Toms on Top in PGA Championship

By Mercer BaggsAugust 18, 2001, 4:00 pm
David Toms is in position to join the list of unheralded winners of the PGA Championship.
The 34-year-old Louisianan aced the 243-yard, par-3 15th en route to shooting a 5-under-par 65. He stands at 14-under-par through 54 holes at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Duluth, Ga., two shots clear of Phil Mickelson, who shot 66.
Toms Saturday playing companion Shingo Katayama shot a luck-filled 69 and is tied for third place with Steve Lowery (66) at 10-under. David Duval (67) is alone in fifth place at 9-under.
Toms has already trumped Mickelson once this year, coming from behind to defeat the worlds No. 2 ranked player in the Compaq Classic.
'I think I'm capable of winning,' said Toms, who has five career PGA Tour wins. 'I showed that today, because I hung in there early when I didn't have my game, and a I finished up strong.'
Toms is also vying for an automatic spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup team. He currently resides in 14th place, with this event being the last for players to earn Ryder Cup points.
Click here to see how potential Ryder Cuppers fared in rd. 3
One player Toms and Mickelson wont have to worry about on Sunday is Tiger Woods. The two-time defending champion could only muster a 1-under 69 in the third round, and stands 13 shots off the lead.
Woods, who needed two lengthy birdie putts to make the cut, was unable to produce the expected dramatics. Despite holing a sand wedge from 110 yards for an eagle on the par-4 9th, Tiger ended his round with a pair of bogeys to finish 54 holes at 1-under-par.
I felt like I was actually swinging better, said Woods. I figured if I could get 3- or 4-under on the back nine, I would be back in the tournament. I was not able to do that.
Tigers eagle was just one of a series of spectacular shots produced on Saturday.
Nick Faldo aced the par-3 4th. Mickelson constantly peppered the flagsticks. And, of course, Toms provided the shot of the day at the 15th.

Katayama was easily the most fortunate of the competitors in the third round. Wearing his trademark cowboy hat, Katayama stayed in contention when his tee shot on the par-3 17th caromed of the bricks surrounding the green and managed to stay out of the water.
He went on to make par.
Katayama then used another of his nine lives when he challenged the 490-yard, par-4 18th. Following a short tee shot, Katayama pulled a 3-wood and chose to attack the green. His ball landed in the water, but skipped over the miniature brick wall encompassing the green and landed in the fringe.
Once again, he saved par.
It appeared mid-Saturday that Mickelson might run away from the field. Despite double bogeying the par-4 3rd, the left-hander recorded four birdies on the front nine to make the turn in 2-under 33.
On the backside, Mickelson nearly holed his approach shots on both the 11th and 14th holes. He also added a birdie at the par-5 12th to take a two-shot lead at 13-under.
However, the tide turned at the par-3 15th.
Mickelson missed the green on the 243-yard hole and made a bogey. Then, playing in the group behind him, Toms struck a 5-wood that hit the green, hit the flagstick, and hit the bottom of the hole.
'It was the perfect yardage, the perfect club,' Toms said. 'It's the coolest shot I've ever hit.'
The three-shot swing gave Toms a one-shot lead with three holes remaining.
That advantage stayed intact as the final twosome approached the final hole. Toms hit a beautiful second shot to the longest par-4 on the course that rolled into the first cut of fringe on the back of the green.
Hoping to successfully two-putt to keep the lead entering the final round, Toms gently rolled his ball down the slope and into the cup for an unexpected birdie.
Apart from Woods back-to-back victories the past two years, ten of the 11 champions from 1988 to 1998 made this tournament their first major victory.
Toms would like to join that list, which includes names like Jeff Sluman, Wayne Grady, John Daly and Mark Brooks.
Mickelson would also like to join that list, which also includes Payne Stewart, Nick Price, Davis Love III and Vijay Singh.

News, Notes and Numbers
*This is the seventh time that Mickelson has entered the final round of a major championship within two shots of the lead. In 30 prior final rounds in a major hes only broken 70 twice.
*Toms' 14-under 196 is an aggregate 54-hole PGA Championship scoring record. Ernie Els holds the record in relation to par at 16-under 197 in 1995.
*Rick Schuller, the lone club professional to make the cut, made a 70-foot birdie putt on No. 18 to finish the third round at even par.
*Faldo's hole-in-one came courtesy of a 4-iron on the 204-yard 4th hole. It's his first ace in a major championship.
Full-field scores from the 83rd PGA Championship

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Getty Images

Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

Getty Images

Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

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