Notes Caseys Collapse Oberholser Out

By Associated PressApril 13, 2008, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Steve Flesch was doing just what he needed to do in brutal conditions. Plod along, make a bunch of pars and hope it would be enough to win.
Then he got to Amen Corner. After dunking his ball in Raes Creek, Flesch didnt have a prayer.
The left-hander took a double-bogey 5 at the picturesque 12th hole, where he knocked his tee shot into the water. Flesch went from just two strokes out of the lead to four, and it all fell apart from there. He played the last seven holes at 6 over, ruining any shot at his first major.
Flesch finished in a tie for fifth after closing with a 78, leaving him six strokes behind winner Trevor Immelman.
I was playing all right, Flesch said. The wind just got really tricky on the back nine and we just pulled the wrong club on the 12th hole and it went straight up and went in the water.
It didnt get much better from there. After making par at the par-5 13th' one of the best shots at birdie on the course'he made four bogeys in a row.
I was just kind of trying to make some putts, trying to make some birdies, trying to be aggressive, and got a little too aggressive on a couple shots, he said. Its a little disheartening and very disappointing, but thats all right. Its still my best finish in a major, and hopefully if I get in the situation again, itll turn out differently.
Flesch went with an 8-iron at the pivotal 12th, believing it would be enough to clear the water on a 154-yard hole thats tucked away in a far corner of the course.
He was wrong.
When I was over it, there wasnt much wind at all and I was aiming it left of the bunker and I hit it solid, Flesch said. But halfway through the flight, it just stood straight up into the wind and I could tell halfway there that it wasnt going to make it.
After taking a drop and a one-shot penalty, Flesch pitched his ball over the water. But he missed a short bogey putt and walked off knowing his chances of winning were probably gone. In the pressure-packed environment of a Sunday at Augusta, his putter deserted him.
As good as I putted the first three days, I just didnt putt very well on the back nine, he said. And thats just how it goes. The back nine on Sunday out here, they get a little more difficult.
While everyone else was getting blown around Augusta National, Miguel Angel Jimenezs day was a breeze.
The Spaniard shot a 4-under 68 Sunday, the best score of the day and only one of four below par. Not bad for a guy who was so close to the cut line he was playing with a marker Saturday.
That was the goal, no? Just to make the cut on Friday and then hope to jump up as much as possible, said Jimenez, who shot a 77 on Thursday but rebounded with a 70 on Friday to make the cut on the number. After starting Sunday in a tie for 35th, Jimenez moved all the way up to a tie for eighth.
Jimenez holed a 7-iron on the par-4 No. 7 for an eagle, but even more impressive were his three birdies on the back nine when the wind was really beginning to blow. He finished with a flourish, chipping in for a final birdie on 18.
Make no mistake, though. Despite his red numbers, this round was far from easy.
It was a tough day today there. And with under par, I believe its going to be tough to do, Jimenez said. You have to take care of too many things that are going on on the golf course to play with the wind, no? But I was hitting the ball very solid.
A gust of wind blew away Paul Caseys chances of contending for his first major title.
The Englishman, who started the final round four shots off the lead, was standing over a par putt at the sixth hole when his ball moved every so slightly. He called a one-stroke penalty on himself, then putted out for a bogey that should have been a par.
He followed with two more bogeys, made the turn with a 5-over 41 and was no longer a factor.
That took the wind out of my sails, because it was so difficult out there today, Casey said. That kind of threw me for a couple of holes and that was it. Going into the back nine, Im too far back, simple as that.
Casey finished with a 7-over 79, dropping him all the way back to even par for the tournament and into a tie for 11th.
As they say, what doesnt kill you makes you stronger, he said. I still had a great week. Its very disappointing today and Ill go away and think about this, but I have got to take the positives out of it as I always try to do. There was some very, very good golf that I played this week.
Casey wasnt the only one to impose a penalty on himself for the ball moving after it was addressed. Bernhard Langer took away a stroke in the first round, and amateur Michael Thompson called the same penalty on Friday. Both missed the cut.
Arron Oberholsers bogey on the 18th hole might be the last anyone sees of him for a while.
Oberholser has been struggling all year with hand and shoulder injuries, and had already said he will take at least the next two months off. He had talked at one point about playing a few events at the end of the season, but said Sunday hes not even sure about that.
Hes already received a medical exemption for next year.
I dont know that youll be hearing from me the rest of the year, he said. I might just scratch the whole thing and call it a mental health year because Im tired of it. Im sick of it. I didnt enjoy one shot out here today and I enjoyed very few shots this week. Im just burnt out.
Oberholser had surgery last October to correct a recurring problem in his left hand. But he thinks he might have come back too soon because the area' right where he grips the golf club'still hurts with every swing. He doesnt plan to even touch a club for two months, and hopes that will help because more surgery is not an option.
Ill quit golf before Ill have another surgery, he said. Ill quit competitive golf. Mark my words. Its not worth it to me.
Despite his struggles, Oberholser played solidly and began Sunday in good shape for a top-16 finish, which would have earned him an invitation back for next year. But he straggled home with a 5-over 77, including a double bogey on the par-5 15th.
He finished the tournament at 4-over 292, tying for 25th.
I dont care about the top 50 anymore. I dont care about coming back to the Masters. I dont care about making the majors. I just want to be healthy, Oberholser said. Ill take healthy and the Nationwide Tour vs. playing out here constantly hurt.
At least Zach Johnson gets to keep his spot in the champions locker room.
Any chance Johnson had of winning another green jacket ended early Sunday. After a birdie on No. 2, he finished the front nine with three bogeys in the last five holes. He finished with a 5-over 77, and wound up in a tie for 20th.
Johnson was there for the green jacket presentation, but only to give it to the newest winner, Trevor Immelman.
Having the green jacket on my back for a year has been fantastic, Johnson said. Its one of those things you dont want to give up. But, you know, thats why we play it every year.
Johnsons victory at last years Masters was considered by many to be little more than a fluke of the weather. The blustery cold prevented others from going low and allowed him to play it safe'he didnt go for a single par 5 all week' and his 1-over 289, tied for highest winning scorer in Masters history.
But he showed this week that he can play a little at Augusta National. After shooting a 76 on Friday, he came back with a 68 Saturday that tied for low round of the day. He finished the tournament at 3-over 291.
The more you play it the better off you become. Its just experience, Johnson said. You cant put a price on playing it year in and year out. Thats just, the more I play it, the better off Im going to become.
Tiger Woods finished second for a second straight year. The scoring average in cool, blustery conditions Sunday was 74.66, highest of the week. No one in the final 11 groups broke par Sunday. Trevor Immelman joins Gary Player as the only South Africans to win the Masters. Immelman is the first foreign champion since Canadas Mike Weir in 2003.
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    Johnson, Moore co-lead Valero Texas Open through 36

    By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 11:32 pm

    SAN ANTONIO - Zach Johnson was going nowhere in the Valero Texas Open when it all changed with one putt.

    He made an 8-foot par putt on the 13th hole of the opening round to stay at 2 under. He followed with a big drive, a hybrid into 12 feet and an eagle. Johnson was on his way, and he kept right on going Friday to a 7-under 65 and a share of the early 36-hole lead with Ryan Moore.

    ''You just never know. That's the beauty of this game,'' Johnson said. ''I felt like I was hitting some solid shots and wasn't getting rewarded, and you've just got to stay in it. You've got to persevere, grind it out, fight for pars. You just never know.''

    Moore had three birdies over his last five holes for a 67 and joined Johnson at 9-under 135.

    Ben Crane (66), Martin Laird (65) and David Hearn (68) were three shots out of the lead among those who played Friday morning. Billy Horschel and Keegan Bradley shot 71 and were four shots behind at 5-under 139.

    Sergio Garcia, who consulted Greg Norman on the design of the AT&T Oaks Course at the TPC San Antonio, might have a long stay in his first time at the Texas Open since 2010. Garcia shot an even-par 72, and at one point became so frustrated he threw his driver into the shrubs.

    Full-field scores from the Valero Texas Open

    Valero Texas Open: Articles, photos and videos

    Garcia finished at 2-over 146 and was outside the cut. He was in jeopardy of missing his second straight cut, depending on afternoon scoring.

    Johnson, a two-time winner of the Texas Open, appeared to be headed to a short week until the key par save on the 13th hole, followed by his eagle, par and three straight birdies. He began the second round Friday with five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine, a sixth birdie on the par-4 first hole, and then an eagle on the short par-4 fifth when he holed out from a greenside bunker.

    The only sour taste to his second round was a three-putt bogey from about 30 feet on his final hole. Even so, the view was much better than it was Thursday afternoon.

    Moore thought he had wasted a good birdie opportunity on the par-5 14th hole when he left his 50-foot eagle putt about 6 feet short. But he made that, and then holed a similar putt from 8 feet for birdie on the next hole and capped his good finish with a 15-foot putt on the 17th.

    ''That was a huge momentum putt there,'' Moore said of the 14th. ''It was a tough putt from down there with a lot of wind. That green is pretty exposed and ... yeah, really short and committed to that second putt really well and knocked it right in the middle.''

    The birdies on the 14th and 15th were important to Moore because he missed a pair of 10-foot birdie tries to start the back nine.

    ''So it was nice to get those and get going in the right direction on the back,'' he said.

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    Daly-Allen team grabs Legends of Golf lead on Day 2

    By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 11:14 pm

    RIDGEDALE, Mo. - John Daly and Michael Allen took the second-round lead Friday in the cool and breezy Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.

    Daly and Allen shot an 8-under 46 on the Top of the Rock par-3 course with wind gusting to 15 mph and the temperature only in the high-50s at Big Cedar Lodge. They had three birdies on the front nine in alternate-shot play and added five more on the back in better-ball play to get to 13 under.

    ''Michael and I go back to the South African days in the late 80s and playing that tour,'' Daly said. ''We've been buddies since. He's just fun to play with. We feed off each other pretty good. And if he's not comfortable guinea-pigging on one hole, I'll go first.''

    On Thursday, they opened with a 66 on the regulation Buffalo Ridge course. They will rotate to the 13-hole Mountain Top par-3 course on Saturday, and return to Top of the Rock for the final round Sunday.

    ''I went to high school in Jeff City, so it's cool to have the fans behind us,'' Daly said.

    Allen won the PGA Tour Champions team event with David Frost in 2012 and Woody Austin in 2016.

    ''I'm just here to free up John,'' Allen said. ''It was fun. Luckily, I started making good putts today. We just want to keep the good times rolling.''

    Full-field scores from the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf

    Defending champions Vijay Singh and Carlos Franco were a stroke back along with Bernhard Langer-Tom Lehman and Paul Broadhurst-Kirk Triplett. Singh and Franco had a 7-under 32 in best-ball play at Mountain Top, and Lehman-Langer and Broadhurst-Tripplet each shot 6-under 48 at Top of the Rock.

    ''Part of the issue here is all the tees are elevated, so you're up high hitting to a green that's down below and the wind is blowing, and there is more time for that wind to affect it,'' Lehman said. ''If you guess wrong on the wind, you can hit a really good shot and kind of look stupid.''

    Former UCLA teammates Scott McCarron and Brandt Jobe were two strokes back at 11 under with Steve Flesch and David Toms and the Spanish side of Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez. McCarron-Jobe had a 47, and Jimenez-Olazabal a 48 at Top of the Rock, and Tom Flesch shot 34 at Mountain Top.

    First-round leaders Jeff Maggert and Jesper Parnevik had a 52 at Top of the Rock to fall three shots back at 10 under. Madison, Wisconsin, friends Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly also were 10 under after a 32 at Mountain Top. Jay Haas aced the 131-yard seventh hole at Mountain Top with a gap wedge. Haas and fellow 64-year-old Peter Jacobsen were 8 under after a 32.

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    Football coach hates golf: Don't need practice swearing

    By Jason CrookApril 20, 2018, 10:15 pm

    Some football coaches are a little more talkative than others. On one side of the spectrum, there's Bill Belichick. On the other sits Washington State football coach Mike Leach.

    Leach always delivers the goods, and when asked recently if he liked golf, he didn't hold back:

    As wrong as the 57-year-old is on the topic (golf is awesome), the man makes some hilarious points:

    • “It’s boring. I don’t care where that ball goes.”

    • "Golfers are always practicing their swing. But you know what I never did? I never practice fishing in my living room.”

    • "They'll line up over the ball and they'll say they're going to do something that you can't do with a sniper rifle and a scope, but they're going to do it with a stick and a ball."

    • “Golf’s pretty much for people that don’t swear effectively enough or need practice. And so there are people that need golf, and I don’t think I do.”

    So in conclusion, it's confirmed: Mike Leach - not a golf guy.

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    Quiros takes 1-shot lead in Morocco

    By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 8:22 pm

    RABAT, Morocco - Alvaro Quiros shot a solid 2-under 70 in windy conditions to push into a one-shot lead after two rounds of the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco on Friday.

    Quiros fought the elements, carding seven birdies and five bogeys to move to 7 under overall and take the outright lead at the halfway point of the European Tour event.

    The Spaniard was one clear of Andrew Dodt, who moved into contention with a 4-under 68 at the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam course. Dodt dropped two shots in his first six holes but the Australian recovered from that shaky start to collect four birdies and an eagle.

    Full-field scores from the Trophee Hassan II

    Erik van Rooyen of South Africa was another shot back in third on 5 under after his 71.

    Bradley Dredge of Wales, who shared the first-round lead with Quiros, slipped off the pace with a 1-over 73. He's tied for fourth with Austin Connelly of Canada (71), 4 under par and three shots behind Quiros.