Haas Maruyama Lead Play Suspended

By Sports NetworkJune 17, 2004, 4:00 pm
SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. -- Jay Haas and Shigeki Maruyama matched the competitive course record Thursday at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club with rounds of 4-under-par 66 under benign conditions in the morning to take the opening-round lead at the suspended 104th U.S. Open Championship.
 
Thunderstorms rolled through the area in the afternoon, stopping play at 4:43 p.m. EDT. The delay lasted until 6:55, and action was later suspended for the day at 7:40. The first round will resume Friday at 7:00 a.m.
 
Angel Cabrera is also 4 under par through 12 holes in his round.
 
Haas made his U.S. Open debut in 1974 at Winged Foot. He competed at Shinnecock and missed the cut in 1986, but made an impressive return in 1995 with a tie for fourth. Now, back on the eastern tip of Long Island in 2004 and already on his way to the Champions Tour, this might prove to be his best effort yet.
 
'People asked me if this is the best I've played,' said Haas, a nine-time winner on the PGA Tour whose last title came at the 1993 Texas Open. 'I'm hitting the ball longer than I ever have. I feel more confident with my putting, my chipping, my short game is better because of my putting, I believe. But until I win, I won't say it's the best I've played.'
 
Haas got off to a quick start on the opening hole and hit a sand wedge to 3 feet for a birdie. He stumbled to a bogey at the second, but recovered at the par-4 fourth after his approach stopped within 5 feet of the cup.
 
The 50-year-old added a birdie at the fifth and ran home a 12-foot putt for a birdie at the par-3 11th. At the par-3 17th, Haas held the green, but had a lengthy effort left for birdie. He drained the long putt to reach 4 under and match Maruyama in the lead.
 
Haas cited the records of the past champions at Shinnecock, his playing partner Raymond Floyd, who won in 1986, and Corey Pavin, who titled in 1995, as examples of the type of game needed to find success at Shinnecock.
 
'You look at the two winners, Corey and Raymond, wonderful shot makers and wonderful short games, and I think that - not that I put myself in that category, but I think it allows most everyone here, length-wise, to be in the hunt,' said Haas, who also shot a 66 in the second round of the 1985 U.S. Open at Oakland Hills.
 
Maruyama had his best U.S. Open finish two years ago at Bethpage. After missing the cut last year at Olympia Fields, Maruyama returned to New York and found it to his liking.
 
'I just can't explain how happy,' said Maruyama. 'I'm very happy.'
 
Maruyama shared the stage with Tiger Woods in the opening round and was flawless with a birdie at the fifth and back-to-back birdies from the 10th.
 
At the par-5 16th, Maruyama chipped his third shot to 10 feet and converted for birdie to take the lead at 4 under. He parred his way in to join Haas in the early lead.
 
'I'm just trying to make a cut now, and I don't have much experience in that position in a major tournament,' said Maruyama, who is making his fourth U.S. Open appearance. 'I'll try to play my golf the rest of the three days, see how my golf works in a major.'
 
While there were plenty of birdies early on at Shinnecock, not everyone was able to escape the difficulty of the layout. Woods, who played along with Maruyama and Chad Campbell, tallied a birdie at the fifth, but gave that shot back with a bogey at the unforgiving par-3 seventh.
 
At the ninth, Woods left his second shot well short of the green in a mess of long grass. He flopped his third shot to 10 feet, but was unable to save par. Woods missed the green again at the par-3 11th, but this time the 28-year-old was able to get up and down.
 
Woods could not find the fairway off the tee at the 14th and sent his approach from the rough into a greenside bunker en route to another bogey. Woods was in trouble again at the very next hole, but hit a remarkable shot from just off the green to 3 feet and was able to save par.
 
The two-time U.S. Open champion then played his third shot to 7 feet at the par-5 16th but failed to make birdie on his way to a first-round 72.
 
'There's an awful long way to go,' said Woods, who withdrew as an amateur in the first round of the 1995 Open at Shinnecock after injuring his wrist. 'We haven't seen the wind up yet. If that ever happens, if it ever comes up, this golf course is pretty tough.'
 
Defending champion Jim Furyk, who was not expected to play this week, but is competing as his recovery from wrist surgery continues, was on fire early with birdies on each of his first two holes. Shinnecock took its toll, though, and Furyk bogeyed three holes on his way out to make the turn at 1 over.
 
Furyk countered with a birdie at the first, his 10th, but struggled again with a pair of bogeys starting at the third. He parred his way in for a 72 of his own.
 
'Obviously, I hit it in the rough my share, so the wrist felt good. It actually felt better today than it has all week,' said Furyk. 'I mean I am assuming that's probably a little adrenaline because I'm excited about playing.'
 
The morning groups did get a different look at Shinnecock and those teeing off in the afternoon were greeted with increasing wind, clouds and an oncoming storm. Pavin looked to rekindle the magic that earned him his lone major title and moved to 2 under with a birdie at the first, his 10th.
 
Phil Mickelson quietly made his way around the back nine with a birdie at the 12th and continued his par streak around the turn. Meanwhile, Cabrera was lighting up the front side with four birdies.
 
Then the rain came.
 
After players finally returned to the course, Cabrera parred his next few holes to stand at 4 under through 12. Mickelson picked up a birdie at the fifth to reach 2-under through 15 holes along with Vijay Singh, who is 2 under through 14. Pavin meanwhile bogeyed the second and stands at minus-1 through 13.
 
Reigning British Open champion Ben Curtis, Kris Cox, Jeff Maggert, Skip Kendall, Kevin Stadler and David Roesch are in the clubhouse at 2-under-par 68.
 
Other notables include 2003 Masters champion Mike Weir, who is in at 1-under-par 69, and two-time U.S. Open champion Ernie Els, who completed a round of 70 before the delay. Sergio Garcia, who won the Buick Classic last week, was in the group at 2-over-par 72.
 
Related links:
  • Leaderboard - U.S. Open
  • U.S. Open Photo Gallery
  • TV Airtimes
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Open
  • Getty Images

    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

    Getty Images

    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

    Getty Images

    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

    Getty Images

    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.