Who Will Rule the World

By Mercer BaggsApril 20, 2002, 4:00 pm
Justin Leonard paddled forward, while Phil Mickelson and Davis Love III spent Saturday on Hilton Head Island swimming in circles. Leonard shot 5-under 66 to grab sole possession of the lead entering the final round of the WorldCom Classic.
 
The Texan ' small in stature, but heavy in grit ' stands at 16-under-par 197, three shots clear of Cameron Beckman (67). The mark is a new 54-hole tournament record by a stroke.
 
'Fifty-four-hole records are great,' Leonard said. 'But we want to have 72-hole records. Those are what counts.'
 
Mickelson (72) and Heath Slocum (66) are four back. Love (72) and Angel Cabrera (70) are tied for fifth place, at 10-under.
 
Leonard started the day two shots back of overnight leader Mickelson, but fell four off the pace as he bogeyed the first and Lefty birdied the second.
 
That proved, however, to be one of only two dropped shots on the day for Leonard. He birdied Nos. 4, 5, 6 and 8 to tie Mickelson by turn, at 13-under. Mickelson followed his birdie at the second with a bogey at the third, and then parred his remaining six holes going out.
 
Love, meanwhile, turned in 1-under 35 to get within one, but missed a three-foot par putt at the 10th to fall two back. The back nine was a series of alternating jumps on the up- and down-escalators.
 
The four-time Heritage champion sank a 15-foot birdie at the 12th; bogeyed the 13th, when his approach shot buried next to the wooden planks in the greenside bunker; missed another three-footer for par at No. 14; made a 12-foot birdie putt on 15; and three-putted the final hole to finish the day six off the lead.
 
Mickelson was only slightly more consistent on the back.
 
He hit the pin with his approach shot at the 10th, but lipped out the 10-footer for birdie. He stuck a wedge to six feet, and converted the putt at No. 12; however, he struggled with his short irons down the stretch.
 
Mickelson buried his approach shot, from 129 yards, into the front greenside bunker at the par-4 13th and made bogey to fall one back of Leonard. He made it back-to-back bogeys when he missed the green left and long at the par-3 14th.
 
Only 90 yards from the hole on the par-5 15th, Mickelson blasted his third shot over the green, and was forced to make a 12-foot par save ' the first of four successive pars coming in.
 
'I didn't play as well as I'd like. I had trouble making birdies,' Mickelson said. 'I felt like I did a good job keeping it around par because I did not hit very many greens today.'
 
Leonard, seeking his first victory since his successful defense in last years Texas Open, showed a far steadier hand.
 
He stuffed a 9-iron, from 149 yards, to a foot on the par-4 12th. The 1997 British Open champion then made a 15-foot birdie at No. 15, and punctuated his round with an approach to two feet on 18.
 
While the big names stole the spotlight Saturday, a couple of lesser knowns snuck up the leaderboard, and into contention.
 
Beckman, who won last years final full-field event, the Southern Farm Bureau Classic, earned his way into the final twosome with a back-nine 32. Slocum, a three-time winner on the 2001 Buy.Com Tour, didnt drop a shot in a five-birdie third round.
 
Full-field scores from the WorldCom Classic
Getty Images

Podcast: Daly takes big pride in 'Little John'

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 5:28 pm

John Daly is a two-time major champion, but the newest trophy in his household belongs to someone else.

That’s because Daly’s son, 14-year-old Little John “LJ” Daly, rallied to capture an IJGT junior golf event over the weekend. The younger Daly birdied the first extra hole to win a five-person playoff at Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

Daly recently sat down for a Golf Channel podcast to describe what it’s like to cheer for his son and PNC Father-Son Challenge partner, share the unique challenge presented by the upcoming Diamond Resorts Invitational and reflect on some of the notable highs of a career that has now spanned more than 25 years.

Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid

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.


Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters


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.