Laird grabs Barclays lead Woods well off pace

By Doug FergusonAugust 29, 2010, 2:14 am

the Barclays Logo 2007PARAMUS, N.J. – Martin Laird suspected that four straight birdies early in the round and no bogeys had put him in the lead Saturday at The Barclays. When he finally glanced at a leaderboard, it gave him quite a jolt.

And it had nothing to do with the size of his three-shot lead.

The board occasionally shows the projected FedEx Cup standings. Laird, who started these playoffs at No. 95 and was hopeful of reaching the second round, saw his name at No. 1.

“I didn’t think I’d come in here and move that much,” Laird said after his 6-under 65. “I caught a glimpse of the projected FedEx Cup and I got a little shock.”

Tiger Woods
A first-hole triple bogey derailed Tiger Woods Saturday. (Getty Images)
It was a not-so-subtle reminder that winning goes a long way in these playoffs, and Laird put himself in a great spot. He was at 12-under 201, three shots clear of Dustin Johnson and Jason Day with one round left at Ridgewood Country Club.

A victory for the 27-year-old Scot would move him to No. 1, assuring him a spot in all four majors next year, and making him a serious contender for the $10 million FedEx Cup payoff.

Tiger Woods also has something at stake Sunday, but it most likely won’t be a trophy. After missing only one fairway in each of the first two rounds, Woods hit his opening tee shot off the property and took triple bogey. He couldn’t get those three shots back and shot 72, putting him nine shots behind. He needs a steady final round just to advance to second round next week outside Boston.

For Johnson, who has found nothing but hard luck in the majors this year, it will be his second straight tournament playing in the final group. So much for that hangover from the PGA Championship, where he was penalized two shots on the final hole when he didn’t realize he was in a bunker at Whistling Straits, knocking him out of a playoff.

Johnson, struggling with a cold and his swing earlier in the week, began to hit his stride on a sunny day in northern New Jersey. On the 616-yard 13th hole, he blasted a 3-wood to about 15 feet for eagle, and added consecutive birdies a short time later on his way to a 64 that gave him a chance to win.

“I definitely put myself into the hunt,” Johnson said.

The good news? Everyone knows what a bunker looks like at Ridgewood.

Day remains in the hunt, too, although he didn’t help himself on a day for scoring at Ridgewood. The 22-year-old Australian regained the lead by chipping for eagle on the short par-4 fifth hole, but he simply missed too many putts and struggled enough with his driver – he hit only four fairways – to give it away. Day made five bogeys, one of them on a par 5 on the back nine, and had to settle for a 70.

“Just hit more fairways and I’ll be able to set myself up better at making birdies,” Day said.

Adam Scott birdied the 18th hole for a 68 and was four shots behind.

On the day before European captain Colin Montgomerie announces his three captain’s picks, it might be pleasing to see a fellow Scot atop the leaderboard against such a strong field. Too bad it’s Laird, who played college golf at Colorado State and never left the American golf circuits. Plus, he has played so poorly all year that he’s not even thinking about the Ryder Cup.

Laird was simply trying to get into the top 125 in the FedEx Cup standings to qualify for the playoffs, and he’s moving up quickly.

Justin Rose, in his final round before Montgomerie makes his captain’s picks, went off early having narrowly made the cut and shot 65 to join the group at 7-under 206 that included Ryan Palmer, Matt Kuchar, John Senden, Vaughn Taylor and Kevin Streelman.

“I think it’s a tight selection process,” said Rose, who has been quiet since wins at the Memorial and AT&T National. “It’s just been nice to make a little bit of noise and shoot a great round to show him my game is there. I didn’t go out there to prove anything today. But I’m glad that it worked out. I think it’s a timely round of golf.

Woods was in a tie for 28th, continuing his slide since he opened with a 65 to share the first-round lead.

Four shots behind to start the third round, his 3-wood went straight up in the air, then straight left, over the trees and out-of-bounds. He had to hit another tee shot, then missed a short putt and took triple bogey. Woods went out in 39 after a bogey on the ninth before he began another reclamation project – birdies on the par 5s, and a 7-iron to 8 feet on the 18th hole for another birdie.

The top 100 in the standings – Woods is at No. 112 – make it to the Deutsche Bank Championship, which donates its proceeds to the Tiger Woods Foundation. Woods likely will need something around par in the final round to get there.

Laird has much higher hopes.

 

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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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