Notes: Scott teams with Williams; Kaymer or Nowitzki?

By Doug FergusonJune 13, 2011, 11:17 pm

BETHESDA, Md. – Adam Scott was getting more attention than usual Monday at the U.S. Open, and not only because he is coming off a runner-up finish in his most recent major at The Masters.

It was because of the guy carrying his clubs.

Steve Williams, the caddie for Tiger Woods since March 1999 who has been on the bag for a record 13 majors, agreed to work for the 30-year-old Australian. Despite speculation, Williams is temporarily filling in. Woods is out of the U.S. Open with injuries to his left leg, and Scott is in the process of finding a new caddie.

Asked if this could be a long-term relationship, Scott replied, “No. He is Tiger’s guy and that’s how it is.”

Williams also will be at the AT&T National in two weeks outside Philadelphia, working either for Scott or Woods if his regular boss can return to golf by then. But if it was strange to see Williams tending to Scott, it was slightly odd for the Kiwi caddie, too.

“I haven’t caddied for another player since I started with Tiger,” Williams said.

Before that, the last player he caddied for was Raymond Floyd.

Scott said he lucked into having Williams on the bag. He wasn’t sure he would be available until last week, when Woods announced he was not fit enough to play at Congressional.

Scott and Williams have known each other for years, dating to when Scott first turned pro and worked with Butch Harmon, when Woods also was working with Harmon. Ten years ago, when Scott was between caddies, it was Steve Williams who suggested he take his younger brother, Phil Williams, to work a few tournaments in Australia.

“He’s been a good friend to me, a bit of a confidant in my career,” Scott said. “I thought it would be worth a call seeing as I’m between guys at the moment. I’m glad he hopped on a plane and came over – got to make the most of him.”

Scott said Williams has seen enough of him in practice rounds and competition over the years to know his game. He doesn’t expect any difficulties making adjustments.

The Australian tried to keep this all in perspective, especially when asked how much he relies on a caddie, such as reading putts.

“Look, I generally try to go play my game,” Scott said. “But if they pay attention the whole day and if I do have a question, they know what to do. That’s what a good caddie is all about. There’s a reason why I’m here. It’s because I know how to play. If I don’t trust myself or my instincts, a good caddie knows when to step in and say the right thing.”

KAYMER AND DIRK: In the last 10 months, Martin Kaymer won his first major at the PGA Championship and spent eight weeks at No. 1 in the world ranking. So who’s the biggest star in his native Germany?

At the moment, that would be Dirk Nowitzki of the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks.

“People would know his name better than my name,” Kaymer said Monday. “If you asked 100 people in the street who is Dirk Nowitzki and who is Martin Kaymer, they would know him better than me. But I’m working on it.”

Kaymer said the interest in basketball picked up in recent weeks in Germany because of Nowitzki leading the Mavericks toward a title.

“Unfortunately, I never met him,” he said. “But that would be one of my goals next year, or maybe even this year, to go to a game of the Dallas Mavericks to see that. Obviously, basketball is not very big in Germany, but in America he is a superstar and a big role model, one of the best NBA players they have.

“For me, he’s a big role model.”

VENTURI RETURNS: In the most famous moment at Congressional, Ken Venturi stumbled through stifling heat for a 36-hole Sunday and ignored a doctor’s suggestion he withdraw to keep from dying of heat exhaustion. Venturi shot 66-70 to turn a six-shot deficit into a four-shot victory in the 1964 U.S. Open.

So how do you follow up a moment like that? If you’re Venturi, you don’t.

He revealed Monday he has not played Congressional since he walked off he course that day in June, so delirious from the heat that he could barely read the numbers on the scorecard he had to sign.

Venturi said he would give playing tips on the course when the Kemper Open was played at Congressional, but never played a full round.

“But I’ve walked it and I can reminisce with it,” Venturi said. “We did something last May and we went every hole and how it changed and what it does and everything.”

Why did he never play another round there?

“I guess after you make a hole-in-one, you shouldn’t take a mulligan,” he said. “That’s all I can say on that one.”

To commemorate his only major, Venturi donated the clubs he used to be displayed in a trophy case inside the locker room at Congressional. Included in the showcase are two letters he received, from former President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Bobby Jones.

“I’ve been offered a lot of money for certain things,” Venturi said. “What would it be if I sold those? And I thought that someday they’ve got to go somewhere. And I’m glad I have the choice where it goes, and what better place than at Congressional? I will accept all the awards that you’d like to give me. And after I die, you can keep your awards, I don’t want them anymore.”

BIG THREE: For the second time in three years, the U.S. Open has put the top three players in the world ranking in the same group.

In golf, that’s nothing new.

Martin Kaymer was No. 2 in the world when he played with No. 1 Lee Westwood and No. 3 Tiger Woods in the first two rounds of the Dubai Desert Classic. And the top three players were grouped together for the opening two rounds at Doral this year, which at the time was Kaymer, Westwood and Luke Donald.

Those are the top three still, only a slightly different order: Donald, Westwood and Kaymer.

“At the end of the day, you’re still thinking about tournaments,” Kaymer said. “It’s not about world rankings.”

When the U.S. Open first used the ranking, it was Woods, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott at Nos. 1-2-3 in the world for Torrey Pines. So much has changed since then.

Mickelson now is No. 5, followed by Woods at No. 15 and Scott at No. 21. And three years ago at Torrey Pines, Donald was No. 17, Westwood was No. 20 and Kaymer was No. 40.

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Highlights: Woods shoots Saturday 69 at API

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 17, 2018, 8:40 pm

Tiger Woods made six birdies Sunday, including one at the home hole, to shoot 3-under 69 and move to 7 under par for the week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

When he walked off the golf course, he was four off the 11-under pace set by Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson and Bryson DeChambeau, all of whom were still on the course.

"I'm going to have to shoot a low one tomorrow, and probably get a little bit of help," Woods told Golf Channel's Steve Sands in a post-round interview. "But my responsibility is to go out there and shoot a low one first."

Woods didn't bogey the first hole on Saturday like he did the day prior - but he did drop at a shot at the par-3 second when he failed to get up and down from the bunker.

Luckily, it wouldn't take him long to get that stroke back. One hole later, at the dogleg-left, par-4 third, Woods ripped a 2-iron off the tee, hit a less-than-stellar approach long and right, and poured in this 38-footer for birdie to get back to even par on the day.

He followed with another at the par-5 fourth, smoking a drive 313 yards uphill, short-siding himself with his second shot, and playing this deft pitch to set up a tap-in 4.

After a par save from the bunker at 5, Woods missed the fairway right at the par-5 sixth, laid up with his second, spun a wedge to 15 feet with his third, and rolled in this third birdie of the day to move to 6 under for the week.

Woods' momentum was slowed by a bogey at 8, the product of an errant tee shot, and a missed birdie try at 9 left Tiger to make the turn in 1 under-35, minus-5 for the week.

He quickly returned to 6 under for the championship when he hit an approach from 186 to inside 10 feet at the par-4 11th and walked in the putt:

Following four straight pars, Woods for the second day in a row made an unlikely birdie at the par-5 16th after missing the fairway to the right and declining to layup.

Woods would drop one more shot coming in when his ball fried in the front bunker at 17, leading to a bogey, but this closing birdie at 18, his sixth of the day, got him into the clubhouse 3 under for the round and 7 under for the week. It also elicited a rare straight-down fist pump.

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Two-time major champ Pettersen pregnant

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 7:14 pm

PHOENIX – Suzann Pettersen is pregnant with her first child.

Pettersen’s husband, Christian Ringvold, confirmed the news with Golf Channel’s Jerry Foltz.

Pettersen, 36, who married Ringvold in January of 2017, is due in the fall. The 15-time LPGA winner and two-time major champion has yet to make her first start this year. She’s an eight-time Solheim Cup veteran.

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Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Tiger TrackerMarch 17, 2018, 3:00 pm

It was a 3-under 69 on Saturday for Tiger Woods for a 7-under total through three rounds. We tracked him at Bay Hill.

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Fowler among 5 to skip WGC-Match Play

By Ryan LavnerMarch 17, 2018, 2:24 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Five of the top 64 players in the world will skip next week’s WGC-Dell Match Play.

Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka and Adam Scott all will miss the second WGC event of the year, held next week at Austin Country Club.

As a result, the last man into the field is world No. 69 Luke List. Kevin Na, Charles Howell III, Joost Luiten and Keegan Bradley also got into the field.

Julian Suri and Bill Haas are the first two alternates, if anyone else withdraws from the round-robin-style match-play event.

This is the second year in a row that Rose, Fowler, Stenson and Scott will not play in Austin. Koepka reached the quarterfinals each of the past two years, but he is still recovering from a wrist injury.

The final seeding for the event will be determined after this week’s tournaments. The bracket show is at 7:30 p.m. Monday, live on Golf Channel.