Oakley Up at Senior British Open

By Sports NetworkJuly 24, 2004, 4:00 pm
2004 Senior British OpenPORTRUSH, Northern Ireland. -- Pete Oakley posted a 1-over 73 Saturday to take a one-shot lead after three rounds of the Senior British Open. Oakley completed 54 holes at 2-under-par 214.
Don Pooley, the 2002 U.S. Senior Open Champion, stumbled to a 2-over 74. He shares second place at 1-under-par 215 with Mark McNulty, who also shot a third-round 74. Mark James, the Ford Senior Players Championship winner, and 1992 U.S. Open Champion Tom Kite share fourth place at even-par 216.
Oakley opened the round in a share of the lead and remained there with a birdie at the par-5 second. He dropped back to minus-2 after bogeys at the fourth and sixth.
The 55-year-old picked up a pair of birdies at the ninth and 11th at Royal Portrush Golf Club to move back into the lead at 4 under.
Oakley, however, faltered to consecutive bogeys from the 12th to slide back to minus-2. He parred his final five holes to remain atop the leaderboard.
'Today I was a little bit antsy getting ready to tee it up with Tom Kite and Mark James, who are names I've heard of and watched on television and have admired for so long,' Oakley said. 'I felt comfortable and fairly relaxed and I played fairly well.'
Oakley, the 1999 PGA Senior Club Professional Champion, is a club professional who is the director of golf at the Rookery in Delaware.
'I won the 1999 American PGA Seniors Club Professional Championship and I finished second the next year,' said Oakley, who has played in 16 major championships. 'Those are basically my credentials, as far as playing is concerned. I tied for 29th at the U.S. Senior Open last year, that's about the best I've done.'
McNulty shared the lead entering round three with Oakley, Pooley and Carl Mason. McNulty opened with a bogey at the first and a birdie at the second. He faltered to a bogey at the third and a double bogey at the fourth to fall to even par.
The Irishman came back to birdie the fifth before he dropped another shot at the eighth. McNulty settled in with three straight pars, then dropped in back-to-back birdies from the 11th.
McNulty bogeyed the 14th and 16th to again drop to even par. He moved into a share of second place with a birdie at the last, one of just seven on the day at the 18th.
'I would certainly put it down as one of the toughest days I have had in my career,' said McNulty, who is playing his first event in Northern Ireland as a Irish citizen. 'I had some silly mistakes and in the beginning of my round, I just lost my swing and didn't feel comfortable.'
Pooley birdied the second for the third straight round before dropping a shot at the sixth. He birdied the ninth for his final birdie of the day. He closed with three bogeys over his final four holes to drop into a tie for second place.
'I played solidly for 14 holes and hit a good drive on 15. Then I hit a bad 4-iron into a bunker on my second shot and didn't get it up-and-down and made bogey,' Pooley said. 'I'm happy being right where I am, but man, I'm not happy with my finish.'
Eduardo Romero, who shared the lead after Round 1, carded a 2-over 74. He shares sixth place with Bill Longmuir (76) at 2-over-par 218. John Grace and Bobby Lincoln are two strokes behind that duo.
Mason struggled to a 9-over 81 to fall to 6-over-par 222. Mason is joined there by Graham Marsh, who made some history on Saturday.
Marsh aced the par-3 11th for the second time in three days making him the first player to have a hole-in-one on the same hole in a top flight tournament. It is the first time in PGA, European PGA, European Seniors and Champions Tour history that this feat has been achieved.
'There's no better prize I could have been given, being a wine connoisseur,' said Marsh, who received one bottle of wine per yard (170) as Hardys Wine is the hole-in-one sponsor. 'This could about take me out of professional golf. It's a freaky situation.'
Tom Watson, the 2003 champion, posted his second straight 74 to slide into a tie for 20th at 7-over-par 223. Watson has been battling injuries that nearly held him out of this event.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Senior British Open
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    Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

    Former Web.com Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

    Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

    Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Web.com Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Web.com Tour Player of the Year.

    McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

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    Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

    By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

    Memo to the golf gods:

    If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

    Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

    It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

    With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

    It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

    We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

    We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

    Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

    We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

    In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

    While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

    Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

    Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

    Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

    While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

    Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

    So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

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    McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

    By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

    With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

    The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

    Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

    "I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

    McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

    But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

    "I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

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    What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

    Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

    Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

    Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

    Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

    Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

    Ball: Titleist Pro V1x