Lingmerth refuses to lose, outlasts Rose at Memorial

By Doug FergusonJune 8, 2015, 1:34 am

DUBLIN, Ohio – David Lingmerth kept telling himself it was his turn to win Sunday in the Memorial, even amid so many signs that suggested otherwise.

He thought his 3-under 69 would be enough when Justin Rose shanked a shot from a fairway bunker, plunked a spectator in the head and had to get up-and-down from 55 yards on the final hole to force a playoff. And he did.

Lingmerth was looking at a 10-foot par putt for the win on the first extra hole until Rose made a 20-footer for par that fell in from the right side of the cup, and suddenly the Swede's putt was simply to stay in the game.

Lingmerth made them all until he was shaking hands with tournament host Jack Nicklaus to celebrate a victory he won't soon forget. He ended the three-hole playoff – the longest in 40 years at Muirfield Village – with a par putt from just inside 5 feet.

But it was that first extra hole and his 10-foot putt to match Rose's par that showed his resolve.

''I was thinking to myself that I'd probably have a putt to win the tournament right there,'' he said. ''And then he drops it in ... and this big, huge roar. Crazy feeling. So I took a few moments just to let the crowd and myself calm down because I knew how big that next putt was going to be. I've been in a few playoffs. You win some, you lose some. But I didn't feel that it was my turn to lose this time. I was telling myself that I was going to make that putt.''


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Stoic through all the pressure, the most emotion he showed was after it was all over.

His first PGA Tour victory came on the birthday of his father, Thomas, and his parents' anniversary. Lingmerth's wife used FaceTime for the father to watch the press conference, and when it ended, Nicklaus spoke to him as Lingmerth smiled wider that he did all day.

There were a few other gifts.

Lingmerth is headed to the Masters for the first time, but not the U.S. Open. He has a qualifier on Monday, as if 21 holes on Sunday wasn't enough. The victory also gets him into the PGA Championship, two World Golf Championships and gives him a three-year exemption on the PGA Tour.

Rose, who closed with a 72 with that superb par save on No. 18 in regulation, looked like a winner when he made the bending 20-foot par putt in the playoff. Nicklaus threw his hands up. Rose's son, 5-year-old Leo, shrieked with delight.

''When I made that putt on the first extra hole, I thought, 'Wow, I'm going to steal this one.' But it wasn't to be,'' Rose said.

He lost a three-shot lead at the start of the final round and closed with a 72. And on the third extra hole, he went from right rough to left gallery, chipped 18 feet by the hole and still had more than 4 feet for bogey when Lingmerth ended it.

''He needs to look back at that putt that kept it going on the first extra hole,'' Rose said. ''He did everything he needed to.''

Masters champion Jordan Spieth closed with a 65 and wound up two shots behind in a tie for third with Francesco Molinari of Italy, who was tied for the lead until hitting into the water on the 16th for a double bogey. He shot 71.

Tiger Woods showed improvement – it was hard not to after a career-worst 85 on Saturday. He shot 74 and finished last, 29 shots behind, with his worst 72-hole score (302) in his PGA Tour career.

''I did not win, and I wasn't even close,'' Woods said. ''So hopefully in two weeks' time, things will be a lot better and I'll be ready to try to win a U.S. Open.''

Spieth was nine shots behind going into the final day and could not have imagined having to spend an extra three hours in Ohio. He chipped in twice – for birdie on the par-5 seventh and for eagle on the par-5 15th – and closed with a birdie. He posted at 13-under 275 and stuck around all afternoon to see if it would be enough.

Lingmerth made sure it wasn't with a solid finish – a short birdie on the 15th to reach 15 under, and pars the rest of the way to reach 15-under 273. He did not make a bogey over the last 11 holes he played.

Rose had the wild finish.

A fan yelled in his swing from a tough bunker shot on the 14th, where he made bogey. He made birdie on the par-5 15th. He three-putted the 16th, only to make a 12-foot bending birdie putt on the 17th. And right when it looked like he was in trouble after the shank, he saved par with a pitch out of deep rough to 3 feet.

DIVOTS: Patrick Rodgers earned special temporary membership with a tie for 40th, meaning he gets unlimited exemptions the rest of the way. But it wasn't easy. He made bogey on the 15th and triple bogey on the 16th, only to finish birdie-birdie to lock it up. ... Kevin Kisner withdrew from the U.S. Open qualifier on Monday because he tweaked his back on the range Thursday. He felt better Sunday, closed with a 70 and tied for eighth. That moved him to No. 57 in the world, and if he can stay in the top 60 after next week, he'll be in the U.S. Open. 

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Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''


Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

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The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

“What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

“I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.