Bernhard Langer - October 9, 2012

By Morning Drive TeamOctober 9, 2012, 12:43 pm

On Sunday, Bernhard Langer earned his 16th career victory on the Champions Tour when he won the SAS Championship. His son, who is in graduate school at the University of North Carolina, reminded him on Saturday night that when he won in Minnesota in August he began the round 6 shots back so a comeback on Sunday was possible. He was four shots back in Cary entering the final round and he was able to go out and win with a final round 63.

During the Ryder Cup at Medinah, Martin Kaymer called him to see if he could talk on Saturday morning because he knew that he would not be playing. Kaymer told him that he had made some swing changes in an effort to get better and the opposite thing happened. Langer said that he should stick to what made him successful in the first place and be the best Martin Kaymer that he could be. Kaymer also said that he felt like an extra wheel on the Ryder Cup team because of his struggles in 2012 and because he was the only German on the team. Langer told him that he knew how that felt because he was the only German on the team for many years but the Ryder Cup is truly a great opportunity to connect with other people in a team atmosphere. He encouraged Kaymer to embrace the opportunities that the Ryder Cup can provide and Kaymer seemed to do that.

The long putter has been in use in the golf world for decades and he wonders why only a minority of players use the long putter if it is indeed such an advantage. Langer feels that the long putter is an issue now only because we have had three recent Major Champions win while using the long putter. If the long putter is indeed banned, Langer feels that a number of golfers will leave the game because they will no longer be able to compete and that is very unfortunate for those players and for the game as a whole. If the long putter were truly the answer to putting problems, Langer said that everyone would be using one but that is far from the case.

Since Continental Europe was added to the Ryder Cup in 1979, an interesting dynamic to the European team involves language. For instance, the Spanish players stick together just as the English players stick together in part because they are good friends and in part because they share in a common language. As good as the European team dynamic is, it can be better if players with different languages and cultures can reach out to their teammates and try  to get to know them and respect them as people and not just as competitors.

In 1991, after he missed the putt to retain the Ryder Cup for Europe, he went to Germany and won the very next week on the European Tour. Langer said that the Ryder Cup aftermath was difficult to deal with at first because he felt that he let his teammates down but he later realized that he made a number of great putts just to get into the position to retain the Ryder Cup at 18. He also realized that he made a great stroke at 18 but a couple of spike marks knocked the ball off the line to the hole. His friends, family, and Christian faith also played a big part in helping him move on from the 1991 Ryder Cup. In fact, he won the next week by making key putts when he had to make them.

Simpson WDs from RSM, tweets his father is ill

By Rex HoggardNovember 18, 2017, 10:45 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Following rounds of 67-68, Webb Simpson was in 12th place entering the weekend at the RSM Classic before he withdrew prior to Saturday’s third round.

On Saturday afternoon, Simpson tweeted that he withdrew due to an illness in his family.

“Thanks to [Davis Love III] for being such a great tournament host. I [withdrew] due to my dad being sick and living his last days,” Simpson posted on Twitter on Saturday afternoon.


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Simpson’s father, Sam, caddied for his son during amateur events, and Webb Simpson started playing golf after following his father to the course on family vacations to North Carolina.

“My dad is probably the kindest man I know. He’s always been the guy who knew everyone, everyone knew him, everyone wanted to be around him,” Simpson said in a 2015 interview with David Feherty. “He taught me the game. He’s always been one of those dads who loved to be active with their kids.”

Before play began on Thursday, Luke Donald withdrew after being hospitalized with chest pain. Tests indicated the Englishman’s heart was fine and he returned home to undergo more tests.

New old putter helps Kirk (64) jump into contention

By Rex HoggardNovember 18, 2017, 10:43 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Chris Kirk’s ball-striking has been nearly flawless this fall. Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said for his putting.

In four events this season, Kirk ranks 143rd in strokes gained: putting, but his fortunes have changed this week, thanks at least in part to a return to something familiar.

Kirk switched to an older style of putter similar to the one he used on the Web.com Tour in 2010 to earn his PGA Tour card.

“It's nice to be back in contention again,” said Kirk, who is alone in second place, three strokes behind front-runner Austin Cook. “It's been a little while for me. But I felt great out there today, I felt really comfortable, and so hopefully it will be the same way tomorrow.”


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Kirk is 25th in strokes gained: putting this week and has converted several crucial putts, including a 30-footer for birdie at the 17th hole on his way to a third-round 64.

His putting is similar to 2013 when he won the RSM Classic, and his improved play on the greens has given the 32-year-old confidence going into Sunday’s final round.

“I'll probably be relatively comfortable in that situation, and thankfully I've been there before,” Kirk said. “It's still not easy by any means, but hopefully I'll be able to group together a bunch of good shots and see what it gives me.”

Rookie Cook (66) handling RSM like a pro

By Rex HoggardNovember 18, 2017, 10:24 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Of all the impressive statistics Austin Cook has put up this week at the RSM Classic – he is first in strokes gained: tee to green, strokes gained: approach to the green and scrambling – the one number that stands out is 49.

That’s how many holes Cook went this week without a bogey or worse, a moment that prompted his caddie, Kip Henley, to joke, “The dream is over.”

That loss of momentum at the 14th hole didn’t last long, with the PGA Tour rookie making birdie at the next hole on his way to a third-round 66 and a three-stroke lead.

“Bouncing back from any bogey with a birdie is nice and helps get the number right back. Being my only bogey of the week so far, it was really nice to be able to get that back on the next hole,” said Cook, who leads Chris Kirk at 18 under par. “Going into tomorrow with a three-shot lead instead of a two-shot lead I think is crucial.”


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Although this is the first time Cook has held a 54-hole lead on the Tour, in fact it’s just his fourth start as a Tour member, he has experienced Sunday pressure before. In 2015, he began the final round at the Shell Houston Open one stroke off the lead held by Jordan Spieth.

“Back then my game was good as well, but mentally I've grown a lot and matured a lot and been able to kind of just let small things on the golf course roll off my shoulder instead of getting tied up in one little small mistake,” said Cook, who closed with a 75 at the ’15 Shell Houston Open to tie for 11th.

Park collapses; leaderboard chaos at CME

By Nick MentaNovember 18, 2017, 8:47 pm

Sung-Hyun Park started the day with a three-shot lead and slowly gave it all back over the course of a 3-over 75, leaving the CME Group Tour Championship and a host of season-long prizes up for grabs in Naples. Here’s where things stand through 54 holes at the LPGA finale, where Michelle Wie, Ariya Jutanugarn, Suzann Pettersen and Kim Kaufman share the lead.

Leaderboard: Kaufman (-10), Wie (-10), Jutanugarn (-10), Pettersen (-10), Stacy Lewis (-9), Karine Icher (-9), Austin Ernst (-9), Lexi Thompson (-9), Jessica Korda (-9), Pernilla Lindberg (-9)

What it means: It wasn’t the Saturday she wanted, but Park, who already wrapped up the Rookie of the Year Award, is still in position for the sweep of all sweeps. With a victory Sunday, she would claim the CME Group Tour Championship, the Race to CME Globe’s $1 million jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, and the money title, as she ascends to No. 1 in the Rolex world ranking. Meanwhile, Thompson, too, could take the $1 million and Player of the Year. As those two battle for season-long prizes, a host of other notable names – Wie, Jutanugarn, Pettersen, Korda, Lewis and Charley Hull (-8) – will fight for the Tour Championship.

Round of the day: Kaufman made four birdies on each side in a bogey-free 8 under-par 64. A lesser-known name on a stacked leaderboard, she seeks her first LPGA victory.

Best of the rest: Amy Yang will start the final round two behind after a 7-under 65. The three-time LPGA Tour winner could pick up her second title of the season after taking the Honda LPGA Thailand in February.

Biggest disappointment: On a day that featured plenty of low scores from plenty of big names, Lydia Ko dropped 11 spots down the leaderboard into a tie for 23rd with a Saturday 72. The former world No. 1 needed two birdies in her last five holes to fight her way back to even par. Winless this season, she’ll start Sunday four back, at 6 under.

Shot of the day: I.K. Kim aced the par-3 12th from 171 yards when her ball landed on the front of the green and tracked all the way to the hole.

Kim, oddly enough, signed her name to a scorecard that featured a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. It was all part of a 1-under 71.