Yang battles fever headache to take Chevron lead
Strangely enough, the PGA champion recalls having a headache at a tournament about the same time last year.
His location speaks to what kind of year it has been.
A year ago, Yang was grinding in the California desert during the final stage of Q-School, a six-round tournament that determined whether he would have a PGA Tour card. Since then, he won his first U.S. title at the Honda Classic, then made history as the first Asian to win a men’s major, and the first player to win a major when Tiger Woods had the lead going into the final round.
Yang, who was at 9-under 135, is chasing the $1.35 million winner’s check while trying to hold off a group that includes Padraig Harrington (68), Ian Poulter (69) and Kenny Perry (65), who were two shots behind.
Q-School is at the halfway point in Florida, where the winner gets $50,000 and two dozen or so others get jobs.
“I haven’t really thought about Q-School,” Yang said. “Come to think of it, a year ago I had a huge headache because I was under a lot of mental stress. I still have a headache, but it’s more because of illness, not because of any pressure or stress. So it’s a different situation, yes.”
Then he smiled as he continued to speak in Korean.
“Unfortunately,” he said through his agent, “I don’t have the opportunity to compete at Q-school for about five years now.”
He earned a five-year exemption for winning the PGA Championship at Hazeltine. Perhaps it was only fitting that the man who became even more famous for taking down Woods is leading a tournament where Woods is the host, even if Woods is absent this week because of the car accident that set off a week or sordid allegations involving the world’s No. 1 player.
“Last time I saw him it was on the golf course, and I only remember him as fun and really focused and competitive, but also a great guy on the golf course and in the clubhouse and locker room,” Yang said. “So I miss him, and I hope to see him on the course and the locker room again quite soon.”
Poulter is completing a six-week run around the world, while Harrington is a past champion at Sherwood. The surprise might be Perry, the 49-year-old wonder coming off a memorable year of two victories, a forgettable year off the course with the death of his mother.
Perry isn’t quite ready to slow down, especially with what he hopes is the solution to eye problems. After two laser surgeries, he has a deal with a lens company and has prescription sunglasses, which is making everything clear.
He could even see the hole from some 40 feet away, the distance of the long putt he made on the 14th.
Zach Johnson (70), Lee Westwood (67) and Sean O’Hair (67) were in the group at 6-under 138, meaning seven players were separated by three shots going into the weekend.
Yang said he developed a fever and the headache flying over from China. He has been all over the place since the season ended, and still has a trip planned to Korea for a celebration of his PGA Championship title, before going home to Dallas. Before he knows it, Yang heads to Kapalua for the 2010 opener.
But he’s not at Q-school, and that’s a good thing.
“I hope that everybody who’s competing there has a good time,” he said. “But for me, I’ve been there and done that, so I’m moving on. Personally, it was just a horrendous experience.”
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.
Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.
The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.
Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.
Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.
An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.
Playing with the pros
Tiger, DJ and Faxon
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18