Notes Haas Looking at Crossroads

By Associated PressAugust 16, 2005, 4:00 pm
Jay Haas wanted to keep playing on the PGA Tour until he felt like he couldn't compete, and the 51-year-old now has some serious questions he must ask of himself.
He missed the cut in his second major this year at the PGA Championship. He is 125th on the PGA Tour money list, with his only top 10 of the year coming at the Match Play Championship, where he advanced to the third round before he was eliminated by Chris DiMarco.
Haas is assured his PGA Tour card for next year having played on the last Ryder Cup team.

``I think I lost my golf energy,'' Haas said last week. ``You can't come out here and go through the motions. These guys are too good. I guess I'm at a crossroads. Right now, I would say I'll play more on the Champions Tour. But if I start to play a little better at the end of the year ... I still like to do this.''
Haas had reason to lose some energy, and not only because of his age.
Along with some back problems and the distraction of renovating his house, Haas didn't have the same incentives that carried him the last two years. He tried to make the Presidents Cup team in 2003 and the Ryder Cup team last year, and both times came close enough to warrant being a captain's pick.
Plus, he didn't get much of a break last year as he took advantage of good play. He took part in four silly-season events at the end of the year, including the Target World Challenge hosted by Tiger Woods.
``You see that all the time, guys playing a lot in the offseason,'' Haas said. ``I had never really done it before, and I had never really been in that position to do it before. I had to take advantage.''
Haas said one thing that probably won't influence his decision is whether his son, Bill, earns his PGA Tour card through the Nationwide Tour.
``We've done the father-son thing a bunch of times,'' he said. ``Not that it's lost its luster, but I need to let him do his thing. He knows how to play.''
The Presidents Cup got a brief scare last month when officials at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club discovered nematodes -- transparent, microscopic worms -- had infected some of the greens.
The Presidents Cup is to be played Sept. 22-25, and the worms could have severely damaged the putting surfaces.
``We had never been in better shape,'' said George Burger, general chairman of the Presidents Cup. ``It was surprising, but the minute they saw it, they sent samples out and we knew what it was within two or three days, and we were able to treat it. It was a great catch by the staff. If they hadn't got it, we'd have been in real trouble.''
Burger said the 12th and 17th greens have been re-sodded with grass from north of Pittsburgh, and it already has grown in nicely. Other greens were treated with chemicals and are no longer in jeopardy.
Burger said he expects the greens to be as good as ever when the matches start.
Five players on the U.S. team at the Presidents Cup are in their 40s. Four Americans were in their 40s at the Ryder Cup last year, with Tiger Woods the only guy in his 20s on both teams.
Is the U.S. team growing old? Ryder Cup captain Tom Lehman doesn't think so.
Lehman says the arrival of so many foreign-born players on the PGA Tour in recent years simply is making it tougher for younger Americans to immediately succeed, whether that means getting a card or finishing in the top 10.
``There is less opportunity for our young players, kids coming out of college or just starting out as professionals. There's less spots,'' he said. ``Let's face it, when you have the best players from South Africa and Australia and everywhere else coming here to play, they're awfully good players. So you need to be pretty doggone good to get that spot away from them.''
Since the 2000 Presidents Cup, the only player in his 20s besides Woods to play for the United States in either cup was Charles Howell III two years ago in South Africa.
Phil Mickelson became the 10th straight PGA champion to play in the final group, although that's usually the case with every major. The last 15 winners at the Masters have come out of the last pairing. The last seven winners of the U.S. Open were in the last pairing.
In fact, the only major champion who did not play in the final group since 2000 was Ben Curtis in the 2003 British Open. He was in the fourth-to-last group.
From Tiger Woods to Bernhard Langer, there were 14 players who made the cut in all four major championships this year. The others were Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson, Retief Goosen, Adam Scott, Luke Donald, Fred Couples, Mark Hensby, Tim Clark, Kenny Perry, Steve Flesch, K.J. Choi and Ian Poulter.
That's up from 10 players to make the cut in all four majors last year.
Woods, Singh, Mickelson, Choi and Flesch have earned a paycheck in every major over the last two seasons.
On the other end of the spectrum, former major champions David Duval, Rich Beem and Shaun Micheel were the only players to miss the cut in all four majors. Duval has not made a cut in a major since he tied for 34th at the 2002 PGA.
Of the 14 players who made the cut in all four majors, Woods and Singh had top 10s in all of them. Scott, Perry, Choi and Poulter failed to finish in the top 10 in any of the majors.
Retief Goosen qualified for the PGA of Grand Slam as an alternate, but said Tuesday he was not planning to go to Hawaii for the two-day exhibition Nov. 22-23. That would make Vijay Singh the next alternate. Singh would have been the first alternate until his bogey on the last hole of the PGA Championship. ... Tim Herron learned his week that the twins his wife is carrying will be boys. The due date is Dec. 3. He already has a 3-year-old son named Carson, and Lumpy is struggling with two more boy names. ``Something Irish,'' he said. ... The Salesmanship Club of Dallas, which sponsors the Byron Nelson Championship, raised more than $6.05 million for charity, the fourth time that its annual contribution went over the $6 million mark.
Tiger Woods became the first player since Jack Nicklaus in 1973 to finish in the top four in all four majors.
``Tiger collects them like they're nothing. For the rest of us, it's not that easy.'' -- Steve Elkington on winning majors.
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    Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

    By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

    NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

    Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

    The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

    Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

    Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

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    Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

    Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

    Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

    Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

    4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

    4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

    4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

    4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

    4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

    5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

    5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

    5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

    5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

    5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

    6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

    6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

    6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

    6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

    6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

    6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

    7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

    7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

    7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

    7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

    7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

    7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

    8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

    8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

    8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

    8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

    8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

    8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

    9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

    9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

    9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

    9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

    9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

    10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

    10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

    10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

    10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

    10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

    10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

    11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

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    Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

    He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

    “There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

    Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

    “I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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    Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

    Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

    Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

    “I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

    Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

    “It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

    More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

    “I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”