Notes: Els misses cut in return; Lemonade gone bad

By Associated PressJune 17, 2011, 11:40 pm

BETHESDA, Md. – Ernie Els stood in a foyer just inside the clubhouse, along a wall adorned with photos and other mementos from his 1997 U.S. Open victory.

He wasn’t in the mood to reminisce, not after missing the cut in the championship’s return to Congressional.

“Fourteen years ago, I was in a different position,” he said. “Missing the cut now, I’m a little bit older, I’m (turning) 42 this year, and obviously things aren’t going my way right now. It’s been a long time. I’ve had a lot of success the last 14 years from ’97 to now.

“Right now, I’m just as low as I’ve ever been, and that’s the fact.”

Els missed a tap-in on his first hole Friday and wound up 4-putting the hole. His rounds of 73 and 75 put him two shots below the cut line at 4-over 146 when the suspended second round concluded Saturday morning. The two-time champion has missed the cut in four of his last six tournaments and is running out of ways to solve his wayward putting game.

“I maybe should take some time off, and see where I’m at,” he said. “I’m working hard and I’m not getting anything out of it, so maybe I should just go away for a while.”

2009 British Open champion Stewart Cink and Adam Scott missed the cut after each bogeyed his last hole to go to 5 over. That means the tournament is also over for Scott’s caddie, Steve Williams, who isn’t used to getting the weekend off when he carries the bag for Tiger Woods.

The 2003 U.S. Open winner Jim Furyk (149) is also done, as is Colombia’s Camilo Villegas (149), the only player who had made the cut in the last 12 majors. U.S. Amateur champ Peter Uihlein (150) will sit out the weekend for his second major in a row.

The amateurs who made the cut were Patrick Cantlay (142), Russell Henley (142) and Brad Benjamin (145).

Bubba Watson birdied the difficult No. 18 to make the cut, saving the weekend for the foursome who made the send-up, poke-fun-at-golf video this week. The other three in the group –Ben Crane, Rickie Fowler, and Hunter Mahan – have the weekend to think up another parody.


Hold That Room: After shooting a 79 in the first round of his first U.S. Open, Marcel Siem already had plans for a quick exit after missing the cut.

The only thing is, he didn’t miss the cut.

The 30-year-old German roared back Friday to card a 66, putting him at 3 over and guaranteeing a spot for the weekend.

“Next week is BMW Open in Munich, home tournament,” Siem said, “and I thought if you miss the cut, then at least catch the flight tonight at 10 o’clock and be ready for next week.”

Still, just in case, he told his hotel to save his room.

“It’s a nice balcony room,” he said. “They said, ‘Yeah, we’ll wait for you. Hopefully you’ll come back.’ I will be back tonight.”

So how did he turn his game around so quickly in 24 hours?

“All of a sudden, I found my rhythm on the greens, and that helps,” he said. “And my long game was really, really good, as well. I hit them really close, and I think that’s the key here.”


Golf, Bureaucracy and Lemonade: It was a case of bureaucracy run amok, at least from the perspective of the children operating a lemonade stand for charity near the U.S. Open.

Kids from two families put up the stand on private property – a neighbor’s yard that just happens to be on a corner across from a spectator entrance to Congressional. During Thursday’s first round, they received three visits from county officials, twice with a warning. The third time, a citation was issued for operating the stand without a permit. It carried a fine of up to $500 and required a court appearance.

“Does every kid now that sells lemonade have to register with the county?” Carrie Marriott, whose children were hawking the drinks, asked a county official in an exchange caught on video by WUSA-TV.

The answer: yes. In theory, every lemonade stand in every private yard is supposed to have a permit. It’s a law that’s not usually enforced, but Montgomery County spokeswoman Bonnie Ayers said this particular stand could create a safety hazard in an area where police want to keep vehicular and pedestrian traffic moving during the tournament.

“This was just not a good corner for them to be attracting people,” Ayers said, “and they did not have a permit.”

Since fining kids over a lemonade stand can be a public relations nightmare, a deal was worked out. On Friday, the stand was moved down the street and the citation was rescinded. The county also waived the need for a permit, which would have cost about $38.

A homemade sign at the old location announced: “Grand Reopening: 25 Feet Down.”

“We were pleased there was a resolution,” said Rene Augustine, who has three children manning the stand. “It’s been a lesson for them, probably more in entrepreneurship than philanthropy.”

Augustine said the plan had been to donate 50 percent of the proceeds to Just Tryan It, a nonprofit that helps children with cancer. Now it’s all going to charity.

The stand is more elaborate than most. There’s a canopy and plenty of coolers of bottled lemonade. By mid-afternoon, the children had raked in a good haul, including a $250 check from a man who heard of their plight.

“That was very uplifting to the kids,” Augustine said, “because yesterday was kind of a tough day for them.”


Quite the Kid: Patrick Cantlay hardly looked like an amateur on the back nine Friday at the U.S. Open.

Doesn’t matter. He intends to remain one.

The 19-year-old American birdied Nos. 10, 11 and 12 – supposedly the most brutal stretch of the Blue Course – then picked up strokes at the 16th and 17th. He finished with a 67, which, combined with his first-round 75, puts him at even par at the halfway point.

“I had some confidence before I came here this week, but, yeah, it definitely makes you feel good about the future,” Cantlay said, “and hopefully one day I can be playing as a pro.”

But not anytime soon. He just finished his first year of studies at the University of California, Los Angeles and he said he plans to stay until he graduates.

“I have three more years,” he said.

On June 5, as winner of the Jack Nicklaus Award as the nation’s top college golfer, he posed with the Golden Bear himself.


Dinwiddie's Other Open: Sure, Robert Dinwiddie relishes the opportunity of playing in a U.S. Open. Now if he could just find a way into that other Open.

“Two out of three for this one,” he said, “and then none out of 13 for the British.”

The 28-year-old Briton – born in Scotland, now living in England – has failed in 13 attempts at qualifying for the marquee event in his home country.

He made the cut at Torrey Pines in 2008 and tied for 36th. He struggled this week at Congressional with rounds of 78 and 74, in part because of recent back problems.

“I wasn’t able to practice coming in, so I was a little rusty,” he said. “It’s a great experience. Disappointing I wasn’t able to do a bit better.”

But it would be an even better experience to be in the field next month at Royal St. George’s. Qualifying has come and gone – again with no success – but there are still spots available based on top finishers in upcoming European Tour events.

“We’ll see,” he said. “There’s still a chance.”


Pan Handling His First Open: At one end there’s Rory McIlroy, who is making the Blue Course look almost easy. At the other end, there are golfers like Taiwan’s Pan Cheng-tsung, a 19-year-old amateur playing in his first U.S. Open.

Pan, who attends the University of Washington, followed a promising first round of 74 with a 78 on Friday.

“It gives me an appreciation,” said Pan, who took up the game in his home town of Miaoli, Taiwan, where his mother worked as a caddie. “McIlroy is 11 under right now and I’m 10 over? Twenty-one shots difference? That’s a lot. And the course is hard, as everyone knows. But there’s still a way to play these courses, so I think I’ll work harder in the future, just trying to get better.”


Rock Stays Solid: Surely, Robert Rock was going to crash in the second round of the U.S. Open, having made it through the first round fueled by adrenaline and not much else after visa problems made him a last-minute arrival.

Instead, the Englishman was solid again. He followed up his 70 with an even-par 71 on Friday and will stick around for the weekend.

“I ran out of energy after nine holes, to be honest,” he said. “I’m 1 under for the tournament, which is OK, but I feel like I should have got through the second nine in 2 or 3 under. I knew I’d run out of energy at some point.”

Rock didn’t secure his visa for his flight to the United States until Wednesday afternoon, the delay caused by an alcohol-related driving incident when he was a teenager. He arrived in Maryland in the wee hours of Thursday.

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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."