Atwal Snedeker tied at Wyndham Championship

By Associated PressAugust 21, 2010, 3:15 am
Wyndham Championship

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Brandt Snedeker extended his run of strong performances at the Wyndham Championship by shooting a 65 on Friday to take a share of the lead with Arjun Atwal after two rounds.

Snedeker had an eagle and three birdies to move to 12-under 127 and into familiar territory atop the leaderboard of golf’s final pre-playoff event. He won this tournament in 2007 and shared the lead after a rainy first day last year.

He again has company in the lead: Atwal, who lost his Tour card last month and is bidding to become the first player in 24 years to qualify Monday and then win an ensuing tournament. He followed his tournament-record-tying first round with a 67.

Since the Wyndham returned to the par-70 Sedgefield Country Club in 2008, both winners – Carl Pettersson in 2008 and Ryan Moore last year – either held or shared the lead after two rounds.

Kevin Streelman (65), Lucas Glover (65) and John Rollins (65) were at 11 under, while Webb Simpson (64) was at 130. Justin Leonard, whose 63 was the best round of the day, joined Boo Weekley (67) and Tim Herron (64) at 131.

Snedeker’s only Tour victory came at the Wyndham, when it was held across town at Forest Oaks Country Club. He was in the lead last year when severe weather forced an early end to the first day of play, and finished in a tie for fifth, two strokes behind Moore.

“I feel comfortable here. Though the golf courses are different, they’re the same kind of grass and greens, stuff I grew up on, very similar,” Snedeker said. “And I don’t know what it is about this time of year. I seem to be playing my best golf come this time of year. I don’t know if it’s I’m playing into form, or see the finish line at the end of the year.”

Snedeker, who was two strokes behind Atwal at 7 under after the first round, came up with a second consistent trip around Sedgefield, calling it “the best back-to-back ball-striking rounds I’ve had in a while.” He started on the back nine and eagled the par-5 15th, then had three birdies on the front nine of his bogey-free round.

And the Wyndham record of 61 could have been matched for a second straight day, had Snedeker—who has the best putting average among tour players – not missed four putts 8 feet or shorter.

“I left quite a few out there,” Snedeker said, adding that missing those putts “is very unlike me. … Frustrating to go play that good of golf and the one thing I’m normally the best at – putting – wasn’t there. But it never seems to work where you got everything working at the same time.”

Atwal, who played his way into the Wyndham field by sharing first place at the qualifier at Forest Oaks, isn’t eligible to play in The Barclays or any of the other playoff events because his minor medical exemption ran out when he came up short on the money list following the Canadian Open. He said his main goal is to earn his card for 2011 – something he can do by climbing the earnings lists on the PGA and Nationwide tours, or, of course, by winning.

“There’s no doubt. I’m going to definitely be thinking about winning,” he said. “If I get into contention on Sunday on the back nine, I won’t be scared. Hopefully, my swing holds up and we’ll see what happens.”

Atwal bogeyed No. 10 after sending his drive into the rough. Streelman found the water during his double-bogey on No. 16.

A total 78 players made the cut of 3 under.

Among those on the bubble for the playoffs, which begin next week in New Jersey for the top 125 players on the points list, No. 123 Andres Romero (7 under) and No. 125 Michael Letzig (6 under) advanced to the weekend. No. 126 Mike Weir (2 under) and No. 129 Brett Quigley (2 under) didn’t.

One more who didn’t make it: Anthony Kim, who at No. 14 on the points list was the highest-ranked player in the field. The potential candidate for the U.S. Ryder Cup team was 2 over and missed his second straight cut.

“I know I put the captain in a tough spot here … but hopefully, with enough practice, I’ll start getting my game into shape … and make it an easy decision,” Kim said.

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Woods admits fatigue played factor in Ryder Cup

By Jason CrookOctober 17, 2018, 12:35 pm

There’s was plenty of speculation about Tiger Woods’ health in the wake of the U.S. team’s loss to Europe at last month’s Ryder Cup, and the 14-time major champ broke his silence on the matter during a driving range Q&A at his annual Tiger Woods Invitational at Pebble Beach on Tuesday.

Woods, who went 0-4 in Paris, admitted he was tired because he wasn’t ready to play so much golf this season after coming back from a fourth back surgery.

“It was just a cumulative effect of the entire season,” Woods said. “I was tired because I hadn’t trained for it. I hadn’t trained this entire comeback to play this much golf and on top of that deal with the heat and the fatigue and the loss of weight.”

The topic of conversation then shifted to what's next, with Woods saying he's just starting to plan out his future schedule, outside of "The Match" with Phil Mickelson over Thanksgiving weekend and his Hero World Challenge in December.

“I’m still figuring that out,” Woods said. “Flying out here yesterday trying to look at the schedule, it’s the first time I’ve taken a look at it. I’ve been so focused on getting through the playoffs and the Ryder Cup that I just took a look at the schedule and saw how packed it is.”

While his exact schedule remains a bit of a mystery, one little event in April at Augusta National seemed to be on his mind already.

When asked which major he was most looking forward to next year, Woods didn't hesitate with his response, “Oh, that first one.”

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Podcast: Fujikawa aims to offer 'hope' by coming out

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 17, 2018, 12:03 pm

Tadd Fujikawa first made golf history with his age. Now he's doing it with his recent decision to openly discuss his sexuality.

Last month Fujikawa announced via Instagram that he is gay, becoming the first male professional to come out publicly. Now 27, he has a different perspective on life than he did when he became the youngest U.S. Open participant in 2006 at Winged Foot at age 15, or when he made the cut at the Sony Open a few months later.

Joining as the guest on the latest Golf Channel podcast, Fujikawa discussed with host Will Gray the reception to his recent announcement - as well as some of the motivating factors that led the former teen phenom to become somewhat of a pioneer in the world of men's professional golf.

"I just want to let people know that they're enough, and that they're good exactly as they are," Fujikawa said. "That they don't need to change who they are to fit society's mold. Especially in the golf world where it's so, it's not something that's very common."

The wide-ranging interview also touched on Fujikawa's adjustment to life on golf-centric St. Simons Island, Ga., as well as some of his hobbies outside the game. But he was also candid about the role that anxiety and depression surrounding his sexuality had on his early playing career, admitting that he considered walking away from the game "many, many times" and would have done so had it not been for the support of friends and family.

While professional golf remains a priority, Fujikawa is also embracing the newfound opportunity to help others in a similar position.

"Hearing other stories, other athletes, other celebrities, my friends. Just seeing other people come out gave me a lot of hope in times when I didn't feel like there was a lot of hope," he said. "For me personally, it was something that I've wanted to do for a long time, and something I'm very passionate about. I really want to help other people who are struggling with that similar issue. And if I can change lives, that's really my goal."

For more from Fujikawa, click below or click here to download the podcast and subscribe to future episodes:

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Davies takes 2-shot lead into final round of Senior LPGA

By Associated PressOctober 17, 2018, 2:00 am

FRENCH LICK, Ind. - Laura Davies recovered from a pair of early bogeys Tuesday for a 2-under 70 that gave her a two-shot lead going into the final round of the Senior LPGA Championship as she goes for a second senior major.

In slightly warmer weather on The Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort, the 55-year-old Davies played bogey-free over the last 11 holes and was at 6-under 138. Brandi Burton had a 66, the best score of the tournament, and was two shots behind.

Silvia Cavalleri (69) and Jane Crafter (71) were three shots behind at 141.

Juli Inkster, who was one shot behind Davies starting the second round, shot 80 to fall 11 shots behind.

''I had a couple of bogeys early on, but I didn't panic,'' Davies said. ''I'm playing with a bit of confidence now and that's good to have going into the final round.''

Davies already won the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open this summer at Chicago Golf Club.

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Miller's biggest on-air regret: Leonard at Ryder Cup

By Jason CrookOctober 17, 2018, 12:00 am

Johnny Miller made a broadcasting career out of being brutally honest, calling golf tournaments exactly like he saw them.

His unfiltered style is what kept him on the air for nearly 30 years, but it wasn't always the most popular with players.

After announcing his upcoming retirement, Miller was asked Tuesday if there were any on-air comments he regretted over the last three decades. One immediately came to mind.

"I think that I didn't say the right words about Justin Leonard at Miracle at Brookline about he should be home watching it on TV. I meant really - I did say he should be home, but I meant the motel room. Even then I probably shouldn't have said that," Miller recalled. "I want so much for the outcome that I'm hoping for that I actually get overwhelmed with what I want to see. Almost the kind of things you would say to your buddies if you were watching it on TV, you know? He just couldn't win a match."

After struggling on Friday and Saturday in team play, Leonard ended up the U.S. hero after halving his Sunday singles match with José María Olazábal by holing a 40-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole - one of the most famous shots in Ryder Cup history.

"Of course he ended up - after the crappy comment I made that motivated maybe the team supposedly in the locker room, and he ends up making that 45-, 50- foot putt to seal the deal," Miller said. "Almost like a Hollywood movie or something."

Not only did the putt seal the comeback for the U.S., but it also earned Leonard an apology from Miller. 

"I apologized to him literally the next day; I happened to see him. I tried to make a policy when I go over the line that I get ahold of the guy within 24 hours and tell him I made a double bogey, you know. That's just the way I have done it through the years."