Ridgewood strikes back in Rd 3 at Barclays - COPIED

By Associated PressAugust 24, 2008, 4:00 pm
the Barclays Logo 2007PARAMUS, N.J. ' Steve Stricker shook his head and flashed a wry smile when he walked out of the scorers room Saturday at The Barclays.
 
If nothing else, the defending champion was glad he was finally off the sun-baked Ridgewood Country Club course after a humbling round that left Kevin Streelman atop the leaderboard and more than two dozen players in the title chase.
 
I just stunk it up, Stricker said. Ive got to try to regroup.
 
He lost a ball and the lead on the par-4 12th.
 
After fading a drive into the rough, his aggressive approach shot from a tough angle skipped along the far side of the left rough and into a tangled mess of shoulder-high grass, bushes and weeds.
 
Despite TV replays and a large search party, the ball couldnt be located and Stricker'four strokes ahead after 10 holes'took a penalty stroke and trudged back to the spot where he hit the costly shot.
 
The winner last year at Westchester Country Club, Stricker advanced the new ball 40 yards short of the green, hit his fifth shot 30 feet past the hole and two-putted for a triple-bogey 7 to drop to 7 under'a stroke behind Sergio Garcia.
 
I got off to a good start, then I made two stupid plays in a row on 11 and 12, Stricker said. The one at 12 was one of the dumbest plays I ever made trying to do what I did out of the rough there. From that point on, it was a struggle to get in.
 
By the time Stricker signed for a 6-over 77, he was four strokes back at 4 under in a 12-way tie for 11th. On Friday, he shot a 7-under 64 in perfect morning conditions to take a three-stroke lead over Hunter Mahan in the FedExCup playoff opener.
 
Stricker was 12 under through six holes, then dropped a stroke on No. 7 to end a 23-hole stretch without a bogey. He also bogeyed the 11th, made the triple on 12 and dropped three more strokes with bogeys on 14, 16 and 17.
 
Its tough, Stricker said. It got a little crusty and the wind picked up a little bit. But I didnt do very well.
 
Streelman, a 29-year-old Q-school graduate in his rookie season on the PGA TOUR, took the lead at 8 under with a 25-foot birdie putt from the fringe on the par-4 16th and parred the final two holes for a 68 and an 8-under 205 total.
 
It will be a fun day for me, Streelman said. Im interested to see how I kind of react to it. Thats what Ive been working for my whole life.
 
Streelman made news this year at Torrey Pines, playing with Tiger Woods on the weekend in the Buick Invitational in January and sharing the first-round lead in the U.S. Open in June on the San Diego course.
 
That day with Tiger was the greatest preparation I ever could have imagined, Streelman said. I know it will be crazy tomorrow, but I guarantee you it wont be quite as big as that day in San Diego with Tiger.
 
The former Duke stars parents are from nearby Glen Rock and his grandparents are buried in a cemetery next to the course.
 
My cousin came and watched me last week and told me, said Streelman, 102nd in the FedExCup standings. I was like, Well, thats kind of cool.
 
Vijay Singh, a three-time winner at Westchester, shot a 66 to join Garcia (69), Mike Weir (67) and Paul Casey (69) at 7 under. Garcia, a two-time champion at Westchester, had six birdies and four bogeys.
 
Its dried out quite a bit, said Singh, the winner three weeks ago at Firestone. The rough is less thicker. I think they stopped watering it, so you can actually play. Its playable, and some places, you can get yourself in big trouble.
 
But I think its playing really well. The greens have been drying out really fast, and depending where the pins are tomorrow, its going to be a tough day.
 
Tricky, shifting wind made club selection difficult on the tree-lined A.W. Tillinghast layout'the first-time site after 41 seasons at Westchester'and further hardened the small, stressed greens that started to turn purple in spots.
 
That little 10-mph wind, with the big trees, it has that Augusta feel where you think its going this way and it might go this way and thats the difference between maybe having as 10-footer or a 30-footer, said Weir, sporting a full playoff beard.
 
Kenny Perry, effectively the FedExCup leader with the top-ranked Woods sidelined by a knee injury, was 5 under after a 72.
 
Mahan, the first-round leader after a morning 62, also struggled in the final group, shooting a 74 to join Stricker in the large group at 4 under.
 
Phil Mickelson was 1 under after a 72. He double-hit a flop shot from the deep rough on the 271-yard, par-4 fifth en route to a double bogey.
 
I tried to hit a little 64-degree wedge and it came out and I heard it ding my club on the follow through, Mickelson said. I didnt really feel it.
 
Divots
 
The top 120 in FedExCup standings will qualify for the Deutsche Bank Championship next week in Norton, Mass. The field will be cut to 70 for the BMW Championship in St. Louis and to 30 for the TOUR Championship in Atlanta. After missing the cut Friday, British Open and PGA winner Padraig Harrington returned to the course Saturday for a lengthy practice session on the driving range.
 
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    McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

    One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

    McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

    It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

    McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

    Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

    Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

    Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

     

     

    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.