Notes Mickelsons gamble doesnt pay off

By Associated PressJune 5, 2010, 4:25 am

2007 The Memorial Tournament

DUBLIN, Ohio – No, that wasn’t golf ball-sized hail at the 14th. It was Phil Mickelson’s golf ball.

Mickelson pulled out the driver on the 363-yard, par-4 hole in Friday’s second round of the Memorial and came close to reaching the putting area.

Players usually don’t chance it because it’s such a narrow green that slopes hard toward a creek that crosses the fairway and then meanders along the right side of the green. If a ball comes in with too much pace, it can easily kick into the drink. The conventional play is a 3-iron or 3-wood off the tee that comes up just short of the creek, then a wedge into the treacherous, fast green.

But Mickelson spit in the eye of such thinking.

“I have never gone an entire round hitting every fairway, and I had hit every fairway through 12 holes,” he said after completing a 71 that left him at 6-under 138. “When I missed (the fairway) on 13, I thought I’d drive on 14 because it didn’t matter. If I had hit that fairway on 13, I would have hit iron on 14. I know it sounds crazy, but that’s the way I was thinking.”

Mickelson hit a 335-yard drive that came up just short of the green, leaving him just 75 feet to the pin.

The strategy might have been sound; the execution wasn’t. He chipped to 5 feet but then missed the birdie putt, settling for par – just like so many who didn’t even run the risk.

DIRTY DOZEN: Geoff Ogilvy felt as if he couldn’t do anything wrong in the first round of the Memorial, when he shot a 65 for his lowest start of any tournament this year.

He was a dozen shots worse Friday, when he couldn’t get anything right.

“Anything that could go wrong went wrong,” Ogilvy said.

The worst of it came on the 14th, when he pulled his tee shot into the water, took a penalty drop, then found a bunker and had to scramble for a double bogey. He finished bogey-bogey for a 77.

Ogilvy didn’t seem overly concerned. He has been hitting the ball well for the last month, and plans a light week of practice and play at his summer home in San Diego next week with good friend Adam Scott.

OLD RELIABLE: Three-time Memorial winner Kenny Perry tied a tournament record by making his 17th consecutive cut at Muirfield Village. Perry shot a 68 and was at 5-under 139, still somewhat in the picture.

The streak began in 1993 with a tie for 19th. Perry did not play in 2006 because of an injury.

Jim Furyk extended his record at the Memorial with the most starts without ever missing the cut. He had played this tournament 15 times and picked up a check every Sunday.

MEMORIAL WEATHER: So fraught with weather problems is the annual tournament at Muirfield Village that locals refer to monsoon-like conditions and heavy rain in the spring as “Memorial weather.”

A year ago, Jack Nicklaus’ tournament enjoyed four days with nary a hint of rain, tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions or a plague of locusts.

This year’s tournament has not been so fortunate.

The first round was suspended for 2 hours and 4 minutes by thunderstorms, with a later 34-minute delay because lightning was in the area. Still, all 120 players were able to finish their round.

On Friday, heavy rains suspended play for 24 minutes midway through the afternoon and the threat of dangerous weather held up play for another 35 minutes later. Again, the entire field completed play.

But, not too surprisingly, the forecast for Saturday and Sunday is thunderstorms.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Steve Stricker on how the media and players’ private lives: “We don’t judge any of you guys on what you do in your personal life.” Then he paused for effect and cracked, “Nor do I WANT to know what you do with your personal life.”

IT’S IN THE HOLE!: The golf movie “Caddyshack” is turning 30.

Few weekend players don’t know at least a line or two from the film. The irreverent and, OK, sophomoric film starred Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase and Ted Knight.

It figures that touring pros also love the movie.

Tiger Woods says he’s seen it almost a 100 times.

Asked if he had worn out his DVD watching it, Woods joked, “I’ll just buy another one.”

OLD GUARD: Tom Pernice Jr. could be collecting money and spending leisurely weekends out on the Champions Tour. Instead, he gets a kick out of taking on guys half his age on excruciatingly difficult courses.

He could have played all this season on the over-50 circuit, but instead has played just four times – half as many times as he’s started in a regular-tour event.

Why doesn’t the 50-year-old act his age?

“I’ve always said I’m competitive out here,” said Pernice, winner of the 1999 Buick Open and 2001 International. “The ball doesn’t know how old you are. As long as I can keep it in close and make some putts and post the scores, I’m going to try to stay out here and see what I can do.”

So far, so good at the Memorial. Pernice followed an opening 72 with a 67 and is among the leaders through 36 holes.

He credits good habits and hard conditioning for still being on the regular tour after turning pro in 1982.

“I work out quite a bit,” he said. “Through my workouts, I’ve stayed healthy. Haven’t had any major medical problems, so that’s an asset.”

VISION IN MINT: Almost every other player in the field at the Memorial Tournament would like to have Rickie Fowler’s game.

Almost none want his fashion sense.

The tournament’s long-haired leader wore a mint green shirt with an M.C. Escher-like optical-illusion print covering everything but the sleeves. He had on matching mint green pants and color-coordinated Puma shoes with mint green accents and mint green strings. Oh, and he wore a flat-brimmed white Puma hat with black trim and a white belt.

“They wouldn’t even let me in if I wore that,” said Tim Petrovic, who matched Fowler’s 6-under 66 in the second round. “We tease him about maybe getting a haircut, you know, once or twice a year.”

DIVOTS: Angel Cabrera may have two major championship victories but that didn’t prevent the main scoreboard from listing him as Cabreraa. … Jason Day could avoid U.S. Open qualifying by winning the Memorial, falling under the criteria of multiple PGA Tour victories since the previous U.S. Open. He won two weeks ago in Dallas. … Mark Calcavecchia can delay ever so slightly his departure from the PGA Tour. He huffed and he puffed and he made the cut with a second straight round of even-par 72. … Only six of the 22 second-round leaders or co-leaders in PGA Tour events this season have gone on to win. … Henrik Stenson is playing the Memorial for the first time and with a substitute caddie. Fanny Sunesson is taking the week off, so the Swede is using Jude O’Riley, who also filled in when Stenson and Robert Karlsson won the World Cup two years ago.

AP Golf Writer Doug Ferguson contributed to this report.

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Hataoka leads Minjee Lee by one at LPGA Volvik

By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 12:54 am

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - After losing in a playoff last weekend, Nasa Hataoka is making another bid for her first LPGA Tour victory.

Hataoka shot a 4-under 68 on Friday, and the Japanese teenager led by one stroke over Minjee Lee after the second round of the Volvik Championship. Hataoka, who is coming off the first two top-10 finishes of her LPGA career, made seven birdies at Travis Pointe Country Club. She began her round on No. 10, and her best stretch came toward the end, when she birdied Nos. 4, 5 and 6.

''I'm really comfortable playing the LPGA,'' the 19-year-old Hataoka said through a translator. ''I've really got confidence now.''

Hataoka made the cut nine times in 17 starts as a rookie in 2017, and she has made significant strides of late. She tied for seventh at last month's MEDIHEAL Championship and nearly won a week ago at the Kingsmill Championship in Virginia.

Hataoka finished the second round in Michigan at 9 under. Lee (69) was also solid Friday. Gaby Lopez (68), Jodi Ewart Shadoff (70) and Lindy Duncan (70) were a stroke behind Lee in a tie for third.

Hataoka did not make a single bogey in last week's three-round tournament, and she didn't have any in the first round in Michigan. She finally made a few Friday, but that didn't stop her from taking sole possession of the lead.

''I kind of feel like not really perfect, but I just kind of try to (be) aggressive,'' she said.

Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship

Lee, who lost by one stroke on this course last year, is in contention again.

''I guess the fairways are pretty generous and I think the greens are a little bit on the trickier side to read,'' Lee said. ''As long as your iron shots are pretty solid, I think you're going to be in good position around this golf course.''

Lee birdied the first two holes, and the only blemish on her scorecard Friday came on the par-5 14th. After missing the fairway to the right, she hit an aggressive shot out of the rough that went straight toward a water hazard well in front of the green. She settled for a bogey after taking a drop.

''I thought the ball was sitting OK in the rough, but it must have been a bit funny, or underneath it,'' she said. ''I made a mistake. I thought it was good enough to hit 3-wood there.''

Lee lost last year in Michigan to Shanshan Feng, but Feng will have some ground to make up in her attempt to repeat. She shot 69 on Friday but is still eight strokes behind the leader.

Ariya Jutanugarn was 6 under after a second consecutive 69.

Lopez made only six pars in the second round, tied for the fewest of the day, but her eight birdies and four bogeys put her near the top of the leaderboard.

''It was a little bit of an up and down,'' she said. ''There's so many opportunities out here to make birdie, that the most important thing to do is just to be patient, to be in the moment and not to get ahead of yourself. I think I came back from a couple mistakes that I did.''

In contrast to Lopez, Brittany Lincicome parred all 18 holes Friday and made the cut at 1 under. Paula Creamer (71) triple bogeyed the par-4 13th. She followed that with an eagle on the very next hole but missed the cut by a stroke.

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Childhood rivals share Sr. PGA lead

By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 12:00 am

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Kevin Sutherland and Scott McCarron have been rivals since their junior golf days around Sacramento, California. The two old friends were back at it Friday at the top of the Senior PGA Championship leaderboard.

''It's honestly, nothing new for us,'' said Sutherland who played in the third-to-last group and birdied his last two holes for a 5-under 66 to match McCarron at 8 under.

McCarron had a 68 in the morning wave to emerge from a championship record group of six tied for the first-round lead.

Sutherland was last year's Charles Schwab Cup winner with his only senior win coming in the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship, while McCarron has six PGA Tour Champions wins, including a major at the 2017 Senior Players Championship.

''We are both (Northern California) guys, played in high school, junior golf, on tour and it seems like a lot on the Champions Tour,'' Sutherland said. ''We were in the last group on Sundays a lot last year. Scott played so well and had an incredible year, and I had a great year, too.''

Sutherland's lone PGA Tour victory came at McCarron's expense in 2002 at La Costa in the Accenture Match Play Championship, when he beat McCarron 1 up in the 36-hole final. As youngsters they played on opposing high school teams located about an hour apart and met often in state tournaments as well as on the California junior circuit.

''It's been happening for 30 years, wait 35 years now, I guess,'' Sutherland said. ''Playing together on a Saturday is a little different. We're both still trying to get in position to win.''

Jerry Kelly shot a 65 to join Tim Petrovic (69), Chris Williams (68) and Joe Durant (67) at 7 under. Durant tied for second last week in the Regions Tradition, also a major championship.

Full-field scores from the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship

McCarron feels like he is just starting to warm to the task this year. He had to replace his clubs, including a favored putter damaged beyond repair in air transit two months ago.

''I've been putting with a back-up putter I had, but it just didn't feel quite right,'' he said. ''I changed last Sunday at the Regions Tradition and started putting better on Sunday. So I'm using this one again this week and seem to be putting pretty good with it.''

McCarron said the Harbor Shores course played a little tougher in light winds in the second round. He made six birdies and three bogeys.

''I would just like to have a couple of those bogeys back,'' he said. ''But we're in a good position going into the weekend.''

McCarron came to the press center after his round and walked in on a press conference where course-designer Jack and Barbara Nicklaus were being honored by sponsoring KitchenAid with the establishment of a local college scholarship program in their name.

McCarron, who said he has idolized Nicklaus since his youth, played media and asked Nicklaus what he ate when he was near the lead going into the weekend of a major championship.

Nicklaus said if you play well one day, eat the same thing the next day.

''But no hamburgers, or you will play like hamburger,'' he said.

Stuart Smith, the Reno, Neveda, club pro who was tied for the lead after the first round, missed the 36-hole cut with a second-round 83.

''I'll take the 66, 83 and enjoy the 66 yesterday,'' he said. ''You put this one down to just plain old golf. It's a nasty game we play sometimes. Glad I have a day job.''

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Wise, Simpson both miss cut at Colonial

By Nick MentaMay 25, 2018, 11:34 pm

The two most recent winners on the PGA Tour, Aaron Wise and Webb Simpson, missed the cut at the Fort Worth Invitational on Friday.

Wise and Simpson both came up short of the 2-over total by a shot following rounds of 70-73.

Wise was safely inside the number before playing his last four holes in 4 over par with two bogeys and a closing double following a trip into the water at the par-4 ninth.

Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

Simpson, making his first start following his Players triumph, similarly struggled coming home, bogeying three of his final six holes.

Other notables who won't be around for the weekend at Colonial include Xander Schauffele (+4), Jason Dufner (+5), Patrick Cantlay (+6), Smylie Kaufman (+13), and Sam Burns (+13).

This is Kaufman's 11th consecutive MC and his 15th in his last 16 starts.

Jason Seaman and Kristi Hubly Seaman

Sr. PGA caddie learns of nephew's heroism in school shooting

By Tim RosaforteMay 25, 2018, 10:33 pm

Tracy Hubly caddied for her husband, club pro Chris Starkjohann, on Friday at the KitchenAid Senior PGA and learned after their round that her nephew was credited with helping stop the school shooting at Noblesville West Middle School in Indiana.

Jason Seaman, a 29-year-old science instructor and seventh grade football coach at the school, took three bullets but survived as what his aunt called a hero.

“You hear the stories about these shootings and I think about Parkland and the officer that was trained but didn’t go into the school,” Hubly said. “It’s really shocking to think it comes close to your family, but it does."

It’s not unusual for Hubly to caddie for her husband, a teacher at Carlsbad Golf Center and coach of a PGA Junior League program in Southern California. Hubly, who works in the pro shop at Emerald Island Golf Course in Oceanside, Calif., was on the bag when he was low golf professional at the 2009 Senior PGA Championship held at Canterbury GC. 

Starkjohann, 61, missed the cut at Harbor Shores with rounds of 76-79—155 and was heading to the Colorado State Open.

 “I didn’t hear about it until after my round was done,” Starkjohann said. “Everything happened after I got in.”