Molder Davis share lead at Colonial

By Associated PressMay 30, 2010, 2:13 am

FORT WORTH, Texas – Brian Davis is seemingly done penalizing himself. And now he gets another chance to challenge for his first PGA Tour victory.

After a second consecutive bogey-free 65 Saturday, Davis shares the lead with Bryce Molder at 16-under 194 going into the final round of the Colonial.

When Davis got into a playoff last month at Hilton Head with Jim Furyk, Davis called a two-stroke penalty against himself on the extra hole that ensured a victory for the fifth-ranked player in the world. Davis then finished 57th the following week at New Orleans and had missed three consecutive cuts before Colonial.

“What happened during the playoff threw me off balance a little bit. I lost my focus. … Missing three cuts in a row, I wasn’t exactly happy coming in,” Davis said. “I’ve had to adjust my thinking a little bit. Not everybody can play well every week. You have to take the rough with the smooth some times.”

The 35-year-old Englishman and Molder, the second-round leader who finished his 67 Saturday with eight consecutive pars, are hoping for a little plaid to signify finally winning on the PGA Tour. The Colonial champion gets a plaid jacket along with a check of more than $1 million.

Molder has four top-10s this season, but the four-time All-American from Georgia Tech has only one professional victory since leaving college in 2001 – on the Nationwide Tour in 2006.

It was another hot but ideal scoring day at Hogan’s Alley, where there again were only light breezes. The forecast Sunday calls for nearly identical conditions.

Brian Davis swings golf club
Davis is looking for his first career victory on the PGA Tour. (Getty Images)
“I don’t know if Fort Worth has seen four calmer days in a row,” said Molder, who expects the winning score to be at least 20 under. That would break Kenny Perry’s tournament-record mark of 19 under, which he set when winning in 2003 and 2005.

There are 17 players at 11 under or better going into the final round this year.

“I have no illusions about (Sunday),” Davis said.

Zach Johnson (64) was a stroke behind the leaders. Ben Crane (64) joined first-round co-leaders Jeff Overton (66) and Jason Bohn (68) in a tie for fourth at 14 under.

“This is a golfer’s dream to have the wind lay down like this,” Crane said. “Certainly this one of the best courses in the world and the greens are receptive.”

Crane got to 14 under when he made an eagle from 143 yards at the par-4 17th hole. He had a hole-in-one Friday.

Molder shot a career-best 62 Friday to take the halfway lead, then set another personal mark Saturday with nine consecutive one-putts. He made putts ranging from 4 to 34 feet from hole Nos. 2-11, a stretch that included five birdies and a double bogey.

Then on the closing 441-yard 18th hole, Molder slid a 10-foot birdie try just past the cup.

Davis, who hasn’t had a bogey since the ninth hole in the opening round, needed a couple of save shots Saturday.

At the par-5 11th, Davis made a 16-foot par putt after hitting from a fairway bunker to the rough and then over the green. He overcame a bad chip at the 430-yard 15th hole with a 21-foot par-saver. When he hit his second shot of the day from a fairway bunker and then went over the green at the only other par 5, he pitched to 2 feet on No. 1.

Johnson had birdies on both backside par 3s, making a 22-footer at No. 13, then an 8-footer at No. 16. He made a 4-foot birdie putt at No. 18 to get to 15 under.

Phil Mickelson missed the cut and a chance at being the No. 1 player in the world, so he wasn’t around for the Colonial’s second “Pink Out” to raise awareness of breast cancer. Hogan’s Alley was swathed Saturday in pink – from the clothing worn by most golfers, officials and spectators to signs and ribbons.

The first “Pink Out” was during the third round a year ago when Mickelson wasn’t here to defend his 2008 title soon after finding out his wife, Amy, had breast cancer. Weeks after that, he found out his mother also had the disease.

Mickelson said he would be wearing pink at home Saturday in San Diego while spending the weekend with his family. Amy Mickelson’s birthday is Monday.

K.J. Choi teed off at No. 18 with a chance to match the course record of 61 with a birdie, but instead had a quadruple-bogey 8. He hit his tee shot into the rough, flubbed his first chance to get out and then hit the next into the water. The 40-year-old South Korean knocked his drop through the green, chipped another one off the green and finally made an 8-foot putt.

“Everything went all right before that hole,” Choi said through an interpreter. “I knew that was a tough hole. In my mind, I thought bogey would be good. But things didn’t go right.”

At about the same time Choi was struggling at No. 18, Molder was sinking a 34-foot putt at No. 8, his second consecutive birdie getting him to 15 under. That stretch also made up for a double bogey at the 481-yard No. 5, when he hit his approach to the par 4 out of bounds.

DIVOTS: New to this year’s “Pink Out,” title sponsor Crowne Plaza pledged donations for each birdie and eagle during the third round. Bolstered by six eagles on par 4s, that netted $36,600 for Susan G. Komen For The Cure. … The only player over par through three rounds is Ian Poulter, the No. 6 player in the world. A 73 on Saturday put him at 1 over. Fourth-ranked Steve Stricker, the defending Colonial champ, and No. 8 Paul Casey are both 8 under. … Another hole-in-one at No. 13: Paul Goydos aced the hole with a 5-iron from 195 yards.

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Elway to play in U.S. Senior Open qualifier

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 23, 2018, 10:25 pm

Tony Romo is not the only ex-QB teeing it up against the pros.

Denver Broncos general manager and Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway will try to qualify for the U.S. Senior Open next week, according to the Denver Post.

And why not? The qualifier and the senior major will be held in Colorado Springs at the Broadmoor. Elway is scheduled to tee off May 28 at 12:10 p.m. ET. The top two finishers will earn a spot in the U.S. Senior Open, June 27 to July 1.

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Jutanugarn sisters: Different styles, similar results

By Associated PressMay 23, 2018, 10:20 pm

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn play golf and live life differently.

The sisters from Thailand do have the same goal in the LPGA, hoping their shot-to-shot focus leads to titles.

The Jutanugarns are two of six women with a shot at the Volvik Championship to become the circuit's first two-time winner this year. The first round begins Thursday at Travis Pointe Country Club, a course six winners are skipping to prepare elsewhere for next week's U.S. Women's Open at Shoal Creek in Alabama.

''Everybody has a chance to win every weekend,'' Moriya said. ''That's how hard it is on tour right now.''

Ariya competes with a grip-it-and-rip-it approach, usually hammering a 3-wood off the tee.

Moriya takes a more calculated approach, analyzing each shot patiently.

That's perhaps fitting because she's 16 months older than her sister.

''It's funny because when we think about something, it's always the different,'' she said. ''But we pretty much end up with the same idea.''

Off the course, they're also different.

The 22-year-old Ariya appears careful and guarded when having conversations with people she doesn't know well. The 23-year-old Moriya, meanwhile, enjoys engaging in interesting discussions with those who cross her path.

Their mother, Narumon, was with her daughters Wednesday and the three of them always stay together as a family. They don't cook during tournament weeks and opt to eat out, searching for good places like the sushi restaurant they've discovered near Travis Pointe.

Their father, Somboon, does not watch them play in person. They sisters say he has retired from owning a golf shop in Thailand.

''He doesn't travel anymore,'' Moriya Jutanugarn said.

Even if he is relegating to watching from the other side of the world, Somboon Jutanugarn must be proud of the way his daughters are playing.

Ariya became the first Thai winner in LPGA history in 2016, the same year she went on to win the inaugural Volvik Championship. She earned her eighth career victory last week in Virginia and is one of two players, along with Brooke Henderson, to have LPGA victories this year and the previous two years.

Moriya won for the first time in six years on the circuit last month in Los Angeles, joining Annika and Charlotta Sorenstam as the two pairs of sisters to have LPGA victories.

On the money list, Ariya is No. 1 and her sister is third.

In terms of playing regularly, no one is ahead of them.

Ariya is the only LPGA player to start and make the cut in all 12 events this year. Moriya Jutanugarn has also appeared in each tournament this year and failed to make the cut only once.

Instead of working in breaks to practice without competing or simply relax, they have entered every tournament so far and shrug their shoulders at the feat.

''It's not that bad, like 10 week in a row,'' Moriya said.

The LPGA is hosting an event about five miles from Michigan Stadium for a third straight year and hopes to keep coming back even though it doesn't have a title sponsor secured for 2019. LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan told reporters he's confident Ann Arbor will be a long-term home for the circuit.

''I can't tell you the specifics about how we're going to do that,'' Whan acknowledged.

LPGA and tournament officials are hosting some prospective sponsors this week, trying to persuade them to put their name on the tournament.

Volvik, which makes golf balls, is preparing to scale back its support of the tournament.

''We're coming back,'' said Don Shin, president of Volvik USA. ''We just don't know in what capacity.''

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Wise: 'No hard feelings' over Nelson missed kiss

By Will GrayMay 23, 2018, 10:18 pm

Aaron Wise left the AT&T Byron Nelson with his first PGA Tour trophy and a seven-figure paycheck. But lost in the shuffle of closing out his breakthrough victory in near-darkness was his failed attempt for a celebratory kiss with his girlfriend on the 18th green.

Wise appeared to go in for a peck after his family joined him on the putting surface, but instead he and his girlfriend simply laughed and hugged. After the moment gained a bit of online notoriety, Wise told reporters at the Fort Worth Invitational that the young couple simply laughed it off.

"Yeah, I have been giving her some s--- about that," Wise said. "A lot has been made about it. It's really nothing. Like I was saying, she was just so excited to surprise me. I was kind of ruining the surprise a little bit that she was shocked, and she didn't even see me going in for the kiss."

At age 21, Wise is now one of the youngest winners on Tour. He explained that while both his girlfriend and mother flew in to watch the final round at Trinity Forest Golf Club, where he shared the 54-hole lead and eventually won by three shots, he took some of the surprise out of their arrival in true millennial fashion - by looking up his girlfriend's location earlier in the day.

Still getting used to his newfound status on Tour, Wise downplayed any controversy surrounding the kiss that wasn't.

"No hard feelings at all," Wise said. "We love each other a ton and we're great. It was a funny moment that I think we'll always be able to look back at, but that's all it really was."

Mmm Visuals / Lancaster Country Club

Giving back: Chun creates education fund at site of Open win

By Randall MellMay 23, 2018, 8:04 pm

South Korea’s In Gee Chun is investing in American youth.

Chun broke through on the largest stage in women’s golf, winning the U.S. Women’s Open three years ago, and she’s making sure Lancaster, Pa., continues to share in what that brought her.

Chun is preparing for next week’s U.S. Women’s Open at Shoal Creek outside Birmingham, Ala., but she made a special stop this week. She returned to the site of her breakthrough in Pennsylvania on Tuesday and Wednesday, launching the In Gee Chun Lancaster Country Club Education Fund. She announced Tuesday that she’s donating $10,000 to seed the fund. She’s expected to raise more than $20,000 for the cause in a fundraising dinner at the club Wednesday evening. The fund will annually award scholarships to Lancaster youth applicants, including Lancaster Country Club caddies and children of club employees.

“I’m excited to be back here,” said Chun, who put on a junior clinic during her stay and also played an outing with club members. “Winning the U.S. Women’s Open here in Lancaster gave me the opportunity to play on the LPGA and make one of my dreams come true.”

Chun also supports a fund in her name at Korea University, where she graduated, a fund for various “social responsibility” projects and for the educational needs of the youth who create them.

“Education is very important to me,” Chun said. “I would like to help others reach their goals.”

Chun made donations to the Lancaster General Health Foundation in 2015 and ’16 and to Pennsylvania’s J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust last year. Lancaster Country Club officials estimate she has now made donations in excess of $40,000 to the community.

“We are grateful In Gee’s made such a wonderful connection to our community and club,” said Rory Connaughton, a member of Lancaster Country Club’s board of governors. “She’s a special person.”