Notes Lefty Linked to Riviera US World Cup Team

By Associated PressSeptember 11, 2007, 4:00 pm
ATLANTA -- For the first time in nearly two decades, the PGA TOUR is getting a new title sponsor for Riviera.
While the final details are still being worked out, a TOUR official and tournament organizer said that Bearing Point will become the new title sponsor of what began in 1926 as the Los Angeles Open.
The officials spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced.
Nissan was the presenting sponsor in 1987, and two years later became the title sponsor. The company last year moved its U.S. headquarters from southern California to Nashville, Tenn., which is one reason it wanted out of its contract with the PGA TOUR. The contract was to expire in 2010.
Bearing Point, based in McLean, Va., provides management and technology consulting services worldwide. It had been a candidate to become title sponsor at the now-defunct International in Colorado, but did not think it was a good fit.
Until now, Bearing Point's main involvement in golf has been an endorsement with Phil Mickelson, who wears the logo on his cap.
Still to be determined is what role Mickelson might have with Bearing Point at Riviera, although it likely will fall well short of Lefty serving as the official host. The only host in the 80-year history at Riviera was singer Glen Campbell.
Mickelson had gone six years without playing Riviera, but returned this year and had a one-shot lead playing the final hole until taking a bogey and losing in a playoff to Charles Howell III.
Arron Oberholser tied for fourth at the PGA Championship and went from 44th to 29th. And when he tied for second in the Deutsche Bank Championship, he moved up to No. 22.
He thought that was a positive development, nothing more.
Only when Oberholser got a phone call last week in Chicago did he realize the significance. And when five other Americans ranked ahead of him declined an invitation, Oberholser jumped at the chance to represent the United States in the World Cup.
'Are you kidding me? I got the call and was half in shock, to be honest with you,' Oberholser said Tuesday. 'The correlation between the world ranking and the World Cup didn't cross my mind. I wouldn't pass up something like this.'
The first thing he did was call Sean O'Hair and ask him to be his teammate. It will be the first World Cup for both of them. It will be held at Mission Hills Golf Club in China on Nov. 22-25.
The Deutsche Bank Championship was the last event before the U.S. team was determined based on the world ranking. Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker and Masters champion Zach Johnson all declined.
Oberholser and O'Hair have become friends over the last year.
'We really enjoy playing with one another,' Oberholser said. 'I root for the kid very hard when I'm not playing. He's got a lot of talent and his maturity level impresses me to an extent I can't explain. To be 25 with two children and be so calm, cool and collected ... I couldn't find my rear end with a microscope when I was 25. He was on my short list of guys to take with me to China.'
Oberholser, meanwhile, had an MRI on his right hand Monday and found no breaks or tears. He said doctors assured him that with therapy, he'll be ready to play Oct. 18 at the Fry's Electronics Open in Scottsdale, Ariz.
The World Cup dates to 1953. The last U.S. victory was with Woods and David Duval in Argentina in 2000.
The only other time Oberholser played in Asia was 2004 at the Shinhan Korea Golf Championship, which he won.
'I'm hoping to go 2-0 in Asia,' he said.
David Toms left Cog Hill not certain if his 68-67 weekend would be enough to get into the Tour Championship, figuring he would either go to Atlanta or go duck hunting.
But he couldn't help notice the money list.
Toms is among four players who would have qualified for the TOUR Championship had it been based on the top 30 in earnings instead of the new FedExCup system in which points are awarded for each tournament. He is No. 26 on the money list with just over $2 million, but finished 33rd in the playoff standings.
'I'm not going to miss on money, but I'm missing on points,' Toms said. 'But I knew that going in. It's not like they just announced it.'
Toms started out the playoffs at No. 25, but missed the cut at The Barclays and withdrew from the Deutsche Bank Championship, both tournaments he ordinarily doesn't play. That was his only beef with the playoffs, a rotation of courses that suit some more than others.
'There are two golf courses I wouldn't go to on a regular basis,' he said. 'I had a bad attitude the first two weeks, and I played bad.'
This will be the first year he has missed the TOUR Championship since 1998.
Others who finished in the top 30 on the money list but outside the top 30 in FedExCup standings were Luke Donald, Henrik Stenson and Jerry Kelly. On the other side, Tim Clark, Jonathan Byrd, Heath Slocum and Camilo Villegas all are outside the top 30 on the money list and have a tee time at East Lake.
Zach Johnson has a chance at the TOUR Championship to enter the record books alongside Tom Watson.
Having won the Masters at Augusta National and the AT&T Classic outside Atlanta, Johnson will go for the hat trick at East Lake, which would make it a sweep of PGA Tour events in Georgia.
Watson won three times in the same state in 1980 -- the San Diego Open, Los Angeles Open and the Tournament of Champions when it was held at La Costa.
Johnson could not think of a better state than Georgia to sweep the TOUR events.
'Not with that one tournament about 120 miles east of here,' he said, referring to Augusta.
Steve Stricker has changed his mind about going to South Africa for the Nedbank Challenge. He was going to take 9-year-old Bobbi on the ultimate father-daughter trip, but then figured it was too far to go. Plus, he doesn't want to repeat his mistakes from 1996 when he played too much in the offseason. ... The Canadian Open will be played at Glen Abbey the next two years, with 2009 the 100th anniversary of golf's third-oldest championship. ... Stricker and Rory Sabbatini are the only players to record top 10s in the first three playoff events.
The top four players at the Wachovia Championship in May are the same four players atop the FedExCup standings going into the final event -- Tiger Woods, Steve Stricker, Phil Mickelson and Rory Sabbatini.
'There's still going to be a tournament. Somebody is going to finish first and somebody is going to finish 30th, and I know who the favorite is for that.' -- Mark Calcavecchia, who has finished in last place the past two weeks.
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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.

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    “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.”

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    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.’”