Calcavecchia eagles No. 18 to grab share of Boeing lead

By Associated PressAugust 28, 2011, 1:05 am

SNOQUALMIE, Wash. – Mark Calcavecchia seized his opportunity on the final two holes, birdieing the par-3 17th and holing a 20-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th for a 5-under 67 and a share of the second-round lead Saturday in the Champions Tour’s Boeing Classic.

Calcavecchia, the 1989 British Open champion, matched Kenny Perry (68), Jeff Sluman (70) and Russ Cochran (71) at 7 under at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge.

Bob Gilder (69), Chip Beck (69) and Chien Soon Lu (69) were 5 under.

“Pretty much my whole day was the last couple holes,” Calcavecchia said. “Nothing was happening for me on the front but I was being careful.”

He picked up a stroke on the 211-yard 17th, hitting a 5-iron 18 feet from the hole. Then on the 498-yard, well-bunkered 18th, he rolled in the 20-footer for his eagle. He also birdied Nos. 8, 12, 14 and bogeyed No. 3.

Calcavecchia has 13 PGA Tour victories, the last in 2007, but is winless in 30 career starts in two seasons on the 50-and-over tour.

“I’m done thinking about that,” he said. “I won’t say I’m overdue. I just haven’t played good enough for three or four straight days to win.

“I’ll just go out there tomorrow, be careful, pick my spots and be patient.”

Perry, coming off a second-place finish three weeks ago in the 3M Championship in Minnesota, also had some final-hole dramatics. He holed out from a bunker on the 18th for an eagle. That made up for a double-bogey 6 on No. 14 when his nine iron shot from 142 yards bounced off the back side of the green and disappeared.

“The course took it away from me but gave it back again with the unbelievable eagle on 18, a one on a million shot,” Perry said. “It’s a 30-foot face bunker, green sloping away from you and it takes two hops and (like) Michael Jordan, just dunks.”

On the 14th, he thought it had a chance to go in the hole.

“It was all going smooth until the 14th,” Perry said. “I hit as pretty a shot as I can ever remember, telling it to go in the hole and it went over the green and into the hazard,” he said. “I had go back and hit the shot again. So that was pretty interesting.

“Being patient is the word here. This course doesn’t give up much. It’s hard to get close to the hole. It’s like a mini-U.S. Open. It’s a severe test out there. So I was definitely pleased with a 4 under.”

Cochran, the Senior British Open Champion last month, entered the day with a one-stroke lead over Sluman. The left-hander bogeyed the 17th to fall back to 7 under.

Sluman also bogeyed the 17th.

Cochran beat Calcavecchia by two strokes last month to win the Senior British Open,

“I have to play a whole lot better tomorrow,” Cochran said. “There’s a couple guys out there who are used to winning that haven’t won on the Champions Tour that are really going to go after it. If I don’t go after it, I’m going to be left behind.”

Defending champion Bernhard Langer was 3 under after a 73.

Fred Couples, the hometown star coming off a victory last weekend in New York in the Seniors Players Championship, shot a 69 to reach 2 under.

“I think guys even 2 or 3 under still have a real good chance to win this golf tournament,” Sluman said.

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Twitter spat turns into fundraising opportunity

By Rex HoggardMay 25, 2018, 6:30 pm

Country music star Jake Owen, along with Brandt Snedeker, has turned a spat on Twitter into a fundraising campaign that will support Snedeker’s foundation.

On Thursday, Owen was criticized during the opening round of the Web.com Tour’s Nashville Golf Open, which benefits the Snedeker Foundation, for his poor play after opening with an 86.

In response, Snedeker and country singer Chris Young pledged $5,000 for every birdie that Owen makes on Friday in a campaign called NGO Birdies for Kids

Although Owen, who is playing the event on a sponsor exemption, doesn’t tee off for Round 2 in Nashville until 2 p.m. (CT), the campaign has already generated interest, with NBC Sports/Golf Channel analyst Peter Jacobsen along with Web.com Tour player Zac Blair both pledging $100 for every birdie Owen makes.

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Noren so impressed by Rory: 'I'm about to quit golf'

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 5:33 pm

Alex Noren won the BMW PGA Championship last year, one of his nine career European Tour victories.

He opened his title defense at Wentworth Club in 68-69 and is tied for fourth through two rounds. Unfortunately, he's five back of leader Rory McIlroy. And after playing the first two days alongside McIlroy, Noren, currently ranked 19th in the world, doesn't seem to like his chances of back-to-back wins.

McIlroy opened in 67 and then shot a bogey-free 65 in second round, which included pars on the pair of par-5 finishing holes. Noren walked away left in awe.

"That's the best round I've ever seen," Noren said. "I'm about to quit golf, I think."

Check out the full interview below:

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Bubba gets to drive dream car: K.I.T.T. from 'Knight Rider'

By Grill Room TeamMay 25, 2018, 4:42 pm

Bubba Watson is a known car aficionado.

He purchased the original General Lee from the 1980’s TV show “Dukes of Hazzard” – later saying he was going to paint over the Confederate flag on the vehicle’s roof.

He also auctioned off his 1939 Cadillac LaSalle C-Hawk custom roadster and raised $410,000 for Birdies for the Brave.

He showed off images of his off-road Jeep two years ago.

And he even bought a car dealership near his hometown of Milton, Fla.

While recently appearing on the TV show “Jay Leno’s Garage,” the former “Tonight Show” host surprised Watson with another one of his dream cars: K.I.T.T.

The 1982 Pontiac Trans Am was made famous in the ‘80s action show “Knight Rider.”

Though, Bubba didn’t get to keep this one, he did get to drive it.

Bubba Watson gets behind the wheel of his dream car—the KITT from Knight Rider from CNBC.

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Cut Line: USGA readies for Shinnecock 'mulligan'

By Rex HoggardMay 25, 2018, 3:26 pm

In this week’s Memorial weekend edition, the European team adheres to the Ryder Cup secret formula, the USGA readies for the ultimate mulligan at next month’s U.S. Open and a bizarre finish at the Florida Mid-Am mystifies the Rules of Golf.

Made Cut

Cart golf. When the U.S. side announced the creation of a Ryder Cup task force following the American loss at Gleneagles in 2014, some Europeans privately – and publicly – snickered.

The idea that the secret sauce could be found in a meeting room did stretch the bounds of reason, yet two years later the U.S. team emerged as winners at Hazeltine National and suddenly the idea of a task force, which is now called a committee, didn’t seem so silly.

To Europe’s credit, they’ve always accomplished this cohesion organically, pulling together their collective knowledge with surprising ease, like this week when European captain Thomas Bjorn rounded out his vice captain crew.

Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Padraig Harrington and Luke Donald (a group that has a combined 47-40-13 record in the matches) were all given golf cart keys and will join Robert Karlsson as vice captains this year in Paris.

Perhaps it took the Americans a little longer to figure out, but Bjorn knows it’s continuity that wins Ryder Cups.



Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

The USGA’s mulligan. The U.S. Open is less than a month away and with it one of the most anticipated returns in recent major championship history.

The last time the national championship was played at Shinnecock Hills was in 2004 and things didn’t go well, particularly on Sunday when play had to be stopped to water some greens that officials deemed had become unplayable. This week USGA executive director Mike Davis was asked about the association’s last trip to the Hamptons and, to his credit, he didn’t attempt to reinvent history.

“Looking back at 2004, and at parts of that magnificent day with Retief (Goosen) and Phil Mickelson coming down to the end, there are parts that we learned from,” Davis said. “I’m happy we got a mulligan this time. We probably made a bogey last time, maybe a double bogey.”

Put another way, players headed to next month’s championship should look forward to what promises to be a Bounce Back Open.

Tweet of the week:

Homa joined a chorus of comments following Aaron Wise’s victory on Sunday at the AT&T Byron Nelson, which included an awkward moment when his girlfriend, Reagan Trussell, backed away as Wise was going in for a kiss.

“No hard feelings at all,” Wise clarified this week. “We love each other a ton and we're great. It was a funny moment that I think we'll always be able to look back at, but that's all it really was.”


Missed Cut

Strength of field. The European Tour gathers this week in England for the circuit’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship, and like the PGA Tour’s marquee stop, The Players, the event appears headed for a new spot on the calendar next year.

As the PGA Tour inches closer to announcing the 2018-19 schedule, which will feature countless new twists and turns including the PGA Championship’s move to May and The Players shift back to March, it also seems likely the makeover will impact the European Tour schedule.

Although the BMW PGA currently draws a solid field, with this week’s event sporting a higher strength of field than the Fort Worth Invitational on the PGA Tour, it’s likely officials won’t want to play the event a week after the PGA Championship (which is scheduled for May 16-19 next year).

In fact, it’s been rumored that the European Tour could move all eight of its Rolex Series events, which are billed as “unmissable sporting occasions,” out of the FedExCup season window, which will end on Aug. 25 next year.

Although the focus has been on how the new PGA Tour schedule will impact the U.S. sports calendar, the impact of the dramatic makeover stretches will beyond the Lower 48.

Rules of engagement. For a game that at times seems to struggle with too much small print and antiquated rules, it’s hard to understand how things played out earlier this month at the Florida Mid-Amateur Championship.

In a story first reported by GolfChannel.com, Jeff Golden claimed he was assaulted on May 13 by Brandon Hibbs – the caddie for his opponent, Marc Dull, in the championship’s final match. Golden told police that Hibbs struck him because of a rules dispute earlier in the round. Hibbs denied any involvement, and police found no evidence of an attack.

The incident occurred during a weather delay and Golden conceded the match to Dull after the altercation, although he wrote in a post on Twitter this week that he was disappointed with the Florida State Golf Association’s decision to accept his concession.

“The FSGA has one job, and that’s to follow the Rules of Golf,” Golden wrote. “Unfortunately, there’s no rule for an inebriated ‘ex-caddie’ punching a player in a match-play rain delay with no witnesses.”

Because of the conflicting statements, it’s still not clear what exactly happened that day at Coral Creek Club, but the No. 1 rule in golf – protecting the competition and the competitors – seems to have fallen well short.