Rose Weir in Pursuit of Goggin

By Associated PressMay 31, 2008, 4:00 pm
2007 The Memorial TournamentDUBLIN, Ohio -- Mathew Goggin might have to change his travel plans.
The Aussie arranged a 5:50 p.m. flight to Memphis on Sunday so he could get a good nights sleep before playing in a U.S. Open sectional qualifier on Monday. But his departure would be at about the same time Jack Nicklaus will be presenting a check for $1,080,000 and a crystal trophy to the winner of the Memorial Tournament.
I might not want to get on that, Goggin cracked.
In an up-and-down round, Goggin followed his first-round 65 with an even-par 72 to share the lead with Kenny Perry through Fridays second round at Muirfield Village.
The next flight is at, like, 7 oclock, said Goggin, who is at 7-under 137. So Ill just see. Its one of those sort of things that if you miss the flight, its a good thing.
Perry, who shot a 71, is trying to join Tiger Woods as the only players to win the Memorial three times. His wins came in 1991 and 2003. If he wins again, hell be the oldest Memorial winner at the age of 48.
Perry and Goggin both persevered despite gusting winds that added to the treachery of the course, already made dangerous by thick rough and greens that are so fast that golf balls roll like a marble on granite.
It was brutal out there, said Perry, who had waltzed through an opening-round 66 to tie Jerry Kelly a shot back of Goggin. You put slick conditions with 15 or 20 mph winds, its hard to pick a club. And then its hard to stop the ball from the wind just moving it all the time. On the greens, too.
Phil Mickelson, a winner last week at Colonial, struggled to a 75 that put him at 147, then said you had to be part mathematician and part meteorologist to figure out where shots would end up.
The tough thing was putting and chipping because it was a 10 percent effect, he said. So if you had a 50-footer, the wind would blow it five feet (off line). That was the biggest challenge.
There were plenty of high scores. Billy Andrade opened with a 72 but came back with an 85. Bubba Watson went from 72 to 84. So did Mark Calcavecchia. All missed the cut of 6-over 150, the highest at the tournament since 1990.
Yet many of the highest-profile disasters came within the rounds of the leaders.
Goggin started out as if he would run away and hide. He birdied four of the first five holes to open a four-stroke lead on Kelly, who was playing in the same group. After parring two holes'he only had five pars in the round'he would go on to post a double bogey, five bogeys and three birdies the rest of the way.
I had seven birdies today, he said. The five bogeys and a double, well, that was probably a negative.
Goggin blamed his inexperience at the course for some of his mistakes. The rest was the wind.
Perry used a word you dont often hear to describe the effects of wind.
You would be down there (ready to putt) and the ball would be sitting there oscillating, he said. And that will unnerve you a little bit.
He hasnt been unnerved much. After needing just 22 putts in the first round, despite all that oscillation he used only 26 in the second round.
The Memorial has a reputation for being disrupted by rainstorms but so far this week the skies have been clear and the weather temperate. That is supposed to change overnight with a storm front dropping at least an inch of rain on the course.
That wasnt good news for Kelly, not a big hitter off the tee. If the fairways end up saturated, he guessed hed be hitting long irons into most of the par-4 holes, putting him at a distinct disadvantage.
If it stayed like this the rest of the week it would be a heck of a weekend, said Kelly, who had a 72. It would be a shame to get too much water. Hopefully we dont, because we all like to see it play tough and fast and have the ball bouncing.
Luke Donald shot a 71 and was alone in fourth at 139, followed by Nick OHern, Matt Kuchar, Steve Lowry and Geoff Ogilvy at 140.
One ugly incident occurred while Mickelson and Sergio Garcia were walking up the 15th fairway.
A fan yelled, America hates you, Sergio.
First, Mickelsons caddie, Jim Mackay, came over to berate the fan, then Mickelson stared at the guy and said, Cmon, man, while shaking his head.
Garcia remained stoic through the whole episode.

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    Fleetwood rallies to defend Abu Dhabi title

    By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 pm

    The 2018 European Tour season has begun just as the 2017 one ended: with Tommy Fleetwood's name atop the standings.

    Facing the most difficult conditions of the week, Fleetwood charged down the stretch to shoot a 7-under 65 in the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, good enough for a two-shot win and a successful title defense.

    Abu Dhabi was the start of Fleetwood's resurgence a year ago, the first of two European Tour victories en route to the season-long Race to Dubai title. This time around the Englishman started the final round two shots off the lead but rallied with six birdies over his final nine holes to reclaim the trophy.

    Fleetwood was five shots behind countryman Ross Fisher when he made the turn, but he birdied the par-5 10th and then added four birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 12-16. The decisive shot came on the final hole, when his pitch from the left rough nestled within a few feet of the hole for a closing birdie.

    Fleetwood's 22-under total left him two shots ahead of Fisher and four shots clear of Rory McIlroy and Matthew Fitzpatrick. After entering the week ranked No. 18, Fleetwood is expected to move to at least No. 12 in the world when the new rankings are published.

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    Garcia cruises to five-shot win in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:10 pm

    SINGAPORE - Sergio Garcia played 27 holes on the last day without dropping a shot to win the Singapore Open by five strokes Sunday in an ominous display of his newfound self-belief as he prepares to defend his Masters title.

    Still brimming with confidence after claiming his first major title at Augusta National last year, Garcia started his new season with a runaway victory at the Sentosa Golf Club, finishing at 14-under 270.

    Returning to the course just after dawn to complete his third round after play was suspended on Saturday because of lightning strikes, Garcia finished his last nine holes in 4 under for a round of 66 to take a one-shot lead into the final round.

    With organizers desperate to avert the constant threat of more bad weather and finish the tournament on time, Garcia promptly returned to the first tee shortly after and fired a flawless 3-under 68, cruising to victory with 10 straight pars as his rivals floundered in the stifling humidity.

    ''It may have looked easy, but it wasn't easy. You still have to hit a lot of good shots out there,'' Garcia said. ''It's always great to start with a win, to do it here at this golf course against a good field in Asia on conditions that weren't easy. Hopefully I can ride on this momentum.''

    Garcia's closest rivals at the end were Japan's Satoshi Kodaira (71) and South African Shaun Norris (70). Both birdied the last hole to share second spot but neither was ever close enough on the last day to challenge the leader.

    Full-field scores from the Singapore Open

    ''I could not reach Sergio. I was thinking, 12 or 13 under for the win, but he went beyond that,'' Kodaira said.

    Jazz Janewattananond (71) and his fellow Thai Danthai Bonnma (73) finished equal fourth at 8 under, earning themselves a spot in this year's British Open, while American Sean Crocker, who was given an invitation to the event after turning pro late last year, also won a place at Carnoustie by finishing in a tie for sixth.

    Garcia made just three bogeys in 72 holes and his victory provided the 38-year-old with the 33rd title of his professional career and his sixth on the Asian Tour.

    He has also won three titles in the last 12 months, including the Masters, and his game looks to be in better shape now than it was a year ago.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for Augusta National because of the steamy conditions and the testing stop-start nature of the tournament, which is regularly stopped because of inclement weather.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore a year ago, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    "I'm extremely happy with how the week went. It was a tough day and a tough week, with the stopping and going. Fortunately, the weather held on. Still, it was hard to play 27 holes under this heat and I can't wait to get a cold shower,'' Garcia said. ''I came with some good confidence and wishing that I will play well. I hit the ball solid the whole week and didn't miss many shots.''

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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.