Johnsons closing 64 secures Colonial title

By Associated PressMay 31, 2010, 3:26 am

FORT WORTH, Texas – Zach Johnson now has a plaid jacket to go along with his green one, after an extended wait before slipping on his prize at the Colonial.

Johnson won at Hogan’s Alley with a tournament record 21-under 259, sealing his victory with a pair of birdies in the short span of play in between two late weather delays Sunday.

When Johnson drained a 14-foot birdie putt at the 17th hole to take a two-stroke lead over Brian Davis, he had a wide smile on his face and emphatically pumped his fist. But the real celebration had to wait.

Zach Johnson
Zach Johnson now has three PGA Tour wins in Texas. (Getty Images)
“As far as momentum and a big putt, that was a big one,” said Johnson, the 2007 Masters champion. “I didn’t have a number in my head, but I figure if you get to 21, you have got a pretty good chance.”

Johnson’s closing 6-under 64 left him three strokes ahead of Davis, who had a closing 68.

“Zach won the tournament, I didn’t lose it,” Davis said. “It was a weird feeling walking up 18 knowing you can’t win.”

When the horn sounded to suspend play the first time, Johnson was approaching his tee shot at No. 15 that had landed in the right rough short of a bunker. After that delay, he hit his approach onto the green and made the putt to get back to 20 under.

By time play was stopped again 31 minutes later, before he teed off at 18 for a closing par, Johnson was ready for the plaid jacket.

“Quite frankly, the biggest one, I thought, was probably on 15,” he said. “It calmed me down.”

The delays were because of threatening weather. Light rain fell despite sunny skies after the second delay lasted 46 minutes, a minute shorter than the first one.

Jeff Overton and Ben Crane both shot 67 to finish tied for third at 17 under. Scott Verplank (65) and Bryce Molder (70), who led after the second and third rounds, were another shot back.

Davis was again contending for his first PGA Tour victory, six weeks after the 35-year-old Englishman called a two-stroke penalty on himself on the first hole of a playoff at Hilton Head.

At Colonial, Davis was 19 under with a two-stroke lead after a 5 1/2 -foot putt at the seventh hole. But that was his last birdie of the day. A 9-footer at No. 17 slid just past the cup, then he finished with a bogey.

It is the seventh PGA Tour victory for Johnson and first since winning in San Antonio last May. His best finish through 12 tournaments this season had been a tie for 12th at the Sony Open in Hawaii the second week of the season.

Along with the plaid jacket, Johnson got a $1.116 million check.

“Going into the back nine, my mindframe was I don’t care if I win this, I don’t care if I lose it, I’m content with whatever happens,” he said. “I’m going to go out fighting, I’m going to go out aggressive.”

Johnson’s clinching shot at the 381-yard 17th was his fifth birdie on the back nine, though he gave back one of those with his only bogey over his last 2 1/2 rounds.

Three of those birdies came on putts of at least 22 feet in a four-hole stretch. He took the lead for good when he drained the longest of the three, a 25-footer at the 427-yard 15th hole soon after the initial weather delay.

Kenny Perry was 19 under in both of his Colonial victories, in 2003 and 2005. The next-lowest score before this week was 17 under by a trio of players last year when Steve Stricker won on the second playoff hole.

The Colonial score was the lowest on the PGA Tour for a four-round tournament since Geoff Ogilvy won the season-opening SBS Championship in Hawaii at 22-under 270.

At Hilton Head in April, Davis made a birdie on the 72nd hole to get into a playoff with Jim Furyk. Davis ticked a loose reed in a hazard during a backswing in the playoff and immediately called over a rules official to point out something that might have otherwise gone unnoticed. A television replay confirmed the violation.

Davis tied for 57th at New Orleans and missed the cut his last three tournaments before getting to Colonial.

“If you would have said at the start of the week after three missed cuts you are going to finish second, you would be delighted,” he said. “Obviously, I had a chance today, I couldn’t quite get over the hump.”

Molder led alone halfway through the tournament and shared the lead with Davis at the start of the final round, but his final birdie Sunday came on the 10th hole, the same as Saturday, when he finished with eight consecutive pars instead of being able to lower his score.

This time, he had bogeys at Nos. 16 and 17.

“You certainly learn,” said the four-time All-American from Georgia Tech who is still looking for his first PGA Tour victory nine years after turning pro. “This is the closest I’ve been to winning. … Zach put the pedal down and he really kept going. That’s what you have to be able to do.”

DIVOTS: Johnson and Phil Mickelson are the only players who have PGA Tour wins in each of the last four seasons (2007-10). … Mickelson missed the cut at Colonial at 4 over when he could have been the No. 1 player in the world with a victory. … Ian Poulter, the No. 6 player in the world, shot 76 Sunday in the first group off. His 7-over total was the worst among the 76 players who made the cut. … Stricker finished at 8 under, tied for 38th, in his first event after a six-week hiatus because of a chest injury.

 

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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."