624th-ranked player leads Watson, Lee at U.S. Open

By Randall MellJune 16, 2016, 10:11 pm

OAKMONT, Pa. – PGA Tour rookie Andrew Landry looked as if he were going to make his first major championship appearance historic.

Bubba Watson looked poised to pick up where he left off the last time he played the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club.

Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy just plain looked out of sorts.

But Thursday’s start of the year’s second major never fully came into focus with passing storms causing three suspensions of play before the USGA halted action for the day.

Just nine players completed the first round when the weather horns blew a final time at 3:51 p.m. Round 1 will resume Friday at 7:30 a.m.

The entire afternoon wave of 78 players, which included Jason Day, Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson, never even reached the first tee. The first suspension was 1 hour and 19 minutes. The second was 2 hours and 26 minutes.

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“The U.S. Open is a test of patience,” Lee Westwood said. “This just adds to it. So try and get your head around it and make the best of it.”

Amateur Scottie Scheffler – the 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur champion who just finished up his sophomore year at the University of Texas – is the leader in the clubhouse after posting a 1-under-par 69.

“The experience, I can't even describe it right now, but I didn't really let the magnitude of what's going on kind of get to me,” Scheffler said.

Landry, 28, leads the suspended round. The 624th-ranked player in the world is 3 under through 17 holes. He was lining up a 10-foot putt for birdie at the ninth hole, his last hole of the day, when play was halted.

With Oakmont softened by overnight rains, Landry took advantage with a hot start. At 5 under with five holes to go, he appeared poised to challenge the record 7-under-par 63 Johnny Miller shot in the final round at Oakmont Country Club when he won the U.S. Open in 1973. The second weather delay, however, cooled Landry off. He came back out and bogeyed his 16th and 17th holes of the day.

Watson, who finished fifth when the U.S. Open was last played at Oakmont in 2007, is at 2 under through 14 holes. Danny Lee, the 2008 U.S. Amateur champion and winner of last year’s Greenbrier Classic, is also at 2 under through 13 holes.

Westwood (13 holes), Kevin Streelman (16 holes) and Harris English (12 holes) are all at 1 under.

Defending champion Jordan Spieth was at 1 over through 11 holes.

“Completely different golf course than we played in the practice round,” Spieth said. “I mean, night and day.”

Fowler is at 6 over through 12 holes with McIlroy at 4 over through 13 holes.

Players were held in shelter on the course during the first suspension of more than an hour and didn’t get to warm up before returning.

“It's a challenge not being able to warm up, going out there and trying to hit tee shots at the U.S. Open, but it is what it is,” Spieth said.

Landry said the rain took some of the fierceness out of Oakmont’s famed greens.

“I think they stimped the greens at like 16 whenever I got here on Monday, which is absolutely crazy,” Landry said. “Now, obviously, they're a good speed, and they're so perfect out there. You can make so many putts.”

Watson made five birdies and three bogeys over his first 11 holes. He rolled in a delicate 50-foot downhill putt at the 10th for his final birdie before the suspension of play.

“I just kept fighting,” Watson said of rebounding from three bogeys. “You don't really think about the mistakes or the bogeys, because everybody's going to make bogeys out here. The golf course is that difficult.”

While Oakmont was softer, it was far from easy. Bryson DeChambeau was on the leaderboard at 3 under before making back-to-back double bogeys at his ninth and 10th holes.

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."

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 3, Tiger Woods

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 12:45 pm

After returning to competition at the Hero World Challenge in December 2016, Woods started the new year with an ambitious slate of tournament starts as he eyed his first full season since 2013. But he made it only three rounds, looking rusty en route to a missed cut at Torrey Pines before withdrawing abruptly in Dubai.

The “spasms” that led to that withdrawal turned out to be something far more serious, as Woods underwent his fourth and most invasive back surgery in April, a lumbar fusion. It brought with it an extensive rehabilitation, and at the Presidents Cup in September Woods humored the prospect that he might never again play competitive golf.

At Liberty National he also faced some scrutiny for an off-course incident from months prior. In May he was arrested for suspicion of DUI, an incident that produced a startling roadside video of an intoxicated Woods struggling to follow instructions from the arresting officer after driving erratically.

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While he was not drinking at the time, Woods was found to have a mix of several prescription medications in his system, including multiple painkillers. He checked himself into a private drug treatment program in July to address his dependency issues, and in October he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of reckless driving.

But the incident was barely a memory when Woods again made a return to competition in the Bahamas at the tournament he hosts. This time around he exceeded nearly every expectation, twice shooting 4-under 68 while tying for ninth among the 18-man field. Having re-tooled his swing following fusion surgery, Woods appeared relaxed, happy and healthy while briefly taking the lead during the tournament’s second round.

What lies ahead for Woods in 2018 remains uncertain, as the stop-and-start nature of this past season serves as a cautionary tale. But after a harrowing arrest and another serious surgery, he seems once again focused on his game, intent on chasing down a new crop of elite talent, some of whom are barely more than half his age.

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 12:30 pm