Micheel Campbell Share Lead

By Sports NetworkAugust 16, 2003, 4:00 pm
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Shaun Micheel, the overnight leader, bogeyed his final three holes Saturday but managed to share the lead with Chad Campbell after 54 holes of the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club.
 
Micheel, who reached 7 under par on the back nine, posted a 1-under 69, his third consecutive round under 70. Campbell carded the lowest round of the championship with a 5-under 65 and the pair are tied at 4-under-par 206.
 
Micheel reached 7 under par after a three-foot birdie at the par-3 15th but things went downhill quickly for the second-round leader. He drove into the right rough at 16 and had no other play but to pitch out to the fairway. Micheel's third landed 35 feet from the hole but his par save missed the hole.
 
At the 17th, Micheel missed the short grass again off the tee and played his second into a greenside bunker. His blast from the trap came up 40 feet short and once again he was unable to convert on the long par save.
 
Micheel, now with a one-stroke lead over Campbell, drove into the right rough near a bunker. He laid up short of the putting surface with his second and knocked his third 20 feet left of the pin. His putt for par came up left and short and so it was a share of the third-round lead instead of sitting on the lead by himself overnight.
 
'If you miss the fairway it doesn't matter if it's hole No. 1 or hole No. 16, 17 or 18, you're probably going to make bogey,' said Micheel. 'Overall, I'll be okay tonight. It's not a problem.'
 
While Micheel limped into the clubhouse, Campbell made his move up the leaderboard at the end of the round. Campbell hit a 6-iron to 15 feet to set up birdie at the 15th and the 29-year-old made it two in a row with a kick-in birdie at No. 16.
 
Campbell ran into trouble at the 17th when his drive went right, hit a tree and kept going right. He pitched out to the fairway, then hit a 7-iron to the middle of the green. Campbell two-putted for bogey but at 18 he sank a 35-footer for birdie to polish off his round of 65.
 
'The putt on 18 made up for all of the ones I missed all day,' said Campbell. 'Today I felt really good out there. I hit a lot of fairways and a lot of greens and gave myself a lot of opportunities for birdie.'
 
Masters champion Mike Weir shot an even-par 70 on Saturday and is alone in third place at 1-under-par 209. South African Tim Clark shot a 2-under 68 on Saturday and is alone in fourth place at even-par 210.
 
With two relative unknowns like Micheel and Campbell, both Nationwide Tour graduates, atop the leaderboard, some big names were unable to make a charge into the lead.
 
Phil Mickelson, the first-round co-leader, put together a round of 2-over 72 and is part of a group tied for 12th at 3-over-par 213.
 
Tiger Woods, still in search of his first major title since the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage, carded a third-round 73 and is tied for 43rd place at 9-over-par 219.
 
'I played my tail off to shoot 3 over today. I really did,' said Woods, who the Wanamaker Trophy in both 1999 and 2000. 'I grinded my butt off just to shoot 3 over.'
 
Things don't look good for Woods, barring a miraculous round on Sunday, and 2003 looks like it will be the first season without a major since 1998.
 
As shocking as Woods not having a major trophy this year, it might be even stranger to see who has won the big four of golf. Weir and Jim Furyk, who won the U.S. Open at Olympia Fields, were top players when they won their inaugural majors but British Open champ Ben Curtis was ranked nearly 400th in the world when he titled at Royal St. Georges.
 
Now it looks like Micheel or Campbell are ready to add their name to the list. Twelve of the last 15 PGA Champions were first-time major winners and if one of these two, or any other majorless player, can visit the winner's circle Sunday afternoon, it will be the first time since 1969 that all four major winners were first-timers.
 
'I will say it will probably enter my mind,' said Campbell. 'I've tried to keep it out of my mind but it's kind of inevitable that it will happen. We've still got a lot of golf to play, 18 holes tomorrow. I just want to come out and try to stay focused on what I'm doing and not try to get ahead of myself.'
 
Campbell opened with four consecutive pars but broke into red figures with a tap-in birdie at the fifth. He knocked a 3-iron to tap-in range for birdie at the seventh and made it two in a row with a 15-footer at No. 8.
 
He parred his next six holes before his dramatic finish that jumped him to the top of the leaderboard.
 
Micheel was in the final group Saturday and maybe nerves took over at No. 1 because the 34-year-old drove into the rough and made bogey. He settled down with five pars in a row, never really giving himself good looks at birdie.
 
Micheel drained back-to-back seven-footers for birdie at seven and eight and ran home a 30-footer for birdie at nine to make it three in a row.
 
On the second nine, Micheel made a 15-foot birdie putt at 12 to go to 6 under and along the way, he made some spectacular par saves. He sailed over the green at 13 but holed the 20-footer for the save.
 
He seemed to have the tournament wrapped up when he got to 7 under at 15, but Oak Hill's demanding closing holes caught up with him. Now he's in the final group on Sunday at a major championship, tied for the lead.
 
'Anybody can win,' said Micheel. 'If you're playing on the PGA Tour you can obviously play. Just because people haven't heard of me or Chad doesn't mean we can't play.'
 
Ernie Els (70), Billy Andrade (72), Briny Baird (67) and Alex Cejka (68) share fifth place at 1-over-par 211. Vijay Singh, the 1998 champion, Fred Funk and Charles Howell III all posted matching rounds of even-par 70 to tie for ninth at plus-2.
 
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    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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    Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

    When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

    Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

    "I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"


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    The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

    "It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

    "I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

    "If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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    LPGA lists April date for new LA event

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

    The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

    When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

    The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

    The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.