Notes Owen Rebounds Sabbatinis Wife Mocks Faldo

By Associated PressMarch 24, 2006, 5:00 pm
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Greg Owen had a pair of 3-foot putts on his final two holes Friday. He stood over both of them and thought the same thing.
'Oh, not again,' he said.
Owen's three-putt from the same distance on the 17th hole cost him a victory at Bay Hill last week and an invitation to the Masters.
Not surprisingly, the heartbreaking loss stuck with him for a while. He went to bed at 11 p.m. that night, woke up an hour later, took a walk, slept a couple of hours, got up for good at 4:30 a.m. and then decided to wash his car at daybreak.
He has rebounded nicely, though, at The Players Championship.
Owen overcame a double bogey on the first hole and shot a 4-under 68 in the second round Friday, leaving him 5 under for the tournament and three shots behind leader Jim Furyk.
Owen made both 3-footers Friday -- a good sign his flop at Bay Hill may have been a fluke.
'It still pops back, but I'm proud of myself to play well this week because it was tough last week,' he said. 'I knew I was playing well and I was hoping to keep up the same form, but you still wake up and you think of the worst things that happened.'
The memories may have been even more prevalent on the two finishing holes at the TPC at Sawgrass. He hit his tee shot inside 4 feet on the treacherous island green at No. 17 and calmly sank the putt. He made an even shorter par putt on the 18th.
He figured the crowds surrounding both popular holes were feeling just as anxious as he was standing over the putts.
'Settle down, knock it in the middle,' he told himself. 'And I hit two good shots.'
The Englishman was tied for seventh heading into the weekend. He needs to finish in the top 20 to have a chance at getting into the top 50 in the world rankings and earning a spot in the Masters.
He would have secured a spot last week with a victory. Whether he makes it now could depend on a few more 3-footers.
'I'm not trying to think about it,' he said. 'I mean, it's gone. I'm going to miss short putts. Everyone is going to miss short putts. I'm hopefully going to make more short ones and not even worry about the short ones.
'There will be times out there when the pressure gets going that I'm going to miss putts. I've done it plenty times before.'
After watching her husband warned twice for slow play in the opening round, Amy Sabbatini created a T-shirt with the words' 'KEEP UP!' adhered to the front and wore it during the second round Friday.
It was a message for 'all the turtles out there,' she said.
But it was mostly directed at Rory Sabbatini's playing partner, Nick Faldo, notoriously one of the most deliberate players on tour.
'I'm tired of the PGA TOUR saying slow play has always been a problem and it's always going to be a problem,' she said. 'That's a B.S. excuse.'
Amy Sabbatini has pulled a similar stunt before. Two years ago, she wore a T-shirt displaying the words 'Stoopid Amerikan' at the World Cup in Spain after Paul Casey's anti-American comments following the Ryder Cup.
Rory Sabbatini supported her recent statement.
'There are some players who could certainly use some help with their pace of play,' said Sabbatini, who became so fed up with the slow play of Ben Crane at the Booz Allen Classic last year that he finished playing the 17th hole before Crane even reached the green.
The PGA TOUR implemented a new rule this year that allowed officials to start placing individuals on the clock instead of groups.
But Sabbatini, who missed the cut along with Faldo, said he believes the rule won't be enforced.
'If you put a sign on the highway saying there's a cop around the corner, it doesn't do a lot to slow down speeding,' he said.
As for Faldo, he said he didn't notice the wording on Amy's black T-shirt until the last couple of holes. Even then, he said he thought it had something to do with sexual dysfunction.
'It is very embarrassing for them to bring their sexual problems to the golf course,' Faldo quipped. 'Poor fellow, he has enough problems as it is without her announcing to the world.'
Faldo said Sabbatini 'lost his head' while complaining to officials after being warned and then placed on the clock Thursday.
'I just don't know what his problem is,' Faldo said.
Already irritated by a double bogey-bogey start to his second round, Brad Faxon had a tricky wedge into the par-4 12th. He had his club in hand, the shot in mind and was well into his routine when he was distracted by a voice from the gallery.
Faxon turned and saw his 14-year-old daughter, Emily.
'Can I have some sunscreen,' she said.
Faxon got back over the shot, hit to 12 feet and made the birdie to turn around his game. And he sent the sunscreen to Emily through a marshal.
It was a wild day for Faxon, who made only one par in his first 12 holes -- three bogeys, a double bogey and seven birdies. He wound up with a 69 and was only three shots out of the lead.
Jesper Parnevik and Justin Leonard each aced No. 13 in the second round Friday.
Parnevik's hole-in-one proved to be more helpful, though. He shot even par in each round and barely made the cut. Leonard missed the mark by one stroke.
Parnevik's ace was his second on the PGA TOUR and first since the 2002 BellSouth Classic. He used a 7-iron from 192 yards away.
Leonard used a 5-iron for his third career hole-in-one. He also had aces at the Memorial in 2000 and the Buick Open in 1996.
The holes-in-one were the 24th and 25th in Players history. Leonard's was the first since Jose Maria Olazabal also aced No. 13 in the second round in 2004.
Tiger Woods brought his 161-foot yacht, Privacy, to Ponte Vedra Beach where he is staying with his wife and caddie Steve Williams' fiance and 6-month-old boy. The only other time Woods took his yacht to a tournament was last month at Doral, where he was victorious. ... Adam Scott was scheduled to get a haircut Friday afternoon and get rid of the curly locks that hang below his hat. 'I'm pretty much ready to trim them,' he said after shooting 5-under 67 and moving into a tie for second place. 'Don't be surprised if I come out with shorter hair sometime soon here.' ... There were 16 birdies, 16 bogeys, eight double bogeys and three 'others' at the famed island green Friday.
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    Davies wins by 10 on 'best ball-striking round'

    By Associated PressJuly 16, 2018, 1:53 am

    WHEATON, Ill. - Laura Davies immediately recognized the significance of having her name inscribed on the first U.S. Senior Women's Open trophy.

    It might be a long time before anyone secures the title as emphatically as Davies did.

    Davies went virtually unchallenged in Sunday's final round of the inaugural USGA championship for women 50 and older, claiming the title by 10 strokes over Juli Inkster.

    ''It's great seeing this (trophy) paraded down for the very first time and I get my name on it first, you know?'' Davies said. ''This championship will be played for many years and there will only be one first winner - obviously a proud moment for me to win that.''

    The 54-year-old Davies shot a 5-under 68 to finish at 16-under 276 at Chicago Golf Club.

    It was the English player's 85th career win, and she felt the pressure even though her lead was rarely in danger.

    ''I haven't won for eight years - my last win was India, 2010,'' Davies said. ''So that's the pressure you're playing under, when you're trying to do something for yourself, prove to yourself you can still win.

    ''So this ranks highly up there. And obviously it's a USGA event. It's hard comparing tournaments, but this is very high on my list of achievements.''

    A 7-under 66 Saturday provided Davies with a five-shot lead over Inkster and what she said would be a sleepless night worrying about the pressure.

    Full-field scores from the U.S. Senior Women’s Open

    The World Golf Hall of Famer widened her advantage early Sunday when she birdied the par-5 second hole and Inkster made bogey. Davies said a par she salvaged at the 10th was another turning point.

    ''It wasn't the greatest hole I ever played, but I think that, to me, was when I really started to think I might have one hand on the trophy and just had to get the other one in there.''

    Inkster shot an even-par 73. England's Trish Johnson also shot 73 to finish third, 12 shots back.

    ''I mean, she was absolutely spectacular this week,'' Johnson said about Davies. ''I've played against her for 35 years. Yesterday was the best I have ever seen her play in her entire career.

    ''She just said walking down 18 it was best ball-striking round she ever had. Considering she's won 85 tournaments, that's quite some feat.''

    Danielle Ammaccapane was fourth and Yuko Saito finished fifth. Martha Leach was the top amateur, tying for 10th at 6-over 298.

    Davies plans to play in the Women's British Open next month, and called this win a confidence-booster as she continues to compete against the younger generation. She finished tied for second at the LPGA's Bank of Hope Founders Cup earlier this year.

    ''You build up a little bit of momentum, and a golf course is a golf course,'' Davies said. ''Sometimes the field strength is a little bit different, but in your own mind if you've done something like this, 16 under for four rounds around a proper championship course, it can't do anything but fill you full of confidence.''

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    Romo rallies to win American Century Championship

    By Associated PressJuly 16, 2018, 12:42 am

    SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Nev. - Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo rallied from four points back to win his first American Century Championship at Lake Tahoe on Sunday.

    Romo, who retired after the 2016 NFL season and is now an NFL analyst, had 27 points on the day to beat three-time defending champion Mark Mulder and San Jose Sharks captain Joe Pavelski, the the leader after the first two rounds.

    ''It's a special win,'' said Romo, who had finished second three times in seven previous trips to the annual celebrity golf tournament at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. ''It feels like you're playing a tournament back home here. The day felt good for a lot of reasons.''

    Romo tapped in for par, worth one point, on the 18th hole to finish with 71 points, three ahead of Mulder, the former major league pitcher. He then caught a flight to Berlin, Wis., where he was to compete in a 36-hole U.S. Amateur qualifying tournament on Monday.

    The American Century Championship uses a modified Stableford scoring system which rewards points for eagles (six), birdies (three) and pars (one) and deducts points (two) for double bogeys or worse. Bogeys are worth zero points.

    Pavelski had a 7-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th that could have tied Romo, but it slid by. He finished with 66 points, tied for third with Ray Allen, who will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 7.

    Full-field scores from the American Century Championship

    ''It feels like nothing went in for me today,'' Pavelski said. ''But I couldn't ask for more than to have that putt to tie on the last hole.''

    Romo plays as an amateur, so his $125,000 first-place check from the $600,000 purse will go to local charities and the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, the primary charitable arm of title sponsor American Century Investments.

    Rounding out the top five were Trent Dilfer, a Super Bowl-winning quarterback with the Baltimore Ravens in 2001, and former tennis player Mardy Fish. Each had 62 points.

    Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry, who fell out of contention with a mediocre round Saturday, jumped into Lake Tahoe amidst much fanfare after losing a bet to his father, Dell. The elder Curry jumped into the lake last year, so he negotiated a 20-point handicap and won by two points.

    Other notable players in the 92-player field included John Smoltz, the MLB hall of Fame pitcher who two weeks ago competed in the U.S. Senior Open and finished 10th here with 53 points; Steph Curry, who finished tied for 11th with retired Marine and wounded war hero Andrew Bachelder (50); actor Jack Wagner (16th, 47 points); Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (tied for 18th, 44 points); actor Ray Romano (tied for 71st, minus-26 points); comedian Larry the Cable Guy (tied for 77th, minus-33 points); and former NBA great Charles Barkley, who finished alone in last with minus-93 points.

    The tournament drew 57,097 fans for the week, setting an attendance record for the fourth straight year.

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    Singh tops Maggert in playoff for first senior major

    By Associated PressJuly 16, 2018, 12:10 am

    HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. - Vijay Singh birdied the second playoff hole to beat Jeff Maggert and win the Constellation Senior Players Championship on Sunday.

    Singh knocked in a putt from about 2 feet after a nearly perfect approach on the 18th hole at Exmoor Country Club, giving an understated fist pump as the ball fell in. That gave him his first major title on the PGA Tour Champions to go with victories at the Masters and two PGA Championships.

    Singh (67) and Maggert (68) finished at 20-under 268. Brandt Jobe (66) was two strokes behind, while Jerry Kelly (64) and defending champion Scott McCarron (71) finished at 17 under.

    Maggert had chances to win in regulation and on the first playoff hole.

    He bogeyed the par-4 16th to fall into a tie with Singh at 20 under and missed potential winning birdie putts at the end of regulation and on the first playoff hole.

    His 15-footer on the 72nd hole rolled wide, forcing the playoff, and a downhill 12-footer on the same green went just past the edge.

    Full-field scores from the Constellation Energy Senior Players

    The 55-year-old Singh made some neat par saves to get into the playoff.

    His tee shot on 17 landed near the trees to the right of the fairway, and his approach on 18 wound up in a bunker. But the big Fijian blasted to within a few feet to match Maggert's par.

    McCarron - tied with Maggert and Bart Bryant for the lead through three rounds - was trying to join Arnold Palmer and Bernhard Langer as the only back-to-back winners of this major. He came back from a six-shot deficit to win at Caves Valley near Baltimore last year and got off to a good start on Sunday.

    He birdied the first two holes to reach 18 under. But bogeys on the par-4 seventh and ninth holes knocked him off the lead. His tee shot on No. 7 rolled into a hole at the base of a tree and forced him to take an unplayable lie.

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    Davies a fitting winner of inaugural USGA championship

    By Randall MellJuly 15, 2018, 11:26 pm

    Laura Davies confessed she did not sleep well on a five-shot lead Saturday night at the U.S. Senior Women’s Open.

    It’s all you needed to know about what this inaugural event meant to the women who were part of the history being made at Chicago Golf Club.

    The week was more than a parade of memories the game’s greats created playing in the USGA’s long-awaited showcase for women ages 50 and beyond.

    The week was more than nostalgic. 

    It was a chance to make another meaningful mark on the game.

    In the end, Davies relished seeing the mark she made in her runaway, 10-shot victory. She could see it in the familiar etchings on the trophy she hoisted.

    “I get my name on it first,” Davies said. “This championship will be played for many years, and there will only be one first winner. Obviously, quite a proud moment for me to win that.”

    Really, all 120 players in the field made their marks at Chicago Golf Club. They were all pioneers of sorts this past week.

    “It was very emotional seeing the USGA signs, because I've had such a long history, since my teens, playing in USGA championships,” said Amy Alcott, whose Hall of Fame career included the 1980 U.S. Women’s Open title. “I thought the week just came off beautifully. The USGA did a great job. It was just so classy how everything was done, this inaugural event, and how was it presented.”

    Davies was thankful for what the USGA added to the women’s game, and she wasn’t alone. Gratefulness was the theme of the week.

    Full-field scores from the U.S. Senior Women’s Open

    The men have been competing in the U.S. Senior Open since 1980, and now the women have their equal opportunity to do the same.

    “It was just great to be a part of the first,” three-time U.S. Women’s Open winner Hollis Stacy said. “The USGA did a great job of having it at such a great golf course. It's just been very memorable.”

    Trish Johnson, who is English, like Davies, finished third, 12 shots back, but she left with a heart overflowing.

    “Magnificent,” said Johnson, a three-time LPGA and 19-time LET winner. “Honestly, it's one of the best, most enjoyable weeks I've ever played in in any tournament anywhere.”

    She played in the final group with Davies and runner-up Juli Inkster.

    “Even this morning, just waiting to come out here, I thought, `God, not often do I actually think how lucky I am to do what I do,’” Johnson said.

    At 54, Davies still plays the LPGA and LET regularly. She has now won 85 titles around the world, 20 of them LPGA titles, four of them majors, 45 of them LET titles.

    With every swing this past week, she peeled back the years, turned back the clock, made fans and peers remember what she means to the women’s game.

    This wasn’t the first time Davies made her mark in a USGA event. When she won the U.S. Women’s Open in 1987, she became just the second player from Europe to win the title, the first in 20 years. She opened a new door for internationals. The following year, Sweden’s Liselotte Neumann won the title.

    “A lot of young Europeans and Asians decided that it wasn't just an American sport,” Davies said. “At that stage, it had been dominated, wholeheartedly, by all the names we all love, Lopez, Bradley, Daniel, Sheehan.”

    Davies gave the rest of the world her name to love, her path to follow.

    “It certainly made a lot of foreign girls think that they could take the Americans on,” Davies said.

    In golf, it’s long been held that you can judge the stature of an event by the names on the trophy. Davies helps gives the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open the monumental start it deserved.