Three Tied with One to Go

By Sports NetworkJuly 24, 2004, 4:00 pm
US Bank Championship in MilwaukeeMILWAUKEE, Wis. -- Carlos Franco, the overnight leader and 1999 champion, struggled Saturday but managed a 1-under 69 and a share of the lead through 54 holes of the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee.
 
Brett Quigley fired a 6-under 64 and Patrick Sheehan posted a 3-under 67 to match Franco at 10-under-par 200.
 
Defending champion Kenny Perry got in the hunt on Saturday at Brown Deer Park Golf Club. He is alone in third place at 9-under-par 201, one ahead of Jason Dufner (68) and Scott Verplank (67).
 
Franco held the lead throughout much of Saturday's third round, but did not play particularly well. He drained a 3-footer for birdie at the sixth, then chipped in from the fringe behind the green at the eighth.
 
Franco three-putted for bogey at the 11th, but had a good look at birdie at 13 after driving into the rough. He missed the 5-footer for birdie, but made a couple of pars at 14 and 15, including a save from the right trees at the par-5 15th.
 
The 39-year-old from Paraguay hit an iron off the tee at 16, but found the left side of the fairway, bringing a tree into play. He wedged his shot over the tree and stopped it 15 feet from the hole, where he converted the birdie try.
 
Franco was 11 under par when he drove way left into trees. He pitched back into the fairway and played his third to 25 feet. Franco made the putt for par, but had no such luck at 18.
 
This drive went right into trees, but he had an opening. Franco tried to run a 2-iron up the fairway, but settled in thick rough short and left of the green. Franco's pitch went only a few yards and his fourth went 25 feet past the hole.
 
Franco missed the par-saving putt and found himself in a tie for the lead.
 
'That's unbelievable,' said Franco, a three-time winner on the PGA Tour. 'I forgot about my focus, but still, 10 under is not bad. I need to shoot a low score tomorrow if I want a chance to win.'
 
Franco might have the edge come Sunday thanks to his success here in 1999, but the very fact that he has won on tour gives him an advantage over his fellow co-leaders.
 
Quigley, whose best finish on tour was a tie for second in Greensboro three years ago, tallied three birdies on his front nine. He hit a 7-iron to 10 feet from 198 yards at the par-3 14th which set up his fourth birdie of the round.
 
At the 15th, Quigley drove into the rough and was forced to lay up short of the putting surface. His third rolled 2 feet from the hole, where he tapped in for birdie to go to minus-9.
 
Quigley played a spectacular second to the 18th that left him with 15 feet for eagle. His putt broke toward the hole, but he tapped in for birdie and his second career piece of the 54-hole lead.
 
'Today, I tried to take the weekend like I did the first two rounds, be really patient with myself and just go play golf,' said Quigley, who shared the third-round lead at the 2001 Colonial en route to tying for fifth.
 
Sheehan made his move up the leaderboard with Quigley in the clubhouse and Franco in the final pairing. Sheehan made the turn at even-par 34, but got going with a 25-foot birdie putt at the 12th. He birdied 13 for two in a row and nearly took the outright lead at the par-5 closing hole.
 
Sheehan, 34, nearly pitched in from off the green, but settled for birdie and a share of the lead.
 
'I grew up on courses like this in Rhode Island,' said Sheehan, whose best finish this season was a tie for third at the Heritage. 'They're not very long. Fairways and greens, that's the trick out here.'
 
Scott Hoch, a two-time champion, managed an even-par 70 and is tied for seventh place with Billy Andrade (67), Brian Gay (67), Fred Funk (67), Jay Williamson (68), Danny Briggs (68) and Olin Browne (68). That group is knotted at 7-under-par 203.
 
Rich Beem, the 2002 PGA Champion, was in second place at the start of Saturday's third round. He struggled to a 6-over 76 and is tied for 33rd place at minus-2.
 
Related Links:
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  • Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

    Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

    With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

    Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

    The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

    Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

    In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.

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    Awards season: Handing out the 2017 Rexys

    By Rex HoggardDecember 14, 2017, 7:00 pm

    After careful consideration and an exhaustive review of 2017 we present The Rexys, a wildly incomplete and arbitrary line up following one of the most eventful years in golf.

     There will be omissions – just keep your calls, concerns and even e-mails to yourself. We appreciate your patronage, but not your feedback.



    It’s Not You, It’s Me Award. You know the deal: You can’t be a part of two until you’re a better one; but on this front it’s really just a desire to find a better two.

    It was a tough year for caddies, and not just any caddies. In June, Phil Mickelson split with longtime bagman Jim “Bones” Mackay. Both player and caddie cited the need for “change,” but the move reverberated throughout the game.

    “The fairytale is over,” mused one caddie when told of the high-profile split.

    In the wake of the Lefty/Bones break, Rory McIlroy split with his caddie J.P Fitzgerald, and Jason Day replaced looper/swing coach Colin Swatton on his bag. It all proves yet again that there are only two kinds of caddies, those who have been fired and those who are about to be fired.



    Run for the Rose Cup. Sergio Garcia got the green jacket, a lifetime exemption to the game’s most coveted member-member and a long-awaited major, but Justin Rose took home the slightly less prestigious “Rose Cup.”

    Following a frenzied afternoon at Augusta National in April, Rose lost to Garcia on the first playoff hole, but he won so much more with his honesty and class.

    “You're going to win majors and you're going to lose majors, but you've got to be willing to lose them,” Rose figured following the final round. “You've got to put yourself out there. You've got to hit the top of the leaderboard. There's a lot of pressure out there and if you're not willing to enjoy it, then you're not ready to win these tournaments. I loved it out there.”

    Few have made losing look so dignified and fewer still are as easy to root for.



    Half-Empty Cup. It was the perfect setting, with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the promise of the Tristate masses descending on this fall’s Presidents Cup.

    If only all those rowdy New Yorkers had something to cheer.

    For the sixth time in the last seven matches, the U.S. team rolled to a victory of at least three points. This particular edition was even in danger of ending on Saturday afternoon thanks to a particularly dominant performance by a young American squad led by Steve Stricker.

    Officials spoke of the purity of the competition and the attention the ’17 cup generated, but however you spin the 19-11 rout, this cup is half empty.



    Enigma Award. The actual hardware is simply an oversized question mark and was sent directly to Tiger Woods’ South Florida compound following the most curious of seasons.

    While it’s become customary in recent years to consider the uncertain path that awaits the 14-time major winner, this most recent calendar brought an entirely new collection of questions following fusion surgery on his lower back in April, his arrest for DUI on Memorial Day and, finally, a glimmer of hope born from his tie for ninth at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month.

    When will he play again? Can he compete against the current generation of world-beaters? Can his body withstand the rigors of a full PGA Tour schedule? Should Jim Furyk make him a captain’s pick now or wait to see if he should be driving a vice captain’s golf cart instead?

    Little is certain when it comes to Woods, and the over-sized question mark goes to ... the guy in red and black.



    After Further Review Chalice. In April, Lexi Thompson endured a heartbreaking loss at the ANA Inspiration, the byproduct of a surreal ruling that arrived a day late via a viewer e-mail and cost the would-be winner a major championship.

    The entire event was so unsavory that the USGA and R&A made not one but two alterations to the rules and created a “working group” to avoid similar snafus in the future.

    That working group – it turns out the U.S. Ryder Cup team has some sort of copyright on “task force” – initially issued a decision that introduced a “reasonable judgment” and a “naked eye” standard to video reviews, and last week the rule makers kept the changes coming.

    The new protocols on video review will now include an official to monitor tournament broadcasts and ended the practice of allowing fans to call in, or in this case e-mail, possible infractions to officials. The USGA and R&A also eliminated the two-stroke penalty for players who sign incorrect scorecards when the player is unaware of the penalty.

    While all this might be a step in the right direction, it does nothing to change Thompson’s fate. The AFR Chalice won’t change the harsh reality, but at least it will serve as a reminder of how she helped altered the rulemaking landscape.



    Nothing Runs Like a Deere Award. Nothing gets fans fired up like officials turning fields of fescue rough into hay on the eve of a major championship, and the USGA’s decision to do some 11th-hour trimming at Erin Hills in June certainly caught many by surprise.

    Officials said the nip/tuck on four holes was in reaction to a particularly foreboding forecast that never materialized, and the maintenance drew the ire of some players.

    “We have 60 yards from left line to right line,” Rory McIlroy said. “You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here; if we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.”

    The record low scoring at the U.S. Open – winner Brooks Koepka finished with a 16-under total – didn’t help ease the fervor and had some questioning whether the softer side of the USGA has gone a bit too far?

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    Podcast: Daly takes big pride in 'Little John'

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 5:28 pm

    John Daly is a two-time major champion, but the newest trophy in his household belongs to someone else.

    That’s because Daly’s son, 14-year-old Little John “LJ” Daly, rallied to capture an IJGT junior golf event over the weekend. The younger Daly birdied the first extra hole to win a five-person playoff at Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

    Daly recently sat down for a Golf Channel podcast to describe what it’s like to cheer for his son and PNC Father-Son Challenge partner, share the unique challenge presented by the upcoming Diamond Resorts Invitational and reflect on some of the notable highs of a career that has now spanned more than 25 years.

    Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid

    By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

    Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

    Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.


    Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters


    Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

    World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

    Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.