Bean Still Holds Leads at Greater Hickory

By Sports NetworkSeptember 30, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Greater Hickory Classic at Rock BarnCONOVER, N.C. -- Andy Bean is in prime position for his first Champions Tour victory after a round of 2-under 70 Saturday at the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn. He stands at 11-under-par 133 and is two clear of reigning U.S. Senior Open champion Allen Doyle after 36 holes.
Bean, who matched the course record Friday with a 9-under-par 63, is an 11-time winner on the PGA TOUR, but has yet to visit the winner's circle in almost three seasons on the elder circuit.
Only once in those three seasons has Bean held a piece of the 36-hole lead and that turned out poorly for the 53-year-old. At the 2004 Farmers Charity Classic, Bean shared the second-round lead with Bob Gilder, but fell ill on the driving range due to something he ate. Bean was taken to the hospital and was forced to withdraw.
Assuming he stays away from any bad chicken Saturday night, Bean knows what kind of opportunity he has on Sunday.
'The game is starting to be fun again,' said Bean. 'I'm hitting a lot of good shots. I need to just play a little better tomorrow. You put pressure on yourself to win. I was very patient out there today.'
Doyle, who won his second consecutive U.S. Senior Open title this summer, posted a 6-under-par 66. He is alone in second place at 9-under-par 135, which is one better than Tom Kite (68), R.W. Eaks (67) and Champions Tour rookie Chip Beck (69).
Bean began the second round with a four-shot lead and did nothing to hurt that margin early in round two. He birdied the first and seventh holes, but then battled a balky putter.
At the ninth, Bean's 2-foot par putt lipped out of the hole. He collected his second bogey in a row at 10 when he missed the green, then missed a 5-footer for par.
Bean wasted little time in making up the lost strokes. At the par-4 11th, Bean rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt to get back to 10 under par for the championship.
Bean, who uses a conventional putting technique on all putts outside 5 feet and a claw grip inside 5 feet, converted a pair of tricky 5-foot par putts at 13 and 14. He made routine pars the rest of the way until the par-5 closing hole at the Jones Course at Rock Barn Golf Club and Spa.
He found the fairway off the tee, then reached the putting surface with his second - barely. Bean left himself close to 100 feet for eagle, but lagged it inside 6 feet. Bean drained the birdie putt to move two shots clear of Doyle.
'I really played quite well except for two holes today,' acknowledged Bean. 'All in all, I didn't play much differently than yesterday, I just didn't make the putts.'
Doyle, who upstaged Tom Watson in Kansas this year for his fourth major title on the Champions Tour, birdied the fourth and fifth holes, but it wasn't until the back nine that he became a factor.
Doyle hit a hybrid club left of the target at nine, but the ball spun 3 feet from the hole. He converted that birdie putt, then rattled off back-to-back birdies from the 11th, including a 45-footer at the 12th.
At the par-3 15th, Doyle knocked his tee ball stiff. He kicked in the 2-footer there and had 11 feet for a birdie at the last. Doyle not only missed the putt, but ran his birdie try 4 feet past. He holed that putt to remain the closest pursuer.
'Good day today,' said Doyle. 'I want to be in the mix on the back nine Sunday. It all comes down to that. You hope if you're trailing they guy you're chasing notices you're there.'
Hajime Meshiai (67), two-time winner this season Brad Bryant (68) and Tom Purtzer (69) are knotted in sixth place at minus-7. Ron Streck (66), Joe Inman (68) and Dana Quigley (71) share ninth place at 6-under-par 138.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn
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  • Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

    Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

    By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

    Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

    Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

    Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

    “Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

    Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

    “When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

    Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

    “Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

    In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

    “Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

    Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

    “The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

    Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

    “Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to

    Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

    Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

    LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

    Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

    Christina Kim:

    LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

    LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

    LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

    LPGA pro Jennie Lee:

    Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

    Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

    ''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''

    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open

    Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

    ''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

    Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

    ''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

    Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.

    Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday.