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DJ up by 1 after 63, his lowest round this year

By Associated PressJune 9, 2018, 1:14 am

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Dustin Johnson wants to sharpen his game for the U.S. Open. Moving back to No. 1 in the world would just be a nice bonus because the only way he can do that before Shinnecock Hills is by winning the St. Jude Classic.

Johnson knows what he wants.

''I just want to win,'' Johnson said.

Johnson shot 7-under 63 for his lowest round this year and grabbed a one-stroke lead Friday after 36 holes at the St. Jude Classic. He had four of his seven birdies and an eagle on his back nine for a 29 and finished with a 10-under 130 total.

Ryan Blaum and Andrew Putnam each shot 64 and were tied for second, and C.T. Pan (65) and Wesley Bryan (66) followed at 8 under.

Brandt Snedeker shot his best round this year with a 62 that was one stroke off the course record. He was at 7 under.

Irishman Seamus Power, who came in with a one-stroke lead, shot a 69 to reach 6 under. Defending U.S. Open champ Brooks Koepka (69) was at 5 under, and Phil Mickelson (70) was at 4 under.

Two-time defending champ Daniel Berger (71-141) missed the cut.

Johnson spent 64 weeks atop the world ranking until Justin Thomas made the cut at The Players Championship in May and grabbed the top spot for himself. Johnson said the course and playing only four times in April and May combined prompted his decision to play here before going to Shinnecock Hills.

''Just wanted to play, stay sharp,'' Johnson said. ''I like this golf course, and I feel like I play it well and wanted to be on top of my game going into next week, too.''

Johnson also had a 63 in the second round of the World Golf Championships-HSBC last October to kick off this season. He won the Tournament of Champions in January and followed with a tie for second at Pebble Beach in February. He has three top-10s and tied for eighth last week at the Memorial.


Full-field scores from the FedEx St. Jude Classic

FedEx St. Jude Classic: Articles, photos and videos


A winner here in 2012, Johnson is back here looking for his 18th career title while tuning up for the U.S. Open he won in 2016. He hit everything well from a 3-wood that went 316 yards off the tee to his irons to putter.

''I feel like I'm playing really well,'' Johnson said. ''I'm swinging the club very well. I know if I can drive it in the fairway that I'm going to give myself a good look for birdie. I felt I did that pretty much all day today and hit a lot of great shots in there and had a lot of really good looks at birdies.''

At 3 under, Johnson opened with a 6-foot birdie putt on No. 10 only to bogey Nos. 12 and 13 after hitting into the rough. He bounced right back by rolling in a 21-foot birdie putt on the par-3 No. 14. He holed out from the right front bunker for birdie on the par-5 No. 16.

His round really clicked into gear after hr made the turn.

Johnson holed out a sand wedge from 111 yards on the par-4 No. 1 for eagle and nearly holed out again on No. 2 from 114 yards, tapping in from 9 inches for birdie. He two-putted from 29 feet on the par-5 No. 3 and drained a 16-footer for birdie on No. 6. Johnson saved par with a 7-footer after chipping out of the bunker on No. 8.

And Johnson became the first to hit 10 under after hitting his second shot 159 yards on No. 9 to 6 feet for a final birdie .

Snedeker, who lives in Nashville, hadn't played this event three hours away from his home in five years and none of his eight PGA Tour victories have been at the TPC Southwind. Snedeker turned in a bogey-free round with eight birdies needing only 22 putts.

''It obviously went pretty well,'' said Snedeker, the 2012 FedExCup champ. ''It's one of those days you like to have. You don't have them very often out here where the hole looks like it's the size of a beach ball and can't miss a putt.''

Notes: Putnam has just one bogey through two rounds. ... John Daly withdrew before the second round. He shot a 79 in the first round. ... Scott Piercy withdrew after nine holes at 5 over.

Watch: Koepka holes out from off the green at 16

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 21, 2018, 5:36 am

Brooks Koepka faced a stiff challenge from Gary Woodland on Sunday in South Korea, but eventually it came time to end the suspense.

Having clung to a slim lead for much of the back nine, Koepka looked as though he was going to have to scramble just to save par when he missed the green at 16. 

Instead, caddie Ricky Elliott was able to leave Koepka's putter in the bag.

That holeout combined with a bogey from Woodland at 17 put Koepka ahead by three, allowing him to walk to victory and to the top of the world rankings.

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Koepka wins CJ Cup, ascends to world No. 1

By Nick MentaOctober 21, 2018, 5:07 am

Brooks Koepka eagled the 72nd hole Sunday to cap off a final-round 64, win the CJ Cup and supplant Dustin Johnson as the new No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here's how Koepka took over the golf world Sunday in South Korea.

Leaderboard: Koepka (-21), Gary Woodland (-17), Ryan Palmer (-15), Rafa Cabrera Bello (-15), Jason Day (-12), Scott Piercy (-12)

What it means: This is Koepka's fifth career PGA Tour victory but only his second in a non-major, following his maiden win back at the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open. Up four to start the day, Koepka saw his lead evaporate as Woodland rocketed up the leaderboard and kept pace with him for much of the back nine. But every time Sunday's result appeared in doubt, Koepka reclaimed his lead in dramatic fashion. He nearly aced the par-3 13th to go ahead by two and later holed out for birdie at the par-4 16th to go up three with two to play. He finished par-eagle at 17 and 18 to shoot a back-nine 29 and close out his third victory in the last five months. With the win, Koepka ascends to the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time in his career.

Round of the day: Ryan Palmer set a Nine Bridges course record when he birdied his final seven holes in a row en route to a bogey-free round of 10-under 62 and a solo third-place finish.

Best of the rest: Woodland played his first 16 holes in 9 under par to storm from five back and catch Koepka atop the leaderboard. But his furious Sunday charge finally came to an end when he failed to get up and down for par from the back bunker at 17. He carded his 11th birdie of the round at the 18th hole to sign for 63 and finish solo second.

Biggest disappointment: In retrospect, Woodland called it correctly on Saturday when he said: "You obviously want to get off to a good start and put pressure on him as soon as you can. You know, Brooks doesn't seem like he cares too much, and he's playing so good, so you're going to have to go out and post a number." Woodland put as much pressure on Koepka as he could. He went out and posted that number. Koepka never blinked.

Shot of the day: Koepka's holeout at the par-3 16th, which put him ahead by three, unofficially ending the proceedings:

Quote of the day: "To be world No. 1 is something I dreamed of as a kid. I don't think this one is going to sink in." - Koepka

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Watch: Koepka nearly aces par-3 13th Sunday

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 21, 2018, 4:24 am

Just when it looked like he was facing a legitimate challenge Sunday, Brooks Koepka responded with a near-ace.

Up four to start the final round, Koepka saw his lead disappear as Gary Woodland raced up the leaderboard to tie him at 13 under and then 14 under.

Unfazed, the three-time major winner birdied the par-5 12th to regain his outright lead and then followed up with this tee shot at the 218-yard, par-3 13th.

And just like that, the tap-in birdie put Koepka back ahead by two with five to play.

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Haas nearly shoots age in taking Champions playoff opener lead

By Associated PressOctober 20, 2018, 10:05 pm

RICHMOND, Va.  -- Jay Haas shot a 7-under 65 - missing his age by a stroke - to take a two-shot lead Saturday in the PGA Tour Champions' playoff-opening Dominion Energy Charity Classic.

Trying to become the oldest winner in tour history, the 64-year-old Haas birdied the par-5 16th and 18th holes to get to 11-under 133 on The Country Club of Virginia's James River Course.

''I've been out here too long to know that I can learn to expect anything,'' Haas said. ''While I'm hopeful every day and I've been playing OK, the last couple weeks have not been very good, but this week has been much better. I love this golf course and it looks good to my eye. Most of the holes look like I'm going to hit a good shot, so I enjoy playing here.''

Mike Fetchick set the age record of 63 years to the day in the 1985 Hilton Head event. Haas is second on the list, taking the 2016 Toshiba Classic at 62 years, 10 months, 7 days for his 18th senior title.

''That's a good way to say I'm old, 'experience,''' Haas said. ''I think I'm very nervous most of the time when I play and today was no exception, but I continued to hit good shots and, hopefully, I can put one foot in front of the other, one shot at a time, do what I tell my son to do every time, you know? See if I can put some of those adages to work tomorrow.''


Full-field scores from the Dominion Energy Charity Classic


Stephen Ames and Scott Dunlap were tied for second after the round that started in light rain. Ames had a 67, and Dunlap shot 68.

Defending champion Bernhard Langer had a 66 to join Billy Mayfair (67) and Woody Austin (68) at 9 under. Langer won the SAS Championship last week in North Carolina to take the season points lead. The 61-year-old German star has two victories this year and 38 overall on the 50-and-over tour.

The top 72 players qualified for the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs opener. The top 54 on Sunday will get spots next week in the Invesco QQQ Championship in Thousand Oaks, California, and the top 36 after that will advance to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Phoenix.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, second in the standings, was tied for 23rd at 4 under after a 71.