Gainey One Back at BMW Charity

By Sports NetworkMay 19, 2007, 4:00 pm
2006 BMW Charity Pro-Am at the CliffsGREENVILLE, S.C. -- Richard Johnson shot a 4-under 68 Saturday to take the lead heading into the final round of the Nationwide Tour's BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs.
Johnson stands at 11-under 203 for a one-shot lead over Tommy Gainey, a former and current competitor on the GOLF CHANNEL series 'The Big Break' who continued his surprising run this weekend with a 2-under 69 in the third round.
Gainey, making his first-ever start on the Nationwide Tour, held a share of the second round lead.
'This is a very good feeling,' said Gainey, who was at 10-under 204. 'I've finally got a chance to play and I'm trying to take advantage of it. I'm focused on what I need to do -- and that's win this tournament. I'm playing to win.'
David Mathis fired the round of the tournament Saturday, a 10-under 62, to climb from a tie for 70th place overnight into a share of third alongside first-round leader David Hearn (68) and Peter Tomasulo (69).
That group was at 9-under 205.
Johnson hit 10 of 14 fairways and 13 greens in regulation and made six birdies with two bogeys. He closed with back-to-back birdies at the 17th and 18th to claim the lead.
Sunday, he will be gunning for his third Nationwide Tour win and first since 2000.
'I played solid,' he said. 'I started to change my swing at the end of last year and it's starting to come around. It's a work in progress...but I'm comfortable enough to play with the changes now.'
Gainey found just nine fairways and 13 greens in regulation, collecting six birdies along the way. He was sidetracked by a double-bogey at No. 3 and two additional bogeys, including one at the 17th.
'Today was not one of my better ball-striking rounds,' said Gainey, who was known as 'Two Gloves' on 'The Big Break IV: USA vs. Europe.'
'I made mistakes and chose the wrong clubs sometimes,' he continued. 'So to be 2 under with the way I played is good.'
Johnson played Saturday's round at Cliffs Valley, one of three host courses this week -- and the one that will host Sunday's final round. Gainey shot his 69 at Keowee Vineyards.
Only one player among the top 19 on the leaderboard (Tomasulo) played his third round at Walnut Cove, the other host course.
After three long rounds with an especially large field, the cut line fell at 1-under 213 Saturday with just 60 players moving on to the weekend.
Gary Player, the 71-year-old Hall of Famer from South Africa, ended his fourth straight appearance in this event with a 76 at Cliffs Valley. He finished in second-to-last place.
Gainey, a Bishopville, S.C. resident will face Ashley Gomes in the finale of the GOLF CHANNELs The Big Break VII: Reunion Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET.
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    Golf's Olympic format, qualifying process remain the same

    By Rex HoggardMarch 19, 2018, 6:25 pm

    AUSTIN, Texas – Potential Olympic golfers for the 2020 Games in Tokyo were informed on Monday that the qualification process for both the men’s and women’s competitions will remain unchanged.

    According to a memo sent to PGA Tour players, the qualification process begins on July 1, 2018, and will end on June 22, 2020, for the men, with the top 59 players from the Olympic Golf Rankings, which is drawn from the Official World Golf Ranking, earning a spot in Tokyo (the host country is assured a spot in the 60-player field). The women’s qualification process begins on July 8, 2018, and ends on June 29, 2020.

    The format, 72-holes of individual stroke play, for the ’20 Games will also remain unchanged.

    The ’20 Olympics will be held July 24 through Aug. 9, and the men’s competition will be played the week before the women’s event at Kasumigaseki Country Club.

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    Webb granted U.S. Women's Open special exemption

    By Will GrayMarch 19, 2018, 6:22 pm

    Karrie Webb's streak of consecutive appearances at the U.S. Women's Open will continue this summer.

    The USGA announced Monday that the 43-year-old Aussie has been granted a special exemption into this year's event, held May 31-June 3 at Shoal Creek in Alabama. Webb, a winner in both 2000 and 2001, has qualified for the event on merit every year since 2011 when her 10-year exemption for her second victory ended.

    "As a past champion, I'm very grateful and excited to accept the USGA's special exemption into this year's U.S. Women's Open," Webb said in a release. "I have always loved competing in the U.S. Women's Open and being tested on some of the best courses in the country."

    Webb has played in the tournament every year since 1996, the longest such active streak, meaning that this summer will mark her 23rd consecutive appearance. She has made the U.S. Women's Open cut each of the last 10 years, never finishing outside the top 50 in that span.

    Webb's exemption is the first handed out by the USGA since 2016, when Se Ri Pak received an invite to play at CordeValle. Prior to that the two most recent special exemptions went to Juli Inkster (2013) and Laura Davies (2009). The highest finish by a woman playing on a special exemption came in 1994, when Amy Alcott finished sixth.

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    Notah: Driver is Tiger's No. 1 pre-Masters concern

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 19, 2018, 5:49 pm

    Tiger Woods mounted a Sunday charge at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, sending shockwaves through Bay Hill when it looked as though he might finally claim PGA Tour victory No. 80.

    But the charge came to an end at the par-5 16th, where Woods had missed wide-right three days in a row before going OB-left on Sunday en route to bogey.

    Woods’ API performance featured just a handful of drivers each day, as firm and fast conditions allowed him to make frequent use of a 2-iron off the tee.

    That strategy led to a second top-5 finish in as many weeks, but if Woods wants to win again, if he wants claim another major, he is going to sort out his issues with the big stick.

    A guest Monday morning on the Dan Patrick Show, Golf Channel’s Notah Begay believes the driver will be a focus for Woods in his pre-Masters preparation.

    “Project No. 1 over the next two weeks is going to be the driver. … Any time he has to turn a shot right to left with trouble on the left, he struggles a little bit,” Begay said.

    “Off the sixth tee, off the ninth tee, there was some errant shots. And then we saw the really horrible tee shot yesterday at 16. He talked about in the post-round comments. He just didn’t commit to a shot, and the worst thing that a professional athlete can do to themselves to compromise performance is not commit.

    “And so he made a terrible swing, and that’s the miss that is really difficult for him to recover from, because the majority of his misses are out to the right. So, when you eliminate one half of the golf course, you can really make your way around … a lot easier. When you have a two-way miss going, which sometimes creeps into his driver, it really makes it difficult to take out some of the trouble that you’re looking at when you’re standing on the tee box.

    “So he has to focus in on trying to find some way to navigate Augusta National with the driver, because it’s a course that’s going to force you to hit driver.”

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    McIlroy trails only Woods in Masters betting odds

    By Will GrayMarch 19, 2018, 5:47 pm

    After rallying for victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Rory McIlroy is once again among the betting favorites for the upcoming Masters.

    McIlroy was available at 16/1 at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook last week, listed behind six other players. But after his three-shot win at Bay Hill, his odds were trimmed to 10/1, leaving him behind only betting favorite Tiger Woods.

    Next month will mark McIlroy's fourth opportunity to close out the final leg of the career Grand Slam by slipping into a green jacket. Here's a look at the current betting odds, with the first round only 17 days away:

    8/1: Tiger Woods

    10/1: Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas

    14/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose

    16/1: Jason Day, Jon Rahm

    18/1: Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson

    25/1: Paul Casey, Bubba Watson

    30/1: Sergio Garcia, Tommy Fleetwood, Hideki Matsuyama

    40/1: Henrik Stenson, Marc Leishman

    50/1: Alex Noren

    60/1: Matt Kuchar, Louis Oosthuizen, Adam Scott, Tyrrell Hatton, Thomas Pieters

    80/1: Branden Grace, Brian Harman, Tony Finau, Charley Hoffman, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Cantlay

    100/1: Zach Johnson, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Webb Simpson, Bryson DeChambeau, Xander Schauffele, Charl Schwartzel, Daniel Berger, Kevin Kisner