Tom Watson falls 11 back at US Senior Open

By Associated PressJuly 31, 2009, 4:00 pm
CARMEL, Ind. ' Tom Watsons game has crashed to earth at Crooked Stick.
 
The darling of the golf world after nearly winning the British Open at age 59, Watson shot an even-par 72 on Friday at the U.S. Senior Open to finish the first two rounds at 1 under ' 11 strokes behind amateur Tim Jackson.
 
I dont like being this far behind, Watson said. Im going to have to drive the ball better, put myself in a better position.
 
Watson said the wind came from a different direction Friday, making it tough for someone who was unfamiliar with the course and had just one practice round before starting competition. He said the Pete Dye-designed course is tough.
 
Youve got land mines here and land mines there, a lot of blind shots, Watson said. He (Dye) always blinds you, you can never get a good look at where youre going. So, youre always kind of guessing, and thats what makes it tough for me.
 
Despite falling behind, Watson has heard steady cheers this week. He said he hasnt tired of people reminding him of the British Open performance.
 
Playing the game as many years as I have, anytime you get a round of applause, it means maybe youve still got a little bit of it, havent lost it all.
 

 
TWO-AND-DONE: Several big-name players missed the cut.
 
Tom Kite, Fuzzy Zoeller, Lanny Wadkins and Ben Crenshaw were among those who wont be playing Saturday.
 
Kites 8-over performance ended his streak of top-10 senior finishes at five. He tied for eighth at the Senior British Open.
 
Zoeller, the local favorite who lives about 120 miles from the course, shot a 3-over 75 on Friday to finish at 9 over.
 
Wadkins shot a respectable 2-over 74 on Friday, but that wasnt enough to overcome the disastrous 12-over 84 he posted on Thursday.
 
Crenshaw, second in the U.S. Senior Open in 2007, finished at 10 over.
 

 
REBOUNDERS: Hale Irwin, Robin Freeman and defending champion Eduardo Romero bounced back from rough performances Thursday to make the cut.
 
Irwin shot a 6-over 78 on Thursday, then had a 5-under 67 on Friday.
 
Im delighted with it, any way I can get it, but disappointed with yesterday, he said.
 
Irwin has reason to remain confident. He won the 1998 Senior Open after shooting a 77 on the opening day.
 
Freeman shot a 4-under 68 on Friday to move to 6-under overall, a tie for sixth place.
 
Freeman has competed in three PGA Tour events this season, but this is his first Senior event. The 50-year-old from Coronado, Calif., said he played well Friday, despite the wind.
 
If youre hitting it solid, the wind is not going to affect it very much, he said. I was playing solid and that was the key for me.
 
He called the Senior Open experience a rebirth.
 
Over the last couple years, I had a couple injuries, things everybody has gone through, and Im looking forward to having a fresh start and hopefully, this week will get me going.
 
Romero bounced back from a shaky performance Thursday to finish with a 2-under 70 on Friday.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Senior Open
     
    Associated Press Writer Keith Robinson contributed to this report.
  • 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.

    Getty Images

    Wie takes shot at LPGA dress code in crop top

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 10, 2017, 5:33 pm

    The new LPGA dress code got mixed reviews when it was announced in July, and Michelle Wie is taking full advantage of her offseason with no restrictions.

    The 28-year-old former U.S. Women's Open champion is keeping her game sharp while back in her home state of Hawaii, but couldn't help taking a shot at the rules while doing it, posting a photo to Instagram of her playing golf in a crop top with the caption, "Offseason = No dress code fine."

    Offseason = No dress code fines #croptopdroptop

    A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

    Wie isn't the first to voice her displeasure with the rules. Lexi Thompson posted a similar photo and caption to Instagram shortly after the policy was announced.