Kuchar Johnson return from Ryder Cup to join Fall Series

By Associated PressOctober 7, 2010, 1:05 am
McGladrey ClassicST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – After being on the losing side at the Ryder Cup, Matt Kuchar and Zach Johnson returned from Wales this week wanting more out of the match-play event.

They’ll have to settle for a strong start to the PGA Tour Fall Series.

Kuchar and Johnson are the only two U.S. Ryder Cup players in the field for this week’s McGladrey Classic at the Sea Island Club’s Seaside Course. The two relative newcomers in the Ryder Cup went 3-2-2 for the U.S., which lost by one point to Europe at Celtic Manor.

The two are playing this week mainly because they are residents of St. Simons Island.

Rain pushed the singles matches in the Ryder Cup to Monday, so Kuchar and Johnson didn’t arrive home until Tuesday night. The two were on the course Wednesday to play in the McGladrey pro-am, and were candid about their experiences in one of the most dramatic Ryder Cup finishes ever, the first since 1991 that came down to the final singles match.

“I knew it was a big stage,” said Kuchar, a Ryder Cup rookie. “I knew there would be tons of people. I had no idea the intensity and the passion that came with the Ryder Cup.”

Johnson, who was playing in his second Ryder Cup, won the 11th of the 12 singles matches against Padraig Harrington to give Hunter Mahan and the U.S. a fighting chance.

Mahan eventually lost to Graeme McDowell on the 17th hole.

“It was great sport,” Johnson said. “We hung in there and fought hard and came up a half-point short (of tying and retaining the Ryder Cup). Unfortunately for us, the Europeans played just a little bit better.”

Also in the McGladrey field is tournament host and nearby resident Davis Love III, who has played in six Ryder Cups and was one of four assistant captains to Corey Pavin in Wales. Love is considered the favorite to be the U.S. captain at Medinah, near Chicago, in 2012.

“I definitely want to be a captain, if they (PGA of America) talk to me about it,” Love said. “I’ll be excited about it. I’d love to do it.”

Based on past practices, the PGA of America will pick the 2012 captain sometime this fall, possibly coinciding with its annual meeting in Boston during the first week of November.

Despite the loss, Johnson, Kuchar and Love were grateful to have been a part of the week.

“The drama coming down and the way it unfolded and seeing the board change so much during the day was unbelievable,” Johnson said. “It was blue (for Europe), and then it was kind of red (for the U.S.), and really blue, then really, really red. We hung in there and fought hard.”

Kuchar said making his first Ryder Cup team in Europe whetted his desire to make another team to play at Medinah in 2012.

“I really enjoyed playing overseas for my first one,” said the Tour’s current leading money-winner and the runner-up to Ryder Cup teammate Jim Furyk for the FedEx Cup. “All the chants and singing songs that they do was really a lot of fun. The first tee, every day, even if it was pouring rain … the fans were really into it.”

Love said watching Kuchar, Johnson and the other U.S. players left him torn with wanting to qualify for the team on his own and being the next captain.

He said the conflicting emotions were even stronger when mingling with past European Ryder Cup players like Darren Clarke, Jose Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia.

“We all talked about how much we want to play again and not on the sidelines,” Love said. “Standing beside the players as they play makes us want to work hard and play again.”

Love said he would have to work on his motivational speeches if he were to be named captain.

“Watching Bubba (Watson) and Hunter and several guys tearing up and getting emotional every night, I’m worried about the speeches,” he said. “I’m good at crying when something’s special. I think it would be hard for me to handle the standing up in front of people part.”


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Rose (64) peaking just ahead of the U.S. Open

By Nick MentaMay 25, 2018, 8:40 pm

A former U.S. Open champion appears to be finding his form just three weeks ahead of the year's second major.

Justin Rose ascended to the top of the leaderboard Friday at the Fort Worth Invitational, with rounds of 66-64 pushing him to 10 under par for the week.

Through 36 at Colonial, Rose has marked 12 birdies against just two bogeys.

"Yeah, I did a lot of good things today," Rose said. "I think, you know, the end of my round got a little scrappy, but until the last three holes it was pretty flawless. I think I hit every fairway pretty much and obviously every green to that point. ...

"Yeah, the way I played through, I guess through my first 15 holes today, was about as good as I've played in a long time."


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Rose won in back-to-back weeks last fall, stunning Dustin Johnson at the WGC-HSBC Championship and riding that victory right into another at the Turkish Airlines Open.

Now the 2013 U.S. Open winner at Merion feels himself once again rounding into form ahead of this year's Open at Shinnecock. A final-round 66 at The Players gave Rose something to focus on in his recent practice sessions with swing coach Sean Foley, as the two work to shore up the timing of Rose's transition into the downswing.

As for his decision to tee it up at Colonial for the first time since 2010, "It was more the run of form really," Rose explained. "I feel like if I didn't play here it was going to be a little spotty going into the U.S. Open. I felt like I wanted to play enough golf where I would have a good read on my game going into Shinnecock.

"So rather than the venue it was more the timing, but it's obviously it's just such a bonus to be on a great layout like this."

For whatever reason, Rose does tend to play his best golf at iconic venues, having won PGA Tour events at Muirfield Village, Aronimink, Cog Hill, Doral, Merion and Congressional.

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Koepka (63): Two wrist dislocations in two months

By Nick MentaMay 25, 2018, 8:19 pm

Brook Koepka's journey back from a wrist injury that kept him out four months hasn't been totally smooth sailing, even if his play has suggested otherwise.

Koepka on Friday fired a 7-under 63 to move up the leaderboard into a tie for third, three shots behind leader Justin Rose through the end of the morning wave at the Fort Worth Invitational.

After a slow start Thursday saw him play his first 13 holes 3 over, Koepka is 10 under with 11 birdies in his last 23 holes at Colonial.

"It doesn't matter to me. I could care less. I'm still going to try as hard as I can," Koepka said. "I don't care how many over or how many under I am. Still going to fight through it."


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Just like he's been fighting his wrist the last two months or so. Koepka reinjured his wrist the Wednesday of The Players when he was practicing on the range and had to halt mid-swing after a golf cart drove in front of him. He nonetheless managed to finish T-11.

And that's not the only issue he's had with that wrist during his return.

"We had a bone pop out of place. I didn't tell anybody, but, yeah, they popped it back in," Koepka admitted Friday. "Luckily enough we kind of popped it back into place right away so it wasn't stiff and I didn't have too, too many problems.

"Yeah. I mean, I've dislocated my wrist twice in the last two months. You know, different spots, but, I mean, it's fun. I'll be all right."

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Twitter spat turns into fundraising opportunity

By Rex HoggardMay 25, 2018, 6:30 pm

Country music star Jake Owen, along with Brandt Snedeker, has turned a spat on Twitter into a fundraising campaign that will support Snedeker’s foundation.

On Thursday, Owen was criticized during the opening round of the Web.com Tour’s Nashville Golf Open, which benefits the Snedeker Foundation, for his poor play after opening with an 86.

In response, Snedeker and country singer Chris Young pledged $5,000 for every birdie that Owen makes on Friday in a campaign called NGO Birdies for Kids

Although Owen, who is playing the event on a sponsor exemption, doesn’t tee off for Round 2 in Nashville until 2 p.m. (CT), the campaign has already generated interest, with NBC Sports/Golf Channel analyst Peter Jacobsen along with Web.com Tour player Zac Blair both pledging $100 for every birdie Owen makes.

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Noren so impressed by Rory: 'I'm about to quit golf'

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 5:33 pm

Alex Noren won the BMW PGA Championship last year, one of his nine career European Tour victories.

He opened his title defense at Wentworth Club in 68-69 and is tied for fourth through two rounds. Unfortunately, he's five back of leader Rory McIlroy. And after playing the first two days alongside McIlroy, Noren, currently ranked 19th in the world, doesn't seem to like his chances of back-to-back wins.

McIlroy opened in 67 and then shot a bogey-free 65 in second round, which included pars on the pair of par-5 finishing holes. Noren walked away left in awe.

"That's the best round I've ever seen," Noren said. "I'm about to quit golf, I think."

Check out the full interview below: