Like Fathers Like Sons - Almost

By Associated PressJanuary 9, 2004, 5:00 pm
04 Mercedes ChampionshipsKAPALUA, Hawaii -- Davis Love III and Vijay Singh are spending a lot more time with their sons at the office.
Love noticed over the last few years that 10-year-old son Drew is a regular on the range at Sea Island, which has carried onto the golf course at Sea Island, Ga.
'Drew playing a lot has given me another boost, another reason to get out and play at home, not be lazy and go hunting, fishing,' Love said. 'I think his excitement is spilling over a little bit to me. He's having fun with it. He's dragging me out there a lot.'
Love is trying not to push his son toward a future in golf.
The former PGA champion had every resource imaginable as a kid, especially since his father was a renowned teaching pro. Love said he doesn't offer a lot of instruction unless asked, leaving that to the golf pros at Sea Island.
'I'm trying to do what my dad did -- give him all the access, teach him more about how to act at the golf course, etiquette, rules,' Love said. 'I'm trying to put him in the atmosphere that my dad put me in, let him find his way.'
Love said it was important that Drew saw him win four tournaments last year, if nothing else than to see the hard work pay off in results.
When they play together, Love still has pressure to perform well.
'He told me the other day, 'Why don't you hit the ball close like Uncle Mark?'' Love said.
'He knows. He's watching. When I don't hit a good shot, he wants to know why. Dad is supposed to hit it good every time. He inspires me to still play hard because he wants me to do well.'
Whether his son will follow the same career path remains to be seen.
Love said he wants to play in the Office Depot Father-Son Challenge, along with Fred Couples and his 10-year-old son, Oliver, but they figure the boys are a little too young.
They can check with Singh about what that experience is like.
Singh, who has won a Masters and PGA Championship, says his best golf memory was playing with 13-year-old Qass in the Office Depot Father-Son Challenge in Orlando, Fla., last month, where they contended on the final day.
'That was the biggest thrill I've ever had in my whole career,' Singh said. 'To do something special, like playing golf with him, was something that I never thought I was going to do until last year. '
There are different dynamics in the house of Singh.
While Drew Love has become a range rat, Qass Singh isn't as motivated to hit even a small bucket of balls.
'I have to drag him out on the golf course,' Singh said with a laugh.
The Fijian said his son was a natural as a toddler, and they even have pictures of him swinging a club in his pre-kindergarten years.
'He was unbelievable,' Singh said. 'I thought, 'I've got a winner, here.' He was a great player for his age until he hit about six, then he totally quit.'
Qass is in the seventh grade, and he started taking golf for his physical education class.
The Singhs, like the Loves, are not hurting for resources.
Qass gets out of school every day and spends an hour on the range at the Tournament Players Club at Sawgrass, which has one of the best practice facilities in the world. It was through that practice that Qass became good enough to take his game to national TV in the Office Depot Father-Son Challenge.
The bad news?
'After that tournament, he has not gone to the golf course,' Singh said. 'Once he starts school again, I think he'll get back that feel. He's keen, but he's not that keen right now. I'm not going to push him, although I'd love him to play golf. I think he's got great potential to be a great player.
'He swings the club better at his age than I did when I was his age. We'll have to see.'
NEW AGENT: Ernie Els says he turned to Nick Price for advice when he was starting out in professional golf.
Now, he'll be turning to Price's agent.
Els left longtime manager Nick Frangos last year and has been shopping around for a new agent. He checked with just about everyone, from IMG to Links Sports, before settling on David Abell of Jupiter, Fla.
'I've never really gone with a group, so I felt staying on my own will be good,' Els said. 'I've known David a long time.'
TIGER AND PEBBLE: Tiger Woods has had some of his greatest moments at Pebble Beach. He came from seven shots behind with seven holes to go to win the 2000 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, and later that summer won the U.S. Open by a record 15 shots with the lowest score ever in relation to par at a U.S. Open (12 under).
But it could be a while before he returns.
Woods said he was skipping the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am for the second straight year because of the bumpy poa annua greens in early February.
'You walk off the golf course saying you can never make a 1-foot putt,' he said.
Woods says his confidence on the greens is shot for weeks after Pebble Beach.
Instead, he will take a four-week break after this week and return at the Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines, where he is the defending champion.
Woods also is expected to play the Nissan Open and World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship.
Asked if he would ever return to the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Woods replied, 'That depends on the greens.'
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    Stricker shares first-round lead in South Dakota

    By Associated PressSeptember 22, 2018, 12:48 am

    SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Steve Stricker shot a 7-under 63 on Friday to share the first-round lead at the Sanford International.

    The 51-year-old Stricker was 8 under through 17 holes at chilly, rain-softened Minnehaha Country Club but closed with a bogey to fall into a tie with Jerry Smith, Brandt Jobe and David McKenzie.

    Stricker only got to play seven holes in the pro-am because of rain that prevented the field from getting in much practice.

    ''You've just kind of got to trust your yardage book and hit to the spots and then try to make a good game plan on the way into the green, too, not really knowing where to hit it or where to miss it up there on the green. Sometimes it's good, too,'' Stricker said. ''You go around and you're focused a lot more on hitting it to a specific spot and not knowing what lies ahead in the course. So I guess today was the ultimate 'Take one hole at a time' because we didn't really know anything else, what was coming.''

    Full-field scores from the Sanford International

    Stricker has two wins and has not finished worse than fifth in six starts this season on the over-50 tour as he continues to play a part-time schedule on the PGA Tour. Next week, he will be one of U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk's assistants at the matches outside Paris.

    McKenzie, a 51-year-old Australian, had two eagles on the back nine, holing a wedge from 116 yards on the par-5 16th.

    ''We got told ... to play faster on No. 16, and so my caddie just said, 'Hit it in the hole so you don't have to putt it,' so I just did what he told me,'' McKenzie said.

    Smith had eagles on Nos. 4 and 12.

    ''Honestly, I was just trying to hit some good shots and I really wasn't with the irons,'' Smith said. ''I just really didn't like the way I hit them today. You know, just the putter was the big difference for me. I just felt good with it all day, especially say outside of 10, 15 feet, where I felt like I was a lot.''

    Scott McCarron, Lee Janzen and Paul Goydos were one shot back. McCarron came in second in the Charles Schwab Cup money standings behind Miguel Angel Jimenez, who is not playing this week.

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    Glover (64) leads Tour Championship

    By Associated PressSeptember 22, 2018, 12:12 am

    ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – Former U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover shot his second consecutive 7-under 64 on Friday to take a one-shot lead at the Tour Championship.

    The 38-year-old Glover, who won the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black, can still regain his PGA Tour card through a medical extension if he fails to earn enough money in the four-tournament Tour Finals. But a high finish this weekend at Atlantic Beach Country Club would take care of everything.

    ''I've got a lot to fall back on regardless of this week, but any time I tee it up, I want to play well,'' Glover said. ''Tomorrow won't be any different. Sunday won't be any different.''

    Glover had arthroscopic knee surgery in June and will have eight starts to earn 53 FedEx Cup points and keep his card. He earned $17,212 in the first three Tour Finals events. The top 25 money winners in the series earn PGA Tour cards, and the final card went for $40,625 last year.

    Glover was at 14-under 128. Denny McCarthy, who has already earned enough money to secure a return to the PGA Tour, was one shot back. McCarthy, a former Virginia player, has a shot at winning the Finals money list, which would guarantee him fully exempt status and entry into The Players Championship.

    Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

    ''There's no secret about it. I'll come out and tell you I'm here to win this tournament and get that No. 1 spot,'' McCarthy said. ''I've been hungry for a while. I have a pretty hungry attitude and I'm going to stay hungry.''

    Tour veteran Cameron Tringale, who has earned just $2,660 after missing two of the first three cuts, was 12 under after a 67. Last year, Tringale entered the Tour Championship at 63rd on the Finals money list and finished tied for fifth to get back onto the PGA Tour. He struggled again this season, though, missing 19 cuts in 26 starts.

    ''Yeah, I was hoping last year was my last time here, but I do have a comfort at this golf course and I'm excited to keep pressing,'' Tringale said.

    The four-tournament series features the top 75 players from the regular-season money list, Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup standings, and non-members with enough money to have placed in the top 200. The top 25 finishers on the regular-season money list are competing against each other for tour priority, with regular-season earnings counting in their totals.

    Sepp Straka and Ben Silverman were three shots back. Each would likely need a top-5 finish to earn his card.

    Peter Malnati, who regained his card with a second-place finish in the opening finals event, followed his opening-round 74 with a 9-under 62, shooting an 8-under 27 on his second nine.

    Four-time PGA Tour winner Aaron Baddeley was among those who missed the cut. He was 22nd on the finals money list going in and likely will fall short of earning his card.

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    Thomas (69) only three back with 'C' or 'D' game

    By Rex HoggardSeptember 21, 2018, 11:56 pm

    ATLANTA – Justin Thomas was tied for fourth place following his second-round 69 on Friday at the Tour Championship, which considering the state of his game on Day 2 was an accomplishment.

    “I wish I had my 'B' game today. I would say I had my 'C' or 'D' game today,” he laughed.

    Thomas’ struggles were primarily with his driver and he hit just 6 of 14 fairways at East Lake, but he was able to scramble late in his round with birdies at Nos. 15 and 18 to remain three off the lead.

    Projected FedExCup standings

    Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

    Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    “I drove it so poorly today, this is probably in my top 5 rounds of the year I'm most proud of just because I easily could have shot 4- or 5-over par today and not had a chance to win the tournament,” he said. “I hung in there and birdied two of the last four, and I have a chance.”

    Thomas was slowed the last two weeks by a right wrist injury that limited his preparation for the finale and said the issue with his driver is timing and the byproduct of a lack of practice.

    Thomas made up for his erratic driving with his short game, getting up and down four out of seven times including on the fourth hole when he missed the fairway well left, punched out short of the green and chipped in from 81 feet.

    “[Rory McIlroy] just kind of said it looked like a ‘3’ the whole day and I kind of laughed because I played with him at The Players and I chipped in three times that first round with him, so I guess he's good luck for me,” Thomas said.

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    McIlroy two behind Woods, Rose after 68

    By Rex HoggardSeptember 21, 2018, 11:46 pm

    ATLANTA – Maybe it should be no huge surprise that Rory McIlroy finds himself back in contention at the Tour Championship. It is, after all, a Ryder Cup year.

    In 2016, McIlroy won the finale before heading to Hazeltine and posting a 3-2-0 record. In ’14, he finished runner-up to Billy Horschel and went 2-1-2 at the Ryder Cup; and in ’12 he finished tied for 10th place at East Lake and went 3-2-0 at Medinah.

    “I was on such a high a couple of years ago going into Hazeltine after winning the whole thing, and I felt great about my game that week and played well. I won three matches,” McIlroy said. “I guess it doesn't matter whether it's a match play event or whatever. If you're playing well and you've played well the week before, I think most people can carry it into the next week, whatever that is.”

    Projected FedExCup standings

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    McIlroy’s performance this week certainly qualifies as “playing well.” He charged out on Friday with birdies at two of his first three holes and bounced back from a pair of late bogeys to shoot a 68 and was in third place and two strokes off the lead held by Tiger Woods and Justin Rose.

    “I've made 12 birdies in 36 holes, which is really good around here, and that's with not birdieing either of the par 5s today,” he said. “So yeah, just tidy up the mistakes a little bit.”