Green in Control at KLM Open

By Sports NetworkAugust 7, 2004, 4:00 pm
2004 KLM OpenHILVERSUM, Netherlands -- Richard Green posted a 3-under 67 on Saturday to hold the third-round lead of the KLM Open. He stands at 15-under-par 195 and maintained his three-shot edge at Hilversumsche Golf Club.
Green's 54-hole total of 15-under-par 195 missed the three-round tournament record at this event by a single stroke. Tobias Dier posted a 194 in 2002 en route to victory.
'Fifteen-under was my target,' said Green. 'I felt that if I got to 15 at the end of the day, that would be a nice target. I have to stay in the present moment. That keeps me focused.'
David Lynn fired a 5-under 65 to take sole possession of second place at 12-under-par 198.
Ryder Cup hopeful Paul McGinley, who holed the winning putt for Europe at the 2002 Ryder Cup at the Belfry, shot a 2-under 68 and is tied for third place with Andrew Marshall (65) and Andrew Raitt (71). The trio is knotted at 8-under-par 202.
Green, who began the third round Saturday with a three-shot lead over Raitt, played steady golf to start his round. He rattled off five routine pars, but found himself in a little trouble at the sixth. Green's 30-foot birdie try ran 7 feet past the hole, but his par putt fell into the center of the cup.
He kept with his strategy of hitting his approaches to the center of the green and made three more pars that way for a front-nine, even-par 35.
At the par-3 10th, Green missed the putting surface short and right. He pitched 5 feet from the hole, then ran home the par-saving putt to maintain a two-shot lead over Lynn.
Lynn drew one shot closer at the 13th when he rolled in a 12-foot birdie putt. Green holed another clutch par save, this time from 6 feet at the 11th, but red figures were around the corner.
At the par-5 12th, Green knocked his second 40 feet short of the flag. He lagged his eagle putt to tap-in range for his first birdie since the 18th hole on Friday.
He missed the putting surface long with a 9-iron at the par-3 13th, but chipped in for birdie from behind the green. That birdie gave him a three-shot lead over Lynn.
Lynn kicked in a short birdie putt at the par-5 closing hole to get within two, but Green had two holes to play. Green made par at the 17th, then found the short grass with his second at 18. His 35-foot eagle try stopped 2 feet from the hole to give Green his first 54-hole lead on the European Tour.
'I kept my rhythm going nicely,' said Green. 'I feel like I'm doing it pretty well. I take it a hole at a time. I'm nicely flying along and that's what I want to do again tomorrow.'
Green, an Australian lefthander, has not won on tour since the 1997 Dubai Desert Classic. He has registered a pair of runner-up finishes this season at the Open de France and European Open and is 16th on the Order of Merit.
Despite his success in 2004, Green would love to visit the winner's circle again.
'Too long,' said Green, referring to the seven-year gap since his last victory. 'It would be a very emotional experience. Another 67 or a 66 would be nice.'
Lynn flew out of the gate on Saturday with a birdie at two and a 35-footer for birdie at the third. He bogeyed the fourth for the second time in as many days, but came back with a pair of 5-foot birdie putts at five and six.
He tallied six pars around the turn before his birdie at the 13th. Lynn polished off his round with a birdie at 18 to get within striking distance of his first European Tour win.
Per Nyman (70) and Stephen Scahill (67) are tied for sixth place at minus-7, while Andrew Oldcorn (67) and Miles Tunnicliff (71) share eighth at 6-under-par 204.
Ian Poulter, currently ninth on the European Ryder Cup points list, struggled to a 1-over-par 71 on Saturday and is alone in 10th place at 5-under-par 205.
Related links:
  • Leaderboard - The KLM Open

  • Full Coverage - The KLM Open
  • Getty Images

    McCoy earns medalist honors at Q-School

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

    One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Tour Q-School.

    McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

    It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

    McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

    Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

    Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

    Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

    Getty Images

    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.