Broberg wins BMW Masters with coach's wife's putter

By Associated PressNovember 15, 2015, 2:10 pm

SHANGHAI – Kristoffer Broberg wasn't happy with his putting last week when he was practicing at home in Sweden, so he made an abrupt change. He looked in his coach's wife's bag and decided to give her putter a try.

On Sunday, Broberg made the biggest putt of his career to beat Patrick Reed in a playoff to win the BMW Masters for his first European Tour title.

Broberg and Reed both finished regulation at 17-under 271 after fine shot-making and dramatic momentum shifts that saw five players briefly share the lead on the back nine. In the playoff, the Swede hit his tee shot straight down the fairway for an easy approach to the pin and a 15-foot birdie putt for victory.

''Last week, in my coach's studio in Sweden, I was putting indoors and was like I'm not putting good, so I just look in my coach's wife's bag,'' he said. ''So I just tried (her putter) and the stroke was much, much better and the technique, so I just keep it. And it was pretty good.''

Broberg certainly made the putts when it mattered on Sunday, while his rivals came up just short.

Reed surged into a share of the lead with the shot of the day – a stunning eagle from the bunker on the par-5 15th – then birdied the 16th hole to move one stroke clear of Broberg. But he faltered on his next hole, missing a 4-foot par putt that caught the edge of the hole and curled away.

Two other title contenders, Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee and South Korea's An Byeong-hun, also barely missed birdie putts on the 18th green in regulation to get into the playoff.

For Broberg, the victory comes at just the right moment. He'd had three runner-up finishes on the European Tour over the past three years and was starting to doubt whether he'd ever get a breakthrough win.

Now he not only has a maiden title, he's captured one of the four big-money tournaments in the European Tour's Final Series and beaten some of the biggest names on the tour to do it, including Reed, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson.

''I didn't trust myself. A few weeks ago, I was just like, 'I'll never win here.' I was just so down,'' said the Swede, who shot a 68 on Sunday. ''This field is really good, so I'm just happy to beat all of them.''

Reed, meanwhile, was searching for answers after yet another disappointment on the final day of a tournament. He has five top-10 finishes in his last seven tournaments, but hasn't come up with a trophy.

Jaidee (71) and An (70) finished in a share of third place with Stenson (68), who had five birdies in six holes on the back nine to move into contention, and Lucas Bjerregaard (70), who let an early two-stroke lead slip away.

Rose (67) and Paul Casey (69) were another stroke back in joint-seventh, while Garcia, who briefly had a share of the lead after holing a 25-foot eagle putt on the par-5 13th hole, slumped to 11th after carding a bogey and double bogey on his final two holes.

Play was halted briefly during the final round to observe a moment of silence for the victims of Friday's terrorist attacks in Paris.

At noon, tournament officials blew the horns on the course, normally used to halt play due to inclement weather, and all the players took off their hats and bowed their heads for a minute of silence. Many also wore black ribbons on their caps.

''You realize there's so much things more important than golf, for sure,'' said France's Benjamin Hebert, who wore a white hat with the words ''Pray for Paris'' written on it. ''You wake up in the morning and you see that on Internet and TV and it's just wow, it's happened already this year, and you just don't understand.

''But you can't stop living, actually, and that's the thing in France, we won't stop living.''

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Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”

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After 36, new Open favorite is ... Fleetwood

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 7:49 pm

With a handful of the pre-championship favorites exiting early, there is a new odds-on leader entering the third round of The Open at Carnoustie.

While Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner share the 36-hole lead, it's England's Tommy Fleetwood who leads the betting pack at 11/2. Fleetwood begins the third round one shot off the lead.

Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at golfodds.com.

Tommy Fleetwood: 11/2

Zach Johnson: 13/2

Rory McIlroy: 7/1

Jordan Spieth: 8/1

Rickie Fowler: 9/1

Kevin Kisner: 12/1

Xander Schauffele: 16/1

Tony Finau: 16/1

Matt Kuchar: 18/1

Pat Perez: 25/1

Brooks Koepka: 25/1

Erik van Rooyen: 50/1

Alex Noren: 50/1

Tiger Woods: 50/1

Thorbjorn Olesen: 60/1

Danny Willett: 60/1

Francesco Molinari: 60/1

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Perez (T-3) looks to remedy 'terrible' major record

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 7:34 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez’s major record is infinitely forgettable. In 24 Grand Slam starts he has exactly one top-10 finish, more than a decade ago at the PGA Championship.

“Terrible,” Perez said when asked to sum up his major career. “I won sixth [place]. Didn't even break top 5.”

It’s strange, however, that his status atop The Open leaderboard through two rounds doesn’t seem out of character. The 42-year-old admits he doesn’t hit it long enough to contend at most major stops and also concedes he doesn’t exactly have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the game’s biggest events, but something about The Open works for him.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“I didn't like it the first time I came over. When I went to St. Andrews in '05, I didn't like it because it was cold and terrible and this and that,” he said. “Over the years, I've really learned to like to come over here. Plus the fans are so awesome here. They know a good shot. They don't laugh at you if you hit a bad shot.”

Perez gave the fans plenty to cheer on Friday at Carnoustie, playing 17 flawless holes to move into a share of the lead before a closing bogey dropped him into a tie for third place after a second-round 68.

For Perez, links golf is the great equalizer that mitigates the advantages some of the younger, more powerful players have and it brings out the best in him.

“It's hard enough that I don't feel like I have to hit perfect shots. That's the best,” he said. “Greens, you can kind of miss a shot, and it won't run off and go off the green 40 yards. You're still kind of on the green. You can have a 60-footer and actually think about making it because of the speed.”