Laird tops Campbell McNeill in Vegas playoff

By Associated PressOctober 19, 2009, 4:36 am

PGA TourLAS VEGAS – The higher the stakes, the calmer Martin Laird became.

The 26-year-old Scot won the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on Sunday for his first PGA Tour title, beating George McNeill with a birdie on the third hole of a playoff in the Fall Series event.

Laird closed with a 3-under 68 to match McNeill (67) and former UNLV player Chad Campbell (69) at 19-under 265. Campbell was eliminated on the second extra hole.

“I don’t know whether it was because I had a nice long par on 18 to get into the playoff,” Laird said. “But when I got into the playoff I was surprised; I kind of chilled out a little. I was pretty nervous the last two or three holes in regulation, and once I got there in the playoff I kind of relaxed a little more.

“And when I stood up there on the first playoff hole and struck the ball down the middle, it was the perfect way to start the playoff.”

Laird, a former Colorado State player, earned $756,000 and a two-your tour exemption for the breakthrough victory at TPC Summerlin in his 53rd tour star. He jumped from 134th to 62nd on the money list with $1,271,254.

Three-time Las Vegas winner Jim Furyk (62) and Jeff Klauk (68) tied for fourth at 18 under, and former UNLV player Charley Hoffman (68) followed at 17 under.

Laird holed an 11-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th for the victory after McNeill, the 2007 winner, hit his approach near the greenside water hazard, then lipped out an 18-foot par putt.

Campbell dropped out with a bogey on the par-3 17th.

“I didn’t play that well today,” Campbell said. “I was able to hang around and make some putts and make some birdies to get myself into the playoff. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get it done.”

Laird took the lead from Campbell and Furyk at 19 under with a birdie on the par-5 ninth. Laird parred the next six holes before birdieing the par-5 16th to reach 20 under, then dropped back with a bogey on 17.

McNeill birdied the 18th to join Laird and Campbell at 19 under, and Campbell and Laird then closed with pars to set up the playoff.

The three players opened the playoff with pars on No. 18, and Laird and McNeill advanced with pars on No. 17, while Campbell dropped out with his bogey.

Furyk birdied seven of his last nine holes in his career-best 62.

“I’m very happy with the way I played today,” Furyk said. “And 62, to kind of end the year, is super.”

Las Vegas native Scott Piercy, tied for the third-round lead, had double bogeys on 17 and 18 holes en route to a 73. He tied for 14th at 15 under.

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Three of world's top 5 MC; not 60-year-old Langer

By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 7:04 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Three of the top five players in the world missed the cut at The Open.

Bernhard Langer did not.

The 60-year-old, who is in the field via his victory in last year’s Senior Open Championship, shot even-par 71 on Friday. At 2 over through 36 holes, he safely made it under the plus-3 cut line.

"You know, I've played the Masters [this year], made the cut. I'm here and made the cut. I think it is an accomplishment," he said. "There's a lot of great players in the field, and I've beaten a lot of very good players that are a lot younger than me."

Langer had three birdies and three bogeys in the second round and said afterwards that he was “fighting myself” with his swing. He’s spent the last few days on the phone with his swing coach, Willy Hoffman, trying to find some comfort.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Despite his score, and his made cut, Langer the perfectionist wasn’t satisfied with the way he went about achieving his results.

"I wasn't happy with my ball-striking. My putting was good, but I was unlucky. I had like four lip-outs, no lip-ins. That part was good. But the ball-striking, I wasn't really comfortable with my swing," he said. "Just, it's always tough trying stuff in the middle of a round."

Langer, a two-time Masters champion, has never won The Open. He does, however, have six top-3 finishes in 30 prior starts.

As for finishing higher than some of the top-ranked players in the world, the World Golf Hall of Famer is taking it in stride.

"I'm not going to look and say, 'Oh, I beat Justin Rose or beat whatever.' But it just shows it's not easy. When some of the top 10 or top 20 in the world don't make the cut, it just shows that the setup is not easy," Langer said. "So I got the better half of the draw maybe, too, right? It wasn't much fun playing in the rain, I guess, this morning for five hours. I had to practice in the rain, but I think once I teed off, we never used umbrellas. So that was a blessing."

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Kisner doubles 18, defends not laying up

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 6:42 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It was only fitting that Jean Van de Velde was there working as an on-course reporter on Friday as Kevin Kisner struggled his way up Carnoustie’s 18th fairway.

Rolling along with a two-stroke lead, Kisner’s 8-iron approach shot from an awkward lie in the rough from 160 yards squirted right and bounced into Barry Burn, the winding creek where Van de Velde’s title chances at the 1999 Open Championship began to erode.

Unlike Van de Velde, who made a triple bogey-7 and lost The Open in a playoff, Kisner’s double bogey only cost him the solo lead and he still has 36 holes to make his closing miscue a distant memory. That’s probably why the 34-year-old seemed at ease with his plight.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“It just came out like a high flop shot to the right. It was weird. I don't know if it caught something or what happened,” said Kisner, who was tied with Zach Johnson and Zander Lombard at 6 under par. “You never know out of that grass. It was in a different grass than usual. It was wet, green grass instead of the brown grass. So I hadn't really played from that too much.”

Like most in this week’s field Kisner also understands that rounds on what is widely considered the most difficult major championship venue can quickly unravel even with the most innocent of mistakes.

“To play 35 holes without a double I thought was pretty good,” he said. “I've kept the ball in play, done everything I wanted to do all the way up into that hole. Just one of those things that came out completely different than we expected. I'll live with that more than chipping out and laying up from 20 feet.”

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Wind, not rain more a weekend factor at Open

By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:39 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – After a half-day of rain in Round 2 of the 147th Open Championship, the weekend offers a much drier forecast.

Saturday at Carnoustie is projected to be mostly cloudy with a high of 62 degrees and only a 20 percent chance of rain.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Sunday calls for much warmer conditions, with temperatures rising upwards of 73 degrees under mostly cloudy skies.

Wind might be the only element the players have to factor in over the final 36 holes. While the winds will be relatively calm on Saturday, expected around 10-15 mph, they could increase to 25 mph in the final round.

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Van Rooyen holes putt after ball-marker ruling

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:50 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Erik van Rooyen was surveying his 10-footer for par, trying to get a feel for the putt, when his putter slipped out of his hand and dropped onto his ball marker.

The question, then, was whether that accident caused his coin to move.

The rules official looked at various camera angles but none showed definitively whether his coin moved. The ruling was made to continue from where his coin was now positioned, with no penalty.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


This was part of the recent rules changes, ensuring there is no penalty if the ball or ball maker is accidently moved by the player. The little-used rule drew attention in 2010, when Ian Poulter accidentally dropped his ball on his marker in Dubai and wound up losing more than $400,000 in bonus and prize money.

After the delay to sort out his ruling Friday, van Rooyen steadied himself and made the putt for par, capping a day in which he shot even-par 71 and kept himself in the mix at The Open. He was at 4-under 138, just two shots off the clubhouse lead.

“I wanted to get going and get this 10-footer to save par, but I think having maybe just a couple minutes to calm me down, and then I actually got a different read when I sat down and looked at it again,” he said. “Good putt. Happy to finish that way.”