Back-nine 29 gives Browne lead over O'Meara at Sr. Open

By Associated PressJuly 30, 2011, 10:11 pm

TOLEDO, Ohio – The coolest thing at the U.S. Senior Open hasn’t been the air conditioning in the clubhouse or the ice in the drinks at the corporate tents.

Olin Browne, of all people, has been one cool customer.

Battling high heat and staring down wizened major winner Mark O’Meara, Browne continues to run just a few degrees above zero.

The journeyman had all the answers for the third day in a row on Saturday, shooting a 6-under 65 to forge a two-stroke lead over O’Meara heading into Sunday’s final round.

“The truth is, I haven’t been thinking about what I’ve been doing; I’m thinking about what I’m going to do,” Browne said.

Never a winner in his three years of competition since turning 50, Browne set the tournament record for lowest score through 54 holes. After a record-tying 64 followed by a 69, he’s at 15-under 198.

He didn’t even want to contemplate what winning a major championship would mean to him, even though he knows what it’s like to be on the outside looking in for much of his 27 years as a touring pro.

“I really don’t have any idea,” he said. “It would be great, obviously. Any time you can put that kind of a championship on your resume it’s a tremendous accomplishment. I haven’t gotten one. I would love to have one.”

O’Meara, winner of the 1998 Masters and British Open, had a 66 in a head-to-head duel. Playing in the same pairing, he pulled even with a birdie at the ninth hole but Browne had five birdies on the difficult back nine. His 29 was another tournament record.

“I’ve always been a player that respects my fellow players,” said O’Meara, getting a second wind after playing in Pebble Beach three weeks ago, the past two weeks in England and then flying to his home in Houston before arriving in Toledo on Tuesday. “Olin’s a friend. He’s a very good player. He showed that out there today and I know he’ll be tough tomorrow.”

Heading into the final round, it’s basically a two-man race. Six shots off the pace at 9-under 204 are Jeff Sluman (65), Peter Senior (68), Joey Sindelar(69) and Mark Calcavecchia (69).

They’re left with almost no margin for error.

“You’ve got to hope that at least you get it done early in the round,” said Sluman, winner of the 1988 PGA Championship. “You’ve got to get this thing done quickly and make some birdies and get some momentum going right off the git-go.”

O’Meara refused to say the rest of the pack was out of it. At the same time, he said he relished the one-on-one battle atop the leaderboard.

“It’s a whole new day tomorrow,” he said. “We enjoy playing with each other. I’ll certainly try to do the best I can and if I’m not doing it and he’s hitting good shots, I’m fine with that. If he goes out there and plays well and if I play well, we’ll have to see what happens coming down the stretch.”

Browne is trying to join Simon Hobday, who won at Pinehurst No. 2 in 1994, as the only wire-to-wire winners in the tournament’s 32 years.

His 54-hole total was one better than Hobday’s 199.

Browne said the thought had never crossed his mind that he might not win again after finishing first at the Deutsche Bank in 2005.

“I feel very fortunate to have this kind of a career,” he said. “Whatever happens is OK with me. I’ve had a nice run. I’ve got no complaints.”

Browne began the day with a one-shot edge on O’Meara. They matched each other swing for swing, putt for putt, throughout a day of scorching heat and high humidity at Inverness Club.

Both birdied the fourth hole, with O’Meara falling two back with a bogey on the next hole. Birdies on holes 8 and 9 helped O’Meara catch Browne heading to the back nine at the old Donald Ross layout, which plays to a par of 37 on the front but doesn’t have a par-5 hole and plays to a 34 on the last nine.

Browne hit a wedge to 18 inches for birdie on the 10th hole and took off. He built a three-stroke lead with two more birdies through 13.

O’Meara birdied the 17th and 18th to pull within a shot, but each time Browne – a three-time winner on the PGA Tour – dropped in a birdie putt immediately on top of O’Meara’s.

“Does it feel good to answer his birdie? Yeah, of course it does,” Browne said. “But I’m not looking at it that way. This isn’t match play.”

For all intents and purposes, it will be Sunday when Browne and O’Meara trade shots again.

Inverness again remained defenseless despite sun and high temperatures. The course was hit with almost 4 inches of rain in the last week, with a huge thunderstorm on Friday morning delaying play and forcing 21 players to return to the course on Saturday morning to complete the second round.

Barely staying in sight of Browne and O’Meara are Hale Irwin, who shot his age (66), along with New Mexico club pro Jeff Roth (68) and Michael Allen (71), all at 7-under 206.

Tied for 10th and nine shots back came a who’s who of senior golf, including defending champion Bernhard Langer (68), Hal Sutton (66), Nick Price (68), Jay Haas (68), Steve Jones (69) and Corey Pavin (70).

“I haven’t threatened the leaders yet, but hopefully tomorrow I can go crazy,” Haas said.

So far, Browne has.

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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 LPGA.com 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 LPGA.com 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."

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Grillo still hunting follow-up to debut win

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 10:53 pm

Following a round of 1-under 69 Saturday, Emiliano Grillo will enter Sunday's final round at Colonial four shots behind leader Justin Rose.

Grillo is hunting his first win since he took the 2015 Safeway Open in his rookie debut as a PGA Tour member. 

The young Argentinian finished 11th in the FedExCup points race that season, contending in big events and finishing runner-up at the 2016 Barclays.

In the process, Grillo had to learn to pace himself and that it can be fruitless to chase after success week to week.

"That was a hot run in there," Grillo said Saturday, referring to his rookie year. "I played, in 2016, I played the majors very well. I played the big tournaments very well. I was in contention after two, three days in most of the big events.


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


"I think, you know, I wanted to do better. I pushed for it. Some of the tournaments I ended up being 50th or 60th just because I wanted to play. I wanted to play well so badly. That played against me, so I learned from that. In that rookie year, I learned that."

Grillo was still plenty successful in his sophomore season, advancing to the BMW Championship last fall.

But now he's beginning to regain some of that form that made him such an immediate success on Tour. Grillo has recorded four top-10 finishes year - a T-9 at Mayakoba, a T-8 at Honda, a T-3 at Houston, and a T-9 at Wells Fargo - and will now look to outduel U.S. Open champs in Rose and Brooks Koepka on Sunday at Colonial.

"Well, he's top 10 in the world, so everything he does he does it pretty well," Grillo said of Rose. "You know, he does his own thing. Like I say, he's top 10 in the world. Nothing wrong with his game. ...

"He's in the lead on a Sunday. Doesn't matter where you're playing, he's got to go out and shoot under par. He's got 50 guys behind him trying to reach him, and I'm one of those. I've just got to go out and do what he did today on those first five or six holes and try to get him in the early holes."