Kuchar stumbles coming in; 4 tied at Humana

By Associated PressJanuary 25, 2015, 12:40 am

LA QUINTA, Calif. - Matt Kuchar's ball crashed into the rocks at the foot of the Santa Rosa Mountains and shot sideways into the All-American Canal.

More rocks and water gobbled up another ball - and with it, his third-round lead on Saturday in the Humana Challenge.

"It's too bad, but it's what happened," Kuchar said. "I still got one more day left to try to make some birdies and still pull this thing out."

Two strokes ahead after a birdie on the par-5 14th, Kuchar bogeyed three of the final four holes for a 1-under 71 on PGA West's Arnold Palmer Private Course. That left him a shot behind two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton, Bill Haas, Justin Thomas and Michael Putnam.

The highest-ranked player in the field at No. 11, Kuchar lost a shot on the par-3 15th when he drove to the right, sent his second to the back edge and missed a 14-footer.

"Just nearly an impossible up-and-down if you miss the green right," Kuchar said.


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He bogeyed the par-3 17th after his tee shot went right, bounced off the mountain rocks and raced across the green into the canal.

"With a pitching wedge, you're looking to hit a good shot," Kuchar said. "Unfortunately, I let it hang too much and it caught a rock and went in the water."

The seven-time tour winner closed with another rocky bogey, ending his birdie-eagle string on the par 5s. On the first 12 pars 5 of the week, he had an eagle and 11 birdies.

On 18, his 235-yard approach sailed long and left into the rocks and water. After his ball rolled away on a penalty drop, he placed it deep in the dormant grass, blasted out to 8 feet and two-putted.

"I hit a great drive and was in between a 3- and 4-hybrid," Kuchar said. "I went with a 3-hybrid, trying to get it back to the hole and hit a solid shot that just didn't fade."

Compton shot a 67 on the Jack Nicklaus Private Course to join Haas, Thomas and Putnam at 17-under 199. Haas, the 2010 winner, had a 69 on the Nicklaus layout. Thomas shot 68 on the Palmer course, and Putnam had a 69 at La Quinta Country Club.

Compton birdied three of his last five holes in breezy, warm conditions.

"I had a couple shots that were loose on the drives, but I salvaged the round," Compton said. "Tomorrow's a new day."

On the final day of the pro-am competition, Compton played in a group with amputee Chad Pfeifer and Baltimore Orioles pitcher Bud Norris. Pfeifer lost his left leg in Iraq.

"On the third hole, he said, `Hey, listen, you know, you really inspired me learning about your story,'" Compton said. "And I'm kind of speechless, because I see him with a huge adversity that he's gone through and it speaks volumes."

Haas is making his first start since November. He took the long break to rest his left wrist, injured when he fell down stairs at Hilton Head.

"So far, something to build on, but I also know in the back of my head I don't think I'm a hundred percent," Haas said. "So, I'll go on the range and work on it. I just got to stay in the moment and try not to hit too many foul balls tomorrow."

Thomas birdied two of the last three holes. The 21-year-old former Alabama player hit a 91-yard shot to a foot for birdie on the par- 4 16th and two-putted for birdie on the 18.

"I'm pleased where I'm at going into tomorrow," Thomas said.

Ryan Palmer, Scott Pinckney and Steve Wheatcroft were a stroke back along with Kuchar.

Palmer followed his 61 on Friday on the Nicklaus course with a 68 on the Palmer layout. Wheatcroft had a 68 on the Nicklaus course, and Pinckney shot 69 in the Palmer.

Defending champion Patrick Reed, paired with Kuchar, was tied for ninth at 14 under after a 67. He's coming off a playoff victory two weeks ago in Hawaii in the Tournament of Champions.

Phil Mickelson was 11 under in his first start since the Ryder Cup in September. He had eight birdies and four bogeys in a 68 on the Palmer course.

"It was a day that could have been really low," Mickelson said. "It had a lot of potential and I ended up making too many bogeys and letting some birdie opportunities slide."

The 44-year-old Mickelson won the event in 2002 and 2004.

DIVOTS: Former President Bill Clinton was on the Palmer course, greeting players as they crossed the bridge between the 17th green and 18th tee. The Clinton Foundation is a tournament partner. ... Blake Adams missed the cut by four strokes in his return from hip replacement surgery. A shot out of the lead after an opening 64 on the Nicklaus course, he had a 79 on Friday at La Quinta and a 69 on Saturday on the Palmer course.

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M. Jutanugarn eyeing first win with L.A. Open lead

By Associated PressApril 21, 2018, 1:50 am

LOS ANGELES - Moriya Jutanugarn took the lead into the weekend at the Hugel-JTBC L.A. Open in her latest bid to join younger sister Ariya as an LPGA winner.

Moriya Jutanugarn shot a bogey-free 5-under 66 on Friday at Wilshire Country Club to get to 8-under 134 in the LPGA Tour's first event in Los Angeles since 2005. The 23-year-old from Thailand started fast with birdies on the par-5 second, par-4 third and par-3 fourth and added two more on the par-4 11th and par-5 13th.

Ariya Jutanugarn has seven LPGA victories.

Marina Alex was second after a 68.


Full-field scores from the Hugel-JTBC Open


So Yeon Ryu was 6 under after a 69, and fellow South Korean players Inbee Park(71) and Eun-Hee Ji (69). Park was the first-round leader at 66. Lexi Thompsonwas 3 under after a 71.

Top-ranked Shanshan Feng followed her opening 74 with a 67 to get to 1 under.

Ariya Jutanugarn (71) was even par, and Michelle Wie (70) was 1 over. Brooke Henderson, the Canadian star who won last week in Hawaii, had a 79 to miss the cut.

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Garcia tosses driver, misses Valero cut

By Will GrayApril 21, 2018, 1:00 am

It wasn't quite to the level of his watery meltdown earlier this month at the Masters, but Sergio Garcia still got frustrated during the second round of the Valero Texas Open - and his driver paid the price.

Garcia had a hand in redesigning the AT&T Oaks Course along with Greg Norman several years ago, but this marked his first return to TPC San Antonio since 2010. After an opening-round 74, Garcia arrived to the tee of the short par-4 fifth hole and decided to get aggressive with driver in hand.

When his shot sailed well left, a heated Garcia chucked the club deep into the bushes that lined the tee box:

It took considerable effort for Garcia to find and retrieve the club amid the branches, and once he did things only got worse. He appeared to shank a chip once he got up to his ball, leading to a bogey on one of the easiest holes on a demanding track.

Garcia closed out his round with four straight pars, and at 2 over he eventually missed the cut by a shot. It marks the first time he has missed consecutive cuts on the PGA Tour since 2003, when he sat out the weekend at the AT&T Byron Nelson, Fort Worth Invitational and Memorial Tournament in successive weeks.

Garcia entered the week ranked No. 10 in the world, and he was the only top-20 player among the 156-man field. He missed the cut at the Masters in defense of his title after carding an octuple-bogey 13 on the 15th hole during the opening round.

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Johnson, Moore co-lead Valero Texas Open through 36

By Associated PressApril 21, 2018, 1:00 am

SAN ANTONIO - Zach Johnson was going nowhere in the Valero Texas Open when it all changed with one putt.

He made an 8-foot par putt on the 13th hole of the opening round to stay at 2 under. He followed with a big drive, a hybrid into 12 feet and an eagle. Johnson was on his way, and he kept right on going Friday to a 7-under 65 and a share of the 36-hole lead with Ryan Moore.

''You just never know. That's the beauty of this game,'' Johnson said. ''I felt like I was hitting some solid shots and wasn't getting rewarded, and you've just got to stay in it. You've got to persevere, grind it out, fight for pars. You just never know.''

Moore had three birdies over his last five holes for a 67 and joined Johnson at 9-under 135.

They had a one-shot lead over Grayson Murray (69) and Andrew Landry (67).

Ben Crane (66), Martin Laird (65) and David Hearn (68) were three shots behind. Billy Horschel and Keegan Bradley shot 71 and were four shots behind at 5-under 139.


Full-field scores from the Valero Texas Open

Valero Texas Open: Articles, photos and videos


Sergio Garcia, who consulted Greg Norman on the design of the AT&T Oaks Course at the TPC San Antonio, had a short stay in his first time at the Texas Open since 2010. Garcia shot an even-par 72, and at one point became so frustrated he threw his driver into the shrubs.

Garcia finished at 2-over 146 and missed the cut.

It was the first time since 2010 that Garcia missed the cut in successive starts. That was the PGA Championship and, 10 weeks later, the Castello Masters in Spain. This time, he missed the cut in the Masters and Texas Open three weeks apart.

Johnson, a two-time winner of the Texas Open, appeared to be headed to a short week until the key par save on the 13th hole, followed by his eagle, par and three straight birdies. He began the second round Friday with five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine, a sixth birdie on the par-4 first hole, and then an eagle on the short par-4 fifth when he holed out from a greenside bunker.

The only sour taste to his second round was a three-putt bogey from about 30 feet on his final hole. Even so, the view was much better than it was Thursday afternoon.

Moore thought he had wasted a good birdie opportunity on the par-5 14th hole when he left his 50-foot eagle putt about 6 feet short. But he made that, and then holed a similar putt from 8 feet for birdie on the next hole and capped his good finish with a 15-foot putt on the 17th.

''That was a huge momentum putt there,'' Moore said of the 14th. ''It was a tough putt from down there with a lot of wind. That green is pretty exposed and ... yeah, really short and committed to that second putt really well and knocked it right in the middle.''

The birdies on the 14th and 15th were important to Moore because he missed a pair of 10-foot birdie tries to start the back nine.

''So it was nice to get those and get going in the right direction on the back,'' he said.

The cut was at 1-over 145, and because 80 players made the cut, there will be a 54-hole cut on Saturday.

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Daly-Allen team grabs Legends of Golf lead on Day 2

By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 11:14 pm

RIDGEDALE, Mo. - John Daly and Michael Allen took the second-round lead Friday in the cool and breezy Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.

Daly and Allen shot an 8-under 46 on the Top of the Rock par-3 course with wind gusting to 15 mph and the temperature only in the high-50s at Big Cedar Lodge. They had three birdies on the front nine in alternate-shot play and added five more on the back in better-ball play to get to 13 under.

''Michael and I go back to the South African days in the late 80s and playing that tour,'' Daly said. ''We've been buddies since. He's just fun to play with. We feed off each other pretty good. And if he's not comfortable guinea-pigging on one hole, I'll go first.''

On Thursday, they opened with a 66 on the regulation Buffalo Ridge course. They will rotate to the 13-hole Mountain Top par-3 course on Saturday, and return to Top of the Rock for the final round Sunday.

''I went to high school in Jeff City, so it's cool to have the fans behind us,'' Daly said.

Allen won the PGA Tour Champions team event with David Frost in 2012 and Woody Austin in 2016.

''I'm just here to free up John,'' Allen said. ''It was fun. Luckily, I started making good putts today. We just want to keep the good times rolling.''


Full-field scores from the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf


Defending champions Vijay Singh and Carlos Franco were a stroke back along with Bernhard Langer-Tom Lehman and Paul Broadhurst-Kirk Triplett. Singh and Franco had a 7-under 32 in best-ball play at Mountain Top, and Lehman-Langer and Broadhurst-Tripplet each shot 6-under 48 at Top of the Rock.

''Part of the issue here is all the tees are elevated, so you're up high hitting to a green that's down below and the wind is blowing, and there is more time for that wind to affect it,'' Lehman said. ''If you guess wrong on the wind, you can hit a really good shot and kind of look stupid.''

Former UCLA teammates Scott McCarron and Brandt Jobe were two strokes back at 11 under with Steve Flesch and David Toms and the Spanish side of Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez. McCarron-Jobe had a 47, and Jimenez-Olazabal a 48 at Top of the Rock, and Tom Flesch shot 34 at Mountain Top.

First-round leaders Jeff Maggert and Jesper Parnevik had a 52 at Top of the Rock to fall three shots back at 10 under. Madison, Wisconsin, friends Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly also were 10 under after a 32 at Mountain Top. Jay Haas aced the 131-yard seventh hole at Mountain Top with a gap wedge. Haas and fellow 64-year-old Peter Jacobsen were 8 under after a 32.