Five ... and Counting?

By Associated PressJuly 23, 2011, 10:26 pm

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Bo Van Pelt held his finish after a perfect iron shot into the 18th green, lowering the club in time to acknowledge the generous applause after his ball stopped five feet below the hole.

Another great drive. Another great approach shot.

It had become ho-hum stuff for Van Pelt in the third round of the RBC Canadian Open on Saturday.

Van Pelt birdied four of his last five holes, including the final two, to finish with a 65 and a one-stroke lead.

“If you are hitting every fairway and green after nine holes there is no way you should be over par,” Van Pelt said of his 1 over front nine.

Canadian Adam Hadwin, playing on a sponsor’s exemption, missed a 12-foot birdie putt on 18 to finish with a 68, and sit alone in second at 4-under 206.

Andres Romero (67) and first-round leader Kris Blanks (69) are tied for third, two shots back, after another tough day in the thick rough along the tight, tree-lined Shaugnessy Golf and Country Club.

John Daly, who four-putted No. 18 for triple-bogey Friday, shot 67 and is in a group of four at 2 under with Sean O Hair (66), Aron Price (69), and Geoff Ogilvy (70) heading into Sunday’s final round.

Van Pelt, who had five-straight top-15 finishes before tying for 57th at last week’s British Open, was 1-over at the turn and mad at himself for leaving strokes on the course with poor putting. He hit every green—no easy task this week—but had a couple of three-putts and missed three “short” birdie putts.

But with no one else going low, Van Pelt calmed himself on the walk to No. 10.

“I felt if I could get one hot nine, I could get in contention,” he said.

The 36-year-old from Indiana did just that, starting with a birdie on the par-4 10th, another on the par-3 12th, and four on the final five holes, ending with a 5-foot putt after another beautiful approach on the tough par-4 18th.

With only 11 players still under par after three days of thick rough and narrow fairways, few expected to see anyone setting the nine-hole record at the 7,010-yard, tree-lined Shaugnessy Golf and Country Club. Van Pelt did it by keeping his driver in the short grass, and hitting 17 of 18 of the small greens.

“You never know you are going to shoot 29,” said Van Pelt, who used his driver for all but one hole on Saturday. “You have to drive it in play. If you drive it in rough, you can’t hit the green. I grew up on a tree-lined golf course with small greens, so from a visual standpoint, I like the looks of it.”

Like Van Pelt, Daly said the key was hitting his driver well.

“You have to,” said Daly, saying it at least gave him a chance to get to the small greens from the rough if he hit it further off the tee. “If you lay up you can t get to the green on your approach shots. You’ve just got to attack.”

Daly, playing just his 14th PGA Tour event this year because he now relies on sponsor’s exemptions, is trying to win for the first time since 2004, and hasn’t been in the top-10 since two runner-up finishes in 2005. He said he will be nervous Sunday.

“If I’m not I shouldn’t be out here,” said Daly. “It’s been a long time.”

Van Pelt played in front of sparse crowds Saturday. But there will be plenty of attention on the final pairing Sunday with local hero Hadwin.

The 23-year-old Hadwin tipped his cap and gave a wave to a raucous reception walking up the 18th green, and the roars continued long after he missed a 12-foot birdie putt and tapped in for par. For a second-year pro from the third-tier Canadian Tour, Hadwin appeared to be taking it all in stride as he tries to become the first Canadian since Pat Fletcher 1954 to win his national open championship.

“It’s indescribable,” Hadwin said of the reception. “It’s a very exciting feeling to have that many people behind you and cheering for you. If I keep doing what I’m doing they will have something to cheer for tomorrow.”

NOTES: Bud Cauley (68), Ryan Moore (67) and David Mathis (69) are all at 1-under, four shots off the lead. … No played has been in the 60s all three days, and only Ogilvy, Scott Piercy and Keegan Bradley don’t have a round over par, with the latter two, who are among five players at even par, both recording three straight 70s. … Top amateur Patrick Cantlay shot 68 to get to 1-over and into a tie for 17th as he looks to continue a streak that has seen him finish in the top-25 of all four PGA Tour events this season, including the U.S. Open.

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Grillo still hunting follow-up to debut win

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 10:53 pm

Following a round of 1-under 69 Saturday, Emiliano Grillo will enter Sunday's final round at Colonial four shots behind leader Justin Rose.

Grillo is hunting his first win since he took the 2015 Safeway Open in his rookie debut as a PGA Tour member. 

The young Argentinian finished 11th in the FedExCup points race that season, contending in big events and finishing runner-up at the 2016 Barclays.

In the process, Grillo had to learn to pace himself and that it can be fruitless to chase after success week to week.

"That was a hot run in there," Grillo said Saturday, referring to his rookie year. "I played, in 2016, I played the majors very well. I played the big tournaments very well. I was in contention after two, three days in most of the big events.


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"I think, you know, I wanted to do better. I pushed for it. Some of the tournaments I ended up being 50th or 60th just because I wanted to play. I wanted to play well so badly. That played against me, so I learned from that. In that rookie year, I learned that."

Grillo was still plenty successful in his sophomore season, advancing to the BMW Championship last fall.

But now he's beginning to regain some of that form that made him such an immediate success on Tour. Grillo has recorded four top-10 finishes year - a T-9 at Mayakoba, a T-8 at Honda, a T-3 at Houston, and a T-9 at Wells Fargo - and will now look to outduel to U.S. Open champs in Rose and Brooks Koepka on Sunday at Colonial.

"Well, he's top 10 in the world, so everything he does he does it pretty well," Grillo said of Rose. "You know, he does his own thing. Like I say, he's top 10 in the world. Nothing wrong with his game. ...

"He's in the lead on a Sunday. Doesn't matter where you're playing, he's got to go out and shoot under par. He's got 50 guys behind him trying to reach him, and I'm one of those. I've just got to go out and do what he did today on those first five or six holes and try to get him in the early holes."

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Koepka looking to make hay on Horrible Horseshoe

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 10:26 pm

The Horrible Horseshoe - Nos. 3, 4 and 5 at Colonial Country Club - annually ranks as one of the toughest three-hole stretches on the PGA Tour.

Consider Brooks Koepka undeterred.

Last year's U.S. Open champ has played the stretch 2 over this week but knows that if he's going to have any chance at catching Justin Rose on Sunday, he's going to need take advantage of the par-5 first and then find a way to pick up shots on the Horseshoe.

"I feel like just need to get off to a good start on this golf course," Koepka said after a third-round 67 Saturday. "If you can get 2 or 3 under through six holes, I think you'll be right there."

Koepka will start the final round four behind Rose, as he looks to win for the first time since his maiden major victory last year.


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The big-hitter missed nearly four months this year with a wrist injury and is progressing quickly in his comeback despite dislocating his wrist on two different occasions over the last two months.

Koepka missed the cut with partner Marc Turnesa at the Zurich Classic in his competitive return before following up with a tie for 42nd at the Wells Fargo Championship and a tie for 11th at The Players Championship.

Now, thanks to a closing birdie Sunday, he finds himself playing alongside Rose in the final group on Sunday.

"I feel like my game is coming around," he said. "[At Zurich], I was five days into touching clubs. I am finally finding a rhythm and feel like I'm getting really close. ...

"Just want to get off to a good start [tomorrow]. That's really all I am trying to do. You put together a good solid round tomorrow, you never know what can happen. The important thing is we were just trying to get in that final group. I thought the putt on 18 was kind of big to get in that final group and play with Rosey."

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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 a 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 one 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 17 birdies and just three 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 Argentinian 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 7-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. 

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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.