Notes OMeara in the mix No Kite flying

By Associated PressMay 30, 2010, 5:58 am
Champions TourPARKER, Colo. – Mark O’Meara’s only win on the Champions Tour came with a caveat: It was a team event and he was paired with Nick Price.

He’s in position to win again, this time flying solo.

O’Meara turned in a 5-under-par 67 on Saturday in the third round of the Senior PGA Championship, leaving him two shots behind co-leaders Jay Don Blake and Tom Lehman.

A win here would mean a lot to the 53-year-old, maybe even as much as when he hoisted the Masters and British Open trophies in 1998.

“It would be a feather in the cap,” O’Meara said. “But there’s a lot of work still out there to happen.”

The nerves are beginning to surface. Even after all these years, contending for a title still makes him antsy.

It’s a feeling he’s almost forgotten in recent years, and glad to have back.

Mark O“I’ve got to go out there and play really well to try to come out on top,” said O’Meara, who finished runner-up at the Outback Steakhouse tournament in April. “It would mean a lot.”

No one really knows the terrain at the Colorado Golf Club all that well. Only 3 years old, the course hasn’t been played that often by pros who don’t live in the area.

But O’Meara does have some familiarity with it, having traveled here two summers ago to get a look at a challenging course that was co-designed by Ben Crenshaw.

Just like then, it’s still windy.

And just like then, it remains tricky to gauge, given the thin air.

“Not just the fact that we’re at 6,000 feet or whatever, and the ball’s going 10 to 12 percent farther, but there are a lot of uphill and downhill shots, quite dramatic on this golf course,” O’Meara said.

He found a way to combat that by sinking his putts. He was a putting prodigy Saturday as he had nine one-putts, draining birdies from off the green on the 10th and 17th holes.

“Made a lot of nice putts out there,” O’Meara said. “I’ve been practicing pretty hard at home and working on it.”

As for his game plan for Sunday, it’s actually quite simple.

“It’s going to be manage yourself, be patient, fight hard, just give yourself a chance,” O’Meara said.

MOVING DOWN: Tom Kite made a move in his round Saturday, just not the one he had in mind.

In fact, this may have dealt him a serious jolt to his title aspirations.

After moving to 7 under following a birdie on the third hole, Kite began to implode, dropping six shots over the next five holes to lose touch with the leaders.

He finished his round with a 79 to drop him to 1 over for the tournament. This after carding two straight rounds of 69.

Soon after finishing up his round, Kite preferred not to talk.

“You want to talk to the leaders,” he quipped.

Kite is attempting to become the oldest golfer to win the Senior PGA since the Champions Tour began in 1980. Hale Irwin currently has that distinction, winning the event in 2004 when he was just three days shy of his 59th birthday.

This didn’t help.

“Tom Kite is almost 61 years old and to me it’s amazing how well he plays and how far he still hits it,” said Lehman, who played in the same group as Kite. “He didn’t have his best day today, but he’s a great competitor.”

COURSE RECORD: For 20 minutes, David Frost stared at golfing great Tom Watson hitting shots on the driving green, looking for any tips he could borrow and incorporate into his own game.

Turns out, he picked a good swing model.

After watching Watson strike one crisp shot after another, Frost tried to emulate Watson’s hand positioning on the club. That tiny change helped Frost shoot a course-record 7-under 65 on Saturday.

“Unbeknownst to him, I did learn something from him,” said Frost, a 10-time winner on the PGA Tour. “I picked up a little grip change that I thought I should do. … I noticed his left hand is nice and strong on the golf club. I fiddled with my left hand and fiddled with my right hand. So, I made it a little stronger.”

Frost was up for just about anything, especially after shooting a 77 on Friday.

He never expected such instant results.

Frost carded seven birdies on a rather calm morning, allowing him to sneak his way back into the tournament as he sits at 2 under heading into the final 18 holes.

“Going out today you have nothing to lose,” the South African said. “You do know the golf course a little better, and so your attitude definitely changes a little bit. But you don’t want to go out there and freewheel too much.”

GOODES & PLENTY: Mike Goodes became a professional only two years ago when he turned 50, wanting to see if he had the game to play with the big boys of golf.

Heading into Sunday, he’s keeping pace.

Goodes is 4 under for the tournament after a solid round of 70 on Saturday.

“I made a lot of good pars and putted the ball really well. That saved my round,” said Goodes, who won the North Carolina Amateur in 1989 and 2006.

Away from the course, Goodes is co-owner of a plastic recycling company in Reidsville, N.C. His partner is holding down the fort while he’s at the Colorado Golf Club this week.

“I’m semiretired from that anyway,” Goodes said, grinning.

Leaving more time for, what else, golf.

“I’m just like thousands of other pretty good players who turn 50 and want to see if they can play,” Goodes said.

CHIP SHOTS: Six of the last eight winners of the Senior PGA have rallied from behind on the final afternoon. … Chip Beck has carded a 1-under 71 in all three rounds. … After shooting an 80 on Friday, Brad Bryant responded with a 67. He’s at 1 under for the tournament.

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Minjee Lee birdies 18 to win on her birthday

By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 10:59 pm

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Minjee Lee birdied the 18th hole Sunday for a one-stroke victory over In-Kyung Kim at the LPGA Volvik Championship.

Lee, who turned 22 on Sunday, three-putted for a bogey on No. 17, dropping into a tie with Kim, who finished her round around the same time. So Lee needed a birdie to win on 18, a reachable par 5. Her second shot landed a few feet to the right of the green, and she calmly chipped to about 3 feet

She made the putt to finish at 4-under 68 and 16 under for the tournament. It was the Australian standout's fourth career victory and first since 2016.

Kim (67) shot a 32 on the back nine and birdied No. 18, but it wasn't enough to force a playoff at Travis Pointe Country Club.

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Spieth: Improvement is 'right around the corner'

By Al TaysMay 27, 2018, 10:50 pm

Not that Dallas native Jordan Spieth didn't enjoy the two-week home game that is the AT&T Byron Nelson and the Fort Worth Invitational - he certainly did. But he's eager to get out of town, too.

"It was a great showing these last couple weeks by the fans," Spieth said after closing with a 2-under 68, a 5-under total and a T-32 finish. "Obviously extremely appreciative here in DFW. Wish I could do more. These couple weeks can be a bit taxing, and it's awesome to kind of have that support to carry you through.

"So, you know, I had a great time these couple weeks on and off the golf course as I always do, but I'm also really excited to kind of get out of town and kind of be able to just go back to the room and have nothing to do at night except for get ready to play the next day."

Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

Spieth will have that experience this coming week in Dublin, Ohio, site of the Memorial. He's hopeful of improving on his T-21, T-32 finishes the past two weeks, and he thinks the main thing holding him back - his putting - is ready for a turnaround.

"I think good things are about to come," he said. "I feel a good run coming for the second half of the season. Today was - each day I've felt better and better with the wedges and the putter and the short game; today was no different. My only bogey being just kind of trying to do too much on a par-5; 3-wood into the hazard.

"So, you know, I'm getting into where I'm not making bogeys, and then soon - the not making bogeys is great, and soon I'll get back to the five, six birdies around and shoot some low rounds.

"So I know it's right around the corner."

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Broadhurst fires 63 to easily win Senior PGA

By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 10:45 pm

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. – Paul Broadhurst shot an 8-under 63 on Sunday to win the Senior PGA Championship by four strokes and match the best 72-hole score in tournament history.

The 52-year-old Englishman finished at 19-under 265 at Harbor Shores for his second senior major victory. The 63 was the best fourth-round score by a winner. Rocco Mediate also shot 19 under at Harbor Shores in 2016.

Also the 2016 British Senior Open winner, Broadhurst led the field with 26 birdies and passed third-round Tim Petrovic and Mark McCarron with a 4-under 31 on the back nine.

Petrovic was second after a 69. McCarron had a 70 to tie for third at 14 under with Jerry Kelly (65).

Broadhurst earned a career-high $585,000 for his fourth PGA Tour Champions victory. He won six times on the European Tour and has three European Senior Tour victories.

BYU men's golf team BYU

Sunday rule proves no advantage for BYU at NCAAs

By Ryan LavnerMay 27, 2018, 10:06 pm

STILLWATER, Okla. – For all the kvetching about the advantage BYU would gain by not playing on Sunday with the other teams at the NCAA Championship, one small thing was conveniently forgotten.

What happens if the Cougars were actually disadvantaged?

That’s what appears to have happened here at Karsten Creek.

Because the Mormon-run school prohibits athletics on Sunday, the NCAA accommodated BYU using its “Sunday Play” rule for the first time in the match-play era. (It was the team’s first NCAA berth since 2006.) That meant that BYU played its practice round last Wednesday, before the start of the final match of the NCAA Women’s Championship. The next day, the Cougars played their Sunday round – the third round of stroke-play qualifying – a half hour after the other 29 teams completed their practice round.

Some coaches grumbled about the issue of competitive fairness: What if BYU played in calm conditions for its third round on Thursday, while everybody else competed in rain and 30-mph winds come Sunday?

BYU coach Bruce Brockbank has been on the NCAA competition committee for the past four years, but even he was curious about how it would all play out.

For the practice round, the NCAA informed the Cougars that they needed to be off the course by 1:30 p.m. local time, a little more than a half hour before the start of the women’s final between Arizona and Alabama. All six players got a look at the course in 5 hours and 30 minutes – or an hour and 15 minutes less than the official Thursday practice round – and needed to run between shots on the 17th and 18th holes to finish on time.

Brockbank tried to prepare his players for what they would face Thursday. It’s a different experience without a playing marker – not seeing another shot affected by the wind, not watching another ball break on the greens, not falling into a rhythm with pace – but perhaps no amount of simulated rounds would have helped.

Playing as singles, with only a rules official and a walking scorer by its side, BYU began its NCAA Championship at 4 p.m. local time Thursday. The Cougars got in only a few holes before the horn sounded to suspend play. It turned out to be a two-hour weather delay, and players slapped it around a sloppy, soggy course until dark, with their last single on the 11th hole.

They returned the next morning, at 6:55, and wrapped up their round in an hour and a half before turning around for another 18.

Their final tally? They shot 24-over 312 – easily the worst third-round score of any team.

“We obviously didn’t handle it very well,” Brockbank said, “but it definitely wasn’t an advantage.”

BYU rebounded the next two rounds, with scores of 298-286, putting the team squarely inside the top-15 cut line.

“And six or seven hours,” he said, “we were right there with the best teams in the country.”

But then the third-round scores got posted, and it was clear that they had no chance of advancing past the 54-hole cut.

“It was pretty frustrating to watch our guys,” he said. “We just didn’t handle it very well.”

The same was true for the team’s best player, senior Patrick Fishburn. With just the first and second round counting, Fishburn (67-72) was in a tie for second, one shot off the individual lead, heading into Sunday. Then his third-round 78 from Thursday was posted, and he tumbled down the leaderboard, needing help just to advance to the final round of stroke-play qualifying.

“I’d rather have it this way,” Brockbank said. “If we had shot 5 under par and everyone else is over par, I don’t want to hear that wrath. The coaches wouldn’t put up with that. The fact that we’re not a factor, it’ll go away. But if the day did go well, it would have been a different story.”

Still, it was a strange dynamic Sunday, as a team competing in the NCAA Championship never even made it to the course – Brockbank preferred that the guys stay away from Karsten Creek, if only for appearances.

They went to a local church for three hours, then ate lunch and retired to the team hotel, where they watched TV and studied and played chess. Fishburn has another round to play Monday, but he didn’t even hit balls.

“I don’t think he’s even concerned about that – it’s just a nice, quiet Sabbath day,” Brockbank said. “But as a coach, it’s definitely a little odd.”