Reed leads by two through 54 at Congressional

By Doug FergusonJune 28, 2014, 10:44 pm

BETHESDA, Md. - Patrick Reed is not interested in talking about being top five in the world. 

He only cares about PGA Tour victory No. 4. 

Reed, who turned off some of his peers when he won at Doral and said he was among the top five players in the world, held it together Saturday at steamy Congressional for an even-par 71 to build a two-shot lead in the Quicken Loans National. 

As if Congressional wasn't difficult, the rest of the field now has to chase a guy who has won all three previous PGA Tour events when he had at least a share of the lead going into the final round.

On a day when making pars often meant moving forward, Reed overcame three bogeys in a seven-hole stretch by playing the last five holes at 1 under for a two-shot margin over Seung-Yul Noh, Freddie Jacobson and Marc Leishman. 

''You can't get ahead of yourself,'' Reed said. ''If you think about having the lead or if you think about what you're going to do coming down 18, you're going to lose focus on the rest of the holes.''

Reed was at 6-under 207.

The final round will have a player in the last group with a red shirt, only it won't be tournament host Tiger Woods, who missed the cut. Reed has been wearing a red shirt and black pants on Sunday to pattern himself after Woods. He also cited Woods when asked which player was his idol in being confident.

Reed took that to a new level when he won at Doral and said he felt he was among the top five in the world. He currently is No. 29.

''You can't play this game with lack of confidence,'' Reed said. ''So just one of those things that, you know, we're all trying to strive for the same thing, and some guys get there and that's all we're trying to do.''


Quicken Loans National: Articles, videos and photos


Dating to his first PGA Tour win at the Wyndham Championship last August, the only top 10s Reed has had have been victories. He attributes his sporadic play to his wife having their first child last month. Now, Reed says his life is becoming settled and his game is rounding into shape.

Noh finished off his 5-under 66 - the best score of the third round - about the time the leaders went off. He was at 4-under 209, which looked better by the hour.

Jacobson made four birdies in his opening eight holes to reach 8 under, only to take double bogey on the 11th hole and a sloppy bogey on the par-5 16th hole. He wound up with a 71. Leishman was still only one shot behind until he failed to get up and down for par on the 17th and fell to a 73.

''At the start of the day, we probably knew that anything under par was going to be a really good score,'' Leishman said. ''I actually said to my caddie, 'It feels a bit like a U.S. Open' because there were a few pins that you really didn't have a chance to get at. But I think that's good. It's a tough golf course. It's long. If you're not in the fairway, you have no chance.''

Reed was not in the fairway on two holes where he made birdie, and he managed to pull it off.

In deep rough to the right of the fourth fairway, he was 169 yards away and decided to smash a 9-iron to clear the bunker instead of trying a soft 8-iron. It worked out perfectly. The ball bounded past the hole and up a slope, and slowly rolled back to within inches of the cup.

''I thought there was about a 3 percent chance I could cover that bunker, and I ended up being perfect,'' Reed said. ''It was nice whenever I saw it roll up the hill and I saw it come back down because I thought, 'All right, we have about 5, 7 feet for birdie.' Didn't know it was a couple inches, which was nice.''

Oliver Goss of Australia, the U.S. Amateur runner-up last year making his second pro start, was part of a four-way tie for the lead going into the third round. He was still in the mix until a three-putt from 10 feet for double bogey on No. 11. He had a 76, though he was still only five shots behind.

Justin Rose was within two shots of the lead after a hot start, only to make bogey on the par-5 ninth and a double bogey on the 11th hole. He battled back with a pair of late birdies, only to drop another shot on the 18th for a 71. Even so, he was only three shots behind.

This could be a perfect fit for a U.S. Open champion. None of the last 26 players who teed off broke 70. Rose took note of the rapidly changing color of the greens, and his only fear was officials watering the greens overnight, which would make it easier for the early starters.

''I'd be a fan of them letting them go a little bit and making this a tough tournament and sort of having another U.S. Open,'' Rose said. ''That would be my wish right now. But obviously, the course is firm. Wedges were releasing 10 yards by the end of the day. It's definitely a test. It was fun. I enjoy that type of golf.'''

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McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

 

 

Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.