Notes Mosquitoes swarm during PGA practice

By Associated PressAugust 11, 2010, 2:36 am

2010 PGA ChampionshipSHEBOYGAN, Wis. – Add mosquitoes to the list of life’s certainties when it comes to summertime in the upper Midwest.

Some players practicing for this weekend’s PGA Championship at Whistling Straits were swatting as often as they were swinging during their rounds on Tuesday. And you can bet golf bags will be packed with bug spray all week. 

“They were out this morning in a big way,” Hunter Mahan said. “It was quite shocking. Especially when you went by the few holes right by the lake there. I mean, it was, they were incredible. They were swarming, in fact.”

Surrounded by bug-breeding water on hole No. 5, Tiger Woods hit his tee shot into the right rough. Instead of hitting another ball, he jogged off the tee box and said, “It’s all yours.”

Mahan hit his drive, ran off the tee, and Sean O’Hair did the same.

“We can’t do anything about it,” Mahan said. “They seemed to kind of go away during the last nine holes or so. But yeah, it wasn’t a whole lot of fun out there.”

PGA club professional national champion Mike Small said the bugs seemed to be at their worst early in the morning and late at night. Not that he minds.

“It’s a major,” Small said. “I mean, I’d putt on gravel and play in a mosquito-infested jungle if it’s a major.”

With a breeze blowing later on, players who came off the course in the early afternoon didn’t report as many problems. Dustin Johnson said it didn’t bother him. Of course, he is from South Carolina.

“I’m used to mosquitoes where I’m from,” Johnson said.

Unless the wind whips up – which presents challenges of its own at Whistling Straits – there’s not much players can do about the bugs.

“Except put on a lot of ‘Off!,”’ Mahan said.


 

TOUR VOID: Wisconsin sports fans might put football first, but Gov. Jim Doyle says the state also is crazy about golf.

That said, Doyle acknowledged that having Wisconsin lose its yearly stop on the PGA Tour creates a void for what he considers a state with an enthusiastic golf scene.

“We would like to have a regular stop,” Doyle said. “As you all know, getting a date has been a great challenge for us in Wisconsin. We had a great tournament played at a great course, we just over the years couldn’t get a date that really worked for us.”

Facing a shortfall in corporate sponsorship and lukewarm fan interest, the tournament once known as the Greater Milwaukee Open ceased operations and was dropped from the PGA Tour schedule. Recently, it was held opposite the British Open, sapping it of star power.

But with top players appearing at Whistling Straits this weekend, Doyle said about 200,000 fans are expected to attend the tournament.

“I think we will prove with these majors that are coming here that we will have great fans and we can put on a great tournament,” Doyle said. “So we are going to continue to work on this.”

Whistling Straits will host the PGA Championship again in 2015 and the Ryder Cup in 2020. Nearby Blackwolf Run will host the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open. And Wisconsin’s Erin Hills will host the 2017 U.S. Open.

“Would you rather have a major every two or three years, which this state will have for the next 20 years, or would you like a tour stop every year?,” Kohler chairman and CEO Herb Kohler said. “Answer that question yourself. I think Wisconsin is taking the right course.”


 

C’MON GET HAPPY: Paul Casey hopes Sergio Garcia brings a smile back from his post-PGA Championship break.

The Spaniard plans to take two months off after playing Whistling Straits this week. He hasn’t won in almost two years, and said he hopes the break will rekindle his love for the game.

“If you don’t have stuff in the right place, or if you’re not happy away from the golf course, then you’re not going to find it on the golf course,” said Casey, who had his own struggles about five years ago. “When I was playing my worst golf, I was also very unhappy off the golf course, and vice versa.

“I want to see the happy, smiley Sergio again,” Casey added. “I don’t know what’s going on with Sergio inside, but it’s the same thing. As soon as I see him smiling again, I think the great golf that we’ve seen from Sergio will come back.”


 

NO PRESSURE, PAL: As a close friend and former University of Illinois teammate of Steve Stricker, Small knows Stricker wants win in his home state this week.

“We spoke about a week ago, and I know this is a big deal to him and I know he’s under maybe some self-imposed pressure, maybe because he wants to win a major and being in his home state,” Small said. 

So Small plans to give his old buddy some space.

“I’m sure we’ll run into each other and have a Coke or something and talk, but I’m not going to go get in his kitchen,” said Small, currently the men’s golf coach at Illinois. “I’m going to let him be and do his own thing and root him on.”


 

DIVOTS: Louis Oosthuizen went back to South Africa after winning the British Open, and was surprised to find out how much people in his home country appreciated his victory. “I think it was a nice thing coming at a good time for South Africa after the World Cup,” he said. “The country was still on a big high after everything and my friends and everyone just said it was amazing.” … The PGA of America touted a study, based on 2008 data, that said the game of golf has an annual economic impact of $2.4 billion and provides more than 38,000 jobs in Wisconsin. … To honor defending PGA champion Y.E. Yang, the First Lady of South Korea arranged to have four of the top chefs in Yang’s home country flown in to Wisconsin for Tuesday’s champions dinner. The menu included japchae, a colorful dish made with glass noodles, carrot and spinach seasoned with soy sauce, and modeumjeon, assorted pan-fried delicacies including halibut, mushrooms and zucchini with vinegar soy sauce.

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Davies headlines field at Senior LPGA at French Lick

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 14, 2018, 10:40 pm

Laura Davies will be looking to win her second senior major championship this year when she tees it up in Monday’s start of the Senior LPGA Championship at French Lick Resort in Indiana.

Davies, who won the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open in July, will join a field that includes fellow World Golf Hall of Famer Jan Stephenson, who was announced last week with Peggy Kirk Bell as the Hall’s newest members. Hall of Famers Juli Inkster and Hollis Stacy are also in the 54-hole event.

Trish Johnson is back to defend her title after winning the inaugural Senior LPGA Championship a year ago. Brandi Burton, Jane Geddes, Helen Alfredsson and Liselotte Neumann are also in the field of 81 players who will compete for a $600,000 purse, with $90,000 going to the winner.

Golf Channel will televise all three rounds live from 4-6 p.m. ET on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

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Langer (65) wins regular-season finale by six

By Associated PressOctober 14, 2018, 10:07 pm

CARY, N.C. – Bernhard Langer ran away with the SAS Championship on Sunday to take the points lead into the PGA Tour Champions' Charles Schwab Cup playoffs

Langer shot a bogey-free 7-under 65 for a six-stroke victory in the regular-season finale.

''I just played very solid all day long,'' Langer said. ''Putted well, hit the ball where I was looking and did everything exceptionally well.''

The 61-year-old German star has 38 victories on the 50-and-over tour, also winning this year near Houston. He has a record four victories after turning 60.

''I don't have anything to prove, but I still have golf,'' Langer said. ''I still want to improve my own game. I still want to play to the best Bernhard Langer can play. I don't think I need to prove anything, but I love competing, I love winning or being in the hunt. As long as I can do that, I think you're going to see me out here.''

Langer finished with a tournament-record 22-under 194 total at Prestonwood Country Club, the tree-lined layout softened by heavy rain Thursday from Hurricane Michael. He opened with a 62 on Friday to match Gene Sauers and Tom Lehman for the lead, and had a 67 on Saturday to remain atop the leaderboard with Sauers.


Full-field scores from the SAS Championship


''The 10 under was amazing,'' Langer said. ''I couldn't believe there were two other guys who shot 10 under.''

The four-time Charles Schwab Cup winner also won at Prestonwood in 2012.

''It's always fun to go back to where you've won before because you feel like you know how to play the course and you're somewhat comfortable and that's certainly the case here,'' Langer said. ''I've been probably 50, 70 times now around this golf course and I know how to play every hole.''

Scott Parel was second, closing with a double bogey for a 65.

''Bernhard is just in his own world this week,'' Parel said.

Jerry Kelly had a 68 to finish third at 15 under, and Lehman followed at 13 under after a 71.

Sauers shot a 75 to tie for fifth with Miguel Angel Jimenez (68) at 12 under.

The top 72 players in the Schwab Cup standings qualified for the playoffs, the three-event series that begins next week with the Dominion Energy Charity Classic in Richmond, Va. Dan Forsman tied for 56th to jump from 74th to 72nd, edging John Huston for the final spot by $932. Huston tied for 46th.

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Pepperell captures British Masters, eyes Augusta

By Associated PressOctober 14, 2018, 5:29 pm

WALTON HEATH, England -- Eddie Pepperell won his second European Tour title with a two-shot victory at the British Masters on Sunday and likely secured the even bigger prize of a place in next year's Masters at Augusta National.

The Englishman shot an even-par 72 and held off his playing partner, Sweden's Alexander Bjork (71), as the pair went to the 72nd hole at a wet and windy Walton Heath with Pepperell just a stroke in front.

Pepperell finished on 9-under 279.

Herbert Lucas (69) and Jordan Smith (73) were tied for third, another two shots behind Bjork.

English pair Sam Horsfield (69) and Tom Lewis (70) along with American Julian Suri (74) tied for fifth, one shot in front of tournament host Justin Rose (70).

The victory takes Pepperell into the world's top 35 and almost certainly secures a first appearance at Augusta in 2019. The top 50 at the end of the year are guaranteed a place in the first major of the year in April.

Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood (72) finished 2 under in a seven-way tie for ninth.


Full-field scores from the British Masters


A top-two finish on Sunday would have seen Rose reach the top of the world rankings for the second time this season, the 38-year-old having spent two weeks as No. 1 in September

Pepperell was ranked outside the top 500 as recently as May last year, but won the Qatar Masters in February and followed a runner-up finish in the Scottish Open with a tie for sixth in the British Open seven days later, carding a closing 67 at Carnoustie despite saying he had a hangover.

His three-shot overnight lead was down to a single stroke on Sunday when Bjork covered the front nine in 34 and Pepperell three-putted the ninth, the same hole where he enjoyed a spectacular hole-in-one on Thursday.

However, the 27-year-old Pepperell promptly holed his second shot to the 10th from 122 yards for an eagle to move three clear and a par save from off the green on the 14th looked to have sealed the win.

There was still time for some late drama, though, as Pepperell dropped shots on Nos. 15 and 16 to see his lead cut to a single shot, but Bjork bogeyed the 18th after driving into the heather and Pepperell saved par from a greenside bunker.

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Disappointed Sharma fades to T-10 at CIMB

By Will GrayOctober 14, 2018, 1:46 pm

For the second time this year, India's Shubankhar Sharma watched an opportunity for a breakthrough win turn into a learning experience.

Sharma burst onto the scene in March, taking a two-shot lead into the final round of the WGC-Mexico Championship only to fade to a tie for ninth. It was a similar story Sunday at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia, where Sharma started the final round in a three-way tie for the lead but struggled to an even-par 72 that dropped him into a tie for 10th.

"Disappointing, not really happy with the way I finished," Sharma told reporters.


Full-field scores from CIMB Classic

CIMB Classic: Articles, photos and videos


The 22-year-old was 1 over for his first six holes, but he battled back with four straight birdies on Nos. 7-10 to get within three shots of eventual winner Marc Leishman. But his tee shot at the par-3 11th found the water, leading to the first of three straight bogeys that ended any hopes of victory.

"That was probably one of the worst swings of the day," Sharma said. "That 11th hole I think killed the momentum for me. A par there would have gone a long way, and I probably could have made more birdies after that."

Sharma remained optimistic this spring following his final-round fade in Mexico, and he retained a positive mindset despite a rough afternoon as he eyes upcoming starts at both the CJ Cup in South Korea and the WGC-HSBC Champions in China.

"Great experience. Very, very good to have two top-10s on the PGA Tour, so that's a good way of looking at it," he said. "Also, it pushes me to keep playing well. I feel like I have it in me to win out there on the PGA Tour, and I've given myself two opportunities. Game is in a decent place now."