Watney Furyk trail Kuchar at PGA Championship

By Associated PressAugust 14, 2010, 8:33 pm

2010 PGA Championship

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. – Now that the fog has lifted at the PGA Championship, things are getting interesting.

Matt Kuchar held onto his lead without hitting a shot, Jim Furyk climbed up the leaderboard with a flurry of birdies and Tiger Woods is on the prowl with two rounds in the books. And after two days of wind, rain and fog, conditions are just about perfect for the big names to make some big moves when the third round begins Saturday afternoon.

“With the dots where they are for this afternoon, there’s some really tough pins, but there’s some pretty accessible pins,” Woods said of the third-round setup at Whistling Straits. “Pins that you can take, be pretty aggressive at. You’ll probably see some pretty good scores this afternoon.”

Seventy-two players made the cut at 1-over. Among those who didn’t were Padraig Harrington, who had gotten himself back to even par only to double-bogey the 18th hole. British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, U.S. Open winner Graeme McDowell, defending PGA champ Y.E. Yang and Ryder Cup captains Corey Pavin and Colin Montgomerie also missed the cut.

Players will go off of both tees and in groups of three Saturday afternoon in hopes of making up some of the time lost in the long fog delays that delayed the start of play Thursday and Friday.

Kuchar was at 8 under after a 69 Friday, and had to wait until lunchtime to see if his lead would hold up.

It did.

Furyk birdied four of his first five holes after play resumed Saturday morning, finishing with a 68 that got him to 6 under. J.B. Holmes (66) is also at 6 under, trailing Kuchar by two strokes and Nick Watney by one. Bubba Watson (71), Vijay Singh (66) and Ryan Palmer (68) joined the big group at 5 under.

But the biggest mover was Woods.

The turmoil in his personal life has spilled over onto the golf course, and he arrived at Whistling Straits fresh off the worst performance of his career. After showing flashes of his old masterful self in the first round, Woods was back to the unpredictable play that’s dogged him all season.

It looked like more of the same Saturday, when he had to scramble early just to make the turn at even par. But he settled down with a birdie to start the back nine, and his 70 has him at 3 under – close enough that Kuchar and everyone else ahead of Woods ought to keep an eye on him.

This was the first time he was under par in back-to-back rounds since the Memorial. And it could have been even better.

After hitting to 8 feet for a birdie on 17, he pulled off a spectacular 5-wood out of the bunker on 18.

“I had no play straight at it,” Woods said of the bunker shot. “I couldn’t build a stance. But because of the slice I had to play, I had a stance for that. And so I went in and tried to play it and I pulled it off.”

Almost made birdie there, too, but his long putt stopped a few inches short of the hole.

“As I explained earlier … I was hitting it great and putting like a dog. And look where I was,” Woods said of his recent struggles. “I’m not hitting it well here and I’m putting well, and I’m right in the ballgame.”

The fog that has wreaked havoc on tee times at the PGA and further muddled what was already a wide-open championship finally lifted Saturday, and the golfers who came back early to finish their second rounds found far more favorable conditions. The wind that had been gusting Friday night was down to a whisper, the humidity was less oppressive and skies were mostly clear.

“Today was pretty much perfect,” Holmes said. “A little bit of breeze, but not much. The greens were good. So it was an opportunity to make some birdies.”

Furyk had birdied No. 9 just before the horn blew Friday night, and picked right back up Saturday morning with a birdie on his first hole. He bogeyed the par-5 11th, picking the wrong target on his second shot and landing in the rough.

But he rebounded with three straight birdies, giving him seven for the round.

“In a stretch of nine holes – over two days,” Furyk said. “The only disappointing part is I played the par-5s one over – three pars and a bogey, which is poor. But the other 14 holes I played beautifully and scored very well.”

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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.