McIlroy McDowell to meet at Match Play

By Associated PressMay 20, 2011, 4:25 pm

European TourCASARES, Spain – Seven months after joining forces to help Europe reclaim the Ryder Cup, Northern Irish duo Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell will take each other on when they go head to head Saturday in a last-16 meeting at the World Match Play Championship.

The pair played together three times against the United States at Celtic Manor in Wales, claiming 1 1/2 points for Europe’s winning cause. They also impressed as a partnership in the Seve Trophy in France in 2009, their combination providing three points in a 16 1/2 -11 1/2 win for Britain and Ireland against Continental Europe.

However, their friendship will be put to one side when they meet in a competitive match for the first time, with a place in the quarterfinals at stake at the Finca Cortesin course in Andalusia. McDowell came top of Group D with two straight wins while McIlroy finished runner-up in Group E following a 3-and-2 defeat to in-form Dane Nicolas Colsaerts on Friday.

“It will be a great game, I’m excited about it,” McDowell said. “It’s definitely going to be the Northern Ireland Match Play Championship tomorrow.

“It’s going to be hard but you’ve got to leave your friendship on the sideline. There will be a certain amount of bragging rights we are playing for.”

The fifth-ranked McDowell said it’s usually a one-sided affair when he comes up against McIlroy in practice, even though his friend is one place below him in the rankings.

“I stopped playing him because he’s too good,” the U.S Open champion said. “I’m more of an observer and he just tends to beat me up. I’m sure he’ll expect to beat me again.”

McIlroy, who spoke this week about how he’d comforted McDowell following his compatriot’s collapse from a winning position in the final round of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass on Sunday, said he’d treat the match like any other.

“I’m sure we’ll chat around the course and it will be a friendly game. But I’m here to win a tournament and to win it, I need to get through him. That’s the No. 1 thing on my mind,” McIlroy said.

In another last-16 match between European Ryder Cup colleagues, top-ranked Lee Westwood will take on fellow Englishman Ian Poulter after cruising to a second convincing win in successive days.

Westwood, who thrashed Denmark’s Anders Hansen, 6 and 5, on Thursday, rattled in eight birdies in 15 holes to ease past Australia’s Aaron Baddeley, 4 and 3, and finish top of Group A.

Westwood has yet to see the course’s final three holes this week and will be delighted to have conserved his energy for a possible 36 holes on both Saturday and Sunday, as he goes in search of a third straight tournament victory.

“I’m carrying on the way I played in Indonesia and Korea … and not givin my opponents much of a sniff,” Westwood said. “But Ian’s a good match play player. He gets up and down a lot, makes quite a few putts and that can irritate you after a while.”

Luke Donald and Martin Kaymer, who could supplant Westwood as No. 1 if they win the tournament on the Costa del Sol, also advanced serenely into the last 16 as unbeaten group winners.

Second-ranked Luke Donald, who won the Accenture Match Play in Arizona in February, maintained his superb recent consistency in all formats by beating defending champion Ross Fisher 3 and 1 in Group B. He will play Sweden’s Johan Edfors next.

Third-ranked Kaymer beat a second Korean player in successive days, downing Noh Seung-yul, 2 and 1, to set up a last-16 match against Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen.

Of the 24 players to start the group stages, eight were eliminated Friday after two defeats. The list included four major winners past and present  – two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen, reigning British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, 2009 U.S. PGA winner Y.E. Yang and 1999 British Open champion Paul Lawrie.

The lone American in the field, Ryan Moore, also exited Friday after losing the last four holes to go down by one to Englishman Fisher

Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez lost a three-way playoff with Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and Edfors to bow out, while Denmark’s Anders Hansen and No. 9-ranked Paul Casey – the highest-ranked casualty of the group stage – are also on their way home.

The other last-16 matches will be Colsaerts vs. Jhonattan Vegas, Alvaro Quiros vs. Noh, Schwartzel vs. Fisher and Francesco Molinari vs. Baddeley.

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Hataoka leads Minjee Lee by one at LPGA Volvik

By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 12:54 am

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - After losing in a playoff last weekend, Nasa Hataoka is making another bid for her first LPGA Tour victory.

Hataoka shot a 4-under 68 on Friday, and the Japanese teenager led by one stroke over Minjee Lee after the second round of the Volvik Championship. Hataoka, who is coming off the first two top-10 finishes of her LPGA career, made seven birdies at Travis Pointe Country Club. She began her round on No. 10, and her best stretch came toward the end, when she birdied Nos. 4, 5 and 6.

''I'm really comfortable playing the LPGA,'' the 19-year-old Hataoka said through a translator. ''I've really got confidence now.''

Hataoka made the cut nine times in 17 starts as a rookie in 2017, and she has made significant strides of late. She tied for seventh at last month's MEDIHEAL Championship and nearly won a week ago at the Kingsmill Championship in Virginia.

Hataoka finished the second round in Michigan at 9 under. Lee (69) was also solid Friday. Gaby Lopez (68), Jodi Ewart Shadoff (70) and Lindy Duncan (70) were a stroke behind Lee in a tie for third.

Hataoka did not make a single bogey in last week's three-round tournament, and she didn't have any in the first round in Michigan. She finally made a few Friday, but that didn't stop her from taking sole possession of the lead.

''I kind of feel like not really perfect, but I just kind of try to (be) aggressive,'' she said.


Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


Lee, who lost by one stroke on this course last year, is in contention again.

''I guess the fairways are pretty generous and I think the greens are a little bit on the trickier side to read,'' Lee said. ''As long as your iron shots are pretty solid, I think you're going to be in good position around this golf course.''

Lee birdied the first two holes, and the only blemish on her scorecard Friday came on the par-5 14th. After missing the fairway to the right, she hit an aggressive shot out of the rough that went straight toward a water hazard well in front of the green. She settled for a bogey after taking a drop.

''I thought the ball was sitting OK in the rough, but it must have been a bit funny, or underneath it,'' she said. ''I made a mistake. I thought it was good enough to hit 3-wood there.''

Lee lost last year in Michigan to Shanshan Feng, but Feng will have some ground to make up in her attempt to repeat. She shot 69 on Friday but is still eight strokes behind the leader.

Ariya Jutanugarn was 6 under after a second consecutive 69.

Lopez made only six pars in the second round, tied for the fewest of the day, but her eight birdies and four bogeys put her near the top of the leaderboard.

''It was a little bit of an up and down,'' she said. ''There's so many opportunities out here to make birdie, that the most important thing to do is just to be patient, to be in the moment and not to get ahead of yourself. I think I came back from a couple mistakes that I did.''

In contrast to Lopez, Brittany Lincicome parred all 18 holes Friday and made the cut at 1 under. Paula Creamer (71) triple bogeyed the par-4 13th. She followed that with an eagle on the very next hole but missed the cut by a stroke.

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Childhood rivals share Sr. PGA lead

By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 12:00 am

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Kevin Sutherland and Scott McCarron have been rivals since their junior golf days around Sacramento, California. The two old friends were back at it Friday at the top of the Senior PGA Championship leaderboard.

''It's honestly, nothing new for us,'' said Sutherland who played in the third-to-last group and birdied his last two holes for a 5-under 66 to match McCarron at 8 under.

McCarron had a 68 in the morning wave to emerge from a championship record group of six tied for the first-round lead.

Sutherland was last year's Charles Schwab Cup winner with his only senior win coming in the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship, while McCarron has six PGA Tour Champions wins, including a major at the 2017 Senior Players Championship.

''We are both (Northern California) guys, played in high school, junior golf, on tour and it seems like a lot on the Champions Tour,'' Sutherland said. ''We were in the last group on Sundays a lot last year. Scott played so well and had an incredible year, and I had a great year, too.''

Sutherland's lone PGA Tour victory came at McCarron's expense in 2002 at La Costa in the Accenture Match Play Championship, when he beat McCarron 1 up in the 36-hole final. As youngsters they played on opposing high school teams located about an hour apart and met often in state tournaments as well as on the California junior circuit.

''It's been happening for 30 years, wait 35 years now, I guess,'' Sutherland said. ''Playing together on a Saturday is a little different. We're both still trying to get in position to win.''

Jerry Kelly shot a 65 to join Tim Petrovic (69), Chris Williams (68) and Joe Durant (67) at 7 under. Durant tied for second last week in the Regions Tradition, also a major championship.


Full-field scores from the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship


McCarron feels like he is just starting to warm to the task this year. He had to replace his clubs, including a favored putter damaged beyond repair in air transit two months ago.

''I've been putting with a back-up putter I had, but it just didn't feel quite right,'' he said. ''I changed last Sunday at the Regions Tradition and started putting better on Sunday. So I'm using this one again this week and seem to be putting pretty good with it.''

McCarron said the Harbor Shores course played a little tougher in light winds in the second round. He made six birdies and three bogeys.

''I would just like to have a couple of those bogeys back,'' he said. ''But we're in a good position going into the weekend.''

McCarron came to the press center after his round and walked in on a press conference where course-designer Jack and Barbara Nicklaus were being honored by sponsoring KitchenAid with the establishment of a local college scholarship program in their name.

McCarron, who said he has idolized Nicklaus since his youth, played media and asked Nicklaus what he ate when he was near the lead going into the weekend of a major championship.

Nicklaus said if you play well one day, eat the same thing the next day.

''But no hamburgers, or you will play like hamburger,'' he said.

Stuart Smith, the Reno, Neveda, club pro who was tied for the lead after the first round, missed the 36-hole cut with a second-round 83.

''I'll take the 66, 83 and enjoy the 66 yesterday,'' he said. ''You put this one down to just plain old golf. It's a nasty game we play sometimes. Glad I have a day job.''

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Wise, Simpson both miss cut at Colonial

By Nick MentaMay 25, 2018, 11:34 pm

The two most recent winners on the PGA Tour, Aaron Wise and Webb Simpson, missed the cut at the Fort Worth Invitational on Friday.

Wise and Simpson both came up short of the 2-over total by a shot following rounds of 70-73.

Wise was safely inside the number before playing his last four holes in 4 over par with two bogeys and a closing double following a trip into the water at the par-4 ninth.


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Simpson, making his first start following his Players triumph, similarly struggled coming home, bogeying three of his final six holes.

Other notables who won't be around for the weekend at Colonial include Xander Schauffele (+4), Jason Dufner (+5), Patrick Cantlay (+6), Smylie Kaufman (+13), and Sam Burns (+13).

This is Kaufman's 11th consecutive MC and his 15th in his last 16 starts.

Jason Seaman and Kristi Hubly Seaman

Sr. PGA caddie learns of nephew's heroism in school shooting

By Tim RosaforteMay 25, 2018, 10:33 pm

Tracy Hubly caddied for her husband, club pro Chris Starkjohann, on Friday at the KitchenAid Senior PGA and learned after their round that her nephew was credited with helping stop the school shooting at Noblesville West Middle School in Indiana.

Jason Seaman, a 29-year-old science instructor and seventh grade football coach at the school, took three bullets but survived as what his aunt called a hero.

“You hear the stories about these shootings and I think about Parkland and the officer that was trained but didn’t go into the school,” Hubly said. “It’s really shocking to think it comes close to your family, but it does."

It’s not unusual for Hubly to caddie for her husband, a teacher at Carlsbad Golf Center and coach of a PGA Junior League program in Southern California. Hubly, who works in the pro shop at Emerald Island Golf Course in Oceanside, Calif., was on the bag when he was low golf professional at the 2009 Senior PGA Championship held at Canterbury GC. 

Starkjohann, 61, missed the cut at Harbor Shores with rounds of 76-79—155 and was heading to the Colorado State Open.

 “I didn’t hear about it until after my round was done,” Starkjohann said. “Everything happened after I got in.”