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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.

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Garwood (64) leads Dick's Sporting Goods Open

By Associated PressAugust 17, 2018, 9:53 pm

ENDICOTT, N.Y. - Doug Garwood birdied the final three holes for an 8-under 64 and the first-round lead Friday in the Dick's Sporting Goods Open.

The 55-year-old Garwood had nine birdies and a bogey, playing his final nine holes - the front nine at En-Joie Golf Club - in 6-under 31.

''Drove it well, hit the irons well, pitched well, putted well, thought well,'' Garwood said. ''I got to a point I was just making birdies and I kind of lost track of how it was going,'' Garwood said. ''That's always a good thing.''

He won the 2016 SAS Championship for his lone PGA Tour Champions title.


Full-field scores from the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open


"I haven't been playing great this year, but I've been working hard on my game and things I've been working on are paying off,'' Garwood said. ''My golf, I take it a shot at a time, don't think about too far in advance because you really can't control, you know, the 13th hole tomorrow. It's just about the tee shot on No. 1.''

Michael Bradley and Marco Dawson shot 65, Woody Austin and Clark Dennis followed at 66, and Bob Estes and Tom Gillis were at 67.

''It was a good day,'' Bradley said. ''I've traditionally not driven the ball well here and you've got to drive the ball good here to shoot a good score. I drove the ball well and made a few putts, so that was that.''

Kenny Perry, the 3M Championship winner two weeks ago in Minnesota, had a 68. Bernard Langer and Miguel Angel Jimenez each shot 70. Langer won the 2014 tournament. Jimenez is coming off a victory at St. Andrews in the British Senior Open.

Defending champion Scott McCarron had a 72. Kevin Sutherland also had a 72. He shot the only 59 in PGA Tour Champions history in the 2014 event. John Daly, the winner of the PGA Tour's 1992 B.C. Open at En-Joie, opened with a 73.

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Kaymer: Don't deserve Ryder Cup spot even with win

By Randall MellAugust 17, 2018, 9:50 pm

Martin Kaymer is one of the most decorated Europeans of this generation, and one of the most thoughtfully honest as well, as he is demonstrating yet again at this week’s Nordea Masters.

Kaymer, a two-time major championship winner, has helped the Euros win three of the last four Ryder Cups. He won the singles match that clinched Europe’s historic comeback win at Medinah in 2012.

But with his run into contention Friday in Sweden, Kaymer told Sky Sports TV he didn’t believe that even a victory would make him worthy of playing for captain Thomas Bjorn’s Ryder Cup team in Paris next month.

“Do you think I deserve to be on the game after the way I've been playing, and with just one win in Sweden?” he said. “Is that enough? I don't think so.”

Kaymer shot a 3-under 67 at the Nordea Masters, leaving him tied for seventh, five shots off the lead and in position to make a run at his 12th European Tour title. He is hoping to capitalize on the opportunity in a season that has left him unsatisfied. He missed three of his previous four cuts coming to Sweden and has just two top-10 finishes this year.

Kaymer made some thoughtful observations about the nature of golf’s challenges in the same week that LPGA star Lexi Thompson opened up about a personal struggle to build a life about more than golf.

At 33, Kaymer said he feels as if he’s still just beginning to understand the game’s effect on him. Here is what he shared with reporters about that on the eve of the Nordea Masters:

“I'm on the seventh hole, hopefully. You need some time to get to know and place yourself in the world of golf.


Full-field scores from the Nordea Masters


“In the beginning you can't know, you have zero experience. Then you play around the world and measure your game with the best in the world. Then you see good results and in my case underestimate yourself a little.

“All of a sudden you win a major. You play a vital role in Ryder Cups. You win your second major. Then you need to adjust, because it's sometimes overwhelming and not understandable. It cannot only be talent, you need to ask yourself how you actually got here.

“That realization took me a long time. That's why I would say I'm on the seventh hole, maybe seventh green.

“It's just understanding who you are, what you do, what kind of life you live. For example, when you try to have a relationship with anyone -- it doesn't matter what kind of relationship -- people see you not for who you are as a person but as the athlete, what you have, what kind of success you had.

“I never understood that, because I don't want to be treated that way, but I also understood by now that is who I am, because I am that athlete. I am the guy who makes a lot of money.

“I never wanted to be seen that way, because I was raised different, and I wanted to be normal. But you are not normal when you do what I did. It took me a long time to understand, but now I can handle it better.”

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S.H. Park eyes Indy title, LPGA awards after 'best round of year'

By Randall MellAugust 17, 2018, 9:20 pm

Sung Hyun Park’s hot finish Friday gives her more than a chance to win the Indy Women in Tech Championship.

It gives her a chance to keep Ariya Jutanugarn from running away with the LPGA’s most important awards and honors heading into the final third of the season.

Park’s 9-under 63 left her tied for the lead with Lizette Salas (69) at 13 under overall in the rain-suspended second round at Brickyard Crossing Golf Course in Indianapolis.

“My best round of the year,” Park said through a translator.

Jutanugarn, the Rolex world No. 1, put up a 65 and sits four behind the leaders.

Park is No. 4 in the world rankings and feeling good about her weekend chances.

“I’m going to do really well,” she said. “I feel really good about my game.”

Jutanugarn has won an LPGA best three times this season, including the U.S. Women’s Open. She is dominating, statistically. She leads the tour in money winnings ($2,161,185), Rolex Player of the Year points, scoring average (69.44), putts per greens in regulation (1.72) and birdies (327).


Full-field scores from Indy Women in Tech Championship


Park is looking to equal Jutanugarn’s victory total for the season. Park won the Volunteers of America Texas Classic and also a major this year, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

Park could overtake Jutanugarn as Rolex world No. 1 with a victory, depending on what Jutanugarn does this weekend.

Park shared Rolex Player of the Year honors with So Yeon Ryu last season, with Jutanugarn winning the award the year before.

Notably, Jutanugarn is giving her driver a rare appearance this week, putting it in her bag in both the first and second rounds at the friendly confines of Brickyard Crossing.

“I like the way [the holes] set up, because I’m ab le to hit driver a few holes,” Jutanugarn said. “I missed some, but I hit a few pretty good ones, too.”

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Podcast: Welcome our guest - Tiger Tracker

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 17, 2018, 7:47 pm

Host Will Gray calls him “The man, the myth, the legend.”

GCTiger Tracker, aka “TT,” makes his highly anticipated first guest appearance in a Golf Channel podcast, pontificating on everything from Tiger Woods’ run at the PGA Championship at Bellerive to the overall nature of Tiger’s comeback and what breakthroughs may lie ahead.

Tiger Tracker, Golf Channel’s mystery man, continues to rigorously protect his identity as the foremost Twitter tracker of all things Tiger, but he does open up on his intense relationship with his growing legion of followers and his “trigger finger” when it comes to blocking those unworthy of his insight.

“I’m more of a lover than a hater of Tiger Woods, but I’m a tracker,” TT tells Gray. “I call it like I see it.”

Tracker goes deep on what he sees as his role in continuing to document Tiger’s comeback, including a sense of kinship in this journey.

“I had 142,000 followers on the Monday of the Bahamas [late last year], and as we speak now, 296,000, more than double in that short span,” Tracker says. “That shows you what he’s been able to do, what we’ve been able to do together. Let’s be honest about that.”

Listen in below: