Pettersson Clings to Lead at The Memorial

By Associated PressJune 4, 2006, 4:00 pm
DUBLIN, Ohio -- The lie was so nasty that Carl Pettersson was begging a rules official for relief. The chip shot was so good that he saved par on the 18th hole Sunday morning to complete his third round with a 69, building a two-shot lead in the Memorial.
Pettersson, who can avoid U.S. Open qualifying with a victory, was among 24 players who had to return at 7 a.m. to complete the third round because of storm clouds that gathered, the third straight day the round did not finish because of bad weather.
Pettersson was at 11-under 205, and he was the only contender not to lose any shots when he returned.
Woody Austin was at 10 under and was some 30 feet away, just off the back of the 18th green. His chip ran 7 feet by the hole, and he missed the par putt to shoot 67 and finish at 9-under 207.
Zach Johnson, whose four straight birdies put him into contention at 10 under, found a bunker on the 17th and made bogey, then had his ball spin off the green on the 18th that led to another bogey. He wound up with a 70 and was three shots behind at 208.
Masters champion Phil Mickelson was in the middle of the 18th fairway at 8 under, but he pulled his approach into thick rough, hit a flop shot that rolled softly toward the hole, but he pushed his 6-foot par putt and had to settle for a 70 that left him at 7-under 209.
Also struggling was Adam Scott. He was at 8 under and in good shape in the 17th fairway, but missed the green well to the right in rough so deep that it took him two shots to reach the green, taking double bogey. Scott did well to limit the damage to that. On the 18th, he hit into a fairway bunker, then got it out and onto the green about 50 feet away and walked off with par. He shot 73 and was at 210, five shots behind but still in contention.
Everyone will have to catch Pettersson, who will try to win for the second time in seven months.
This one would be meaningful, because the Swede was No. 51 in the world ranking that came out Monday, and the top 50 were exempt to the U.S. Open. He is scheduled for a 36-hole qualifier Monday in nearby Columbus, but the final exemption available is for anyone winning multiple PGA Tour events since the last U.S. Open.
Pettersson needed a few good breaks to build his cushion.
He made bogey from the bunker on the 16th hole, then got it back with a 45-foot birdie putt on the 17th. He was headed for a messy conclusion on the 18th, however, when his approach went into the cabbage right of the green, buried so deep that he and his caddie had trouble finding it.
Pettersson asked a rules official for relief, claiming he was in casual water, hopeful the official would agree so that he could take a free drop and the ball wouldn't be so deep in the grass. The consultation lasted all of about 5 second -- the answer was no -- and Pettersson showed he really didn't need it.
He chopped at the ball and it barely hopped into the fringe, trickling 2 feet from the cup for his par.
Trevor Immelman of South Africa, coming off two runner-up finishes, shot 69 and was in the group at 5-under 211 that included Dallas winner Brett Wetterich, Bay Hill winner Rod Pampling and Sean O'Hair.
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    After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

    Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

    Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

    Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

    It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard

    On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

    There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

    He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

    His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

    Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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    Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

    With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

    He picked up one more No. 2, too.

    The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

    In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

    Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

    “It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

    Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

    Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

    He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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    Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

    Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

    Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

    His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

    “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

    Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

    Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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    Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

    Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

    Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

    What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

    Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

    Best of the rest: A two-time winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

    Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

    Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

    Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

    Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry