Goose Chase at Pinehurst No 2

By Sports NetworkJune 18, 2005, 4:00 pm
PINEHURST, N.C. -- Defending champion Retief Goosen overcame a terrible stretch on the back nine with three birdies in his final five holes Saturday to shoot a one-under 69 and take a three-shot lead at the 105th U.S. Open Championship. Goosen is the only player under par through three rounds, as he stands at three-under-par 207 at Pinehurst No. 2.
 
Jason Gore, the Nationwide Tour player who got into the field through local and sectional qualifying, birdied the last to shoot an even-par 70. He is tied for second place with Olin Browne, who also posted a 70, at even-par 210.
 
Retief Goosen
Retief Goosen has his sights set on winning his third U.S. Open in the last five years.
Tiger Woods, a two-time U.S. Open winner and reigning Masters champion, carded a two-over 72 and is part of a group tied for seventh place at plus-three.
 
Woods is six back in his pursuit for a third U.S. Open title. He knows he still has a chance, but it will take an extraordinary effort and some help from Goosen.
 
'We've seen it at Carnoustie where Paul Lawrie came from ten back,' said Woods, referring to the 1999 British Open. 'Anybody who's at five-, six-, seven-over par, you shoot a good quality round tomorrow, you don't know what can happen.'
 
The problem will be catching Goosen.
 
He has already won this test of golfing patience twice and is difficult to catch with a lead. Since his win at Southern Hills in 2001, Goosen has held the 54-hole advantage 11 times on both the PGA Tour and European Tour. He has won nine times, including both his U.S. Opens.
 
The South African was tied for the lead at the start of the round with Browne and Gore, and Goosen assumed the top spot with a birdie at four. He shared the lead throughout most of the front nine with Gore, but both found problems early on the back nine.
 
Goosen's trouble began at the par-four 12th. His drive hit a spectator in the foot, then his second missed the green on the left. Goosen's chip failed to reach the top of one of Pinehurst's numerous sloped greens, and Goosen missed his 20-footer for par.
 
Things got worse quickly for the fifth-ranked player in the world as his drive at 13 landed in thick rough. He chopped his second over the green, which left him a dangerous downhill chip. Goosen could do no better than chip his third off the other side of the green, then his fourth came up 15 feet short and could have rolled back to his feet. Goosen missed that putt and left with a double-bogey.
 
Goosen dropped to even par for the championship and that left Gore with a one- shot lead. That was short-lived because Gore was making a mess of the 14th.
 
Gore drove into the right rough and was forced to pitch back into the fairway. His third landed long and right, then he pitched 40 feet past the hole. Gore missed the long bogey save and walked away with a double-bogey, falling to one-over for the tournament.
 
Goosen was back in the lead with Mark Hensby, but the defending champ quickly took back first. His drive at 14 landed in a fairway bunker, but he hit his approach 30 feet left of the hole. Goosen sank the long birdie putt to move ahead by one at minus-one.
 
At the par-three 15th, Goosen took a risk and went at the pin located on the left side of the green. His six-iron came to rest eight feet from the hole and he converted the birdie try to move two ahead.
 
Goosen had a reasonable look at birdie at 16, but made par. At the par-three 17th, his seven-iron tee ball stopped six feet from the hole, but Goosen missed.
 
On the closing hole, Goosen missed the fairway again and his second landed left of the green. Goosen holed the putt from off the surface to extend the margin to three.
 
'I had a good finish, which was nice,' said Goosen, who only hit six fairways on Saturday. 'If I play pretty solid tomorrow, I suppose I have a good chance. It's not easy to make up ground on this course. It's easy to lose ground.'
 
If Goosen makes it to the winner's circle on Sunday, he will become the first player since Curtis Strange in 1988-89 to win back-to-back titles. He could also join an elite club of five who have more than two U.S. Open titles.
 
'It really all depends on what I do tomorrow,' said Goosen. 'I felt pretty good out there today. I felt more relaxed today, than I did yesterday. I felt a little too relaxed in the middle of the round, but coming down the stretch, I played well.'
 
Gore was one-over on his round before the debacle at 14. He steadied himself over the next three holes, but drained an 18-foot birdie putt at the last to put him in Sunday's final pairing of his second U.S. Open.
 
'I've come this far, who knows?,' said Gore, who is becoming a crowd favorite this week. 'It's still golf. I'll take it one at a time and if they invite me out to the 18th green and hand me a large piece of silver, that will be pretty special.'
 
Browne, who fired a 59 in sectional qualifying to get here, had only one highlight on his front nine. He ran home a 45-foot birdie putt at the sixth, a hole that cost him the lead on Friday thanks to a double-bogey.
 
Browne fell down the leaderboard with five bogeys through his first 14 holes. But at the 15th, Browne rolled in a six-footer for birdie. He added another birdie at 17 to get into a share of second.
 
Michael Campbell holed out for birdie from a bunker at the 17th on Saturday. He shot a one-over 71 and is tied for fourth place with Hensby, who posted a two-over 72. The duo is knotted at one-over-par 211.
 
David Toms managed an even-par 70 in round three and is alone in sixth at plus-two.
 
Woods was joined in seventh by Peter Hedblom (70), Lee Westwood (73) and K.J. Choi (74).
 
Peter Jacobsen, in the field because he won last year's U.S. Senior Open, aced the ninth hole en route to the only other under-par round besides Goosen's on Saturday. Jacobsen shot a 69 and is part of a group in 11th, which includes Vijay Singh.

Related links:
  • Leaderboard - 105th U.S. Open
  • Full Coverage - 105th U.S. Open
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.