Clark Leads Rain-Delayed Colonial

By Associated PressMay 25, 2007, 4:00 pm
Crowne Plaza Invitational at ColonialFORT WORTH, Texas -- Tim Clark had the perfect remedy to overcome a stiff neck and an extended day of golf: anti-inflammatory medicine and a steady dose of fairways and greens.
 
Clark had to play the back nine of his opening round Friday, then got only a brief break before a bogey-free 6-under 64 in a second round in which he didn't miss a fairway or a green.
 
'It certainly makes it easier to get around,' said Clark, who at 11 under had a one-stroke lead over Arron Oberholser (66) in the rain-soaked Colonial.
 
'This could be my last week for a while. I'm going to take some time off to heal up. I want to end on a good note.'
 
The South African was among 57 players -- exactly half the 114-player Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial field -- who had to finish their first rounds Friday morning and then go right back out for 18 more holes.
 
The 36-hole cut, projected to be under par for the first time in the 61 years at Colonial, won't be made until the second round is completed Saturday morning. There were 27 players still on the course when play was suspended Friday because of darkness.
 
Ben Curtis (67), Jim Furyk (66) and Nathan Green (66) were in at 9-under 131, with Alex Cejka (65), Kevin Na (69) and first-round leader Anthony Kim (69) at 8 under.
 
Clark's 11-under 129 total was only one shot off the 36-hole tournament record held by Kenny Perry, who opened with rounds of 65 and 63 on way to winning his second Colonial title in 2005.
 
The first-round scoring average of 69.342 was the lowest at the Colonial in the 25 years since the PGA TOUR starting keeping such statistics. There were 63 rounds under par in the first round, and already 52 more in the suspended second round.
 
'The golf course is just not playing itself right now,' said Furyk, who at No. 3 in the world ranking is the only of the top 12 players at Colonial.
 
Instead of firm and fast as usual, rain Thursday and Friday soften things. Balls aren't shooting through the fairways or bounding off sun-baked greens at Hogan's Alley, a traditional tree-lined layout that covers 7,054 yards.
 
'A little bit slower than they normally are,' Curtis said. 'A little bit softer and they're receptive. That is the reason why the scores are the way they are. This place usually is rock hard and firm.'
 
The wet grass did make the heavy rough tougher, which Furyk found at the hard way.
 
On the 611-yard 11th while finishing his first round Friday, Furyk hit his tee shot into the left rough, then pulled a 5-iron that didn't get back in the fairway on the course's longest hole. He then had to hack a shot out of 'an awful lie' and three-putted to finish with a double bogey.
 
But he rebounded with a quick birdie at the 417-yard 12th hole.
 
'I hit a wedge in there close,' Furyk said. 'It took a little sting out of it.'
 
Clark has tried to play through the muscular and joint stiffness in his neck that has bothered him on and off since last summer.
 
This is only his eighth PGA TOUR event this year, and the South African's best finish was 13th at the Masters, where he was tied for the 36-hole lead. He was better than 62nd only one other tournament, withdrew from the Wachovia and had a closing 81 at THE PLAYERS Championship.
 
'That wasn't any fun at all,' Clark said. 'I'm not doing myself any favors, not doing my confidence much good either. ... It's time for me to really get it sorted out'
 
But it will have to wait until at least after this weekend, though he hasn't completely ruled out playing in the Memorial next week.
 
Clark felt good Friday after 11 birdies with only one bogey in his 27 holes, and never noticed the neck. After shooting under 70 only once in his first 20 rounds this season, he finished two sub-70 rounds in one day.
 
'I certainly wasn't expecting it,' said Clark, who has never won on tour. 'The adrenaline was going at the end, and I almost had to calm myself down a bit.'
 
After missing the last two cuts, and six of nine this season, Cejka was 'a little bit scared' coming to the tight Colonial. But his only two bogeys so far came on the last four holes, to go along with a closing birdie.
 
'I just somehow managed to play well 36 holes,' Cejka said. 'Sometimes you don't expect it.'
 
DIVOTS
Defending champion Tim Herron finished with three straight birdies in a round of 68 to get to 5 under. ... Brian Gay made a hole-in-one Friday at the 194-yard eighth hole with a 7-iron during his first round. But he had six bogeys and one birdie in his final 28 holes Friday and will miss the cut at 3 over. ... Brad Faxon withdrew after an opening 78. The only first-round score worse than that was an 86 by Rod Curl, the 1974 Colonial champ who is invited annually as a past winner. ... Shigeki Maruyama withdrew after nine holes in the second round with a leg injury.
 
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    Hataoka leads Minjee Lee by one at LPGA Volvik

    By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 12:54 am

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. - After losing in a playoff last weekend, Nasa Hataoka is making another bid for her first LPGA Tour victory.

    Hataoka shot a 4-under 68 on Friday, and the Japanese teenager led by one stroke over Minjee Lee after the second round of the Volvik Championship. Hataoka, who is coming off the first two top-10 finishes of her LPGA career, made seven birdies at Travis Pointe Country Club. She began her round on No. 10, and her best stretch came toward the end, when she birdied Nos. 4, 5 and 6.

    ''I'm really comfortable playing the LPGA,'' the 19-year-old Hataoka said through a translator. ''I've really got confidence now.''

    Hataoka made the cut nine times in 17 starts as a rookie in 2017, and she has made significant strides of late. She tied for seventh at last month's MEDIHEAL Championship and nearly won a week ago at the Kingsmill Championship in Virginia.

    Hataoka finished the second round in Michigan at 9 under. Lee (69) was also solid Friday. Gaby Lopez (68), Jodi Ewart Shadoff (70) and Lindy Duncan (70) were a stroke behind Lee in a tie for third.

    Hataoka did not make a single bogey in last week's three-round tournament, and she didn't have any in the first round in Michigan. She finally made a few Friday, but that didn't stop her from taking sole possession of the lead.

    ''I kind of feel like not really perfect, but I just kind of try to (be) aggressive,'' she said.


    Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


    Lee, who lost by one stroke on this course last year, is in contention again.

    ''I guess the fairways are pretty generous and I think the greens are a little bit on the trickier side to read,'' Lee said. ''As long as your iron shots are pretty solid, I think you're going to be in good position around this golf course.''

    Lee birdied the first two holes, and the only blemish on her scorecard Friday came on the par-5 14th. After missing the fairway to the right, she hit an aggressive shot out of the rough that went straight toward a water hazard well in front of the green. She settled for a bogey after taking a drop.

    ''I thought the ball was sitting OK in the rough, but it must have been a bit funny, or underneath it,'' she said. ''I made a mistake. I thought it was good enough to hit 3-wood there.''

    Lee lost last year in Michigan to Shanshan Feng, but Feng will have some ground to make up in her attempt to repeat. She shot 69 on Friday but is still eight strokes behind the leader.

    Ariya Jutanugarn was 6 under after a second consecutive 69.

    Lopez made only six pars in the second round, tied for the fewest of the day, but her eight birdies and four bogeys put her near the top of the leaderboard.

    ''It was a little bit of an up and down,'' she said. ''There's so many opportunities out here to make birdie, that the most important thing to do is just to be patient, to be in the moment and not to get ahead of yourself. I think I came back from a couple mistakes that I did.''

    In contrast to Lopez, Brittany Lincicome parred all 18 holes Friday and made the cut at 1 under. Paula Creamer (71) triple bogeyed the par-4 13th. She followed that with an eagle on the very next hole but missed the cut by a stroke.

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    Childhood rivals share Sr. PGA lead

    By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 12:00 am

    BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Kevin Sutherland and Scott McCarron have been rivals since their junior golf days around Sacramento, California. The two old friends were back at it Friday at the top of the Senior PGA Championship leaderboard.

    ''It's honestly, nothing new for us,'' said Sutherland who played in the third-to-last group and birdied his last two holes for a 5-under 66 to match McCarron at 8 under.

    McCarron had a 68 in the morning wave to emerge from a championship record group of six tied for the first-round lead.

    Sutherland was last year's Charles Schwab Cup winner with his only senior win coming in the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship, while McCarron has six PGA Tour Champions wins, including a major at the 2017 Senior Players Championship.

    ''We are both (Northern California) guys, played in high school, junior golf, on tour and it seems like a lot on the Champions Tour,'' Sutherland said. ''We were in the last group on Sundays a lot last year. Scott played so well and had an incredible year, and I had a great year, too.''

    Sutherland's lone PGA Tour victory came at McCarron's expense in 2002 at La Costa in the Accenture Match Play Championship, when he beat McCarron 1 up in the 36-hole final. As youngsters they played on opposing high school teams located about an hour apart and met often in state tournaments as well as on the California junior circuit.

    ''It's been happening for 30 years, wait 35 years now, I guess,'' Sutherland said. ''Playing together on a Saturday is a little different. We're both still trying to get in position to win.''

    Jerry Kelly shot a 65 to join Tim Petrovic (69), Chris Williams (68) and Joe Durant (67) at 7 under. Durant tied for second last week in the Regions Tradition, also a major championship.


    Full-field scores from the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship


    McCarron feels like he is just starting to warm to the task this year. He had to replace his clubs, including a favored putter damaged beyond repair in air transit two months ago.

    ''I've been putting with a back-up putter I had, but it just didn't feel quite right,'' he said. ''I changed last Sunday at the Regions Tradition and started putting better on Sunday. So I'm using this one again this week and seem to be putting pretty good with it.''

    McCarron said the Harbor Shores course played a little tougher in light winds in the second round. He made six birdies and three bogeys.

    ''I would just like to have a couple of those bogeys back,'' he said. ''But we're in a good position going into the weekend.''

    McCarron came to the press center after his round and walked in on a press conference where course-designer Jack and Barbara Nicklaus were being honored by sponsoring KitchenAid with the establishment of a local college scholarship program in their name.

    McCarron, who said he has idolized Nicklaus since his youth, played media and asked Nicklaus what he ate when he was near the lead going into the weekend of a major championship.

    Nicklaus said if you play well one day, eat the same thing the next day.

    ''But no hamburgers, or you will play like hamburger,'' he said.

    Stuart Smith, the Reno, Neveda, club pro who was tied for the lead after the first round, missed the 36-hole cut with a second-round 83.

    ''I'll take the 66, 83 and enjoy the 66 yesterday,'' he said. ''You put this one down to just plain old golf. It's a nasty game we play sometimes. Glad I have a day job.''

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    Wise, Simpson both miss cut at Colonial

    By Nick MentaMay 25, 2018, 11:34 pm

    The two most recent winners on the PGA Tour, Aaron Wise and Webb Simpson, missed the cut at the Fort Worth Invitational on Friday.

    Wise and Simpson both came up short of the 2-over total by a shot following rounds of 70-73.

    Wise was safely inside the number before playing his last four holes in 4 over par with two bogeys and a closing double following a trip into the water at the par-4 ninth.


    Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

    Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


    Simpson, making his first start following his Players triumph, similarly struggled coming home, bogeying three of his final six holes.

    Other notables who won't be around for the weekend at Colonial include Xander Schauffele (+4), Jason Dufner (+5), Patrick Cantlay (+6), Smylie Kaufman (+13), and Sam Burns (+13).

    This is Kaufman's 11th consecutive MC and his 15th in his last 16 starts.

    Jason Seaman and Kristi Hubly Seaman

    Sr. PGA caddie learns of nephew's heroism in school shooting

    By Tim RosaforteMay 25, 2018, 10:33 pm

    Tracy Hubly caddied for her husband, club pro Chris Starkjohann, on Friday at the KitchenAid Senior PGA and learned after their round that her nephew was credited with helping stop the school shooting at Noblesville West Middle School in Indiana.

    Jason Seaman, a 29-year-old science instructor and seventh grade football coach at the school, took three bullets but survived as what his aunt called a hero.

    “You hear the stories about these shootings and I think about Parkland and the officer that was trained but didn’t go into the school,” Hubly said. “It’s really shocking to think it comes close to your family, but it does."

    It’s not unusual for Hubly to caddie for her husband, a teacher at Carlsbad Golf Center and coach of a PGA Junior League program in Southern California. Hubly, who works in the pro shop at Emerald Island Golf Course in Oceanside, Calif., was on the bag when he was low golf professional at the 2009 Senior PGA Championship held at Canterbury GC. 

    Starkjohann, 61, missed the cut at Harbor Shores with rounds of 76-79—155 and was heading to the Colorado State Open.

     “I didn’t hear about it until after my round was done,” Starkjohann said. “Everything happened after I got in.”