Final Round Viewers Guide

By Randall MellApril 11, 2009, 4:00 pm
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The best Sunday in golf awaits . . . Heres what to look for in the final round.
 

 




 
  • Old Man Marvel goes for history
     
    In an era in which fitness is becoming a larger part of golf, Kenny Perry is a marvel.
     
    If he wins the Masters, hell become the oldest player to win a major championship.
     
    Hes almost proud of the fact that he doesnt spend much time in gyms or working out.
     
    I cant really say Im working out or anything like that, Perry said. And I dont really watch what I eat, but yet, its working. So I havent changed anything.
     
    If he wins, Perry will surpass Julius Boros as the oldest major champion.
     
    Perry would be 48 years, eight months and two days old when slipping on the green jacket.
     
    Boros was 48 years, 4 months and 18 days old when he won the PGA Championship at Pecan Valley Country Club in San Antonio in 1968.

     
  • Angels heavenly run
     
    Angel Cabrera is vying to become the first player in 73 Masters to shoot four rounds in the 60s.
     
    Hes posted rounds of 68, 68 and 69.
     
    Ten other players have opened with three consecutive rounds in the 60s in past Masters, but none have been able to close with another.
     
    Trevor Immelman, the 2008 Masters champion, was the last to have the chance last year but closed with a 75.
     

  • When last is best . . .
     
    Perry and Cabrera will go off in the final pairing at 2:35 p.m.
     
    History likes the guys going off last on a Sunday at the Masters.
     
    The winner has come from outside the final pairing just once in the last 18 years (Zach Johnson in 2007).

     
  • Tiger vs. Phil . . . in the consolation bracket?
     
    The Masters will get that final-round Sunday showdown between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson after all, but barring dramatic charges it may feel like theyre dueling in the consolation bracket.
     
    Mickelson and Woods are tied for 10th and seven shots behind the leaders.
     
    The largest final-round comeback in Masters history is eight shots. Jackie Burke came from that far back to win in 1956. That was the year Ken Venturi seemed destined to go wire to wire as the first amateur to claim a green jacket, but Burke shot 71 with Venturi posting 80.
     
    Woods and Mickelson will go off together at 1:35 p.m., an hour before the leaders.
     
    Woods faces the prospect of going a fourth consecutive year without winning the Masters, his longest stretch without winning at Augusta National since he turned pro in 1996.
     
    Woods has made his Masters' living with big moves on Saturday, but his 70 in the third round probably wasnt big enough to give him a realistic shot at winning his 15th major championship and fifth green jacket. Woods, who has never won a major coming from behind in the final round, has never shot lower than a 68 in the final round of the Masters. His best final round in any major is 65, shot at the 2002 British Open at Muirfield, where he tied for 28th.
     
    Mickelsons best final round at the Masters is 68, shot in 2003, when he finished third. His best final round in a major is 67, shot at the 1998 PGA Championship at Sahalee, where he tied for 34th.

     
  • Tiger vs. Phil through the years
     
    Woods and Mickelson have played together 23 times in PGA Tour events.
     
    Woods scoring average is 69.00 compared with Mickelsons 70.26 in those pairings together.
     
    In the eight times theyve been paired together in majors, Mickelson has posted the lower score just once.

     
  • Furyks fueled by close calls
     
    Jim Furyks bid to win his second major is bolstered by memories of failed finishes at the U.S. Opens at Winged Foot (2006) and Oakmont (2007). He had chances to win down the stretch both times but ended up with back-to-back ties for second place.
     
    Ill be more comfortable in this position because of those tournaments, Furyk said. Ive been in this position before. Youre always anxious. Im sure Tigers anxious, as many events as hes won. So if I woke up tomorrow, and I wasnt anxious and I wasnt nervous and I wasnt excited, I would be one beat away from dead.

     
  • Strickers error-free play
     
    Steve Stricker has played his last 35 holes at Augusta National without a bogey, his longest bogey-free run in a major.
     

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    Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

    By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

    Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

    ''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''


    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


    First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

    ''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

    David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

    The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    ''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

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    The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

    By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

    Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

    Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

    I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

    One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

    So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

    You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

    Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

    I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

    This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

    Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

    On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

    The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

    “What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

    Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

    Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

    Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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    Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

    Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

    Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

    In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

    Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

    After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

    Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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    Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

    Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

    “I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

    Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

    The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.