Norman steps down, campaigns for change

By Associated PressNovember 20, 2011, 12:00 pm

MELBOURNE, Australia – One of the most successful personalities in golf, on and off the course, has now lost the Presidents Cup twice as captain of the International side.

Greg Norman, never one to mince words, had criticized his counterpart Fred Couples for making Tiger Woodsa captain’s pick, then watched at Royal Melbourne as one of his, Robert Allenby, failed to win a point in yet another losing cause for the Internationals.

But Norman said he has no regrets. He was his usual upbeat self Sunday after the 19-15 loss to the Americans, and said that although he won’t be back as captain in 2013, he might be an assistant if asked.

“That’s going to be totally up to the captain,” Norman said when asked if he’d be helping out the International team in two years at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio. “If coming back or getting an invitation to be involved again in the future, obviously I would very much consider that, no question about it.”

The Presidents Cup, which pits the U.S. against teams from non-European countries, has always taken a back seat to The Ryder Cup. And the United States has dominated nine Presidents Cup tournaments since 1994, winning seven times, losing once – at Royal Melbourne in 1998 – and tying in South Africa in 2003.

Norman said Sunday he’d like to see changes that would give the host country a say in the format.

“I made a couple of suggestions already to the powers that be back in Jacksonville (Florida, the U.S. PGA headquarters) to make the Presidents Cup a little bit better from my team’s perspective, which is a really important thing,” he said.

U.S. tops Internationals, 19-15, at Presidents Cup

Hoggard: Grading captains, players

Norman said he’d like to see the foursomes (alternate-shot) matches reduced, as that’s where the Internationals have been traditionally poor because the Americans play that format every year – in Ryder Cup and the Presidents Cup.

“We do get our cage rattled a little bit in the foursomes,” Norman said. “So maybe that just gets our confidence level off. What’s wrong with the host nation of having the choice of the format anyway? Any golf tournament has got to be fine-tuned every year.”

Couples agreed that his American side has an advantage there.

“We have an advantage by playing alternate shot, I couldn’t argue that more,” Couples said. “Greg’s guys very rarely do it.”

Making his swansong as captain, Norman looked like he loved what he was doing Sunday.

As the International side staged an early comeback attempt, winning the first four singles matches to pull close for a while, Norman donned one of the green caps worn by the Australian Fanatics cheerleading squad.

When South Korean player K.T. Kim won his match 1-up over Webb Simpson, Norman was the first person to give him a big hug on the 18th at Royal Melbourne, all part of his mentoring of the younger players, some of whom grew up idolizing the Great White Shark.

In the weeks before the event, the five Australian players on the team – Adam Scott, Geoff Ogilvy, Aaron Baddley, Jason Day and Allenby – spoke of their desire to win the Presidents Cup because of the effect Norman had on their careers. In Scott’s case, it was the sole reason he gave up other sports to take up golf.

“Put it this way, I’ve talked to him about more things than I’ve talked to my father,” Allenby said. Scott called Norman the Australian equivalent of what Arnold Palmer did for golf in the United States.

“I just wanted to show everybody that we do have it,” Norman said Sunday of his International team.

“We have to make sure we capitalize on that. Just because we lost doesn’t mean to say we didn’t win. At the end of the day, we have to make the Presidents Cup a better event for it.”

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Four top finishers in Japan qualify for The Open

By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 10:19 am

IBARAKI, Japan – Shota Akiyoshi of Japan shot a 2-under-par 70 on Sunday to win the Mizuno Open and qualify for The 147th Open.

Akiyoshi offset three bogeys with five birdies at the Royal Golf Club in Ibaraki, Japan, to finish 1 under overall and secure his first ever tournament win on the Japan Golf Tour.

Michael Hendry of New Zealand and Japanese golfers Masahiro Kawamura and Masanori Kobayashi were tied for second one stroke off the pace to also qualify for The Open at Carnoustie, Scotland, from July 19-22.

Hendry, who led the tournament coming into the final round, came close to forcing a playoff with Akiyoshi but dropped a shot with a bogey on the final hole when he needed a par to draw level.

Hendry will make his second appearance at The Open after qualifying at the Mizuno Open for the second year in a row.

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Lewis hopes to win at Volvik with baby on the way

By Randall MellMay 27, 2018, 12:55 am

Stacy Lewis was listening to more than her caddie on her march up the leaderboard Saturday at the Volvik Championship.

Pregnant with her first child, she is listening to her body in a new way these days.

And she could hear a message coming through loud and clear toward the end of her round at Travis Point Country Club in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“The little one was telling me it’s dinnertime,” Lewis said.

Lewis birdied five of the last six holes to shoot 5-under-par 67 and move into position to make a Sunday run at winning her 13th LPGA title. She is two shots behind the leader, Minjee Lee, whose 68 moved her to 12 under overall.

Sunday has the makings of a free for all with 10 players within three shots of the lead.


Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


Lewis, 33, is four months pregnant, with her due date Nov. 3. She’s expecting to play just a few more times before putting the clubs away to get ready for the birth. She said she’s likely to make the Marathon Classic in mid-July her last start of the season before returning next year.

Of course, Lewis would relish winning with child.

“I don’t care what limitations I have or what is going on with my body, I want to give myself a chance to win,” she told LPGA.com at the Kingsmill Championship last week.

Lewis claimed an emotional victory with her last title, taking the Cambia Portland Classic late last summer after announcing earlier in the week that she would donate her entire winnings to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in her Houston hometown.

A victory Sunday would also come with a lot of emotion.

It’s been an interesting year for Lewis.

There’s been the joy of learning she’s ready to begin the family she has been yearning for, and the struggle to play well after bouncing back from injury.

Lewis missed three cuts in a row before making it into the weekend at the Kingsmill Championship last week. That’s one more cut than she missed cumulatively in the previous six years. In six starts this year, Lewis hasn’t finished among the top 50 yet, but she hasn’t felt right, either.

The former world No. 1 didn’t make her second start of 2018 until April, at the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration. She withdrew from the HSBC Women’s World Championship in late February with a strained right oblique muscle and didn’t play again for a month.

Still, Lewis is finding plenty to get excited about with the baby on the way.

“I kind of had my first Mother’s Day,” Lewis told LPGA.com last week. “It puts golf into perspective. It makes those bad days not seem so bad. It helps me sleep better at night. We are just really excited.”

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Rose hasn't visited restroom at Colonial - here's why

By Nick MentaMay 27, 2018, 12:20 am

In case you're unaware, it's pretty hot in Texas.

Temperatures at Colonial Country Club have approached 100 degrees this week, leaving players to battle both the golf course and potential dehydration.

With the help of his caddie Mark Fulcher, Fort Worth Invitational leader Justin Rose has been plenty hot himself, staking himself to a four-shot lead.


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


"Yeah, Fulch has done a great job of just literally handing me water bottle after water bottle. It seems relentless, to be honest with you," Rose said Saturday.

So just how much are players sweating the heat at Colonial? Well, it doesn't sound like all that water is making it all the way through Rose.

"I haven't even seen the inside of a restroom yet, so you can't even drink quick enough out there," he shared.

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Up four, Rose knows a lead can slip away

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 11:21 pm

Up four shots heading into Sunday at the Fort Worth Invitational, Justin Rose has tied the largest 54-hole lead of his PGA Tour career.

On the previous two occasions he took a 54-hole Tour lead into the final round, he closed.

And yet, Rose knows just how quickly a lead can slip away. After all, it was Rose who erased a six-shot deficit earlier this season to overtake Dustin Johnson and win the WGC-HSBC Championship. 

"I think I was in the lead going into the final round in Turkey when I won, and I had a four-shot lead going into the final round in Indonesia in December and managed to put that one away," Rose said Saturday, thinking back to his two other victories late last year.

"I was five, six back maybe of DJ, so I've got experience the other way. ... So you can see how things can go both ways real quick. That's why there is no point in getting too far ahead of myself."


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Up one to start the third round Saturday, Rose extended his lead to as much as five when he birdied four of his first six holes.

He leads the field in strokes gained: tee-to-green (+12.853) and strokes gained: approach-the-green (+7.931).

Rose has won five times worldwide, including at the 2016 Rio Olympics, since his last victory in the United States, at the 2015 Zurich Classic.

With a win Sunday, he'd tie Nick Faldo for the most PGA Tour wins by an Englishman post-World War II, with nine.

But he isn't celebrating just yet.

"It is a big lead, but it's not big enough to be counting the holes away. You've got to go out and play good, you've got to go out positive, you've got to continue to make birdies and keep going forward.

"So my mindset is to not really focus on the lead, it's to focus on my game tomorrow and my performance. You know, just keep executing the way I have been. That's going to be my challenge tomorrow. Going to look forward to that mindset."