probably deserved a little bit more than what I got, Garcia said.
 
Perry didnt do anything spectacular. He made birdies on a pair of the par 5s, a 12-foot birdie putt on No. 1 and a hybrid that rolled into a tough lie on the bunker at the downwind, par-3 eighth, leading to his only bogey. Nerves were tough to control, however, in steady 20 mph wind that gusted as high as 35 mph, swirled through the pines and made just about every shot a challenge.
 
It was the kind of day where you could shoot a big number in a hurry, Perry said. Youre at the mercy of the wind. It was hard to ever feel comfortable on any tee shot.
 
When the round ended, 15 players remained under par, a group that included Fred Couples at 2-under 142, with defending champion Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els at 143.
 
The biggest surprise was Langer, who first played Sawgrass in 1984 when Garcia was barely out of diapers and Anthony Kim (4-under 140) was not born.
 
Langer eagled the second hole, birdied Nos. 4 and 5, then took the outright lead with a 15-foot birdie on the eighth. He was poised to shoot 30 on the front until dumping a wedge into the bunker left of the green on the par-5 ninth, making bogey for the second straight day.
 
I felt like throwing up, Langer said. When you make 6 on a hole when youre 80 yards away, feels worse than when youre playing bad. I had a long walk from there to (No.) 10 and had a little bit of a talk.
 
Now, he gets to rest'along with Perry and Goydos.
 
Basically, right now were still just pace cars, Goydos said. Were going to wait and see what happens on the weekend when the racing starts. But its a good place to start the weekend off.
 
If nothing else, you get to sleep in.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard
  • Full Coverage
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    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?''

    Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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. 

    Getty Images

    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.