Johnson Leads Ryder Cup Charge

By Associated PressAugust 12, 2006, 4:00 pm
2005 The INTERNATIONALCASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- Zach Johnson kept his head up and waited for things to get better, as he knew they would.
 
Even though he missed four makable birdie putts and bogeyed one of the five holes he had to play at dawn Saturday to complete his rain-delayed second round, Johnson had an inkling this was going to be his day at the International.
 
Sure enough, he birdied five holes and eagled another for a 15-point third round and the 54-hole lead at golf's most novel event, one which features two cuts and uses the modified Stableford scoring system.
 
'I had a makable birdie put on 5, 6, 7 and 8 and then I actually made a good bogey on 9,' Johnson said. 'It was unfortunate, I hit one in the water on 9, but at the same time, I made a pretty good save.'
 
And the optimistic 30-year-old player went to the clubhouse at Castle Pines feeling good about his game instead of lamenting his lost opportunities.
 
That positive attitude paid off for Johnson, whose 27 points heading into Sunday are one more than Steve Flesch and two more than Stewart Cink and Ian Leggatt. Tom Lehman is three points behind in fifth place.
 
But this isn't like stroke play. Big changes are the norm at the International, the only stop on the PGA Tour that uses the special scoring system that awards five points for eagles, two for birdies, nothing for pars and deducts one for bogeys and three for double-bogeys or worse.
 
So, mathematically, just about all of the 33 remaining golfers have a shot at the $990,000 winner's check.
 
'The point system kind of keeps it real going into the last day,' said Flesch, who has yet to eagle and is kicking himself for not playing more aggressively before Round 3 on the lush 7,619-yard layout.
 
Johnson, 30, who won the 2004 BellSouth Classic in his first year on the tour, was among half the field of 140 golfers who had to return to Castle Pines at dawn to complete the second round. Play was delayed more than 3 1/2 hours by a thunderstorm Friday afternoon that dumped more than a half inch of rain on the majestic mountain course.
 
Finishing on the front nine, Johnson's putter failed him for four holes before he teed off into the water, providing no hint to anybody but himself of what was to come.
 
When the top 70 golfers who made the first cut teed off again for Round 3, Johnson holed out from 96 yards from the fairway for an eagle on the first hole.
 
'Making that eagle was huge. It brings confidence, it brings momentum,' said Johnson, who birdied four of his last five holes. 'You jump a lot of people and that's the beauty of this format.'
 
Just before he eagled, a bee landed on Johnson's ball, forcing a bit of a delay.
 
'You can't touch your golf ball but you can kind of (shoo) the bee off,' he said. 'And eventually it moved. It was probably a wasp or a hornet or something, I don't know. It was big. I didn't want to kill it.'
 
Just as critical as that sensational start was Johnson's fantastic finish in the morning when he sank a 12-footer for a bogey save on No. 9.
 
'A horrible third shot and a horrible fourth shot. So, making that putt, I mean that's a two-point putt,' Johnson said. 'And any time you've got a two-point putt, I don't care what it's for, it's huge.'
 
Johnson is ninth in the Ryder Cup standings, and his solid season excites Lehman, captain of the U.S. team that will go to Ireland next month to try to bring home the cup for the first time since 1999.
 
'Zach has played very well all year. He's been very steady. He's had some good tournaments and the thing I like is that his bad tournaments have been not too bad,' Lehman said. 'If he plays poorly, he's 30th or 25th, and that's a very comforting thought when you're going into an international competition ... when you know that your player's bad golf is still pretty good.'
 
Lehman, however, shied away from questions about what he'd do if he played himself onto the Ryder Cup team.
 
'If I were to win tomorrow and I'd make the team,' Lehman said, pausing, 'I don't know what I'd do.'
 
Divots:
2001 champion Tom Pernice Jr. took the 36-hole lead with 19 points but didn't add any in the third round, when he had five bogeys and a double-bogey. ... Phil Mickelson missed the 36-hole cut by one point. ... Saturday's play was interrupted by a 15-main rain delay. More rains are expected Sunday.
 
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    Watch: Na punctuates caddie tiff with hole-out

    Microphones captured a fascinating and testy exchange between Kevin Na and his caddie, Kenny Harms, on Na's final hole, No. 9.

    Na was in the right rough, 185 yards from the green, which was guarded by water. He vacillated between a hybrid and an iron, but with either club he would have to hit "a 40-yard cut," as Harms termed it.

    "Over the green's dead," Harms warned.

    "It's not gonna go over the green, Kenny," Na replied.

    Na finally settled on an iron and said to Harms, "As long as you're OK with this club."

    "I'm not," harms replied. "I'm not OK with either one of them."

    "I'm going with this," Na ended the discussion.

    He missed the green with his approach shot, but avoided the water. After taking a free drop away from some TV cables, he had 92 feet 3 inches to the cup and of course, holed the pitch shot for a birdie-3, a 62 and a one-shot lead at the end of the first round.

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    Na (62) leads Hoffman by one at Colonial

    By Nick MentaMay 24, 2018, 10:38 pm

    Kevin Na leads the Fort Worth Invitational by one over Charley Hoffman following a first-round 8-under 62. Here's where things stand through 18 holes at Colonial.

    Leaderboard: Na (-8), Hoffman (-7), Emiliano Grillo (-6), Jhonattan Vegas (-6), Andrew Putnam (-6), Beau Hossler (-6)

    What it means: The veteran Na is in search of just his second PGA Tour victory in 367 events played. The 34-year-old's lone victory came at the 2011 Shriners to go along with nine runner-ups, the most recent of which was a tie for second at this year's Genesis Open. Na missed three straight cuts in April but has rallied back with a weekend stay at The Players and a T-6 at last week's Byron Nelson. Ranked 75th in the world, he is not currently qualified for the U.S. Open or the Open Championship. 

    Round of the day: Na turned in a clean card Thursday with six birdies and an eagle at the par-5 first, his 10th hole of the day. He closed with a chip-in birdie at No. 9 following a friendly disagreement with his caddie (more on that below). 

    Best of the rest: Hoffman was likewise bogey-free, drawing seven circles. The four-time Tour winner and typically steady performer has yet to register a top-10 finish this season.

    Biggest disappointment: Not that a round of 1 under is tragically disappointing, but Jordan Spieth has a pretty solid history of going low at this event and contending for the title. He's seven back through Round 1.

    Shot of the day: Satoshi Kodaira recorded the second albatross in tournament history when he holed a 3-iron from 234 yards at the first.

    Honorable mention: Na got into a pretty good back-and-forth with his caddie about whether to lay up or try to clear the water from the right rough at No. 9. Na went for it, avoided hazard, and holed this chip for birdie. 

    Quote of the day: "I told you." - Na, after his chip-in

    Golf Channel's NCAA Golf Coverage Continues Mon-Wed., May 28-30 With the NCAA Men's Golf Championships

    By Golf Channel Public RelationsMay 24, 2018, 10:24 pm

    Two National Championships to be Decided Over a Three-Day Span – Individual (Mon., May 28) and Team (Wed., May 30)

     Eight of the Top-10 Ranked Programs in the Country Set to Compete; Reigning NCAA Men’s National Champions Oklahoma and Current Top-Ranked Oklahoma State Paired Together Starting Friday

     Buick and Stifel Co-Presenting Sponsors of Golf Channel’s Coverage of the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships

    ORLANDO, Fla., May 24, 2018 – Coming on the heels of Wednesday’s dramatic championship match where Arizona defeated Alabama in a playoff to claim their third women’s golf team national championship, Golf Channel returns to Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla. next week for the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf National Championships. Taking place Monday-Wednesday, May 28-30, Golf Channel’s coverage will feature nearly 30 hours of live tournament and on-site wraparound news coverage, showcasing the top men’s college golf programs in the country.

    NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage: Coverage begins on Monday, May 28 to crown the individual national champion and to track the teams attempting to qualify for the eight-team match play championship. Golf Channel’s coverage on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 29-30 will include all three rounds of the team match play, ultimately crowning a team national champion.

    In addition, Golf Central will surround live tournament action with pre-and post-event news coverage produced on-site at Karsten Creek Golf Club, as well as daily news updates on Morning Drive and online via Golf Channel Digital. News and tournament coverage also will be live streamed on Golf Channel Digital. College Central, Golf Channel’s online home for college golf, will provide comprehensive editorial coverage throughout the championships.

    Golf Channel NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage (all times ET)

    Monday, May   28

    Individual   National Championship

    4-8 p.m.   (Live)

    Tuesday, May   29

    Quarterfinals,   Team Match Play

    11   a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)

    Tuesday,   May 29

    Semifinals,   Team Match Play

    4-8 p.m.   (Live)

    Wednesday, May   30

    Team Match   Play National Championship

    4-8 p.m.   (Live)

    Stifel and Buick Sign on as Co-Presenting Sponsors for Golf Channel’s NCAA Golf Championships Tournament Coverage: New for 2018, Stifel Financial Corp. and Buick have signed on as co-presenting sponsors for Golf Channel’s tournament coverage of the 2018 NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships. In addition, Stifel has extended its partnership with the Fred Haskins Commission, Golf Channel and Golfweek as presenting sponsor of the Fred Haskins Award, given annually to nation’s outstanding male collegiate golfer.Golf Channel will announce the Fred Haskins Award presented by Stifel following the conclusion of the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships, on a live edition of Golf Central, Wednesday, June 6 at 6 p.m. ET. The show will include profiles on the top candidates for the award and a live interview with the winner, who also will receive an exemption to compete in the 2018 Greenbrier Classic on the PGA TOUR. The Haskins Award honors the nation’s most outstanding male Division I collegiate golfer as selected by his peers, coaches and the golf media.

    Semifinal Teams in Match Play to Receive Invitations to Compete in East Lake Cup: The East Lake Cup, taking place in late October at historic East Lake Golf Club, will feature the top-performing teams from the 2018 NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships. Invitations for the field have been extended to Arizona, Alabama, Southern California and Stanford – semifinalists in the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships, and also will be extended to the semifinalists in the Men’s Championships. Modeled after the NCAA Golf Championships, the format for the East Lake Cup consists of an opening round of stroke play to crown an individual male and female champion and determine seeding for the following two days of match play competition. Golf Channel will air live coverage of the East Lake Cup Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 29-31.

    College Central – Golf Channel Digital Coverage: Golf Channel will provide comprehensive coverage via College Central,Golf Channel Digital’s home for college golf. Led by Jay Coffin, and Ryan Lavner, College Central will be the source for all things college golf, including tournament results and scores, features and columns, video highlights and breaking news.

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    Country singer Owen shoots 86 in Web.com debut

    By Will GrayMay 24, 2018, 7:51 pm

    Country music star Jake Owen struggled in his Web.com Tour debut, shooting a 14-over 86 in the opening round of the Nashville Golf Open.

    Owen, who played as a 1 handicap earlier this year while teaming with Jordan Spieth at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, put three balls out of bounds over his first nine holes, including two en route to a quadruple-bogey 9 on the par-5 18th hole. After making the turn in 46, Owen came home in 40 without making a single birdie.

    Owen is playing as an amateur on an unrestricted sponsor exemption, the same type used by NBA superstar Steph Curry on the Web.com Tour last year and by former NFL quarterback Tony Romo this year on the PGA Tour. Curry missed the cut after rounds of 74-74 at the Ellie Mae Classic, while Romo shot 77-82 at the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship.


    Full-field scores from the Nashville Golf Open


    Owen tallied nine pars, six bogeys, two doubles and a quad in his opener and was the only player from the morning wave who failed to break 80. The closest player to him in the standings was two-time major champ Angel Cabrera, who opened with a 79.

    While Owen struggled against a field full of professionals, he took the setback in stride and even took to Twitter in the middle of his round to fire back at some of his online critics: