Villegas keeps lead after 2 rounds in St Louis

By Associated PressSeptember 6, 2008, 4:00 pm
BMW ChampionshipST. LOUIS ' Camilo Villegas overcame a four-putt double bogey and birdied his final hole for a 4-under 66 that gave him a one-shot lead over Jim Furyk after the second round of a marathon Saturday at the BMW Championship.
Rain forced the tournament to start a day late, and players faced 36 holes to get back on schedule. But fog caused a 90-minute delay in the morning, meaning the third round would not finish on time.
Villegas is borrowing an idea from Vijay Singh by trying to convince himself he is the best putter on the PGA TOUR. It worked most of the day but not on No. 9. Villegas lagged a 60-foot putt to about 4 feet, badly missed his par putt, then missed a 3-foot comeback putt.
He was visibly angry, but not for long.
Yeah, it wasnt pretty there, but came back and made birdie-birdie, Villegas said.
Villegas holed a 30-footer on the 10th, added a short birdie on the 11th to make up for the double bogey, and continued to hit it close the rest of the round. He made a 12-foot birdie on the final hole to finish the first two rounds at 9-under 131.
Even so, the 26-year-old from Colombia missed three birdie putts inside 10 feet, a testament to how well he is hitting his irons on rain-softened Bellerive Country Club.
Furyk holed out with a wedge from 114 yards for eagle on No. 2, his 11th hole, then finished his course-record round of 62 with five straight birdies, the longest from 15 feet on No. 7.
Through 10 (holes), I probably didnt see a 62 coming, Furyk said. And then you hole out a wedge and a whole bunch of putts go in. I was real happy about the way I hit it.
Furyk has not had the lead in any round on the PGA TOUR since winning the Canadian Open last year, but he is headed in the right direction, especially with the Ryder Cup approaching.
Furyk and Ben Curtis were the only Americans who qualified for the team without a win this year.
Phil Mickelson also was fond of seeing a few putts drop on his way to a 65, leaving him two shots behind. D.J. Trahan, who closed with an 80 in the Deutsche Bank Championship that probably kept him from being a Ryder Cup pick, had a 63 and was in the group at 134.
Another shot behind was Sergio Garcia after a bogey on his final hole. But what put Garcia in the hunt was an ace on the third hole, a 5-iron from 205 yards. He said it was his first ace in competition.
Ive had like seven of them, but always practice rounds and things like that, Garcia said. That was very exciting for me. You dont expect to make it all the way from 205 yards, so that was nice.
Vijay Singh, leading the FedExCup standings after winning the first two playoff events, had another 70 and was nine shots behind. The $10 million prize should be safe as long as none of the top 10 players in the standings wins the final two events.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - BMW Championship
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

    Masters victory

    Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

    Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

    Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative

    Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ

    Green jacket tour

    Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

    Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

    Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket

    Man of the people

    Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

    Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

    Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief

    Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together

    Ace at 17th at Sawgrass

    Growing family

    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

    Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018

    Departure from TaylorMade

    Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

    Squashed beef with Paddy

    Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

    Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'

    Victory at Valderrama

    Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
    Getty Images

    Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

    Well, this is a one new one.

    According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

    “No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

    Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

    “If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

    The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

    “I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

    The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

    Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

    Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.