Rachel Teske Press Conference Transcript
Q. No birdies at the par 5's. Did you have chances?
RACHEL TESKE: Let's see. No. 2, I had a good chance. Well, I was short of the green about 20 yards. Really should have made it there. No. 9, I was about 80 yards out for my third shot, and hit a pretty good shot. Where else? 11, I missed the fairway there, so I had quite a long birdie putt there. No. 18, I hit it past the hole, long putt there. Probably 2 and 9 were my best chances.
Q. You've had some pretty good rounds at this tournament the last couple of years.
RACHEL TESKE: Yeah.
Q. Is this just someplace that you're comfortable? Is this a tournament that you aim for at the start of the year?
RACHEL TESKE: I really like the golf course here. I just feel comfortable playing it. You've got to hit your driver really well. I feel like you have to shape the shots off the tee a lot. I feel fairly good. It's always a challenge to be able to draw and fade the ball, and I really like that. You know, you just like the tournament, probably because mostly it's one of my favorite courses. I feel like I can play really well. When I putt well, you make a lot of birdies, end up with a good score. You know, since I've been able to play this tournament, it's been one of my goals really to win it because I love the golf course, and I just love the setup of the tournament.
Q. Is this the first time you've been in this position in a major?
RACHEL TESKE: Yeah, I think it probably would be. I haven't really played well in any of the majors that I can remember. I have a bad memory anyway.
Yeah, I think it probably definitely is.
Q. Will it worry you tomorrow?
RACHEL TESKE: No.
Q. What is your thought process right now?
RACHEL TESKE: Well, today it was, you know, to drive the ball well and hit it in the fairways and make birdies from there. I think it will be the same tomorrow because the rough is thick, and you really have to hit it in the fairway to have a good shot at the hole, at the pins. So tomorrow, you know, probably pretty similar mindset: hit the fairways, make the most of my chances of birdie.
Q. When was the last time you had this good a putting round?
RACHEL TESKE: Let's see. I had a couple of good rounds in Phoenix last week. I think I had two 67s there. I putted fairly well that week, as well.
Q. How have you been putting during the year?
RACHEL TESKE: Putting pretty solid during the year actually. I started putting well in Florida at the beginning of the year, then didn't putt so good for a few weeks after that. Now it's coming back. Sort of comes and goes. I always feel like I putt fairly well. You know, there's just days where I make a lot, and there's days where I hit a lot of good putts and they don't go in.
Q. Any impatience not having won last year after the two wins the year before?
RACHEL TESKE: Not really impatience because I feel like my game has improved so much from when I won. I feel like I'm going to be able to put myself -- put myself in contention a lot more now because I feel I'm a better player now than I was then. I know I'm going to win sometime soon. You know, it will come.
Q. Did you approach today's round any differently from the first two rounds?
RACHEL TESKE: From the first two rounds?
RACHEL TESKE: I guess today I was probably just really -- I was really focused on playing well because Pat was out there at 6-under. You know, I really feel since the off-season, this is one tournament where I really wanted to play well. I feel this year I want to play a lot better in the majors. I guess Pat being 6-under, I really had to get out and play well today. I was really determined to do that, hit the fairways, give myself the best chance to do that.
Full Coverage of the Nabisco Championship
McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School
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 Web.com 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 Web.com 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 Web.com 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
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.
Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4
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
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."
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.