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
  • Getty Images

    Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

    Well, this is a one new one.

    According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

    “No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

    Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

    “If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

    The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

    “I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

    The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

    Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

    Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.

    PGA Tour suspends Hensby for anti-doping violation

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 8:02 pm

    Mark Hensby has been suspended for one year by the PGA Tour for violating the Tour’s anti-doping policy by failing to provide a sample after notification.

    The Tour made the announcement Monday, reporting that Hensby will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

    The statement reads:

    The PGA Tour announced today that Mark Hensby has violated the Tour Anti-Doping Policy for failing to provide a drug testing sample after notification and has been suspended for a period of one year. He will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

    Hensby, 46, won the John Deere Classic in 2004. He played the Web.com Tour this past year, playing just 14 events. He finished 142nd on the money list. He once ranked among the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking but ranks No. 1,623 today.

    The Sunshine Tour recently suspended player Etienne Bond for one year for failing a drug test. Players previously suspended by the PGA Tour for violating the anti-doping policy include Scott Stallings and Doug Barron.

    The PGA Tour implemented revisions to its anti-doping program with the start of the 2017-18 season. The revisions include blood testing and the supplementation of the Tour’s prohibited list to include all of the substances and methods on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list. As part of this season’s revisions, the Tour announced it would also begin reporting suspensions due to recreational drug use.

    The Tour said it would not issue further comment on Hensby's suspension.

    Good time to hang up on viewer call-ins

    By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 7:40 pm

    Golf announced the most massive layoff in the industry’s history on Monday morning.

    Armchair referees around the world were given their pink slips.

    It’s a glorious jettisoning of unsolicited help.

    Goodbye and good riddance.

    The USGA and R&A’s announcement of a new set of protocols Monday will end the practice of viewer call-ins and emails in the reporting of rules infractions.

    “What we have heard from players and committees is ‘Let’s leave the rules and administration of the event to the players and those responsible for running the tournament,’” said Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior director of rules and amateur status.

    Amen.

    The protocols, formed by a working group that included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and the PGA of America, also establish the use of rules officials to monitor the televised broadcasts of events.

    Additionally, the protocols will eliminate the two-shot penalty when a player signs an incorrect scorecard because the player was unaware of a violation.



    Yes, I can hear you folks saying armchair rules officials help make sure every meaningful infraction comes to light. I hear you saying they make the game better, more honest, by helping reduce the possibility somebody violates the rules to win.

    But at what cost?

    The chaos and mayhem armchair referees create can ruin the spirit of fair play every bit as much as an unreported violation. The chaos and mayhem armchair rules officials create can be as much a threat to fair play as the violations themselves.

    The Rules of Golf are devised to protect the integrity of the game, but perfectly good rules can be undermined by the manner and timeliness of their enforcement.

    We have seen the intervention of armchair referees go beyond the ruin of fair play in how a tournament should be conducted. We have seen it threaten the credibility of the game in the eyes of fans who can’t fathom the stupidity of a sport that cannot separate common-sense enforcement from absolute devotion to the letter of the law.

    In other sports, video review’s timely use helps officials get it right. In golf, video review too often makes it feel like the sport is getting it wrong, because timeliness matters in the spirit of fair play, because the retroactive nature of some punishments are as egregious as the violations themselves.  

    We saw that with Lexi Thompson at the ANA Inspiration this year.

    Yes, she deserved a two-shot penalty for improperly marking her ball, but she didn’t deserve the two-shot penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard. She had no idea she was signing an incorrect scorecard.

    We nearly saw the ruin of the U.S. Open at Oakmont last year, with Dustin Johnson’s victory clouded by the timing of a video review that left us all uncertain if the tournament was playing out under an incorrect scoreboard.

    “What these protocols are put in place for, really, is to make sure there are measures to identify the facts as soon as possible, in real time, so if there is an issue to be dealt with, that it can be handled quickly and decisively,” Pagel said.

    Amen again.

    We have pounded the USGA for making the game more complicated and less enjoyable than it ought to be, for creating controversy where common sense should prevail, so let’s applaud executive director Mike Davis, as well as the R&A, for putting common sense in play.

    Yes, this isn’t a perfect answer to handling rules violations.

    There are trap doors in the protocols that we are bound to see the game stumble into, because the game is so complex, but this is more than a good faith effort to make the game better.

    This is good governance.

    And compared to the glacial pace of major rules change of the past, this is swift.

    This is the USGA and R&A leading a charge.

    We’re seeing that with the radical modernization of the Rules of Golf scheduled to take effect in 2019. We saw it with the release of Decision 34/3-10 three weeks after Thompson’s loss at the ANA, with the decision limiting video review to “reasonable judgment” and “naked eye” standards. We’re hearing it with Davis’ recent comments about the “horrible” impact distance is having on the game, leading us to wonder if the USGA is in some way gearing up to take on the golf ball.

    Yes, the new video review protocols aren’t a panacea. Rules officials will still miss violations that should have been caught. There will be questions about level playing fields, about the fairness of stars getting more video review scrutiny than the rank and file. There will be questions about whether viewer complaints were relayed to rules officials.

    Golf, they say, isn’t a game of perfect, and neither is rules enforcement, though these protocols make too much sense to be pilloried. They should be applauded. They should solve a lot more problems than they create.

    Lexi 'applaud's USGA, R&A for rules change

    By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 5:15 pm

    Lexi Thompson’s pain may prove to be the rest of golf’s gain.

    David Rickman, the R&A’s executive director of governance, acknowledged on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" Monday that the new protocols that will eliminate the use of TV viewer call-ins and emails to apply penalties was hastened by the controversy following Thompson’s four-shot penalty at the ANA Inspiration in early April. The new protocols also set up rules officials to monitor TV broadcasts beginning next year.

    “Clearly, that case has been something of a focus point for us,” Rickman said.

    Thompson reacted to the new protocols in an Instagram post.

    “I applaud the USGA and the R&A for their willingness to revise the Rules of Golf to address certain unfortunate situations that have arisen several times in the game of golf,” Thompson wrote. “In my case, I am thankful no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future.”

    Thompson was penalized two shots for improperly returning her ball to its mark on a green during Saturday’s round after a viewer emailed LPGA officials during Sunday’s broadcast. She was penalized two more shots for signing an incorrect scorecard for her Saturday round. Thompson ultimately lost in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu.

    The new protocols will also eliminate the additional two-shot penalty a player receives for failing to include a penalty when a player was unaware of the penalty.

    Shortly after the ANA Inspiration, the USGA and R&A led the formation of a video review working group, which included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA of America.

    Also, just three weeks after Thompson was hit with the four-shot penalty, the USGA and R&A released a new Rules of Golf decision decision (34-3/10) limiting video evidence in two ways:

    1. If an infraction can’t be seen with the naked eye, there’s no penalty, even if video shows otherwise.

    2. If a tournament committee determines that a player does “all that can be reasonably expected to make an accurate estimation or measurement” in determining a line or position to play from or to spot a ball, then there will be no penalty even if video replay later shows that to be wrong.

    While the USGA and R&A said the new decision wasn’t based on Thompson’s ANA incident, LPGA players immediately began calling it the “Lexi Rule.”