Zach Johnson shoots 60 at soggy Texas Open

By Associated PressMay 16, 2009, 4:00 pm
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SAN ANTONIO ' Defending champion Zach Johnson matched the La Cantera course record with a 10-under 60 on Saturday to take a three-stroke lead in the suspended third round of the rain-soaked Texas Open.
 
Johnson holed out from 84 yards for an eagle on the par-4 seventh and had eight birdies on the soggy course in the round interrupted by a five-hour rain delay. He tapped in for par on 18 seconds after the horn blew and darkness suspended play.
 
Zach Johnson
Zach Johnson had eight birdies and an eagle in his Saturday 60. (Getty Images)
Paul Goydos and three-time champion Justin Leonard were 12 under through 12 holes. Theyll resume the round Sunday morning.
 
I hit a lot of quality shots. I think I had to get up and down twice for par, Johnson said. I dont think I missed a green on the backside.
 
Johnson wore his sunglasses down to the end as dusk turned to dark, having to peer over them on the tee box at No. 18 before pushing them right back on his face. He needed just 11 holes to erase a seven-stroke deficit after waiting until nearly 4:25 p.m. to start his round.
 
An afternoon storm dumped more than 2 inches of rain, causing the longest delay on the PGA Tour this year. Fourteen players will finish the round Sunday before starting the final 18, when theyll re-pair.
 
Marc Leishman and were Scott Sterling were 11 under before play suspended. Leishman had one hole left and Sterling will resume at 15.
 
Kent Jones and Fredrik Jacobson were 10 under through 14.
 
With the wind at his back, Johnson used an 8-iron on the par-3 17th tee to set up his final birdie. He made a little fist pump after sinking the easy 7-footer, knowing he had a chance at a becoming just the fourth player to match a PGA Tour-record 59.
 
His second shot from the fairway got him to about 17 feet. The small gallery, thinned out the by lengthy delay and encroaching twilight, groaned when he came up 2 feet short.
 
I did not want to leave that putt short, Johnson said. But, whatever, it was nearly pitch black.
 
In October, Johnson won the Texas Opens final fall go-around before the tournament was moved to spring. The 2007 Masters winner picked up a sixth Tour victory in January at the Sony Open in Hawaii, and the 33-year-old now has in his sights what would be a sixth tour victory.
 
Sixth in the FedEx Cup standings, Johnson could vault to first with a win.
 
Hell have to hold off Goydos and Leonard, who is going for a record fourth Texas Open title and was the tournaments last back-to-back winner, in 2000 and 2001.
 
Leonard was both lucky and unrattled before darkness halted his pursuit of Johnson. Lining up for a possible birdie on the par-4 fifth, Leonard didnt flinch when a car passenger coasting down a nearby street hollered Woo-hoa! out the window just as Leonard was about to play an 11-foot putt.
 
Leonard sank it perfectly, the second of three birdies. Three holes later on the par-4 eighth, his tee shot sailed left of the fairway, bounced off the cart path and into the trees ' all before rolling back on the fairway.
 
Despite being three strokes back, Leonard took some comfort in still having 24 holes to play Sunday.
 
I feel like Ive got a couple birdie holes to play in the morning, and then hopefully have some in the afternoon, Leonard said.
 
Goydos, whose 12 under had led after two rounds, lost two strokes quickly with bogeys on the par-3 third and sixth. His 120-yard tee shot on No. 6 sailed into a water hazard and cost him a drop.
 
On the next hole, Goydos pitched out from the rough behind the green to set up a 4-foot birdie, and got another on 12 before play was suspended.
 
Dustin Johnson surged from the back of the field with an 8-under 62, a career best for the 24-year-old rising star from South Carolina. He survived the cut on the number at 1 under, but quickly climbed the leaderboard with four consecutive par-4 birdies on Nos. 8 through 12.
 
He had nine birdies and got his only blemish with a bogey on the par-4 15th ' the hole where lightning shooed Johnson off the fairway. When play resumed, the wind had shifted and Johnsons second shot landed into the bunker beside the green because he didnt adjust.
 
(The wind) completely went opposite, Dustin Johnson said.
 
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  • If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

    She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

    You don’t believe it, though.

    She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

    Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

    Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

    “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

    Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

    Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

    At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

    She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

    She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

    And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.


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    There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

    It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

    Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

    Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

    “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

    About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

    Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

    “She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

    David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

    “She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

    Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

    Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

    “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

    Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

    “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

    Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

    “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

    Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

    National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

    The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

    Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

    These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:

    Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience

    By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.

    This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.

    “I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”


    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


    Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.

    In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

    If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Web.com Tour finals.

    “He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”

    Cook fires 62 for one-shot lead at RSM Classic

    By Associated PressNovember 17, 2017, 10:26 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook made a 6-foot birdie putt on his final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead going into the weekend at the RSM Classic.

    Cook has gone 36 holes without a bogey on the Plantation and Seaside courses at Sea Island Golf Club. He played Seaside - the site of the final two rounds in the last PGA Tour event of the calendar year - on Friday and ran off four straight birdies on his opening nine holes.

    ''We've just been able to it hit the ball really well,'' Cook said. ''Speed on greens has been really good and getting up-and-down has been great. I've been able to hit it pretty close to the hole to make some pretty stress-free putts. But the couple putts that I have had of some length for par, I've been able to roll them in. Everything's going well.''

    The 26-year-old former Arkansas player was at 14-under 128 and had a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay, who shot 64 on Seaside. No one else was closer than five shots going into the final two rounds.

    The 45-year-old Gay won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2013.


    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


    ''I've hit a lot of greens and fairways,'' Gay said. ''I've hit the ball, kept it in front of me. There's a lot of trouble out here, especially with the wind blowing, so I haven't had to make too many saves the first couple days and I putted well.''

    Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. He earned his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour, and has hired Gay's former caddie, Kip Henley.

    ''With him being out here so long, he knows everybody, so it's not like I'm completely the new kid on the block,'' Cook said. ''He's introduced me to a lot of people, so it's just making me feel comfortable out here. He knows his way around these golf courses. We're working really well together.''

    First-round leader Chris Kirk followed his opening 63 on the Plantation with a 70 on the Seaside to drop into a tie for third at 9 under with C.T. Pan (65) and Vaughn Taylor (66).

    Brandt Snedeker is looking strong in his first start in some five months because of a sternum injury. Snedeker shot a 67 on the Plantation course and was six shots back at 8 under.

    ''I was hitting the ball really well coming down here,'' Snedeker said. ''I was anxious to see how I would hold up under pressure. I haven't played a tournament in five months, so it's held up better than I thought it would. Ball-striking's been really good, mental capacity's been unbelievable.

    ''I think being so fresh, excited to be out there and thinking clearly. My short game, which has always been a strength of mine, I didn't know how sharp it was going to be. It's been really good so far.''