Casey leads by three at Deutsche Bank Championship

By Will GraySeptember 4, 2016, 9:52 pm

Paul Casey only has one PGA Tour win to his credit, but he's in position to add to that total at the Deutsche Bank Championship. Here's how things look entering the final round at TPC Boston, where the Englishman leads by three shots:

Leaderboard: Paul Casey (-15), Brian Harman (-12), Kevin Chappell (-11), Smylie Kaufman (-11), Jimmy Walker (-11), Ryan Moore (-10)

What it means: Casey began the day one shot behind Chappell, but he moved to the top of the standings with his third straight round of 5-under 66 that included a tap-in eagle on the final hole. Seven years removed from his lone Tour title, Casey is now in prime position to end his victory drought while three of his closest competitors - Harman, Chappell and Kaufman - have combined for two career wins on the PGA Tour.

Round of the day: Louis Oosthuizen made the day's biggest move, carding a bogey-free 64 that vaulted him into the top 10. Oosthuizen birdied four straight holes from Nos. 2-5, then added three more on his inward half. After beginning the second round near the cut line, the South African is now tied for seventh at 9 under, six shots behind Casey.

Best of the rest: Scott Brown barely snuck into this week's field at No. 98 in the FedEx Cup race, but a third-round 65 gave him a chance to play his way into the top 70 for next week's BMW Championship. Brown birdied three of his first five holes and made it around TPC Boston without dropping a shot. At 7 under, he's tied for 20th and now projected to No. 72 in the points race.

Biggest disappointment: Walker began the day one shot off the lead, but the PGA champion faltered out of the gates en route to a 1-under 70. Walker bogeyed two of his first three holes before making the turn in 1-over 37, and despite a closing birdie he now trails Casey by four shots heading into the final round.

Main storyline heading into Monday: After a stirring close to his third round, Casey is officially the player to watch. His choice to rescind his European Tour membership meant the Englishman wasn't eligible for a European Ryder Cup pick earlier this week, but a victory Monday would vault him toward the top of the FedEx Cup race and lend great validation to his decision to focus his efforts on the PGA Tour.

Shot of the day: Rory McIlroy authored one of the day's biggest highlights when he nearly holed out for an albatross on the par-5 18th hole. McIlroy's final approach from 209 yards trickled toward the hole and lipped out, setting up a kick-in eagle that closed out a 5-under 66 to move McIlroy into a tie for seventh.

Quote of the day: "There's a reason I live in Arizona, to avoid that kind of stuff." - Casey on a weather forecast that calls for inclement conditions and high winds for Monday's finale.

Getty Images

McCoy earns medalist honors at 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 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 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 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.

Getty Images

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.