Mike Weir trying to end long Canadian drought

By Associated PressJuly 22, 2009, 4:00 pm
RBC Canadian OpenOAKVILLE, Canada ' Mike Weir is well aware that a Canadian hasnt won the Canadian Open in 55 years, and that it has been 95 years since the tournament crowned a Canadian-born champion.
 
Its our national championship, and all us Canadians, we want to put to rest that its been so long since one of us has won one, Weir said Wednesday, a day before the start of the 100th edition of the tournament.

Maybe the nineteenth time is the charm for Mike Weir to finally capture the Canadian Open. (Getty Images)
Pat Fletcher, born in England, was the last Canadian winner, taking the 1954 event in Vancouver, British Columbia. Carl Keffer is the only Canadian-born champion, winning in 1909 and 1914. Albert Murray, also born in England, won in 1908 and 1913.
 
The odds are pretty much staked against us, said Stephen Ames, a naturalized Canadian citizen from Trinidad & Tobago. Fifteen playing this week in a field of 156. It makes things difficult to some extent, but at the same time, we have what we call the 15th club in our bag with the crowd.
 
Weir is making his 19th appearance in the national championship, back at Jack Nicklaus-designed Glen Abbey for the second straight year and 25th time overall.
 
The 2003 Masters champion, an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour, came close to breaking through in 2004 at Glen Abbey, losing to Vijay Singh in a playoff. Last year, Weir tied for fifth, five strokes behind winner Chez Reavie.
 
Weir missed the cut in his first nine starts in the tournament ' eight at Glen Abbey and one at Royal Montreal ' and also dropped out early in 2005 and 2006.
 
Just the experience of playing the course, I think helped me adjust. And I think my games just evolved over the years, the 39-year-old Ontario native said. I think a number of the rounds and cuts I missed here I was playing on the Canadian Tour, and I wasnt a PGA Tour-caliber player then.
 
He was never better at Glen Abbey than he was Monday in his charity pro-am event, playing the back nine in 9-under 28. He was 8 under on the final six holes, making two eagles and four birdies. I wish I could do that in a tournament, Weir said.
 
Nick Taylor and Matt Hill, the Canadians who hold the top two spots in the world amateur rankings, are paired together for the first two rounds. The top-ranked Taylor, the University of Washington player from Manitoba, was the low amateur at the U.S. Open and reached the U.S. Amateur Public Links final last week. Hill, from Weirs hometown of Brights Grove, won the NCAA individual title for North Carolina State in May.
 
Its cool to be in a PGA Tour event, but being back home in Canada with a bunch of people working and pulling for you, thats going to be fun, Taylor said.
 
Anthony Kim is back at Glen Abbey after tying for eighth last year. He closed with a 75 in a final-round pairing with Reavie after opening with rounds of 65, 69 and 64.
 
I like the golf course, Kim said. It sets up well for me and it really is a drivers golf course, and I feel like that is a strong suit in my game. If I can manage to keep the ball in play, it should be a good week.
 
In his pro-am round Wednesday, Kim holed a 4-iron shot from 200 yards on the par-4 eighth ' previously the first hole on the rearranged front nine.
 
Thats eight? I thought it was one, Kim said. I knew it was covering the flag, but even after it went in, I wasnt sure it went in until my buddy said it went in.
 
Kims agent, Chris Armstrong, is Canadian, and the 24-year-old American has tournament title sponsor Royal Bank of Canadas logo on his bag.
 
Carrying the RBC bag, Ill have a couple more fans following me, Kim said.
 
RBC is in its second year at the Royal Canadian Golf Association-run tournament, which didnt have a title sponsor in 2006 and 2007.
 
I dont recall a time in my tenure where weve had a better overall working relationship between ourselves, the title sponsor, RBC and the RCGA, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said. It really is working very, very well.
 
Last year, Reavie won his first PGA Tour title, beating Billy Mayfair by three strokes on the water-logged course south of Toronto.
 
You never know when its your time, Reavie said. Youve just got to go out there and play as hard as you can every day. When you add them up, hopefully youre the lowest guy out here.
 
DIVOTS: Fred Couples withdrew Wednesday because of a back injury. Former Southern California star Jamie Lovemark is making his pro debut. Im coming off of a rib injury, the 2007 NCAA champion said. Its been a lot better than I thought it was going to be. In addition to the front-nine order, the course par has been changed back from 71 to 72, with the 16th playing as a 516-yard par 5.
 
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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.”