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Catch him if you can: Spieth leads by three in N.Y.

By Rex HoggardAugust 26, 2017, 11:08 pm

OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. – You know the deal, in the playoffs things can change faster than a New York minute, although to be accurate it took the better part of 20 minutes on Saturday to completely shake things up at the Northern Trust.

In consecutive groups, co-leaders Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth and Jhonattan Vegas bogeyed the opening hole at Glen Oaks. Just like that, Dustin Johnson went from absolute gridlock to gliding along like he was heading east on the Long Island Expressway after a long holiday weekend.

That solitude didn’t last. It never does in these parts.

Spieth tied Johnson with a 21-footer for birdie at the fifth and pulled away with back-to-back birdies at Nos. 7 and 8 on his way to a 6-under 64 which tied for the day’s lowest round and set him three strokes clear of Johnson and a cool five shots ahead of everyone not named Dustin.

Glen Oaks has proven to be a formidable first-time test, particularly the club’s outward loop that has played nearly a stroke harder than the closing nine, but unless there’s a similar early shakeup like the one that highlighted Saturday’s round this could quickly turn into a walk-off for Spieth.

“There's a lot of bogey, birdie, two-, three-shot swings on holes out here because if you're in the fairway, a lot of them become birdie holes versus in the rough they become really difficult pars,” Spieth said. “So anything can happen tomorrow.”

Of course Spieth would say that, it’s what he’s supposed to say and of all the 24-year-old’s attributes humility is by far his most endearing, but some of those who will begin Sunday chasing didn’t share his optimism.


The Northern Trust: Articles, video and photos

FedExCup standings entering the playoffs


When Tiger Woods donned the black and red on Sunday in his prime with a field goal advantage there was a general sense of admiring acceptance that everyone else was playing for second place. Spieth isn’t that guy. Maybe he’ll get there when he wins 11 more majors, but there is something about the Golden Child that gives the field pause.

“You didn't see Tiger hitting it off the practice ground at an Open Championship and making errors, and then amazing come backs,” said Paul Casey, a reference to Spieth’s historic scrambling victory last month at Royal Birkdale. “Jordan's got something very special. What he did at the Open Championship was brilliant, absolutely brilliant, after the start. He has something.”

Casey will begin the final round in a large group at 7 under that includes Patrick Reed, Jon Rahm and Matt Kuchar; with Johnson at 9 under thanks to a closing birdie that helped narrow the gap on Speith.

That’s not exactly a group that lacks either experience nor firepower, nor are they the type of players who shrink from a challenge, but given Spieth’s track record this season, having won The Open and Travelers Championship in dramatic fashion, it should be no surprise that they would gauge their title chances with a dollop of realism.

“You're going to have to ask for some help from the guy at the top who doesn’t normally give much help,” said Reed, a likely partner of Spieth’s in a few weeks at the Presidents Cup. “If he goes out and shoots even par and gets to 12 under, that means a lot of us are going to have to shoot 4 or 5 under just to catch him.”

Spieth’s track record is rather clear on this front. He’s 5-for-5 with a 54-hole lead of two shots or more in his career, and he’s converted nine of his last 10 54-hole leads.

Although there have been some high-profile stumbles this season, he’s always seemed to emerge unscathed.

At the Travelers Championship in June, he began the final round a stroke clear of the field and stumbled to a closing 70 only to beat Daniel Berger in a dramatic playoff; and at The Open he turned a three-stroke 54-hole lead into a deficit late on the back nine only to play his last five holes in 5 under and win his third major.

While those victories were memorable, Spieth admitted he would much rather enjoy a Sunday like the one he had in February when he began the final lap six clear of the field at Pebble Beach and cruised home to a 70 for a four-stroke victory.

“I think that's what anyone would prefer. I don't expect it, though,” Spieth said. “I've got DJ within three and Rahm, Paul Casey, some guys who have been playing extremely well this whole year. So you expect them to shoot 4 or 5 under rounds; and therefore, I need to go out and do what we've been doing.”

Although the Pebble Beach scenario would be ideal, he’ll take a victory any way he can get it. Just don’t expect him to have the same impact on the field as Woods did in his prime, when his name atop a leaderboard was worth a stroke a side.

“I imagine it's not like guys that were chasing Tiger where you almost felt hopeless,” Spieth said. “I've shown that, you know, things can get a little off and have to get back on track.”

Things can happen quickly when players are this talented, the rough is this thick and the stakes this high, but those who wish to make Sunday something other than a stroll for Spieth will have to make an early move if they don’t want this tournament to be over in, well, a New York minute.

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Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. 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.

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.


Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'


President at the Presidents Cup


Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump


Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73


Cart on the green


Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green


Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open


Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National


Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open


Trump golf properties

Vandalism

Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

Finances


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers


Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover


Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up


Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.