Karlsson shares early clubhouse lead - COPIED - COPIED

By Associated PressAugust 7, 2008, 4:00 pm
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2008 US Open 81x90BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. ' With two-time defending champion Tiger Woods at home recuperating from knee surgery, everyone expected a wide-open PGA Championship at Oakland Hills.
The early returns certainly bore that out.
Jim Furyk, Sean OHair, Jeev Milkha Singh, Anthony Kim and Robert Karlsson were among those who had the lead or a share of it Thursday morning, with prominent names such as Sergio Garcia, Anthony Kim, Steve Stricker and Phil Mickelson not far behind.
Robert Karlsson
Robert Karlsson has his sights set on a fourth consecutive top-10 finish in a major. (Getty Images)
Among the early finishers, Singh and Karlsson shared the lead in the clubhouse at 2-under 68. OHair was still on the course at 2 under.
Garcias 69 had him a shot behind the co-leaders, while Mickelson recovered from a shaky start ' teeing off at No. 10 he bogeyed his first two holes ' and was at 1 under through 16 holes.
American Ken Duke joined Garcia in the clubhouse at 1 under.
Karlsson, the 6-foot-5 Swede who is the only player to finish in the top 10 of the years first three majors, stole most of the early thunder by following an opening double-bogey with three straight birdies to eventually get to 4 under that had him in front by two strokes. But two bogeys on the back nine dropped him into a tie with first Furyk, the 2003 U.S. Open winner, then OHair and finally Singh.
The greens are way firmer, way firmer. They were a lot more difficult today, Karlsson said of the treacherous putting surfaces at the Donald Ross-designed layout in suburban Detroit. Theres not going to be many scores under par. This is a tough golf course, but its set up perfect.
Singh, the son of an Olympic runner and the first native of India to gain a European Tour card, is playing in just his second PGA Championship. He missed the cut a year ago at Southern Hills.
Singh, no relation to three-time major champion Vijay Singh, was playing on an injured ankle.
I havent been able to practice in the last seven weeks, he said. Even this week, I only played nine holes on Tuesday and nine yesterday.
OHair, playing in only his fourth PGA Championship, was never over par. He birdied two early holes and matched a bogey at No. 7 with a birdie on the 11th hole to get to 2 under through 15 holes.
Kim and Furyk both climbed into a tie for the lead, only to fall back with late bogeys. Furyk bogeyed his final three holes to finish at 1 over. Kim got to 2 under but closed with two bogeys and had a 70.
Five of the top eight players on the leaderboard at one point were from the U.S.
Stricker was 1 over late in his round after birdieing two of his first four holes.
Karlsson tied for eighth at the Masters after a final-round 73, then tied for fourth at the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines and tied for seventh at the British Open at Royal Birkdale.
Like many in the 156-player field, Karlsson has a lot riding on this weekend ' even beyond the chance of winning his first major.
He currently stands fifth on the European Ryder Cup points list, but several strong contenders to make the squad are right behind him: Garcia, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose and Graeme McDowell. All are jostling for one of the 10 automatic berths on the European team captained by Nick Faldo.
Ranked No. 22 in the world, Karlsson has never finished higher than a tie for 29th in his previous six PGA Championship starts.
OHair must finish strong to make the U.S. side for the Ryder Cup. He comes into the seasons last major 13th in the rankings, with only the top eight come Sunday night assured of spots on the team. Captain Paul Azinger will pick four more players next month to round out the team for the competition at Valhalla in September.
No. 8 Stricker is followed by Woody Austin, Hunter Mahan, D.J. Trahan and Rocco Mediate, although anyone near the top could cement a spot on the team with a win in the PGA, which is worth double points in the rankings.
Sunny skies and moderate temperatures greeted those first off the tee in the seasons final major championship, with the wind picking up as those with an afternoon tee time began their rounds.
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    Next up for Koepka: Buddies and a bachelor party

    By Will GrayJune 24, 2018, 7:46 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – Coming off a successful title defense at the U.S. Open, Brooks Koepka arrived at the Travelers Championship in need of a nap. It appears he won’t be getting one anytime soon.

    Koepka normally wakes up by 6 a.m. without using an alarm, but without much down time since his victory at Shinnecock Hills he slept in until 8:20 a.m. Sunday morning, prior to his 10:40 a.m. tee time. Any impact to his pre-round routine appeared negligible, as Koepka fired a 5-under 65 that included seven birdies over his first 13 holes.

    “I felt like today was kind of the first day I got everything back,” Koepka said. “I was definitely running behind, but it was nice to catch up on some sleep.”

    Koepka became the first U.S. Open winner to play the week after since Justin Rose in 2013, and he finished the Travelers at 9 under with four straight sub-par rounds. While he’s got some free time in the coming days, it won’t exactly be restful.

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    “We’ve got 11 guys that I’m pretty close with, so I’m looking forward to hanging out with them in Boston for a few days and then [getting] back down to West Palm for a night, and then we’re off to my best friend’s bachelor party,” Koepka said. “I was really hoping to get some rest, but I don’t know how much that will happen.”

    Last year, Koepka took a month off following his U.S. Open win at Erin Hills, only touched a club once, and still finished T-6 at The Open at Royal Birkdale. While this will be his final competitive start before Carnoustie, he expects to make a strong run toward a third major title next month in Scotland.

    “I’m shutting it down for a while. I don’t feel like I need to play,” Koepka said. “I feel like my game’s in a good spot, played really well this week. Just some stupid mistakes and mental errors. That’s all it was, lack of focus and low energy. To be honest with you, I’m not surprised. I did play well though, I putted well, and I’m somewhat pleased.”

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    Spieth ends busy stretch without top-10 finish

    By Will GrayJune 24, 2018, 7:39 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – There were no final-round heroics this time around for Jordan Spieth at the Travelers Championship.

    After taking the title last year with perhaps the most memorable shot of the year, Spieth appeared poised to make a robust defense of his title after an opening-round 63 gave him a share of the lead. But that proved to be as good as it would get, as he played the next three rounds in a combined 3 over to drop outside the top 40 on the final leaderboard.

    It marked the end of a pedestrian run of six events in seven weeks for Spieth, during which his best finish was a tie for 21st at the AT&T Byron Nelson.

    “A lot of cut-line golf, which is somewhat unusual historically for me, fortunately,” Spieth said after closing with a 1-under 69. “Kind of a grind, but I made actually a lot of progress where I needed to within the last few weeks.”

    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Spieth has struggled to get on track on the greens this year, but he has started to turn a corner in recent weeks, specifically during a missed cut at the Memorial Tournament, and he picked up more than three shots on the field this week in strokes gained: putting.

    “My putting’s right on point where it needs to be. It’s getting better every single week,” Spieth said. “It’s the best it’s been in a couple years.”

    Unfortunately for Spieth, a slight uptick in putting has coincided with some regression from his normally reliable ball-striking. Of the 74 players who made the cut at TPC River Highlands, he ranked 61st in strokes gained: tee-to-green.

    “I’ve just got to kind of get my alignment back in order on the full swing. It’s tough when you swing and you think you hit a good shot, and you look up and the ball’s, it could be 15 yards right or 15 yards left, and it’s all because of alignment,” Spieth said. “It’s literally the same thing I went through with the putting. I’ve just got to find a way to get it back on track with the full swing.”

    Having concluded a busy stretch, Spieth noted that he now has “a few weeks off.” But still in search of his first quality chance to contend heading into a final round this year, he didn’t rule out the notion of adding a start before defending his title at Carnoustie next month.

    Spieth is not in the field for next week’s Quicken Loans National, but he won the John Deere Classic in both 2013 and 2015, which will be played the week before The Open.

    “As far as leading into The Open, we’ll see,” Spieth said. “Last year I went in after three weeks off and it didn’t hurt me. So I believe I can get the work in whether I’m playing or not, to get the repetitions.”

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    Chamblee comments on Choi's unique step-through swing

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 24, 2018, 3:55 pm

    The golf world found itself enamored with a largely unknown journeyman this weekend.

    Ho-sung Choi went from 554th in the world to No. 1 in the hearts of all those who swing the golf club just a little bit differently thanks to his run at the Korean Open.

    The 44-year-old with the exaggerated step through impact found himself two off the pace through 54 holes and in contention for one of two available invitations to this year's Open Championship at Carnoustie.

    Choi fell out of the hunt for tournament title and the Open exemption with a final-round 74, but nonetheless left an impression with his tie for fifth.

    Asked about Choi's swing Saturday night, Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee offered the following:

    "If Chi Chi Rodriguez and Gary Player had a golf school, what would their first professional golfer swing like? Voila," Chamblee said.

    "Both those legends had walk through finishes, but Ho Sung has taken this move to a new level with a borderline pirouette to keep from hanging back.

    "In an era when professional golfers get accused of having golf swings that all look alike, I’ve never seen anyone swing quite like Ho Sung Choi.

    "I can’t wait to try this on the range tomorrow."

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    Wallace holds off charges to win BMW International

    By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 3:43 pm

    PULHEIM, Germany - England's Matt Wallace shot a 7-under 65 to hold off a record-breaking charge from Thorbjorn Olesen and win the BMW International Open on Sunday.

    Wallace finished on 10-under 278 - just ahead of Olesen, Mikko Korhonen and 2008 winner Martin Kaymer, whose chances took a blow with a bogey on the 17th hole.

    ''I want to keep building on this,'' Wallace said after his third European Tour win. ''Obviously this gives me a lot of confidence to go on and play well and I want to kick on and hopefully do this in the bigger events from now on.''

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    Olesen had played himself into contention with the lowest round in tournament history, with nine birdies and an eagle for an 11-under 61. It was the lowest round of his European Tour career and it gave the Dane a three-shot lead before the final group had even teed off.

    ''I was just trying today to go out there and build on my game, see if I could shoot a low score,'' Olesen said. ''Obviously as the round progressed I kept on thinking birdies and trying to make the round better. Finishing with four birdies was pretty nice.''

    Wallace turned in 34 but then made five birdies in seven holes from the turn to edge a shot past Olesen. He waited as Kaymer and Korhonen went close with rounds of 68 and 67, respectively.

    England's Aaron Rai and Denmark's Lucas Bjerregaard finished joint-fifth with rounds of 69.