Langer set to defend Allianz Championship title

By Associated PressFebruary 11, 2011, 2:09 am

Champions Tour

BOCA RATON, Fla. – Defending champion Bernhard Langer hopes playing at home will be his ticket to winning a second consecutive Allianz Championship title this weekend.

“It’s great to be back here playing at Broken Sound, eight minutes from my home, sleeping in my own bed and having family and friends cheer me on,” said the longtime Florida-based German.

“It doesn’t get a whole lot better than this.”

Langer returns to the Old Course at Broken Sound where he’ll face a competitive Champions Tour field planning to challenge his title defense. Among the notables is John Cook, who Langer beat out in a dramatic playoff for the title last year.

Other players in the field include: Mark Calcavecchia, Tom Lehman, Corey Pavin, Nick Price, and Mark O’Meara.

Neither Langer nor Cook has forgotten their journey during last year’s surprising Allianz playoff finish.

Langer holed a 45-foot bunker shot from a half-buried lie to win after Cook failed to extend the playoff when his 25-foot putt lipped out.

Langer visited that 18th hole bunker during practice this week, but didn’t try to replicate his winning shot.

“I hit a couple of shots out of there Tuesday, but I didn’t practice the plug lie,” Langer said. “I’m hoping not to get a plug lie the next time I’m in there.”

Cook, who comes into the Allianz having won the 2011 tour opener in Hawaii last month, has vivid memories of last year’s disappointment.

“It was a hard pill to swallow,” he said. “To go from having the upper-hand to having to make a 25-footer to keep the thing going was, uh, that ride home was not my favorite I can promise you.

“I didn’t say much to Jan (his wife). Luckily, it was only a short ride up the turnpike.”

Langer, 53, is coming off of another incredible season, having won five titles in 2010, including the Senior British Open and U.S. Senior Open.

He was named the Champions Tour Player of the Year for a third consecutive year. Since joining the Champions Tour in August 2007, Langer’s won 13 titles and over $7.2 million in prize money.

Langer cites a number of important reasons why he’s been so successful throughout his career.

“It’s not one element, it’s the whole mosaic,” Langer said. “One is health and fitness, but I haven’t had marital problems and divorces like some guys, and I have four healthy kids.

“I have the same coach for 35 years. The same manager for 35 years. The same wife for 27 years. I have a support group that is very important to me and I like harmony in my life.”

Cook, 53, is hoping that a strong 2010 finish – he won the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship – coupled with his recent win in Hawaii will help him sidle up to Langer’s stature on the tour.

“He’s the standard and for good reason,” Cook said. “He’s won a lot of tournaments. He’s won majors. To get into that level where Bernhard is you have to be better. He’s a Hall of Famer for a reason, it’s not a fluke. And that’s the level I’m looking towards.”

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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 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 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: