Lowery Takes the Wheel at Chrysler

By Sports NetworkOctober 28, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Chrysler ChampionshipPALM HARBOR, Fla. -- Steve Lowery posted a 5-under 66 on Friday to take the lead after 36 holes of the Chrysler Championship. He stands at 8-under-par 134 and is two ahead at the Copperhead Course at Westin Innisbrook Resort.
 
Bo Van Pelt carded a 6-under-par 65 and is alone in second place at minus-6.
 
Steve Lowery
Steve Lowery's last win on the PGA Tour came in the 2000 Southern Farm Bureau.
Davis Love III (69), Bernhard Langer (69), Carl Pettersson (68) and Tom Pernice, Jr. (66) are knotted in third place at 5-under-par 137.
 
Last week, Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh both missed the cut at the Funai Classic at Disney World and things remained bad for Singh, who won this title last year.
 
Singh, the No. 2 player in the world, never overcame a 3-over-par 74 on Thursday. He managed an even-par 71 on Friday and missed the cut by a shot as he finished at 3-over-par 145.
 
The last time Singh missed back-to-back cuts on the PGA Tour was 2001. In the fall of that year, Singh failed to make the weekend at the Canadian Open, then the following week at the Pennsylvania Classic.
 
On Friday, Lowery broke into red figures with an 18-foot birdie putt at the par-4 third. He parred his next four, but missed a 6-footer to save par at the 235-yard, par-3 eighth.
 
The 45-year-old caught fire on the back nine. He hit a 7-iron to 32 feet at the 10th and ran home the long birdie putt. Lowery collected back-to-back birdies with a short one at the par-5 11th, then made it three in a row with a 15-footer at No. 12.
 
Lowery was not done making birdies. He knocked his second on the green from 280 yards out at the par-5 14th, then two-putted from 35 feet for his fourth birdie in five holes.
 
Lowery was 7 under par for the championship, but had one more birdie left in him. He hit a 5-iron with his second shot at the par-4 16th and rolled in the 25-footer for birdie.
 
'It's a great golf course. It's very tough,' acknowledged Lowery. 'If you're in the fairway, you can shoot some good scores. I am playing well. You get a few breaks to be leading. Hopefully, you get a few on the weekend.'
 
Lowery has enjoyed an interesting 2005 season. He missed the first eight cuts of the year, then 11 out of 12. Lowery sent in his application for Qualifying School, but a tie for eighth in Vegas two weeks ago earned him $112,000 and put him comfortably in the top-125.
 
He entered this week with six consecutive cuts made, including two eighth-place ties. Lowery sits 109th on the money list so now it may be time to add his third PGA Tour victory and first since the 2000 Southern Farm Bureau Classic.
 
'It is tough when you are not playing well, you don't think you'll ever play well again,' admitted Lowery. 'I don't think I ever missed that many cuts in a row. I had to start practicing harder and recommit myself to improving. It took a long time to get going.'
 
Van Pelt, 57th on the PGA Tour's money list, was flawless on Friday. He tallied six birdies, three on each side, as he is the hunt for his first PGA Tour title.
 
Two-time U.S. Open winner Retief Goosen (71), Justin Rose (68), Tim Herron (67), American Ryder Cup captain Tom Lehman (71) and Charles Howell III (71) are knotted in seventh place at minus-4.
 
This is a big week for Howell in particular. It is the final full-field event and Howell sits 30th on the money list, which would be the last spot in next week's Tour Championship.
 
Rocco Mediate is 125th on the list, the last spot for a tour card next year. He shot an even-par 71 on Friday and is part of a group tied for 12th at 3-under-par 139. Also in that group is first-round leader Jeff Brehaut, who only managed a 3-over 74 in the second round.
 
Related Links:
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    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.

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    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.