Gronbergs Lucky 13 Leads International

By Sports NetworkAugust 10, 2006, 4:00 pm
2005 The INTERNATIONALCASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- For Mathias Gronberg, it might be the atmosphere more than anything else.
'I just like playing in high altitudes, it seems like,' Gronberg said after taking the first-round lead at The International with 13 points in the modified stableford scoring system.
Gronberg gave away three points with a double-bogey on Thursday, but that was his only mistake.
Stewart Cink
Stewart Cink is fighting for a spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup team.
The Swede picked up 16 points with eight birdies in the mountain air at Castle Pines Golf Club -- a venue similar to where he won the first of his four European Tour titles, the 1995 European Masters at Crans-sur- Sierre, Switzerland.
'It's the same format -- high up in the mountains where you hit the ball a long way,' Gronberg said. 'So, obviously, I hit the ball long here, which is kind of a bonus.'
Long hitters didn't necessarily have an advantage during the first round. In fact, only seven of the top 15 players on the leaderboard rank within the PGA TOUR's top 100 in driving distance -- and none is higher than 51st.
Still, the leaderboard was peppered with high scores -- good in the modified Stableford scoring system, which awards points for scores under par and subtracts points for scores over par.
Gronberg is two points better than Stuart Appleby, Stewart Cink, John Senden and 2001 winner Tom Pernice Jr., who each posted 11 during the first round to share second place.
Danny Ellis, Jeff Brehaut and Patrick Sheehan are tied for sixth place with 10 points, one point ahead of a group of seven players led by 1999 champion David Toms and European Tour Order of Merit leader David Howell.
The scores Thursday were outstanding, considering that last year Retief Goosen won with 32 total points -- 16 shy of the record of 48 set by Phil Mickelson in 1997 and matched by Ernie Els in 2000.
Under the modified Stableford scoring system, five points are awarded for eagles and two for birdies, while one point is subtracted for bogeys and three points for double-bogeys or worse.
Eight points are given for double-eagles, although there have been only three recorded in the 20-year history of the event.
Gronberg guessed it might take around 40 points to win this weekend, but said the number could be much lower.
'It depends on the weather,' he said. 'Today, we could not have played in better [conditions]. Maybe the last five or six holes there was wind, and except for that it was beautiful.'
Gronberg played in an early threesome and two-putted for a birdie at the par-5 first to collect his first two points. He nearly aced the fourth on the way to another birdie, then reached six points with a 7-foot birdie putt at the eighth.
The Swede then dropped three points with a double-bogey at the ninth, where he hit a 3-wood into the water.
Making the turn with just three points, Gronberg turned it on with five birdies on the back nine. For the first, he drained a 20-foot birdie putt at the 12th.
'It's strange how you can stand over 3-footers and you're not even hitting the hole, and you can step up on the 20-footer and think, 'I'm going to make this putt,'' Gronberg said.
The biggest difference for Gronberg on the back nine, he said, was his putting.
'The front nine was a little iffy, so I'm happy that I started to roll some good putts in,' Gronberg said.
Els leads a group of 12 players who are tied for 16th place at eight points. Further down the leaderboard, two other previous champions had less-successful rounds.
Goosen opened his title defense with three points and is tied for 65th place, while two-time winner Mickelson had a double-bogey and two bogeys and managed just one point to end tied for 86th.
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  • Rose (65) leads Rahm, Frittelli in Dubai

    By Associated PressNovember 18, 2017, 3:24 pm

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Justin Rose shot a 7-under 65 Saturday to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the European Tour's season-ending Tour Championship.

    The 37-year-old Rose made a gutsy par save on the final hole after a bogey-free round for an overall 15-under 201. The Englishman leads South African Dylan Frittelli, who produced the day's best score of 63, and Spain's Jon Rahm, who played in the same group as Rose and matched his 65.

    Rose is chasing his second Race to Dubai title but leading rival Tommy Fleetwood is only two shots behind here after a second straight 65 on the Earth course of Jumeirah Golf Estates.

    Fleetwood did his chances no harm by overcoming a stuttering start before making eight birdies in his final 11 holes to also post a 65. The 26-year-old Englishman was tied for fourth place at 13 under, alongside South African Dean Burmester (65) and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat (67), who closed with five birdies in a row.

    U.S. Masters champion Sergio Garcia, the only other player with a chance to win the Order of Merit crown, is tied for 13th on 10 under.

    Fleetwood needs to equal or better Rose's finishing position to claim the title. If Rose doesn't finish in the top five and Garcia doesn't win, Fleetwood will have done enough.

    Rose is hoping to win a third straight tournament after triumphs in China and Turkey

    If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

    She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

    You don’t believe it, though.

    She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

    Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

    Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

    “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

    Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

    Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

    At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

    She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

    She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

    And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.

    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship

    There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

    It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

    Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

    Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

    “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

    About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

    Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

    “She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

    David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

    “She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

    Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

    Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

    “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

    Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

    “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

    Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

    “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

    Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

    National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

    The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

    Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

    These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:

    Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience

    By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.

    This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.

    “I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”

    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic

    Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.

    In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

    If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Tour finals.

    “He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”