Colonial good place for Toms after playoff loss

By Associated PressMay 19, 2011, 12:10 am

FORT WORTH, Texas – David Toms is in a good spot the week after coming oh-so-close to his first PGA Tour victory in five years.

After losing in a playoff at The Players Championship, Toms isn’t far from home and playing one of his favorite tournaments at the Colonial.

“I’m just glad this tournament is next because this is one I don’t have a problem getting up for just because I like it,” Toms said Wednesday. “For me, this is great, great timing with this event here with my game in good shape. I feel like I can play well here.”

Toms, the Louisiana native who last won on the PGA Tour in 2006 in Hawaii, forced a playoff with K.J. Choi at The Players Championship with an impressive and rare birdie on the closing hole. Then at the famed No. 17 island hole for the playoff, Toms missed a 3 1/2-foot par putt to extend play after his 18-foot birdie chance slid just past the hole.

“It is behind me,” Toms said. “I guess the only thing that keeps coming up are when people come up to me and say I wish it would have worked out better for you. But for myself, it’s just all about moving forward.”

Toms tees off Thursday in a group with Matt Kuchar, who at No. 10 in the World Golf Ranking is the only top-10 player in the field.

For the first time since 1968, when Byron Nelson’s name became part of the title of the other PGA Tour event in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the Colonial will be played first. The Nelson tournament is next week at TPC Four Seasons, about 30 miles east of the course Ben Hogan called home that is hosting this week.

Defending Colonial champion Zach Johnson is also coming off a strong finish at The Players Championship, a closing 66 that put him in 12th place.

But last month after missing the cut at the Masters and Hilton Head, Johnson was doing some evaluation and typing notes into his phone in preparation for a meeting with his sports psychologist.

“The way I’m thinking, the way I’m relating to my caddie, the way I’m practicing,” Johnson said. “All sorts of things. From one end of the spectrum to the other. We just hashed it all on paper and tried to condense it.”

Whatever they did obviously helped since Johnson finished sixth at the Wells Fargo Championship in his only other tournament since that session.

“It would be more mental than physical, for sure,” he said. “Physically, I’m better now than I was last year. … Everything is going in the right direction.”

Johnson won at Hogan’s Alley with a tournament-record 21-under 259 last year, when unusually calm winds throughout the week made for ideal scoring conditions. For Thursday’s opening round, there is a forecast for winds around 20 mph.

Along with the plaid jacket Johnson got for winning Colonial, his name is now engraved on the Wall of Champions by the first tee.

The only player who has won consecutive Colonial titles is Hogan, a five-time champion who won back-to-back twice (1946-47 and 1952-53). The other players who have won twice are Julius Boros, Billy Casper, Ben Crenshaw, Al Geiberger, Corey Pavin, Kenny Perry, Nick Price and Lee Trevino.

“It’s a humbling honor. You are talking about one of the more elite fraternities in sports, let alone in golf,” Johnson said. “The tournament is always high on my list of wanting to win. It always has been. It still is. Just because I won it once doesn’t mean I don’t want to win it again. I’ve become partial to that plaid.”

A nice match to the green jacket he got as the 2007 Masters champion.

Pavin and Perry join Johnson among 11 former Colonial champions playing this week.

Toms has three top-five finishes his past seven tournaments since missing consecutive cuts in February. Colonial, where he has finished in the top 10 four times and was 13th last year, marks his fourth consecutive week playing.

After The Players Championship last weekend, Toms was inundated with text messages, emails and phone calls.

“A lot of positive response, especially from people that I’m close to. The ones that mean the most are the guys that I compete against out here … they know how difficult it is,” Toms said. “I had a lot of heartwarming messages, and I wouldn’t say I feel like I won, but certainly it was good exposure for me as a player and as a person.”

Some of the messages referred only to his clutch birdie at No. 18 that got him in the playoff.

With 12 PGA Tour victories and more than $35 million in career earnings to his credit, the 44-year-old Toms doesn’t have to win tournaments to prove anything. Except maybe to himself.

“I made the statement last year that it wouldn’t change my life in any way to win,” he said. “But it would just help me mentally to know that, No. 1, I could still do it. But also that it’s worth it.”

Worth the time and effort put into golf and the time spent away from home and his family.

“It’s not about, hey, it’s my job or that’s the way I make money. I’ve kind of passed all of that,” Toms said. “It’s all about the competition and proving to myself that I could do it again.”

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Women's NCAA finals: Arizona vs. Alabama

By Jay CoffinMay 22, 2018, 11:49 pm

STILLWATER, Okla. – It’s the SEC vs. the Pac 12 for the women’s NCAA Championship; Alabama vs. Arizona, to be more specific.

Both the Crimson Tide and Wildcats cruised in their respective semifinal matches Tuesday at Karsten Creek. Alabama easily beat USC, 3-1-1; Arizona defeated match-play juggernaut Stanford, 4-1.

Alabama’s top three players, Lauren Stephenson, Kristen Gillman and Cheyenne Knight were unstoppable forces in both matches on the marathon day. Stacked in the top three positions in the semifinals all three won their matches on the 17th hole, making the last two matches inconsequential.


NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Scoring and TV times

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Full coverage


Arizona, the eighth seed, won as decisively as second-seeded Alabama, but needed a miracle to be in this position in the first place.

Junior Bianca Pagdanganan drained a 30-footer for eagle on the last hole of stroke play on Monday to get the Wildcats into a playoff against Baylor, which they won on the second hole. Then on Tuesday, presumably running on fumes, they downed top-seeded UCLA in the morning, then crushed Pac-12 foe Stanford in the afternoon.

Pagdanganan, Gigi Stoll and Hayley Moore each won both matches for Arizona on the hot, draining day.

“I don’t want to let them down so I do my best to rise to the occasion,” Pagdanganan said.

Said Arizona coach Laura Ianello: “How many players, when you tell them under pressure that you need them, can really handle it,” Ianello said about Pagdanganan. “This kid can.”

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NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 11:30 pm

The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

After three days of stroke play, eight teams advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals and semifinals were contested Tuesday, with the finals being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.

Wake Forest junior Jennifer Kupcho won the individual title. Click here for live finals action, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.

Scoring:

TV Times (all times ET):

Wednesday
4-8PM: Match-play finals (Click here to watch live)

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Fort Worth Invitational: Tee times, TV schedule, stats

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 10:30 pm

The PGA Tour makes the short drive from Dallas to Fort Worth and Colonial Country Club. Here are the key stats and information for this week. Click here for full-field tee times.

How to watch:

Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 4-7PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 4-7PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6 p.m.

Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6 p.m.


Purse: $7.1 million

Course: Colonial Country Club (par 70, 7,209 yards)

Defending champion: Kevin Kisner. Last year he defeated Jordan Spieth, Sean O’Hair and Jon Rahm by one stroke


Notables in the field

Jordan Spieth

• Finished T-2, 1st and T-2 in last three starts in this tournament

• 52 under par at Colonial last five years (best of anyone by 27 strokes in that span)

• 100 birdies/eagles made here last five years (most of anyone in that span)


Rickie Fowler

• First start since missed cut at The Players

• More missed cuts (3) than top-10 finishes (2) in 2018


Jon Rahm at the 2018 WGC-Mexico Championship.

Jon Rahm

• Finished T-2 in this tournament last year (66 in final round)

• 17 top-5 finishes in 46 official worldwide individual starts as professional


Webb Simpson

• First start since Players victory (fifth PGA Tour win)

• Fifth on Tour in strokes gained: putting this season (177th two seasons ago)

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Maguire's storied Duke career comes to an end

By Ryan LavnerMay 22, 2018, 8:39 pm

STILLWATER, Okla. – After losing in the quarterfinals here at the NCAA Women’s Championship, Duke coach Dan Brooks gathered his team and walked back toward the 18th hole. He wanted to get away and deliver a parting speech to senior Leona Maguire, one of the most important players in program history.

“I feel like I didn’t say enough, and I feel like I didn’t say it right,” he said afterward. “I guess that’s inevitable when dealing with a player who has meant so much.”

Maguire’s heralded Duke career came to an end Tuesday when she and her teammates dropped their quarterfinal match to Southern Cal, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2. Maguire did her part, winning, 1 up, against USC’s Jennifer Chang, but it still wasn’t enough.

Maguire will go down as one of the best players not just in Duke’s storied history, but all time in college golf. She’s a two-time Player of the Year. She finished with the best scoring average (70.93) in Division I women’s golf history. She had a record 32 competitive rounds in the 60s. She spent 135 weeks at the top of the World Amateur Golf Rankings, another record.

The 23-year-old from Ireland is the rare collegian who turned down guaranteed LPGA status to return to school to earn her degree and try to win a NCAA title with twin sister Lisa, the team’s No. 5 player. Ultimately, they never reached the championship match.

“I wouldn’t change a thing,” she said softly outside the clubhouse. “The experiences, the memories, I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Maguire said that she’s turning pro soon and has a full schedule upcoming. She’ll play the ShopRite LPGA Classic and then try to capitalize on her full status on the developmental Symetra circuit.

Asked about her potential at the next level, Brooks said that Maguire can be a future Hall of Famer.

“She’s the hardest worker and the smartest player I’ve ever coached,” he said. “I’m really going to miss her.”