Mason Leads Irwin at 3M Championship

By Sports NetworkAugust 9, 2002, 4:00 pm
BLAINE, Minn. -- James Mason fired an 8-under-par 64 to take the lead after the opening round of the 3M Championship Friday. Mason finished two shots ahead of Hale Irwin, a two-time winner of this event.
Hubert Green, who ousted Hale Irwin on the seventh extra hole to win the Long Island Classic last Sunday, was three strokes off the lead after a round of 5-under-par 67.
Mason, who earned his first career victory on the Senior Tour as a Monday qualifier at the NFL Golf Classic in June, picked up four birdies and one bogey on the outward nine at the TPC of Twin Cities. He made the turn at 3-under before torching the back half to take the outright lead.
'After the first couple of holes I was okay,' said Mason, who established a new course record. 'Today there was a fantastic gallery out there. This round reminds me of my first round at the NFL Golf Classic.'
At the par-4 10th, Mason hit his second shot to 15 feet for birdie. He hit a 5-iron to 12 feet for birdie at the 13th and nearly added another birdie at the 14th after he failed to convert from four feet.
Mason picked up where he left off on the following hole. He drained a 12-footer for birdie and knocked his approach to eight feet for birdie at the 16th. Mason made it three in a row with a 20-foot birdie putt at the 17th for his best career round on the Senior Tour.
'It was certainly a great thrill to play with two legends,' said Mason, who was paired with Arnold Palmer and Miller Barber Friday. 'I knew I'd play with Arnold Wednesday morning. He's always been a hero of mine.
'Hopefully, I won't be as nervous tomorrow as I was in the second round at the NFL Golf Classic,' said Mason, who carded a 73 in the second round en route to his first career win at Upper Montclair Country Club.
Irwin played a bogey-free round to finish alone in second. The all-time winner on the Senior Tour collected three birdies on the front side and added another three on the inward nine for a round of 66.
'Good start,' said Irwin, who has two playoff losses in his last three starts. 'Last week was last week. I tried to take some positives from last week.'
Leonard Thompson, who won this event in a playoff over Isao Aoki in 1998, finished as part of a large group at 4-under-par 68. Thompson was joined by Fuzzy Zoeller, Sammy Rachels, Allen Doyle and Rocky Thompson in a tie for fourth.
Defending champion Bruce Lietzke was one shot further back at 3-under-par 69 alongside Wayne Levi, Jerry McGee, Larry Nelson and Hugh Baiocchi.
Full-field scores from the 3M Championship
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Watch: Tiger throws dart, pours in birdie at 8

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 18, 2018, 7:31 pm

Starting Sunday five off the lead, Tiger Woods teed off his final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a laced 2-iron and a par at No. 1.

Woods hit the green at the par-3 second but left himself a 50-foot birdie putt and a 6-footer to save par, which we walked in.

A two-putt 4 at the par-5 fourth gave Woods his first birdie of the day and moved him to 8 under for the week. Apparently energized, Tiger pulled driver at the short par-4 fifth and unleashed this violent swing.

A pitch from the thick rough hit a sprinkler head and stopped on the apron, leading to this birdie try, which fortunately hit the pin but unfortunately didn't fall.

Looking to pick up another stroke - or two - at the par-5 sixth, Woods took his drive 317 yards over the water and hit this second shot from 227 yards to 13 feet, leading to another two-putt birdie when his eagle try burned the right edge.

Returning to his trusty 2-iron, Tiger found the fairway at par-4 eighth and then threw this dart from 176 yards to 6 feet and rolled in his third birdie putt of the day to move to 10 under.

(More coming...)

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Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Tiger TrackerMarch 18, 2018, 5:00 pm

Tiger Woods will start Sunday five off the lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. How will he follow up last week's runner-up? We're tracking him at Bay Hill.

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McIlroy: Time for Tour to limit alcohol sales on course

By Ryan LavnerMarch 18, 2018, 1:50 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Rory McIlroy suggested Saturday that the PGA Tour might need to consider curbing alcohol sales to stop some of the abusive fan behavior that has become more prevalent at events.

McIlroy said that a fan repeatedly yelled his wife’s name (Erica) during the third round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

“I was going to go over and have a chat with him,” McIlroy said. “I think it’s gotten a little much, to be honest. I think they need to limit the alcohol sales on the course, or they need to do something, because every week it seems like guys are complaining about it more and more.

Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

“I know that people want to come and enjoy themselves, and I’m all for that, but sometimes when the comments get personal and people get a little bit rowdy, it can get a little much.”

This isn’t the first time that McIlroy has voiced concerns about fan behavior on Tour. Last month at Riviera, he said the rowdy spectators probably cost Tiger Woods a half-shot a round, and after two days in his featured group he had a splitting headache.

A week later, at the Honda Classic, Justin Thomas had a fan removed late in the final round.

McIlroy believes the issue is part of a larger problem, as more events try to replicate the success of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which has one of the liveliest atmospheres on Tour.

“It’s great for that tournament, it’s great for us, but golf is different than a football game, and there’s etiquette involved and you don’t want people to be put off from bringing their kids when people are shouting stuff out,” he said. “You want people to enjoy themselves, have a good day.”

As for a solution, well, McIlroy isn’t quite sure.

“It used to be you bring beers onto the course or buy beers, but not liquor,” he said. “And now it seems like everyone’s walking around with a cocktail. I don’t know whether (the solution) is to go back to letting people walking around with beers in their hands. That’s fine, but I don’t know.”

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Confident Lincicome lurking after 54 holes at Founders

By Randy SmithMarch 18, 2018, 2:45 am

PHOENIX – Brittany Lincicome is farther back than she wanted to be going into Sunday at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, but she’s in a good place.

She’s keeping the momentum of her season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic victory going this year.

Her confidence is high.

“Last year, I won in the Bahamas, but then I didn't do anything after that,” Lincicome said. “I don't even know if I had a top 10 after my win in the Bahamas. Obviously, this year, I want to be more consistent.”

Lincicome followed up her victory in the Bahamas this year with a tie for seventh in her next start at the Honda LPGA Thailand. And now she’s right back on another leaderboard with the year’s first major championship just two weeks away. She is, by the way, a two-time winner at the ANA Inspiration.

Missy Pederson, Lincicome’s caddie, is helping her player keep that momentum going with more focus on honing in the scoring clubs.

“One of our major goals is being more consistent,” Pederson said. “She’s so talented, a once in a generation talent. I’m just trying to help out in how to best approach every golf course.”

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

Pederson has helped Lincicome identify the clubs they’re likely to attack most with on the particular course they are playing that week, to spend more time working with those clubs in practice. It’s building confidence.

“I know the more greens we hit, and the more chances we give ourselves, the more our chances are to be in contention,” Pederson said. “Britt is not big into stats or details, so I have to figure out how to best consolidate that information, to get us exactly where we need to be.”

Lincicome’s growing comfort with clubs she can attack with is helping her confidence through a round.

“I’ve most noticed consistency in her mental game, being able to handle some of the hiccups that happen over the course of a round,” Pederson said. “Whereas before, something might get under her skin, where she might say, `That’s what always happens,’ now, it’s, `All right, I know I’m good enough to get this back.’ I try to get her in positions to hit the clubs we are really hitting well right now.”

That’s leading to a lot more birdies, fewer bogeys and more appearances on leaderboards in the start to this year.