Day holds on for first PGA Tour title

By Associated PressMay 24, 2010, 2:25 am

HP Byron Nelson ChampionshipIRVING, Texas – Jason Day fought through a rocky final round for a 2-over 72 that was good enough to give the 22-year-old Australian the Byron Nelson Championship title for his first win of his PGA Tour career.

Already in the record books as the youngest winner on the Nationwide Tour – he was 19 – Day had to wait until he was 22 for this breakthrough.

“It’s been a hard, tough road,” Day said. “I’ve had a lot of negative thoughts go through my head. … I would always think of what jobs I could do if I didn’t secure my card. … I’m glad I just stuck through it.”

For many the 2010 Nelson will go down for the remarkable PGA Tour debut by Jordan Spieth, a 16-year-old local high school student.

“I was walking to the fourth hole and it looked like there was a thousand people following him,” Day said. “It took a little bit of pressure off my shoulders knowing that the good majority of the fans that were following me were close friends and family.”

Spieth was within three shots of the lead on the final nine holes, but dropped back into a tie for 16th. He shot a 2-over 72 in the final round, his highest score of the tournament. His 4-under 276 was six strokes behind Day.

Jason Day wins Byron Nelson ChampionshipDay nearly withdrew Thursday morning because he felt so ill. He wound up sharing for the lead after the first round and was near the top all week.

He thought he might have blown his chances when his approach to the final hole went into the water. But he got a reprieve when playing partner Blake Adams – who said he didn’t see Day’s ball get wet – knocked his ball into the water, too.

Day salvaged a bogey, while Adams, a 34-year-old Tour rookie, took a double bogey and dropped into a tie for second with Brian Gay and Jeff Overton. Gay shot 7-under 63, the best round Sunday by three strokes.

“I wasn’t nervous,” Adams said. “I just didn’t play well.”

Spieth, meanwhile, became the sixth-youngest player to make the cut on the PGA Tour, then said he was serious about wanting to win. When he shot 3-under Saturday, it wasn’t so farfetched.

He hit back-to-back bogeys early in the final round and a shot out of a fairway bunker that angered Spieth so much, he pulled back with his iron, ready to throw it at his bag. But a deft chip led to a par putt and he turned everything around.

Three birdies and three near-misses left him standing on the 11th tee at 7-under while the leaders were at 10-under.

A few holes later, he started backing up again – a bogey, then a double-bogey. Yet he bounced back once more, too, with a birdie on the next hole and knocking his tee shot to the par-3 17th just 14 feet from the cup.

Alas, Spieth (pronounced SPEE-th) missed that putt and a par putt of about the same distance on No. 18 for a closing bogey. He walked off to a loud ovation, a handshake from playing partner Corey Pavin and a hug from Peggy Nelson, widow of the tournament’s namesake.

“It was awesome … the entire round, the entire week,” Spieth said. “Starting the week, I definitely would’ve taken a top-20, in a heartbeat. Obviously now, looking back, being a competitor, I look back at the mistakes I made that didn’t give me an opportunity to win.”

Spieth, the reigning U.S. Junior Amateur champion, would’ve made $91,185.71 had he turned pro this week. But he’s planning to wait through another year of high school, then attend the University of Texas.

“I wouldn’t say (this week) changed me fundamentally,” he said. “I can’t wait to get back out there and do it again.”

He’s already gotten a sponsor’s exemption to play in Memphis next month. First, he’ll play an American Junior Golf Association event in Arizona next week. Then he has finals.

Day’s next event is the Colonial in Fort Worth, where he lives. He also seems to have conquered the illness that’s befuddled him since the opening week of the season.

It’s been diagnosed variously as swine flu, bronchitis and allergies. Medicines to fight those ailments caused so many problems he withdrew from a tournament and went to the emergency room. Finally, on Monday, another doctor called it a chronic sinus infection, and Day is convinced that’s right.

But even that diagnosis caused a problem. A heavy-duty shot and other antibiotics left him so queasy Thursday morning that when he went to get an umbrella from his car, he thought about driving home. He might not have made it through that first round without a nearly 4-hour delay because of threatening skies, which let him sit, relax and drink lots of water.

“I still have blocked ears and some gunk in the back of my throat and my nose,” he said. “But it’s dried up a lot more than it was.”

Day was as amazed as anyone by Spieth’s success, which is saying something.

Hailed as another Tiger Woods while growing up in Australia, he began playing PGA Tour events at 18. He played 65 tournaments before finally winning one, but figures the experience was worth it, admitting he got a bit lazy after having success and money at a young age.

Getty Images

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. 

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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."