Love Takes Two-Stroke Lead

By Sports NetworkFebruary 8, 2003, 5:00 pm
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Davis Love III shot his second straight 67 Saturday to climb to 10-under-par 206 and take a two-shot lead after three rounds of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Love is two strokes clear of Rod Pampling, Tom Lehman and Mike Weir.
Rocco Mediate is alone in fifth place at 7-under-par 209, while Tim Clark, Brad Faxon, Tim Herron, Dicky Pride, Rory Sabbatini and overnight leader Jim Furyk are one stroke further back.
Love started quickly on the back nine at Spyglass Hill. He rolled in a 50-foot birdie putt at his first hole and followed that with a four-footer at the next. Love, who won this event in 2001, stuck a sand-wedge within four feet at the par-5 14th to set up his third birdie of the round.
The 38-year-old however faltered at the 15th and 17th to drop back to 6-under. Love, who was paired with Faxon, three-putted the 15th from 25 feet and was unable to get up-and-down for par at the 17th.
'It doesn't hurt playing with (Brad) Faxon, he is Mr. Positive,' Love said. 'It was fun to get paired with him and I think what's working for me is just a good attitude.'
Love then began his climb up the leaderboard around the turn at No. 1 on Spyglass. He rolled in a 20-foot putt at the par-5 first. He continued his hot play with a birdie at the par-3 third. Love then vaulted into the lead when he rolled in a 12-foot eagle putt at the par-5 seventh.
'It's nice to come out on top after three days,' said Love, who has held the 54-hole lead 19 times in his career, leading to seven of his 14 titles. 'But you know, we've got another day at Pebble and I'm looking forward to it.'
Love and the rest of the field have enjoyed dry conditions throughout the tournament. Sunday's forecast calls for more of the same, so touch around the greens will be key.
'It's always good to have a two-stroke lead, but you know, like I said, the greens are firm, fast and playing tricky, it's like the U.S. Open,' said Love. 'You still have to go out and play hard just like any tournament.'
Weir was the story of the day early on at the Pebble Beach Golf Links, where the remainder of the field will play the final round on Sunday. He posted three birdies and two eagles in a six hole stretch on the front side.
Weir, who won last week's Bob Hope Classic, rolled in a 15-foot eagle putt at the second to get started. He followed that with a birdie at the next. Weir birdied the fifth after sticking a 7-iron within five feet.
The Canadian continued his roll with his second eagle at the sixth when he holed out from 35 yards. Weir drained an eight-footer for birdie at the next to climb to 7-under for his round.
Weir lipped out a birdie putt on eight that could have given him a share of the nine-hole course record of 28. Brent Schwarzrock tied the mark of 28 last year after Love and Spike McRoy set the record in 2001.
Weir, the 2001 Tour Championship winner, faltered on the back nine. He bogeyed the 12th and 18th to fall back to minus-5 for his round. He also missed birdie chances on 10 and 15.
'It was an exciting front nine, obviously,' said Weir. 'I played outstanding today. I played just as well on the back nine. The score didn't indicate that, but I struck it just as good or better on the back nine.'
Pampling began his day on the back nine at Poppy Hills, the final of the three courses being used for the first three rounds. He birdied two of his first three holes to get to 8-under. However, he faltered at the next, before carding consecutive birdies starting at the 15th.
Around the turn, Pampling notched a kick-in birdie at the second. He bogeyed the next two holes, each time due to three-putting.
Paul Stankowski, Phil Tataurangi and first round leader Kevin Sutherland are tied at 5-under 211.
The 54-hole cut fell at 2-over-par 218. Among those who did not qualify for the final round was last year's winner Matt Gogel, who finished at 15-over-par 231 to become the first defending champion this season to miss the cut.
Related Links
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  • 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.”

    Cook fires 62 for one-shot lead at RSM Classic

    By Associated PressNovember 17, 2017, 10:26 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook made a 6-foot birdie putt on his final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead going into the weekend at the RSM Classic.

    Cook has gone 36 holes without a bogey on the Plantation and Seaside courses at Sea Island Golf Club. He played Seaside - the site of the final two rounds in the last PGA Tour event of the calendar year - on Friday and ran off four straight birdies on his opening nine holes.

    ''We've just been able to it hit the ball really well,'' Cook said. ''Speed on greens has been really good and getting up-and-down has been great. I've been able to hit it pretty close to the hole to make some pretty stress-free putts. But the couple putts that I have had of some length for par, I've been able to roll them in. Everything's going well.''

    The 26-year-old former Arkansas player was at 14-under 128 and had a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay, who shot 64 on Seaside. No one else was closer than five shots going into the final two rounds.

    The 45-year-old Gay won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2013.

    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic

    ''I've hit a lot of greens and fairways,'' Gay said. ''I've hit the ball, kept it in front of me. There's a lot of trouble out here, especially with the wind blowing, so I haven't had to make too many saves the first couple days and I putted well.''

    Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. He earned his PGA Tour card through the Tour, and has hired Gay's former caddie, Kip Henley.

    ''With him being out here so long, he knows everybody, so it's not like I'm completely the new kid on the block,'' Cook said. ''He's introduced me to a lot of people, so it's just making me feel comfortable out here. He knows his way around these golf courses. We're working really well together.''

    First-round leader Chris Kirk followed his opening 63 on the Plantation with a 70 on the Seaside to drop into a tie for third at 9 under with C.T. Pan (65) and Vaughn Taylor (66).

    Brandt Snedeker is looking strong in his first start in some five months because of a sternum injury. Snedeker shot a 67 on the Plantation course and was six shots back at 8 under.

    ''I was hitting the ball really well coming down here,'' Snedeker said. ''I was anxious to see how I would hold up under pressure. I haven't played a tournament in five months, so it's held up better than I thought it would. Ball-striking's been really good, mental capacity's been unbelievable.

    ''I think being so fresh, excited to be out there and thinking clearly. My short game, which has always been a strength of mine, I didn't know how sharp it was going to be. It's been really good so far.''