Augusta St. wins consecutive NCAA titles

By Associated PressJune 5, 2011, 10:04 pm

STILLWATER, Okla. – Coach Josh Gregory was jubilant at the notion of tiny Augusta State winning its second straight NCAA men’s golf title, yet tearfully sad because it also meant saying goodbye.

Patrick Reed closed out the Jaguars’ repeat Sunday, beating Georgia’s Harris English 2 and 1 in the featured matchup between each team’s top player.

Now, he and the rest of the team – including Gregory – will scatter.

The rest of the Jaguars’ lineup – Henrik Norlander, Mitchell Krywulycz, Carter Newman and Olle Bengtson – are seniors, and Ryan is turning pro.

“It was a bittersweet win,” Reed said. “We’re all glad to win, but at the same time we’re sad it’s over because that means all of us are going different directions and none of us are coming back.”

Even Gregory is set to become the next coach at his alma mater, SMU, and said it was his last day at Augusta State.

“This is storybook. This just doesn’t happen,” Gregory said. “You just don’t win two national championship and then get to go to your alma mater and coach.”

Reed needed only a double bogey to halve the 17th hole and win the championship after English hit his second shot into a lake left of the green. Reed, who played for the Bulldogs as a freshman, has helped turn Augusta State into a budding powerhouse, right in the shadows of Augusta National.

“I actually liked it because I felt really comfortable with the guys,” Reed said. “I played with them all the time from being there. We just had a great time.”

The Jaguars, who compete in Division II in all sports except golf, also got victories from Mitchell Krywulycz and Carter Newman to win the final match 3-2. Augusta State is the first team to win back-to-back titles since Houston did it in 1984 and 1985.

“If you don’t have players, it doesn’t matter what you can do. It doesn’t matter how big your budget is, how many private planes you have, how many scholarships you have,” Gregory said. “If you can find a way to get players that believe, that’s all that counts.”

Russell Henley and Bryden MacPherson won their matches for Georgia, which was seeking its third NCAA title. The Bulldogs previously won the title in 1999 and 2005 and were hoping to keep up the trend of a championship every six years.

The Bulldogs lose three seniors – team leaders English, Henley and Hudson Swafford.

“These guys gave us a lot of thrills this week. These guys are good players and they showed it this week. I am just glad they had a chance to go out with a chance to win a national championship,” Georgia coach Chris Haack said. “That was fun.”

Reed never let English get ahead in what proved to be the deciding match, and didn’t even need a birdie on the back nine to do it. He took the lead for good when English double-bogeyed the par-4 10th and went 2-up when English bogeyed the par-4 13th.

Then, after English hit into the water on No. 17, Reed chipped over the green and then back on to close it out.

After finishing sixth in stroke play qualifying, Augusta State reached the finals by beating another in-state rival – Georgia Tech – and then taking down top-ranked Oklahoma State on its home course in a rematch of last year’s championship.

“We couldn’t have asked for it any better,” Reed said. “Those are the guys we wanted to play, and I was glad we actually got to be able to play them.”

Krywulycz, who rallied from 4-down to beat Oklahoma State’s Kevin Tway in the deciding match last year, prevented Swafford from making a similar rally this year. Swafford bogeyed the first four holes to immediately fall 4-down, then suddenly was back within 1-up by winning the last three holes on the front nine.

Swafford had a chance to take the match to the 18th, but he couldn’t capitalize after Krywulycz also hit his second shot into the water on No. 17. Krywulycz took a drop and got up and down for bogey, and Swafford halved the hole and lost 2 and 1.

Newman, who won in a playoff to get Augusta State to the finals, had a much easier time, winning 7 and 5 against T.J. Mitchell.

Mitchell never recovered after making double bogeys on the first two holes. He didn’t make a single birdie and added five more bogeys, allowing Newman to cruise to victory.

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Four top finishers in Japan qualify for The Open

By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 10:19 am

IBARAKI, Japan – Shota Akiyoshi of Japan shot a 2-under-par 70 on Sunday to win the Mizuno Open and qualify for The 147th Open.

Akiyoshi offset three bogeys with five birdies at the Royal Golf Club in Ibaraki, Japan, to finish 1 under overall and secure his first ever tournament win on the Japan Golf Tour.

Michael Hendry of New Zealand and Japanese golfers Masahiro Kawamura and Masanori Kobayashi were tied for second one stroke off the pace to also qualify for The Open at Carnoustie, Scotland, from July 19-22.

Hendry, who led the tournament coming into the final round, came close to forcing a playoff with Akiyoshi but dropped a shot with a bogey on the final hole when he needed a par to draw level.

Hendry will make his second appearance at The Open after qualifying at the Mizuno Open for the second year in a row.

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Lewis hopes to win at Volvik with baby on the way

By Randall MellMay 27, 2018, 12:55 am

Stacy Lewis was listening to more than her caddie on her march up the leaderboard Saturday at the Volvik Championship.

Pregnant with her first child, she is listening to her body in a new way these days.

And she could hear a message coming through loud and clear toward the end of her round at Travis Point Country Club in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“The little one was telling me it’s dinnertime,” Lewis said.

Lewis birdied five of the last six holes to shoot 5-under-par 67 and move into position to make a Sunday run at winning her 13th LPGA title. She is two shots behind the leader, Minjee Lee, whose 68 moved her to 12 under overall.

Sunday has the makings of a free for all with 10 players within three shots of the lead.

Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship

Lewis, 33, is four months pregnant, with her due date Nov. 3. She’s expecting to play just a few more times before putting the clubs away to get ready for the birth. She said she’s likely to make the Marathon Classic in mid-July her last start of the season before returning next year.

Of course, Lewis would relish winning with child.

“I don’t care what limitations I have or what is going on with my body, I want to give myself a chance to win,” she told at the Kingsmill Championship last week.

Lewis claimed an emotional victory with her last title, taking the Cambia Portland Classic late last summer after announcing earlier in the week that she would donate her entire winnings to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in her Houston hometown.

A victory Sunday would also come with a lot of emotion.

It’s been an interesting year for Lewis.

There’s been the joy of learning she’s ready to begin the family she has been yearning for, and the struggle to play well after bouncing back from injury.

Lewis missed three cuts in a row before making it into the weekend at the Kingsmill Championship last week. That’s one more cut than she missed cumulatively in the previous six years. In six starts this year, Lewis hasn’t finished among the top 50 yet, but she hasn’t felt right, either.

The former world No. 1 didn’t make her second start of 2018 until April, at the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration. She withdrew from the HSBC Women’s World Championship in late February with a strained right oblique muscle and didn’t play again for a month.

Still, Lewis is finding plenty to get excited about with the baby on the way.

“I kind of had my first Mother’s Day,” Lewis told last week. “It puts golf into perspective. It makes those bad days not seem so bad. It helps me sleep better at night. We are just really excited.”

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Rose hasn't visited restroom at Colonial - here's why

By Nick MentaMay 27, 2018, 12:20 am

In case you're unaware, it's pretty hot in Texas.

Temperatures at Colonial Country Club have approached 100 degrees this week, leaving players to battle both the golf course and potential dehydration.

With the help of his caddie Mark Fulcher, Fort Worth Invitational leader Justin Rose has been plenty hot himself, staking himself to a four-shot lead.

Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

"Yeah, Fulch has done a great job of just literally handing me water bottle after water bottle. It seems relentless, to be honest with you," Rose said Saturday.

So just how much are players sweating the heat at Colonial? Well, it doesn't sound like all that water is making it all the way through Rose.

"I haven't even seen the inside of a restroom yet, so you can't even drink quick enough out there," he shared.

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Up four, Rose knows a lead can slip away

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 11:21 pm

Up four shots heading into Sunday at the Fort Worth Invitational, Justin Rose has tied the largest 54-hole lead of his PGA Tour career.

On the previous two occasions he took a 54-hole Tour lead into the final round, he closed.

And yet, Rose knows just how quickly a lead can slip away. After all, it was Rose who erased a six-shot deficit earlier this season to overtake Dustin Johnson and win the WGC-HSBC Championship. 

"I think I was in the lead going into the final round in Turkey when I won, and I had a four-shot lead going into the final round in Indonesia in December and managed to put that one away," Rose said Saturday, thinking back to his two other victories late last year.

"I was five, six back maybe of DJ, so I've got experience the other way. ... So you can see how things can go both ways real quick. That's why there is no point in getting too far ahead of myself."

Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

Up one to start the third round Saturday, Rose extended his lead to as much as five when he birdied four of his first six holes.

He leads the field in strokes gained: tee-to-green (+12.853) and strokes gained: approach-the-green (+7.931).

Rose has won five times worldwide, including at the 2016 Rio Olympics, since his last victory in the United States, at the 2015 Zurich Classic.

With a win Sunday, he'd tie Nick Faldo for the most PGA Tour wins by an Englishman post-World War II, with nine.

But he isn't celebrating just yet.

"It is a big lead, but it's not big enough to be counting the holes away. You've got to go out and play good, you've got to go out positive, you've got to continue to make birdies and keep going forward.

"So my mindset is to not really focus on the lead, it's to focus on my game tomorrow and my performance. You know, just keep executing the way I have been. That's going to be my challenge tomorrow. Going to look forward to that mindset."