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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Davies headlines field at Senior LPGA at French Lick

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 14, 2018, 10:40 pm

Laura Davies will be looking to win her second senior major championship this year when she tees it up in Monday’s start of the Senior LPGA Championship at French Lick Resort in Indiana.

Davies, who won the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open in July, will join a field that includes fellow World Golf Hall of Famer Jan Stephenson, who was announced last week with Peggy Kirk Bell as the Hall’s newest members. Hall of Famers Juli Inkster and Hollis Stacy are also in the 54-hole event.

Trish Johnson is back to defend her title after winning the inaugural Senior LPGA Championship a year ago. Brandi Burton, Jane Geddes, Helen Alfredsson and Liselotte Neumann are also in the field of 81 players who will compete for a $600,000 purse, with $90,000 going to the winner.

Golf Channel will televise all three rounds live from 4-6 p.m. ET on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

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Langer (65) wins regular-season finale by six

By Associated PressOctober 14, 2018, 10:07 pm

CARY, N.C. – Bernhard Langer ran away with the SAS Championship on Sunday to take the points lead into the PGA Tour Champions' Charles Schwab Cup playoffs

Langer shot a bogey-free 7-under 65 for a six-stroke victory in the regular-season finale.

''I just played very solid all day long,'' Langer said. ''Putted well, hit the ball where I was looking and did everything exceptionally well.''

The 61-year-old German star has 38 victories on the 50-and-over tour, also winning this year near Houston. He has a record four victories after turning 60.

''I don't have anything to prove, but I still have golf,'' Langer said. ''I still want to improve my own game. I still want to play to the best Bernhard Langer can play. I don't think I need to prove anything, but I love competing, I love winning or being in the hunt. As long as I can do that, I think you're going to see me out here.''

Langer finished with a tournament-record 22-under 194 total at Prestonwood Country Club, the tree-lined layout softened by heavy rain Thursday from Hurricane Michael. He opened with a 62 on Friday to match Gene Sauers and Tom Lehman for the lead, and had a 67 on Saturday to remain atop the leaderboard with Sauers.


Full-field scores from the SAS Championship


''The 10 under was amazing,'' Langer said. ''I couldn't believe there were two other guys who shot 10 under.''

The four-time Charles Schwab Cup winner also won at Prestonwood in 2012.

''It's always fun to go back to where you've won before because you feel like you know how to play the course and you're somewhat comfortable and that's certainly the case here,'' Langer said. ''I've been probably 50, 70 times now around this golf course and I know how to play every hole.''

Scott Parel was second, closing with a double bogey for a 65.

''Bernhard is just in his own world this week,'' Parel said.

Jerry Kelly had a 68 to finish third at 15 under, and Lehman followed at 13 under after a 71.

Sauers shot a 75 to tie for fifth with Miguel Angel Jimenez (68) at 12 under.

The top 72 players in the Schwab Cup standings qualified for the playoffs, the three-event series that begins next week with the Dominion Energy Charity Classic in Richmond, Va. Dan Forsman tied for 56th to jump from 74th to 72nd, edging John Huston for the final spot by $932. Huston tied for 46th.

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Pepperell captures British Masters, eyes Augusta

By Associated PressOctober 14, 2018, 5:29 pm

WALTON HEATH, England -- Eddie Pepperell won his second European Tour title with a two-shot victory at the British Masters on Sunday and likely secured the even bigger prize of a place in next year's Masters at Augusta National.

The Englishman shot an even-par 72 and held off his playing partner, Sweden's Alexander Bjork (71), as the pair went to the 72nd hole at a wet and windy Walton Heath with Pepperell just a stroke in front.

Pepperell finished on 9-under 279.

Herbert Lucas (69) and Jordan Smith (73) were tied for third, another two shots behind Bjork.

English pair Sam Horsfield (69) and Tom Lewis (70) along with American Julian Suri (74) tied for fifth, one shot in front of tournament host Justin Rose (70).

The victory takes Pepperell into the world's top 35 and almost certainly secures a first appearance at Augusta in 2019. The top 50 at the end of the year are guaranteed a place in the first major of the year in April.

Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood (72) finished 2 under in a seven-way tie for ninth.


Full-field scores from the British Masters


A top-two finish on Sunday would have seen Rose reach the top of the world rankings for the second time this season, the 38-year-old having spent two weeks as No. 1 in September

Pepperell was ranked outside the top 500 as recently as May last year, but won the Qatar Masters in February and followed a runner-up finish in the Scottish Open with a tie for sixth in the British Open seven days later, carding a closing 67 at Carnoustie despite saying he had a hangover.

His three-shot overnight lead was down to a single stroke on Sunday when Bjork covered the front nine in 34 and Pepperell three-putted the ninth, the same hole where he enjoyed a spectacular hole-in-one on Thursday.

However, the 27-year-old Pepperell promptly holed his second shot to the 10th from 122 yards for an eagle to move three clear and a par save from off the green on the 14th looked to have sealed the win.

There was still time for some late drama, though, as Pepperell dropped shots on Nos. 15 and 16 to see his lead cut to a single shot, but Bjork bogeyed the 18th after driving into the heather and Pepperell saved par from a greenside bunker.

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Disappointed Sharma fades to T-10 at CIMB

By Will GrayOctober 14, 2018, 1:46 pm

For the second time this year, India's Shubankhar Sharma watched an opportunity for a breakthrough win turn into a learning experience.

Sharma burst onto the scene in March, taking a two-shot lead into the final round of the WGC-Mexico Championship only to fade to a tie for ninth. It was a similar story Sunday at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia, where Sharma started the final round in a three-way tie for the lead but struggled to an even-par 72 that dropped him into a tie for 10th.

"Disappointing, not really happy with the way I finished," Sharma told reporters.


Full-field scores from CIMB Classic

CIMB Classic: Articles, photos and videos


The 22-year-old was 1 over for his first six holes, but he battled back with four straight birdies on Nos. 7-10 to get within three shots of eventual winner Marc Leishman. But his tee shot at the par-3 11th found the water, leading to the first of three straight bogeys that ended any hopes of victory.

"That was probably one of the worst swings of the day," Sharma said. "That 11th hole I think killed the momentum for me. A par there would have gone a long way, and I probably could have made more birdies after that."

Sharma remained optimistic this spring following his final-round fade in Mexico, and he retained a positive mindset despite a rough afternoon as he eyes upcoming starts at both the CJ Cup in South Korea and the WGC-HSBC Champions in China.

"Great experience. Very, very good to have two top-10s on the PGA Tour, so that's a good way of looking at it," he said. "Also, it pushes me to keep playing well. I feel like I have it in me to win out there on the PGA Tour, and I've given myself two opportunities. Game is in a decent place now."