Allenby happy playing Open after wrist injury

By Associated PressJune 18, 2010, 3:57 am

2010 U.S. Open


PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Robert Allenby is beat up.

With two sore wrists and a lack of practice time, Allenby could almost celebrate finishing at 3-over par 74 in his first round at the U.S. Open.

He realizes it could have been a lot worse.

On Sunday, when many golfers in the 156-player field were already in place at Pebble Beach, Allenby was out on a fishing boat with his kids back home in Jupiter, Fla.

While maneuvering their 60-footer through an inlet at the end of the day, the vessel ran ashore and Allenby “squashed” his left wrist into the steering wheel upon impact.

“I have a nearly broken wrist,” he said after his round Thursday, that left wrist still heavily taped as he came off the course. “I hurt all the tendons. I haven’t been able to hit balls or anything.”

He’s in pain when he holds his putter. He cut his Tuesday practice round short after seven holes because the wrist was “killing me.” On Wednesday, he only walked the back nine.

On a day when the greens were fast and the wind brisk, Allenby was thrilled to stay out of the thick rough for most of his round with Adam Scott and Geoff Ogilvy – and find ways to deal with the bunkers and short stuff.

“It was relaxing,” Allenby said. “None of us really played our best. I guess I have a little bit of an excuse. … Thank goodness there’s not a lot of rough out here. The greens are tricky.”

Last week at Memphis, the 38-year-old Australian withdrew after just nine holes in his opening round Thursday because of tonsillitis.

“They wanted to pull my tonsils out,” he said. “I was sick the week before that. I haven’t seen this golf course in 11 years, so I did manage myself around there pretty well.”

He played through the Sony Open the second week of the season on a sprained right ankle that turned the bottom of his right foot purple.

This isn’t new for Allenby. He has dealt with his share of hard luck along the way.

This is the same guy whose 1996 season on the European Tour was cut short that October after a traffic accident in Spain in which he sustained a broken sternum and facial injuries.

“I’ve got nothing to lose,” he said. “I’m just happy to get out there and play. When you approach it with an attitude like that, that’s probably why I only shot 3 over and not 10 over.”


TRIPLE-DOUBLE: John Rollins was lost for words, so he offered some sarcasm.

“Good finish,” he quipped.

Rollins was tied for the lead at 2 under heading into the 17th on Thursday. Then he finished with a triple-bogey followed by a double-bogey, hardly the kind of triple-double to be proud of. Rollins just hopes he can recover and start Friday morning on fresh greens playing the way he did in his initial 16 holes.

“It’s a U.S. Open. You miss something or you mismanage your game, you’re going to pay the price,” Rollins said. “If I get it going again, hopefully I’ll be able to hang on and get myself back in position. I’m by no means out of the golf tournament but at the same time, standing on the 17th tee 2 under you’re feeling like you’ve got a pretty good chance of getting in there with a good score. To walk off 18 3 over is disappointing.”

Nothing went right down the stretch, starting with that terrible 17th. Rollins has been working to better control his emotions when things don’t go his way, so he didn’t let any frustration show.

“I made a debacle of that hole,” he said of 17. “I’m steaming inside. I played 16 really good holes. I had just two slip-ups. Unfortunately they were big ones.”


THE TIDES TURN: U.S. Open first-timer Hugo Leon learned in a hurry how fast things can change in a major, especially at unpredictable Pebble Beach.

Just when things seemed to be going his way, the tides turned for the cheerful Chilean during a particularly tough stretch of the front nine at this spectacular oceanside course – Nos. 7-10. Not only do seagulls squeak loudly above and sometimes land right in the path of play, the winds are constantly changing. Mistakes must be at a minimum to succeed here.

Leon birdied the par-5, 523-yard sixth to go to 1 under only to score back-to-back bogeys on his next two holes.

On No. 8, Leon landed his tee shot over a steep cliff into the left bunker and one of five sand traps surrounding the green. He wound up with a 2-over 73 for the day.

“Andale, andale, Hugo!” one man cheered as Leon lofted a chip out of that trap at the eighth, then the golfer acknowledged the gallery with a wave of his right hand.

The 25-year-old Leon hollered “get down!” to his tee shot at No. 7. He bit his right fingernails as he checked out the rocky view some 75 feet below him at the eighth tee.

Leon and fellow Open rookie Ty Tryon regularly chatted as they walked down the fairways – and even rooted each other on.

“That a way, Ty, good save,” Leon said after one shot.

Amateur Andrew Putnam, the other member of the threesome, had his own problems. He hit a drive off No. 6 that took one bounce and went over the cliff to the right to the low tide below. He took a drop there, then hit twice on his second shot on 8 after the first sailed over another bluff.


STAYING WELL: Jeffrey Poplarski is working his eighth U.S. Open on the “Wellness Team.” That’s a fancy, fit-for-golf, way to sum up all the medical professionals on hand to help the players.

Chiropractors, personal trainers, acupuncturists, physical and massage therapists. There are 95 assorted health care providers in two onsite wellness centers treating the 156 players and their caddies and the 6,000 volunteers at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

One popular treatment so far this week has been in the hyperbaric chamber, where players are spending up to an hour in an enclosed pressure vessel that provides oxygen in a high-pressure environment to help speed healing and recovery.

“It’s getting a little attention,” Poplarski, a chiropractor, said of the chamber. “They’re going in for an hour. It revitalizes the tissue.”

With the cool and sometimes downright chilly conditions, Poplarski also is receiving inquiries from players who want to make sure they can get and stay loose on the course while dealing with any minor injuries.

Poplarski handed out some heat patches for one player to wear on his troublesome back during Thursday’s round.

“The cooler it is the harder it is if you have an ailment to deal with it,” he said during a brief stop with colleague and fitness professional Marlene Simonson as they took a cart onto the course.


BARNES BOUNCES BACK: Ricky Barnes was already unraveling early in his round when his pitch shot from behind a greenside bunker on the 15th came flying out and landed 10 feet above the hole. Barnes stared angrily at the rough, looking ready to take a few chunks out of the tangled grass before missing his par putt for a third bogey in five holes.

But Barnes rebounded from his early mistakes. He fell to 4 over after bogeying No. 1 – his 10th hole – then rallied with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5 and an eagle on the uphill par-5 sixth. Barnes bogeyed the difficult eighth but finished at 1-over 72.

Last year, Barnes finally lived up to some of his potential and led the Open after three rounds at Bethpage, before stumbling with a final-round 76 and finishing in a tie for second place.


HE’S UNDER: K.J. Choi finished 1 under in his opening round Thursday – the only time he can remember being under par to start a U.S. Open. And this is the South Korean’s 10th time playing the national championship.

He overcame a bogey on No. 1 followed by a double bogey on 2. He later had two more bogeys.

“Even par every day,” Choi said of his mindset this week at Pebble Beach.

Paired with Mike Weir and Tim Clark, Choi tried to recover after the early trouble.

“I started out with bogey and double bogey, which wasn’t good, but as the holes went by I tried to find my rhythm again,” he said. “I didn’t give up. So eventually I found my swing, my shots got better, putting went better, I was able to finish the day with 1 under so, I’m happy about that. I think if I just keep it up at this pace for the next three days I’ll have a good finish. “

Choi, a pro since 1994, turned 40 last month.

While maneuvering their 60-footer through an inlet at the end of the day, the vessel ran ashore and Allenby “squashed” his left wrist into the steering wheel upon impact.

“I have a nearly broken wrist,” he said after his round Thursday, that left wrist still heavily taped as he came off the course. “I hurt all the tendons. I haven’t been able to hit balls or anything.”

He’s in pain when he holds his putter. He cut his Tuesday practice round short after seven holes because the wrist was “killing me.” On Wednesday, he only walked the back nine.

On a day when the greens were fast and the wind brisk, Allenby was thrilled to stay out of the thick rough for most of his round with Adam Scott and Geoff Ogilvy – and find ways to deal with the bunkers and short stuff.

“It was relaxing,” Allenby said. “None of us really played our best. I guess I have a little bit of an excuse. … Thank goodness there’s not a lot of rough out here. The greens are tricky.”

Last week at Memphis, the 38-year-old Australian withdrew after just nine holes in his opening round Thursday because of tonsillitis.

“They wanted to pull my tonsils out,” he said. “I was sick the week before that. I haven’t seen this golf course in 11 years, so I did manage myself around there pretty well.”

He played through the Sony Open the second week of the season on a sprained right ankle that turned the bottom of his right foot purple.

This isn’t new for Allenby. He has dealt with his share of hard luck along the way.

This is the same guy whose 1996 season on the European Tour was cut short that October after a traffic accident in Spain in which he sustained a broken sternum and facial injuries.

“I’ve got nothing to lose,” he said. “I’m just happy to get out there and play. When you approach it with an attitude like that, that’s probably why I only shot 3-over and not 10-over.”

THE TIDES TURN: U.S. Open first-timer Hugo Leon learned in a hurry how fast things can change in a major, especially at unpredictable Pebble Beach.

Just when things seemed to be going his way, the tides turned for the cheerful Chilean during a particularly tough stretch of the front nine at this spectacular oceanside course – Nos. 7-10. Not only do seagulls squeak loudly above and sometimes land right in the path of play, the winds are constantly changing. Mistakes must be at a minimum to succeed here.

Leon birdied the par-5, 523-yard sixth to go to 1 under only to score back-to-back bogeys on his next two holes.

On No. 8, Leon landed his tee shot over a steep cliff into the left bunker and one of five sand traps surrounding the green. He wound up with a 2-over 73 for the day.

“Andale, andale, Hugo!” one man cheered as Leon lofted a chip out of that trap at the eighth, then the golfer acknowledged the gallery with a wave of his right hand.

The 25-year-old Leon hollered “get down!” to his tee shot at No. 7. He bit his right fingernails as he checked out the rocky view some 75 feet below him at the eighth tee.

Leon and fellow Open rookie Ty Tryon regularly chatted as they walked down the fairways – and even rooted each other on.

“That a way, Ty, good save,” Leon said after one shot.

Amateur Andrew Putnam, the other member of the threesome, had his own problems. He hit a drive off No. 6 that took one bounce and went over the cliff to the right to the low tide below. He took a drop there, then hit twice on his second shot on 8 after the first sailed over another bluff.

STAYING WELL: Jeffrey Poplarski is working his eighth U.S. Open on the “Wellness Team.” That’s a fancy, fit-for-golf, way to sum up all the medical professionals on hand to help the players.

Chiropractors, personal trainers, acupuncturists, physical and massage therapists. There are 95 assorted health care providers in two onsite wellness centers treating the 156 players and their caddies and also the 6,000 volunteers at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

One popular treatment so far this week has been in the hyperbaric chamber, where players are spending up to an hour in enclosed pressure vessel that provides oxygen in a high-pressure environment to help speed healing and recovery.

“It’s getting a little attention,” Poplarski, a chiropractor, said of the chamber. “They’re going in for an hour. It revitalizes the tissue.”

With the cool and sometimes downright chilly conditions, Poplarski also is receiving inquiries from players who want to make sure they can get and stay loose on the course while dealing with any minor injuries.

Poplarski handed out some heat patches for one player to wear on his troublesome back during Thursday’s round.

“The cooler it is the harder it is if you have an ailment to deal with it,” he said during a brief stop with colleague and fitness professional Marlene Simonson as they took a cart out onto the course.

BARNES BOUNCES BACK: Ricky Barnes was already unraveling early in his round when his pitch shot from behind a greenside bunker on the 15th came flying out and landed 10 feet above the hole. Barnes stared angrily at the rough, looking ready to take a few chunks out of the tangled grass before missing his par putt for a third bogey in five holes.

But Barnes rebounded from his early mistakes. He fell to 4 over after bogeying No. 1 – his 10th hole – then rallied with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5 and an eagle on the uphill par-5 sixth. Barnes bogeyed the difficult eighth but finished at 1-over 72.

Last year, Barnes finally lived up to some of his potential and led the Open after three rounds at Bethpage, before stumbling with a final-round 76 and finishing in a tie for second place.

HE’S UNDER: K.J. Choi finished 1 under in his opening round Thursday – the only time he can remember being under par to start a U.S. Open. And this is the South Korean’s 10th time playing the national championship.

He overcame a bogey on No. 1 followed by a double bogey on 2. He later had two more bogeys.

“Even par every day,” Choi said of his mindset this week at Pebble Beach.

Paired with Mike Weir and Tim Clark, Choi tried to recover after the early trouble.

“I started out with bogey and double bogey, which wasn’t good, but as the holes went by I tried to find my rhythm again,” he said. “I didn’t give up. So eventually I found my swing, my shots got better, putting went better, I was able to finish the day with 1 under so, I’m happy about that. I think if I just keep it up at this pace for the next three days I’ll have a good finish. “

Choi, a pro since 1994, turned 40 last month.

Getty Images

Arizona caps an improbable journey with a title

By Ryan LavnerMay 24, 2018, 3:49 am

STILLWATER, Okla. – Five hours before the final match at the NCAA Women’s Championship, Arizona coach Laura Ianello sat cross-legged on a couch in the Holiday Inn lobby and broke down four times in a half-hour interview.

It’s been that kind of exhausting season.

From poor play to stunning midseason defections to a stroke-play collapse, Ianello has felt uneasy for months. She has felt like she was losing control. Felt like her carefully crafted roster was coming apart.

So to even have a chance to win a NCAA title?

“I know what this team has gone through,” she said, beginning to tear up, “and you don’t get these opportunities all the time. So I want it for them. This could be so life-changing for so many of them.”

A moment that seemed impossible six months ago became reality Wednesday at Karsten Creek.

Arizona continued its magical run through the match-play bracket and knocked off top-ranked Alabama to capture its third NCAA title, with junior Haley Moore – who first rose to fame by making the cut at an LPGA major as a 16-year-old – rolling in a 4-footer to earn the clinching point in extra holes.

All throughout nationals Arizona was fueled by momentum and adrenaline, but this was no Cinderella squad. The Wildcats were ranked ninth in the country. They won twice this spring. They had four medalists. They were one of the longest-hitting teams in the country.

But even before a miracle end to NCAA stroke play, Arizona needed some help just to get here.


NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Team scoring

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Individual scoring


On Christmas Day, one of the team’s best players, Krystal Quihuis, texted Ianello that she was turning pro. It may have been a gift to her parents, for their years of sacrifice, but it was a lump of coal in Ianello’s stocking.

“I was absolutely heartbroken,” she said. “It was devastating.”

Even more bad news arrived a few weeks later, when junior Gigi Stoll told Ianello that she was unhappy, homesick and wanted to return to Portland, Ore. Just like that, a promising season had gone off the rails.

Ianello offered her a full release, but Stoll looked around, found no other suitors and decided to remain with the team – as long as she signed a contract of expected behavior.

“It was the most exhausting two months of my life,” Ianello said. “We care so much about these freakin’ girls, and we’re like, Come on, this is just a small, little picture of your life, so you don’t realize what you’re possibly giving up. It’s so hard to see that sometimes.”

Stoll eventually bought in, but the rest of the team was blindsided by Quihuis’ decision.

“We became even more motivated to prove we were a great team,” said junior Bianca Pagdanganan.

It also helped that Yu-Sang Hou joined the squad in January. The morale immediately improved, not least because the players now could poke fun at Hou; on her fourth day on campus she nearly burned down the dorm when she forgot to add water to her mac-and-cheese.

Early on Ianello and assistant Derek Radley organized a team retreat at a hotel in Tucson. There the players created Oprah-inspired vision boards and completed exercises blindfolded and delivered 60-second speeches to break down barriers. At the end of the session, they created T-shirts that they donned all spring. They splashed “The Great Eight” on the front, put the state of Arizona and each player’s country of origin on the sleeves, and on the back printed their names and a slogan: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

“I can’t think of anything else that better embodies this team,” Radley said.

This spring, they rallied together and finished no worse than fourth in a tournament. Through three rounds of stroke play here at the NCAA Championship, they used their distance advantage and sat third in the standings. Then they shot 17 over par in the final round, tumbling outside the top-8 cut line.

They were down to their final chance on the 72nd hole, needing an eagle to tie, as Pagdanganan lined up her 30-footer. She dramatically drained the putt, then gathered her teammates on the range.

“This means we were meant to be in the top 8,” she said. Less than an hour later, they beat Baylor in the team playoff to earn the last match-play berth.

Ianello was so amped up from the frenetic finish that she slept only three hours on Monday night, but they continued to roll and knocked off top-seeded UCLA in the quarterfinals, beating a pair of Player of the Year contenders, Lilia Vu and Patty Tavatanakit, in the process. In the afternoon semifinals, they jumped all over Stanford and won easily.

It was a cute story, the last team into the match-play field reaching the final match, but a stiffer challenge awaited the Wildcats Wednesday.

Alabama was the top-ranked team in the country. The Tide were a whopping 110 under par for the season, boasting three first-team All-Americans who were so dominant in their first two matches that they trailed for only two of the 99 holes they played.

Ianello already seemed to be bracing for the result on the eve of the final match.

“Win or lose,” she said, “this has been a hell of a ride.”

But their wild ride continued Wednesday, as Hou won four holes in a row to start the back nine and defeat Alabama’s best player, Lauren Stephenson, who had the best single-season scoring average (69.5) in Division I history.

Then sophomore Sandra Nordaas – the main beneficiary after Quihuis left at the midway point of the season – held on for a 1-up victory over Angelica Moresco.

And so Arizona’s national-title hopes hinged on the success of its most mercurial player, Moore. In the anchor match against Lakareber Abe, Moore jumped out to a 2-up lead at the turn but lost the first three holes on the back nine.

By the time Radley sped back to help Moore, in the 12th fairway, she was frazzled.

“But seeing me,” Radley said, “I saw a sense of calm wash over her.”

Moore played solidly for the rest of the back nine and took a 1-up lead into the home hole. She didn’t flinch when Abe hit one of the shots of the entire championship – a smoked 3-wood to 12 feet to set up a two-putt birdie and force extras – and then gave herself 4 feet for the win on the first playoff hole. She sank the putt and within seconds was mobbed by her teammates.

In the giddy aftermath, Ianello could barely speak. She wandered around the green in a daze, looking for someone, anyone, to hug.

The most trying year of her career had somehow ended in a title.

“At some moments, it felt impossible,” she said. “But I underestimated these young women a little bit.”

Getty Images

Pac-12 continues to dominate women's golf

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 24, 2018, 3:04 am

Arizona's women's golf championship marked the fourth consecutive year in‌ which the women's Division I national title was won by a Pac-12 team. All four championships were won by different schools (Stanford, 2015; Washington, 2016; Arizona State, 2017; Arizona, 2018). The Pac-12 is the only conference to win four straight golf championships (men or women) with four different schools.

Here are some other statistical notes from the just-concluded NCAA Div. I Women's Golf Championship:

• This is the second time that Arizona has won the national title the year after rival Arizona State won it. The last time was 1996.

• Arizona now has three women's golf national championships. The previous two came in 1996 and 2000.


NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Scoring and TV times

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Full coverage


• Arizona is only the sixth school to win three or more Div. I women's golf championships, joining Arizona State (8), Duke (6), San Jose State (3), UCLA (3) and USC (3).

• Arizona's Haley Moore, who earned the clinching point on the 19th hole of her match with Alabama's Lakareber Abe, was the only Arizona player to win all three of her matches this week.

• Alabama's Kristen Gillman and Cheyenne Knight also went 3-0. Gillman did not trail in any match.

• Since the match-play format was instituted in 2015, Arizona is the lowest seed (8) to claim the national title. The seeds claiming the national championship were Stanford (4) in 2015; Washington (4) in 2016; and Arizona State (3) in 2017.

Getty Images

High school seniors win U.S. Amateur Four-Ball

By Associated PressMay 24, 2018, 1:44 am

TEQUESTA, Fla. - The 18-year-old Hammer, from Houston, is set to play at Texas next fall. Barber, from Stuart, Fla., also is 18. He's headed to LSU.

''Growing up watching U.S. Opens and U.S. Amateurs on TV, I just knew being a USGA champion is something that I desperately wanted,'' said Hammer, who qualified for a U.S. Open three years ago at 15. ''And to finally do it, it feels incredible. It feels as good, if not better, than I thought it would. And especially being able to do it with Garrett. It's really cool to share this moment.''

Hammer and Cole won the par-4 eighth with a birdie to take a 2-up lead. They took the par-4 10th with a par, won the par-5 13th with an eagle - Barber hit a 4-iron from 235 yards to 3 feet - and halved the next two holes to end the match.

''Cole didn't want me to hit 4-iron,'' Barber said. ''He didn't think I could get it there. I was like, 'I got it.' So I hit it hard, hit pretty much a perfect shot. It was a crazy shot.''

The 32-year-old Dull is from Winter Park, Fla., and the 42-year-old Brooke from Altamonte Springs, Fla.

''Cole Hammer is a special player,'' Brooke said. ''Obviously, he's going to Texas (and) I'm not saying he is Jordan Spieth, but there are certain things that he does.''

In the morning semifinals, Hammer and Barber beat Idaho high school teammates Carson Barry and Sam Tidd, 5 and 4, and Brooke and Dull topped former Seattle University teammates Kyle Cornett and Patrick Sato, 4 and 3.

Getty Images

Watch: Pumped up Beef deadlifts 485 lbs.

By Grill Room TeamMay 24, 2018, 12:19 am

Andrew "Beef" Johnston has been playing some solid golf on the European Tour this season, and he is clearly pumped up for one of the biggest weeks of the year at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

Judging from the video below, Beef will have no problems lifting the trophy on Sunday as he reportedly deadlifted 220 kg ... (Googles kilogram to pounds converter, enters numbers) ... that's 485 lbs!

@beefgolf with a new deadlift PB 220kg ! #youcantgowronggettingstrong

A post shared by ETPI (@etpi_performanceunit) on