Stricker shoots for third straight Deere

By Associated PressJuly 6, 2011, 9:16 pm

SILVIS, Ill. – On just about any other day, Steve Stricker’s 60 in the opening round of last year’s John Deere Classic would have left him comfortably ahead and soaking in the adulation.

But July 8, 2010, wasn’t your routine day on the PGA Tour. Even after shooting 11 under, Stricker found himself a shot off the lead, because Paul Goydos had fashioned what then was just the fourth 59 in tour history.

“It was pretty hard to believe that he shoots 59 and has a one-shot lead, where I shoot 60 and I’m down by one,” Stricker said Wednesday. “Whatever way you want to look at it, it’s pretty remarkable.”

Never before had two scores that low been recorded on a single day in a PGA event. Stricker went on to win the tournament for the second straight year, beating Goydos by two strokes, and now faces the task of winning a tournament three years in a row, another rare feat.

It’s been done only 20 times on the tour, most recently by Tiger Woods, who completed a three-peat at the Bridgestone Invitational in 2007

Adding to the challenge Stricker will face when he tees off Thursday is one of the strongest fields at the Deere Classic, which many of golf’s marquee names skip because it falls a week before the British Open.

Still, the last two British Open champions are here, Stewart Cink (2009) and Louis Oosthuizen (2010). Also playing are Mark Wilson, a two-time winner on the tour this year, Zach Johnson, David Toms, Davis Love III and Jason Day, the 23-year-old Australian who finished second at this year’s Masters and U.S. Open.

Oh, yes, Goydos is back, too, re-igniting some of the buzz he created with his iconic round a year ago, a score duplicated later that summer by Stuart Appleby at The Greenbrier Classic.

“I was not ready for the national story it became, quite frankly,” Goydos said. “I thought it was a cool thing to accomplish personally, but I really didn’t think it would be that big of a deal. I was wrong.”

More surprising to Goydos than leading by only one after his magical round was what he saw the next day, when he played in the afternoon.

“I went to Starbucks and got a hot chocolate and a pastry of some sort, came back to my room, flipped on the computer and I was three back,” he said. “That was more of like, what? I’m not even leading or part of the story anymore.”

Stricker will be part of the story until he falters on the TPC Deere Run course, which hasn’t happened recently.

“You like that extra pressure,” Stricker said. “Hopefully, I can get an opportunity again coming down the stretch on Sunday. But it’s a long road. You got to play good. There’s a lot of good players here this week, so it’ll be tough.”

At No. 5 in the world, the 44-year-old from Madison, Wis., is the highest-ranked American. He won the Memorial last month, leads the tour in birdies and putting average and is fourth in scoring.

“He’s a machine,” Johnson said.

He certainly was last year, when he set a tournament record for 36 holes and broke the PGA record for 54 holes after a third-round 62. Given the condition of the course, scores like that aren’t likely to be repeated this week.

Last year, rain softened the course and left it vulnerable to low scores. It’s drier now, so the greens and fairways are firmer.

“Fairways are bouncing a little bit,” Love said. “The greens are bouncing a little bit, which is nice. And you’ve got to watch out for Steve Stricker again and the guys that usually play well here.

“But if it stays like it is now, scores probably won’t be as low.”

Oosthuizen is playing in the Deere Classic for the first time and came partly out of curiosity. He bought a John Deere tractor for his farm in South Africa after winning the British Open and wanted to see what the company was all about, so he toured a Deere assembly plant Tuesday.

Wouldn’t he have been better off playing in the Scottish Open this week instead of checking out the cab of a combine?

“It was 50-50,” Oosthuizen said. “But at the end of the day, you’re going to play in perfect weather over here. In Scotland, you can get not great weather and I just felt I’d rather have a proper week where I can play and work a bit on my game.

“I’ve known links golf quite a while and I didn’t feel it was necessary for me to play a links golf course before the Open.”

Besides, Deere has chartered a jet to fly golfers to England on Sunday night.

“A 10-hour flight, I think it will be,” Oosthuizen said. “So it’s a bit better than the trip I had to take here, which was 36 hours at the end of the day.”

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.