Notes Tigers take on fast greens Leftys letdown

By Associated PressMay 2, 2009, 4:00 pm
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. ' Quail Hollow Club has made overtures about hosting a PGA Championship or Ryder Cup.
 
After dealing with treacherous, lightning-fast greens on Saturday, Tiger Woods almost thought he was playing in a major.
 
We were kind of joking out there today, theyre tying to audition for a major championship down the road, Woods said after shooting a 2-under 70 to remain in contention.
 
The only difference is theres no rough right now. You add rough, make it a par-70 and there you go.
 
The rough was cut from a normal 4 inches to 2 for this tournament, but the greens were made much faster. With no rain until Saturdays late-day thunderstorm ' which came after Woods had finished his round ' things only got quicker.
 
Man the greens were fast, Woods said. They were hard, fast and crusty. Any putt above the hole, you didnt have a good chance of making it because it was going to wobbling all over the place. You had to hit your irons well, hit it below the hole, to give yourself a putt at all.
 
Woods had 29 putts Saturday that included a three-putt on 17 in a bogey-bogey finish that dropped him from the lead.
 
But Woods, who won here in 2007, made clear he wasnt complaining about the major-like conditions.
 
Yeah, I kind of like major championships, he said.
 
LEFTYS LETDOWN: So much for another Tiger-Phil Sunday showdown.
 
After their electric pairing and surged up the leaderboard on the final day of the Masters, Woods and Phil Mickelson were poised for a similar finish at Quail Hollow heading into the weekend.
 
Mickelsons 3-over 75 on Saturday ended those thoughts.
 
Its disappointing to play that round, said Mickelson, who fell to 3-under. I was playing much better than that.
 
Mickelson played the first six holes at 2-over before consecutive birdies gave him confidence. Then his round came undone with double bogey at the par-5 10th.
 
Ten killed me, Mickelson said. I had 5-iron in there, and if I just missed it left of the pin I should make 4. Instead I hit it in the bunker and make 7. That was where the turning point was. I felt like I tripled a hole and just didnt get it going from there.
 
Mickelson closed with seven pars and a bogey for his worst round since he missed the cut at the Houston Open last month.
 
Well, Im not really in contention to win, Mickelson said. But Im going to try to get out (Sunday) and play a good round and carry a little bit of momentum for next week.
 
ADOPTED HOMETOWN: Brendon de Jonge put himself into a contention with 5-under 67 that brought smiles to the fans of his adopted hometown, far from the troubles of his native country.
 
After leaving Zimbabwe to attend Virginia Tech, de Jonge stayed in the United States, moving to Charlotte 3 1/2 years ago. He earned his PGA Tour card after spending last season on the Nationwide Tour.
 
He had a large following in a round that included had eight birdies and three bogeys to move to 8-under.
 
Several family members have joined de Jonge in the U.S., but his parents still live in the Africa country where political unrest has led to a nearly worthless currency, crippling poverty and critical shortages of food and basic goods.
 
I try to make a point to get back once a year, at worst once every two years, de Jonge said. The political situation is obviously deteriorating terribly with the hyperinflation and everything thats going on.
 
You know its just said because it was a great place to grow up. Its a wonderful lifestyle.
 
His parents still lead a decent life, de Jonge said, and they dont want to move.
 
LEES WEEKEND DEBUT: U.S. Amateur champion Danny Lee is assured his first professional paycheck. Stumbling over the final two holes on Saturday may cost him money.
 
The 18-year-old New Zealander made his first cut in his second tournament after turning pro and was at 9-under on the 17th tee. But Lee hit his tee shot into the water for a double bogey on the par-3.
 
Lee then missed a 5-footer for par on 18 to finish with a 70. He sat at 6-under.
 
IN YOUR LAP: Now thats an unplayable lie.
 
Jason Dufners opening tee shot Saturday sailed left and into the crowd, landing in the lap of 18-year-old Miranda Cooper of nearby Shelby, N.C.
 
By the time Dufner reached the scene, all the fans had shuffled out of the immediate area except Cooper, who was still sitting in her folding chair, ball in her lap and her hands covering her face in embarrassment.
 
Youve got to play it where it lays, PGA Tour rules official Tony Wallin jokingly told Dufner.
 
Wallin then put a marker under Coopers chair. She got up and Dufner got to drop the ball in that spot without penalty. He reached the green, then three putted for bogey.
 
Dufner recovered to shoot 71 and was at 7-under.
 
DIVOTS: Anthony Kims hopes of defending his title were squashed with a 78 that included a 42 on the front nine. Y.E. Yang of South Korea, who won the Honda Classic earlier this year, bogeyed the first hole before recovering for a blistering 66, the best round of the day. He was at 7-under. After making his second cut in his first full season following knee surgery, Brad Faxon shot 80 to drop to 7-over. The thunderstorm delayed play for 1 hour, 12 minutes with only the final two groups still on the course.
 
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    DJ triples last hole, opens with 76 at Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 6:18 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Dustin Johnson’s chances of winning The Open are likely already over.

    The world No. 1 hit his tee shot out of bounds on 18 on his way to a triple bogey, capping a miserable day that left him with a 5-over 76, 10 shots off the lead and in danger of missing the cut.

    Johnson didn’t talk to reporters afterward, but there wasn’t much to discuss.

    He didn’t make a birdie until the par-5 14th, bogeyed 16 and then made 7 on Carnoustie's home hole when his tee shot caromed out of bounds left.

    Johnson has missed the cut only once in nine previous appearances at The Open – in his first try in 2009.

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    'The Golf Club 2019' adds Elvy to commentary team

    By Nick MentaJuly 19, 2018, 4:45 pm

    “The Golf Club 2019” is adding a new name to its commentary team.

    Broadcaster Luke Elvy will join returning announcer and HB Studios developer John McCarthy for the title's third installment.

    Golf fans will recognize Elvy from his recent work with CBS in addition to his time with Sky Sports, FOX Sports, TNT, PGA Tour Live and PGA Tour Radio.

    A 25-year media veteran from Australia, he now works in the United States and lives with his family in Canada.

    "Ian Baker-Finch was my right-hand man on Australian televison," Elvy told GolfChannel.com in an interview at the Quicken Loans National. "And Finchy said to me, 'What are you doing here? You should be with me in the States.’ He introduced me to a few people over here and that's how the transition has happened over the last five or six years."

    Elvy didn't have any prior relationship with HB Studios, who reached out to him via his management at CAA. As for why he got the job, he pseudo-jokes: "They heard the accent, and said, 'We like that. That works for us. Let's go.' That's literally how it happened."

    He participated in two separate recording sessions over three days, first at his home back in February and then at the HB Studios shortly after The Players Championship. He teased his involvement when the game was announced in May.

    Although he doesn't describe himself as a "gamer," Elvy lauded the game's immediate playability, even for a novice.

    “It’s exactly how you’d want golf to be,” he said.

    "The Golf Club 2019" will be the first in the HB series to feature PGA Tour branding. The Tour had previously licensed its video game rights to EA Sports.

    In addition to a career mode that will take players from the Web.com Tour all the way through the FedExCup Playoffs, "The Golf Club 2019" will also feature at launch replicas of six TPC courses played annually on Tour – TPC Summerlin (Shriners Hospitals for Children Open), TPC Scottsdale's Stadium Course (Waste Management Phoenix Open), TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course (The Players Championship), TPC Southwind (FedEx St. Jude Classic/WGC-FedEx St. Jude Championship), TPC Deere Run (John Deere Classic), and TPC Boston (Dell Technologies Championship).

    “I played nine holes at Scottsdale,” Elvy added. “It’s a very close comparison. Visually, it’s very realistic."

    The Golf Club 2019 is due out this August on PlayStation 4, XBOX One, and PC.

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    Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 3:48 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jhonattan Vegas thought someone was playing a practical joke on him.

    Or maybe he was stuck in the middle of a horror movie.

    Scheduled to leave for The Open a week ago, he didn’t arrive at Carnoustie until a little more than an hour before his first-round tee time Thursday.

    “Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose,” he said, “you couldn’t really do it.”

    The problem was an expired visa.

    Vegas said that he must have gotten confused by the transposed date on the visa – “Guessing I’ve been living in America too long” – and assumed that he was cleared to travel.

    No problem, he was told. He’d have a new visa in 24 hours.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Except the consulate in New York didn’t respond to his application the next day, keeping him in limbo through the weekend. Then, on Monday, he was told that he’d applied for the wrong visa. UPS got shut down in New York and his visa never left, so Vegas waited in vain for seven hours in front of the consulate in Houston. He finally secured his visa on Wednesday morning, boarded a flight from Houston to Toronto, and then flew to Glasgow, the final leg of a 14-hour journey.

    His agent arranged a helicopter ride from Glasgow to Carnoustie to ensure that he could make his 10:31 a.m. (local) tee time.

    One more issue? His clubs never made it. They were left back in Toronto.

    His caddie, Ruben Yorio, scrambled to put together a new bag, with a mismatched set of woods, irons, wedges and putter.

    “Luckily the (equipment) vans are still here,” Vegas said. “Otherwise I probably would have played with members’ clubs today.”

    He hit about 20 balls on the range – “Luckily they were going forward” – but Carnoustie is one of the most challenging links in the world, and Vegas was working off of two hours’ sleep and without his own custom-built clubs. He shot 76 but, hey, at least he tried.

    “It was fun,” he said, “even though the journey was frustrating.”

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    'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

    Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

    “The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

    The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

    “That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”