Scott falters, rebounds to share lead with Garcia

By Doug FergusonFebruary 28, 2016, 12:07 am

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – One bad swing by Adam Scott led to two balls in the water on the same hole Saturday in the Honda Classic. Even with a quadruple bogey, he managed to be satisfied with a 4-under 66 and a share of the lead with Sergio Garcia.

A bizarre and breezy afternoon ended at PGA National with two players whose fortunes changed mightily in the final hour.

Scott looked better than ever, 7 under through 14 holes and only once having to save par. He was three shots ahead going to the tee on the par-3 15th, and it was starting to look like a runaway. Some 20 minutes later, he was one shot behind Garcia.

''Pretty costly,'' Scott said. ''But fortunately, I had a couple shots to spare. Hopefully, it won't cost me too big in the grand scheme of things.''

Garcia lost the lead with a bogey from the bunker on the 17th, and caught Scott with a short birdie on the 18th for a 67.

They were at 9-under 201.


The Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos


Blayne Barber had a 69 and was four shots behind.

Scott and Garcia were quick to point out that Sunday might not be the two-man race, and there was plenty of evidence to back them up.

Rickie Fowler had a one-shot lead going into the third round and was the first player at the Honda Classic to go bogey-free through the opening 36 holes. And then on Saturday, he couldn't make a birdie. Fowler made bogey on the easiest hole at PGA National, the par-5 third, and wound up with a 74 to fall five shots behind.

Nothing went right for Jimmy Walker, starting with the first tee. Playing alongside Fowler, he was introduced as ''Jimmy Fowler.'' Walker had the lead with his birdie on the third hole. He didn't make another birdie until the 18th hole, and that was to break 80.

Walker wound up 11 shots out of the lead.

''Who can tell me that the guys that are 4 under are not going to go and play like Adam did today?'' Garcia said. ''We'll see how the day goes. And then if it becomes a two-horse race on the last three or four holes, I'll welcome that. But I will expect some of the guys behind to shoot a good number and make it tough for all of us.''

Thanks to one swing by Scott, those guys at least have a chance.

Justin Thomas opened with three straight birdies and had to settle for a 68, putting him at 4-under 206 with Fowler.

Graeme McDowell had a 67 and was six shots behind at 207 along with Scott Brown and Vijay Singh (68). Singh made a double bogey on the 15th hole without hitting in the water, hitting in the bunker or hitting in the rough. His problem was the golf ball hit the putter four times from 20 feet.

Still, nothing was more shocking than Scott on the 15th.

The former Masters champion with one of the prettiest swings in golf was flawless. He didn't miss a green through 13 holes. He ran off four straight birdies to close out the back nine, starting with a 50-footer on No. 6, the toughest hole of the day. He stretched his lead to three shots. Get through the final four holes, and he might have made it easy on himself.

And then his 6-iron soared into the wind, and everything changed.

Scott went to the front of the circular drop zone and was stunned to see it bounce over the back of the green and tumble into the water. After checking to see if he could play out of the water - he couldn't - he went back to the drop zone for a third try and hit it 10 feet from the hole. He missed that for a 7, and Garcia's long two-putt par gave the Spaniard the lead.

Scott's most important holes were the next two. He pulled his tee shot left, cleared the water from the rough and got up-and-down for par

''The par there was very important at the time, because it's really stopping a severe bleed after 15,'' he said.

And then he hit 6-iron to 10 feet on the 17th for birdie, regaining the lead when Garcia made bogey.

Scott didn't seem overly bothered by the quadruple bogey, mainly because of the 17 other holes he played so well.

''I did a lot of things really well today, so it's exactly the round I needed,'' he said. ''I need to put one more together tomorrow. It's going to be an exciting day for me.''

Watch: Pros try to hit 2-yard wide fairway in Dubai

By Grill Room TeamNovember 18, 2017, 5:20 pm

While in Dubai for the DP World Tour Championship, the European Tour prestented a little challenge to Ross Fisher, Richie Ramsay, Nicolas Colsaerts and Soren Kjeldsen. On a stretch of road outside of town, the four players had to try and hit a 2-yard wide fairway. Check out the results.

Rose (65) leads Rahm, Frittelli in Dubai

By Associated PressNovember 18, 2017, 3:24 pm

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Justin Rose will take a one-shot lead into the final day of the season-ending Tour Championship as he attempts to win a third straight title on the European Tour and a second career Race to Dubai crown.

The 37-year-old Rose made a gutsy par save on the final hole after a bogey-free round for a 7-under 65 Saturday and overall 15-under 201.

The Englishman leads South African Dylan Frittelli, who produced the day's best score of 63, and Spain's Jon Rahm, who played in the same group as Rose and matched his 65.

Rose is looking to be Europe's season-ending No. 1 for the second time. His leading rival for the Race to Dubai title, Tommy Fleetwood, is only two shots behind here after a second straight 65 on the Earth course of Jumeirah Golf Estates.

Fleetwood did his chances no harm by overcoming a stuttering start before making eight birdies in his final 11 holes to also post a 65. The 26-year-old Englishman was tied for fourth place at 13 under, alongside South African Dean Burmester (65) and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat (67), who closed with five birdies in a row.

''So, last day of the season and I've got a chance to win the Race to Dubai,'' Fleetwood said. ''It's cool.''


DP World Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the DP World Tour Championship


Masters champion Sergio Garcia, the only other player with a chance to win the Race to Dubai title, is tied for 13th on 10 under after a 67.

Fleetwood had a lead of 256,737 points going into the final tournament and needs to equal or better Rose's finishing position to claim the title. If Rose doesn't finish in the top five and Garcia doesn't win, Fleetwood will have done enough.

Rose is hoping to win a third straight tournament after triumphs in China and Turkey.

Rose, who made some long putts for birdies apart from chipping in on the 13th hole, looked to be throwing away his advantage on the par-5 18th, when his second shot fell agonizingly short of the green and into the water hazard. But with his short game in superb condition, the reigning Olympic champion made a difficult up-and-down shot to stay ahead.

''That putt at the last is a big confidence-builder. That broke about 18 inches right-to-left downhill. That's the kind of putt I've been hoping to make. That was a really committed stroke. Hopefully I can build on that tomorrow,'' said Rose. ''I know what I need to do to stay at the top of the leaderboard. If I slip up tomorrow, he's (Fleetwood) right there. He's done everything he needs to do on his end, so it's a lot of fun.''

The last player to win three tournaments in a row on the European Tour was Rory McIlroy, when he won the Open Championship, the WGC-Bridgestone and the PGA Championship in 2014.

Fleetwood was 1 over after seven holes but turned it on with a hat trick of birdies from the eighth, and then four in a row from No. 13.

''I wanted to keep going. Let's bring the tee times forward for tomorrow,'' quipped Fleetwood after closing with a birdie on the 18th. ''Just one of them strange days where nothing was going at all. A couple sloppy pars on the par 5s, and a bad tee shot on fifth and I was 1-over through seven on a day where scoring has been really good ... Ninth and 10th, felt like we had something going ... it was a really good last 11 holes.''

If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

You don’t believe it, though.

She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

“In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.


CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

“I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

“She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

“She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

“Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

“It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

“No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon: