Havret takes the long road to US Open success

By Associated PressJune 21, 2010, 7:34 am

2010 U.S. Open

PEBBLE BEACH, California – U.S. Open runner-up Gregory Havret of France only booked his berth at Pebble Beach late last month thanks to some improbable putting in qualifying.

He made a 50-foot putt to get into a six-man playoff at an Open qualifier in England, then later sank a 20-footer to secure one of the final five spots in the 156-player field for Pebble Beach.

On Sunday, the little-known Havret finished an impressive runner-up to Graeme McDowell. Havret played his final round, a 1-over 72, with top-ranked Tiger Woods and a gallery of thousands who had no choice but to discover who he is.

Not bad for the 33-year-old Frenchman ranked 391st in the world who hadn’t finished higher than 10th in any European Tour event this year.

“All of a sudden I’m playing a Sunday with Tiger. It was very exciting,” Havret said afterward, balancing the emotions of being thrilled and disheartened at the same time. “I knew I had some chances and I did everything thinking I was able to win it. It’s a shame I came up short. … It’s fantastic emotion, in between the best surprise of my life and the best disappointment, too. But for sure, to play golf like this, compete for the title (is great).”

He shot 1-over 285 for the tournament, one stroke behind McDowell.

Havret’s round began in encouraging fashion. He made birdies on 1 and 6 before recording three bogeys on the final 11 holes, including at the troublesome 17th.

Then, Havret needed a birdie on the par-5 18th to pull even with McDowell and force McDowell to birdie 18 and avoid a playoff. Havret pulled his 8-foot birdie putt left and below the hole.
Gregory Havret
The 391st ranked Frenchman nearly came away with a major championship. (Getty Images)

“Well, that’s a very bad putt. Probably the worst of the week,” Havret said.

There weren’t many mistakes.

“He played beautifully today, he played beautifully,” Woods said. “He did everything he needed to do to win a championship. He hung in there and grinded. He was placing the ball in the correct spots. When he did miss, he missed in great spots and left himself with all the green to work with.”

Countryman Jean Van de Velde knows all too well about near-misses at a major.

Van de Velde walked on to the tee of the 72nd hole of the 1999 British Open at Carnoustie needing only a double-bogey 6 to take home the claret jug.

Instead, Van de Velde made an excruciating triple-bogey, hitting one shot off the bleachers, dumping another into the Barry Burn and dropping yet another into a bunker before finally sinking a 6-foot putt for a 7 that put him into a three-man playoff with Paul Lawrie and Justin Leonard.

Lawrie ended up winning and Van de Velde became a punchline for all late collapses on the golf course.

Havret seemed happy to provide a boost – not only for his country but for his golf future. A golfer since being encouraged to play by his father at age 10, Havret’s first title came in 2001 at the Italian Open and his biggest when he defeated then-world No. 3 Phil Mickelson in a playoff for the 2007 Scottish Open at Loch Lomond. That victory helped him break into the top-20 of the Order of Merit for the first time.

It was Havret who in the late 90s won three straight French Amateur titles just shortly after Woods burst onto the scene by winning three in a row at the U.S. Amateur from 1994-96.

Havret went to bed Saturday night determined to keep his performance in perspective, while also relishing a rare chance to play alongside Woods on golf’s big stage.

“I was very excited. I slept beautifully,” Havret said. “I woke up this morning very nicely, happy to play golf at a beautiful site with the best player in the world. When you look at him on TV and see what he’s doing, it’s always exciting to see that from very close and compare yourself to him. It was a very good experience.”
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High school seniors win U.S. Amateur Four-Ball

By Associated PressMay 24, 2018, 1:44 am

TEQUESTA, Fla. - The 18-year-old Hammer, from Houston, is set to play at Texas next fall. Barber, from Stuart, Fla., also is 18. He's headed to LSU.

''Growing up watching U.S. Opens and U.S. Amateurs on TV, I just knew being a USGA champion is something that I desperately wanted,'' said Hammer, who qualified for a U.S. Open three years ago at 15. ''And to finally do it, it feels incredible. It feels as good, if not better, than I thought it would. And especially being able to do it with Garrett. It's really cool to share this moment.''

Hammer and Cole won the par-4 eighth with a birdie to take a 2-up lead. They took the par-4 10th with a par, won the par-5 13th with an eagle - Barber hit a 4-iron from 235 yards to 3 feet - and halved the next two holes to end the match.

''Cole didn't want me to hit 4-iron,'' Barber said. ''He didn't think I could get it there. I was like, 'I got it.' So I hit it hard, hit pretty much a perfect shot. It was a crazy shot.''

The 32-year-old Dull is from Winter Park, Fla., and the 42-year-old Brooke from Altamonte Springs, Fla.

''Cole Hammer is a special player,'' Brooke said. ''Obviously, he's going to Texas (and) I'm not saying he is Jordan Spieth, but there are certain things that he does.''

In the morning semifinals, Hammer and Barber beat Idaho high school teammates Carson Barry and Sam Tidd, 5 and 4, and Brooke and Dull topped former Seattle University teammates Kyle Cornett and Patrick Sato, 4 and 3.

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Watch: Pumped up Beef deadlifts 485 lbs.

By Grill Room TeamMay 24, 2018, 12:19 am

Andrew "Beef" Johnston has been playing some solid golf on the European Tour this season, and he is clearly pumped up for one of the biggest weeks of the year at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

Judging from the video below, Beef will have no problems lifting the trophy on Sunday as he reportedly deadlifted 220 kg ... (Googles kilogram to pounds converter, enters numbers) ... that's 485 lbs!

@beefgolf with a new deadlift PB 220kg ! #youcantgowronggettingstrong

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Arizona captures NCAA DI Women's Championship

By Jay CoffinMay 23, 2018, 11:56 pm

STILLWATER, Okla. – Turns out this match-play format provides fireworks. Almost always.

In the four years since the women’s NCAA Championship has switched from the stale, 72-hole stroke-play format the championship matches have been pure magic.

This year, for the third time in the past four years, the final outcome came down to the last match and Arizona took home its third title with a 3-2 victory over Alabama on Wednesday when junior Haley Moore defeated senior Lakareber Abe on the 19th hole.

The Wildcats also won NCAA titles in 1996 and 2000, the latter when current Arizona coach Laura Ianello was on the team as a player.

“Arizona is my home, it is where I went to school and [the championship] needs to be back home,” Ianello said. “So I am so proud to be the coach to bring it back.”

Two days ago, Arizona was in the midst of an epic collapse. The Wildcats were safely in the third position after 54 holes of stroke play and needed only to be inside the top eight after 72 holes to advance to the match-play portion of the event.

But they played the worst round of the day and were on the outside looking in with one hole remaining when junior Bianca Pagdanganan made eagle on the par-5 18th hole. That propelled the Wildcats into a playoff against Baylor that they ultimately won.

On the first day of match play, Arizona continued to ride the wave of momentum by defeating Pac-12 rivals UCLA, the top seed, and Stanford, a match-play stalwart the past three years.

Next up for Arizona was Alabama, the top-ranked team in the country and the second seed this week after stroke play.

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Team scoring

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Individual scoring

“Win or lose tomorrow, this has been a hell of a ride,” Ianello said, attempting to take pressure off her team, which, on paper, looked like an underdog.

But you know the saying, anything can happen in match play, and often does.

Alabama coach Mic Potter put out his three first-team All-Americans in the first three spots hoping to jump out to an early lead. Junior Lauren Stephenson played poorly in the opening match and lost, 4 and 3, to freshman Yu-Sang Hou.

Kristen Gillman and Cheyenne Knight dispatched Wildcats Gigi Stoll and Pagdanganan easily in the second and third matches.

Arizona’s Sandra Nordaas beat Angelica Moresco, 1 up, in the fourth match meaning the fifth and final match, which was all square after 16 holes, was going to decide the NCAA title.

Lakareber lost the 17th hole when her approach shot sailed well short and right of the green in thick, gnarly rough. She attempted to advance the ball but could not and headed to the final hole 1 down.

With seemingly every golf fan in Stillwater on site, including several men’s teams here to participate in next week’s championship, Abe hit a laser second shot into the par-5 18th hole setting up a 12-foot look for eagle. Moore missed her birdie putt and Abe won the hole to set up extra holes to decide the championship.

In the extra frame, Moore was left of the green in two shots and Abe was short in the greenside bunker. Moore chipped to 4 feet and Abe’s bunker shot was 6 feet away. Abe missed, Moore made and Arizona walked away with the hardware.

“It means so much, it’s actually like a dream,” Moore said. “I’m just so happy for my team right now.”

Potter has been a head coach for 35 years – at both Furman and Alabama – and finally was able to collect his first NCAA Championship in 2012. Being so close to a second one will sting for quite a while but he will be able to live with the outcome for one simple reason.

“They fought their hearts out all year,” Potter said. “I just want to congratulate them for the way they battled, not only today, but in match play. Everyone gave their best on every shot - that’s all we can ask.”

Arizona def. Alabama, 3-2

Yu-Sang Hou (AZ) def. Lauren Stephenson (AL), 4 and 3

Kristen Gillman (AL) def. Gigi Stoll (AZ), 4 and 3

Cheyenne Knight (AL) def. Bianca Pagdanganan, 4 and 2

Sandra Nordaas (AZ) def. Angelica Moresco (AL), 1 up

Haley Moore (AZ) def. Lakareber Abe (AL), 19th hole

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Elway to play in U.S. Senior Open qualifier

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 23, 2018, 10:25 pm

Tony Romo is not the only ex-QB teeing it up against the pros.

Denver Broncos general manager and Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway will try to qualify for the U.S. Senior Open next week, according to the Denver Post.

And why not? The qualifier and the senior major will be held in Colorado Springs at the Broadmoor. Elway is scheduled to tee off May 28 at 12:10 p.m. ET. The top two finishers will earn a spot in the U.S. Senior Open, June 27 to July 1.