Notes Masters Qualifying Howell Moves On

By Associated PressMarch 21, 2006, 5:00 pm
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- For Colombian rookie Camilo Villegas, the road to the Masters might end in the parking lot of the TPC at Sawgrass.
The Players Championship is the final week to qualify for the Masters, with the top 50 in the world ranking and top 10 on the PGA Tour money list getting invitations to Augusta National. Villegas tied for second in Phoenix and at Doral to move up to 15th, but he needs one more start.

Kenny Perry and Joey Snyder had to withdraw, leaving the field at 144 players. If anyone else withdraws, Villegas is the first alternate. Even if he gets in, Villegas likely will have to at least finish eighth.
Also on the bubble is another rookie, J.B. Holmes.
The winner of the FBR Open, Holmes was in the top 10 on the money list until Rod Pampling won last week at Bay Hill, bumping Holmes to No. 11 by about $52,000.
'I can't really focus on that,' Holmes said. 'If I get to play in the Masters this year, great. If not, I'm sure I'll make it in there before my career is over with. That would be something phenomenal to play.'
Another player with the Masters on his mind is Greg Owen.
The Englishman could have secured an invitation last week with a win at Bay Hill, but he three-putted from 3 feet on the 17th hole Sunday and finished second. Even so, Owen moved up from No. 95 to No. 53, and while it depends on what happens around him, a top 25 at Sawgrass might be enough to get him into the top 50.
The Madeira Open on the European tour could affect the ranking, although the only person on the bubble playing there is Niclas Fasth, who is No. 56.
Anyone who can drop out of the top 10 on the money list or the top 50 in the world ranking already is eligible for the Masters in other categories.
Charles Howell III has changed swing coaches, ending a relationship with David Leadbetter that began when he was 12.
Howell now is working with Bryan Mogg, whose clients include Bart Bryant and Brad Faxon.
'It was time for a change,' Howell said. 'I had been with David a long time. This is another person looking at my golf game. I'm working on the same stuff, but it's packaged differently.'
Howell said it was difficult to leave Leadbetter, and that they spoke over the weekend.
'Our relationship has not changed,' he said. 'We're still friends.'
Dean Wilson was hitting chips on the practice green at Bay Hill when Joey Sindelar walked by on his way from the ninth green to the 10th tee.
'Who are you? Mr. Leaderboard?' Sindelar called out to him.
Wilson is becoming a regular fixture atop the leaderboard on the PGA Tour. The trick now is to stay there over the weekend, although he feels as though he is making progress. Wilson closed with rounds of 73-72 at Bay Hill to finish tied for 10th, his third top-10 of the year.
'I've got to figure it out, how to get it done on the weekend,' Wilson said. 'I know the courses are going to be harder, so I need to play better.'
Wilson is trying to get more comfortable, and he says it helps to be paired with marquee players. The last month has been a crash course -- Phil Mickelson in the final round at Doral, Sergio Garcia in the third round at Bay Hill and Vijay Singh in the final round at Bay Hill.
'It's a great experience to be paired with those guys,' Wilson said. 'I watch how they go about their business, and how my game stacks up against theirs.'
Meanwhile, no one stacks up to Wilson for his ironman ways this year. He is the only player to have competed in every event for which he is eligible. The Players Championships is his 11th in a row. If he doesn't win, Wilson will have to go home in two weeks during the Masters.
The pain Ryan Moore first felt in his left hand last summer finally caught up with him. He plans to have surgery Monday to repair a fractured bone in his left hand.
Despite the injury, Moore became the first player since Tiger Woods in 1996 to earn his PGA Tour card through sponsor's exemptions without ever having to go through Q-school. But the pain never went away, and Moore has made only two cuts in his first five starts, his best finish a tie for 40th in Phoenix.
Moore is expect to be out as many as two months.
Surgery means he will miss the Masters, where a year ago he tied for 13th as an amateur to earn a trip back.
If this is supposed to be a reality show, here's the reality -- to qualify for a tournament with Arnold Palmer and Gary Player, a player had better be old and good.
The event is called 'Shoot Your Age Championship,' to be televised May 7 on CBS Sports at The Villages course near Orlando, Fla. Players only have to pay a $350 entry and have a valid driver's license or passport. The top 34 players will advance to final round and compete against Palmer and Player.
Both Hall-of-Famers have shot their age in Champions Tour events.
'A golfer has to have mixed feelings about shooting his or her age,' Palmer said. 'It's an exciting day when and if it happens, but it also means that you have to be up in years.'
Palmer shot 66 on his 66th birthday in the final round of the GTE Northwest Classic in Seattle in 1995.
'It's become easier and easier every year since then,' Palmer said.
The Ladies European Tour is offering a $1 million bonus for what can best be described as a Nordic Grand Slam. The tour has a program called the Volvo XC Challenge, in which a player will earn the $1 million bonus by winning all four LET events in the Nordic region -- the Ladies Norwegian Masters, the Scandinavian TPC in Sweden, the Finnair Masters in Finland and the Nykredit Masters in Denmark. ... The Georgia Cup will be a European affair for the first time in its nine-year history. The match between the U.S. Amateur champion (Edoardo Molinari of Italy) and British Amateur champion (Brian McElhinney of Ireland) will be March 29 at The Golf Club of Georgia.
Sandy Lyle (1987) and Craig Perks (2002) are the only players to win The Players Championship and not finish in the top 30 to qualify for the Tour Championship.
'Never say never. I mean, I never thought we'd emulate NASCAR.' -- Jeff Sluman, on whether The Players Championship will ever be considered a major.
Related Links:
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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.”