Dufner takes 54-hole lead at the Nelson

By Associated PressMay 19, 2012, 10:33 pm

IRVING, Texas – Nine players had or shared the lead during the third round of the Byron Nelson Championship.

Yet when play ended Saturday, Jason Dufner was the one alone at the top of the leaderboard for the second day in a row.

Unfazed by more breezy conditions, Dufner shot a 1-under 69 for an 8-under 202 total. He had a one-stroke lead over Jason Day, J.J. Henry and Dicky Pride.

''Similar conditions as (Friday), so probably helped me a little bit, just being comfortable with the wind and how hard it was blowing,'' Dufner said. ''Good ball striking, hit a lot of greens. ... Didn't feel like I was scrambling too much, trying to save pars or out of position, anything like that.''

Three weeks after getting his first PGA Tour victory at New Orleans, and two weeks after getting married, Dufner is already trying to win again.

Dufner is comfortable in his position with the experience of having won recently, and the forecast for more wind Sunday, though it is not expected to be as stiff as the 20 mph with gusts the last two days.

Matt Kuchar, who won The Players Championship last weekend, was in a group of eight players four shots back after a 72 with an up-and-down back nine.

Kuchar, the fifth-ranked player in the world, still has a chance to become the first PGA Tour player since Tiger Woods in 2009 to win in consecutive weeks.

Dufner's only bogey came at the 528-yard par-4 third hole, when he knew right away that his drive wasn't a good one. He immediately dropped his club to watch as the ball flew into a bunker on the left side of the fairway, opposite the water on the right where he hit his tee shot the previous day.

''A little bit of carryover from (Friday), not trying to let those things happen, but occasionally they creep in your mind,'' he said. ''That bunker is almost as bad as being in the water, so (Sunday) maybe I'll think of that and play more aggressive and try to hit the shot a little better.''

Dufner, who birdied four of his last five holes Friday, got the lost stroke back Saturday with a 10-foot birdie putt at No. 6. He had pars the rest of the way except for the 14-foot birdie at the par-4 14th.

Day's only bogey came when he missed a putt of less than 2 feet at No. 18. The ball rimmed around the cup and rolled back toward him, costing him a share of the lead with a round of 67.

''I just hit it too hard through the break,'' said Day, the 2010 Nelson champ who finished fifth last year in his only other appearance on the TPC at Four Seasons courses. ''One day that hole will pay me back, and hopefully it's (Sunday).''

There were 20 players within five strokes of the lead. And 10th-ranked Phil Mickelson was among of group of seven more players only one more back.

Henry had three birdies on the back nine after two bogeys on the easier front nine in a round of 67. Pride, who has been playing professionally for 20 years, got his only PGA Tour victory in 1994.

''I threw my caddie in the air trying to figure out the wind,'' Pride said jokingly after his round of 69. ''Grass, I couldn't see.''

Vijay Singh, a 34-time PGA Tour winner whose last victory was in 2008, had a 66 Saturday. He was two strokes back after an eagle-birdie-bogey finish. After his 38-foot eagle putt at the par-5 16th, he made a 5-foot birdie at No. 17 but missed a par putt of the same distance on the last hole.

''I've been looking forward to this position,'' he said. ''My game has been coming around, but there wasn't any signs of scoring and this s the first day where I kind of went out there and scored well.''

PGA rookie Jonas Blixt from Sweden (67) and Marc Leishman (71) were tied for sixth at 205.

Ryan Palmer, the 2011 Nelson runner-up after losing in a playoff, shot a 72 in the final group. He was with Kuchar and defending Nelson champion Keegan Bradley (71) in that group of eight at 2006.

Kuchar was 8 under and leading after consecutive birdies to start his back nine, with a 32-foot putt at No. 10 and hitting his approach at No. 11 inside 3 feet.

After hitting his tee shot at No. 12 into a fairway bunker, he had a chance to save par but missed a 6-foot putt. His tee shot at the 180-yard 13th stopped 4 inches from the pin for a tap-in birdie that got him back to 8 under and the lead, but that didn't last long.

An errant drive on No. 14 led to a drop, then he had to punch back into the fairway before his approach to the back fringe of the green and a double bogey. His approach out of the rough at the next hole found a greenside bunker and he missed a 7-footer for par.

Bradley was only one stroke off the lead when his drive at No. 11 was way right. His shot from there went over the green and trickled into the water, leading to a triple bogey that took him to 4 under, where he finished.

Mickelson had five birdies and four bogeys for a round of 69. He failed to make up any ground even after holing a 42-foot chip shot at No. 18, where he finished with double bogey Friday.

''It was a fun way to end the day,'' he said. ''I had a lot of opportunities to get right back in the mix and made four or five mistakes there, sloppy bogeys.''

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Hataoka leads Minjee Lee by one at LPGA Volvik

By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 12:54 am

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - After losing in a playoff last weekend, Nasa Hataoka is making another bid for her first LPGA Tour victory.

Hataoka shot a 4-under 68 on Friday, and the Japanese teenager led by one stroke over Minjee Lee after the second round of the Volvik Championship. Hataoka, who is coming off the first two top-10 finishes of her LPGA career, made seven birdies at Travis Pointe Country Club. She began her round on No. 10, and her best stretch came toward the end, when she birdied Nos. 4, 5 and 6.

''I'm really comfortable playing the LPGA,'' the 19-year-old Hataoka said through a translator. ''I've really got confidence now.''

Hataoka made the cut nine times in 17 starts as a rookie in 2017, and she has made significant strides of late. She tied for seventh at last month's MEDIHEAL Championship and nearly won a week ago at the Kingsmill Championship in Virginia.

Hataoka finished the second round in Michigan at 9 under. Lee (69) was also solid Friday. Gaby Lopez (68), Jodi Ewart Shadoff (70) and Lindy Duncan (70) were a stroke behind Lee in a tie for third.

Hataoka did not make a single bogey in last week's three-round tournament, and she didn't have any in the first round in Michigan. She finally made a few Friday, but that didn't stop her from taking sole possession of the lead.

''I kind of feel like not really perfect, but I just kind of try to (be) aggressive,'' she said.


Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


Lee, who lost by one stroke on this course last year, is in contention again.

''I guess the fairways are pretty generous and I think the greens are a little bit on the trickier side to read,'' Lee said. ''As long as your iron shots are pretty solid, I think you're going to be in good position around this golf course.''

Lee birdied the first two holes, and the only blemish on her scorecard Friday came on the par-5 14th. After missing the fairway to the right, she hit an aggressive shot out of the rough that went straight toward a water hazard well in front of the green. She settled for a bogey after taking a drop.

''I thought the ball was sitting OK in the rough, but it must have been a bit funny, or underneath it,'' she said. ''I made a mistake. I thought it was good enough to hit 3-wood there.''

Lee lost last year in Michigan to Shanshan Feng, but Feng will have some ground to make up in her attempt to repeat. She shot 69 on Friday but is still eight strokes behind the leader.

Ariya Jutanugarn was 6 under after a second consecutive 69.

Lopez made only six pars in the second round, tied for the fewest of the day, but her eight birdies and four bogeys put her near the top of the leaderboard.

''It was a little bit of an up and down,'' she said. ''There's so many opportunities out here to make birdie, that the most important thing to do is just to be patient, to be in the moment and not to get ahead of yourself. I think I came back from a couple mistakes that I did.''

In contrast to Lopez, Brittany Lincicome parred all 18 holes Friday and made the cut at 1 under. Paula Creamer (71) triple bogeyed the par-4 13th. She followed that with an eagle on the very next hole but missed the cut by a stroke.

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Childhood rivals share Sr. PGA lead

By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 12:00 am

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Kevin Sutherland and Scott McCarron have been rivals since their junior golf days around Sacramento, California. The two old friends were back at it Friday at the top of the Senior PGA Championship leaderboard.

''It's honestly, nothing new for us,'' said Sutherland who played in the third-to-last group and birdied his last two holes for a 5-under 66 to match McCarron at 8 under.

McCarron had a 68 in the morning wave to emerge from a championship record group of six tied for the first-round lead.

Sutherland was last year's Charles Schwab Cup winner with his only senior win coming in the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship, while McCarron has six PGA Tour Champions wins, including a major at the 2017 Senior Players Championship.

''We are both (Northern California) guys, played in high school, junior golf, on tour and it seems like a lot on the Champions Tour,'' Sutherland said. ''We were in the last group on Sundays a lot last year. Scott played so well and had an incredible year, and I had a great year, too.''

Sutherland's lone PGA Tour victory came at McCarron's expense in 2002 at La Costa in the Accenture Match Play Championship, when he beat McCarron 1 up in the 36-hole final. As youngsters they played on opposing high school teams located about an hour apart and met often in state tournaments as well as on the California junior circuit.

''It's been happening for 30 years, wait 35 years now, I guess,'' Sutherland said. ''Playing together on a Saturday is a little different. We're both still trying to get in position to win.''

Jerry Kelly shot a 65 to join Tim Petrovic (69), Chris Williams (68) and Joe Durant (67) at 7 under. Durant tied for second last week in the Regions Tradition, also a major championship.


Full-field scores from the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship


McCarron feels like he is just starting to warm to the task this year. He had to replace his clubs, including a favored putter damaged beyond repair in air transit two months ago.

''I've been putting with a back-up putter I had, but it just didn't feel quite right,'' he said. ''I changed last Sunday at the Regions Tradition and started putting better on Sunday. So I'm using this one again this week and seem to be putting pretty good with it.''

McCarron said the Harbor Shores course played a little tougher in light winds in the second round. He made six birdies and three bogeys.

''I would just like to have a couple of those bogeys back,'' he said. ''But we're in a good position going into the weekend.''

McCarron came to the press center after his round and walked in on a press conference where course-designer Jack and Barbara Nicklaus were being honored by sponsoring KitchenAid with the establishment of a local college scholarship program in their name.

McCarron, who said he has idolized Nicklaus since his youth, played media and asked Nicklaus what he ate when he was near the lead going into the weekend of a major championship.

Nicklaus said if you play well one day, eat the same thing the next day.

''But no hamburgers, or you will play like hamburger,'' he said.

Stuart Smith, the Reno, Neveda, club pro who was tied for the lead after the first round, missed the 36-hole cut with a second-round 83.

''I'll take the 66, 83 and enjoy the 66 yesterday,'' he said. ''You put this one down to just plain old golf. It's a nasty game we play sometimes. Glad I have a day job.''

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Wise, Simpson both miss cut at Colonial

By Nick MentaMay 25, 2018, 11:34 pm

The two most recent winners on the PGA Tour, Aaron Wise and Webb Simpson, missed the cut at the Fort Worth Invitational on Friday.

Wise and Simpson both came up short of the 2-over total by a shot following rounds of 70-73.

Wise was safely inside the number before playing his last four holes in 4 over par with two bogeys and a closing double following a trip into the water at the par-4 ninth.


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Simpson, making his first start following his Players triumph, similarly struggled coming home, bogeying three of his final six holes.

Other notables who won't be around for the weekend at Colonial include Xander Schauffele (+4), Jason Dufner (+5), Patrick Cantlay (+6), Smylie Kaufman (+13), and Sam Burns (+13).

This is Kaufman's 11th consecutive MC and his 15th in his last 16 starts.

Jason Seaman and Kristi Hubly Seaman

Sr. PGA caddie learns of nephew's heroism in school shooting

By Tim RosaforteMay 25, 2018, 10:33 pm

Tracy Hubly caddied for her husband, club pro Chris Starkjohann, on Friday at the KitchenAid Senior PGA and learned after their round that her nephew was credited with helping stop the school shooting at Noblesville West Middle School in Indiana.

Jason Seaman, a 29-year-old science instructor and seventh grade football coach at the school, took three bullets but survived as what his aunt called a hero.

“You hear the stories about these shootings and I think about Parkland and the officer that was trained but didn’t go into the school,” Hubly said. “It’s really shocking to think it comes close to your family, but it does."

It’s not unusual for Hubly to caddie for her husband, a teacher at Carlsbad Golf Center and coach of a PGA Junior League program in Southern California. Hubly, who works in the pro shop at Emerald Island Golf Course in Oceanside, Calif., was on the bag when he was low golf professional at the 2009 Senior PGA Championship held at Canterbury GC. 

Starkjohann, 61, missed the cut at Harbor Shores with rounds of 76-79—155 and was heading to the Colorado State Open.

 “I didn’t hear about it until after my round was done,” Starkjohann said. “Everything happened after I got in.”