Cochran out front at First Tee Open, Thorpe nearby

By Associated PressJuly 9, 2011, 2:01 am

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Russ Cochran made six consecutive birdies and shot a 7 under 65 to take the first-round lead at the First Tee Open on Friday.

Cochran had seven birdies overall and played a bogey free round in his return to the Champions Tour after suffering a wrist injury that led to a two-month layoff. Cochran was only 1 under through 11 holes before going on his run of birdies at the Pebble Beach Golf Links.

“I really didn’t know what to expect,” said Cochran, who is ninth on the money list this year. “I just haven’t been pushing it. I’ll know tomorrow how it feels but right now it feels fine. Obviously when you’re making putts and hitting good shots, it sure helps it feel a lot better.”

David Eger was one shot back at 66, followed by Brad Bryant, Morris Hatalsky and Jim Thorpe at 67. Ten others were tied at 68.

Defending tournament champion Ted Schulz struggled all afternoon and was at 1 over 73.

The three-day event is being played on two 18-hole courses on the Monterey Peninsula. Most of the low scores came at the 6,365-yard Del Monte while Cochran opened on the 6,871-yard Pebble Beach.

A two-time winner on the 50-and-under tour in 2010, Cochran had three top-five finishes in seven events before injuring his right wrist hitting a divot during the second round of the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf tournament in late April.

It’s the same wrist that Cochran previously had surgery on, and although he finished the tournament and played 18 holes at an appearance the following day, it ultimately knocked him out competition for a while. Cochran eventually met with a specialist in New York but played golf only sparingly over the next month and not on the tour.

The layoff obviously helped.

Cochran, who shot a 65 in the final round of this tournament in 2010, started on the back nine and hit his opening tee shot into a bunker but made a nice recovery and sank a 10-foot birdie putt. He stayed at 1 under at the turn, then narrowly missed a birdie putt on the par 5 No. 2 before storming to the top of the leaderboard with his stellar run.

The six consecutive birdies matches the best streak on tour this season.

“After playing nine or 10 holes without a birdie, all of a sudden they just started falling in from everywhere,” Cochran said. “If you get a couple under or par or see a couple putts go, then the golf course and the greens especially look a little different to you. I won’t say I’m shocked that I played that good. My job is going to be trying to continue to follow it up, not (just) this week.

Eger, who teamed with Mark McNulty to win the Legends event, moved into contention with five birdies over his final eight holes.

“I struggled the first 10 holes and didn’t hit many greens,” said Eger, a runner-up to Tom Watson at the Senior PGA Championship in May after losing a one-hole playoff to the Hall of Famer. “Then starting on 11 I started playing much better. The good scores are obviously going to be over here at Del Monte.”

Bryant overcame a bogey on No. 7 and closed his round with an eagle on the par 5 ninth.

Jeff Sluman, a two-time winner of this tournament, shot a 68 and was joined by Mike Reid, Steve Lowery, Jay Haas, Robin Freeman, Mark Calcavecchia, Bill Glasson, Jim Gallagaher Jr., D.A. Weibring and Jay Don Blake.

John Cook, winner of the Montreal Championship last week, was six strokes behind Cochran at 71. Cook is the only one of the top four players on the Charles Schwab Cup points list playing here.

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Rose leads Koepka, Grillo by four at Colonial

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 9:06 pm

On the strength of a 4-under 66 Saturday, Justin Rose will take an four-shot lead over Brooks Koepka and Emiliano Grillo into the final round of the Fort Worth Invitational. Here's where things stand through 54 holes at Colonial Country Club.

Leaderboard: Rose (-14), Koepka (-10), Grillo (-10), Corey Conners (-8), Jon Rahm (-8), Louis Oosthuizen (-8), J.T. Poston (-8), Ryan Armour (-8)

What it means: The fifth-ranked player in the world is 18 holes from his ninth PGA Tour victory and his second this season. Up once to start the third round, Rose extended his lead to as much as five with birdies on four of his first six holes. Through 54 holes, Rose has made XX birdies and just XX bogeys. The 2013 U.S. Open winner and 2016 Olympic gold medalist has a history of winning at iconic venues - Muirfield Village, Aronimink, Cog Hill, Doral, Merion and Congressional - and now looks to add Colonial to the list. He'll be chased on Sunday by Grillo, the young Argentianian who won his first Tour start as a member in 2015, and Koepka, last year's U.S. Open winner who continues to impress in his injury comeback despite ongoing wrist issues.  

Round of the day: Corey Conners and Ted Potter both turned in 8-under 63. Potter was bogey-free and Conners came home in 6-under 29 on the back nine.

Best of the rest: Jon Rahm, Louis Oosthuizen, Brian Harman, and Michael Thompson all signed for 64. Rahm called his six-birdie start the best 10 holes he's played so far this year. 

Biggest disappointment: Jordan Spieth has finished second-first-second in the last three years at this event, but he's yet to find his normal Colonial form through three rounds. Spieth, who said Friday he was capable of shooting "10 or 12 under" over the weekend, shot even-par 70 Saturday. He sits in T-38 at 3 under for the week, 11 back.

Shot of the day: Rory Sabbatini closed out his third round Saturday with this eagle holeout from 134 yards at the 18th. 

His colorful scorecard featured three bogeys, two birdies, a double bogey and that eagle. It added up to a 1-over 71. 

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McCarron closes with only bogey, shares lead

By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 8:49 pm

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Scott McCarron, seeking a second senior major title to go with his 2017 Senior Players Championship, made his only bogey of the third round on the final hole to slip into a tie for the lead Saturday with Tim Petrovic in the Senior PGA Championship.

They were at 13 under par after Petrovic, seeking his first major, shot 65. McCarron has shared the lead through three rounds.

England's Paul Broadhurst, the 2016 British Senior Open winner, matched the best third-round score in tournament history with a 64. He was at 11 under.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, coming off his first major championship last week at the Regions Tradition, shot 65 and was 9 under.

Tom Byrum, who made a hole-in-one in shooting a 67, was in a group at 8 under.

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Watch: Rose one-arms approach, makes birdie

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 26, 2018, 7:25 pm

Justin Rose appears to have taken a course in Hideki Matsuyama-ing.

Already 3 under on his round through five thanks to a birdie-birdie-birdie start, Rose played this approach from 143 yards at the par-4 sixth.

That one-armed approach set up a 6-foot birdie putt he rolled in to move to 4 under on his round and 14 under for the week, five clear of the field.

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McIlroy battles back into tie for BMW PGA lead

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 26, 2018, 4:09 pm

Rory McIlroy got off to a rocky start on Saturday in the third round of the BMW PGA Championship, including hitting a spectator and making a double bogey. But after that incident on the sixth hole, he didn't drop another shot, birdieing the final hole to shoot a 1-under 71 and tie for the lead.

McIlroy had gone into Moving Day with a three-shot lead, but Francesco Molinari had the round of the day, a 6-under 66. "It was nice keep a clean scorecard," said Molinari, who hasn't made a bogey since the 10th hole on Friday.


Full-field scores from the BMW PGA Championship


McIlroy and Molinari will be paired in Sunday's final round. They are tied at 13 under par, four shots clear of Ross Fisher, Branden Grace, Sam Horsfield and Alexander Noren.

The Wentworth course ends with back-to-back par-5s, and McIlroy birdied both of them. He got a break on the 18th hole as his drive hit a spectator and bounced into light rough.

"It was a struggle out there today," McIlroy said. "I think when you're working on a few things in your swing and the wind is up and you're stuck between trying to play different shots, but also try to play - you know, make good swings at it, I just hit some loose tee balls on the first few holes. But I'm proud of myself. I stayed patient. I actually - I'm feeling a bit better about myself after today than I was even walking off the course yesterday."