Notes Out Means In for Freddie Cink Questioned

By Associated PressMay 3, 2008, 4:00 pm
2007 Wachovia ChampionshipCHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Fred Couples could have locked up a spot in the field of one of his favorite tournaments by winning the Wachovia Championship. Now it turns out he doesnt even need to do that.
No matter what happens this weekend at Quail Hollow Club, Couples is headed back to THE PLAYERS Championship next week for an event he has won twice. He slid into the field when Will MacKenzie withdrew because of knee surgery.
That withdrawal simplified what previously had made for a confusing scenario for the popular 48-year-old veteran. Before that, Couples would have made the Players field only if the winner of the Wachovia already had qualified for it.
Of course, a victory by Couples also would have taken care of that. Playing in Charlotte for the first time since the inaugural event in 2003, Couples has steadily moved up the leaderboard through three rounds. His second straight 69 Saturday moved him to 210 and placing him within seven strokes of the lead.
If youre making putts and birdies, youre going to pick up shots, and if you make a bogey, its not the end of the world, Couples said. But now, when you have one round, someones going to go out, bunched up leaderboard, and have a good round and probably be the guy who wins. If you can shoot 3 or 4 under, and if youre a top-five or six, youre probably going to win the tournament.
Stewart Cinks remarkable birdie putt from atop the rock wall on the tricky 17th nearly cost him two penalty strokes.
As Cink lined up his circus putt, he placed his hand on the ground inside the hazard line while trying to balance himself'then immediately knew he needed to discuss the maneuver with an official.
I was balancing my hand because I wanted to get as low as possible, and I really didnt feel comfortable doing the Camilo (Villegas) Spiderman right there on the rock wall with the water, Cink said.
Cink finished the round, then consulted tour rules official Tony Wallin before he signed his scorecard. Cinks score of 8 under was temporarily dropped to 6 under, but it was restored when officials decided he merely was balancing himself. The second scoring change briefly had him in a four-way tie for first.
To prevent falling, youre allowed to touch the ground in a hazard as long as nothing is done that constitutes testing the hazard, Wallin said. He clearly didnt test the hazard.
Pat Perez used a near-record round to go from barely making the cut to vaulting near the lead.
Perez, who entered the third round 10 strokes off the lead at 1 over, shot a 65 to rocket up the leaderboard.
He entered the last two holes at 8 under for the tournament, but bogeyed Nos. 17 and 18 to miss his chance to break the single-round record of 64 set by Kirk Triplett in 2004 and tied twice.
Im going to try to forget those two bogeys, Perez said.
Still, his day was good enough to safely move above the next cut line. The PGA Tours tweaked cut rules stipulate that if more than 78 players make it past the second round, the field would be trimmed again after 54 holes to the top 70 and ties. There were 87 players who survived the first cut.
The guys are going to be right back in the tournament, and I just have to be one of them, Perez said. Thats how it goes. That (old) cut rule was ridiculous, stupid, because were 10 back. Tiger (Woods) has won from 12 back, 15 back. It happens. You get lucky, you get out early, you get out at 7 oclock, youve got no wind. Greens are perfect and you can take advantage of them.
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    Van Rooyen holes putt after ball-marker ruling

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:50 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Erik van Rooyen was surveying his 10-footer for par, trying to get a feel for the putt, when his putter slipped out of his hand and dropped onto his ball marker.

    The question, then, was whether that accident caused his coin to move.

    The rules official looked at various camera angles but none showed definitively whether his coin moved. The ruling was made to continue from where his coin was now positioned, with no penalty.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

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    This was part of the recent rules changes, ensuring there is no penalty if the ball or ball maker is accidently moved by the player. The little-used rule drew attention in 2010, when Ian Poulter accidentally dropped his ball on his marker in Dubai and wound up losing more than $400,000 in bonus and prize money.

    After the delay to sort out his ruling Friday, van Rooyen steadied himself and made the putt for par, capping a day in which he shot even-par 71 and kept himself in the mix at The Open. He was at 4-under 138, just two shots off the clubhouse lead.

    “I wanted to get going and get this 10-footer to save par, but I think having maybe just a couple minutes to calm me down, and then I actually got a different read when I sat down and looked at it again,” he said. “Good putt. Happy to finish that way.”

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    Lyle birdies last hole in likely his final Open start

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:32 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – If this was Sandy Lyle’s final Open appearance, he went out in style.

    Playing on the final year of his automatic age exemption, the 60-year-old Scot buried a 30-foot birdie on the last hole. He missed the cut after shooting 9-over 151 over two rounds.

    “I was very light-footed,” he said. “I was on cloud nine walking down the 18th. To make birdie was extra special.”

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

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    Lyle, who also won the 1988 Masters, has missed the cut in his last eight majors, dating to 2014. He hasn’t been competitive in The Open since 1998, when he tied for 19th.

    To continue playing in The Open, Lyle needed to finish in the top 10 here at Carnoustie. He’d earn a future exemption by winning the Senior British Open.

    “More punishment,” he said.

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    DJ, Thomas miss cut at Open; No. 1 up for grabs

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:35 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The top two players in the world both missed the cut at The Open, creating the possibility of a shakeup at the top of the rankings by the end of the weekend.

    Dustin Johnson became the first world No. 1 since Luke Donald in 2011 to miss the cut at the year’s third major.

    Johnson played solidly for all but the closing stretch. Over two rounds, he was 6 over par on the last three holes. He finished at 6-over 148.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

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    Thomas added to what’s been a surprisingly poor Open record. Just like last year, when he struggled in the second round in the rain at Royal Birkdale, Thomas slumped to a 77 on Friday at Carnoustie, a round that included three consecutive double bogeys on Nos. 6-8. He finished at 4-over 146.

    It’s Thomas' first missed cut since The Open last year. Indeed, in three Open appearances, he has two missed cuts and a tie for 53rd.  

    With Johnson and Thomas out of the mix, the No. 1 spot in the rankings is up for grabs this weekend.

    Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm all can reach No. 1 with a victory this week.

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    TT Postscript: Woods (71) makes cut, has work to do

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 3:32 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods shot a second consecutive even-par 71 Friday in the second round. And yes, he made the cut:

    • Tiger said all 71s are not created equal. On Thursday, he made three birdies and three bogeys. On Friday, he made four birdie and four bogeys. Which round was better? The first. His theory is that, despite the rain, conditions were easier in the second round and there were more scoring opportunities. He didn't take advantage.

    • This is the first time since the 2013 Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes that Tiger shot par or better in each of the first two rounds of a major. That’s quite a long time ago.

    • Stat line for the day: 11 of 15 fairways, 13 of 18 greens, 32 total putts. Tiger hit one driver and two 3-woods on Thursday and four drivers on Friday, only one which found the fairway. An errant drive at the second led to him sniping his next shot into the gallery


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    • In his own words: “I could have cleaned up the round just a little bit. I got off to not exactly the best start, being 2 over through three, but got it back. The golf course was a little bit softer today, obviously. It rains, and we were able to get the ball down a little bit further, control the ball on the ground a little bit easier today, which was nice.”

    • At some point Tiger is going to have to be more aggressive. He will be quite a few shots off the lead by day’s end and he'll have a lot of ground to make up. Hitting irons off the tee is great for position golf, but it’s often leaving him more than 200 yards into the green. Not exactly a range for easy birdies.

    • Sure, it’s too soon to say Tiger can’t win a fourth claret jug, but with so many big names ahead of him on the leaderboard, it’s unlikely. Keep in mind that a top-six finish would guarantee him a spot in the WGC: Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks. At The Players, he stated that this was a big goal.

    • My Twitter account got suspended momentarily when Tiger was standing over a birdie putt on the 17th green. That was the most panicked I’ve been since Tiger was in contention at the Valspar.