Notes Leftys Major Season Almost a Bust

By Associated PressAugust 12, 2007, 4:00 pm
PGA ChampionshipTULSA, Okla. -- Having failed to win a major for the first time since 2003, Phil Mickelson said his win at THE PLAYERS Championship -- the so-called fifth major -- was 'what salvaged the year for me.'
 
After tying for 24th at the Masters, Mickelson injured his left wrist while practicing for the U.S. Open, then missed the cut at Oakmont and at the British Open. He shot a 1-under 69 Sunday to end the PGA Championship at 6-over 286 in a tie for 32nd place.
 
'My other four performances in the majors were not what I wanted obviously, but I don't want to be too hard on myself because for a couple, I wasn't able to make the swings and hit the shots I needed to try to hit,' Mickelson said.
 
The injury has changed Mickelson's outlook for the fall.
 
'Usually this time of the year after the PGA, I'm ready to pack it in,' Mickelson said. 'But because I haven't played or because I feel like I haven't been able to play and practice three months even though I've tried, my excitement level to get back out and compete is still very high right now.'
 
Mickelson said the wrist injury 'should be in the past now' and he wishes the PGA Championship had been a couple weeks later so he'd have had a better chance to prepare.
 
SIMON SAYS:
Simon Dyson had been so worn down playing golf that he decided to take three weeks off before the PGA Championship. He came back thinking 'a top 30 would have been a dream.'
 
The Englishman easily surpassed that goal, shooting a 6-under-par 64 Sunday for the low round of the day to finish in a tie for sixth place.
 
'One of the best days I've had for a long time,' said Dyson, who has won twice on the European Tour and four times on the Asian Tour.
 
Dyson carded the best front nine total of the week with a 4-under 31, then added three more birdies on the back nine. All that kept him from matching the major championship record of 63 was a three-putt for bogey on No. 10.
 
'Everything just seemed to click today,' Dyson said.
 
Dyson had played eight tournaments in a nine-week span, missing the cut in the final two, before deciding to take the break. While he continued to work out, he put his clubs away for two full weeks before resuming practice last week. In the meantime, he went out a few nights with friends and took his girlfriend on vacation for a few days.
 
'Nothing felt good. My head was somewhere it shouldn't be,' Dyson said. 'And I just thought I needed to recharge the batteries and get my appetite back.'
 
Dyson said he may work more down time into his schedule, particularly if the result is such a strong finish in a major. Dyson's best finish at a major had been a tie for 34th at the 2005 British Open. He'd missed the cut at his only trip to the U.S. Open and his other three British Opens.
 
'It's something I'll savor for a long time,' Dyson said. 'Unless I do something better the next couple of years.'
 
TOUTING TIGER:
With his win, Tiger Woods became only the third player to win at least four PGA Championships. He's one behind Walter Hagen and Jack Nicklaus.
 
He's the only player to repeat at the PGA Championship since Denny Shute won consecutive titles in 1936-37. Woods also repeated in 1999-2000. Hagen, who won four straight titles from 1924 to 1927, is the only player to win more than two in a row.
 
Only Woods and Nicklaus have won at least one major in three consecutive years on two separate occasions.
 
PAVIN'S PENALTY:
Corey Pavin's caddie moved a rake out of the way during an errant bunker shot at the par-3 sixth hole, allowing the ball to roll down a hill and into the water. Even though his action allowed Pavin's shot to enter the hazard instead of avoiding it, the 1995 U.S. Open champion was still assessed a two-stroke penalty.
 
Pavin played another shot out of the bunker, then two-putted for an 8.
 
Tim Herron also ran into trouble with the rake. After hitting his tee shot into the water, his shot from the drop zone hit the rake. When the rake was moved, the ball rolled into the water. He was able to drop again in a spot where the ball wouldn't roll off, and carded a 7.
 
DIVOTS:
John Senden carded a 71 to earn his first top five finish at a major. His previous best finish was a tie for 35th at last year's British Open. 'It's been a great week. I'm really, really excited.' ... Mike Small, the University of Illinois golf coach, edged Ryan Benzel of Seattle by one stroke to finish as the top club professional in the field. ... John Daly's second shot on the par-5 fifth hole got stuck in a tree. After a drop, He ended up making bogey. Daly, who shot a 67 in the first round, shot his third straight 73 on Sunday and finished the tournament at 6 over. ... Graeme Storm, who opened with a 65 to take the first-round lead, shot 78 Sunday and ended up at 13-over 293 for the tournament. ... Anyone looking to buy a camouflage cap like the one worn by Boo Weekley will have to wait. 'They can't get one like this right now,' said Weekley, an avid hunter and fisherman. 'It ain't on the market.'
 
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    Ciganda, S.Y. Kim share lead in Shanghai

    By Associated PressOctober 20, 2018, 9:28 am

    SHANGHAI - Carlota Ciganda of Spain shot a 5-under 67 Saturday to share the lead with Sei Young Kim after the third round of the LPGA Shanghai.

    Ciganda carded her fifth birdie of the day on the par-4 18th to finish tied with overnight leader Kim at 11-under 205. Kim shot a 71 with four bogeys and five birdies.

    Ciganda is attempting to win her third LPGA title and first since the 2016 season, when she won two tournaments in a one-month span. Kim is chasing her eighth career LPGA win and second title of the 2018 season.

    ''I want to win because I didn't win last year,'' Ciganda said. ''I love playing in Asia. It's good for long hitters, playing quite long, so I'm quite comfortable.''


    Full-field scores from the Buick LPGA Shanghai


    Angel Yin also birdied the final hole for a 68 and was a further stroke back with Brittany Altomare (69), Danielle Kang (71) and Ariya Jutanugarn (71).

    Yin and Altomare have yet to break through for their first LPGA win. A win in Shanghai would make either player the ninth first-time winner of the 2018 season, which would tie 2016 for the third highest number of first-time winners in a season in LPGA history.

    ''I love competing,'' Yin said. ''That's why I'm playing, right? I'm excited to be in contention again going into Sunday.''

    Local favorite Yu Liu was seventh after offsetting a lone bogey with four birdies for a 69.

    Paula Creamer also shot a 69 and shared eighth at 8 under with Minjee Lee (70) and Bronte Law (71).

    The tournament is the second of five being played in South Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan in the LPGA's annual Asian swing.

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    Koepka's pursuers have no illusions about catching him

    By Nick MentaOctober 20, 2018, 8:50 am

    Ahead by four, wielding his driver like Thor's hammer, Brooks Koepka is 18 holes from his third victory in five months and his first ascent to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking.

    The tournament isn't over. No one is handing him the trophy and updating the OWGR website just yet. But it will likely take some combination of a meltdown and low round from someone in the chase pack to prevent a Koepka coronation Sunday in South Korea.

    Thirteen under for the week, the three-time major champion will start the final round four shots ahead of his playing partners, Ian Poulter and Scott Piercy, and five ahead of six more players at minus-8.

    As is his nature, Poulter figures to be undaunted. The 42-year-old is fresh off a Sunday singles victory over Dustin Johnson at the Ryder Cup and in the midst of a career renaissance, having broken a five-year winless drought earlier this year. In one sense, it's Europe vs. the United States again, but this isn't match play, and Koepka, a guy who doesn't need a head start, has spotted himself a four-shot advantage.


    Full-field scores from the CJ Cup

    CJ Cup: Articles, photos and videos


    "Tomorrow I'm going to need to make a few birdies. Obviously Brooks is in cruise control right now and obviously going to need a shoot a low one," Poulter conceded. "Do what I'm doing, just enjoy [it]. Obviously try and make as many birdies as I can and see how close we get."

    Perez, in the group at 8 under par, isn't giving up, but like Poulter, he's aware of the reality of his situation.

    "We're chasing Brooks, who of course obviously is playing phenomenally," he said. "A lot of the long hitters now when they get in contention, they hit that driver and they're really hard to catch. I'm not worried about it too much. It's going to be harder for me tomorrow than him, so I'm going to try and go out and just do my thing, hit some shots, hopefully hit some close and make some putts and we'll see. I don't expect him to come backwards, but hopefully I can try to go catch him."

    Gary Woodland, also 8 under par, summed up the predicament best when he alluded to Koepka's perhaps advantageously aloof demeanor.

    "You obviously want to get off to a good start and put pressure on him as soon as you can," he said. "You know, Brooks doesn't seem like he cares too much, and he's playing so good, so you're going to have to go out and post a number."

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    Koepka has his chance 'to earn' his way to No. 1

    By Nick MentaOctober 20, 2018, 8:09 am

    There won't need to be any wonky math involved. He won't have to settle for finally reaching the the top via some kind of mathematical reset while he's sitting at home on the couch (or more likely working out in the gym).

    No, Brooks Koepka on Sunday in South Korea will have a chance to ascend to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking the way every player would most want to - with a victory.

    On the strength of a bogey-free round of 5-under 67 Saturday, Koepka will enter the final round of the CJ Cup four clear of Ian Poulter and Scott Piercy, with six more players five behind.

    The tournament is Koepka's to lose, and so too is the No. 1 ranking. So long as Justin Thomas doesn't somehow defend his title from 12 shots back, Koepka can supplant Dustin Johnson atop the rankings with a win or a solo second-place finish.


    Full-field scores from the CJ Cup

    CJ Cup: Articles, photos and videos


    "It was something I wanted to do. I always wanted to become World No. 1 in a week that I was playing," Koepka said Saturday. "I thought like I could really earn it and not have a week off where it just so happens that you bump up. No, it would be very special, and to do it here would be nice and hopefully get to world No. 1 and cap it off with a win, I don't think there would be much better."

    It would be a fitting end to this breakthrough year for Koepka, who successfully defended his U.S. Open title and then added his third major victory at the PGA Championship en route to claiming the PGA Tour's Player of the Year Award. Oddly enough, considering his status a three-time major winner and an impending No. 1, this would be Koepka's fifth Tour victory but only his second in a non-major; his only regular Tour win to date was his first, at the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

    "My confidence has always been pretty high," Koepka said. "Anytime you can win three majors you're going to be feeling pretty good about yourself. To do what I've done over the last two years has been special, but I'm looking to build on that."

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    Koepka ahead by four, with No. 1 ranking in his grasp

    By Nick MentaOctober 20, 2018, 5:48 am

    Following a closing birdie and a third-round 67 at Nine Bridges, Brooks Koepka will take a four-shot lead over Ian Poulter and Scott Piercy into final round of the CJ Cup. Here's how Koepka separated himself from the field in South Korea.

    Leaderboard: Koepka (-13), Piercy (-9), Poulter (-9), Rafa Cabrera Bello (-8), Cameron Smith (-8), Jaime Lovemark (-8), Pat Perez (-8), Gary Woodland (-8), Chez Reavie (-8)

    What it means: Koepka is in search of his fifth PGA Tour victory and – believe it or not – only his second non-major. The three-time major champion’s only other win came all the way back in February 2015, at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. One off the lead to start the day, Koepka opened with eight straight pars and birdied Nos. 9 and 10 to take the outright lead at 10 under par. He added three more circles at 14, 17 and 18 to close out a bogey-free round of 5 under and go ahead by ahead by four. He'll be chased on Sunday by Piercy, a four-time PGA Tour winner who won the Zurich Classic earlier this year alongside Billy Horschel, and by Poulter, who ended a five-year worldwide winless drought back in April and is coming off a 2-2 performance at the Ryder Cup, with a Sunday singles victory over current world No. 1 Dustin Johnson. Speaking of which, unless Justin Thomas finds a way to win this tournament from 12 back, Koepka will for the first time ascend to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking with a win or a solo second-place finish.

    Round of the day: After contending last week at the CIMB, Shubankhar Sharma rebounded from opening rounds of 74 and 75 with a nine-birdie, 8-under 64 to move up 45 spots into a tie for 26th through 54 holes.

    Best of the rest: Four players – Rafa Cabrera Bello, Ted Potter Jr., Jason Day and Brendan Steele – shot 7-under 65 Saturday. Day played his first four holes in 2 over and his final 14 in 9 under.

    Biggest disappointment: The only previous winner of this event, world No. 4 Justin Thomas entered the week with a chance to take back the No. 1 ranking with a successful title defense. But rounds of 73-70-72 have him 1 under for the week. Thomas played his back nine in 1 over Saturday with six pars, a birdie, a quadruple bogey and a closing eagle.

    Shot of the day: Koepka flying his tee shot 330 yards to the front edge of the green at the par-4 14th and going on to two-putt for birdie.