Bubba could be this Ryder Cups Boo

By Associated PressSeptember 29, 2010, 10:09 pm

Ryder Cup

NEWPORT, Wales – Bubba Watson could be this year’s Boo Weekley for the U.S. Ryder Cup team, a guy who keeps his teammates laughing, scratching their heads or maybe just wishing he’d shut his mouth every now and then.

Rest assured, the big-hitting Watson won’t be laying up – on or off the course – during his week in Wales.

He put it all out there Wednesday during an entertaining and emotional session with the media, whether it was shrugging off the history of the event (“it’s no big deal to me”), dismissing the need for serious discussions (“all I’m asking is what team outfit we are wearing that day”), or choking back tears as he spoke of his cancer-stricken father serving in the U.S. military during Vietnam (“this is a chance to be like my dad”).

If some are offended that a golf match played at a ritzy resort is mentioned in the same breath with a war that claimed some 60,000 U.S. soldiers, well, so be it.

Bubba isn’t backing down for nobody.

Just ask the reporter who tried to get him to reveal whether he’s had an intimate talk with teammate Tiger Woods.

“What are we going to sit down and talk about: ‘What are we eating at night?”’ Watson asked in an exasperated tone. “I mean, it’s just golf.”

Just golf? The Ryder Cup?

Yep, in the world according to Bubba.

“It’s a big honor and it’s just golf,” Watson repeated, before turning back to the subject of what he should be discussing with Woods. “Tiger’s game is different than mine. Jim Furyk’s is different than mine. Phil Mickelson’s, well, his is pretty close to mine. We both miss fairways a lot of time. Maybe I should talk to Phil.”

Watson claimed his first PGA Tour win this year at Hartford, but his big breakthrough nearly came at the PGA Championship. He started the final round six strokes off the lead, but overpowered Whistling Straits with his booming drives, winding up in a three-hole playoff with Martin Kaymer (the one that didn’t include Dustin Johnson because of the disputed penalty for grounding his club in a bunker).

With his foot firmly on the accelerator, Watson refused to play it safe at the final playoff hole, even after he drove into the thick rough. From 210 yards and with a tough lie, he went for the green – and wound up in the water.

Still, the runner-up finish sent Watson to the Ryder Cup for the first time, and he showed absolutely no remorse about attempting such a bold shot on such a big stage.

He still doesn’t.

“Some days, I’m going to beat you at golf,” Watson said. “Some days, you’re going to beat me at golf. That’s how it is. The only history I look at is, I’ve got one win and a lot of people have a lot more wins.”

That’s how he’s approaching the Ryder Cup.

“I just see it as a competition and hopefully by the end of the week, we have won more matches than the other team,” Watson said. “I don’t look at the history of it. No big deal to me.”

Obviously, he’s dealing with a much tougher issue off the course, which might be why he seems so nonchalant about being a Ryder Cup rookie, trying to help the U.S. keep the trophy it won two years ago at Valhalla.

“My dad is dying of cancer,” Watson said. “The doctor says he’s got three months to live. I’m playing this for him and representing the United States.”

His father served in the military during Vietnam, so it was especially moving when U.S. captain Corey Pavin brought in Maj. Dan Rooney, a decorated F-16 fighter pilot and a PGA of America golf professional, to speak to the team Tuesday night.

Watson conceded to choking up when listening to Rooney, and the tears nearly flowed again as he thought of his ailing father.

“More than likely I am never going to be in the military, so this is the chance to be like my dad,” Watson said, referring more to the idea of representing his country, even if it didn’t necessarily come across that way.

Before anyone had a chance to be offended, Watson had already moved on. It’s that sort of free-wheeling attitude – and willingness to say just about anything that comes into his head – that reminds teammates of Weekley, who played the valuable role of jester at Vahalla, keeping everyone loose with his folksy look at life.

“Bubba is not quite as funny as Boo,” Steve Stricker said. “What is the word, ‘compatibate,’ that Boo came up with at Valhalla? We have not got to that point with Bubba. But he’s very light. He’s very vocal at times.”

He does know how to get a laugh.

When told it’s been 17 years since U.S. last won a Ryder Cup on European soil, Watson quickly chimed in with a poke at the youngest member of the team, 21-year-old Rickie Fowler.

“Is Rickie that old?” Watson quipped.

Another reporter remarked, “You run a pretty high rev falling out of bed in the morning, don’t you?”

Watson didn’t miss a beat.

“I’ve never fallen out of bed,” he said.

Watch: Koepka holes out from off the green at 16

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 21, 2018, 5:36 am

Brooks Koepka faced a stiff challenge from Gary Woodland on Sunday in South Korea, but eventually it came time to end the suspense.

Having clung to a slim lead for much of the back nine, Koepka looked as though he was going to have to scramble just to save par when he missed the green at 16. 

Instead, caddie Ricky Elliott was able to leave Koepka's putter in the bag.

That holeout combined with a bogey from Woodland at 17 put Koepka ahead by three, allowing him to walk to victory and to the top of the world rankings.

Getty Images

Koepka wins CJ Cup, ascends to world No. 1

By Nick MentaOctober 21, 2018, 5:07 am

Brooks Koepka eagled the 72nd hole Sunday to cap off a final-round 64, win the CJ Cup and supplant Dustin Johnson as the new No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here's how Koepka took over the golf world Sunday in South Korea.

Leaderboard: Koepka (-21), Gary Woodland (-17), Ryan Palmer (-15), Rafa Cabrera Bello (-15), Jason Day (-12), Scott Piercy (-12)

What it means: This is Koepka's fifth career PGA Tour victory but only his second in a non-major, following his maiden win back at the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open. Up four to start the day, Koepka saw his lead evaporate as Woodland rocketed up the leaderboard and kept pace with him for much of the back nine. But every time Sunday's result appeared in doubt, Koepka reclaimed his lead in dramatic fashion. He nearly aced the par-3 13th to go ahead by two and later holed out for birdie at the par-4 16th to go up three with two to play. He finished par-eagle at 17 and 18 to shoot a back-nine 29 and close out his third victory in the last five months. With the win, Koepka ascends to the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time in his career.

Round of the day: Ryan Palmer set a Nine Bridges course record when he birdied his final seven holes in a row en route to a bogey-free round of 10-under 62 and a solo third-place finish.

Best of the rest: Woodland played his first 16 holes in 9 under par to storm from five back and catch Koepka atop the leaderboard. But his furious Sunday charge finally came to an end when he failed to get up and down for par from the back bunker at 17. He carded his 11th birdie of the round at the 18th hole to sign for 63 and finish solo second.

Biggest disappointment: In retrospect, Woodland called it correctly on Saturday when he said: "You obviously want to get off to a good start and put pressure on him as soon as you can. You know, Brooks doesn't seem like he cares too much, and he's playing so good, so you're going to have to go out and post a number." Woodland put as much pressure on Koepka as he could. He went out and posted that number. Koepka never blinked.

Shot of the day: Koepka's holeout at the par-3 16th, which put him ahead by three, unofficially ending the proceedings:

Quote of the day: "To be world No. 1 is something I dreamed of as a kid. I don't think this one is going to sink in." - Koepka

Getty Images

Watch: Koepka nearly aces par-3 13th Sunday

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 21, 2018, 4:24 am

Just when it looked like he was facing a legitimate challenge Sunday, Brooks Koepka responded with a near-ace.

Up four to start the final round, Koepka saw his lead disappear as Gary Woodland raced up the leaderboard to tie him at 13 under and then 14 under.

Unfazed, the three-time major winner birdied the par-5 12th to regain his outright lead and then followed up with this tee shot at the 218-yard, par-3 13th.

And just like that, the tap-in birdie put Koepka back ahead by two with five to play.

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Haas nearly shoots age in taking Champions playoff opener lead

By Associated PressOctober 20, 2018, 10:05 pm

RICHMOND, Va.  -- Jay Haas shot a 7-under 65 - missing his age by a stroke - to take a two-shot lead Saturday in the PGA Tour Champions' playoff-opening Dominion Energy Charity Classic.

Trying to become the oldest winner in tour history, the 64-year-old Haas birdied the par-5 16th and 18th holes to get to 11-under 133 on The Country Club of Virginia's James River Course.

''I've been out here too long to know that I can learn to expect anything,'' Haas said. ''While I'm hopeful every day and I've been playing OK, the last couple weeks have not been very good, but this week has been much better. I love this golf course and it looks good to my eye. Most of the holes look like I'm going to hit a good shot, so I enjoy playing here.''

Mike Fetchick set the age record of 63 years to the day in the 1985 Hilton Head event. Haas is second on the list, taking the 2016 Toshiba Classic at 62 years, 10 months, 7 days for his 18th senior title.

''That's a good way to say I'm old, 'experience,''' Haas said. ''I think I'm very nervous most of the time when I play and today was no exception, but I continued to hit good shots and, hopefully, I can put one foot in front of the other, one shot at a time, do what I tell my son to do every time, you know? See if I can put some of those adages to work tomorrow.''

Full-field scores from the Dominion Energy Charity Classic

Stephen Ames and Scott Dunlap were tied for second after the round that started in light rain. Ames had a 67, and Dunlap shot 68.

Defending champion Bernhard Langer had a 66 to join Billy Mayfair (67) and Woody Austin (68) at 9 under. Langer won the SAS Championship last week in North Carolina to take the season points lead. The 61-year-old German star has two victories this year and 38 overall on the 50-and-over tour.

The top 72 players qualified for the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs opener. The top 54 on Sunday will get spots next week in the Invesco QQQ Championship in Thousand Oaks, California, and the top 36 after that will advance to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Phoenix.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, second in the standings, was tied for 23rd at 4 under after a 71.