Notes: Players eat up Aronimink, but praise for potential major venue

By Associated PressJuly 3, 2011, 12:01 am

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. – K.J. Choi didn’t get much of a chance to savor his course record at Aronimink.

At least he had a night to enjoy it.

Chris Kirk barely got an hour.

Choi’s 64 on Friday was matched or bested by seven other golfers a day later at the AT&T National. Nick Watney has the record after shooting an 8-under 62. Steve Marino and Kirk shot 63, and Rickie Fowler and Webb Simpson shot 64.

“I’m not the only one that’s shooting that number out there,” Marino said.

No, he sure wasn’t.

The greens were watered Friday night and pin placements on the softer course appeared more accessible. Watney wowed the fans with a 27 on the back nine, which helped place him atop the leaderboard with Fowler. His 62 tied a tournament record. The 27 is the lowest nine-hole score on the PGA Tour this season.

Kirk joked he never shot better than a 62, and that was playing some friendly rounds with friends. Kirk, whose top PGA Tour finish is a tie for second, knew as his round was nearing an end that he was nipping at Choi’s record.

He only knew what Aronimink’s record was because Choi shot a 6-under 64 to build a two-shot lead and set the mark.

“I didn’t know how he did that,” Kirk said. “I guess now I know.”

Kirk, a rookie, enters Sunday only three strokes back of the co-leaders.

“It’s more about getting myself into contention,” he said. “But that’s a nice little bonus, I guess.”

The catch, of course, is that this is only the second year of the AT&T National at Aronimink Golf Club.

By the time Fowler teed off later in the day, the low scores had become the norm. He kept it going with a 30 on the front nine and a 34 on the back.

“It’s definitely nice to see those scores,” he said. “It gives you the ability to kind of go into the round with some confidence knowing there’s a good number out there.”

Kevin Stadler shot a 64 but was stuck in 14th place.

“I don’t want to say it’s easy,” he said. “On this course, if you hit it well, you’re going to have a lot of chances.”

Webb Simpson shot a 64 and tied for fourth. Cameron Tringale also shot a 64.

Could Sunday bring more record-setters? The golfers on the leaderboard agreed the course probably won’t be watered. Plus, the threat of thunderstorms Sunday has moved up the final round by 2 hours to 9:30 a.m.

“I definitely think they’re going to set it up a little tougher,” Fowler said. “I think they want someone to earn the win.”

MAJOR SUCCESS: Aronimink Golf Club has one more day left on the PGA Tour before it goes away – but maybe not forever.

The course was again widely praised by several players, and they’ve made their pitch for the club to host a major.

But it could be at least a decade, at least, before there’s room on the schedule. And there’s little chance the club could become a regular tour stop because the schedule is packed with multi-year commitments.

The AT&T National had a two-year run at the course just outside Philadelphia because the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., was prepping for the 2011 U.S. Open. It returns there next year, leaving a hole in Philadelphia’s golf scene.

The U.S Open will be held in 2013 at Merion Golf Club.

And then?

The club proved it can handle the traffic and crowd demands. Saturday’s gallery thinned out compared to last year, but Tiger Woods pulled out of this weekend’s stop because of injuries. It was still a strong showing, and the record scores made the course a hit with the golfers.

“This is one of the better ones that we play all year,” said Chris Kirk, who shot a 7-under 63. “I think every other player will agree with that. It’s just a great golf course. It tests every part of your game. It’s not the type of course that I have typically fared well on.”

CHIP SHOTS: Charlie Wi saw his streak of 204 consecutive holes without a three-putt or worse end when he 4-putted the 13th hole. … Three of the top-five leaders (Rickie Fowler, Steve Marino, Webb Simpson) have not won on the PGA Tour. … Fowler missed the cut last year at the AT&T National. … Vijay Singh pulled out with a back injury, leaving Spencer Levin to play as a single.

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Rose leads Koepka, Grillo by four at Colonial

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 9:06 pm

On the strength of a 4-under 66 Saturday, Justin Rose will take an four-shot lead over Brooks Koepka and Emiliano Grillo into the final round of the Fort Worth Invitational. Here's where things stand through 54 holes at Colonial Country Club.

Leaderboard: Rose (-14), Koepka (-10), Grillo (-10), Corey Conners (-8), Jon Rahm (-8), Louis Oosthuizen (-8), J.T. Poston (-8), Ryan Armour (-8)

What it means: The fifth-ranked player in the world is 18 holes from his ninth PGA Tour victory and his second this season. Up once to start the third round, Rose extended his lead to as much as five with birdies on four of his first six holes. Through 54 holes, Rose has made XX birdies and just XX bogeys. The 2013 U.S. Open winner and 2016 Olympic gold medalist has a history of winning at iconic venues - Muirfield Village, Aronimink, Cog Hill, Doral, Merion and Congressional - and now looks to add Colonial to the list. He'll be chased on Sunday by Grillo, the young Argentianian who won his first Tour start as a member in 2015, and Koepka, last year's U.S. Open winner who continues to impress in his injury comeback despite ongoing wrist issues.  

Round of the day: Corey Conners and Ted Potter both turned in 8-under 63. Potter was bogey-free and Conners came home in 6-under 29 on the back nine.

Best of the rest: Jon Rahm, Louis Oosthuizen, Brian Harman, and Michael Thompson all signed for 64. Rahm called his six-birdie start the best 10 holes he's played so far this year. 

Biggest disappointment: Jordan Spieth has finished second-first-second in the last three years at this event, but he's yet to find his normal Colonial form through three rounds. Spieth, who said Friday he was capable of shooting "10 or 12 under" over the weekend, shot even-par 70 Saturday. He sits in T-38 at 3 under for the week, 11 back.

Shot of the day: Rory Sabbatini closed out his third round Saturday with this eagle holeout from 134 yards at the 18th. 

His colorful scorecard featured three bogeys, two birdies, a double bogey and that eagle. It added up to a 1-over 71. 

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McCarron closes with only bogey, shares lead

By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 8:49 pm

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Scott McCarron, seeking a second senior major title to go with his 2017 Senior Players Championship, made his only bogey of the third round on the final hole to slip into a tie for the lead Saturday with Tim Petrovic in the Senior PGA Championship.

They were at 13 under par after Petrovic, seeking his first major, shot 65. McCarron has shared the lead through three rounds.

England's Paul Broadhurst, the 2016 British Senior Open winner, matched the best third-round score in tournament history with a 64. He was at 11 under.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, coming off his first major championship last week at the Regions Tradition, shot 65 and was 9 under.

Tom Byrum, who made a hole-in-one in shooting a 67, was in a group at 8 under.

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Watch: Rose one-arms approach, makes birdie

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 26, 2018, 7:25 pm

Justin Rose appears to have taken a course in Hideki Matsuyama-ing.

Already 3 under on his round through five thanks to a birdie-birdie-birdie start, Rose played this approach from 143 yards at the par-4 sixth.

That one-armed approach set up a 6-foot birdie putt he rolled in to move to 4 under on his round and 14 under for the week, five clear of the field.

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McIlroy battles back into tie for BMW PGA lead

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 26, 2018, 4:09 pm

Rory McIlroy got off to a rocky start on Saturday in the third round of the BMW PGA Championship, including hitting a spectator and making a double bogey. But after that incident on the sixth hole, he didn't drop another shot, birdieing the final hole to shoot a 1-under 71 and tie for the lead.

McIlroy had gone into Moving Day with a three-shot lead, but Francesco Molinari had the round of the day, a 6-under 66. "It was nice keep a clean scorecard," said Molinari, who hasn't made a bogey since the 10th hole on Friday.

Full-field scores from the BMW PGA Championship

McIlroy and Molinari will be paired in Sunday's final round. They are tied at 13 under par, four shots clear of Ross Fisher, Branden Grace, Sam Horsfield and Alexander Noren.

The Wentworth course ends with back-to-back par-5s, and McIlroy birdied both of them. He got a break on the 18th hole as his drive hit a spectator and bounced into light rough.

"It was a struggle out there today," McIlroy said. "I think when you're working on a few things in your swing and the wind is up and you're stuck between trying to play different shots, but also try to play - you know, make good swings at it, I just hit some loose tee balls on the first few holes. But I'm proud of myself. I stayed patient. I actually - I'm feeling a bit better about myself after today than I was even walking off the course yesterday."