Webster in Control in ANZ Championship

By Sports NetworkFebruary 14, 2004, 5:00 pm
PORT STEPHENS, Australia -- Steve Webster racked up 12 points Saturday to climb five points clear of the field through three rounds of the ANZ Championship. Webster has collected 39 points over the opening three days.
 
Nick O'Hern, who held the first-round lead, picked up eight points for the second straight day and stands at 34 points alone in second place. Scott Gardiner posted 11 points to move into third place with 32 points, one clear of Australian amateur Nick Flanagan, the reigning U.S. Amateur champion.
 
Play is contested using the Modified Stableford Scoring system. The system offers eight points for a double-eagle, five points for an eagle and two points for a birdie. No points are handed out for par, and one point is deducted for each bogey with players losing three points for double-bogey or worse.
 
With the attention Laura Davies had during the first two rounds now gone, the field focused its energy on catching Webster. However, the Englishman would have none of it.
 
He dropped in back-to-back birdies from the third at Horizons Golf Resort to move to 31 points. That broke an early tie for the lead created by Stuart Bouvier, who racked up a day-three high 18 points in the first group to play the third round.
 
Webster had more magic up his sleeve too. He drained a birdie try at the par-4 seventh and came right back with a birdie at the next.
 
The 29-year-old picked up another birdie at the par-5 12th. He again came right back with a birdie at the following hole to raise his point total to 39, but trouble loomed.
 
With a healthy lead, Webster stumbled to back-to-back bogeys from the 14th to slide back to 37 points. He erased those mistakes with a birdie at the par-5 16th, his third in three days on that hole. With that final birdie, he moved back to 39 points and five points clear of the field.
 
'I've never led a tournament before, so it's a new experience,' said Webster. who is looking for his first professional win. 'I was really in a mess last Saturday, my posture, my alignment and my ball position was all out. So it really felt strange how Ian Woosnam told me to set up but I did a good three hours and the rewards are sweet, really.'
 
Webster has a solid game plan despite having never won as a pro.
 
'I've just got to go out there and focus on each shot,' Webster said. 'You've just got to play one shot at a time with this format. It's a course set up for birdies, so I've got to keep my foot on the gas with the birdies. I'm just going to play tomorrow and see what happens.'
 
O'Hern began his day one point behind Webster but lost ground when he bogeyed the par-4 second. He erased that error and caught Webster as he ran off three straight birdies from the third to tie Webster with 31 points.
 
As Webster continued his hot play, O'Hern held his ground with five pars in a row, before picking up his fourth birdie of the day at the 12th. Like Webster, he also bogeyed the 14th to drop to 32 points. O'Hern closed with a birdie at the last to get back within five of the leader.
 
Ricky Barnes, the 2002 U.S. Amateur champion, racked up 16 points to move into a share of fifth place with 30 points. He is joined there by Thomas Levet, who notched seven points Saturday.
 
Paul Casey, the defending champion, shares seventh place with Joakim Haeggman, David McKenzie, Toru Suzuki, Lian-Wei Zhang and Peter Fowler at 29 points. Gary Evans and Fredrik Andersson are one point further back with 28.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - ANZ Championship

  • Full Coverage - ANZ Championship
  • Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

    The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

    Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

    Lexi Thompson:

    Baking time!!

    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

    Jack Nicklaus:

    GC Tiger Tracker:

    Steve Stricker:

    Golf Channel:

    Frank Nobilo:

    Ian Poulter:

    Tyrone Van Aswegen:

    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

    Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

    By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

    Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

    Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

    Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

    “Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

    Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

    “When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

    Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

    “Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

    In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

    “Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

    Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

    “The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

    Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

    “Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

    Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

    Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

    LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

    Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

    Christina Kim:

    LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

    LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

    LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

    LPGA pro Jennie Lee: