Herman misses chance for low round

By Associated PressJune 21, 2010, 7:59 am

2010 U.S. Open

PEBBLE BEACH, California – Jim Herman approached the 18th tee Sunday at Pebble Beach and pondered his chances for the lowest round at this year’s U.S. Open.

There was the possibility of topping Tiger Woods and final-round leader Dustin Johnson, who each shot a sizzling 5-under 66 on Saturday. Herman also had a chance to top Phil Mickelson’s 66 in Friday’s second round.

So Herman pulled out his driver and decided to go for it. Why not? Anything to forget that awful 10-over 81 he shot Saturday.

Herman needed a birdie on No. 18, a challenging par-5, to finish at 65. The plan quickly went south – well, west, really. His tee shot hooked left toward the ocean, and it sailed over the concrete seawall to the rocks below. Herman, still holding out hope of recovering on the final hole, hurried down to find his ball. He found several, none of them his own.

He returned to the tee already with a 3, and by the time he finally finished he had double-bogey and a 3-under 68. He was 14-over 298 for the tournament.

“Low round in the tournament definitely was in my mind going into the back nine,” he said. “I definitely knew it. I watched Phil’s round. I knew where I was and what it was. I was trying to do it, what else do I have but to go for a record?”

Herman overcame a bogey on the second with a pair of eagles on Nos. 4 and 6 and a trio of birdies. Fans Mike Portier and James Kater of San Jose caught up with Herman’s group on No. 2 with plans of watching Mike Weir – but Herman’s play quickly caught their attention. Time to cheer on an underdog making good.

“Because this guy was shooting the round of the tournament,” Portier said.

Even his disappointing 18th couldn’t spoil Herman’s first Father’s Day. His wife, Carolyn, and 8 1/2 -month-old daughter, Abigail, were on hand all week to support him.

“It was pretty awesome, two eagles in a span of three holes,” Herman said. “Another birdie on 7, which just topped it off. It was just a great day. I’m glad I could come back after yesterday. Yesterday was pretty painful to take being in my first Open. I had a lot of support from my family. We all joked about it last night. I just wanted to come out and show that I could really play out here, and I think I did that today.”


SHARE OF TOP AMATEUR: Reigning U.S. college champion Scott Langley and Russell Henley shared the distinction of top amateur at the U.S. Open. Each finished 8-over 292 and in a share of 16th.

They combined for the best finish by amateurs since Spencer Levin tied for 14th in 2003. Langley and Henley are among eight other amateurs to finish in the top 20 since 1970.

He slapped hands with several supporters along the ropes between the 16th green and 17th tee. Henley acknowledged as many of the people as he could along the way, with smiles, waves, tips of his visor.

Approaching the 18th green to a roaring standing ovation, he pulled out his best one yet: He waved his visor, put his hand to his ear and raised both arms up signaling for more.

This guy could ham it up and still play great golf.

 “It’s not very often you get to play in the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. It was awesome,” Henley said. “You can’t take anything like this for granted. … I tried to have a ball out there.”

Henley stood at the 18th tee looking out at Carmel Bay when his caddie and big brother, Adam, put his arm around the golfer. Talk about a special moment for these two boys from Macon, Ga.

“It’s such a famous hole and the culmination of this whole week has just been magical,” said Adam, who at 32 is 11 years older. “What we kept talking about today is what a beautiful course it is and how everybody is cheering for him.”

All week, Adam told his brother to enjoy the experience. Their parents were there waiting at the end.

Tom Watson played behind Henley and offered “nice play” congratulations at the scorer’s trailer afterward.

“You, too,” Henley said.

While Henley was somewhat surprised how many fans knew who he was – “I guess they read the pairings sheet” – many more might be watching for him now.

“I’m just some kid from Macon,” he said.

“I think they know his name now,” Adam said.


MASTERS LOVE: Davis Love III gets to go back to the Masters, the place he loves the most.

Love and Gregory Havret secured their spots in the 2011 Masters by finishing in the top eight in the U.S. Open and will be joined there by Brandt Snedeker.

They also locked up a spot in the field for the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md.

The USGA changed the rules for the 2010 Open so that just the top-10 finishers, and ties, are exempt for next year’s championship – instead of the top 15 finishers.


LOCAL BOY: A beaming Erick Justesen pulled off his white hat after putting out on 18 and emphatically waved it to a cheering crowd.

“Way to go Erick!” several people yelled.

He took off his glove, signed that and gave it away, then he signed some more.

Justesen was a regular caddie at Pebble Beach from 2003-05. Now, he’s a pro who just played his first U.S. Open in the picturesque place he used to work.

“It’s unreal,” Justesen said. “I hit dozens of bad shots, and you just look around and you care a little less about the bad shots and a little more about the situation you’re in. It’s pretty surreal.”

Just because he’s spent countless hours on this challenging oceanside course didn’t mean he had much of an advantage this week.

“I played solid today. Man, I still feel like I could have done better,” said Justesen, a 25-year-old from Sacramento. “It was a different course this week. A lot had changed. The faster the greens get, there are so many angulations out here the more the greens change. They were putting pins in spots you never see them. It was a different golf course.”

Some of his former college golf teammates from nearby Cal State University-Stanislaus cheered him as he finished and were there to greet him after he went through the scoring trailer. He saw people he knew from Sacramento all over the course, too.

“It was a great opportunity to be among these guys and play against them, to carry over some confidence and really be like, ‘Hey, I can do this.’ I feel like a local boy. It’s pretty nice. That was my favorite part of the week, just all the people and people cheering you on. I dig that stuff. That’s fun.” 


GOING IT ALONE: Pablo Martin made his way around Pebble Beach early Sunday morning in a tidy 2 hours, 39 minutes – one of the advantage of playing alone.

With an odd number of players making the cut, one lone golfer was sent off by himself each of the final two mornings. Ty Tryon did it Saturday.

Like Tryon, Martin declined the option of having a “marker” play with him, choosing the faster route as part of his 8-over 79 that left the Spaniard 29 over for the tournament. He walked off the green at 18 to chants of “Pablo, Pablo,” following a double-bogey on the closing hole.

“Me and my caddie, it was a nice walk, checking the course. Pretty cool. It’s so nice over here in Pebble Beach. I’m happy we can get to play for free,” Martin said. “The best memory I’m going to have of this week? It’s the first time to play Pebble Beach. It was a fun week even though I played crap. Sometimes, it goes that way and sometimes, it goes the other way.”


PRIZE PURSE: The $7.5 million purse is the same for the third straight year, with the winner taking home $1.35 million. The amount for the champion hasn’t increased for the third year in a row, the first time that has happened since 1968-71.

Sunday’s runner-up was set to receive $810,000, while third place earns $480,687.


DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Former PGA champ Shaun Micheel had quite the back-to-back on his front nine Sunday. Micheel was in a three-way tie for the lead after the opening round before falling out of contention with forgettable rounds of 77 and 75.

He’ll certainly remember his final day.

Micheel made a rare double-eagle at the par-5 sixth hole, draining his second shot from the fairway on the uphill 523-yard hole. Those two shots he gained disappeared just as quickly, as Micheel made a double-bogey on the 92-yard 7th.

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McIlroy battles back into tie for BMW PGA lead

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 26, 2018, 4:09 pm

Rory McIlroy got off to a rocky start on Saturday in the third round of the BMW PGA Championship, including hitting a spectator and making a double bogey. But after that incident on the sixth hole, he didn't drop another shot, birdieing the final hole to shoot a 1-under 71 and tie for the lead.

McIlroy had gone into Moving Day with a three-shot lead, but Francesco Molinari had the round of the day, a 6-under 66. "It was nice keep a clean scorecard," said Molinari, who hasn't made a bogey since the 10th hole on Friday.


Full-field scores from the BMW PGA Championship


McIlroy and Molinari will be paired in Sunday's final round. They are tied at 13 under par, four shots clear of Ross Fisher, Branden Grace, Sam Horsfield and Alexander Noren.

The Wentworth course ends with back-to-back par-5s, and McIlroy birdied both of them. He got a break on the 18th hole as his drive hit a spectator and bounced into light rough.

"It was a struggle out there today," McIlroy said. "I think when you're working on a few things in your swing and the wind is up and you're stuck between trying to play different shots, but also try to play - you know, make good swings at it, I just hit some loose tee balls on the first few holes. But I'm proud of myself. I stayed patient. I actually - I'm feeling a bit better about myself after today than I was even walking off the course yesterday."

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Watch: McIlroy hits spectator on hand

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 26, 2018, 2:58 pm

We never cease to wonder at how close fans crowd in to the intended line of some shots, and just how skilled Tour players are in not hitting someone.

But every once in a while, golf ball and spectator intersect, with painful results. It happened to Rory McIlroy during the third round of the BMW PGA Championship, after he had hit a wayward drive on the sixth hole. Attempting to hack out his second shot from under a bush, McIlroy struck a female spectator on her right hand. There was no official word on her condition, but she was clearly - and understandably - in pain.

McIlroy went on to make double bogey but was able to put the incident behind him, as he promptly birdied the next hole.

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Hataoka leads Minjee Lee by one at LPGA Volvik

By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 12:54 am

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – After losing in a playoff last weekend, Nasa Hataoka is making another bid for her first LPGA Tour victory.

Hataoka shot a 4-under 68 on Friday, and the Japanese teenager led by one stroke over Minjee Lee after the second round of the Volvik Championship. Hataoka, who is coming off the first two top-10 finishes of her LPGA career, made seven birdies at Travis Pointe Country Club. She began her round on No. 10, and her best stretch came toward the end, when she birdied Nos. 4, 5 and 6.

''I'm really comfortable playing the LPGA,'' the 19-year-old Hataoka said through a translator. ''I've really got confidence now.''

Hataoka made the cut nine times in 17 starts as a rookie in 2017, and she has made significant strides of late. She tied for seventh at last month's MEDIHEAL Championship and nearly won a week ago at the Kingsmill Championship in Virginia.

Hataoka finished the second round in Michigan at 9 under. Lee (69) was also solid Friday. Gaby Lopez (68), Jodi Ewart Shadoff (70) and Lindy Duncan (70) were a stroke behind Lee in a tie for third.

Hataoka did not make a single bogey in last week's three-round tournament, and she didn't have any in the first round in Michigan. She finally made a few Friday, but that didn't stop her from taking sole possession of the lead.

''I kind of feel like not really perfect, but I just kind of try to (be) aggressive,'' she said.


Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


Lee, who lost by one stroke on this course last year, is in contention again.

''I guess the fairways are pretty generous and I think the greens are a little bit on the trickier side to read,'' Lee said. ''As long as your iron shots are pretty solid, I think you're going to be in good position around this golf course.''

Lee birdied the first two holes, and the only blemish on her scorecard Friday came on the par-5 14th. After missing the fairway to the right, she hit an aggressive shot out of the rough that went straight toward a water hazard well in front of the green. She settled for a bogey after taking a drop.

''I thought the ball was sitting OK in the rough, but it must have been a bit funny, or underneath it,'' she said. ''I made a mistake. I thought it was good enough to hit 3-wood there.''

Lee lost last year in Michigan to Shanshan Feng, but Feng will have some ground to make up in her attempt to repeat. She shot 69 on Friday but is still eight strokes behind the leader.

Ariya Jutanugarn was 6 under after a second consecutive 69.

Lopez made only six pars in the second round, tied for the fewest of the day, but her eight birdies and four bogeys put her near the top of the leaderboard.

''It was a little bit of an up and down,'' she said. ''There's so many opportunities out here to make birdie, that the most important thing to do is just to be patient, to be in the moment and not to get ahead of yourself. I think I came back from a couple mistakes that I did.''

In contrast to Lopez, Brittany Lincicome parred all 18 holes Friday and made the cut at 1 under. Paula Creamer (71) triple bogeyed the par-4 13th. She followed that with an eagle on the very next hole but missed the cut by a stroke.

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Childhood rivals share Sr. PGA lead

By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 12:00 am

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. – Kevin Sutherland and Scott McCarron have been rivals since their junior golf days around Sacramento, California. The two old friends were back at it Friday at the top of the Senior PGA Championship leaderboard.

''It's honestly, nothing new for us,'' said Sutherland who played in the third-to-last group and birdied his last two holes for a 5-under 66 to match McCarron at 8 under.

McCarron had a 68 in the morning wave to emerge from a championship record group of six tied for the first-round lead.

Sutherland was last year's Charles Schwab Cup winner with his only senior win coming in the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship, while McCarron has six PGA Tour Champions wins, including a major at the 2017 Senior Players Championship.

''We are both (Northern California) guys, played in high school, junior golf, on tour and it seems like a lot on the Champions Tour,'' Sutherland said. ''We were in the last group on Sundays a lot last year. Scott played so well and had an incredible year, and I had a great year, too.''

Sutherland's lone PGA Tour victory came at McCarron's expense in 2002 at La Costa in the Accenture Match Play Championship, when he beat McCarron 1 up in the 36-hole final. As youngsters they played on opposing high school teams located about an hour apart and met often in state tournaments as well as on the California junior circuit.

''It's been happening for 30 years, wait 35 years now, I guess,'' Sutherland said. ''Playing together on a Saturday is a little different. We're both still trying to get in position to win.''

Jerry Kelly shot a 65 to join Tim Petrovic (69), Chris Williams (68) and Joe Durant (67) at 7 under. Durant tied for second last week in the Regions Tradition, also a major championship.


Full-field scores from the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship


McCarron feels like he is just starting to warm to the task this year. He had to replace his clubs, including a favored putter damaged beyond repair in air transit two months ago.

''I've been putting with a back-up putter I had, but it just didn't feel quite right,'' he said. ''I changed last Sunday at the Regions Tradition and started putting better on Sunday. So I'm using this one again this week and seem to be putting pretty good with it.''

McCarron said the Harbor Shores course played a little tougher in light winds in the second round. He made six birdies and three bogeys.

''I would just like to have a couple of those bogeys back,'' he said. ''But we're in a good position going into the weekend.''

McCarron came to the press center after his round and walked in on a press conference where course-designer Jack and Barbara Nicklaus were being honored by sponsoring KitchenAid with the establishment of a local college scholarship program in their name.

McCarron, who said he has idolized Nicklaus since his youth, played media and asked Nicklaus what he ate when he was near the lead going into the weekend of a major championship.

Nicklaus said if you play well one day, eat the same thing the next day.

''But no hamburgers, or you will play like hamburger,'' he said.

Stuart Smith, the Reno, Neveda, club pro who was tied for the lead after the first round, missed the 36-hole cut with a second-round 83.

''I'll take the 66, 83 and enjoy the 66 yesterday,'' he said. ''You put this one down to just plain old golf. It's a nasty game we play sometimes. Glad I have a day job.''