Fleisher Seeks Redemption in Mass

By Mercer BaggsJune 28, 2001, 4:00 pm
Bruce Fleisher doesnt want to burn any witches at Salem Country Club, but he wouldnt mind exorcising a demon or two while hes there.

Fleisher shot a 1-under-par 69 to take a one-shot lead in the 22nd U.S. Senior Open.
 
Frank Conner and Gil Morgan are tied for second place after a pair of even-par 70s. Jack Nicklaus heads a group of players at 1-over. Nicklaus, Isao Aoki, Walter Hall and Dana Quigley all opened in 71.
 
Fleisher led after each of the first three rounds at Saucon Valley in Bethlehem, Penn., a year ago. However, a two-shot lead turned into a three-shot defeat to Hale Irwin, who closed in 65 to win his second Senior Open in three years.
 
God, I hope I do get in position like I did last year, Fleisher said. I just dont want to get Hale Irwin mad. Thats all.
 
Fleisher has won 13 times in less than three years on the 50-and-over circuit, though none of those have come in a major championship.
 
Thursday, he was the only player to break par on a difficult layout in Peabody, Mass.
 
The pin placements I thought were very good and very fair ' very difficult, he said.
 
Added Nicklaus: I think we probably played about a dozen pin placements that I didnt think we would see. Which was fine, because they didnt take the greens and make them lightning fast so we couldnt play them.
 
Perhaps more than his score, Fleisher enjoyed the company he kept on Thursday.
 
Fleisher played alongside Nicklaus and Raymond Floyd, who shot 72.
 
Who would have thought Bruce Fleisher would be the best player in this threesome, quipped television announcer Johnny Miller.
 
The trio started on the back nine. It marked the first time in tournament history the USGA used split tees.
 
Fleisher played steadily, making the turn in even-par 35. However, Nicklaus struggled, carding a 3-over-par 38.
 
Upon making the turn, the two-time Senior Open champion found his groove. He birdied the par-4 1st and the par-5 6th for a bogey-free 33 on his inward half.
 
After shooting 38 for the front nine, you bet Im pleased to come back to shoot 71, said Nicklaus, who hasnt won since the 1996 Tradition.
 
Fleisher also birdied the 1st and then posted eight straight pars to close his round.
 
One player who had problems coming home was the defending champion.
 
Irwin was 1-under-par through 13 holes, but finished with two bogeys and a double bogey over his final five holes.
 
Im very frustrated with my game right at the moment. In fact, Im very irritated with things right now, said Irwin, who opened in 67 in the U.S. Open two weeks ago.
 
Ive been working very hard. Im trying to get my game back in shape. It seems like the more I work, the less I get out of it.
 
Tom Kite, who shot a final-round 64 in the U.S. Open, is also at 3-over-par following a 73.
 
Full-field scores from the U.S. Senior Open
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Snedeker starts slow in effort to snag Masters invite

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.

Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.

Nathaniel Crosby at the 1983 Bing Crosby Pro-Am at Pebble Beach. Getty Images

Crosby selected as 2019 U.S. Walker Cup captain

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 3:19 pm

The USGA announced that former U.S. Amateur champ Nathaniel Crosby will serve as the American captain for the 2019 Walker Cup, which will be played at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.

Crosby, 56, is the son of entertainment icon and golf enthusiast Bing Crosby. He won the 1981 U.S. Amateur at The Olympic Club as a teenager and earned low amateur honors at the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He also played in the 1983 Walker Cup, coincidentally held at Royal Liverpool, before embarking on a brief career in professional golf, with his amateur status reinstated in 1994.

"I am thrilled and overwhelmed to be chosen captain of the next USA Walker Cup team," Crosby said in a statement. "Many of my closest friends are former captains who will hopefully take the time to share their approaches in an effort to help me with my new responsibilities."

Crosby takes over the captaincy from John "Spider" Miller, who led the U.S. squad both in 2015 and earlier this year, when the Americans cruised to a 19-7 victory at Los Angeles Country Club.

Crosby is a Florida resident and member at Seminole Golf Club, which will host the 2021 matches. While it remains to be seen if he'll be asked back as captain in 2021, each of the last six American captains have led a team on both home and foreign soil.

Started in 1922, the Walker Cup is a 10-man, amateur match play competition pitting the U.S. against Great Britain and Ireland. The U.S. team holds a 37-9 all-time lead in the biennial matches but has not won in Europe since 2007.

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."