Lehman wins second straight Regions Tradition

By Associated PressJune 10, 2012, 9:01 pm

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The rain wouldn't go away, and neither would a couple of Tom Lehman's challengers.

Lehman withstood both to win his second straight Regions Tradition, finishing the Champions Tour major with a 4-under 68 on Sunday to take a two-stroke victory.

Lehman overcame a near-constant drizzle and occasional heavy rains at Shoal Creek – plus hard charges by Bernhard Langer and Chien Soon Lu – for his sixth Champions Tour victory. Langer and Lu each finished with a 66 to share second behind Lehman's 14-under 274.

The former British Open champion, who shot in the 60s all four days, joins Jack Nicklaus, Gil Morgan and Fred Funk as the only players to win the Tradition multiple times. He played the final hole with his cap turned backward under a steady rain.

''I don't mind any condition other than rain,'' Lehman said. ''I don't like playing in rain. It makes me really uncomfortable. I just feel like I lose the rhythm of my swing.

''Today was a real test of perseverance, just trying to move the ball forward. Don't try to bite off too much, don't get too aggressive. Just play shots I know I can hit.''

He's the first player to repeat in a senior major championship since Allen Doyle won the U.S. Senior Open in 2005 and 2006. Gil Morgan in 1997 is the only other Tradition winner to post four rounds in the 60s.

Lehman won $335,000 with his first victory since last year's Regions Tradition, a 13-month drought. Lehman is the 11th winner of 2012.

After beating Peter Senior in a playoff last year, Lehman didn't have to sweat this one out nearly as much on a brisk day that began with an early two-tee start and ended with storms closing in. Players were allowed to lift, clean and place the ball because of the conditions.

Lehman made a 30-foot birdie putt on No. 7 after Langer briefly tied him at 9 under, pushing his lead to two strokes with a short birdie putt on the par-3 13th hole. Then he salvaged par with a difficult chip and 12-foot putt on the next hole under a downpour.

''You don't want to give shots back when you've kind of put it in your pocket,'' Lehman said. ''It really started pouring and that was a really difficult putt. To two-putt that was a huge momentum keeper. That might have been the biggest putt of the day.''

He bogeyed No. 17, but that added little drama since he avoided trouble on the 18th. The backward-hat wasn't a fashion statement for his college-student daughters who made the trip.

''I'm sure they thought it was stupid, but you know what?'' Lehman said. ''They probably thought I was doing that to be cool or something. The fact of the matter is that when you putt and it's raining, the water drips off the bill onto the ball. It's very distracting. The putt that I missed on 17, two drops fell off my hat onto my ball when I was on my backstroke and it really distracted me.''

Lu, from Taiwan, had four birdies on the final nine holes. Lu was second at last year's Montreal Championship and the 2010 Tradition in Oregon and has been third four times. He had fallen back with a triple bogey on the final hole Saturday.

Langer, a two-time Masters winner, bogeyed Nos. 8 and 9 after starting 3 under through four holes. He wound up with a seventh top-five finish of the year and took over the Schwab Cup lead but is still seeking his first win. He missed several months last year, including this event, after left thumb surgery.

Lehman made too few mistakes to open the door even with that aggressive play.

''My goal was to get off to a good start and put pressure on him, to make him win the tournament and not let him have a three- or four-shot lead the whole day,'' said Langer, who hadn't played at Shoal Creek since the 1990 PGA Championship. ''That would be too easy. ... But he responded extremely well to it.''

Fred Couples closed with a tournament-low 65 and entered the final hole with four straight birdies but still finished four strokes back.

Russ Cochran and Bill Glasson, who led after each of the first two rounds, were five shots back. Jeff Sluman and Brad Bryant were six strokes behind. Sluman had eagled the par-5 No. 3 for the second straight day to move to 10 under, six of that coming from that hole.

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Schauffele just fine being the underdog

By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 8:06 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following a breakthough season during which he won twice and collected the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award, Xander Schauffele concedes his sophomore campaign has been less than stellar, but that could all change on Sunday at The Open.

Schauffele followed a second-round 66 with a 67 on Saturday to take a share of the 9-under-par lead with Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner.

Although he hasn’t won in 2018, he did finish runner-up at The Players and tied for sixth at the U.S. Open, two of the year’s toughest tests.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“Growing up, I always hit it well and played well in tough conditions,” Schauffele said. “I wasn't the guy to shoot 61. I was the guy to shoot like 70 when it was playing really hard.”

Sunday’s pairing could make things even more challenging when he’ll head out in the day’s final tee time with Spieth, the defending champion. But being the underdog in a pairing, like he was on Saturday alongside Rory McIlroy, is not a problem.

“All the guys I've talked to said, 'Live it up while you can, fly under the radar,'” he said. “Today I played in front of what you call Rory's crowd and guys were just yelling all the time, even while he's trying to putt, and he had to step off a few times. No one was yelling at me while I was putting. So I kind of enjoy just hanging back and relaxing.”

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Open odds: Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger, Rory 14/1

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 7:54 pm

Only 18 holes remain in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, and the man tied atop the leaderboard is the same man who captured the claret jug last year at Royal Birkdale.

So it’s little surprise that Jordan Spieth is the odds-on favorite (7/4) to win his fourth major entering Sunday’s final round.

Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, both tied with Spieth at 9 under par, are next in line at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, both four shots behind the leaders, are listed at 14/1.

Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at golfodds.com.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Jordan Spieth: 7/4

Xander Schauffele: 5/1

Kevin Kisner: 11/2

Tiger Woods: 14/1

Francesco Molinari: 14/1

Rory McIlroy: 14/1

Kevin Chappell: 20/1

Tommy Fleetwood: 20/1

Alex Noren: 25/1

Zach Johnson: 30/1

Justin Rose: 30/1

Matt Kuchar: 40/1

Webb Simpson: 50/1

Adam Scott: 80/1

Tony Finau: 80/1

Charley Hoffman: 100/1

Austin Cook: 100/1

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Wandering photographer costs McIlroy on 16

By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 7:44 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy bogeyed two of his last four holes Saturday to fall four shots off the lead at The Open.

One of those mistakes might not have entirely been his fault.

McIlroy missed a short putt on the par-3 16th after a photographer was “in a world all his own,” wandering around near the green, taking photos of the crowd and not paying attention to the action on the green.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“It’s fine,” McIlroy said after a third-round 70 put him at 5-under 208, four shots off the lead. “It’s one of those things that happens. There’s a lot of people out there, and it is what it is. It’s probably my fault, but I just didn’t regroup well after it happened.”

McIlroy also bogeyed the home hole, after driving into a fairway bunker, sending his second shot right of the green and failing to get up and down.

“I putted well,” he said. “I holed out when I needed to. I just need to make the birdies and try to limit the damage tomorrow.”

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Kisner not expecting awkward night with Spieth

By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 7:33 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It might get awkward in that star-studded rental house Saturday night.

Two of the three Open co-leaders, Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner, are sharing a house this week near Carnoustie. Though it’ll be late by the time they both get back to the house Saturday night, they’ll have plenty of time to kill Sunday morning, with their tee times not until nearly 3 p.m. local time.

“Everybody is probably going to get treatment and eating and trying to find a bed,” Kisner said. “I’m sure there’ll be some conversations. There always are. Everybody has a few horror stories or good laughs over something that happened out there. That will probably be the end of it.”

One thing they’re almost certain to discuss is the weather.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


After three days of mostly benign conditions, Sunday’s forecast calls for warm temperatures and wind gusts up to 25 mph.

“When you watch any TV, that’s all they talk about – how Sunday’s coming,” Kisner said. “It’s going to be a true test, and we’ll get to see really who’s hitting it the best and playing the best.”

Zach Johnson is also in the house – along with Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas, Jimmy Walker and Jason Dufner – and he rode to the course Saturday with Kisner, with whom he played in the final group, at 4 p.m. It’s unclear whether the co-leaders Sunday will have a similar arrangement.

This is the third year that Spieth and Co. have shared a house at The Open, though Kisner is a new addition to the group.

“It’s the end of the week,” Kisner said. “Everybody’s got a lot of stuff going on. Everybody’s going their separate ways tomorrow. Tomorrow morning we’ll all sit around and laugh on the couch and talk about why that guy’s making so many birdies.”