Greg Norman shoots 66 to share Senior Open lead

By Associated PressJuly 30, 2009, 4:00 pm
CARMEL, Ind. ' Greg Norman looked like his old self Thursday.
 
There were the trademark drives, the string of birdies and those customary big crowds following his every move. He even rekindled an image hed rather forget: A last-hole struggle.
 
Norman birdied four straight holes on the front nine, but a bogey on the final hole left him in a four-way tie with Joey Sindelar, Dan Forsman and amateur Tim Jackson at 6-under 66. Andy Bean and Fulton Allem are both one shot back at 67.
 
Jackson broke the record for low score by an amateur at this tournament, and he did it in his Senior Tour debut.
 
For Norman, it was a chance to show everyone that the man once dubbed the worlds best golfer hadnt lost his touch.
 
I played well today and the golf course was ready to be had. It was perfect conditions, the 54-year-old Aussie said. The greens were just receptive enough to be aggressive with the shots if you want to play em.
 
Norman and his senior tour colleagues had no problems playing on a cool, relatively calm day. Those atop the leaderboard made it look easy on the 7,316-yard course, the longest in Senior Open history.
 
Norman and Bean briefly flirted with 7 under but each bogeyed their next hole to lose sole possession of the lead. Bean finished with two bogeys on his last three holes to finish at 67.
 
Others played cleaner golf.
 
Sindelar posted three birdies on each side. Forsman, who started at No. 10, was 4 under at the turn. Neither had a bogey.
 
And the unknown Jackson, a real estate developer from Tennessee, charged back with five birdies on the final nine holes. A sixth would have broken the tie at the top, but his 10-foot birdie putt on the last hole stopped on the lip of the cup.
 
Still, Jackson broke the tournament record for low score by an amateur by two shots. Amateurs shot 68 four times in the Senior Open, the last being Rick Cloninger in 2008 on Broadmoors east course in Colorado Springs, Colo.
 
This will be something well talk about for a long time, Im sure, Jackson said.
 
Norman, Jackson and the other two low scorers already created a buzz at Crooked Stick Golf Club during the first round.
 
The courses head pro, Tony Pancake, said the 66s were a competitive course record. In the 1991 PGA Championship, won by the then-unknown John Daly, the low round was 67.
 
Norman might have shot 65, too, had he not been surprised when he walked to the 18th tee and found the hole playing 42 yards shorter than in the practice rounds. He hit into the left rough as a result, leaving him a treacherous uphill second shot. The ball landed in the front bunker, and Normans blast out of the sand wound up on the back corner of the green for a 40-foot par putt. He left it 6 feet short.
 
There is such a severe upslope, and the grain was going straight into me, the two-time British Open champion said. When youre on a keen angle on an upslope, its difficult to keep that accelerating through because your body wants to fall back. So youre not getting a full rotation.
 
No, it didnt resemble Normans 1996 Masters collapse but it was a deflating end to an otherwise meticulous round.
 
Bean and Jackson were just as good in slightly worse conditions during the afternoon, and Bean was 7 under through 15 holes until failing to close it out.
 
Jackson continued to make shots after starting his round on the back nine. He made the turn at 1 under and then birdied four straight holes to match Norman, one short of the tourney record for most consecutive birdies (five). He moved into a tie for the lead with a birdie putt at No. 7.
 
If youre going to shoot a low round at the U.S. Senior Open, this is the day, Forsman said. This course will show its teeth before its over.
 
The Shark just hopes those teeth dont get him. Again.
 
I feel like Im getting close, Norman said. Even though I played very, very well today, I feel like Im getting close to getting it all together.
 
Seven players, led by Senior British Open champion Loren Roberts and 1996 British Open champion Tom Lehman, were two back at 68.
 
Last years winner, Eduardo Romero of Argentina, shot a 73.
 
The suddenly rejuvenated Tom Watson delivered on his promise of playing conservatively because of an illness that limited him to just one practice round. Watson, who lost the British Open in a playoff two weeks ago, finished Thursday with a 1-under 71.
 
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    Four top finishers in Japan qualify for The Open

    By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 10:19 am

    IBARAKI, Japan – Shota Akiyoshi of Japan shot a 2-under-par 70 on Sunday to win the Mizuno Open and qualify for The 147th Open.

    Akiyoshi offset three bogeys with five birdies at the Royal Golf Club in Ibaraki, Japan, to finish 1 under overall and secure his first ever tournament win on the Japan Golf Tour.

    Michael Hendry of New Zealand and Japanese golfers Masahiro Kawamura and Masanori Kobayashi were tied for second one stroke off the pace to also qualify for The Open at Carnoustie, Scotland, from July 19-22.

    Hendry, who led the tournament coming into the final round, came close to forcing a playoff with Akiyoshi but dropped a shot with a bogey on the final hole when he needed a par to draw level.

    Hendry will make his second appearance at The Open after qualifying at the Mizuno Open for the second year in a row.

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    Lewis hopes to win at Volvik with baby on the way

    By Randall MellMay 27, 2018, 12:55 am

    Stacy Lewis was listening to more than her caddie on her march up the leaderboard Saturday at the Volvik Championship.

    Pregnant with her first child, she is listening to her body in a new way these days.

    And she could hear a message coming through loud and clear toward the end of her round at Travis Point Country Club in Ann Arbor, Mich.

    “The little one was telling me it’s dinnertime,” Lewis said.

    Lewis birdied five of the last six holes to shoot 5-under-par 67 and move into position to make a Sunday run at winning her 13th LPGA title. She is two shots behind the leader, Minjee Lee, whose 68 moved her to 12 under overall.

    Sunday has the makings of a free for all with 10 players within three shots of the lead.


    Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


    Lewis, 33, is four months pregnant, with her due date Nov. 3. She’s expecting to play just a few more times before putting the clubs away to get ready for the birth. She said she’s likely to make the Marathon Classic in mid-July her last start of the season before returning next year.

    Of course, Lewis would relish winning with child.

    “I don’t care what limitations I have or what is going on with my body, I want to give myself a chance to win,” she told LPGA.com at the Kingsmill Championship last week.

    Lewis claimed an emotional victory with her last title, taking the Cambia Portland Classic late last summer after announcing earlier in the week that she would donate her entire winnings to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in her Houston hometown.

    A victory Sunday would also come with a lot of emotion.

    It’s been an interesting year for Lewis.

    There’s been the joy of learning she’s ready to begin the family she has been yearning for, and the struggle to play well after bouncing back from injury.

    Lewis missed three cuts in a row before making it into the weekend at the Kingsmill Championship last week. That’s one more cut than she missed cumulatively in the previous six years. In six starts this year, Lewis hasn’t finished among the top 50 yet, but she hasn’t felt right, either.

    The former world No. 1 didn’t make her second start of 2018 until April, at the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration. She withdrew from the HSBC Women’s World Championship in late February with a strained right oblique muscle and didn’t play again for a month.

    Still, Lewis is finding plenty to get excited about with the baby on the way.

    “I kind of had my first Mother’s Day,” Lewis told LPGA.com last week. “It puts golf into perspective. It makes those bad days not seem so bad. It helps me sleep better at night. We are just really excited.”

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    Rose hasn't visited restroom at Colonial - here's why

    By Nick MentaMay 27, 2018, 12:20 am

    In case you're unaware, it's pretty hot in Texas.

    Temperatures at Colonial Country Club have approached 100 degrees this week, leaving players to battle both the golf course and potential dehydration.

    With the help of his caddie Mark Fulcher, Fort Worth Invitational leader Justin Rose has been plenty hot himself, staking himself to a four-shot lead.


    Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

    Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


    "Yeah, Fulch has done a great job of just literally handing me water bottle after water bottle. It seems relentless, to be honest with you," Rose said Saturday.

    So just how much are players sweating the heat at Colonial? Well, it doesn't sound like all that water is making it all the way through Rose.

    "I haven't even seen the inside of a restroom yet, so you can't even drink quick enough out there," he shared.

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    Up four, Rose knows a lead can slip away

    By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 11:21 pm

    Up four shots heading into Sunday at the Fort Worth Invitational, Justin Rose has tied the largest 54-hole lead of his PGA Tour career.

    On the previous two occasions he took a 54-hole Tour lead into the final round, he closed.

    And yet, Rose knows just how quickly a lead can slip away. After all, it was Rose who erased a six-shot deficit earlier this season to overtake Dustin Johnson and win the WGC-HSBC Championship. 

    "I think I was in the lead going into the final round in Turkey when I won, and I had a four-shot lead going into the final round in Indonesia in December and managed to put that one away," Rose said Saturday, thinking back to his two other victories late last year.

    "I was five, six back maybe of DJ, so I've got experience the other way. ... So you can see how things can go both ways real quick. That's why there is no point in getting too far ahead of myself."


    Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

    Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


    Up one to start the third round Saturday, Rose extended his lead to as much as five when he birdied four of his first six holes.

    He leads the field in strokes gained: tee-to-green (+12.853) and strokes gained: approach-the-green (+7.931).

    Rose has won five times worldwide, including at the 2016 Rio Olympics, since his last victory in the United States, at the 2015 Zurich Classic.

    With a win Sunday, he'd tie Nick Faldo for the most PGA Tour wins by an Englishman post-World War II, with nine.

    But he isn't celebrating just yet.

    "It is a big lead, but it's not big enough to be counting the holes away. You've got to go out and play good, you've got to go out positive, you've got to continue to make birdies and keep going forward.

    "So my mindset is to not really focus on the lead, it's to focus on my game tomorrow and my performance. You know, just keep executing the way I have been. That's going to be my challenge tomorrow. Going to look forward to that mindset."