Price Two Back of Fading Romero at Sr PGA

By Associated PressMay 26, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 Senior PGA ChampionshipKIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. -- Eduardo Romero's not worried about how big a lead he might have had -- only that he's the one on top at the Senior PGA Championship.
 
Romero missed the chance to take a four-shot lead or more into the final round, bogeying his last two holes Saturday.
 
Nick Price
Nick Price is looking to add another major title to his resume. (WireImage)
'It's OK,' he said. 'I'm still leading. I've got one more round to go.'
 
Romero was 9 under and four shots ahead after a birdie on the par-3 14th, but hit into a bunker on the 17th hole, leading to one bogey. Then he missed a 7-foot par putt on the 18th hole to tighten up a tournament he appeared to have a lock on.
 
Still, the Argentine star was 7 under after his 71, two strokes better than Denis Watson (69) and Nick Price (70). Naomichi 'Joe' Ozaki (72) was fourth at 4 under.
 
Romero's miscues 'let the three of us back in the tournament,' said Price, whose three major titles include two PGA trophies.
 
No one else was under par after three days at Pete Dye's seaside layout.
 
Romero had played the best of anyone through two rounds of wind gusts as high as 31 mph -- and urged the nearby Atlantic to do its worst because Romero grew up playing far breezier rounds in his native country.
 
Even though gusts slackened, Romero's game did not until the end. He had gone 17 holes without a bogey before closing with two straight.
 
Even with Romero's late mistakes, Price thinks chasing him down Sunday will be a chore.
 
'I don't think he's going to lay down. He's playing so well,' said Price, who was part of Romero's threesome.
 
Romero remains poised for a second straight major on the Champions Tour -- he captured The Tradition in his rookie season last summer -- and to become the first international player to take this tournament since Gary Player did it in 1990.
 
Romero's not concerned about the pressure -- he said he saw his face on the front page of an Argentine newspaper -- of trying to close out the tournament.
 
He'll approach the last round as he the first three.
 
'Nothing changes,' he said. 'Don't see the scores. Don't see the players. Just make birdies and go (to the next hole).'
 
That worked to perfection for most of the third round.
 
He birdied the par-5 seventh for a third straight day and, after his ball skipped through a sand dune and landed in front of the 11th green, Romero lengthened his lead to two shots with a birdie there -- also his third straight on that par 5.
 
Romero extended his lead to three with a birdie on the par-3 14th. When Romero found trouble in a sand dune alongside the 15th hole, he simply chipped up to 2 feet and saved par.
 
Romero, though, could escape problems down the stretch, missing similar putts on both closing holes.
 
Watson's run was fueled by consecutive birdies on the 11th and 12th holes that got him two shots behind. But a bogey on No. 17 dropped him back. Watson is seeking his first tour victory since winning three PGA TOUR titles in 1984.
 
Ozaki stayed close enough to Romero for most of the round. He fell back, though, when he drove into a dune left of the 15th fairway, could not hack his way out on his next shot and made double-bogey 6.
 
The Atlantic wind that blasted the course Thursday -- and reminded some competitors of what they faced in the 1991 Ryder Cup matches here -- were much calmer Saturday.
 
'Not that it laid down,' said Tom Kite, who shot the tournament's best round with a 5-under 67. 'I mean it always blows here, even when it doesn't blow.'
 
Once again, officials shrunk the 17th, this time to 158 yards, its lowest total of the tournament and 39 yards under its scorecard listing.
 
Divots:
Bruce Lietzke opened strongly with four birdies on his first seven holes for front-nine 32. However, he faded with four bogeys on the final nine to finish at even-par 72. ... Club pro Bill Schumaker on his first-round 80 played amid 30 mph winds: 'I'm from Indiana,' he said. 'If we got wind like that we don't even go outside, let alone play in it.'
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Senior PGA Championship
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  • Thompson wins Race, loses tournament after short miss

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 8:52 pm

    The drama went down to the very last hole in the LPGA's final event of 2017. Here's how things ended up at the CME Group Tour Championship, where a surprising miss from Lexi Thompson opened the door for Ariya Jutanugarn to win in dramatic fashion:

    Leaderboard: Ariya Jutanugarn (-15), Lexi Thompson (-14), Jessica Korda (-14), Pernilla Lindberg (-13), Eun-Hee Ji (-13)

    What it means: There were scenarios aplenty entering the final round, with nearly every season-long accolade still hanging in the balance. Thompson appeared set to take them all as she sized up a 2-foot par putt on the final hole - a stroke that looked like it would take her to world No. 1 for the first time. Instead, the putt barely touched the hole and allowed Jutanugarn to rally to victory with birdies on the closing two holes. Thompson still took home $1 million for winning the season-long Race to the CME Globe, as it was a reverse scenario from last year when Jutanugarn won the $1 million but not the final tournament.

    Round of the day: Sei Young Kim made the day's biggest charge, turning in a 6-under 66 to close the week in a share of 11th at 10 under. Kim made eight birdies during the final round, including five over her first eight holes en route to her lowest round of the week while erasing a third-round 75.

    Best of the rest: Jutanugarn seemed like an afterthought as the tournament was winding down, but she kept her hopes alive with an 18-foot birdie on No. 17 and then capitalized on Thompson's mistake with a clutch birdie on the difficult final hole. It capped off a final-round 67 for the Thai who now ends what has been a tumultuous season with a smile on her face.

    Biggest disappointment: Thompson faced heartbreak after the penalty-shrouded ANA Inspiration, and she again must handle a setback after essentially missing a tap-in with everything on the line. Thompson can enjoy a $1 million consolation prize along with the Vare Trophy, but a tournament win would have clinched Player of the Year honors as well as her first-ever trip to world No. 1. Instead, she now has the entire off-season to think about how things went awry from close range.

    Shot of the day: There were only three birdies on No. 18 during the final round before Jutanugarn laced one down the fairway and hit a deft approach to 15 feet. The subsequent putt found the target and gave her win No. 7 on her young LPGA career.

    Watch: Fleetwood gets emotional with family after Race to Dubai win

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 19, 2017, 5:30 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood took home the season-long Race to Dubai title on Sunday after a T-21 finish at the DP World Tour Championship.

    He was, understandably, emotional after learning his fate while sitting with his wife and baby following a career year in which he won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open and finished fourth at the U.S. Open.

    Luckily for us, cameras were rolling:

    Matsuyama after Koepka rout: 'Huge gap between us'

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 4:22 pm

    Hideki Matsuyama offered a blunt assessment after finishing 10 shots behind Brooks Koepka at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix event.

    Koepka waxed the field en route to successfully defending his title in Japan, shooting a 20-under par total that left him nine shots clear of a runner-up group that included PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. Koepka's score was one shot off the tournament record, and his margin for victory eclipsed Tiger Woods' eight-shot romp in 2004.

    Matsuyama appeared set to make a final-round charge after a birdie on No. 2 was followed by an ace on the par-3 third hole. But he played the next eight holes in 3 over and eventually finished alone in fifth place following a 2-under 69. Afterwards, he stacked his game up against that of Koepka in a telling comment to the Japan Times.

    "I feel there's a huge gap between us," Matsuyama said.

    The Japanese phenom entered the week ranked No. 4 in the world, though he will be passed in the next rankings by Jon Rahm following the Spaniard's win in Dubai. Matsuyama won twice this year on the PGA Tour, including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he has largely struggled since missing out on a maiden major title at the PGA Championship, where he tied for fifth.

    Matsuyama was a runner-up to Koepka at the U.S. Open earlier this summer, and the 25-year-old seems headed back to the drawing board before defending his title at the Hero World Challenge in two weeks.

    "I don't know whether it's a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well," Matsuyama said. "It seems there are many issues to address."

    McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

    When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.

    Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.

    Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.

    While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

    Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.