Notes Glover crumbles on Day 4 Day joins eagle club

By Associated PressMay 16, 2011, 4:36 am
The Players ChampionshipPONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Lucas Glover lost 11 strokes in four holes Sunday, a free fall from the leaderboard that cost him a chance at winning The Players.

Glover double-bogeyed No. 16 and tripled No. 18 in a 74 in the rain-delayed third round Sunday morning, then carded a quadruple bogey at No. 4 and a double at 18 in a final-round 77.

“I’m not going to put much stock into today, believe me,” said Glover, who was 5 over in the final round and finished at 1 under for the tournament.

Glover, who won last week at Quail Hollow, was 11 under and right in the mix when he stepped to the tee box at No. 16 in the third round.

He pushed his second shot right and into the water at the par-5 hole, then knocked his drop over the green. He chipped on and two-putted for a 7. His tee shot at the par-4 18th was equally poor. He yanked it left into the water, then hit his next shot into the right rough. He had to lay up from there and finished with another double.

Things got worse after the final round began. Glover hit two balls into the water at the par-4 fourth and ended up carding a snowman 8. He yanked another tee shot left at 18 and doubled the closing hole.

“I hit three bad shots and it cost me nine (strokes), and I made a bad decision on 18 and it cost me two,” Glover said. “Other than that, it wasn’t all that bad. I think it was a combination of hitting the wrong shots on the wrong holes. Just didn’t execute this morning and didn’t have it this afternoon. No bid deal.”

MCDOWELL'S MELTDOWN: The flat feeling that overwhelmed Graeme McDowell following an unlucky roll on No. 18 in the rain-delayed third round Sunday morning carried over to the final round of the Players Championship.

And the Northern Irishman never recovered.

McDowell shot a 7-over 79 in the final round of The Players Championship, a stunning collapse that left the U.S. Open champion simply trying to stay out of the way of playing partners K.J. Choi and David Toms. Choi ended up beating Toms on the first playoff hole.

“It was disappointing out there today,” said McDowell, who tied for 33rd at 5-under 283. “Probably my first time under the gun in a little while. So first time we played in front of a crowd that big in a little while, you know. So it’s kind of getting back into the old vibes again.

“Didn’t quite have it out there. I was a little flat today. Energy levels weren’t where I need them to be. But we live and we learn and we’ll be back.”

McDowell’s struggles started with a bad break on TPC Sawgrass.

He built a three-shot lead in the third round with a tap-in birdie on No. 17, the famed island green. But he was shocked to see his approach on the 18th bounce onto the green, take a hard turn left and roll all way into the water. He wound up with a double bogey for a 68.

Even so, that gave him a one-shot lead over Choi and Toms going into the final round.

It didn’t last.

He birdied No. 5 thanks to a massive drive, getting him to 13 under, but then his game unraveled. His tee shot at No. 6 went way right in the trees and led to a bogey. He overcompensated on his next drive and hooked it into the water left, leading to another bogey.

He started chasing shots from there, most noticeably when he tried to hit from behind a bush on No. 9. He barely moved the ball and ended up with another bogey. It was downhill from there, with more inconsistency off the tee and more errant approach shots at every turn.

“I said I was going to take the positives away whatever happened this weekend,” McDowell said. “I said I was going to stick to my guns. It’s going to hurt for a few hours, but it was a tough task today. The golf course and the wind got up. It was tricky, and I just didn’t have it.”

He was 8 over in the final 13 holes.

“I think it was physical fatigue brought on by a few bogeys at the wrong time,” he said. “Long day out there. I just couldn’t seem to get any momentum. You need a little momentum out there, and I couldn’t seem to read the grain. I wasn’t reading the greens the way I’ve been reading them. Couldn’t hole anything. It was just a bad day at the office.” 


TIGER TALK: PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem insisted Sunday that he never pressured Tiger Woods to compete in The Players Championship.

Finchem spoke with reporters before the final round of the Tour’s signature event and made it clear he never asked Woods to play through his injuries.

“I don’t twist players’ arms, and as far as Tiger being hurt, guys, that’s a decision he has to make, and I had no information that he wasn’t ready to play golf,” Finchem said. “I don’t think anybody did. I don’t think he did.

“I was on the range with him for a half an hour Tuesday. He was hitting it really well. He went and played nine holes and he didn’t have a problem. He played the next day, he didn’t have a problem. He stayed on the range that day, he didn’t have a problem. So it’s all nonsense as far as I’m concerned, and I don’t want to talk about it anymore.”

Woods withdrew from The Players after nine holes Thursday because of knee and Achilles’ tendon problems that had sidelined him since the Masters.

His early withdrawal led to speculation that he was playing as a favor.

“We communicate with players all the time with weak fields, weak-field events and we encourage players to move their schedule around and try to include a weak field,” Finchem said. “We never go to a player and say, ‘Would you please, please, please play this event, this event or any other event, ever. And I don’t recall ever talking to any player in my tenure about whether or not they were going to play The Players Championship.”

 RARE EAGLE: Jason Day joined an elite club Sunday with his second shot on the par-4 14th.

Day struck a 5-iron from 185 yards and the ball rolled into the cup, only the fourth eagle on the 481-yard hole in the 30 years The Players has been held at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.

“I didn’t even know it went in until everyone started yelling,” Day said.

The eagle helped Day shoot a 4-under 68 and finish at 9-under 279 for the tournament.

Day’s eagle was the first at No. 14 since Ken Duke in 2007. Ralph Landrum (1984) and Corey Pavin (1994) also made eagles at the hole that historically plays as one of the toughest on the Stadium Course.

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Elway to play in U.S. Senior Open qualifier

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 23, 2018, 10:25 pm

Tony Romo is not the only ex-QB teeing it up against the pros.

Denver Broncos general manager and Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway will try to qualify for the U.S. Senior Open next week, according to the Denver Post.

And why not? The qualifier and the senior major will be held in Colorado Springs at the Broadmoor. Elway is scheduled to tee off May 28 at 12:10 p.m. ET. The top two finishers will earn a spot in the U.S. Senior Open, June 27 to July 1.

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Jutanugarn sisters: Different styles, similar results

By Associated PressMay 23, 2018, 10:20 pm

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn play golf and live life differently.

The sisters from Thailand do have the same goal in the LPGA, hoping their shot-to-shot focus leads to titles.

The Jutanugarns are two of six women with a shot at the Volvik Championship to become the circuit's first two-time winner this year. The first round begins Thursday at Travis Pointe Country Club, a course six winners are skipping to prepare elsewhere for next week's U.S. Women's Open at Shoal Creek in Alabama.

''Everybody has a chance to win every weekend,'' Moriya said. ''That's how hard it is on tour right now.''

Ariya competes with a grip-it-and-rip-it approach, usually hammering a 3-wood off the tee.

Moriya takes a more calculated approach, analyzing each shot patiently.

That's perhaps fitting because she's 16 months older than her sister.

''It's funny because when we think about something, it's always the different,'' she said. ''But we pretty much end up with the same idea.''

Off the course, they're also different.

The 22-year-old Ariya appears careful and guarded when having conversations with people she doesn't know well. The 23-year-old Moriya, meanwhile, enjoys engaging in interesting discussions with those who cross her path.

Their mother, Narumon, was with her daughters Wednesday and the three of them always stay together as a family. They don't cook during tournament weeks and opt to eat out, searching for good places like the sushi restaurant they've discovered near Travis Pointe.

Their father, Somboon, does not watch them play in person. They sisters say he has retired from owning a golf shop in Thailand.

''He doesn't travel anymore,'' Moriya Jutanugarn said.

Even if he is relegating to watching from the other side of the world, Somboon Jutanugarn must be proud of the way his daughters are playing.

Ariya became the first Thai winner in LPGA history in 2016, the same year she went on to win the inaugural Volvik Championship. She earned her eighth career victory last week in Virginia and is one of two players, along with Brooke Henderson, to have LPGA victories this year and the previous two years.

Moriya won for the first time in six years on the circuit last month in Los Angeles, joining Annika and Charlotta Sorenstam as the two pairs of sisters to have LPGA victories.

On the money list, Ariya is No. 1 and her sister is third.

In terms of playing regularly, no one is ahead of them.

Ariya is the only LPGA player to start and make the cut in all 12 events this year. Moriya Jutanugarn has also appeared in each tournament this year and failed to make the cut only once.

Instead of working in breaks to practice without competing or simply relax, they have entered every tournament so far and shrug their shoulders at the feat.

''It's not that bad, like 10 week in a row,'' Moriya said.

The LPGA is hosting an event about five miles from Michigan Stadium for a third straight year and hopes to keep coming back even though it doesn't have a title sponsor secured for 2019. LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan told reporters he's confident Ann Arbor will be a long-term home for the circuit.

''I can't tell you the specifics about how we're going to do that,'' Whan acknowledged.

LPGA and tournament officials are hosting some prospective sponsors this week, trying to persuade them to put their name on the tournament.

Volvik, which makes golf balls, is preparing to scale back its support of the tournament.

''We're coming back,'' said Don Shin, president of Volvik USA. ''We just don't know in what capacity.''

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Wise: 'No hard feelings' over Nelson missed kiss

By Will GrayMay 23, 2018, 10:18 pm

Aaron Wise left the AT&T Byron Nelson with his first PGA Tour trophy and a seven-figure paycheck. But lost in the shuffle of closing out his breakthrough victory in near-darkness was his failed attempt for a celebratory kiss with his girlfriend on the 18th green.

Wise appeared to go in for a peck after his family joined him on the putting surface, but instead he and his girlfriend simply laughed and hugged. After the moment gained a bit of online notoriety, Wise told reporters at the Fort Worth Invitational that the young couple simply laughed it off.

"Yeah, I have been giving her some s--- about that," Wise said. "A lot has been made about it. It's really nothing. Like I was saying, she was just so excited to surprise me. I was kind of ruining the surprise a little bit that she was shocked, and she didn't even see me going in for the kiss."

At age 21, Wise is now one of the youngest winners on Tour. He explained that while both his girlfriend and mother flew in to watch the final round at Trinity Forest Golf Club, where he shared the 54-hole lead and eventually won by three shots, he took some of the surprise out of their arrival in true millennial fashion - by looking up his girlfriend's location earlier in the day.

Still getting used to his newfound status on Tour, Wise downplayed any controversy surrounding the kiss that wasn't.

"No hard feelings at all," Wise said. "We love each other a ton and we're great. It was a funny moment that I think we'll always be able to look back at, but that's all it really was."

Mmm Visuals / Lancaster Country Club

Giving back: Chun creates education fund at site of Open win

By Randall MellMay 23, 2018, 8:04 pm

South Korea’s In Gee Chun is investing in American youth.

Chun broke through on the largest stage in women’s golf, winning the U.S. Women’s Open three years ago, and she’s making sure Lancaster, Pa., continues to share in what that brought her.

Chun is preparing for next week’s U.S. Women’s Open at Shoal Creek outside Birmingham, Ala., but she made a special stop this week. She returned to the site of her breakthrough in Pennsylvania on Tuesday and Wednesday, launching the In Gee Chun Lancaster Country Club Education Fund. She announced Tuesday that she’s donating $10,000 to seed the fund. She’s expected to raise more than $20,000 for the cause in a fundraising dinner at the club Wednesday evening. The fund will annually award scholarships to Lancaster youth applicants, including Lancaster Country Club caddies and children of club employees.

“I’m excited to be back here,” said Chun, who put on a junior clinic during her stay and also played an outing with club members. “Winning the U.S. Women’s Open here in Lancaster gave me the opportunity to play on the LPGA and make one of my dreams come true.”

Chun also supports a fund in her name at Korea University, where she graduated, a fund for various “social responsibility” projects and for the educational needs of the youth who create them.

“Education is very important to me,” Chun said. “I would like to help others reach their goals.”

Chun made donations to the Lancaster General Health Foundation in 2015 and ’16 and to Pennsylvania’s J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust last year. Lancaster Country Club officials estimate she has now made donations in excess of $40,000 to the community.

“We are grateful In Gee’s made such a wonderful connection to our community and club,” said Rory Connaughton, a member of Lancaster Country Club’s board of governors. “She’s a special person.”