Singh Climbs into Contention in Canada

By Associated PressJuly 27, 2007, 4:00 pm
2006 Canadian OpenMARKHAM, Ontario -- Vijay Singh patiently worked his way up the leaderboard, leaving playing partner Mike Weir behind again in the Canadian Open.
 
The 2004 winner in a playoff with Weir, Singh shot a 6-under 65 on Friday to finish the second round a stroke behind leaders Steve Allan and John Mallinger.
 
Vijay Singh
Vijay Singh is within a shot of the lead heading into the weekend. (Getty Images)
'The golf course isn't very difficult, but the pin placements are,' said Singh, making his 10th appearance in the event. 'The pin placements are very much on little slopes and you've got to be on the correct side of the pin. A lot of times you're 6, 8 feet away, but you have to read it so well and make a perfect putt to make it.'
 
Weir nearly missed the cut for the second straight year and 11th time in 16 starts in the national championship. The Canadian followed his opening 71 with a 70 to qualify for weekend play by a stroke at 1 under.
 
'It was a struggle all the way around,' the 2003 Masters champion said. 'I'll go to the range and try to figure it out. I've got to play really well to get back into this thing. You never know when your game can come around.'
 
Allan added a 68 to his opening 64 to match Mallinger (66) at 10-under 132 on Angus Glen's North Course. Tripp Isenhour (68) joined Singh at 9 under.
 
'I've been playing well, but just haven't cracked the big finish,' said Allan, a 33-year-old Australian who won the 1998 German Open and 2002 Australian Open.
 
Allan birdied the par-3 17th, hitting his tee shot within inches on the 206-yard hole, and saved par on the par-4 18th with a 10-foot putt.
 
'It's generous off the tee and I'm driving it well,' Allan said.
 
Mallinger had five birdies in his bogey-free round.
 
'My driving's been great this week,' Mallinger said. 'When you drive well here you get some good looks at the pins.'
 
Singh made a 40-foot putt from just off the green on the par-3 14th to reach 8 under, and briefly tied Allan for the lead with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 15th. The three-time major champion also made a 25-footer for par on 17.
 
'I'm looking forward to playing a solid weekend,' Singh said. 'Win or lose, I'll got out there and try to play my game.'
 
The 44-year-old Fijian won the season-opening Mercedes-Benz Championship and the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March to push his PGA Tour victory total to 31. He has won a tour-record 19 times since turning 40.
 
Ryan Palmer (67) and Michael Putnam (68) were 8 under, and defending champion Jim Furyk (66) was another stroke back along with Cliff Kresge (65), Doug LaBelle II (68) and Brandt Snedeker (68). Hunter Mahan, the first-round leader after matching the tournament record with a 62, shot a 74 to drop four strokes back at 6 under.
 
'It didn't feel the same out there,' Mahan said. 'It's still there somewhere. I'll try to work it out and get it going again this weekend.'
 
The top six players on the leaderboard played in fairly calm conditions the first two days, teeing off in the morning Thursday and afternoon Friday. The other half of the draw had tougher wind conditions in the afternoon Thursday and morning Friday.
 
'You'd expect to play in a little more wind than we did,' Allan said. 'We definitely had the good side of the draw.'
 
Furyk, the winner last year at Hamilton Golf and Country Club, shot his 66 in the morning after opening with a 69 in windy conditions Thursday afternoon.
 
'It got a little breezy for our second nine,' Furyk said. 'But much, much better conditions to score in than we had yesterday. ... I was on the good end of the tee times last week at the British Open. So, at the end of the year it all evens out.'
 
Snedeker also played in the morning.
 
'Scoring opportunities were out there,' Snedeker said. 'I took advantage of a few of them, but left some out there. ... Hopefully, I'll get hot with the putter over the weekend and we'll be up there and have something to say.'
 
Stephen Ames had plenty to say Friday, criticizing the course setup after his 69 left him seven strokes back at 3 under.
 
'It's still too soft,' said Ames, a recent Canadian citizen born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago. 'The whole golf course is very soft. I hope the wind picks up a bit and dries it out even more. Then maybe it will be a sterner test instead of a putting competition, which it what it is right now.'
 
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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.

    Getty Images

    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.