Notes Down Under Aussie Caddie Smackdown

By Associated PressJune 15, 2008, 4:00 pm
2008 U.S. OpenSAN DIEGO -- Stuart Appleby was, uh, down under in a hurry in the third round of the U.S. Open.
 
The leader by one shot after 36 holes at Torrey Pines South Course, the Australian began to fall apart on the 37th hole. By the time he finished his bogey-strewn round of 8-over 79, he was an also-ran at 5-over 218. That was eight shots behind Tiger Woods, who had a 1-under 70 on a painful left knee to take the lead at 3-under 210.
 
The final damage for Appleby: seven bogeys and one double bogey. His only birdie came way, way too late, on the 18th.
 
Teeing off with Rocco Mediate in the final group, Appleby set the tone for his awful afternoon by making bogey from the bunker on the first hole by missing a 5-foot putt.
 
This is the first Open played on a city-owned course, and at the worst possible time Appleby looked like a muni-course player.
 
He four-putted No. 5 for his double bogey. On No. 9, he turned a three-foot birdie chance into a three-putt bogey.
 
After rolling in a 10-foot birdie putt on 18, he raised his arms'yes, he can make one, and yes, it was finally over. He had 34 putts, tied for 68th in the 80-man field.
 
A day earlier on 18, Appleby sank a 45-foot birdie putt to take his first lead in a major since he was one shot ahead of Woods going into the final round of the 2007 Masters.
 
He and Woods played together that day at Augusta. Woods finished second to Zach Johnson while Appleby made a 6 on the first hole, trudged through a cold, windy day and wound up shooting 75 to finish seventh.
 
SURGING SERGIO
Imagine where Sergio Garcia would be if he hadnt made such a mess of his first seven holes at the U.S. Open.
 
The tournament had barely started Thursday and Garcia already was in danger of missing the cut. Two double bogeys put him 6 over before hed even made his first turn.
 
Sergio has been surging ever since, going 3 under on his last 47 holes, including consecutive rounds of 1-under 70 on Friday and Saturday at Torrey Pines South Course.
 
Garcia was tied with Mike Weir, Ernie Els and John Merrick at 3-over 216 going into Sundays final round. That was six shots behind Tiger Woods, who had a 70 on a sore left knee Saturday to take the lead at 3-under 210. A lot of ground to make up, for sure, especially considering Woods has never lost a major from the lead.
 
Recovering from his early mistakes has been nice. Garcia wishes theyd never happened.
 
That definitely wasnt the plan, I can tell you that, said the Spaniard, who just flat-out missed fairways and greens in his first seven holes. But, yeah, you know, when youre comfortable with your game, when you have confidence in your game, you know you can come back.
 
Garcias only bogeys Saturday were on Nos. 6 and 8, sandwiched around the first of three birdies.
 
I would love to be a couple better, just to make sure that I was a little closer, he said. But, you know, every time you shoot under par here you shouldnt be too greedy, I guess. So its not too bad, and thats what I did the last few days. Unfortunately I just had a bad start on Thursday. But Im slowly coming back.
 
Garcia had a nice birdie on the par-5 13th, the hole where Phil Mickelson imploded with a quadruple-bogey 9 and Woods wowed the crowd with an eagle.
 
Garcia hit a strong drive just down the right side of the fairway, a 5-iron that landed short of the pin and ran about 25 feet beyond, then two-putted for birdie.
 
Its getting there, Garcia said. Like I said, I played very nicely yesterday. I felt very, very good yesterday. Today I felt like I hit a lot of good shots, maybe not as many as yesterday, but its not easy. Its a U.S. Open. Thats why its a major. But Im pretty happy and looking forward to hopefully having a good finish tomorrow.
 
THERES ALWAYS NEXT YEAR
San Diego native Phil Mickelson looked like hed just seen a ghost when he walked off Torrey Pines South Course on Saturday, his 5-over 76 having dropped him to 9-over 222.
 
Yeah, his quadruple-bogey 9 on the 13th hole was supernatural, all right, something he hadnt done at city-owned Torrey Pines since he was kid.
 
He had waited six years to play for the national championship on a course he had grown up playing, and now the chance to win it was gone.
 
After cooling down for about 15 minutes, that sly Mickelson grin had partially returned.
 
I think its an exciting Open, Lefty said. Im certainly disappointed that Im not in the mix right now. That was the goal. So Im going to come out tomorrow, enjoy my final round. And Bethpage is one of the best places ever' one of the best memories in the game of golf Ive ever had. I get to go back there next year for the U.S. Open. So Im excited about the chance to try to break through and win my first U.S. Open there.
 
In 2002, Mickelson finished second to Tiger Woods at Bethpage Black, which is owned by the state of New York and became the first truly public course to host an Open. Torrey Pines is the second.
 
CADDIE SMACKDOWN
The USGA decided there was no need to beef up security around the Phil Mickelson-Adam Scott pairing Saturday, one day after Scotts caddie went into the gallery to confront a heckler at the U.S. Open.
 
That group has had extra security the whole time as it is, said Dan Hoban, the USGAs director of security. We have 50,000 people and we just had two drunks that got out of control. As far as were concerned, its over.
 
It might not be over for caddie Tony Navarro, who could face disciplinary action for leaving the field of play and striking a fan.
 
On the final hole of play for the threesome of Tiger Woods, Mickelson and Scott on Friday, two fans, a father and a son, were arrested by San Diego police for investigation of public intoxication. Thomas W. Campbell, 62, of Upland, Calif., and Thomas J. Campbell, 37, of Apple Valley, Calif., spent the night in detox, Hoban said.
 
After hearing a fan verbally abuse him and his golfer, Scotts caddie went under the ropes that separate the fans from the field of play on the ninth hole and head-butted the younger Campbell, according to witnesses. The two wrestled to the ground and Mickelsons caddie, Jim Mackay, went through the ropes to assist Navarro and summon police.
 
The Campbells were handcuffed and taken away, and the 7-year-old son of the younger Campbell was placed in the care of an aunt, Hoban said.
 
BIG BOAT
America, the 139-foot replica of the schooner that gave the Americas Cup its name, was sailing on the Pacific Ocean just off Torrey Pines on Saturday, flying a giant American flag from its mainmast. Operated by businessman Troy Sears, America is berthed at a downtown marina on San Diego Bay.
 
The U.S. Open is the first major played in San Diego. The city has previously been host to three Super Bowls, the Americas Cup three times, two World Series and one Final Four.
 
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    Davies headlines field at Senior LPGA at French Lick

    By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 14, 2018, 10:40 pm

    Laura Davies will be looking to win her second senior major championship this year when she tees it up in Monday’s start of the Senior LPGA Championship at French Lick Resort in Indiana.

    Davies, who won the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open in July, will join a field that includes fellow World Golf Hall of Famer Jan Stephenson, who was announced last week with Peggy Kirk Bell as the Hall’s newest members. Hall of Famers Juli Inkster and Hollis Stacy are also in the 54-hole event.

    Trish Johnson is back to defend her title after winning the inaugural Senior LPGA Championship a year ago. Brandi Burton, Jane Geddes, Helen Alfredsson and Liselotte Neumann are also in the field of 81 players who will compete for a $600,000 purse, with $90,000 going to the winner.

    Golf Channel will televise all three rounds live from 4-6 p.m. ET on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

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    Langer (65) wins regular-season finale by six

    By Associated PressOctober 14, 2018, 10:07 pm

    CARY, N.C. – Bernhard Langer ran away with the SAS Championship on Sunday to take the points lead into the PGA Tour Champions' Charles Schwab Cup playoffs

    Langer shot a bogey-free 7-under 65 for a six-stroke victory in the regular-season finale.

    ''I just played very solid all day long,'' Langer said. ''Putted well, hit the ball where I was looking and did everything exceptionally well.''

    The 61-year-old German star has 38 victories on the 50-and-over tour, also winning this year near Houston. He has a record four victories after turning 60.

    ''I don't have anything to prove, but I still have golf,'' Langer said. ''I still want to improve my own game. I still want to play to the best Bernhard Langer can play. I don't think I need to prove anything, but I love competing, I love winning or being in the hunt. As long as I can do that, I think you're going to see me out here.''

    Langer finished with a tournament-record 22-under 194 total at Prestonwood Country Club, the tree-lined layout softened by heavy rain Thursday from Hurricane Michael. He opened with a 62 on Friday to match Gene Sauers and Tom Lehman for the lead, and had a 67 on Saturday to remain atop the leaderboard with Sauers.


    Full-field scores from the SAS Championship


    ''The 10 under was amazing,'' Langer said. ''I couldn't believe there were two other guys who shot 10 under.''

    The four-time Charles Schwab Cup winner also won at Prestonwood in 2012.

    ''It's always fun to go back to where you've won before because you feel like you know how to play the course and you're somewhat comfortable and that's certainly the case here,'' Langer said. ''I've been probably 50, 70 times now around this golf course and I know how to play every hole.''

    Scott Parel was second, closing with a double bogey for a 65.

    ''Bernhard is just in his own world this week,'' Parel said.

    Jerry Kelly had a 68 to finish third at 15 under, and Lehman followed at 13 under after a 71.

    Sauers shot a 75 to tie for fifth with Miguel Angel Jimenez (68) at 12 under.

    The top 72 players in the Schwab Cup standings qualified for the playoffs, the three-event series that begins next week with the Dominion Energy Charity Classic in Richmond, Va. Dan Forsman tied for 56th to jump from 74th to 72nd, edging John Huston for the final spot by $932. Huston tied for 46th.

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    Pepperell captures British Masters, eyes Augusta

    By Associated PressOctober 14, 2018, 5:29 pm

    WALTON HEATH, England -- Eddie Pepperell won his second European Tour title with a two-shot victory at the British Masters on Sunday and likely secured the even bigger prize of a place in next year's Masters at Augusta National.

    The Englishman shot an even-par 72 and held off his playing partner, Sweden's Alexander Bjork (71), as the pair went to the 72nd hole at a wet and windy Walton Heath with Pepperell just a stroke in front.

    Pepperell finished on 9-under 279.

    Herbert Lucas (69) and Jordan Smith (73) were tied for third, another two shots behind Bjork.

    English pair Sam Horsfield (69) and Tom Lewis (70) along with American Julian Suri (74) tied for fifth, one shot in front of tournament host Justin Rose (70).

    The victory takes Pepperell into the world's top 35 and almost certainly secures a first appearance at Augusta in 2019. The top 50 at the end of the year are guaranteed a place in the first major of the year in April.

    Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood (72) finished 2 under in a seven-way tie for ninth.


    Full-field scores from the British Masters


    A top-two finish on Sunday would have seen Rose reach the top of the world rankings for the second time this season, the 38-year-old having spent two weeks as No. 1 in September

    Pepperell was ranked outside the top 500 as recently as May last year, but won the Qatar Masters in February and followed a runner-up finish in the Scottish Open with a tie for sixth in the British Open seven days later, carding a closing 67 at Carnoustie despite saying he had a hangover.

    His three-shot overnight lead was down to a single stroke on Sunday when Bjork covered the front nine in 34 and Pepperell three-putted the ninth, the same hole where he enjoyed a spectacular hole-in-one on Thursday.

    However, the 27-year-old Pepperell promptly holed his second shot to the 10th from 122 yards for an eagle to move three clear and a par save from off the green on the 14th looked to have sealed the win.

    There was still time for some late drama, though, as Pepperell dropped shots on Nos. 15 and 16 to see his lead cut to a single shot, but Bjork bogeyed the 18th after driving into the heather and Pepperell saved par from a greenside bunker.

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    Disappointed Sharma fades to T-10 at CIMB

    By Will GrayOctober 14, 2018, 1:46 pm

    For the second time this year, India's Shubankhar Sharma watched an opportunity for a breakthrough win turn into a learning experience.

    Sharma burst onto the scene in March, taking a two-shot lead into the final round of the WGC-Mexico Championship only to fade to a tie for ninth. It was a similar story Sunday at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia, where Sharma started the final round in a three-way tie for the lead but struggled to an even-par 72 that dropped him into a tie for 10th.

    "Disappointing, not really happy with the way I finished," Sharma told reporters.


    Full-field scores from CIMB Classic

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    The 22-year-old was 1 over for his first six holes, but he battled back with four straight birdies on Nos. 7-10 to get within three shots of eventual winner Marc Leishman. But his tee shot at the par-3 11th found the water, leading to the first of three straight bogeys that ended any hopes of victory.

    "That was probably one of the worst swings of the day," Sharma said. "That 11th hole I think killed the momentum for me. A par there would have gone a long way, and I probably could have made more birdies after that."

    Sharma remained optimistic this spring following his final-round fade in Mexico, and he retained a positive mindset despite a rough afternoon as he eyes upcoming starts at both the CJ Cup in South Korea and the WGC-HSBC Champions in China.

    "Great experience. Very, very good to have two top-10s on the PGA Tour, so that's a good way of looking at it," he said. "Also, it pushes me to keep playing well. I feel like I have it in me to win out there on the PGA Tour, and I've given myself two opportunities. Game is in a decent place now."