In tough conditions, Jimenez takes U.S. Sr. Open lead

By Associated PressAugust 13, 2016, 9:03 pm

UPPER ARLINGTON, Ohio - Miguel Angel Jimenez was back on top on a Saturday, this time in the U.S. Senior Open at difficult Scioto County Club. The 52-year-old Spanish player was looking for a better late Sunday afternoon result after missing chances in his last two events.

Jimenez put himself in position to break out of the title funk Saturday, finishing off a 1-under 69 in gusty wind and sheets of rain to take a one-stroke lead. He was in a lot better shape in Scotland and Minnesota in the last two tournaments - and came up empty.

Three weeks ago at Carnoustie in the Senior British Open, Jimenez took a four-stroke lead into the last day, only to shoot 75 and tie for third - three strokes behind winner Paul Broadhurst. Last week in the 3M Championship, Jimenez was a stroke ahead entering the final round and ended up losing when Joe Durant shot 63 and eagled the first hole of a playoff.

''Just keep playing golf and give myself patience. That's the main thing,'' Jimenez said. ''Whatever happens, happens. Obviously, at the Open in Scotland, I lost that tournament there without playing bad, and here tomorrow we have to play 18 holes, and whatever happens happens. Just keep focused and enjoy yourself. That's the main thing.''

Jimenez won in Mississippi in March for his third career PGA Tour Champions victory. He has 15 regular European Tour victories, the last in the 2014 Spanish Open at a tour-record 50 years, 133 days. And ''The Mechanic'' is famous for the quirky, fun-loving ways that have prompted some to call him ''The Most Interesting Man in the World.''

''Of course, you have to enjoy yourself, and I enjoy myself,'' Jimenez said. ''You look at my office, no? It's a great life, no? That's what I want to do in my life is play golf. I will do what I want to do in my life for a living, and golf is not my job. It's also my hobby. Of course, when I finish here, I'm going to have a big fat cigar with a nice glass of wine and enjoy my wife and my family and my people who are here.''

Jimenez had a 3-under 207 total on Jack Nicklaus' boyhood course. Gene Sauers was second after a 71. Ian Woosnam (70), Loren Roberts (70) and senior newcomer Billy Mayfair (75) were tied for third at 1 over.

Jimenez was one of just four players who were below par for the day. Three strokes behind Joey Sindelar entering the round, Jimenez had four birdies and three bogeys, with the three bogeys coming in a four-hole stretch. After making two birdies on the front nine, he birdied the 12th, bogeyed 13 and 14, birdie 15, bogeyed 16 and finished with two pars just as sheets of driving rain rolled in on top of the suffocating heat and humidity that has worn down the players all week.

''The conditions, they are tough today, especially because of the wind,'' Jimenez said. ''The greens were softer on the first two rounds, but it's the gusting wind there that (makes it) not easy to choose the club, the right club. Sometimes it will go a place that you don't (want) to.''

Sauers also battled the wind and had four birdies and five bogeys.

''The heat, the wind, the rain on the last hole - it was a brutal day,'' said the 53-year-old Sauers, winless on the senior tour.

Sindelar had a 77 to drop into a tie for sixth at 2 over.

''Golf's hard,'' the 58-year-old former Ohio State player said. ''U.S. Open's harder. And I thought for the most part, I was pretty happy with the way I played. It wasn't horrible. Just a couple of uglies, and it played hard out there. Problem is, we've got a pretty good guy out there in the lead and a couple more really good ones right behind him.''

First-round leader Vijay Singh was 6 over, following his opening 66 with two 75s.

Getty Images

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.