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Kelly earns second win in four weeks

By Associated PressSeptember 18, 2017, 1:29 am

VICTORIA, British Columbia - Jerry Kelly avoided the late trouble that derailed Lee Janzen and David McKenzie to win the Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship on Sunday for his second PGA Tour Champions victory in four weeks.

Kelly closed with a 3-under 68 in chilly, rainy conditions for a one-stroke victory over Janzen on Bear Mountain's Mountain Course. The three-time PGA Tour winner won the Boeing Classic outside Seattle last month for his first senior title.

''You always want that validation after you win the first one,'' Kelly said. ''And to get it so soon, again, very surprised, but I'm just going to keep working hard.''

Janzen also shot 68, but dropped three late strokes to give away the lead. After making three birdies in a row, he bogeyed the par-4 15th and made a double bogey on the par-4 17th. On 17, the two-time U.S. Open champion drove into a bush, chipped back to the fairway and three-putted after his ball ran to the back of the green.

''Where that pin was, it's so difficult to get it near the hole and I just made a huge error by hitting on the wrong line,'' Janzen said. ''Unfortunately, I just didn't know any better. ... It would have saved myself one shot, maybe two, and that's the difference.''

The 50-year-old Kelly rebounded from a bogey on the par-5 13th with a birdie on the 15th - making the putt after being stung by a bee - and finished with three straight pars.

''It was really thinking your way around and I made a couple good saves and a couple good birdies at the end,'' Kelly said. ''It was more of a survival day.''

Kelly finished at 14-under 199. He began the round a stroke behind leaders McKenzie and Jerry Smith.

''The funny thing is I switched irons and won in Seattle and played well the week after in Calgary, and it's just continued on here,'' Kelly said. ''Some of those changes, things click and next thing you know you're playing with confidence and get some wins.''

Janzen missed a chance for his second senior title after winning eight times on the PGA Tour.

''When I look back at a tournament, I'm more concerned with my mental preparation and execution and where I went wrong,'' Janzen said. ''My psyche's not damaged over that. Stupid things happen on the golf course all the time. It's not the first time I've hit a bad shot with a chance to win a tournament, so I'm not worried. I'm getting to go to Pebble Beach, one of my favorite places in the world, and I'm really encouraged because my game stunk a week ago.''

McKenzie, the Australian trying to become the first qualifier to win since 2012, dropped back with double bogeys on the par-3 14th and the 17th. He birdied the par-5 18th for a 71 that left him tied for third at 12 under with Tommy Armour III (67).

Charles Schwab Cup points leader Bernhard Langer (68) and Esteban Toledo (67) followed at 11 under.

Smith had a 75 to finish six strokes back.

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Tiger Tracker: 42nd Ryder Cup

By Tiger TrackerSeptember 25, 2018, 1:15 pm

Fresh off his 80th PGA Tour victory at the Tour Championship, Tiger Woods is competing in his first Ryder Cup since 2012. We're tracking him.


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Euros wearing yellow ribbons to honor slain golfer

By Will GraySeptember 25, 2018, 12:51 pm

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – European Ryder Cup team members will wear yellow ribbons this week to honor Celia Barquin Arozamena, who was murdered last week while playing golf.

Arozamena went to school at Iowa State, but she was a native of Spain and won the European Amateur Championship in July. She was attacked and killed Sept. 17 while playing a round by herself at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames, Iowa.

European captain Thomas Bjorn wore one of the ribbons while addressing media Tuesday at Le Golf National, and he explained that the decision to honor Arozamena came out of a discussion between Ryder Cup Europe and her mother.


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“The golfing family extends beyond what we are trying to do this week,” Bjorn said. “It’s nothing about us, but it’s just more about that the golfing family gets touched by these things all over the world. It’s terrible when things like this happen.”

Arozamena considered Ryder Cup stalwart and fellow Spaniard Sergio Garcia one of her idols growing up, and the two met when she was a child. Garcia sent condolences out via social media last week, saying he was “heartbroken” over her death.

“Such a great prospect for the game of golf she was, but also a wonderful person,” Bjorn said. “When you speak to Sergio and [Spaniard] Jon [Rahm] about it, they couldn’t talk highly enough about her. We felt like that was appropriate for the week.”

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Spieth, Reed in different groups during Tuesday practice

By Rex HoggardSeptember 25, 2018, 12:38 pm

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – Tuesday’s U.S. groupings at the Ryder Cup may give a glimpse into what potential pairings we will see this week at Le Golf National.

In the day’s first foursome, Tiger Woods, Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson and Patrick Reed played together. The second group included Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas; and the anchor group was Bubba Watson, Tony Finau, Brooks Koepka and Webb Simpson.

Whether those groups will make up captain Jim Furyk’s version of the team’s pods, however, remains to be seen. Given that half of his team has never played Le Golf National, Furyk said he tried to match players on Tuesday with those who had some experience on the course.


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“Today is really about trying to learn the golf course and hit some solid golf shots,” Furyk said. “There may be some pairings out there and there's some groups there isn't. Just want them concentrating on their own game right now. They are very aware of who they will be playing with this week and they are very aware of some of the options they have.”

Given the success of previous pairings and some relatively obvious choices, it seems there are some likely options for the U.S. Woods and DeChambeau have become regular practice-round partners and at the Tour Championship they experimented with the other player’s golf balls on Tuesday.

It also seems likely that Spieth-Thomas and Fowler-Johnson will be paired in some form this week.

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Le Golf National nothing like wide open Hazeltine

By Will GraySeptember 25, 2018, 12:00 pm

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – The layout at Le Golf National has a distinctly European feel, and captain Thomas Bjorn hopes to keep it that way at the Ryder Cup.

Gone are the wide fairways and short rough of Hazeltine, where the Americans bombed and gouged their way to their first team victory in nearly a decade. This week players will encounter one of the tightest and most demanding tracks on the European Tour, where water lurks around nearly every corner.

“Well this is a tough golf course, to start with,” Bjorn said Tuesday. “I like the idea of a golf course that’s set up like a championship golf course. You’ve got to identify guys that are hitting the golf ball well. Identify guys that are playing good golf that week.”


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Unlike the other recent Ryder Cup host venues on this side of the Atlantic, Le Golf National is somewhat of a known entity in that it annually hosts the European Tour’s French Open. It’s a tournament that Ryder Cup rookies Tommy Fleetwood and Alex Noren have won each of the last two years, while teammates Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia both cracked the top 10 in June.

That should give the Europeans an advantage when it comes to familiarity, and Bjorn’s plans for course setup included a desire to ensure the experience factor for his players would still be relevant this week amid larger-than-normal grandstands.

“There’s guys on this team that have played a lot of French Opens. I don’t want them to show up and it’s a completely different golf course to what they are used to,” Bjorn said. “This is very similar to what it is normally.”

Despite the similarities in setup, there will still be plenty of adjustments for the American squad. Justin Thomas was the only U.S. player to make the trek for this year’s French Open, and captain Jim Furyk admitted that only six of his 12 players had seen the course at all prior to this week.

“We’re just trying to figure it out,” Furyk said. “Europe knows this golf course well. They have played the French Open here. We’re trying to figure out the setup and what they have in store for the week.”