Kuchar Flying High in Air Canada

By Mercer BaggsAugust 31, 2001, 4:00 pm
Is it irony or coincidence that Matt Kuchar is in contention through two rounds of the Air Canada Championship?
Kuchar fired a second-round 5-under-par 66 to move to 8-under for the tournament, two shots off the 36-hole lead in Surrey, BC.
Hopefully, Ill be in contention over the weekend, thats all you can ask for, Kuchar said.
Joel Edwards shot 67 to maintain his position at the top of the leaderboard. Fridays bogey-free performance has him at 10-under-par.
The rough is so brutal nowand the greens being firmer, to play without a bogey today is pretty big for me, said Edwards, whose best PGA Tour finish came in tie for second in the 1992 B.C. Open.
Per Ulrik-Johansson (66) is tied with Kuchar for second place at 8-under. 1999 U.S. Amateur champion David Gossett is at 7-under following a second-round 68.
With all the hype surrounding players making their maiden or sophomore starts this week, Kuchar was lost in the crowd of others in the field.
In fact, its been a while since the public has gazed upon the 23-year-olds cemented smile.
It was four long years ago that Kuchar made a name for himself by winning the 1997 U.S. Amateur Championship.
He then captivated the golf community by enthusiastically tying for 21st in the 1998 Masters Tournament, and tying for 14th in the 98 U.S. Open.
But instead of capitalizing on his newly found fame, Kuchar kept intact his amateur status.
Forgoing lucrative endorsements, Kuchar returned to Georgia Tech University, where he soon became the second best player on his team, behind Bryce Molder.
It wasnt until this year that Kuchar made a full commitment to his professional career.
Hes played in five prior PGA Tour events in 2001, missing three cuts. Hes also competed in a trio of Buy.Com tournaments, with his best finish coming in a tie for second in the Siouxland Open.
It might surprise you to learn that Kuchar is still too young to rent a car. Hes not the shadowy elder statesman of the youth golf movement. He just stepped into the spotlight at a very early age.
Erik Compton, 21; Jeff Quinney, 22; and James Driscoll, 23, all made their professional debuts this week. Molder, 22, and Luke Donald, 23, did the same a week ago.
That list doesnt include a pair of 22-year-olds ' Gossett and Charles Howell III. Gossett won this years John Deere Classic, while Howell has earned over $1 million.
All of the above have impressive amateur resumes. All have powerful professional potential.
So, too, did Kuchar. Or is that so, too, does Kuchar?
Hope the guys havent forgotten me out here, joked Kuchar. Bryce, Charles and Dave Gossett have gotten off to a great start. Maybe Ill have a nice weekend and put my name in that slot.
Friday, Kuchar recorded six birdies and one bogey. He climbed to within one of the lead at 9-under, but bogeyed the par-4 8th to finish at minus-8.
As for the debutants, Compton and Quinney missed the cut; while Driscoll shot 68 to enter the weekend at 4-under.
Jesper Parnevik is also at 4-under following an even-par 71. Defending champion Rory Sabbatini shot 70 to finish at 5-under.
Overnight co-leader Greg Kraft is now four off the lead after shooting 70.
Full-field scores from the Air Canada Championship
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Highlights: Woods shoots Saturday 69 at API

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 17, 2018, 8:40 pm

Tiger Woods made six birdies Sunday, including one at the home hole, to shoot 3-under 69 and move to 7 under par for the week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

When he walked off the golf course, he was four off the 11-under pace set by Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson and Bryson DeChambeau, all of whom were still on the course.

"I'm going to have to shoot a low one tomorrow, and probably get a little bit of help," Woods told Golf Channel's Steve Sands in a post-round interview. "But my responsibility is to go out there and shoot a low one first."

Woods didn't bogey the first hole on Saturday like he did the day prior - but he did drop at a shot at the par-3 second when he failed to get up and down from the bunker.

Luckily, it wouldn't take him long to get that stroke back. One hole later, at the dogleg-left, par-4 third, Woods ripped a 2-iron off the tee, hit a less-than-stellar approach long and right, and poured in this 38-footer for birdie to get back to even par on the day.

He followed with another at the par-5 fourth, smoking a drive 313 yards uphill, short-siding himself with his second shot, and playing this deft pitch to set up a tap-in 4.

After a par save from the bunker at 5, Woods missed the fairway right at the par-5 sixth, laid up with his second, spun a wedge to 15 feet with his third, and rolled in this third birdie of the day to move to 6 under for the week.

Woods' momentum was slowed by a bogey at 8, the product of an errant tee shot, and a missed birdie try at 9 left Tiger to make the turn in 1 under-35, minus-5 for the week.

He quickly returned to 6 under for the championship when he hit an approach from 186 to inside 10 feet at the par-4 11th and walked in the putt:

Following four straight pars, Woods for the second day in a row made an unlikely birdie at the par-5 16th after missing the fairway to the right and declining to layup.

Woods would drop one more shot coming in when his ball fried in the front bunker at 17, leading to a bogey, but this closing birdie at 18, his sixth of the day, got him into the clubhouse 3 under for the round and 7 under for the week. It also elicited a rare straight-down fist pump.

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Two-time major champ Pettersen pregnant

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 7:14 pm

PHOENIX – Suzann Pettersen is pregnant with her first child.

Pettersen’s husband, Christian Ringvold, confirmed the news with Golf Channel’s Jerry Foltz.

Pettersen, 36, who married Ringvold in January of 2017, is due in the fall. The 15-time LPGA winner and two-time major champion has yet to make her first start this year. She’s an eight-time Solheim Cup veteran.

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Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Tiger TrackerMarch 17, 2018, 3:00 pm

It was a 3-under 69 on Saturday for Tiger Woods for a 7-under total through three rounds. We tracked him at Bay Hill.

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Fowler among 5 to skip WGC-Match Play

By Ryan LavnerMarch 17, 2018, 2:24 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Five of the top 64 players in the world will skip next week’s WGC-Dell Match Play.

Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka and Adam Scott all will miss the second WGC event of the year, held next week at Austin Country Club.

As a result, the last man into the field is world No. 69 Luke List. Kevin Na, Charles Howell III, Joost Luiten and Keegan Bradley also got into the field.

Julian Suri and Bill Haas are the first two alternates, if anyone else withdraws from the round-robin-style match-play event.

This is the second year in a row that Rose, Fowler, Stenson and Scott will not play in Austin. Koepka reached the quarterfinals each of the past two years, but he is still recovering from a wrist injury.

The final seeding for the event will be determined after this week’s tournaments. The bracket show is at 7:30 p.m. Monday, live on Golf Channel.