Loves Major Streak in Jeopardy

By Associated PressApril 2, 2008, 4:00 pm
2007 Shell Houston OpenHOUSTON -- Tiger Woods winning streak ended at Doral. Another impressive run could end this week at the Houston Open.
 
Davis Love III must win to qualify for next weeks Masters and continue the longest active streak of major championship appearances. Love hasnt missed a major since the 1990 U.S. Open, a run of 70 in a row.
 
The streak is on his mind, but hes realistic about his chances. Love tore ligaments in his left ankle when he stepped in a hole while playing golf last September and spent five months recovering after surgery.
 
This is a week to try to get in the Masters, Love said Tuesday. This is also a week to try to get my year going.
 
Hell play in his seventh event of the year this week'ahead of his doctors expectations'but hes finished no better than a tie for 24th at Pebble Beach in February and missed three cuts.
 
When I first started back, they (doctors) said, Dont even worry about the Masters. Youre not going to have enough time to be ready even to play in it, much less win a tournament before it. I feel like Ive got a leg up, Love said. Now, Ive played six times and I havent made any progress. At least Ive played, Ive gotten some rounds in and Im still playing, so Ive still got a shot.
 
Love has been in this spot before, in 1995, and won in New Orleans the week before the Masters to earn an invitation. He was the runner-up to Ben Crenshaw at Augusta after shooting a 66 in the final round.
 
But that was 13 years ago, when he was playing better and with much more confidence than he is now.
 
Love played 10 holes at the Tournament Course at Redstone on Tuesday and said the layout perfectly suits his game. Not even he knows if hes ready to start winning again.
 
Its a little bit different this year, coming off an injury, he said. I havent really had a chance to win this year. I havent had a lot of great rounds. Its a whole different feeling.
 
Love has gone into every tournament this year thinking about his streak of majors'to the point where its become a distraction. He hasnt broken 70 in a first round and opened with a 76 in New Orleans last week before missing the cut.
 
I think its kept me from getting off to good starts, Love said. If I do get off to a good start, it will be there at the end. But Ive just got to get going, period. One good round is going to be pressure to play two good rounds and two good rounds is going to be pressure to play three.
 
The first tournament I played was my best tournament. I was just going on adrenalin and excited to be back, he said. I really havent played a good tournament since then. I need to just get the year rolling.
 
The ankle injury didnt affect Loves swing, but walking courses is a challenge now. He had the ankle enclosed in a protective boot for most of his rehab and the other muscles in his leg weakened as a result.
 
Former touring pro Mike Hulbert, Loves close friend and part-time caddie, told him to stay patient and that might be the most difficult part for Love.
 
Most people, when they come back from that, they go back to playing a little bit of golf or playing a little bit of tennis, he said. Theyre not walking 6-8 miles a day, hitting golf balls and trying to play to get in the Masters.
 
Im not coming back and gradually working back into a normal life. Im coming into a highly competitive, highly stressful (situation). One week youll be walking around in the rain and one week youll be walking around in the mud, one week, itll be hilly. Im not giving it any breaks.
 
At first, doctors told Love that the ankle injury might sideline him for the entire year. Whether he makes the Masters or not, Love knows his situation couldve been much worse.
 
Ive got to be thankful that Im playing. I couldve had this whole year off, it was that bad of an injury, he said. We jumped on it with good doctors and I got a good therapist and I did the right things. Im very thankful that Im back playing.
 
Im not thankful for my scoring average, Im not thankful that Im coming up on my third tournament that Im not exempt for, but Im thankful Ive got a chance to play, that Im still out here playing, he said. It wouldnt have taken much to be a year or two off, or a career-threatening injury. Im happy to be here.
 
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    Ryu thriving again after simple advice from Inbee Park

    By Randall MellJune 21, 2018, 7:07 pm

    So Yeon Ryu shared Rolex Player of the Year honors last year.

    She reigned as world No. 1 for almost five months.

    So when she couldn’t keep her momentum going at year’s start, she got frustrated. She wasn’t happy with two top 10s in her first 11 starts.

    “I lost a lot of confidence at the beginning of the year,” Ryu said Thursday as she prepared to lead a strong field as the defending champion in Friday’s start of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. “My expectation level was way too high.”

    So she sought the counsel of her pal, world No. 1 Inbee Park, who gave her some plain-spoken advice.


    Full-field scores from the Walmart Arkansas Championship


    “Get over it,” Park told her. “You know what to do. You’ve done it, so it’s not really a big deal. Don’t worry about it. You were No. 1. You’ve achieved a lot of things as a professional golfer. Just don’t be too hard on yourself.”

    Ryu got over it winning the Meijer LPGA Classic last week, the sixth LPGA title of her career, her third in 15 months. She’s feeling good again leading a stellar field this week at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Ark., a strong tune up before next week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the year’s third major championship.

    World No. 1 Park, No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn and No. 3 Lexi Thompson are among the top nine players in the world scheduled to compete this week. Twenty-four of the top 30 are in the field.

    “When you come to defend your title, you obviously have a lot of pressure, but after I won last week, now I sort of think, maybe I have a chance to defend my title,” Ryu said. “So I've got total confidence, by last week.”

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    Watch: Spieth, JT hole bunker shots in back-to-back groups

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 21, 2018, 6:57 pm

    Jordan Spieth has a thing for holing bunker shots at the Travelers Championship, where he made one in a playoff to win last year.

    He did it again in Round 1 at TPC River Highlands, knocking in this shot for eagle at the par-5 sixth to reach 4 under par for the tournament



    In the next group, Justin Thomas did the same thing to reach 1 under. Keep an eye out for the best part of this highlight, when Thomas' caddie Jimmy Johnson tries to hand him his putter.

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    River Highlands a 'breather' for Zach Johnson (63)

    By Will GrayJune 21, 2018, 6:43 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – After enduring the pressure-cooker of the U.S. Open, Zach Johnson was more than happy to drift north to the friendly confines of TPC River Highlands.

    Birdies were rare last week at Shinnecock Hills, but they’ll be plentiful all week long at the Travelers Championship. Browned-out and crispy conditions transitioned to lush and verdant, and players can attack flags without fear of turning a possible par into a struggle to avoid triple.

    Johnson did just that in the opening round, carding eight birdies against a single bogey to take the early lead with a 7-under 63.

    “It’s a different kind of breathing. It’s a different kind of exhaling, if you will, but they’re both good,” Johnson said. “You can put some red on the board here. We know that. We’ve seen it. You can go the other way in a hurry if you press it; it can keep going in the other way. So you kind of have to let it happen. This is one of those courses where you have to let it happen.”


    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    Like many in this week’s field, Johnson took it easy after a grueling major championship, staying away from the course Monday and easing into his prep over the next two days. Those decisions paid off quickly as he rattled off six straight birdies on Nos. 11-16 to take sole possession of the lead.

    While Johnson tied for 12th last week at Shinnecock Hills, that was just his second top-15 finish since the Sony Open in January. But the veteran is no stranger to fast starts at TPC River Highlands, having now opened with 65 or better four times in his last eight appearances dating back to 2011.

    It’s a course where he continues to have success, even if his past consistency hasn’t lived up to expectations.

    “I feel like every time I get here it feels like I should shoot nothing, and it bites me,” Johnson said. “The last couple years I’m like, ‘All right, you can’t have any expectations in that regard. You’ve just got to go out and execute, you know, put the ball in the fairway and you will have opportunities.’” 

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    First photos from Norman's 'Body' shoot

    By Grill Room TeamJune 21, 2018, 6:35 pm

    It was revealed earlier this week that Greg Norman would be one of the athletes showcased in ESPN's "Body Issue," which features the models stategically posed in the nude.

    Well, the first photos are out from Norman's shoot and ... here they are, if you want them.