Bad weather to be expected for an October Ryder Cup

By Associated PressOctober 2, 2010, 2:11 am

Ryder Cup

NEWPORT, Wales – Another cup pushed the Ryder Cup into October, so naturally there was plenty of second-guessing when the weather became a major issue.

The opening matches Friday were halted for more than seven hours by heavy rain at Celtic Manor, the first suspension at the event since 1997.

When the Ryder Cup returns to Europe at Scotland’s Gleneagles in 2014, officials are hoping it will be held earlier in the year. But obviously, there are no guarantees about the weather.

“We are becoming unlucky,” said George O’Grady, the chief executive of the European Tour. “This is a localized thing. Golf tournaments have lost days to rain before. We play the Wales Open here (in June), and we have lost a day’s play as well, which is just unlucky.”

The Ryder Cup is traditionally held in September, when there might have been a chance of better weather in Wales. This is the latest the event has been staged in Europe since 1965, when it was held from Oct. 7-9 at Royal Birkdale in southern England.

But the PGA Tour concluded its lucrative FedEx Cup at the Tour Championship last week in Atlanta (where, in an interesting twist, it rained the final day as well), so the Ryder Cup was bumped back on the calendar.

“We have to have the best week when the players are available,” O’Grady said. “Whereas it’s quite easy for us to move our weeks, this is difficult with the scheduling in the United States, and it’s a constant discussion with the PGA of America, the PGA Tour and their schedules.”

The PGA Tour’s current television agreement ends after the 2012 season. The European Tour and PGA of America are hopeful that leads to less conflict between the two cups.

O’Grady said there were no regrets about picking Celtic Manor to host this year’s event.

“It does rain here,” O’Grady said. “We have been here in the buildup. We have had some beautiful days in that time the last couple of weeks. We have also had some horrendous ones.”

Celtic Manor said the heavy rains – nearly 1.5 inches fell during a 22-hour period beginning Thursday evening – were a freak occurrence, equaling about 40 percent of what the area normally receives during a month at this time of year.

“More than ($1.6 million) was spent on drainage during construction of the Twenty Ten course, but there comes a point following persistent, heavy rainfall when the ground becomes saturated,” the club said in a statement.

SORRY, NO REFUNDS: Those 45,000 fans who paid for eight matches and didn’t get to see any of them completed will not be getting their money back.

How about another tournament at Celtic Manor next year?

The host club said there is no provision at the Ryder Cup for refunds because of inclement weather, but it encouraged fans to keep their Friday tickets pending an announcement “regarding ticket opportunities on European Tour competitions in 2011.”

It’s not surprising that no refund is forthcoming. Tickets costs a minimum of about $160 each day, which means one day of sales generates more than $7 million in revenues.

The players were appreciative of those who came out in the morning, creating a stirring atmosphere around the first tee even in a steady rain, and those who stayed around to watch a few more holes late in the afternoon after a delay of more than seven hours.

“It was amazing,” England’s Luke Donald said. “If I was in that situation, I’m not sure what I would do. But we have loyal fans and it’s a big part of Europe’s success.”

As for giving those fans some financial consideration, Celtic Manor said it would make an announcement on at the end of the event.

LEFTY’S COMEBACK: Phil Mickelson got off to a rough start, and it didn’t look like things would get much better when he returned from a long rain delay. From the middle of the sixth fairway, he dumped his first shot after the break into the water.

But Mickelson, playing with Dustin Johnson, got things together around the turn, making three straight birdies to leave the Americans just one hole down to Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer when play was halted after the 12th.

Maybe Lefty was inspired by his wife, Amy, who cheered him on in just her second trip to the course since being diagnosed with breast cancer. She turned up at Augusta National when her husband won the Masters in April.

“Me and Phil started to get it going,” Johnson said. “So we are going to come out tomorrow, do the same thing, be aggressive and that’s all you can do.”

LUKE’S MARK: With the sun setting behind the hills and darkness closing in, Luke Donald faced about a 6-footer to halve the ninth hole for the Europeans.

He decided to wait until Saturday to take the potentially crucial putt.

“Tomorrow is going to be fresh green and it was getting dark, so I didn’t feel comfortable taking it,” said Donald, who is playing with Padraig Harrington. The Europeans are 1 down to Bubba Watson and Jeff Overton.

The American rookies certainly felt comfortable about their games, even though they were the most debated team sent out by captain Corey Pavin. Overton rolled in a mammoth birdie putt from off the back of the green at No. 1, the long-hitting Watson made birdie at the second, and the Americans were still up at the end of the day.

Jittery as he headed out for his first Ryder Cup, Overton calmed himself with his big putt.

“It was probably the most unbelievable shot of my life,” he said. “To start the day like that was awesome.”

TIGER TALES: Playing in an unfamiliar position, Tiger Woods had a nice, steady day at the course. A couple of birdies left him in a match that was all-square through 10 holes.

Woods was sent out in the third match with Steve Stricker, a change from past Ryder Cups, where he was used in the leadoff or anchor roles. The move shouldn’t have been surprising, given Woods’ rough year on and off the course.

“It’s basically an eight-hole boat race,” Woods said. “Basically, that’s what it boils down to. We have to go out there and start off on the par 5 (No. 11) and make some birdies.”

Woods put the Americans ahead for the first time at No. 9 with a 40-yard pitch to about 2 feet for a birdie. Ian Poulter, who was partnered with Ross Fisher, made a birdie putt at the 10th to even up the match before play was called because of darkness.

DIVOTS: With the schedule change, Tiger Woods will not be benched. There were questions going into the Ryder Cup about whether captain Corey Pavin would sit the world’s top-ranked player for at least one session. … When play resumed, Steve Stricker hooked his approach on the fourth hole into muck so thick that the ball plugged and he could barely see it. As he looked at the predicament, a fan said, “Welcome to Wales.”

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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."