High Winds Create 6-way Logjam at St Jude

By Associated PressJune 6, 2008, 4:00 pm
Stanford St. Jude ChampionshipMEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Everyone at the TPC Southwind wanted a nice warmup for the U.S. Open. They got as good a simulation as possible Friday thanks to gusting wind and firm greens that made par an attractive score.
 
Tommy Armour III double-bogeyed No. 18 and fell into a six-way tie atop the leaderboard after two rounds at the Stanford St. Jude Championship on a day where only 13 players were under par. It was the most players tied for lead at the halfway point on the PGA Tour since a six-way tie last year at the Shell Houston Open.
 
Armour finished with a 71. He was tied with Gavin Coles, whose 64 was the low round through the first two days, Dean Wilson (68), Jason Dufner (68), Michael Bradley (68) and Marc Turnesa (69) at 3-under 137'the highest 36-hole total on the PGA TOUR since Angel Cabrera at the Open last year when he was at even par-140.
 
Thirty-six holes left, I make bogeys and doubles. Its the way it happens, Armour said.
 
Coles credited patience for his six-birdie, bogey-free round in an event where the cut came at 5 over.
 
Its pretty slow out there really. So you can sort of back off and have another look and sort of take a bit of time, sort of wait for the gusts to go by, he said. It was difficult, but you now I think if you putted well today you would have had a pretty decent score. When I did get in trouble, my putter sort of got me out of it a little.
 
Vijay Singh started the day in third, two strokes back of the lead at 3 under. He finished with a 71 and was tied for seventh with Alex Cejka (69), Michael Letzig (68) and Davis Love III (70) at 138.
 
Im glad to get in under par, Love said.
 
So even though the TPC at Southwind never will be mistaken for what they will face at the U.S. Open, Singh called it a good test for those tuning up for Torrey Pines with the gusting winds making club selection difficult.
 
It gets you in the game, keeps you very focused. You can lose your focus out there. Once you do that, youre going to shoot a number, Singh said.
 
Armour started the day a stroke off the lead. He missed a chance to keep the lead to himself on the par-4 18th when he hit his tee shot into the lake that runs along the fairway and fronts the green. He missed a 16-foot putt to salvage bogey that would have given him a one-shot lead, but he wasnt worried with 36 holes left.
 
You got to hit good shots, quality shots, and (I) hit a lot of them today and I played as good as I did yesterday. So looking forward to tomorrow, Armour said.
 
Boo Weekley was the first-round leader, and his one-stroke margin held up until midway through the afternoon before he fell apart.
 
He was tied with Armour at 5 under, then had a three-way tie with Wilson at 4 under before Weekleys lone birdie put him back atop the leaderboard at 5 under. Then Weekley made the turn onto the front nine where he carded three bogeys and a double bogey to finish with a 75 for a 140 total.
 
Bradley is working his way back into form on a major medical exemption after breaking his right ankle playing softball last year and in only his fourth event of the year.
 
Its imperative you drive it in the fairway this week due to the wind conditions and the firmness of the greens. It allows you to control the flight and the spin of the ball. If you hit it out of the rough, you cant control either. Thats one thing Ive done pretty good this week is driven the ball in play, Bradley said.
 
The biggest problems came after balls had been hit.
 
Theres a ton of water on some holes, said Jason Dufner, who was at 137 after a 68. You know you just catch a gust, and its almost like you feel helpless sometimes.
 
Bob Estes, who won here in 2001, had a 65 that was the days best round and finished in a three-way tie for 11th at 139. He started in the morning but said the wind was really howling.
 
It was hard to even step up to the shot and hit it, it was blowing so hard, Estes said. Im thinking in particular about the second shot at No. 5. Were playing dead into the south wind and just ripped a 4-iron. I was trying to carry the ball maybe 185 yards. I normally hit a 4-iron 205.
 
Divots
 
David Toms, a two-time champ here, extended his streak of cuts at this event to 13 straight. John Daly, who started the day 2 over, broke his putter and wound up using a wedge for a bit before getting a replacement as he made the turn. It didnt help as he finished with an 81 and missed the cut at 13 over. Carlos Franco and Brent Geiberger each withdrew before the second round. Franco was sick, while Geiberger was injured. Both had opened with 77s Thursday. Lucas Wald was disqualified after carding an 85 Friday.
 
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    Chamblee: Like Tiger in '13, Mickelson should've DQ'd self

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 19, 2018, 2:46 pm

    Two days after Brooks Koepka left Long Island with the U.S. Open trophy, the third-round antics of Phil Mickelson are still garnering plenty of discussion.

    Mickelson became a lightning rod of opinion after he intentionally hit a moving ball on the 13th green Saturday at Shinnecock Hills, incurring a two-shot penalty but not a disqualification. In the aftermath, he explained that he made a conscious choice to take the penalty to avoid playing back and forth across the crispy putting surface, and he tied for 48th after a final-round 66.

    Speaking Tuesday on "Morning Drive," Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee shared his view that Mickelson would have been well-served to disqualify himself ahead of the final round. He also compared it to Tiger Woods' incident at the 2013 Masters, when he took an incorrect drop and, like Mickelson, received a two-shot penalty but not a disqualification.



    "I think Tiger, at least it's my opinion that his year would have been less distracting if he had done so," Chamblee said. "And I think the same of Phil Mickelson. If he had withdrawn from the championship and said, 'Look. This is a little sketchy. It didn't play out the way I thought. I've given it some thought and it's in the best interest of the championship that I withdraw.'"

    Chamblee added that Mickelson's antics were "really distracting" on a day filled with drama as the USGA lost control of course conditions, noting that Mickelson and playing partner Andrew "Beef" Johnston were the only tee time where both players failed to break 80 despite the difficult conditions.

    But having had time to review the situation and having surveyed a number of peers, Chamblee is as convinced as ever that Mickelson made a mistake by showing up for his final-round tee time.

    "What Phil did, I haven't run into a single person that hasn't said he deserved to be disqualified," Chamblee said. "Under any interpretation, a serious breach - if gaining an advantage is not a serious breach, I don't know what is. And he clearly said he was gaining an advantage and doing it for strategic reasons."

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    Norman to pose in ESPN's 'Body Issue'

    By Grill Room TeamJune 19, 2018, 2:05 pm

    Professional golfers have, from time to time, appeared in ESPN's "Body Issue," which features athletes strategically posed in the nude. The list includes: Belen Mozo, Carly Booth, Gary Player, Camilo Villegas, Sandra Gal, Christina Kim, Anna Grzebien, Suzann Pettersen and Sadena Parks.

    And now, Greg Norman.

    Modesty has never been an issue for Norman, who has an affinity for posing without a shirt (and sometimes without pants) on his Instagram account.

    He joins a list of athletes, in this year's edition, ranging from professional wrestlers (Charlotte Flair) to Olympians (Adam Rippon) to WNBA stars (Sue Bird). Click here for a full list of the athletes to appear.

     

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    DJ listed as betting favorite for The Open

    By Will GrayJune 19, 2018, 2:00 pm

    With the U.S. Open officially in the books, oddsmakers quickly turned their attention to the season's third major.

    Minutes after Brooks Koepka holed the winning putt to successfully defend his title at Shinnecock Hills, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook published its first set of odds for The Open. Jordan Spieth, who opened at 14/1, will defend his title as the tournament shifts to Carnoustie in Scotland for the first time since 2007, when Padraig Harrington defeated Sergio Garcia in a playoff.

    Joining Spieth at 14/1 is 2014 Open champion Rory McIlroy, but they're both listed behind world No. 1 Dustin Johnson. Johnson, who was a runner-up at the 2011 Open at Royal St. George's and just finished third at the U.S. Open, opened as a 12/1 betting favorite. Koepka, now a two-time major winner, is listed at 20/1 alongside U.S. Open runner-up Tommy Fleetwood.

    Here's a look at the first edition of odds, with The Open just five weeks away:

    12/1: Dustin Johnson

    14/1: Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy

    16/1: Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas

    20/1: Brooks Koepka, Tommy Fleetwood, Jon Rahm

    25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

    30/1: Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed, Hideki Matsuyama

    40/1: Phil Mickelson, Branden Grace, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Marc Leishman

    50/1: Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, Tyrrell Hatton

    60/1: Matt Kuchar, Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau, Ian Poulter, Francesco Molinari, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Matthew Fitzpatrick

    80/1: Tony Finau, Zach Johnson, Thomas Pieters, Daniel Berger, Xander Schauffele, Bubba Watson, Shane Lowry

    100/1: Charl Schwartzel, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker

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    Golf Channel, Loch Lomond Partner on Claret Jug Tour Ahead of 147TH Open

    By Golf Channel Public RelationsJune 18, 2018, 9:35 pm

    Award-Winning Independent Scotcb Whisky Sponsoring Tour to Select U.S. Cities; Will Include Special Tastings and Opportunities for Fans to Engage with Golf’s Most Storied Trophy

    Golf Channel and Loch Lomond Group are partnering on a promotional tour with the Claret Jug – golf’s most iconic trophy, first awarded in 1873 to the winner of The Open – to select U.S. cities in advance of the 147TH Open at Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland. Loch Lomond Whisky’s sponsorship of the tour further enhances the brand’s existing five-year partnership with the R&A as the official spirit of The Open, initially announced in February.

    “We are proud to partner with Golf Channel to support this tour of golf’s most iconic trophy,” said Colin Matthews, CEO of Loch Lomond Group. “Whisky and golf are two of Scotland’s greatest gifts to the world, and following the news of our recent partnership with the R&A for The Open, being a part of the Claret Jug tour was a perfect fit for Loch Lomond Group to further showcase our commitment to the game.”

    “The Loch Lomond Group could not be a more natural fit to sponsor the Claret Jug tour,” said Tom Knapp, senior vice president of golf sponsorship, NBC Sports Group. “Much like the storied history that accompanies the Claret Jug, Loch Lomond’s Scottish roots trace back centuries ago, and their aspirations to align with golf’s most celebrated traditions will resonate with a broad range of consumers in addition to golf fans and whisky enthusiasts.”

    The tour kicks off today in Austin, Texas, and will culminate on Wednesday, July 11 at the American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe one week prior to The Open. Those wishing to engage with the Claret Jug will have an opportunity at one of several tour stops being staged at Topgolf locations in select cities. The tour will feature a custom, authentic Scottish pub where consumers (of age) can sample Loch Lomond’s portfolio of whiskies in the spirit of golf’s original championship and the Claret Jug. The Claret Jug also will make special pop-up visits to select GolfNow course partners located within some of the designated tour markets.

    (All Times Local)

    Monday, June 18                    Austin, Texas              (Topgolf, 5:30-8:30 p.m.)

    Tuesday, June 19                    Houston                      (Topgolf, 5-8 p.m.)

    Wednesday, June 20               Jacksonville, Fla.        (Topgolf, 6-9 p.m.)

    Monday, June 25                    Orlando, Fla.               (Topgolf, 6-9 p.m.)

    Wednesday, July 4                 Washington D.C.        (Topgolf, 5:30-8:30 p.m. – Ashburn, Va.)

    Monday, July 9                       Edison, N.J.                (Topgolf, Time TBA)

    Wednesday, July 11               Lake Tahoe, Nev.       American Century Championship (On Course)

    Fans interacting with the Claret Jug and Loch Lomond during the course of the tour are encouraged to share their experience using the hashtag, #ClaretJug on social media, and tag @TheOpen and @LochLomondMalts on Twitter and Instagram.

    NBC Sports Group is the exclusive U.S. television home of the 147TH Open from Carnoustie, with nearly 50 live hours of tournament coverage, Thursday-Sunday, July 19-22. The Claret Jug is presented each July to the winner of The Open, with the winner also being given the title of “Champion Golfer of the Year” until the following year’s event is staged. The Claret Jug is one of the most storied trophies in all of sports; first presented to the 1873 winner of The Open, Tom Kidd. Each year, the winner’s name is engraved on to the trophy, forever etched into the history of golf’s original championship. It is customary for the Champion Golfer of the Year to drink a favorite alcoholic beverage from the Claret Jug in celebration of the victory.