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.
 
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    Awards season: Handing out the 2017 Rexys

    By Rex HoggardDecember 14, 2017, 7:00 pm

    After careful consideration and an exhaustive review of 2017 we present The Rexys, a wildly incomplete and arbitrary line up following one of the most eventful years in golf.

     There will be omissions – just keep your calls, concerns and even e-mails to yourself. We appreciate your patronage, but not your feedback.



    It’s Not You, It’s Me Award. You know the deal: You can’t be a part of two until you’re a better one; but on this front it’s really just a desire to find a better two.

    It was a tough year for caddies, and not just any caddies. In June, Phil Mickelson split with longtime bagman Jim “Bones” Mackay. Both player and caddie cited the need for “change,” but the move reverberated throughout the game.

    “The fairytale is over,” mused one caddie when told of the high-profile split.

    In the wake of the Lefty/Bones break, Rory McIlroy split with his caddie J.P Fitzgerald, and Jason Day replaced looper/swing coach Colin Swatton on his bag. It all proves yet again that there are only two kinds of caddies, those who have been fired and those who are about to be fired.



    Run for the Rose Cup. Sergio Garcia got the green jacket, a lifetime exemption to the game’s most coveted member-member and a long-awaited major, but Justin Rose took home the slightly less prestigious “Rose Cup.”

    Following a frenzied afternoon at Augusta National in April, Rose lost to Garcia on the first playoff hole, but he won so much more with his honesty and class.

    “You're going to win majors and you're going to lose majors, but you've got to be willing to lose them,” Rose figured following the final round. “You've got to put yourself out there. You've got to hit the top of the leaderboard. There's a lot of pressure out there and if you're not willing to enjoy it, then you're not ready to win these tournaments. I loved it out there.”

    Few have made losing look so dignified and fewer still are as easy to root for.



    Half-Empty Cup. It was the perfect setting, with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the promise of the Tristate masses descending on this fall’s Presidents Cup.

    If only all those rowdy New Yorkers had something to cheer.

    For the sixth time in the last seven matches, the U.S. team rolled to a victory of at least three points. This particular edition was even in danger of ending on Saturday afternoon thanks to a particularly dominant performance by a young American squad led by Steve Stricker.

    Officials spoke of the purity of the competition and the attention the ’17 cup generated, but however you spin the 19-11 rout, this cup is half empty.



    Enigma Award. The actual hardware is simply an oversized question mark and was sent directly to Tiger Woods’ South Florida compound following the most curious of seasons.

    While it’s become customary in recent years to consider the uncertain path that awaits the 14-time major winner, this most recent calendar brought an entirely new collection of questions following fusion surgery on his lower back in April, his arrest for DUI on Memorial Day and, finally, a glimmer of hope born from his tie for ninth at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month.

    When will he play again? Can he compete against the current generation of world-beaters? Can his body withstand the rigors of a full PGA Tour schedule? Should Jim Furyk make him a captain’s pick now or wait to see if he should be driving a vice captain’s golf cart instead?

    Little is certain when it comes to Woods, and the over-sized question mark goes to ... the guy in red and black.



    After Further Review Chalice. In April, Lexi Thompson endured a heartbreaking loss at the ANA Inspiration, the byproduct of a surreal ruling that arrived a day late via a viewer e-mail and cost the would-be winner a major championship.

    The entire event was so unsavory that the USGA and R&A made not one but two alterations to the rules and created a “working group” to avoid similar snafus in the future.

    That working group – it turns out the U.S. Ryder Cup team has some sort of copyright on “task force” – initially issued a decision that introduced a “reasonable judgment” and a “naked eye” standard to video reviews, and last week the rule makers kept the changes coming.

    The new protocols on video review will now include an official to monitor tournament broadcasts and ended the practice of allowing fans to call in, or in this case e-mail, possible infractions to officials. The USGA and R&A also eliminated the two-stroke penalty for players who sign incorrect scorecards when the player is unaware of the penalty.

    While all this might be a step in the right direction, it does nothing to change Thompson’s fate. The AFR Chalice won’t change the harsh reality, but at least it will serve as a reminder of how she helped altered the rulemaking landscape.



    Nothing Runs Like a Deere Award. Nothing gets fans fired up like officials turning fields of fescue rough into hay on the eve of a major championship, and the USGA’s decision to do some 11th-hour trimming at Erin Hills in June certainly caught many by surprise.

    Officials said the nip/tuck on four holes was in reaction to a particularly foreboding forecast that never materialized, and the maintenance drew the ire of some players.

    “We have 60 yards from left line to right line,” Rory McIlroy said. “You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here; if we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.”

    The record low scoring at the U.S. Open – winner Brooks Koepka finished with a 16-under total – didn’t help ease the fervor and had some questioning whether the softer side of the USGA has gone a bit too far?

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    Podcast: Daly takes big pride in 'Little John'

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 5:28 pm

    John Daly is a two-time major champion, but the newest trophy in his household belongs to someone else.

    That’s because Daly’s son, 14-year-old Little John “LJ” Daly, rallied to capture an IJGT junior golf event over the weekend. The younger Daly birdied the first extra hole to win a five-person playoff at Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

    Daly recently sat down for a Golf Channel podcast to describe what it’s like to cheer for his son and PNC Father-Son Challenge partner, share the unique challenge presented by the upcoming Diamond Resorts Invitational and reflect on some of the notable highs of a career that has now spanned more than 25 years.

    Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid

    By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

    Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

    Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.


    Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters


    Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

    World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

    Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.

    Nathaniel Crosby at the 1983 Bing Crosby Pro-Am at Pebble Beach. Getty Images

    Crosby selected as 2019 U.S. Walker Cup captain

    By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 3:19 pm

    The USGA announced that former U.S. Amateur champ Nathaniel Crosby will serve as the American captain for the 2019 Walker Cup, which will be played at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.

    Crosby, 56, is the son of entertainment icon and golf enthusiast Bing Crosby. He won the 1981 U.S. Amateur at The Olympic Club as a teenager and earned low amateur honors at the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He also played in the 1983 Walker Cup, coincidentally held at Royal Liverpool, before embarking on a brief career in professional golf, with his amateur status reinstated in 1994.

    "I am thrilled and overwhelmed to be chosen captain of the next USA Walker Cup team," Crosby said in a statement. "Many of my closest friends are former captains who will hopefully take the time to share their approaches in an effort to help me with my new responsibilities."

    Crosby takes over the captaincy from John "Spider" Miller, who led the U.S. squad both in 2015 and earlier this year, when the Americans cruised to a 19-7 victory at Los Angeles Country Club.

    Crosby is a Florida resident and member at Seminole Golf Club, which will host the 2021 matches. While it remains to be seen if he'll be asked back as captain in 2021, each of the last six American captains have led a team on both home and foreign soil.

    Started in 1922, the Walker Cup is a 10-man, amateur match play competition pitting the U.S. against Great Britain and Ireland. The U.S. team holds a 37-9 all-time lead in the biennial matches but has not won in Europe since 2007.