Notes Demostrator Protests Rave Reviews for Course

By Associated PressJuly 23, 2006, 4:00 pm
135th Open Championship HOYLAKE, England -- Tiger Woods can't seem to win a British Open without some type of disruption. There was a streaker at St. Andrews, and purple flour bomb Sunday at Royal Liverpool as he was about to play his third shot from behind the 18th green.
 
A man was heard to shout, 'Fathers For Justice' as six flour bombs were thrown onto the putting surface, drawing boos from the fans sitting around the 18th green. The man was led away by police, who wore plastic gloves to clean away the residue.
 
The flour bombs left small purple stains on the grass but didn't seem to affect the players.
 
'We only saw the paint,' said Sergio Garcia, who was Woods' playing partner. 'We didn't see when they threw it. It's very disappointing to see that happen in a championship like this one is, the best championship in the world. It didn't affect me at all. I wasn't putting through the paint anyway.'
 
Fathers 4 Justice is a campaign for father's rights in child custody cases. Similar devices were thrown at Prime Minister Tony Blair in the House of Commons two years ago during a debate.
 
BIG DAY:
Marius Thorp won't forget Sunday at Royal Liverpool anytime soon.
 
The European Amateur champion got to play the final round with five-time British Open champion Tom Watson. He ended it with a birdie on the final hole for a 1-under 71 to win the silver medal that goes to the low amateur.
 
Thorp finished at even-par 288. His only competition came from U.S. Amateur champion Edoardo Molinari of Italy, who finished at 295.
 
'I played with one of the biggest legends in the game and that was simply fantastic,' Thorp said. 'I learned so much today.'
 
Watson learned a bit, too, such as what it was like to be 18 again.
 
'He's fearless with the putter. I remember those days,' Watson said. 'I reveled in it and I wish I could be like that these days.'
 
Thorp said his parents introduced him to golf, despite the lack of courses in Norway. He said he was inspired by watching Tiger Woods on television.
 
On Sunday, Thorp played in the same final round as Woods, then got his last thrill of the day when he stood next to him at the medal ceremony to receive his award.
 
RISING SUN:
Hideto Tanihara started the final round hopeful of becoming the first Japanese player to win a major.
 
He ended it by missing an 8-foot birdie putt that cost him an automatic ticket to the Masters, spoiling an otherwise good week.
 
Tanihara, playing in his second British Open, closed with a 1-under 71 and tied for fifth with Sergio Garcia at 11-under 277, seven shots behind Tiger Woods. The top four and ties from the British Open are exempt to the Masters.
 
'It's kind of bittersweet,' he said. 'I felt I left a few shots out there today, but on the other hand it is a great finish.'
 
The one consolation? He won't have to qualify for the British Open next year because the top 10 automatically return.
 
'This is by far my best achievement,' Tanihara said. 'I never expected to be in the top 10, but I did expect to play well this week.'
 
Tanihara has played on the Japanese Tour for the last five years, where he has won three times, including once this year. In his last Open appearance in 2003, he missed the cut.
 
RAVE REVIEWS:
Royal Liverpool hadn't been in the British Open rotation for 39 years. Based on how the players felt about it, the venerable club won't have to wait that long again.
 
'Hopefully the R&A will now put this course back on the rotation sooner rather than later,' former U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell said.
 
Tiger Woods called it a 'fantastic test' that allowed for more creativity than usual for a British Open. It was a brown links course, courtesy of a hot, dry spell in England that turned the rough into wispy strands of grass.
 
Asked if the Open should return to Royal Liverpool, the champion replied, 'Yes.'
 
The last Open at Royal Liverpool was in 1967, but the course was dropped from the rotation because of logistical problems getting people to and from the course squeezed into a Liverpool suburb.
 
Those problems were largely overcome at this Open, with some 38,000 people a day attending, and players generally liked what they saw.
 
'It's a very good golf course and it's right there in front of you,' Thomas Bjorn said. 'It's a good test and while it's not the longest the way it played, somehow it has still put up a good test.'
 
Former champion David Duval also liked what he saw.
 
'It was as much about the links experience as any I've played, even St. Andrews,' Duval said.
 
WEARING TWO HATS:
Steve Lucas kept regular hours in the insurance business until he took on a part-time job as caddie for his son-in-law, Sean O'Hair. Lucas was a steadying influence for O'Hair, whose father used boot-camp tactics to train his son to play golf.
 
After a year on tour and a victory last year in the John Deere Classic, O'Hair decided to switch to a professional caddie.
 
Lucas was behind the ropes Sunday, chomping on a cigar, shouting encouragement to his son-in-law. Standing behind the 17th green, he sounded like a caddie again.
 
'Front middle. Let it funnel to the hole,' Lucas said.
 
The ball soared toward the flag, narrowly missed the bunker and stopped 4 feet away for a birdie. Lucas raised both hands over his head and clapped, turning from caddie to father-in-law again.
 
O'Hair birdied the 18th for a 67, matching Tiger Woods for best score of the final round, and he tied for 14th.
 
PLAYING FOR PAY:
Edoardo Molinari stayed an amateur long enough to play in the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open.
 
But after closing with a 75, the Italian is ready to turn pro.
 
Molinari, who earned his exemptions by winning the U.S. Amateur last year, will make his pro debut this week at the Deutsche Bank Players Championship in Germany through a sponsor's invitation.
 
He signed with a Swiss sports agency.
 
'The last year has been an incredible journey with many fantastic experiences,' Molinari said.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - 135th Open Championship
  • Course Tour - Royal Liverpool
  • Full Coverage - 135th Open Championship
     
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    Goal for new world No. 1 Koepka: Stay healthy

    By Will GrayOctober 21, 2018, 1:38 pm

    Last season Brooks Koepka bagged a pair of majors en route to the PGA Tour's Player of the Year award. He started the new wraparound season with an emphatic win at the CJ Cup to reach world No. 1 for the first time.

    But amid the best form of his career, Koepka has a simple goal in mind as he gets ready to turn his attention to the new year.

    "Stay healthy," Koepka told reporters. "That's been the big thing. I need to be healthy to be able to play all these events, play all the majors."

    Koepka's breakthrough year comes despite the fact that he missed four months in the spring, including the Masters, while recovering from a wrist injury. He hit the ground running once he returned, with strong finishes at TPC Sawgrass and Colonial preceding wins at the U.S. Open and PGA Championship.

    Now Koepka has added a third trophy after cruising to a four-shot win in South Korea on Sunday that allowed him to move past Dustin Johnson at world No. 1.

    "I'm 1-for-1 this year, which is nice," Koepka joked about his undefeated record in the new wraparound season.

    Koepka will be in the field next week in China for the WGC-HSBC Champions before putting the clubs on the shelf. With Justin Thomas paving the way by making the goal-setting process more public in recent years, Koepka explained that even after summiting the world rankings he plans to wait until 2019 to adjust his expectations for himself.

    "I keep the same goals through the calendar year," Koepka said. "On Jan. 1 I go to the beach in the morning and go write down my goals and figure them out for the calendar year, but I just need to finish this year off. I've got next week and I would like to, coming out the first week as No. 1, I'd like to play well."

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    Birdie binge for Woodland comes up short at CJ Cup

    By Will GrayOctober 21, 2018, 12:52 pm

    Gary Woodland mounted an impressive rally at the CJ Cup, but in the end even 11 birdies weren't enough to catch Brooks Koepka.

    Woodland started the final round in South Korea five shots behind the new world No. 1, but he made the biggest move of the day amid chilly conditions on Jeju Island. With six birdies over his first nine holes, including four in a row on Nos. 6-9, he briefly caught Koepka at the top of the leaderboard.

    But Woodland bogeyed No. 10, and even with five more birdies coming home to finish a 9-under 63 he still finished alone in second, four shots behind Koepka who closed with a bogey-free 29 to put the trophy out of reach.

    "Yesterday I didn't get any putts to go in, and today I saw a lot of putts go in," Woodland told reporters. "Brooks with the lead, not much fazes him. So you knew you had to make a lot of birdies, and I made a lot today. But I was just too far behind."

    It's the second straight strong performance from Woodland to start the new wraparound season, as he tied for fifth at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia after holding a share of the 54-hole lead. A closing 63 would have gone a long way last week, but he was still pleased to be able to make Koepka sweat a little on a day when even the bad holes resulted from good shots.

    "I made two bogeys on the back and I said, 'Be right' on both shots," Woodland said. "I was just maybe a little too amped up, a little excited. I hit them both perfect. All in all, I would have liked for a couple more putts to go in yesterday and been a little closer going into today."

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    Kang (69) wins Buick LPGA Shanghai by two

    By Associated PressOctober 21, 2018, 9:11 am

    SHANGHAI - Danielle Kang shot a 3-under 69 on Sunday to win the LPGA Shanghai by two strokes for her second career title.

    Kang, who started the final round one stroke off the lead, offset a lone bogey on the par-5 fourth hole with four birdies after the turn to finish at 13-under 275 and hold off a late charge by Lydia Ko, who had the day's lowest score of 66.

    ''I hope I win more,'' Kang said. ''I did the best I can. I'm going to keep working hard and keep giving myself chances and keep putting myself in contention. I'll win more. I'll play better.''

    Ko, who had seven birdies and a lone bogey, tied for second at 11 under with a group of seven players that included Brittany Altomare (71), Ariya Jutanugarn (71) and overnight co-leader Sei Young Kim (72).


    Buick LPGA Shanghai: Articles, photos and videos


    Carlota Ciganda, who also held a share of the lead after the third round, shot a 73 to fall into a tie for ninth with Bronte Law and local favorite Lu Liu.

    Paula Creamer carded three birdies against a pair of bogeys for a 71 to finish in sole possession of 12th place.

    The tournament is the second of five being played in South Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan in the LPGA's annual Asian swing.

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    New world No. 1 Koepka already wants more

    By Nick MentaOctober 21, 2018, 8:48 am

    If there is a knock on Brooks Koepka, it’s that he’s a little too cool.

    Gary Woodland, who threw 11 birdies at Koepka on Sunday and still finished four shots back, inadvertently captured that exact sentiment after Saturday's third round.

    “You know," he said, "Brooks doesn't seem like he cares too much."

    In context, Woodland meant that there was little anyone in the field could do to rattle the 54-hole leader. (He proved himself right, by the way.)

    And out of context, the comment speaks to the general narrative surrounding Koepka. That he’s just detached enough for fans to have trouble attaching themselves to him. That he’s just a jock here to cash checks and collect trophies, to kick ass and chew bubblegum.

    But for a few moments Sunday in South Korea, it became clear that Brooks Koepka does care. Crouched on the 72nd green with some time to stop and think as Ian Poulter lagged a bit behind, Koepka finally let a moment get to him. Cameras caught the three-time major champion appearing unusually emotional.

    Of course, less than a minute later, those same cameras caught him yawning. The contrast was almost too perfect. It was as if he knew he had just been found out and needed to snap back into character – which he did.

    He promptly poured in an eagle putt to cap off a final-round 64, to win the CJ Cup by four, and to ascend to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time in his career.


    Full-field scores from the CJ Cup

    CJ Cup: Articles, photos and videos


    “To be world No. 1 is something I dreamed of as a kid,” Koepka said on the 18th green, moments after closing out his fifth PGA Tour victory and third this year. “I don't think this one's going to sink in.”

    What is beginning to sink in is that Koepka now unequivocally belongs in the conversation, the one golf fans and analysts have been having over and over since Tiger Woods fell from golf's greatest heights.

    Who’s the best at their best?

    In the two years between his first PGA Tour win and his first U.S. Open victory, Koepka was touted as having the kind of talent to compete with the game's elites. It took a little while for him to get here, but Koepka has taken over as the latest player to look like he’ll never lose again. Just as it was for Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas before him, this is Koepka's moment. This is his run of dominance.

    It’s a run that will have to end at some point. Every one of the guys just mentioned did cool off eventually. Koepka will, too. Maybe it will be fatigue, maybe it will be injury, and maybe it’ll just be golf. This talent pool is simply too deep for anyone to remain on top for too long.

    But what Koepka has done this year – in defending his U.S. Open title, in staring down Tiger at the PGA, in claiming the Player of the Year Award, in ascending to the top of the world rankings – is put his name at the forefront of the conversation. If he was unappreciated at times before, those days are behind him. He's already accomplished too much, proven himself too good to be overlooked any longer.

    And he’s far from done.

    “For me, I just need to keep winning,” the new world No. 1 said Sunday. “I feel like to win a few more regular Tour events and then keep adding majors. I feel like my game's set up for that. I've gotten so much confidence off winning those majors where, it's incredible, every time I tee it up, I feel like I really have a good chance to win whether I have my A-game or not. It's something I'm so excited [about] right now, you have no idea. I just can't wait to go play again.”