McDowell leads Nedbank, trying to salvage season

By Associated PressDecember 2, 2011, 3:37 pm

SUN CITY, South Africa – Graeme McDowell recovered from a double-bogey-7 at No. 14 to birdie two of his last three holes Friday for a 5-under 67 and a one-shot second-round lead at the Nedbank Golf Challenge.

The Northern Irishman moved to 7 under for the tournament and clear of four players who shared second at Sun City.

Jason Dufner had four birdies and no dropped shots in his 68 to go 6 under. Robert Karlsson (69),Martin Kaymer (68) and defending champion Lee Westwood (70) were one off the lead alongside Dufner.

Top-ranked Luke Donald was tied for eighth on 3 under with his 1-under 71 after he bogeyed two of his first four holes in an inconsistent round that included four birdies and three bogeys.

Charl Schwartzel, who shared the overnight lead with Westwood, slipped to 10th in the 12-man field with a 2-over 74 at Gary Player Country Club to go to 2 under in the $5-million invitational tournament.

Chasing the $1.25-million winner’s prize, McDowell collected seven birdies alongside his double bogey at No. 14, with five of those birdies coming on an incident-filled back nine.

He picked up shots at Nos. 10 and 11, chipped in for another birdie at No. 13, then pushed his tee shot into the left rough on No. 14. He took two strokes to get back onto the fairway after hitting a rock – and not his ball – with his second. He then sent his fourth into a greenside bunker and missed a 6-foot bogey putt.

But McDowell pulled shots back at Nos. 16 and 18 for his one stroke lead heading into the weekend.

“It was a very calm and quiet front nine and a pretty exciting back nine, I guess,” he said. “I made a couple of nice birdies around the turn, a nice chip-in at No. 13 and at 14 … that second shot can only be described as an air shot.

“There’s so much trouble lurking at this golf course, (but) a better day at the office. I enjoyed that.”

Dufner’s solid 68, with two birdies around the turn, one at No. 13 and a fourth at the tough, par-4 No. 17 lifted him to a tie for second on his first visit to Sun City and first trip to South Africa.

“I did everything pretty well,” Dufner said. “Obviously to play a round with no bogeys is gonna help a lot. I’m learning this golf course quickly and a little bit on the fly.”

Karlsson carded a second consecutive 69 with three birdies, no bogeys and a crucial par save at No. 8 where the tall Swede nailed a 60-foot putt from the edge of the green to keep his scorecard flawless.

No. 4-ranked Kaymer had three birdies and an eagle three on No. 10 to be one off the lead, while No. 3-ranked Westwood had four birdies and two bogeys for a 2-under 70.

South Korea’s Kyung-Tae Kim put his approach to 2 feet as he birdied his first. But he bogeyed No. 2 to set the tone for an up-and-down 70 with an eagle, four birdies and four bogeys. Kim shared sixth with Englishman Simon Dyson (70).

Donald birdied No. 2 with a smooth 15-foot putt, but then bogeyed Nos. 3 and 4 on his way to 1 under for the round and 3 under overall alongside Anders Hansen.

Home favorite Schwartzel had an incredible save on No. 6 after pulling a tee shot into the bush. His second, crouching under a tree with a restricted back swing, found the middle of the green and he made par.

But the effort failed to inspire the Masters champion, who double-bogeyed No. 8, holed his only birdie on No. 9 and dropped another shot at No. 13.

Darren Clarke’s back nine was even more dramatic than that of McDowell, his compatriot from Northern Ireland.

Clarke reeled off six birdies, including four in a row from No. 12, but also had a bogey and two double-bogeys to go without a par in his last nine for a 3-under 69 and 1 under overall.

The only player behind him was Italy’s Francesco Molinari, whose only high so far was an eagle-3 at No. 2 on Thursday. Molinari had a double-bogey, three bogeys and no birdies Friday for a 77 and a 5 over par two-round total of 149.

He was six shots behind Clarke and 12 off the lead.

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NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 5:50 pm

The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

After three days of stroke play, eight teams have advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals and semifinals will be contested on Tuesday, with the finals being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.

Wake Forest junior Jennifer Kupcho won the individual title. Click here for live action, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.


TV Times (all times ET):

11AM-conclusion: Match-play quarterfinals 
4-8PM: Match-play semifinals (Click here to watch live)

4-8PM: Match-play finals

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Davis: USGA learned from setup errors at Shinnecock

By Will GrayMay 22, 2018, 4:51 pm

With the U.S. Open set to return to Shinnecock Hills for the first time in 14 years, USGA executive director Mike Davis insists that his organization has learned from the setup mistakes that marred the event the last time it was played on the Southampton, N.Y., layout.

Retief Goosen held off Phil Mickelson to win his second U.S. Open back in 2004, but the lasting image from the tournament may have been tournament officials spraying down the seventh green by hand during the final round after the putting surface had become nearly unplayable. With the course pushed to the brink over the first three days, stiff winds sucked out any remaining moisture and players struggled to stay on the greens with 30-foot putts, let alone approach shots.

Speaking to repoters at U.S. Open media day, Davis offered candid reflections about the missteps that led to the course overshadowing the play during that infamous final round.

"I would just say that it was 14 years ago. It was a different time, it was different people, and we as an organzation, we learned from it," Davis said. "When you set up a U.S. Open, it is golf's ultimate test. It's probably set up closer to the edge than any other event in golf, and I think that the difference then versus now is we have a lot more technology, a lot more data in our hands.

"And frankly, ladies and gentlemen, what really happened then was just a lack of water."

Davis pointed to enhancements like firmness and moisture readings for the greens that weren't available in 2004, and he noted that meterological data has evolved in the years since. With another chance to get his hands on one of the USGA's favorite venues, he remains confident that tournament officials will be able to better navigate the thin line between demanding and impossible this time around.

"There are parts that I think we learned from, and so I think we're happy that we have a mulligan this time," Davis said. "It was certainly a bogey last time. In fact maybe even a double bogey, and equitable stroke control perhaps kicked in."

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UCLA junior Vu named WGCA Player of the Year

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 3:23 pm

UCLA junior Lilia Vu was named Player of the Year on Tuesday by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA).

Vu recorded the lowest full-season scoring average (70.37) in UCLA history. Her four tournament wins tied the school record for most victories in a single season.

Vu was also named to the WGCA All-America first team. Here's a look at the other players who joined her on the prestigious list:

WGCA First Team All-Americans

  • Maria Fassi, Junior, University of Arkansas
  • Kristen Gillman, Sophomore, University of Alabama
  • Jillian Hollis, Junior, University of Georgia
  • Cheyenne Knight, Junior, University of Alabama
  • Jennifer Kupcho, Junior, Wake Forest University
  • Andrea Lee, Sophomore, Stanford University
  • Leona Maguire, Senior, Duke University
  • Sophia Schubert, Senior, University of Texas
  • Lauren Stephenson, Junior, University of Alabama
  • Maddie Szeryk, Senior, Texas A&M University
  • Patty Tavatanakit, Freshman, UCLA
  • Lilia Vu, Junior, UCLA
Chris Stroud and caddie Casey Clendenon Getty Images

Stroud's caddie wins annual PGA Tour caddie tournament

By Rex HoggardMay 22, 2018, 3:15 pm

Casey Clendenon, who caddies for Chris Stroud, won the gross division of the annual PGA Tour caddie tournament on Monday, shooting a 5-under 66 at Trinity Forest Golf Club, site of last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson.

Scott Tway (65), who caddies for Brian Harman, won the net division by two strokes over Wayne Birch, Troy Merritt’s caddie.

Kyle Bradley, Jonathan Byrd’s caddie, took second place with a 71 in the gross division.

The tournament was organized by the Association of Professional Tour Caddies, and proceeds from the event went to two charities. The APTC donated $20,000 to Greg Chalmers’ charity,, which aids families living with autism. The association also donated $10,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.