Calcavecchia, Daley share third round lead at Sr. Players

By Associated PressJune 30, 2012, 10:00 pm

PITTSBURGH – Playing in the final group for the third round of the Champions Tour's third major, relative unknown Joe Daley outplayed an ailing Fred Couples and held off a charging Tom Lehman.

It was another one of the tour's biggest names who ended the day with a long putt to ensure Daley wouldn't have sole possession of the lead as he searches for his first tour victory.

Mark Calcavecchia holed a 50-foot birdie putt on No. 18 for a 6-under 64 on Saturday, moving him into a tie with Daley atop the leaderboard heading into the final round of the Senior Players Championship.

''Capping the day with a 50-footer on the last hole always helps,'' said Calcavecchia, who won the Montreal Championship last week. ''It always makes dinner taste a little bit better. ... All in all, I thought I played great.''

Calcavecchia's bogey-free round matched the best of the day and allowed him to match Daley at 12-under 198 at Fox Chapel. Daley, winless on the PGA Tour and Champions Tour, had a 68.

Lehman and Couples, the second-round leader and winner last year at Westchester Country Club in Harrison, N.Y., were a stroke back. Couples had a 70, and Lehman shot a 66. Lehman won the Regions Traditions in his last start.

After two consecutive days of temperatures in the mid-90s, the third round was played in slightly more bearable conditions.

Daley appeared as if he might wilt - not because of the weather but because of the pressure of playing in the first group with a pair of major tournament champions in Couples and Lehman.

Daley bogeyed Nos. 3 and 4 after Lehman and Couples each had already birdied No. 2. But Daley recovered with a birdie on No. 5 and avoided mistakes the rest of the way.

Currently with no status, a victory would ensure Daley a full exemption on the Champions Tour for a calendar year. The $405,000 first-place prize also would go a long way toward solidifying his place inside the top 30 on the final money list, which would earn him full status through 2013.

''This is a great opportunity for me,'' said a grinning Daley, who tied for fourth last month in the Senior PGA Championship. ''When you stay on that positive forward can-do page, things happen and it's good.''

Couples struggled with back problems, saying he felt ''horrible'' and that he was ''tired of feeling like this.''

Couples first had spasms while hitting out of the rough on the second hole, and the stiffness persisted throughout a round in which he was moving gingerly and had trouble bending over.

''I feel very badly for him and have a lot of empathy for him,'' Lehman said. ''He's the kind of guy that would never really talk much about it, but he hit a shot on the second hole and I think he almost went to his knees. And I think he really struggled the rest of the day.''

Still, Couples endured through the even-par round that kept him playing in the final group Sunday. Couples is attempting to join Arnold Palmer as the only player to successfully defend the title.

Palmer, from nearby Latrobe, won the tournament in 1984 and '85. He was on hand Saturday for the announcement of a youth golf endowment in his father's name.

''I just was really sore and couldn't get loose, but at the same time I'm one behind, so I'm in great shape,'' Couples said.

Jeff Freeman was 10 under after a 70, Fred Funk was another stroke back after a 64, and Bill Glasson was 8 under after a 68. Freeman needed only 11 putts on a back nine that featured four birdies and an eagle on 15. Funk eagled the par-5 third hole and had a stretch of five birdies over seven holes on the back nine.

Kenny Perry had a hole-in-one on the par-3 17th and finish with a 67 to join Michael Allen (70), Roger Chapman (66) and Olin Browne (69) at 6 under. Perry used a 6-iron at the 185-yard hole.

After winning last week, Calcavecchia has progressively improved his score each day, opening with a 69 and shooting a 65 on Friday. The 1989 British Open champion has four top-five finishes in Champions Tour majors but has never won one.

Lehman extended his streak of rounds in the 60s to 11, which equals the third-longest streak of sub-70 rounds in Champions Tour history.

''I was really, really pleased with the way I played today,'' Lehman said. ''It was probably the best I've played of the three rounds so far.''

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Johnson, Moore co-lead Valero Texas Open through 36

By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 11:32 pm

SAN ANTONIO - Zach Johnson was going nowhere in the Valero Texas Open when it all changed with one putt.

He made an 8-foot par putt on the 13th hole of the opening round to stay at 2 under. He followed with a big drive, a hybrid into 12 feet and an eagle. Johnson was on his way, and he kept right on going Friday to a 7-under 65 and a share of the early 36-hole lead with Ryan Moore.

''You just never know. That's the beauty of this game,'' Johnson said. ''I felt like I was hitting some solid shots and wasn't getting rewarded, and you've just got to stay in it. You've got to persevere, grind it out, fight for pars. You just never know.''

Moore had three birdies over his last five holes for a 67 and joined Johnson at 9-under 135.

Ben Crane (66), Martin Laird (65) and David Hearn (68) were three shots out of the lead among those who played Friday morning. Billy Horschel and Keegan Bradley shot 71 and were four shots behind at 5-under 139.

Sergio Garcia, who consulted Greg Norman on the design of the AT&T Oaks Course at the TPC San Antonio, might have a long stay in his first time at the Texas Open since 2010. Garcia shot an even-par 72, and at one point became so frustrated he threw his driver into the shrubs.


Full-field scores from the Valero Texas Open

Valero Texas Open: Articles, photos and videos


Garcia finished at 2-over 146 and was outside the cut. He was in jeopardy of missing his second straight cut, depending on afternoon scoring.

Johnson, a two-time winner of the Texas Open, appeared to be headed to a short week until the key par save on the 13th hole, followed by his eagle, par and three straight birdies. He began the second round Friday with five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine, a sixth birdie on the par-4 first hole, and then an eagle on the short par-4 fifth when he holed out from a greenside bunker.

The only sour taste to his second round was a three-putt bogey from about 30 feet on his final hole. Even so, the view was much better than it was Thursday afternoon.

Moore thought he had wasted a good birdie opportunity on the par-5 14th hole when he left his 50-foot eagle putt about 6 feet short. But he made that, and then holed a similar putt from 8 feet for birdie on the next hole and capped his good finish with a 15-foot putt on the 17th.

''That was a huge momentum putt there,'' Moore said of the 14th. ''It was a tough putt from down there with a lot of wind. That green is pretty exposed and ... yeah, really short and committed to that second putt really well and knocked it right in the middle.''

The birdies on the 14th and 15th were important to Moore because he missed a pair of 10-foot birdie tries to start the back nine.

''So it was nice to get those and get going in the right direction on the back,'' he said.

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Daly-Allen team grabs Legends of Golf lead on Day 2

By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 11:14 pm

RIDGEDALE, Mo. - John Daly and Michael Allen took the second-round lead Friday in the cool and breezy Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.

Daly and Allen shot an 8-under 46 on the Top of the Rock par-3 course with wind gusting to 15 mph and the temperature only in the high-50s at Big Cedar Lodge. They had three birdies on the front nine in alternate-shot play and added five more on the back in better-ball play to get to 13 under.

''Michael and I go back to the South African days in the late 80s and playing that tour,'' Daly said. ''We've been buddies since. He's just fun to play with. We feed off each other pretty good. And if he's not comfortable guinea-pigging on one hole, I'll go first.''

On Thursday, they opened with a 66 on the regulation Buffalo Ridge course. They will rotate to the 13-hole Mountain Top par-3 course on Saturday, and return to Top of the Rock for the final round Sunday.

''I went to high school in Jeff City, so it's cool to have the fans behind us,'' Daly said.

Allen won the PGA Tour Champions team event with David Frost in 2012 and Woody Austin in 2016.

''I'm just here to free up John,'' Allen said. ''It was fun. Luckily, I started making good putts today. We just want to keep the good times rolling.''


Full-field scores from the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf


Defending champions Vijay Singh and Carlos Franco were a stroke back along with Bernhard Langer-Tom Lehman and Paul Broadhurst-Kirk Triplett. Singh and Franco had a 7-under 32 in best-ball play at Mountain Top, and Lehman-Langer and Broadhurst-Tripplet each shot 6-under 48 at Top of the Rock.

''Part of the issue here is all the tees are elevated, so you're up high hitting to a green that's down below and the wind is blowing, and there is more time for that wind to affect it,'' Lehman said. ''If you guess wrong on the wind, you can hit a really good shot and kind of look stupid.''

Former UCLA teammates Scott McCarron and Brandt Jobe were two strokes back at 11 under with Steve Flesch and David Toms and the Spanish side of Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez. McCarron-Jobe had a 47, and Jimenez-Olazabal a 48 at Top of the Rock, and Tom Flesch shot 34 at Mountain Top.

First-round leaders Jeff Maggert and Jesper Parnevik had a 52 at Top of the Rock to fall three shots back at 10 under. Madison, Wisconsin, friends Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly also were 10 under after a 32 at Mountain Top. Jay Haas aced the 131-yard seventh hole at Mountain Top with a gap wedge. Haas and fellow 64-year-old Peter Jacobsen were 8 under after a 32.

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Football coach hates golf: Don't need practice swearing

By Jason CrookApril 20, 2018, 10:15 pm

Some football coaches are a little more talkative than others. On one side of the spectrum, there's Bill Belichick. On the other sits Washington State football coach Mike Leach.

Leach always delivers the goods, and when asked recently if he liked golf, he didn't hold back:

As wrong as the 57-year-old is on the topic (golf is awesome), the man makes some hilarious points:

• “It’s boring. I don’t care where that ball goes.”

• "Golfers are always practicing their swing. But you know what I never did? I never practice fishing in my living room.”

• "They'll line up over the ball and they'll say they're going to do something that you can't do with a sniper rifle and a scope, but they're going to do it with a stick and a ball."

• “Golf’s pretty much for people that don’t swear effectively enough or need practice. And so there are people that need golf, and I don’t think I do.”

So in conclusion, it's confirmed: Mike Leach - not a golf guy.

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Quiros takes 1-shot lead in Morocco

By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 8:22 pm

RABAT, Morocco - Alvaro Quiros shot a solid 2-under 70 in windy conditions to push into a one-shot lead after two rounds of the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco on Friday.

Quiros fought the elements, carding seven birdies and five bogeys to move to 7 under overall and take the outright lead at the halfway point of the European Tour event.

The Spaniard was one clear of Andrew Dodt, who moved into contention with a 4-under 68 at the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam course. Dodt dropped two shots in his first six holes but the Australian recovered from that shaky start to collect four birdies and an eagle.


Full-field scores from the Trophee Hassan II


Erik van Rooyen of South Africa was another shot back in third on 5 under after his 71.

Bradley Dredge of Wales, who shared the first-round lead with Quiros, slipped off the pace with a 1-over 73. He's tied for fourth with Austin Connelly of Canada (71), 4 under par and three shots behind Quiros.