Watson leads season-opening Mitsubishi

By Associated PressJanuary 24, 2010, 4:35 am

KAUPULEHU-KONA, Hawaii (AP)—Tom Watson knows the simple solution to turningaround an ugly putting performance.

“Make them,” he said. “Just make them all and that’s what I did on theback nine.”

Watson birdied six holes on the back nine for a 6-under 66 and a two-strokelead Saturday over senior newcomer Fred Couples after the second round of theChampions Tour’s season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship.

The 60-year-old Watson, coming off a win with Jack Nicklaus in the ChampionsSkins at Kaanapali, overcame a rocky start and finished with nine birdies andthree bogeys for a 15-under 129 total.

Players had a second day of mostly calm and hazy conditions at Hualalai GolfCourse, with the volcanic fog from Kilauea covering the Kona Coast. The scoreswere low again on this resort course, which is among the easiest on tour. Watsoncalled it a quarterhorse race.

“I hope my horse doesn’t trip. I’m letting loose. I’m not holding back onthe reins,” he said.

Couples, who shot a bogey-free 66, is making his first official ChampionsTour start on a sponsor exemption to the winners-only event.

“It’s not like you’re going to be a nervous wreck, you just want toaccomplish a goal and that’s to win,” Couples said. “It’s been done before. Idon’t know how many guys have played their first champions event and won. Butthat’s my goal.”

Fifteen players have won in their Champions Tour debut. They includeNicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player and three players last year, includingTom Lehman .

Lehman had a 67 to join Michael Allen (66) at 12 under. They were a strokeahead of Mark O’Meara (65) and Phil Blackmar (67).

Watson was paired with Lehman and will be with Couples on Sunday.

“Freddie and Tom gives our tour some street cred,” Watson said.

Couples said he’s looking forward to playing with Watson again. They werelast paired together at the 2003 British Open at Royal St. George’s.

After momentarily giving away the lead when he missed three very short parputts on the front nine, Watson surged back to the top with five straightbirdies to start the back nine to reach 14 under and open up a three-strokelead.

The eight-time major winner got the birdiefest going by two putting forbirdie on the par-5 No. 10.

“I made my first birdie at 10 and I said, ‘Let’s see how many birdies I canmake on the back nine,’ and I kept on knocking it pretty close … lo andbehold, that was the turnaround I needed,” Watson said.

He followed with birdie putts from 8, 15 and 12 feet, and added a tap-in forbirdie on 14 after a near-perfect 8-iron shot.

The last time he had five birdies in a row was the first round of the 2008Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am, where he went on to win.

After parring 15, Watson hit an 8-iron to 12 feet for his final birdie.

Watson is seeking his first win since teaming with Andy North to take the2008 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf. Watson was winless last year, but finishedsecond at the British Open.

Watson, who was bogey free Friday, struggled with his putter early. Hestarted with a three-putt from 18 on No. 1 where he missed a 3-footer for par.He then missed a gimme on par-3 eighth and a 4-foot putt for par on the nexthole, which dropped him a stroke off the lead.

“I have a tendency of yanking it way inside and shut the face, and I justcan’t get away from it,” Watson said. “It’s a quirk in my stroke. I’ve foughtit for a long time. I haven’t been able to solve it yet.”

Just as it appeared Watson would self-destruct on the greens, he regainedcontrol of his putting and the lead.

Watson also led the first two rounds and took a three-stroke advantage intoSunday in 2005, but lost in a playoff to Dana Quigley , who closed with a 66.

Couples, who turned 50 in October, used his length to his advantage. The1992 Masters champion was steady all day, but his best shot came on aspectacular par save from the bunker on No. 11.

“You don’t hole bunker shots for par. It might be my only time I do thatall season, but it was good timing,” he said.

After his second shot skipped across the green and rolled into the bunker,Couples chunked his sand shot, which bounced off the grass and rolled back towithin a couple feet of Couples’ shoes.

He then holed his second bunker shot to save par and a share of the lead at10 under, drawing a wide grin from Couples.

“I did not want to make a bogey. I thought I could chop at it and pop it upand get it going, which I did on the second one,” Couples said. “That washuge.”

He closed the round with birdies on Nos. 16 and 17.

Lehman took the outright lead at 10 under by birdieing the par-3 fifth, ahole he triple bogeyed Friday. Watson took the lead right back with tap-inbirdies on the next two holes. He nearly holed it from the bunker on the par-5seventh, with his ball hitting the pin.

Lehman started the day with a birdie, hitting a wedge from about 80 yards to3 inches of the cup. But he couldn’t make a move after his birdie on No. 5 with10 straight pars.

The 74-year-old Player shot his age and for the 29th time in his storiedcareer, but was in last place at 6 over. Player got the birdie he needed toreach his age by holing a bunker shot for birdie on 16.

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Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'


President at the Presidents Cup


Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump


Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73


Cart on the green


Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green


Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open


Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National


Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open


Trump golf properties

Vandalism

Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

Finances


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers


Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover


Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up


Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.