Perry Retains Lead Tiger Shoots 76

By Golf Channel NewsroomMay 31, 2003, 4:00 pm
DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) -- Another brutal Saturday at Muirfield -- in Ohio, not Scotland -- was too much for Tiger Woods.
 
But not for Kenny Perry.
 
Despite cold, whipping winds and the toughest weekend conditions at Muirfield Village in almost 20 years, Perry made only one bogey in a round of 2-under 70 and led Lee Janzen by two shots going into the final round.
 
'That's probably better than the 61 I shot last week,' Perry said. 'The conditions were brutal. It was raw out there.'
 
Perry, coming off a victory at Colonial with a record score, again ended a solid round with a birdie on the 18th. His approach ran up the ridge, then trickled down the slope to eight feet.
 
He was at 13-under 203.
 
Woods, meanwhile, struggled with his swing and the gusts up to 30 mph made it look even worse. He hit a tee shot out of bounds for triple bogey and played the front nine in 42. He had to play the final four holes in 2-under to shoot 76.
 
It was his worst round ever at Memorial, where he is the only three-time winner, and at times it was reminiscent of his 81 in the third round of the British Open last year at Muirfield -- with one exception.
 
'It's a hell of a lot warmer here,' Woods said.
 
He wound up 11 strokes out of the lead -- just like at Muirfield last summer -- and no chance to catch the golf's hottest players.
 
That's not the case for a few others.
 
Janzen, winless since his second U.S. Open title five years ago, holed two bunkers shots on the back nine -- for birdie on No. 15 and for par on the No. 17 -- and had a 71 that left him at 11-under 202.
 
'I just wanted to hang in there,' Janzen said. 'Regardless of what I shot, I just wanted to enjoy the day -- kind of silly to enjoy a day like today -- but enjoy that I play golf and I was near the lead.'
 
No one had a more enjoyable day than Jose Maria Olazabal. His bogey-free 66 was more than nine strokes better than the average score Saturday. That shot him up from a tie for 30th into a tie for third, along with Vijay Singh and Retief Goosen at 8-under 208.
 
Singh had a 72, while Goosen had three bogeys on the back nine for a 74.
 
Olazabal was the only player to break 70, and only 11 players broke par.
 
About two hours before the leaders teed off, the third round was halted for 46 minutes as a storm system passed. Left behind was the nastiest weather of the year on the PGA Tour, with temperatures in the low 50s and gusts that spell trouble along the tree-lined fairways of Muirfield Village.
 
'It's hard to judge where the wind is coming from,' Woods said. 'The thing that's hard is to get committed over a shot.'
 
That was evident on the first fairway. Woods held his pose and followed the flight of the ball until it landed 25 yards short of the green. He looked at the treetops in frustration, trying to figure out the swirling wind, then tossed his club at the bag.
 
It would get a lot worse, especially on No. 6 when Woods pulled his tee shot through the trees, into a backyard and out of bounds by about two feet. He walked all the way up to his ball before being told it was not in play, then had to return to the tee.
 
He wound up with a triple bogey and made the turn in 42.
 
Woods couldn't turn anywhere for sympathy. Eleven players shot 80 or worse, the highest number on the weekend ever at the Memorial.
 
John Daly drove the 343-yard 14th hole for the third straight day, and this time got a birdie. He also had two triple bogeys and a quadruple bogey for an 83.
 
'It's a survival course more than anything out there,' Ernie Els said after his 70. 'It's pretty punishing. It's the hardest day we've had on the tour to date.'
 
That's what made Olazabal's round so brilliant.
 
The field average was 75.5, the highest for a weekend round since 1981 at Muirfield Village, and Olazabal made it look like he was at the Bob Hope Classic.
 
'It's as good a round as I've seen in a long time,' said Jeff Sluman, his playing partner. 'I'm not unhappy with my 72, but after looking at Ollie's round, it felt like a million.'
 
Ohio tends to bring out the best in Olazabal. He shot a 61 up the road at Firestone in 1990 when he won the World Series of Golf, and took just as much pleasure out of this 66.
 
'Here, it's a different story,' Olazabal said. 'To shoot 66, I think it's really close to that 61.'
 
It got him a lot closer to the lead, but still needing five shots to catch the guy on top.
 
Perry has been practically flawless the last two weeks, no matter the tournament, the course or the condition he faces.
 
'My goal today was to make 18 pars,' Perry said. 'I parred the first nine and said, 'Man, I might do this.''
 
A birdie on the par-3 12th over water ruined that, and another birdie on the 14th almost turned the Memorial into a runaway. But Janzen stayed on his heels, and Perry made his first bogey in 50 holes.
 
'It seems like things are going my way,' Perry said. 'I make the putts when I need to I get the good breaks, but I'm executing my shots.'
 
Related Links
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    Koepka (wrist) likely out until the Masters

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 9:08 pm

    Defending U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka is expected to miss at least the next two months because of a torn tendon in his left wrist.

    Koepka, who suffered a partially torn Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU), is hoping to return in time for the Masters.

    In a statement released by his management company, Koepka said that doctors are unsure when the injury occurred but that he first felt discomfort at the Hero World Challenge, where he finished last in the 18-man event. Playing through pain, he also finished last at the Tournament of Champions, after which he underwent a second MRI that revealed the tear.

    Koepka is expected to miss the next eight to 12 weeks.

    “I am frustrated that I will now not be able to play my intended schedule,” Koepka said. “But I am confident in my doctors and in the treatment they have prescribed, and I look forward to teeing it up at the Masters. … I look forward to a quick and successful recovery.”

    Prior to the injury, Koepka won the Dunlop Phoenix and cracked the top 10 in the world ranking. 

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    Cut Line: Color Rory unafraid of the Ryder Cup

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 19, 2018, 7:09 pm

    In this week’s edition, Rory McIlroy gets things rolling with some early Ryder Cup banter, Dustin Johnson changes his tune on a possible golf ball roll-back, and the PGA Tour rolls ahead with integrity training.


    Made Cut

    Paris or bust. Rory McIlroy, who made his 2018 debut this week on the European Tour, can be one of the game’s most affable athletes. He can also be pointed, particularly when discussing the Ryder Cup.

    Asked this week in Abu Dhabi about the U.S. team, which won the last Ryder Cup and appears to be rejuvenated by a collection of new players, McIlroy didn’t disappoint.

    “If you look at Hazeltine and how they set the course up – big, wide fairways, no rough, pins in the middle of greens – it wasn’t set up for the way the Europeans like to play,” McIlroy said. “I think Paris will be a completely different kettle of fish, so different.”

    McIlroy has come by his confidence honestly, having won three of the four Ryder Cups he’s played, so it’s understandable if he doesn't feel like an underdog heaidng to Paris.

    “The Americans have obviously been buoyant about their chances, but it’s never as easy as that,” he said. “The Ryder Cup is always close. It always comes down to a few key moments, and it will be no different in Paris. I think we’ll have a great team and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    September can’t get here quick enough.

    Mr. Spieth goes to Ponte Vedra Beach. The Tour announced this year’s player advisory council, the 16-member group that works with the circuit’s policy board to govern.

    There were no real surprises to the PAC, but news that Jordan Spieth had been selected to run for council chair is interesting. Spieth, who is running against Billy Hurley III and would ascend to the policy board next year if he wins the election, served on the PAC last year and would make a fine addition to the policy board, but it is somewhat out of character for a marquee player.

    In recent years, top players like Spieth have largely avoided the distractions that come with the PAC and policy board. Of course, we’ve also learned in recent years that Spieth is not your typical superstar.


    Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

    On second thought. In December at the Hero World Challenge, Dustin Johnson was asked about a possible golf ball roll-back, which has become an increasingly popular notion in recent years.

    “I don't mind seeing every other professional sport. They play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball,” he said in the Bahamas. “I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage.”

    The world No. 1 appeared to dial back that take this week in Abu Dhabi, telling BBC Sport, “It's not like we are dominating golf courses. When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy?”

    Maybe it didn’t feel that way, but DJ’s eight-stroke romp two weeks ago at the Sentry Tournament of Champions certainly looked pretty easy.

    Long odds. I had a chance to watch the Tour’s 15-minute integrity training video that players have been required view and came away with a mixture of confusion and concern.

    The majority of the video, which includes a Q&A element, focuses on how to avoid match fixing. Although the circuit has made it clear there is no indication of current match fixing, it’s obviously something to keep an eye on.

    The other element that’s worth pointing out is that although the Tour may be taking the new program seriously, some players are not.

    “My agent watched [the training video] for me,” said one Tour pro last week at the Sony Open.


    Missed Cut

    Groundhog Day. To be fair, no one expected Patton Kizzire and James Hahn to need six playoff holes to decide last week’s Sony Open, but the episode does show why variety is the spice of life.

    After finishing 72 holes tied at 17 under, Kizzire and Hahn played the 18th hole again and again and again and again. In total, the duo played the par-5 closing hole at Waialae Country Club five times (including in regulation play) on Sunday.

    It’s worth noting that the playoff finally ended with Kizzire’s par at the sixth extra hole, which was the par-3 17th. Waialae’s 18th is a fine golf hole, but in this case familiarity really did breed contempt.

    Tweet of the week:

    It was a common theme last Saturday on Oahu after an island-wide text alert was issued warning of an inbound ballistic missile and advising citizens to “seek immediate shelter.”

    The alert turned out to be a mistake, someone pushed the wrong button during a shift change, but for many, like Peterson, it was a serious lesson in perspective.

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    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.”