Notes FedExCup Ideas Philly Fanatics

By Associated PressAugust 23, 2007, 4:00 pm
the Barclays Logo 2007HARRISON, N.Y. -- Jeff Maggert appears to have put a little more thought into the FedExCup than a lot of his peers. Or, he's simply more willing than most to talk about the format and suggest some major changes.
 
'I love the concept of the playoffs,' Maggert said Thursday after opening the PGA TOUR's new playoff series with a 5-under 66 in The Barclays. 'I'm not a fan at all of ending the playoffs now. I think they should be at the end of our season. I think a lot of tournaments kind of got the short end of the stick.
 
'Normally, Greensboro (Wyndham Championship) is a great tournament. It's been a great tournament for 50 years and now they are stuck with a very unfortunate date. ... Maybe we can move some tournaments around a little bit and so the same tournament doesn't get stuck with that date every single year after year.'
 
Maggert also suggested a rule change that would force players -- notably Tiger Woods -- to play all four FedExCup events or sit. The top-seeded Woods skipped The Barclays to rest and prepare for the last three events.
 
'I'd like to see Tiger play all four tournaments,' Maggert said. 'I'm sorry he's not here. ... I'd like to see some type of criteria or rule that if you pull out of a tournament, you're pulling out of the playoffs.
 
'Another thing I would like to see the last tournament, maybe everyone starting equally, because then you eliminate the fact that a guy could win the first three tournaments and the last tournament means nothing.'
 
LUNCH BREAK
When play backed up in the afternoon, Ernie Els took advantage of a lengthy wait on the 10th tee to stop for lunch.
 
'Walked off nine and I had Angel (Cabrera) and his group on the tee and they were still waiting for the green,' Els said. 'I knew it was going to be at least 15, 20 minutes and I was starting to feel a little shaky.
 
'They took all of the food away, so the lady was helpful, went back in the kitchen and got me a nice sandwich and I was ready to go again.'
 
The two-time Westchester winner shot a 65, leaving him two strokes behind leader Rory Sabbatini. Because of the slow play, the late starters began play about 10 minutes after their scheduled tee times.
 
FEDEX CUP FIRSTS
Ben Curtis is a pioneer of sorts for the FedExCup.
 
The 2003 British Open champion had the distinction of being the first player to hit a shot in the playoffs, leaving his 5-iron just short of the green on the par-3 first.
 
'I'm the first,' Curtis said on his way to the tee.
 
But that's not all.
 
Curtis was quick to point out that he finished last at the season-opening Mercedes-Benz Championship, meaning he was the first to earn FedExCup points (147 of them).
 
The best of all would be the first to capture the $10 million deferred prize, although a bogey-bogey finish sent him to a 75. He's 110th in the standings, so his goal now is to avoid being one of the first players eliminated.
 
Gavin Coles became the first player to drop out of the playoffs when he withdrew during the round because of back pain. He entered the week 130th, with the top 120 after The Barclays eligible for the Deutsche Bank next week outside Boston.
 
Fellow Australian Stephen Leaney, 69th in the standings, withdrew because of a left wrist injury after shooting a 76.
 
SINGH STRUGGLES
Defending champion Vijay Singh shot a 75, matching the three-time Westchester winner's second-worst score in 51 rounds in the tournament.
 
The Fijian opened with a 77 in 1996 en route to a 20th-place tie. He also shot first-round 75s in 1999 and 2002. He tied for fifth in 1999 and missed the cut in 2002.
 
Playing the back nine first in a group with Jim Furyk and Phil Mickelson, Singh dropped five strokes in a four-hole stretch -- including a four-putt double bogey on the par-3 14th -- to make the turn at 5 over. He fell to 6 over with a bogey on No. 2, then birdied Nos. 3 and 9 to finish at 4 over.
 
After his bogey on 16, a young fan rubbed it in as Singh passed by on his way to the 17th tee, saying: 'Nice bogey, Vijay.'
 
PUTTING CHANGE
Jim Furyk was goofing around on a rainy Tuesday when he decided to put a new grip on his backup putter, something called 'Super Stroke' that looks as big as the barrel of a baseball bat.
 
The grip is 1.67 inches in diameter and conforms to USGA regulations.
 
He used it in the pro-am Wednesday, then gave it a real test Thursday in the first round of The Barclays. He took 30 putts on his way to a 70.
 
'No promises it will be there tomorrow,' Furyk said. 'I didn't dislike it.'
 
The idea of the fat grip is for players to not squeeze the grip so tightly, promoting more shoulder movement.
 
PHILLY FANATICS
Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh and Jim Furyk had the largest gallery, with the New York fans again showing their vocal support for Mickelson.
 
One female fan professed her love for the Californian with a pink T-shirt that said: 'I (heart symbol) Phil.'
 
'I love coming here,' Mickelson said after his 67. 'I really have always enjoyed playing in the New York area. I love talking football with a lot of people here because everybody is so knowledgeable about sports. It's been really fun.'
 
DIVOTS
For the first time this week, the sun peeked through the clouds early in the afternoon. 'The sun's coming out. Someone take a picture,' Jeff Maggert joked. ... Corey Pavin had the lone eagle of the day on the 321-yard, par-4 10th, holing out from 63 yards. He finished with a 68. ... Davis Love III shot a 69 a week after a kidney stone forced him to skip his title defense in the Wyndham Championship.
 
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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.


    Full-field scores from the Walmart Arkansas Championship


    “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.”


    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    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.’”