Notes Anthony Kims catastrophe Shot of the Day Shark bait

By Doug FergusonJuly 16, 2009, 4:00 pm
135th Open Championship TURNBERRY, Scotland ' Anthony Kim took three swipes to escape a pot bunker, and by the time he was done making a mess of the second hole at Turnberry on Thursday, he had a quintuple-bogey 9.
 
It somehow got even worse.
 
Trying to shake off his miserable start in the British Open, he was turning his neck to loosen up when he felt it grab. It wasnt long before the 24-year-old Kim was lying on his stomach between dunes as a trainer tried to work out the pain.
 
It was just a crick in my neck, Kim said. It was a little awkward, but Im fine.
 
What really hurt was his putter. Despite his rugged start, Kim gave himself birdie chances on just about every hole and didnt convert nearly enough of them. Even so, he fought back to 1-over par and had an 8-iron into the 16th hole. He went right at the flag, only to see the ball spin back, catch the slope and tumble into the burn. He made double bogey.
 
Kim finished with a 3-over 73, which includes those two holes he played in 7 over.
 
Thats the best Ive hit the ball all year, Kim said. Thats why Im so frustrated. I hit it great, and I putted like a donkey.
 
He wasnt the only player immune to trouble.
 
Kim played his third straight major with 20-year-old Rory McIlroy, who was going along nicely until he buried a tee shot in the rough, tried to hack out into even more rough, took an unplayable lie and escaped with double bogey.
 
That was his only big blunder, though, and McIlroy had a 69.
 
It got a bit bad and a bit ugly, McIlroy said. But overall, I thought I played very solidly. I had eight 3s on my scorecard, which is good around here; good around any golf course.
 

 
SHOT OF THE DAY: Retief Goosen recently added a 62-degree sand wedge, and it sure came it handy Thursday.
 
The two-time U.S. Open champion looked to be in trouble on the par-5 17th when his second shot went into a bunker just inches from the sodded wall. He appeared to have no way to take a stance, and not much of a shot.
 
He knelt down, both knees, then flexed his left knee on the grass and tried to plant his right foot in the sand.
 
I thought if anything, it would hit the side and stay in the bunker, Goosen said. I thought about hitting backward to the middle of the bunker. But once I got my foot set, I thought I might have a chance. Im lucky I have a 62-degree wedge.
 
Even so, he had to hit it perfectly, and he did. With a big swing and a splash of sand, the ball landed on the green and rolled to within 3 feet of the hole for a birdie not many could have imagined.
 
Rory McIlroy was duly impressed.
 
Thats one of the best up-and-downs Ive ever seen, McIlroy said. I dont know if Id play it on my knees or take an unplayable or what Id do with it.
 
McIlroy said he often sees Goosen in the gym stretching.
 
I was walking up to the tee saying, All that gym work has paid off, I guess, McIlroy said. He said, Ive had 20 more years to stretch than you.
 

 
SHARK BAIT: When last seen on the links of a British Open, Greg Norman was shooting a 77 to fall out of the lead at Royal Birkdale.
 
A year later, he had the same score under entirely different circumstances.
 
Norman didnt make a birdie until the 17th hole, and he attributed the tough day to easy conditions.
 
I knew if the conditions were calm it would be tough on me, he said. I wasnt hitting the ball that solid. It was disappointing that I wasnt walking onto the first tee feeling confident about where I was hitting the ball.
 
He was in the final group last year. He likely will be leaving Friday.
 
If I play nine holes tomorrow and the rest play 18, I might be OK, Norman said. But I got what I deserved today.
 

 
ACHES AND GAINS: Mark Calcavecchia won the Canadian Open when he was 45, then he won at Innisbrook at age 47. He turned 49 last month, but his not holding out much hope for the cycle to continue.
 
My thoughts of winning have pretty much gone out the window as time goes by, Calcavecchia said after opening with a 67.
 
His back has been bothering him lately, and the 89 Open champion contemplated staying home, especially after he had to play 36 holes on Sunday to finish the John Deere Classic. His love of this championship is the only reason he flew over.
 
Once I was done, I took a few more Aleve and a couple of beers, and I was OK and gone on the plane, he said. And several more beers went flowing down. The next thing you know, we were landing.
 
The only full practice round he played was Tuesday, and that was a good indication of how he felt. Stretching his back while waiting to hit to the 12th green, he said to no one in particular, I wish we were on about 16 right now.
 
Just then, caddie Mike Fluff Cowan came by and mentioned some advice his father had told him years ago ' Never wish away time.
 
Calcavecchia considered this briefly.
 
I wish I was 50 tomorrow, he said.
 

 
GENERATION GAP: Tom Watson is the oldest player in the field at 59. He is playing the first two rounds with British Amateur champion Matteo Manassero of Italy, who at 16 is the youngest player at Turnberry.
 
Watson couldnt fathom playing his first Open at that age.
 
As a 16-year-old, I played in some summer events ' the Western Amateur, the Trans-Mississippi, he said.
 
Watson was impressed with that he saw.
 
His eyes today were a dead giveaway what its like to be out here at an Open Championship, Watson said. He was definitely in awe of the place. He kept it very simple. I really liked the way he played his game. I wish I had his putting stroke. Those 3-footers just go right in the middle of the hole. I remember that vaguely.
 

 
DIVOTS: Six former Open champions shot 68 or better, including Mark OMeara (67) and John Daly (68). Todd Hamilton, who won the 2004 British Open up the Ayrshire coast at Royal Troon, was 8 over through 10 holes, but rallied for a 75. Padraig Harrington had to use the bathroom in the middle of his round, and the closest available were the public toilets. Needless to say, he got a few curious looks from the spectators inside. A lot of people were looking basically, What was I doing in the services? Harrington said. Even a guy whos won three majors needs to go to the toilet. U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover opened with a 72.
 
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    Pepperell among co-leaders early in Qatar

    By Associated PressFebruary 22, 2018, 5:06 pm

    DOHA, Qatar – Eddie PepperellGregory Havret, and Aaron Rai made the most of calm early morning conditions at Doha Golf Club to set the pace in the opening round of the Qatar Masters at 7-under-par 65 on Thursday.

    Havret went bogey free, Pepperell made one bogey and eight birdies, while fellow English golfer Rai eagled his last hole to add to five birdies.

    One shot behind the leaders were four players, including former Ryder Cup player Edoardo Molinari of Italy and former champion Alvaro Quiros of Spain.

    Defending champion Jeunghun Wang of South Korea started with a 68, and Race to Dubai leader Shubhankar Sharma of India shot 69 despite a double bogey on the 15th hole.


    Full-field scores from the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters


    Pepperell, who is fast gaining a reputation on the European Tour for his irreverent tweets and meaningful blogs, showed his clubs can also do an equal amount of talking after missing cuts in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Malaysia.

    Pepperell birdied Nos. 10, 11, 14, 16 and 18 with a single blemish on 13 after starting on the back nine. He made three more birdies on his back nine.

    He was joined on top of the leaderboard by Havret, who made five birdies in six holes from the sixth, and Rai, who eagled the last.

    ''I surprised myself, really,'' said Pepperell, who finished third in Portugal and Netherlands last year.

    ''I've made some changes this week with personnel, so I've been working on a couple of new things and I surprised myself out there with how well I managed to trust it.

    ''I hit some quality tee shots, that's the area I feel that I've been struggling with a bit lately. We had a good time.

    ''It's definitely a bigger picture for me this week than tomorrow and indeed the weekend. I'm not overly-fussed about my early season form.”

    Molinari, a three-time champion on the tour including last year in Morocco, started with eight straight pars, and then made seven birdies in his last 10 holes, including a chip-in for birdie on the last.

    ''I hit every green apart from the last one. I hit a lot of fairways, I had a lot of chances for birdie,'' said Edoardo, the older brother of Francesco.

    ''Last week in Oman, I had a decent week, I had a bad first round and then three very good rounds. It's been the case for the last few weeks so my focus this week was to try and get a good start.''

    Oliver Fisher of England was the best among the afternoon groups with a 6-under 66, joining Molinari, Quiros and Germany's Marcel Schneider in a tie for fourth.

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    Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

    By Tiger TrackerFebruary 22, 2018, 4:45 pm

    Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.


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    Honda Classic: Tee times, TV schedule, stats

    By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 22, 2018, 2:15 pm

    The PGA Tour heads back east to kick off the Florida Swing at PGA National. Here are the key stats and information for the Honda Classic. Click here for full-field tee times.

    How to watch:

    Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

    Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

    Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6PM ET

    Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6PM ET


    Purse: $6.6 million ($1,188,000 to the winner)

    Course: PGA National, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (par-70; 7,140 yards)

    Defending champion: Rickie Fowler (-12) won by four, picking off his fourth PGA Tour victory.


    Notables in the field:

    Tiger Woods

    • Making his fourth start at the Honda Classic and his first since withdrawing with back spasms in 2014.

    • Shot a Sunday 62 in a T-2 finish in 2012, marking his lowest career final-round score on the PGA Tour.

    • Coming off a missed cut at last week's Genesis Open, his 17th in his Tour career.


    Rickie Fowler

    • The defending champion owns the lowest score to par and has recorded the most birdies and eagles in this event since 2012.

    • Fowler's last start was at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where he failed to close a 54-hole lead. Fowler is 1-for-6 with 54-hole leads in his Tour career, with his only successful close coming at last year's Honda.

    • On Tour this year, Fowler is first in scrambling from the fringe, second in total scrambling and third in strokes gained around the green. 


    Rory McIlroy

    • It's been feast or famine for McIlroy at the Honda. He won in 2012, withdrew with a toothache in 2013, finished T-2 in 2014 and missed the cut in 2015 and 2016.

    • McIlroy ascended to world No. 1 with his victory at PGA National in 2012, becoming the second youngest player at 22 years old to top the OWGR, behind only Woods. McIlroy was later edged by a slightly younger 22-year-old Jordan Spieth.

    • Since the beginning of 2010, only Dustin Johnson (15) has more PGA Tour victories than McIlroy (13). 

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    Lexi, J. Korda part of four-way tie in Thailand

    By Associated PressFebruary 22, 2018, 1:01 pm

    CHONBURI, Thailand – Three-time tour winner Minjee Lee of Australia finished with a superb eagle putt to be among the four leaders after Day 1 of the LPGA Thailand at Siam Country Club on Thursday.

    Lee sank a 45-foot putt on the 18th hole to card a 6-under-par 66 to tie for the lead with 2016 champion Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda, and local hope Moriya Jutanugarn.

    ''I just hit the collar. I didn't know if I was going to have enough. Such a big break there. I'm glad it caught the hole,'' Lee said.

    ''It's a second-shot golf course. Your approaches are really important, and obviously being in the right spots with the undulation. And if you have a hot putter that's going to help.''


    Full-field scores from the Honda LPGA Thailand


    Lee won the Vic Open near Melbourne this month and opened her 2018 LPGA tour account last week at the Women's Australian Open, finishing fifth.

    Thompson, who won this event in 2016 by six shots with a 20-under total and tied for fourth last year, started her latest round in style with an eagle followed by a birdie only to bogey the third hole. She carded four more birdies.

    ''It definitely helps to get that kind of start, but I was just trying to keep that momentum and not get ahead of myself,'' Thompson said.

    Her compatriot Korda had a roller-coaster round which featured eagles on the first and 17th holes, five birdies, a double bogey on the sixth, and two bogeys.

    Jutanugarn was the only player among the four to end the day without a bogey.

    ''I had a good start today, it was better than I expected,'' said Jutanugarn, who was seventh here last year.

    She's trying to become the first Thai winner of the tournament.

    Two-time champion Amy Yang and world No. 2 Sung Hyun Park were among six players at 5 under.