Casey co-leads looking for nice consolation

By Doug FergusonSeptember 24, 2010, 2:23 am
2006 The TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola

ATLANTA – Paul Casey won’t be going to the Ryder Cup. He wouldn’t mind a $10 million consolation.

Casey was the only player among the top five in the FedEx Cup standings to break par Thursday, running off three straight birdies around the turn at East Lake for a 4-under 66 and a share of the lead with Geoff Ogilvy and Luke Donald in the Tour Championship.

It was the seventh time Casey has shot in the 60s in the nine rounds since European captain Colin Montgomerie left him off the Ryder Cup team. Whether that’s motivating him to play well, the Englishman isn’t saying.

A different kind of cup does have his attention.

At stake in this playoff finale is a $10 million bonus to the FedEx Cup champion. The top five in the standings – Casey got to No. 5 with his runner-up finish two weeks ago at Cog Hill – can claim golf’s biggest payoff by winning, no matter what anyone else does.

“I’ve got an opportunity to accomplish one of the goals which I set for myself at the beginning of the year,” Casey said. “I’m just trying to put myself in that position to win and then tick off that goal, which would be a huge goal. I’m not getting wrapped up in any sort of extra motivation. I don’t need extra motivation. I’m motivated enough.”

Breaking par was hard work on a difficult course in steamy conditions. The fairways are fast and more narrow than ever, and only nine players in the 30-man field broke 70.

One of them was defending champion Phil Mickelson, who has an outside chance to win the FedEx Cup and a better chance to replace Tiger Woods at No. 1 in the world. Woods did not qualify for the Tour Championship for the first time in his career.

Mickelson had two eagles in a span of four holes, including a shot he holed from the fairway on No. 12. Not so good was making bogey after both eagles, along with consecutive bogeys after his first birdie of the tournament. He shot 69, not a bad start.

“It’s a better position than I started last year,” said Mickelson, who opened with a 73 and went on to a three-shot victory. “Could have been better, could have been worse, and it was an interesting day.”

Jim Furyk had a 67, while K.J. Choi was at 68. The group at 69 included Hunter Mahan, Jason Day, Kevin Na and Mickelson.

Matt Kuchar, the top seed in the FedEx Cup whose golfing career is rooted in Atlanta, chipped in for eagle on the 15th hole. That wasn’t enough to offset for four bogeys in his round of 72, including a tee shot into the stands on the par-3 18th.

Dustin Johnson, the No. 2 seed, struggled off the tee on his way to a 74, while Steve Stricker (No. 4) also had a 74. Charley Hoffman, part of the top five from his victory at the TPC Boston, had a 71.

It only helps Casey and his bid to win the FedEx Cup when the four players ahead of him are behind him on the leaderboard, and he took notice of that when he glanced at video screens around East Lake.

“The big screens they have out there never go past the top 20, and I wasn’t seeing anybody in the top five (in FedEx Cup standings) in that top 20,” Casey said. “There is a very long way to go, though.”

And he has enough company under par to remind him of that. Donald, who had a runner-up finish at the Deutsche Bank Championship to get to No. 7 in the standings, had six birdies in his round of 66.

Donald was among the three captain’s picks for Europe and is hopeful of building some momentum, along with the winning the tournament, before heading over to Celtic Manor in Wales.

It was awkward for Donald when Casey was left off the Ryder Cup team for the first time since 2002, particularly because Donald’s brother in Casey’s caddie. Still, he didn’t see a correlation in Casey’s recent form to any Ryder Cup snub.

Even though Casey hasn’t won a tournament this year, he is No. 7 in the world ranking. That wasn’t an accident.

“You expect him to play well,” Donald said.

The best news for Ogilvy, an Australian, is that he’s starting to expect himself to play well. Ogilvy has not won since the season-opening SBS Championship at Kapalua, and he didn’t so much as contend until the TPC Boston. That helped him get to the Tour Championship, even entertain thoughts of winning the FedEx Cup as the No. 12 seed.

“You can’t come out and say, ‘Hey guys, I’m going to play well in the next few weeks,’ because it doesn’t quite work like that,” Ogilvy said. “But I think I get a pretty good feel for when it’s coming around. But I don’t know why.”

So does he feel his game coming around? Ogilvy smiled.

“I think so,” he said.


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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. 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. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

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.


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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.


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