Sauers leads by three at U.S. Senior Open

By Associated PressJuly 12, 2014, 11:10 pm

EDMOND, Okla. - Several years ago, a rare skin disorder left Gene Sauers unsure if he would survive. Now he has a chance to win the U.S. Senior Open.

Sauers crept up on the field and shot a 3-under 68 on Saturday to take a three-stroke lead after three rounds at Oak Tree National. He moved to 7 under, passing front-runners Bernhard Langer, Scott Dunlap and Colin Montgomerie along the way.

The journey to this opportunity is what makes Sunday's final round extra special for the 51-year-old Sauers. He said a reaction to a wrongly prescribed medication caused Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a disorder that burned the skin on his arms and legs from the inside out.

While he was in the hospital for seven weeks recovering, he pictured his golf swing. He got out of the hospital in June 2011 and eventually returned to the course.

''The good Lord said I'm going to give you another chance,'' Sauers said. ''Bogey doesn't matter that much anymore. That's when I learned to have a great time and tried to hit everything I was capable of doing, and it worked out today.''

Langer, Dunlap and Montgomerie are tied for second at 4 under.

It looked as if Montgomerie might run away from the field early on in the third round. He opened with birdies on 1 and 3 to jump out to a four-shot lead over Langer, who by then had moved from third to second.

Langer remained steady and Montgomerie bogeyed Nos. 5 and 7. Heading into the back nine, Mongomerie's lead was just one shot.

Then Sauers got going. He had a 33 on the back nine, including birdies on Nos. 12, 16 and 18, to take control heading into the final round. It was an impressive run for someone who hasn't placed higher than 15th in a Champions Tour event this season.



''I've got some help back home,'' Sauers said. ''Some friends and some teachers have been helping me a little bit. They've got me hitting the ball solid now. Building my confidence is mainly what they do. They know I still have it. You know, it's just - go out there and do it. Try not to put too much pressure on myself and try to have fun.''

Montgomerie shot a 3-over 74 after leading at the end of the first two days. He was 3 over on the back nine, but is confident he can regain some of his earlier touch.

''I will try to do what I did Thursday with a 65,'' he said. ''If I can do it Thursday, I can do it Sunday. If I can hit it in the fairway, I can play to the strength of my game, which is the iron game.''

Langer, who has three wins this season on the Champions Tour, was solid, but had several potential birdies just miss during his even-par 71.

''Sometimes they lip in, sometimes they lip out,'' he said. ''It was frustrating. I played really good golf on the back nine, the last nine holes, had a lot of chances, lot of opportunities and I think I had four lip-outs or something and left one short on 18 and could have easily been three better but could have, should have, would have doesn't count in this game.''

Langer isn't conceding yet.

''I played pretty solid golf for three days in a row and the putter was hot yesterday,'' he said. ''Wasn't so hot today, but, you know, we'll see what happens tomorrow. We've still got 18 holes to go. It's a lot of golf left, and anything can happen.''

Marco Dawson, who shot a 76 on Friday, rebounded with a 69 on Saturday. He left Friday disappointed and saying he was unsure how to play the course. On Saturday, he was 1 over through six, and then got on a torrid stretch that included birdies on Nos. 7, 8, 10, 12, 13 and 15 to move into a tie for the lead at 5 under.

Dawson bogeyed Nos. 16, 17 and 18 to fall to 2 under. He is tied for fifth with Jeff Sluman and Vijay Singh.

Dawson said he expects it to be tough to get good scores on Sunday because the course will continue to dry out in near 100-degree heat.

''Unless somebody just gets really hot with the putter and gets some good bounces, you know, the best score may be 4, 5 under tomorrow,'' he said.

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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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