Sunday Shootout Set at Memorial

By Sports NetworkJune 4, 2005, 4:00 pm
DUBLIN, Ohio -- Jeff Sluman posted a 4-under 68 on Saturday to retain a piece of the lead after three rounds of the Memorial. Sluman stands at 12-under-par 204.
David Toms
David Toms had plenty of reasons to smile in his 8-under 64 Saturday.
He was joined in the lead by Bart Bryant (66), David Toms, who aced the par-3 fourth en route to a 64, and 1998 Memorial winner Fred Couples (66).
Woody Austin carded a 7-under 65 to move into a share of fifth place at minus-11. He was joined there by Jonathan Kaye, who bogeyed 18 to shoot a 4-under 68. Peter Lonard is one stroke further back at 10-under-par 206.
World No. 2 and three-time champion Tiger Woods spread four birdies and three bogeys over his round at Muirfield Village Golf Club. His 71 put him in a tie for 10th at 8-under-par 208.
'I didn't get off to a very good start today, I hit some good shots, but didn't make any putts,' said Woods. 'I'm very pleased with the way I hit the ball on the back nine. The only bad shot I hit was on 15. That's the whole story though, I put the ball on the wrong side of the holes too often.'
Sluman opened with a one-shot lead, but had been passed by Toms by the time he teed off. Sluman responded with a birdie at the first to join Toms at minus-9.
The six-time winner of the PGA Tour again caught Toms at 10 under with a birdie at the sixth. Sluman came right back with a birdie on 11, but was joined at minus-11 by Toms and Kaye.
Sluman rolled in a 25-foot birdie try at 12 to tie Toms and Austin in the lead. The 1988 PGA champion tripped to bogey at the next to slip one shot back.
The 47-year-old Sluman two-putted for birdie on the par-5 15th to again grab a piece of the lead. He parred in to remain there.
Toms, the 2001 PGA Champion, opened with a birdie on the first. He then aced the par-3 fourth to jump to 7 under. The 38-year-old kept rolling with birdies on five and six.
He dropped his second shot within 2 feet of the cup to set up a birdie on the ninth and join Sluman and Nick O'Hern in the lead. Toms parred the first five holes of the back nine. He drained a 15-foot eagle putt at the 15th to move to minus-12 and parred out to remain there.
'I've had a couple of victories on (Jack) Nicklaus-designed courses,' said Toms, of his wins at The International and the Compaq Classic of New Orleans. 'I was really concentrating well from the fairways and hitting the right club, which is what you have to do on this course.'
Couples, whose last win came at the 2003 Houston Open, wrapped bogeys at four and seven around birdies on five and six. The 45-year-old then birdied the eighth to get to 7 under.
The 15-time winner on the PGA Tour parred his next three holes around the turn. Couples birdied 12 and 14 to get to minus-9. The University of Houston alum eagled the 15th to get within one of the lead. He closed with a 20-foot birdie putt at the last to polish off a round of 66.
'I just love this place,' Couples said. 'I played nine holes with Jack Nicklaus on Wednesday and I asked him if we could play twice a year here, because it's such a beautiful place. I've always played well here and I'm in good shape again.'
Bryant picked up birdies on one and four, but double bogeyed the second. He stumbled to a bogey on No. 5. He atoned for that error by running off three consecutive birdies from the eighth to jump to 8 under.
The 42-year-old Bryant, whose lone win came at the 2004 Texas Open, birdied the 13th and came right back with a birdie on 14 to get to 10 under.
Bryant made it three in row as he birdied the 15th. He joined the leaders at minus-12 with birdie on the 17th.
'It was a good day at the office,' said Bryant. 'It was fun. I started off a little auspiciously there, made double at two and bogeyed the par-5 No. 5, and I could get there easily. After that, I just kind of caught fire. It was a good day.'
O'Hern managed a 70 to finish in a tie for ninth at 9-under-par 207. He was joined there by Geoff Ogilvy, who fired a 66.
Woods shares 10th with Richard Green, Adam Scott, Bo Van Pelt, Scott Verplank, Fredrik Jacobson and Rory Sabbatini.
Ernie Els, the defending champion, managed an even-par round of 72. He stands at even-par 216 in a tie for 55th.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Memorial Tournament
  • Full Coverage - Memorial Tournament
  • Getty Images

    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

    Getty Images

    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

    Getty Images

    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

    Getty Images

    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.