Notes Broken Hand Flirting with 59

By Associated PressSeptember 6, 2007, 4:00 pm
BMW ChampionshipLEMONT, Ill. -- Arron Oberholser has been struggling with injuries to his hand and wrist since the U.S. Open, and it finally caught up with him Thursday when he withdrew from the BMW Championship after eight holes.
 
Oberholser, who tied for second last week at the Deutsche Bank Championship, is at No. 29 in the standings for the PGA TOUR Playoffs. If no one else behind him does anything, he could still wind up in the top 30 and qualify for the Tour Championship.
 
Either way, he won't be at the TOUR Championship next week in Atlanta.
 
'I won't be able to play at East Lake, even if I made it,' he said. 'Finishing the year at East Lake in the top 30 ... you've had a good year. I love the course there and was pointing toward that. I just can't go any more.'
 
Oberholser was 3 over through eight holes when he walked off the course.
 
His hands have been bothering him since Oakmont, and the injuries include a fracture in the left hand. Oberholser isn't sure if the fracture is getting worse or if he's having to compensate in other areas of his hands, putting more stress on him.
 
'I just have a whole mess of issues right now -- arms and wrists and hands,' he said.
 
He plans at least three weeks of rest and therapy at least three times a week. Doctors have told him that he should be able to play in time for a new Fall Series tournament in the Phoenix area that is six weeks away.
 
Oberholser's withdraw meant 65 players remained in the field.
 
BARKING BACK
Stewart Cink was more perturbed than most when he heard a parade of complaints about the FedExCup from various players, who suggested the tour didn't consult them about the changes.
 
Cink was on the front lines as a member of the PGA TOUR policy board. He also was in player meetings that were not well-attended.
 
'It's been documented for a year now in print,' he said. 'I don't see how you can complain about not knowing. As far as being left out of the process, I think that a lot of players were asked, just about everybody was given an opportunity. We had abysmal attendance at player meetings. That's our forum. If you can't take the time to come to the player meeting and voice your opinion, then how else are we supposed to get it?'
 
Cink said players shouldn't gripe about anything until after the FedExCup is over, then figure out how to make it better.
 
BIG STRETCH
Tiger Woods can't relate to guys on the bubble to make the TOUR Championship, or any bubble. But there was a time he had to play a lot of golf to reach a goal. After turning pro in 1996 at age 20, Woods was given seven starts to make enough money to avoid going to PGA TOUR qualifying school.
 
'My outlook was to get into a rhythm of playing week after week because I had never done that,' he said. 'Then on top of that, get a win somewhere, and it will take care of everything.'
 
He tied for 60th in Milwaukee, finished 11th at the Canadian Open and had a chance to win at the Quad City Classic until he coughed up a 54-hole lead to Ed Fiori.
 
'That's why I was so bummed out when I played that bad against 'The Gripper,'' Woods said, alluding to the strong grip Fiori used. 'I knew that if I just won that event, I have a card for two years and I don't have to go to Q-school.'
 
He clinched his card with a tie for third the next week at the B.C. Open, took a week off, then won in Las Vegas for the first of what is now 59 career victories.
 
NO RAIN
Cog Hill already was soft from rain on the eve of the first round. Making it even easier for the players was being allowed to lift, clean and place their balls in the short grass.
 
The rain never arrived.
 
'The fairways slowed up, but more the greens,' Tiger Woods said. 'When you have ball in hand, you're firing at just about every flag. It's one of those things where you felt like you had to shoot something in the mid-60s or else you're going to be left behind.'
 
It wasn't quite that bad.
 
Only 28 players out of the 65 who finished their rounds shot in the 60s, although only 22 players failed to break par.
 
ROSE DREAMS
Justin Rose made a 45-foot birdie on his ninth hole to shoot 29 on the front at Cog Hill, then rolled in a birdie from 20 feet at No. 10 and had a simple up-and-down for birdie at the par-5 11th. Just like that, he was 8 under through 11 holes and thinking of a certain magical number.
 
Rose would have needed four birdies over the last seven holes for a 59.
 
He played them 2 over and shot 65.
 
'It briefly came across my mind on the 11th hole, but I never got really excited about it from that point of view,' he said. 'I knew it was a par 71, which is always a little easier than a par 72.'
 
Rose knows what it's like. He had a birdie putt for 59 on the easy Palm course at Disney last year, and settled for a 60. Turns out he didn't even win the tournament, finishing five shots behind Joe Durant.
 
'It's always disappointing when you're 8 under par through 11 and you finish 6 under,' he said. 'But at the same time, I think you've got to realize it's certainly not an easy course.'
 
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    Garcia (73), Fleetwood (74) off to slow starts at BMW

    By Associated PressJune 21, 2018, 8:30 pm

    PULHEIM, Germany – Sebastien Gros carded a 4-under 68 in windy conditions to lead by one shot after the opening round of the BMW International Open on Thursday.

    The Frenchman had four birdies to take the lead before the turn, and a six-footer on the 15th hole moved him two ahead. But a bogey on the next hole left the 28-year-old Gros just one ahead of Jorge Campillo, Scott Jamieson, Aaron Rai and Henric Sturehed.

    Sturehed eagled the par-5 No. 13 to take the lead in the morning at the Gut Laerchenhof club.

    Christofer Blomstrand, Nico Geyger, Mark Tullo, Victor Perez, David Howell and Nicolai von Dellingshausen are a further stroke back on 2-under 70.

    Defending champion Andres Romero was among a large group at 1 under, including 2013 winner Ernie Els and three-time European Tour winner Andy Sullivan.

    Romero is bidding to be the first player to retain the title.

    Local favorite and 2008 champion Martin Kaymer shot 72, ahead of Sergio Garcia (73) and Tommy Fleetwood (74).

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    Ryu thriving again after simple advice from Inbee Park

    By Randall MellJune 21, 2018, 7:07 pm

    So Yeon Ryu shared Rolex Player of the Year honors last year.

    She reigned as world No. 1 for almost five months.

    So when she couldn’t keep her momentum going at year’s start, she got frustrated. She wasn’t happy with two top 10s in her first 11 starts.

    “I lost a lot of confidence at the beginning of the year,” Ryu said Thursday as she prepared to lead a strong field as the defending champion in Friday’s start of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. “My expectation level was way too high.”

    So she sought the counsel of her pal, world No. 1 Inbee Park, who gave her some plain-spoken advice.


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    “Get over it,” Park told her. “You know what to do. You’ve done it, so it’s not really a big deal. Don’t worry about it. You were No. 1. You’ve achieved a lot of things as a professional golfer. Just don’t be too hard on yourself.”

    Ryu got over it winning the Meijer LPGA Classic last week, the sixth LPGA title of her career, her third in 15 months. She’s feeling good again leading a stellar field this week at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Ark., a strong tune up before next week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the year’s third major championship.

    World No. 1 Park, No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn and No. 3 Lexi Thompson are among the top nine players in the world scheduled to compete this week. Twenty-four of the top 30 are in the field.

    “When you come to defend your title, you obviously have a lot of pressure, but after I won last week, now I sort of think, maybe I have a chance to defend my title,” Ryu said. “So I've got total confidence, by last week.”

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    Watch: Spieth, JT hole bunker shots in back-to-back groups

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 21, 2018, 6:57 pm

    Jordan Spieth has a thing for holing bunker shots at the Travelers Championship, where he made one in a playoff to win last year.

    He did it again in Round 1 at TPC River Highlands, knocking in this shot for eagle at the par-5 sixth to reach 4 under par for the tournament



    In the next group, Justin Thomas did the same thing to reach 1 under. Keep an eye out for the best part of this highlight, when Thomas' caddie Jimmy Johnson tries to hand him his putter.

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    River Highlands a 'breather' for Zach Johnson (63)

    By Will GrayJune 21, 2018, 6:43 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – After enduring the pressure-cooker of the U.S. Open, Zach Johnson was more than happy to drift north to the friendly confines of TPC River Highlands.

    Birdies were rare last week at Shinnecock Hills, but they’ll be plentiful all week long at the Travelers Championship. Browned-out and crispy conditions transitioned to lush and verdant, and players can attack flags without fear of turning a possible par into a struggle to avoid triple.

    Johnson did just that in the opening round, carding eight birdies against a single bogey to take the early lead with a 7-under 63.

    “It’s a different kind of breathing. It’s a different kind of exhaling, if you will, but they’re both good,” Johnson said. “You can put some red on the board here. We know that. We’ve seen it. You can go the other way in a hurry if you press it; it can keep going in the other way. So you kind of have to let it happen. This is one of those courses where you have to let it happen.”


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    Like many in this week’s field, Johnson took it easy after a grueling major championship, staying away from the course Monday and easing into his prep over the next two days. Those decisions paid off quickly as he rattled off six straight birdies on Nos. 11-16 to take sole possession of the lead.

    While Johnson tied for 12th last week at Shinnecock Hills, that was just his second top-15 finish since the Sony Open in January. But the veteran is no stranger to fast starts at TPC River Highlands, having now opened with 65 or better four times in his last eight appearances dating back to 2011.

    It’s a course where he continues to have success, even if his past consistency hasn’t lived up to expectations.

    “I feel like every time I get here it feels like I should shoot nothing, and it bites me,” Johnson said. “The last couple years I’m like, ‘All right, you can’t have any expectations in that regard. You’ve just got to go out and execute, you know, put the ball in the fairway and you will have opportunities.’”