Rookie Steele takes one-shot lead at Texas Open

By Associated PressApril 17, 2011, 2:23 am

Valero Texas OpenSAN ANTONIO – PGA Tour rookie Brendan Steele birdied Nos. 17 and 18 for a 4-under 68 on Saturday, grabbing sole possession of the Texas Open lead after beginning the day tied with a whopping six other players for the top spot.

The 28-year-old Californian put his third shot within 15 feet on the par-5 18th, then sunk the putt for his sixth birdie – offsetting a pair of bogeys.

“I decided to play it a little more conservative and laid it up, and it paid off,” Steele said of the birdie to end his round.

That late surge was enough for a one-stroke lead over another up-and-commer, second-year PGA Tour pro Cameron Tringale, who led by two after 16 holes but hooked his tie shot on No. 18 into the deep rough – almost reaching a creek. He recovered on the approach, only to miss a 13-foot putt and settle for a 4-under 68.

“I drove it left. I figured if I hit a good drive … I’d be able to look at it in two, so I just swung hard,” said Tringale, who played at Georgia Tech and now lives in Las Vegas.

“I laid up to a pretty good yardage and then just misjudged the wind, really,” he said. “Came up short, which was a bad mistake, given all the room behind the hole.”

Third-round winds were calmer but still blew to nearly 30 mph at times, after strong gusts Friday saw the field struggle to a second-round scoring average of 75.289, the highest on Tour since the first-round of the 2008 British Open. Strong winds are forecast once again during Sunday’s final round.

“There’s going to be good shots that don’t end up good and bad shots that end up worse,” Steele said.

Another rookie and Californian, Kevin Chappell (70) and 30-year-old Brandt Snedeker (70) were tied for third at 5 under. Steele, Tringale and Chappell, who led UCLA to an NCAA title in 2008, have just a combined 62 starts on tour, while Snedeker’s only PGA Tour victory came at the 2007 Wyndham Championship.

“There’s a lot of younger players getting on Tour quicker now than there ever has been and I think that’s really been the difference,” Tringale said. He added that he is still new enough on Tour that almost no one pronounces Tringale correctly, instead calling him “Triangle” “Trin-gle” “Trin-nail” “Tri-nail” and a host of other names.

Steele said he’s never felt so much pressure on Tour as he will teeing off tomorrow with the lead.

“I definitely haven’t been in this position,” he said, adding that a win at the 7,435-yard TPC San Antonio “would validate a lot of things in my career as far being a guy that’s just trying to feel his way out here right now as a rookie.”

Steele began his round tied for first at 3 under with Chappell, Snedeker, Geoff Ogilvy, Rich Beem, Kevin Sutherland and Charley Hoffman. The seven-way tie was the most crowded leaderboard on the PGA tour in a decade. Seven players tied after 36 holes hadn’t been seen on the tour since the 1977 Westchester. The record was an eight-way tie at the 2001 Greater Hartford Open.

Tied for fifth at 4 under after three rounds were Augusta, Georgia-native Charles Howell III, who had four straight birdies on the back nine to complement a birdie and a bogey on the front.

“You’ve got a drivable green on 14 that you can get home in two on, so there are some opportunities out here. But I think the play on this golf course is, keep the ball in play and take it when you can get it,” Howell said. “It’s easy to get in trouble too.”

Even with Howell at 4 under was defending Texas Open champion Adam Scott (70) and Pat Perez who tied the mark for Saturday’s best round with a 5-under 67 at a tournament whose modo is “Unapologetically Texan.”

Souvenirs included white sticks stenciled with the phrase “Quiet, Y’all” and fashioned to look like the more-serious ones reading simply “Quiet” that course officials held up to silence the crowds of spectators before shots.

The Phoenix-born Perez had an Eagle 2 on No. 5, knocking his tee shot on the green and converting a 25-foot putt to complement four birdies and a bogey on the day.

Also shooting 5 under was Sweden-born Fredrik Jacobson, who finished second to Scott here last year, and had seven birdies to offset a pair of bogeys and move to 2 under, tied for tenth.

Rose (62) sets blistering pace in Indonesia

By Associated PressDecember 14, 2017, 3:06 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Justin Rose shot a 10-under 62 Thursday to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, starting on the back nine at Royale Jakarta Golf Club, had five birdies to go out in 31, then birdied four of five holes midway through his final nine and another birdie on his last hole in the $750,000 tournament.


Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters


Gunn Charoenkul (64) was in second place and Kim Giwhan and Phachara Khongwatmai (both 65) were tied for third.

Brandt Snedeker shot 72. Ranked 51st in the world, the American is aiming for a strong finish in Jakarta to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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LaCava: Woods wouldn't talk after H.O.R.S.E. match

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 2:27 pm

The competitive streak within Tiger Woods knows no bounds - even on the basketball court, according to caddie Joe LaCava.

LaCava has been on Woods' bag since 2011, and he recently shared a story on "Inside the Ropes" on Sirius/XM PGA Tour Radio about a clash between the two men over a seemingly friendly game of H.O.R.S.E. Actually, it turned into nine straight games (and nine straight wins) for LaCava, who exploited a weakness in Woods' on-court strategy while leaning on a mid-length jumper of his own:

"The thing with him was if I missed a shot, which I missed plenty of shots, but if I missed the shot he'd go back down to the 3 (point line) because he liked to make the 3," LaCava said. "But it's harder obviously to make a 3, and I'd go right back to the baseline 12-footer, and he couldn't make it."

It's a short list of people who have beaten Woods nine times in any athletic pursuit, let alone in a row. But for LaCava, the fallout from his afternoon of on-court dominance was less than subtle.

"He did not talk to me the rest of the day," LaCava explained. "I didn't even get the old text, 'Dinner is ready,' because I stay across at the beach house. I didn't even get that text that night. I had to get take-out. He didn't announce he wasn't (talking), he just did it. I'm telling you, nine games in a row. Like I said, he's so competitive, even at something like that."

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 3, Tiger Woods

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 12:45 pm

After returning to competition at the Hero World Challenge in December 2016, Woods started the new year with an ambitious slate of tournament starts as he eyed his first full season since 2013. But he made it only three rounds, looking rusty en route to a missed cut at Torrey Pines before withdrawing abruptly in Dubai.

The “spasms” that led to that withdrawal turned out to be something far more serious, as Woods underwent his fourth and most invasive back surgery in April, a lumbar fusion. It brought with it an extensive rehabilitation, and at the Presidents Cup in September Woods humored the prospect that he might never again play competitive golf.

At Liberty National he also faced some scrutiny for an off-course incident from months prior. In May he was arrested for suspicion of DUI, an incident that produced a startling roadside video of an intoxicated Woods struggling to follow instructions from the arresting officer after driving erratically.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


While he was not drinking at the time, Woods was found to have a mix of several prescription medications in his system, including multiple painkillers. He checked himself into a private drug treatment program in July to address his dependency issues, and in October he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of reckless driving.

But the incident was barely a memory when Woods again made a return to competition in the Bahamas at the tournament he hosts. This time around he exceeded nearly every expectation, twice shooting 4-under 68 while tying for ninth among the 18-man field. Having re-tooled his swing following fusion surgery, Woods appeared relaxed, happy and healthy while briefly taking the lead during the tournament’s second round.

What lies ahead for Woods in 2018 remains uncertain, as the stop-and-start nature of this past season serves as a cautionary tale. But after a harrowing arrest and another serious surgery, he seems once again focused on his game, intent on chasing down a new crop of elite talent, some of whom are barely more than half his age.

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Tiger Woods at his 2017 DUI court hearing.

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 12:30 pm