Rookie Lingmerth a surprise leader at Sawgrass

By Will GrayMay 12, 2013, 2:08 am

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Since David Lingmerth lost in a playoff in January at the Humana Challenge, the 2013 season has largely been a struggle for the PGA Tour rookie. That all could change Sunday at TPC Sawgrass.

While many of the leaders struggled to mount a charge during the third round, the 25-year-old Swede ended his day in style, holing an eagle putt at the 16th and following that up with birdie on the infamous 17th. At 12 under, he finds himself two shots clear of the field with 19 holes on the horizon Sunday.

“Obviously, thrilled to be in this position,” said Lingmerth, who will return to the 18th tee early Sunday morning to complete his third round. “It’s going to be a fun day tomorrow.”

To say that Lingmerth’s rise to the top of the leaderboard this week is a surprise would be an understatement. Since his tie for second in Palm Springs, he’s made exactly 10 starts. The results? A tie for 50th, a tie for 51st and eight missed cuts – including five in a row. According to Lingmerth, that recent drought didn’t affect his optimism heading into the week.


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“My game was feeling a lot better than missing five cuts in a row, I can promise you that,” he explained. “It was kind of frustrating because I couldn’t get anything out of my game really. But now this week I’ve been able to score, which obviously helped.”

Though he leads by two shots, Lingmerth has three players lurking in a tie for second – all three of whom have won this event before. He admitted after the round to being aware of the presence of names like Woods, Garcia and Stenson immediately below his, but plans to continue a habit Sunday of not peeking at leaderboards very often.

“Having those guys behind me, I know they’re going to try to hunt me down, of course,” he added. “But I’m just going to try to forget about all that and do my thing.”

A former standout at the University of Arkansas, Lingmerth has exactly one professional win to his credit: the Web.com Tour’s 2012 Neediest Kids Championship on another TPC venue, TPC Potomac in Maryland. Though it’s a far cry from what he’ll face Sunday at TPC Sawgrass, Lingmerth plans to use the experience from last year to his advantage.

“I know that it could be a little bit different to win the Players versus a Web.com Tour event, but it’s just a golf tournament,” he noted. “I’m just going to try to win it.”

With an early return to the course scheduled for Sunday morning, Lingmerth faces a quick turnaround before what is likely the biggest round of his young career. That short respite might be beneficial, since it’s unlikely he’ll be getting much rest with a two-shot lead to ponder.

“It will probably be a little hard to sleep, maybe. But I’m feeling great about things, so hopefully that won’t be a problem,” he added. “We’ll see.”

Rose (62) sets blistering pace in Indonesia

By Associated PressDecember 14, 2017, 3:06 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Justin Rose shot a 10-under 62 Thursday to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, starting on the back nine at Royale Jakarta Golf Club, had five birdies to go out in 31, then birdied four of five holes midway through his final nine and another birdie on his last hole in the $750,000 tournament.


Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters


Gunn Charoenkul (64) was in second place and Kim Giwhan and Phachara Khongwatmai (both 65) were tied for third.

Brandt Snedeker shot 72. Ranked 51st in the world, the American is aiming for a strong finish in Jakarta to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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LaCava: Woods wouldn't talk after H.O.R.S.E. match

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 2:27 pm

The competitive streak within Tiger Woods knows no bounds - even on the basketball court, according to caddie Joe LaCava.

LaCava has been on Woods' bag since 2011, and he recently shared a story on "Inside the Ropes" on Sirius/XM PGA Tour Radio about a clash between the two men over a seemingly friendly game of H.O.R.S.E. Actually, it turned into nine straight games (and nine straight wins) for LaCava, who exploited a weakness in Woods' on-court strategy while leaning on a mid-length jumper of his own:

"The thing with him was if I missed a shot, which I missed plenty of shots, but if I missed the shot he'd go back down to the 3 (point line) because he liked to make the 3," LaCava said. "But it's harder obviously to make a 3, and I'd go right back to the baseline 12-footer, and he couldn't make it."

It's a short list of people who have beaten Woods nine times in any athletic pursuit, let alone in a row. But for LaCava, the fallout from his afternoon of on-court dominance was less than subtle.

"He did not talk to me the rest of the day," LaCava explained. "I didn't even get the old text, 'Dinner is ready,' because I stay across at the beach house. I didn't even get that text that night. I had to get take-out. He didn't announce he wasn't (talking), he just did it. I'm telling you, nine games in a row. Like I said, he's so competitive, even at something like that."

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 3, Tiger Woods

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 12:45 pm

After returning to competition at the Hero World Challenge in December 2016, Woods started the new year with an ambitious slate of tournament starts as he eyed his first full season since 2013. But he made it only three rounds, looking rusty en route to a missed cut at Torrey Pines before withdrawing abruptly in Dubai.

The “spasms” that led to that withdrawal turned out to be something far more serious, as Woods underwent his fourth and most invasive back surgery in April, a lumbar fusion. It brought with it an extensive rehabilitation, and at the Presidents Cup in September Woods humored the prospect that he might never again play competitive golf.

At Liberty National he also faced some scrutiny for an off-course incident from months prior. In May he was arrested for suspicion of DUI, an incident that produced a startling roadside video of an intoxicated Woods struggling to follow instructions from the arresting officer after driving erratically.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


While he was not drinking at the time, Woods was found to have a mix of several prescription medications in his system, including multiple painkillers. He checked himself into a private drug treatment program in July to address his dependency issues, and in October he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of reckless driving.

But the incident was barely a memory when Woods again made a return to competition in the Bahamas at the tournament he hosts. This time around he exceeded nearly every expectation, twice shooting 4-under 68 while tying for ninth among the 18-man field. Having re-tooled his swing following fusion surgery, Woods appeared relaxed, happy and healthy while briefly taking the lead during the tournament’s second round.

What lies ahead for Woods in 2018 remains uncertain, as the stop-and-start nature of this past season serves as a cautionary tale. But after a harrowing arrest and another serious surgery, he seems once again focused on his game, intent on chasing down a new crop of elite talent, some of whom are barely more than half his age.

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 12:30 pm