Notes Finchem Disappointed in Tiger

By Associated PressAugust 22, 2007, 4:00 pm
the Barclays Logo 2007HARRISON, N.Y. -- PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem's news conference Wednesday at The Barclays opened with a question about Tiger Woods' decision to skip the first event of the four-tournament FedEx Cup playoffs.
'Obviously, I'm disappointed with his decision,' Finchem said. 'It's not a decision that I like to see him make, candidly, any week of the year, but he doesn't play them all. ... From the standpoint of the sponsor here, the fans in New York, it's certainly a negative. You know, I would like to see it the other way.'
Woods, who made the last of his four Westchester Country Club starts in 2003, repeated Tuesday in a monthly newsletter that his body needed a break after consecutive victories in the Bridgestone Invitational and PGA Championship, and that he wanted to be sharp for the final three FedExCup events and the Presidents Cup.
In addition to Woods, five other eligible players are missing, reducing the field to 138. No. 59 Bernhard Langer is playing in the KLM Open in the Netherlands, No. 64 Stephen Ames is taking the week off, No. 96 Jose Maria Olazabal is sidelined by a knee injury, No. 126 Jason Bohn has a rib injury, and No. 133 Ryan Palmer passed because of a family illness.
Finchem also was asked about possible FedExCup format changes.
'It's just like a tournament, or an eligibility structure,' Finchem said. 'You get through with it, you study it, you examine what the fans think about it, players think about it, sponsors think about it, and then you adjust.'
With the groupings set by the FedExCup points, defending champion Vijay Singh, Jim Furyk and Phil Mickelson -- the top three seeds in the field -- will play together the first two rounds.
'That will kind of get us going a little bit,' Singh said. 'Obviously, you want to be ahead of the other guys and they feel the same way.'
Last year, Singh won The Barclays for a record third time to tie Sam Snead's record for victories over 40 with 17 -- a mark the 44-year-old Fijian has pushed to 19 this year. Singh won the 1993 event on the traditional Westchester Country Club course for the first of his 31 PGA TOUR titles and also won in 1995.
'I think I have more knowledge about this golf course than any other,' Singh said. 'You know the breaks. You know where not to hit it. You know where to take a risk.'
In other marquee groups, No. 5 K.J. Choi will play with Rory Sabbatini and Masters champion Zach Johnson, and No. 8 Charles Howell III will tee it up with fellow young stars Brandt Snedeker and Adam Scott.
Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk are back at full strength for the start of the FedExCup playoffs.
Mickelson has been slowed by a left wrist injury that he suspects happened while practicing out of the deep rough at Oakmont in preparation for the U.S. Open.
After withdrawing from the Memorial, he missed cuts in the U.S. Open, AT&T National and British Open, then tied for 46th in the Bridgestone Invitational and tied for 32nd two weeks ago in the PGA Championship.
'My excitement level to play golf is very high,' Mickelson said. 'I feel like I've been suspended for three months. ... My hand feels great now. I'm able to practice fully. I feel like my game is getting sharp, and when the three majors have already passed. So, I am actually very excited about the FedExCup and I'm excited about the Presidents Cup, and I'm even going to play a few events overseas.'
Furyk successfully defended his Canadian Open title in late July for his 13th PGA TOUR victory, then withdrew from the Bridgestone the following week because of back pain and missed the cut in the PGA Championship.
'Right now, I feel I'm in good health,' Furyk said. 'I played quite a bit and practiced when I was home. I don't feel limited in any way right now.'
Ernie Els, the 1996 and 1997 winner, is making his first appearance in the event since 2004. ... Sergio Garcia won the 2001 and 2004 tournaments. ... The winner will receive $1.26 million from the $7 million purse, and 9,000 of the available 50,000 FedExCup points. ... The tournament is in its 41st season at Westchester Country Club. The 2009 event will be played at Liberty National in Jersey City, N.J.
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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.’”