Amateur Molder Plays Like a Pro

By George WhiteJune 16, 2001, 4:00 pm
The only remaining amateur in the field at the U.S. Open doesnt look like hes just here for the experience. Bryce Molder, who just completed his collegiate eligibility at Georgia Tech, shot a 2-under-par 68 Saturday and is making vague rumblings about wanting to win.
Check out Bryce Molder's scorecard
One thing you dont do is just play for the cut, said the 22-year-old, who made the cut on the nose at 6-over-par and now stands at 4-over going into the final round. I feel if I try to play well enough to win, the cut wont matter. I had to think about it seriously because after 27 holes I was three over the cut-line. But that is a bad way to have to play.
But it just depends on the three guys who are tied for the lead (after the second round). If they get a couple more under par, realistically my chances arent that great. But Tiger, four or five years ago, was down nine shots, and they asked him, Are you just going to practice some stuff for the next tournament?
SAVANNAH, GA - APRIL 25:  Playing partners Joey Sindelar (L) and John Cook (R) walk off the 18th green during the second round of the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf at the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort and Spa on April 25, 2009 in Savannah, Georgia. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) Bryce Molder sure isn't playing like an amateur
And he said, No. His point was, if I play as good as I possibly can play, I can still win. And youve seen how things can happen out there. So you just never know.
Molder is playing his second U.S. Open after missing the cut as a 20-year-old in 1999 at Pinehurst. He didnt play last year, and like any collegian, the Open experience was a bit overwhelming when he first put a tee in the ground Thursday.
Starting out, I was a little bit ' I was definitely nervous, Molder said. Its tough getting comfortable out here. That makes it tough.
But just having a swing thought helped me a little bit. Ive hit my irons great all week. It was just hitting off the tee (which has been a problem.)
Molder will turn professional in the fall, but first he has several big amateur tournaments to play this summer. He is getting more and more into the feeling of being a pro, however, the more he plays with the pros.
This just kind of reinstates in my mind how I feel ' I feel like Im not there yet, I feel like Ive got some work, but I also feel like when I play really well, I can play with any of the guys out here, he said.
You play junior golf and you reach the top, then you go to college and you get knocked down a little. Then you work hard to make the top of the college ranks and you come out here and you get knocked down again. But this (the Open) is really good for me. I can take this experience with me and know that I can shoot some good scores out here.
Molder has delayed turning pro so he could play in the Walker Cup and U.S. Amateur, which is Aug. 20-26 at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.
Georgia Tech uses East Lake as one of its home courses.
Even though he played at Georgia Tech, Molders from Conway, Ark., the adjoining state, and he used to live in Tulsa, home of Southern Hills. He found out he has lots of fans here. The fact that hes the lone amateur remaining also generates attention.
Just hearing my name so many times ' Im not used to hearing my name this often, said Molder. That means a lot, it really does, I cant tell you how good it makes me feel. You dont know how good it makes you feel when you walk up and hit just an okay shot and to have everybody clap. It feels great.

McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.

Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.

Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.

While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.

Rahm wins finale, Fleetwood takes Race to Dubai

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 1:42 pm

Jon Rahm captured the final tournament on the European Tour calendar, a result that helped Tommy Fleetwood take home the season-long Race to Dubai title.

Rahm shot a final-round 67 to finish two shots clear of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry at the DP World Tour Championship. It's the second European Tour win of the year for the Spaniard, who also captured the Irish Open and won on the PGA Tour in January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

"I could not be more proud of what I've done this week," Rahm told reporters. "Having the weekend that I've had, actually shooting 12 under on the last 36 holes, bogey-free round today, it's really special."

But the key finish came from Justin Rose, who held the 54-hole lead in Dubai but dropped back into a tie for fourth after closing with a 70. Rose entered the week as one of only three players who could win the Race to Dubai, along with Sergio Garcia and Fleetwood, who started with a lead of around 250,000 Euros.

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With Fleetwood in the middle of the tournament pack, ultimately tying for 21st after a final-round 74, the door was open for Rose to capture the title thanks to a late charge despite playing in half the events that Fleetwood did. Rose captured both the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open, and was one round away from a two-trophy photo shoot in Dubai.

Instead, his T-4 finish meant he came up just short, as Fleetwood won the season-long race by 58,821 Euros.

The title caps a remarkable season for Fleetwood, who won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship as well as the French Open to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes and a fourth-place showing at the U.S. Open.

"I find it amazing, the season starts in November, December and you get to here and you're watching the last shot of the season to decide who wins the Race to Dubai," Fleetwood said at the trophy ceremony. "But yeah, very special and something we didn't really aim for at the start of the year, but it's happened."

Battling mono, Kaufman tied for lead at CME

By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 2:05 am

NAPLES, Fla. – Kim Kaufman’s bout with mononucleosis might leave fellow tour pros wanting to catch the fever, too.

A couple months after Anna Nordqvist battled her way into contention at the Women’s British Open playing with mono, and then thrived at the Solheim Cup with it, Kaufman is following suit.

In her first start since being diagnosed, Kaufman posted an 8-under-par 64 Saturday to move into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. It was the low round of the day. She’s bidding to win her first LPGA title.

“I’ve been resting at home for two weeks,” Kaufman said. “Didn’t do anything.”

Well, she did slip on a flight of stairs while recuperating, hurting her left wrist. She had it wrapped Saturday but said that’s mostly precautionary. It didn’t bother her during the round.

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Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship

“I’m the only person who can take two weeks off and get injured,” Kaufman joked.

Kaufman, 26, left the Asian swing after playing the Sime Darby Malaysia, returning to her home in South Dakota, to see her doctor there. She is from Clark. She was told bed rest was the best thing for her, but she felt good enough to make the trip to Florida for the season-ending event.

“We had some really cold days,” Kaufman said. “We had some snow. I was done with it. I was coming down here.”

How does she feel?

“I feel great,” she said. “I’m a little bit shaky, which isn’t great out there, but it’s great to be here doing something. I was going a little bit stir crazy [at home], just kind of fighting through it.”

Kaufman made eight birdies in her bogey-free round.

New-look Wie eyes CME Group Tour Championship title

By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:32 am

NAPLES, Fla. – Michelle Wie is sporting a new look that even has fellow players doing double takes.

Bored during her six-week recovery from an emergency appendectomy late this summer, Wie decided to cut and die her hair.

She went for golden locks, and a shorter style.

“I kind of went crazy after being in bed that long,” Wie said. “I just told my mom to grab the kitchen scissors and just cut all my hair off.”

Wie will get to sport her new look on a big stage Sunday after playing herself into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. With a 6-under-par 66, she is in contention to win her fifth LPGA title, her first since winning the U.S. Women’s Open three years ago.

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Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship

Wie, 28, fought her way back this year after two of the most disappointing years of her career. Her rebound, however, was derailed in late August, when she withdrew from the final round of the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open to undergo an emergency appendectomy. She was out for six weeks.

Before the surgery, Wie enjoyed getting back into contention regularly, with six finishes of T-4 or better this season. She returned to the tour on the Asian swing in October.

Fellow tour pros were surprised when she came back with the new look.

“Definitely, walk by people and they didn’t recognize me,” Wie said.

Wie is looking to continue to build on her resurgence.

“I gained a lot of confidence this year,” she said. “I had a really tough year last year, the last couple years. Just really feeling like my old self. Really feeling comfortable out there and having fun, and that's when I play my best.”