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Fowler, DeChambeau co-lead WMPO through 36

By Associated PressFebruary 3, 2018, 2:30 am

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Rickie Fowler took a share of the lead into the weekend in the Waste Management Phoenix Open. He knows from experience the party is just getting started.

''Just keep the gas pedal down,'' Fowler said.

Fowler has had a lot of success at TPC Scottsdale without winning. He finished a shot behind Hunter Mahan in 2010, lost to Hideki Matsuyama on the fourth extra hole in 2016, and tied for fourth last year.

''From the first couple times I played it, I knew it was just kind of a matter of time before I would win here,'' Fowler said. ''I know I can win here. I put myself in position plenty of times.''

Fowler was tied with Bryson DeChambeau, with each shooting his second straight 5-under 66.

The festive tournament drew an estimated Friday-record crowd of 191,400 fans, bringing the week total to 439,088. The third-round mark of 204,906 set last year is expected to be shattered Saturday, and the week record of 655,434 from a year ago could fall with a day to spare.

DeChambeau birdied the final two holes, hitting a wedge to 8 inches on the par-4 18th late on another 80-degree afternoon.

''I missed a few short putts on the back nine, so definitely didn't play my best,'' DeChambeau said.

He won the John Deere Classic last year. In 2015, the former SMU star became the fifth player to win the NCAA individual title and U.S. Amateur in the same year.

Daniel Berger and former Arizona State player Chez Reavie were a stroke back.

Berger had a bogey-free 65.

''This is the fourth time I've been here, so I've kind of figured it out a little bit,'' Berger said. ''Mostly, it's just about just enjoying yourself.''


Full-field scores from the Waste Management Phoenix Open

Waste Management Phoenix Open: Articles, photos and videos


Reavie eagled the 17th in a 65. He's the only player without a bogey after two rounds.

''This is my home tournament, growing up here my whole life and coming to the tournament and carrying the sign board,'' Reavie said. ''So this is like the fifth major for me.''

Fowler birdied four of the first six holes. He bogeyed his old nemesis, the 317-yard 17th, after driving short of the green to the left and chipping across and off the green.

''Funky little chip where we were in a good position to make birdie,'' Fowler said.

Two years ago, he blew a two-stroke lead on 17 in regulation when he drove through the green and into the water, then handed the playoff to Matsuyama when he hit into the water again.

Fowler is wearing a pin on his hat with a picture of Griffin Connell, the area boy he befriended at the event who died last week at age 7. Connell was born with a rare airway disorder.

''I don't think it's a coincidence he's playing so well this week, either,'' said Griffin's father, Jim Connell. ''Griffin, he's not here with us, but we know he's watching from above.''

Scott Stallings (65), Chesson Hadley (68) and Chris Kirk (68) were 8 under, and Phil Mickelson (65) and fellow former Arizona State player Jon Rahm (68) topped the group at 7 under.

The 47-year-old Hall of Famer is making his record-tying 29th start in the event he won in 1996, 2005 and 2013. He birdied the last three holes - getting the stadium-enclosed No. 16 for the second straight day - and four of the final six.

''There's no question that I play better down the stretch with people here,'' Mickelson said. ''I can feel their energy and it helps me focus.''

Justin Thomas and first-round leader Bill Haas were 6 under.

The fourth-ranked Thomas had his second 68. He was bogey-free after dropping three strokes late Thursday with a double bogey on 16 and a bogey on 17.

''I was pretty upset and mad about that last night because I really let a good chance get away to shoot, I felt like, 7 or 8 under,'' Thomas said. ''But stretches like that are going to happen over the course of four days.''

Haas followed his opening 64 with a 72. He made a double bogey on the par-5 third.

The tournament lost some star power when Jordan Spieth missed the cut and two-time defending champion Matsuyama withdrew because of a left wrist injury.

Spieth shot 72-70, playing alongside Thomas. The third-ranked Spieth last failed to advance to weekend play in May, when he missed consecutive cuts in The Players Championship and the AT&T Byron Nelson. Matsuyama's injury ended his bid to match Arnold Palmer's event record of three straight victories.

Robert Garrigus had the shot of the day, a drive on the 17th that hit the flagstick and stopped inches away. He's 2 under after a 69. Andrew Magee aced the hole in 2001, the only hole-in-one on a par 4 in PGA Tour history.

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Watch: Na punctuates caddie tiff with hole-out

Microphones captured a fascinating and testy exchange between Kevin Na and his caddie, Kenny Harms, on Na's final hole, No. 9.

Na was in the right rough, 185 yards from the green, which was guarded by water. He vacillated between a hybrid and an iron, but with either club he would have to hit "a 40-yard cut," as Harms termed it.

"Over the green's dead," Harms warned.

"It's not gonna go over the green, Kenny," Na replied.

Na finally settled on an iron and said to Harms, "As long as you're OK with this club."

"I'm not," harms replied. "I'm not OK with either one of them."

"I'm going with this," Na ended the discussion.

He missed the green with his approach shot, but avoided the water. After taking a free drop away from some TV cables, he had 92 feet 3 inches to the cup and of course, holed the pitch shot for a birdie-3, a 62 and a one-shot lead at the end of the first round.

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Na (62) leads Hoffman by one at Colonial

By Nick MentaMay 24, 2018, 10:38 pm

Kevin Na leads the Fort Worth Invitational by one over Charley Hoffman following a first-round 8-under 62. Here's where things stand through 18 holes at Colonial.

Leaderboard: Na (-8), Hoffman (-7), Emiliano Grillo (-6), Jhonattan Vegas (-6), Andrew Putnam (-6), Beau Hossler (-6)

What it means: The veteran Na is in search of just his second PGA Tour victory in 367 events played. The 34-year-old's lone victory came at the 2011 Shriners to go along with nine runner-ups, the most recent of which was a tie for second at this year's Genesis Open. Na missed three straight cuts in April but has rallied back with a weekend stay at The Players and a T-6 at last week's Byron Nelson. Ranked 75th in the world, he is not currently qualified for the U.S. Open or the Open Championship. 

Round of the day: Na turned in a clean card Thursday with six birdies and an eagle at the par-5 first, his 10th hole of the day. He closed with a chip-in birdie at No. 9 following a friendly disagreement with his caddie (more on that below). 

Best of the rest: Hoffman was likewise bogey-free, drawing seven circles. The four-time Tour winner and typically steady performer has yet to register a top-10 finish this season.

Biggest disappointment: Not that a round of 1 under is tragically disappointing, but Jordan Spieth has a pretty solid history of going low at this event and contending for the title. He's seven back through Round 1.

Shot of the day: Satoshi Kodaira recorded the second albatross in tournament history when he holed a 3-iron from 234 yards at the first.

Honorable mention: Na got into a pretty good back-and-forth with his caddie about whether to lay up or try to clear the water from the right rough at No. 9. Na went for it, avoided hazard, and holed this chip for birdie. 

Quote of the day: "I told you." - Na, after his chip-in

Golf Channel's NCAA Golf Coverage Continues Mon-Wed., May 28-30 With the NCAA Men's Golf Championships

By Golf Channel Public RelationsMay 24, 2018, 10:24 pm

Two National Championships to be Decided Over a Three-Day Span – Individual (Mon., May 28) and Team (Wed., May 30)

 Eight of the Top-10 Ranked Programs in the Country Set to Compete; Reigning NCAA Men’s National Champions Oklahoma and Current Top-Ranked Oklahoma State Paired Together Starting Friday

 Buick and Stifel Co-Presenting Sponsors of Golf Channel’s Coverage of the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships

ORLANDO, Fla., May 24, 2018 – Coming on the heels of Wednesday’s dramatic championship match where Arizona defeated Alabama in a playoff to claim their third women’s golf team national championship, Golf Channel returns to Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla. next week for the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf National Championships. Taking place Monday-Wednesday, May 28-30, Golf Channel’s coverage will feature nearly 30 hours of live tournament and on-site wraparound news coverage, showcasing the top men’s college golf programs in the country.

NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage: Coverage begins on Monday, May 28 to crown the individual national champion and to track the teams attempting to qualify for the eight-team match play championship. Golf Channel’s coverage on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 29-30 will include all three rounds of the team match play, ultimately crowning a team national champion.

In addition, Golf Central will surround live tournament action with pre-and post-event news coverage produced on-site at Karsten Creek Golf Club, as well as daily news updates on Morning Drive and online via Golf Channel Digital. News and tournament coverage also will be live streamed on Golf Channel Digital. College Central, Golf Channel’s online home for college golf, will provide comprehensive editorial coverage throughout the championships.

Golf Channel NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage (all times ET)

Monday, May   28

Individual   National Championship

4-8 p.m.   (Live)

Tuesday, May   29

Quarterfinals,   Team Match Play

11   a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday,   May 29

Semifinals,   Team Match Play

4-8 p.m.   (Live)

Wednesday, May   30

Team Match   Play National Championship

4-8 p.m.   (Live)

Stifel and Buick Sign on as Co-Presenting Sponsors for Golf Channel’s NCAA Golf Championships Tournament Coverage: New for 2018, Stifel Financial Corp. and Buick have signed on as co-presenting sponsors for Golf Channel’s tournament coverage of the 2018 NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships. In addition, Stifel has extended its partnership with the Fred Haskins Commission, Golf Channel and Golfweek as presenting sponsor of the Fred Haskins Award, given annually to nation’s outstanding male collegiate golfer.Golf Channel will announce the Fred Haskins Award presented by Stifel following the conclusion of the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships, on a live edition of Golf Central, Wednesday, June 6 at 6 p.m. ET. The show will include profiles on the top candidates for the award and a live interview with the winner, who also will receive an exemption to compete in the 2018 Greenbrier Classic on the PGA TOUR. The Haskins Award honors the nation’s most outstanding male Division I collegiate golfer as selected by his peers, coaches and the golf media.

Semifinal Teams in Match Play to Receive Invitations to Compete in East Lake Cup: The East Lake Cup, taking place in late October at historic East Lake Golf Club, will feature the top-performing teams from the 2018 NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships. Invitations for the field have been extended to Arizona, Alabama, Southern California and Stanford – semifinalists in the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships, and also will be extended to the semifinalists in the Men’s Championships. Modeled after the NCAA Golf Championships, the format for the East Lake Cup consists of an opening round of stroke play to crown an individual male and female champion and determine seeding for the following two days of match play competition. Golf Channel will air live coverage of the East Lake Cup Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 29-31.

College Central – Golf Channel Digital Coverage: Golf Channel will provide comprehensive coverage via College Central,Golf Channel Digital’s home for college golf. Led by Jay Coffin, and Ryan Lavner, College Central will be the source for all things college golf, including tournament results and scores, features and columns, video highlights and breaking news.

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Country singer Owen shoots 86 in Web.com debut

By Will GrayMay 24, 2018, 7:51 pm

Country music star Jake Owen struggled in his Web.com Tour debut, shooting a 14-over 86 in the opening round of the Nashville Golf Open.

Owen, who played as a 1 handicap earlier this year while teaming with Jordan Spieth at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, put three balls out of bounds over his first nine holes, including two en route to a quadruple-bogey 9 on the par-5 18th hole. After making the turn in 46, Owen came home in 40 without making a single birdie.

Owen is playing as an amateur on an unrestricted sponsor exemption, the same type used by NBA superstar Steph Curry on the Web.com Tour last year and by former NFL quarterback Tony Romo this year on the PGA Tour. Curry missed the cut after rounds of 74-74 at the Ellie Mae Classic, while Romo shot 77-82 at the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship.


Full-field scores from the Nashville Golf Open


Owen tallied nine pars, six bogeys, two doubles and a quad in his opener and was the only player from the morning wave who failed to break 80. The closest player to him in the standings was two-time major champ Angel Cabrera, who opened with a 79.

While Owen struggled against a field full of professionals, he took the setback in stride and even took to Twitter in the middle of his round to fire back at some of his online critics: