Local Favorite Leading in Houston

By Sports NetworkApril 26, 2003, 4:00 pm
HUMBLE, Texas -- Fred Couples fired a 5-under 67 Saturday to grab a one-stroke lead after three rounds at the Shell Houston Open. Couples is at 16-under-par 200, one stroke ahead of Mark Calcavecchia, who shot a 68 Saturday.
Australian Stuart Appleby is in third place by himself at 14-under-par 202 after a third-round 66. Trevor Immelman is one shot behind him at minus-13.
Couples, who was one of three players to share the lead after round two, made a late charge to grab the lead. On the front side, he carded three birdies but also had a bogey and a double bogey.
The 1992 Masters champion birdied the first before three-putting for bogey the third. He recovered that stroke with an eight-foot birdie putt at the par-4 fourth.
After a pair of pars, Couples double bogeyed the par-4 seventh after his second shot found water. He got one of those strokes back with a birdie at the ninth.
'A big part of the round was I hit it in the water on seven and then I hit a beautiful iron to the eighth hole,' said Couples. 'I missed the putt on eight and was screaming at myself all the way to the next tee. I wanted to be more aggressive.'
On the back nine, Couples ran off four straight birdies from the par-5 12th to move into a share of the lead with Calcavecchia at minus-15. The longest putt during that run was from 12 feet and Couples sank a 10-footer for birdie at the last hole to take over first place.
'I played great the back nine,' said Couples. 'It has been a long time since I've been in this position. If I go out and play well, I should be fine. I just have to do what I did today.'
Couples, a University of Houston graduate, is trying to become the first Houston alum to win the hometown event. He has led 19 times entering the final round on tour and has won eight of those tournaments. However the last four winners and nine of the previous 15 on the PGA Tour this season have been come-from-behind victors. .
'Tomorrow is going to be a slugfest, or a puttfest, whichever way you want to look at it,' said Couples, whose last win came at the 1998 Memorial. 'I can't worry about being in the lead or what is going on out there. But I know there is going to be a slew of birdies out there and I just hope to go out and play well.'
Calcavecchia had two birdies and a bogey on the front side. He made back-to- back birdies from the 12th to get to minus-14 and he birdied the 15th just before Couples to briefly hold the lead by himself. At the last two holes, Calcavecchia was unable to convert birdie opportunities.
'Playing with Fred tomorrow should be fun. We've played a lot of golf together, including a couple of Ryder Cups,' said Calcavecchia. 'I will definitely look at the scoreboard tomorrow. I like to know what is going on out there.'
Appleby, who has gone 27 holes without a bogey, rolled in a 20-footer for birdie at the first. He later drained a 15-foot birdie at the par-4 sixth. The Aussie stuck a 5-iron within three feet at the eighth to setup another birdie.
On the back side, Appleby carded back-to-back birdies from the 11th. He climbed into third place with a two-putt birdie at the par-5 15th.
'I had a long streak of bogey-free golf at the Masters, but I didn't really do that well there,' said Appleby, who went 50 holes without a bogey at Augusta. 'I'd have to say around here, you don't want to make too many bogeys, but you certainly need to make three times as many birdies.'
Hank Kuehne, who shared the lead with Couples and Calcavecchia after Friday's second round, shot an even-par 72 and is tied for ninth at 11-under-par 205. Defending champion Vijay Singh is tied with Kuehne among a group of six players tied for ninth five shots behind Couples.
Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the Shell Houston Open
  • Full coverage of the Shell Houston Open
  • Getty Images

    What's in the bag: API winner McIlroy

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 19, 2018, 12:59 pm

    Rory McIlroy closed in 64 to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Here's a look inside the winners' bag.

    Driver: TaylorMade M3 (8.5 degrees), with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 70X shaft

    Fairway woods: TaylorMade M3 (15 degrees) with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 80TX, (19 degrees) with Fujikura Rombax P95X shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P-750 (4), P-730 RORS prototype (5-9), with Project X 7.0 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (48, 52, 56 degrees), Hi-Toe(60 degrees), with Project X Rifle 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade TP Black Copper Soto prototype

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

    Getty Images

    API purse payout: What Rory, Tiger, field made

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 19, 2018, 12:08 pm

    Rory McIlroy won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and collected one of the biggest non-major paychecks of the year. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out at Bay Hill.

    1 Rory McIlroy -18 $1,602,000
    2 Bryson DeChambeau -15 $961,200
    3 Justin Rose -14 $605,200
    4 Henrik Stenson -13 $427,200
    T5 Tiger Woods -10 $356,000
    T5 Ryan Moore -10 $320,400
    T7 Marc Leishman -8 $249,992
    T7 Kevin Chappell -8 $249,992
    T7 Luke List -8 $249,992
    T7 Sean O'Hair -8 $249,992
    T7 Patrick Rodgers -8 $249,992
    T7 Patrick Reed -8 $249,992
    13 Chris Kirk -7 $186,900
    T14 Kyle Stanley -6 $137,950
    T14 Charles Howell III -6 $137,950
    T14 Sam Horsfield -6 $137,950
    T14 Bud Cauley -6 $137,950
    T14 Grayson Murray -6 $137,950
    T14 Byeong Hun An -6 $137,950
    T14 Rickie Fowler -6 $137,950
    T14 Charley Hoffman -6 $137,950
    T22 Brian Gay -5 $89,000
    T22 Harris English -5 $89,000
    T22 Jason Day -5 $89,000
    T22 Graeme McDowell -5 $89,000
    T26 Tom Hoge -4 $59,319
    T26 Martin Laird -4 $59,319
    T26 Emiliano Grillo -4 $59,319
    T26 Tommy Fleetwood -4 $59,319
    T26 Francesco Molinari -4 $59,319
    T26 Keegan Bradley -4 $59,319
    T26 Zach Johnson -4 $59,319
    T26 William McGirt -4 $59,319
    T26 John Huh -4 $59,319
    T26 Talor Gooch -4 $59,319
    T36 Alex Noren -3 $41,919
    T36 Kevin Na -3 $41,919
    T36 Brandon Harkins -3 $41,919
    T36 Brian Stuard -3 $41,919
    T36 Austin Cook -3 $41,919
    T41 Ian Poulter -2 $30,305
    T41 C.T. Pan -2 $30,305
    T41 Adam Scott -2 $30,305
    T41 Aaron Wise -2 $30,305
    T41 Kevin Streelman -2 $30,305
    T41 J.B. Holmes -2 $30,305
    T41 Jamie Lovemark -2 $30,305
    T41 Ollie Schniederjans -2 $30,305
    T49 Lucas Glover -1 $21,965
    T49 Ernie Els -1 $21,965
    T49 Hideki Matsuyama -1 $21,965
    T49 Chesson Hadley -1 $21,965
    T49 Sam Burns -1 $21,965
    T54 Li HaoTong E $20,470
    T54 Mackenzie Hughes E $20,470
    T54 Brian Harman E $20,470
    T54 Billy Horschel E $20,114
    Getty Images

    After Further Review: Woods wisely keeping things in perspective

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 19, 2018, 3:17 am

    Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On Tiger Woods' career comeback ...

    Tiger Woods seems to be the only one keeping his comeback in the proper perspective. Asked after his tie for fifth at Bay Hill whether he could ever have envisioned his game being in this shape heading into Augusta, he replied: “If you would have given me this opportunity in December and January, I would have taken it in a heartbeat.” He’s healthy. He’s been in contention. He’s had two realistic chances to win. There’s no box unchecked as he heads to the Masters, and no one, especially not Woods, could have seen that coming a few months ago. – Ryan Lavner

    On Tiger carrying momentum into API, Masters ...

    Expect Jordan Spieth to leave Austin with the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play trophy next week.

    After all, Spieth is seemingly the only top-ranked player who has yet to lift some hardware in the early part of 2018. Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas have all gotten it done, as have Jason Day, Phil Mickelson and most recently Rory McIlroy.

    Throw in the sudden resurgence of Tiger Woods, and with two more weeks until the Masters there seem to be more azalea-laden storylines than ever before.

    A Spieth victory in Austin would certainly add fuel to that fire, but even if he comes up short the 2015 champ will certainly be a focus of attention in a few short weeks when the golf world descends upon Magnolia Lane with no shortage of players able to point to a recent victory as proof that they’re in prime position to don a green jacket. – Will Gray

    Getty Images

    Davies not giving up on win, HOF after close call

    By Randall MellMarch 19, 2018, 3:06 am

    PHOENIX – Laura Davies knows the odds are long now, but she won’t let go of that dream of making the LPGA Hall of Fame.

    At 54, she was emboldened by her weekend run at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup. She tied for second, five shots behind Inbee Park.

    “The more I get up there, I might have a chance of winning again,” Davies said. “I'm not saying I will ever win, but today was close. Maybe one day I can go closer.”

    Davies is a World Golf Hall of Famer, but she has been sitting just outside the qualification standard needed to get into the LPGA Hall of Fame for a long time. She needs 27 points, but she has been stuck on 25 since her last victory in 2001. A regular tour title is worth one point, a major championship is worth two points.

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    Over her career, she has won 20 LPGA titles, four of them major championships. She was the tour’s Rolex Player of the Year in 1996. She probably would have locked up Hall of Fame status if she hadn’t been so loyal to the Ladies European Tour, where she won 45 titles.

    Though Davies didn’t win Sunday in Phoenix, there was more than consolation in her run into contention.

    “Now people might stop asking me when I'm going to retire,” she said.