Irwin Haas Chasing Bryant in Texas

By Sports NetworkOctober 15, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Administaff Small Business ClassicSPRING, Texas -- Brad Bryant had what he called his best ball-striking round of the year. It wasn't the day's lowest round, but it was good enough to put the Champions Tour rookie in position for his first title of any kind in 10 years.
 
Bryant shot a 6-under 66 on Saturday to take a two-stroke lead over six players at the Administaff Small Business Classic. He is through two rounds at 12-under-par 132.
 
Gil Morgan (67), Dave Barr (67), Hale Irwin (68), Mark McNulty (68), Morris Hatalsky (69) and Jay Haas (69) have all played 36 holes at 10-under-par 134 to share second place.
 
Bryant was just a little bit better than that group on Saturday. He played his first nine holes at 4-under-par after rolling in birdie putts of 22 feet, 13 feet and two from 6 feet on the front nine.
 
That put the 50-year-old at minus-10, and he would get as low as minus-13 after three birdies in his first four holes in the back nine.
 
On holes 10 and 12, Bryant knocked wedges within 5 feet and 10 feet, respectively. He reached the green in two with a three-iron at the par-5 13th and then two-putted for his seventh birdie of the day.
 
Afterwards, he credited his approach game for the low round.
 
'I hit some nice drives, and my iron play has always been the strength of my game,' said Bryant, whose only bogey came at the par-3 15th. 'I just hit a lot of really good iron shots...and it was kind of fun.
 
'I'm not a great putter, so for me to score like this I have to hit [my irons] like that. It was my best ball striking round this year.'
 
Bryant's best finish this year on the Champions tour was a tie for third place at the Boeing Greater Seattle Classic two months ago. If he can hang on for the win Sunday, it would be his first victory since winning the Walt Disney World/Oldsmobile Classic in 1995 -- his only title on the PGA Tour.
 
In fact, Bryant leads heading into the final round of a tournament for the first time in 26 years. And the last time was also his only time -- a 1979 PGA Tour stop.
 
'The plan is to pray for a rainout,' the inexperienced frontrunner joked when asked what he expects from his final round. 'Plan B is to do exactly what I did today.'
 
Mike Sullivan is alone in eighth place at 9-under-par 135 after a second- round 68, while John Bland is one stroke further back after also shooting a 68 on Saturday.
 
All in all, there are 12 players within five strokes of Bryant heading into the final round.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Administaff Small Business Classic
  • Full Coverage - Administaff Small Business Classic
  • Getty Images

    McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com 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 Web.com 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 Web.com 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 Web.com 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.