Levin hopes to avoid another Sunday collapse

By June 2, 2012, 11:39 pm

DUBLIN, Ohio – The last time Spencer Levin had the 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour, the almost inconceivable happened. 

Levin took a six-shot lead into Sunday in Phoenix, but it wilted into a two-shot defeat to Kyle Stanley at the Waste Management Open. 

The California kid will have a chance at redemption and a first PGA Tour win at the Memorial Tournament on Sunday. Levin carded a third-round best 69 to lead the tournament by a shot over Rory Sabbatini at 8 under par.

In the driver's seat after three rounds for the second time this season, Levin is not certain how he will handle it.

'I'll be able to answer that tomorrow when I get done,' he said.

In Phoenix, an unlucky break eventually led to his undoing. Finding a cactus at the 15th hole of the final round, Levin was forced to putt his ball out of the way. For his effort, he was stuck by the prickly plant before making a disastrous double-bogey seven.

On Saturday, in a city sharing the name with the Irish capital, he was much luckier.

'I had some really good breaks, so I'll take it,' he said. 'If you're going to shoot the low round of the day out here on the Tour, or any day, you're going to have a couple of good breaks or make long putts or chip in.'

Levin had all of that in his round. He chipped in for eagle at the par-5 fifth to jump out to the lead alone. He saved par at the eighth despite misreading his putt, then snaked in a 15-foot par bid he did not expect at the penultimate hole.

Turning 28 in 12 days, Levin could give himself the perfect birthday present with a win.

The victory would afford him enough Official World Golf Ranking points to easily crack the top 60 by the June 11 cutoff and land him in the U.S. Open at Olympic Club in San Francisco. Even in defeat, an Open berth would be a consolation prize if he finishes in the top three.

The exemption would also give him Monday off, as he is currently committed to play in the 36-hole U.S. Open sectional qualifier in town. 

He could, instead, reciprocate a favor done by his caddie this week and friend, Jon Turcott. Turcott will be playing 45 minutes away in Springfield, Ohio. He practiced on Wednesday and Saturday morning. 

'He's a good player,' Levin said, 'and we seem to get along pretty good. I enjoy his company.'

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.