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Daly, Langer, Toms one behind leaders in Victoria

By Associated PressSeptember 16, 2017, 9:46 am

VICTORIA, British Columbia – Steve Flesch and Jerry Smith each shot 7-under 64 on Friday to share the first-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions' Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship.

Flesh is making his 12th senior start after turning 50 in late May.

''It's kind of an awkward golf course off the tee, so you need to be decisive about what club you are going to hit and if you can hit it in the right places, you can make some birdies,'' Flesch said. ''You have to pay attention out there. There are some tough tee shots out there and some awkward greens, so you can't put yourself in the wrong place.''

The four-time PGA Tour winner had four birdies in a five-hole stretch on Bear Mountain's Mountain Course and capped the bogey-free round with a birdie on the par-5 18th.

''I hit a lot of good tee shots and set myself up for a lot of short irons,'' Flesh said. ''I didn't make a lot of putts early one, but I got it going in the middle of the round and ran off a few. It surprised me how much the golf course has dried out just in the last few days.''

Smith also closed with a birdie and had six birdies in a seven-hole span before bogeying the par-3 14th. He has one senior title.

Charles Schwab Cup points leader Bernhard Langer was a stroke back along with John Daly, David Toms and Jerry Kelly. Coming off a two-week break, the 60-year-old Langer opened eagle-birdie-birdie.

''Pretty easy eagle on No. 1 after a 3-wood,'' Langer said. ''I pretty much stiffed it on the next two holes, so suddenly I was 4 under after three. I played pretty solid, although there were a couple of loose shots. Overall, it was pretty decent. I had a couple of chances coming in, but didn't make any putts.''

The German star won three of the tour's five majors and is tied with Scott McCarron for tour victory lead with four.

''The greens have really toughened up and are really firm and really fast,'' Langer said. ''We don't get conditions like this very often, so you have to be aware of it. You have to be on your toes and know what greens are firm and what fairways are running out.''

Daly won the Insperity Invitational in May in Texas for his first senior title. The fan favorite eagled the par-5 12th.

''Over the years, Canada has been just a wonderful place to come and play,'' Daly said. ''I always feel the support of the fans. I always love the fans and love playing for them, but it's a hell of a lot better when you are playing good, however.''

Kelly took the Boeing Classic three weeks ago outside Seattle for his first tour victory.

''I wasn't very happy with the way I started the year, but since I won, I have started to play much better,'' Kelly said. ''Took a change of putters, a change of irons, a change of drivers, a change of shoes to play better. These courses are not pitch and putts. They are tough golf courses, period. You need to shoot low every single week. You need to make putts.''

Canadian Stephen Ames topped the group at 66.

Defending champion Colin Montgomerie opened with a 70. He won last week outside Tokyo in the 50-and-over tour's first event in Japan.

McCarron had a 71. He lost a playoff to Montgomerie last year at Bear Mountain, and tied for second last week in Japan after winning three of the previous six events.

Nick Faldo shot 73.

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Ryu wins Meijer Classic by 2 shots

By Associated PressJune 17, 2018, 9:46 pm

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - So Yeon Ryu won the Meijer LPGA Classic on Sunday for her first victory of the season and sixth overall, closing with a 5-under 67 for a two-stroke margin.

The 29-year-old South Korean player birdied the par-5 16th and par-4 17th and parred the par-4 18th to finish at 21-under 267 at Blythefield Country Club.

Two strokes behind Anna Nordqvist and Lee-Anne Pace entering the round, Ryu had six birdies and a bogey in the final round.


Full-field scores from the Meijer LPGA Classic


Caroline Masson was second after a 68. Lydia Ko shot a 67 to finish third at 18 under.

Nordqvist and Pace each shot 73 - after each had a 64 on Saturday - to tie for fourth at 17 under with Jacqui Concolino (66), Azahara Munoz (68) and Angela Stanford (70).

U.S. Women's Open winner Ariya Jutanugarn shot a tournament-record 62. She birdied five of the first seven holes, eagled No. 8 and added three more birdies to finish 12th at 15 under.

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Fleetwood fires 63, waits to see if score is enough

By Rex HoggardJune 17, 2018, 8:52 pm

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – Tommy Fleetwood became the sixth player to shoot 63 at the U.S. Open, and just the second to do it in the final round. Now he waits.

Fleetwood teed off almost 2 ½ hours before – and six strokes behind – the leaders at Shinnecock Hills on Sunday, but stormed into the hunt thanks to four consecutive birdies starting at the 12th hole. The Englishman’s round was even more impressive considering he didn’t birdie either of the layout’s par 5s.


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Fleetwood finished at 2 over par – after missing a 9-foot putt for birdie and 62 at the 18th – which was tied for second place and one stroke off the lead held by Brooks Koepka when he completed his round.

After speaking with the media, Fleetwood went to the locker room to await a possible playoff, which was changed this year from an 18-hole overtime to just two holes of aggregate play.

“We'll go and relax a little bit and just see,” said Fleetwood, who rolled in 159 feet of birdies putts. “Only time will tell what's going to happen today at the course. If it was like yesterday, I'd feel a little more comfortable than now.”

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Fowler follows 84 with 65, praises Shinnecock setup

By Rex HoggardJune 17, 2018, 5:44 pm

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – As promised, the USGA dialed back Shinnecock Hills for Sunday’s final round, watering the greens overnight and deferring to more user-friendly hole locations.

The evidence of this was on the leaderboard, with four early finishers having shot under-par rounds, including Rickie Fowler, who closed with a round-of-the-week 65. There were just three under-par cards on Saturday.

“That's the golf course I enjoy playing. Obviously, pin placements were a lot safer,” said Fowler, who had just one bogey on Sunday and opened his day with a 4-under 31 on his opening nine. “The pins today will definitely allow for the greens to firm up and get fast, and we'll see how much they dry out. It was definitely more receptive this morning than yesterday, that's for sure.”


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It was a 19-stroke turnaround for Fowler, who ballooned to a third-round 84 on Day 3 during what most contend were the week’s toughest conditions. Fowler had put himself into contention going into the weekend thanks to a second-round 69, but struggled on Saturday afternoon like much of the field.

Fowler said the setup was vastly different to what players faced on Saturday and that even if the winds increase for the afternoon tee times the course will remain playable, unlike Round 3 when many players said the USGA “lost” the golf course.

“They did a good job of staying safe,” Fowler said, “because if it does dry out, it will still be very playable.”

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Phil celebrates par on 13, ducks media after round

By Ryan LavnerJune 17, 2018, 5:35 pm

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – Phil Mickelson didn’t have another meltdown at the U.S. Open.

Back on the 13th green Sunday – less than 24 hours after taking a two-shot penalty for hitting a moving ball and recording a sextuple-bogey 10 – Mickelson poured in a 10-footer and raised his arms in mock triumph, as if he’d finally won that elusive major title.

Not quite.

He’d simply made par.

“It looked like he won the Masters,” said playing partner Rickie Fowler. “He didn’t jump, but he had a little celebration there.”


U.S. Open: Scores | Live blog | Full coverage


The par save and the final-round 69 were one of the lone bright spots during what was an adventurous week for Lefty, even by his unpredictable standards. Mickelson’s shocking swat was still the talk of this Open, especially after USGA executive director Mike Davis revealed Saturday night that Mickelson had called him to ask for more clarification on the rule he said that he knew he’d broken.

Despite some calls for him to withdraw from the tournament, Mickelson displayed his usual cheerful demeanor inside the ropes with Fowler.

“He joked about it right as we went down the first hole,” Fowler said.

Fowler said that he didn’t know “if I would have had the wits like Phil to run after it” on 13, but added that it never should have come to that in the first place.

“He could have saved himself a shot by just letting it go and taking unplayable, but then that would still look pretty funny too,” he said. “The course shouldn’t play that way.”

If you’re wondering whether Mickelson would be defiant or contrite on Sunday, we don’t know the answer. He declined to stop and speak with the media, deciding instead to sign autographs for more than a half hour and then offering a few short answers before ducking into player hospitality.

“The real question is, ‘What am I going to do next?’” he said. “I don’t know.”