Garcia chases lead, British Open bid at BMW International Open

By Associated PressJune 25, 2011, 12:50 pm

MUNICH – Sergio Garcia says destiny will determine whether he will play at the British Open next month after edging closer to qualification at the BMW International Open on Saturday.

Victory or second place in Munich would earn Garcia a place at Royal St. George’s. But after finishing his third round just two shots behind English leader Mark Foster thanks to a 64, he believes he would have achieved only half of the job.

The Spaniard insists he will not alter his lifestyle to ensure his presence on the first tee at the British Open.

“Everybody knows that The Open is my favorite event so I would not enjoy missing it,” he said.

“If that is the case, well, it is what it is.

“I’ve said it before. Obviously I’m not going to jump off the roof, and I hope that nothing happens, but I am going to do what I love doing.

“If I’m not meant to play The Open, even if I qualify, then I won’t play, something will happen.

“Even if I stay in bed, something could happen that will make me not play in The Open.

“So I’m a huge believer in that, and I’ve got to do what I love doing and I’ve got to live my life.”

Garcia revealed he was going to play a football game Monday.

“Golf is not the only thing I have in life, and I’m very thankful for that,” he said.

“If I’m meant to get injured, I mean, I’ve injured myself playing golf before. So you can’t control those kind of things.”

Garcia missed an eagle on the 11th, and a bogey on the 17th prevented him from leading going into the final round, but he was nevertheless satisfied.

“It was a huge round for us,” he said. “We knew that we needed to do something important to have a chance of getting to the British Open.

“I’m a little disappointed with the bogey on 17. It looked like a birdie, but unfortunately we made bogey. But other than that, I think it was very nice.”

Foster birdied four of the last seven to establish a two-shot lead at the top of the leaderboard, but he knows he will have to do equally well on Sunday to emerge victorious.

“I know exactly what’s ahead,” he said. “You’re in the lead, you’re two thirds of the way there, but I’ve been on both sides, the ecstasy of winning and the horrible feeling when it goes wrong and you’re flying home.

“I know I’ve got to shoot a positive score tomorrow.

“If I shoot anything around par, I won’t win the tournament. That speaks for itself.”

Lee Slattery (66) could have tied for second with Garcia, Robert Coles (65), George Coetzee (70), Retief Goosen (67) and Pablo Larrazabal (69) had he not temporarily forgotten that the preferred lies rule had been lifted.

“I hit a nice 4-iron off the 16th tee, just laying it up, and stuck my tee in the ground and my caddie shouted ‘No!’ and as he shouted, I was picking the ball up,” he explained.

Nevertheless, the Englishman made amends.

“It was a little bit unfortunate, but I chipped in straight after it,” he reported.

“So, you know, it wasn’t that bad in the end.”

Matteo Manassero is not out of the running either after a 66 left him on 10 under.

“Obviously I need to make another round like this, like I had today, and hope,” said the Italian.

“But I’m very happy about this round, and if I’ll be able to shoot another one like this, it will be great.”

Meanwhile, a nine on the 11th after finding water saw the joint overnight leader Henrik Stenson fall out of contention, but he recovered with three birdies to the 18th, leaving him on 9 under, while a level-par round of 72 left home favorite Martin Kaymer eight strokes adrift of the lead.

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Tiger Tracker: Tour Championship

By Tiger TrackerSeptember 23, 2018, 3:00 pm

Tiger Woods has a three-shot lead entering the final round of the Tour Championship and is alongside Rory McIlroy in the final group. We're tracking him.

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Rose tries to ignore scenarios, focus on winning

By Rex HoggardSeptember 23, 2018, 12:59 am

ATLANTA – No one has more to play for than Justin Rose on Sunday at the Tour Championship.

The Englishman will begin the day three strokes behind front-runner Tiger Woods after a third-round 68 that could have been much worse after he began his day with back-to-back bogeys.

Winning the tournament will be Rose’s top priority, but there’s also the lingering question of the FedExCup and the $10 million bonus, which he is currently projected to claim.

Projected FedExCup standings

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“The way I look at tomorrow is that I have many scenarios in play. I have the FedExCup in play. I have all of that to distract me,” Rose said. “But yet, I'm three back. I think that's my objective tomorrow is to come out and play good, positive golf and try and chase down the leader and win this golf tournament. I think in some ways that'll help my other task of trying to win the FedExCup. It'll keep me on the front foot and playing positive golf.”

Although there are many scenarios for Rose to win the season-long title, if Woods wins the Tour Championship, Rose would need to finish fifth or better to claim the cup.

There’s also the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking to consider. Rose overtook Dustin Johnson for No. 1 in the world with his runner-up finish at the BMW Championship two weeks ago. He will retain the top spot unless Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka or Johnson win the finale and he falls down the leaderboard on Sunday.

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McIlroy needs putter to heat up to catch Woods

By Rex HoggardSeptember 23, 2018, 12:29 am

ATLANTA – Although Rory McIlroy is three strokes behind Tiger Woods at the Tour Championship and tied for second place he had the look of a man with a secret when he left East Lake on Saturday.

Trying to play catch up against Woods is never ideal, but McIlroy’s confidence stemmed from a tee-to-green game that has been unrivaled for three days.

“I definitely think today and the first day were similar,” said McIlroy, whose 66 included birdies at two of his final three holes. “I gave myself plenty of chances, and I think the biggest thing today was only just that one bogey. Got to put your ball in the fairway, put yourself in position, and for the most part, I did that today.”

Projected FedExCup standings

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For the week McIlroy ranks first in strokes gained: off the tee, third in strokes gained: approach to the green and second in greens in regulation. But to catch Woods, who he will be paired with, he’ll need a much better day on the greens.

The Northern Irishman needed 30 putts on Day 2 and ranks 23rd, out of 30 players, in strokes gained: putting.

McIlroy skipped the first playoff event, opting instead for an extra week at home to work on his swing and the move has paid off.

“I hit the ball well. My wedge play has been really good,” he said. “I've done a lot of work on it the last few weeks, and it seems to have paid off.”

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Glover trails Straka at Tour Championship

By Associated PressSeptember 23, 2018, 12:19 am

ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – Sepp Straka moved into position Saturday to earn a PGA Tour card in the Tour Championship, shooting a 7-under 64 to take the third-round lead.

With the top 25 earners in the four-event Tour Finals getting PGA Tour cards Sunday, Straka birdied the final three holes to reach 18-under 195 - a stroke ahead of Curtis Luck, Lucas Glover and Denny McCarthy at Atlantic Beach Country Club.

''It's always good to get an extra birdie in late. I got three of them to finish, which was nice,'' Straka said. ''It's very bunched up there, so you can't really take off, you've got to keep the pedal down and see where you end up at the end.''

Straka entered the week tied for 80th in the card race with $2,744. The 25-year-old former Georgia player from Austria won the KC Golf Classic in August for his first Tour title. He finished 31st on the money list to advance to the four-tournament series.

''My ball-striking is really good,'' Straka said. ''It's been good all week. It's been really solid. I really haven't gotten in a whole lot of trouble and have been able to capitalize on a good number of chances with the putter. Hit a couple of bad putts today, but some really good ones to make up for it.''

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Luck also shot 64. The 22-year-old Australian went into the week 16th with $41,587.

''Obviously, it just comes down to keeping that momentum going and trying not to change anything,'' Luck said. ''That's the really important thing and I felt like I did that really well. I played really aggressive on the back nine, still went after a lot of shots and I hit it close a lot out there.''

Glover had a 68. The 2009 U.S. Open champion entered the week 40th with $17,212.

McCarthy shot 67. He already has wrapped up a card, earning $75,793 in the first three events to get to 11th in the standings.

The 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. The other players are fighting for the 25 cards based on series earnings.