Twenty-year-old Fowler shares 36-hole lead

By Associated PressOctober 21, 2009, 11:45 pm

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. ' Rickie Fowler is making his presence felt in a hurry as a professional golfer.

The 20-year-old former Oklahoma State standout, in his second PGA Tour event since turning pro, shared the lead with Englishman Greg Owen halfway through the Frys.com Open on Friday.

Both shot 6-under 64s in the second round in ideal conditions on the Raptor Course at Grayhawk Golf Club to reach 11-under 129.

Rickie Fowler
Rickie Fowler tees off Friday at the Frys.com Open. (Getty Images)

Justin Leonard also shot a 64 and was one behind at 10 under. First-round leader Nick O'Hern (68) and Ryan Moore (65) were 9 under in the third stop of the PGA Tour's Fall Series.

Heath Slocum was in a group of five at 8 under. Troy Matteson shot a 61 and was in a pack with Tom Lehman (65) and Rocco Mediate (66), among others, at 7 under.

Fowler, who helped the United States beat Britain and Ireland in the Walker Cup last month, tied for seventh in his first PGA Tour start as a pro last week in Las Vegas at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

He was even for the round through five holes on Friday, then kicked his game into high gear with an eagle on the par-4, 345-yard sixth.

I swung out about as hard as I could and hit it about as hard as I could and it went about as straight as a ball could go, Fowler said. I ended up about 12 feet behind the hole and rolled in a good putt to kind of get things jump started.

The youngster was unflappable throughout the round, which ended with a birdie on No. 18.

This wasn't all new to him.

He noted he had played a few Tour events as an amateur, including two U.S. Opens. He also played stops on the Nationwide Tour and two Walker Cups.

So I feel I've been through plenty of experiences to make me feel comfortable out here, Fowler said.

You know, what you're seeing is pretty much how I feel. I just feel like I'm going around and having fun. Right now the game feels good, so that makes it even more fun.

He plans to go to PGA Tour qualifying school after this weekend. That would be unnecessary if he wins the tournament, though, because a victory would qualify him for next year's full PGA Tour.

Fowler, who lives in Las Vegas, seems a natural for the game. He says he hasn't had a swing coach since high school.

Other than that, I'm basically on my own and doing my thing, he said.

Like Fowler, Owen played his round in the morning on the north Scottsdale course, not far from the site of February's FBR Open.

Owen entered the event 116th on the 2009 earnings list with $677,627. The top 125 automatically qualify for next year's Tour.

First of all, a good week would mean I've got a job for next year, he said.

Owen's best PGA Tour finish was a tie for ninth at this year's John Deere Classic.

Leonard is a 12-time PGA Tour winner and part of this year's victorious U.S. Presidents Cup team.

Asked if he came to the tournament because he needed to just because he likes the Phoenix area,

Leonard said it's kind of a combination.

I played here two years ago and enjoyed the golf course and had a nice week, he said. I think the fact I had three weeks off after the playoffs and to really get rested up is another reason I am here.

Leonard said he spent part of those three weeks analyzing the year and working on a few things, you know, toward next year. I like the way things are going so far this week.

The Australian O'Hern began the day with a two-shot lead after shooting a 63 on Thursday. Starting his round on the back nine, he had an eagle on his second hole ' the par-5 11th ' to go 9 under.

Then came the 18th, when his second shot hit the water and he wound up with a double-bogey to fall back to minus-7. He regrouped for two birdies and seven pars on the final nine holes.

It wasn't a good way to finish that nine, O'Hern said, but as I said, I was happy with how I played the second nine just to get over that as quick as possible.

Defending champion Cameron Beckman shot his second 70 and missed the cut.

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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.

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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.