Notes Toms DQs Self Verplank Close to Wish

By Associated PressJuly 15, 2005, 4:00 pm
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- David Toms disqualified himself when he couldn't decide if he'd made a mistake.
Toms opened with a 74, which included a double bogey on the 17th hole. He wasn't sure if the ball was moving slightly when he tapped in, and figured he ought to take himself out of the tournament.
``It was just one of those iffy areas about whether or not a rule was violated, and I was the only one that saw it,'' Toms told the Press Association. ``I just felt it was better that I disqualified myself.''
That left Colin Montgomerie and Paul Lawrie to play as a twosome, but it shook up Monty for other reasons.
He was accused of hitting a moving ball at the season-ending Volvo Masters two years ago, a tournament title he wound up sharing with Bernhard Langer. Television replays appeared to show the ball moving, although they were not conclusive enough to assess a penalty.
Montgomerie was keeping Toms' scorecard in the first round, and when he heard about the DQ on the radio, he was nervous.
``I thought, 'What have I done now?''' the Scot said. ``Thank God it was on him this time.''
Scott Verplank wanted to be paired with Tiger Woods for the third round of the British Open. If not for bogeys at Nos. 16 and 17, he would have got his wish.
Still, Verplank's wild ride Friday began even earlier. At the fourth hole, he went just over the green and chipped to 8 feet before the fun really began.
``Hit a nice putt, hit it too hard, lipped it about 2 1/2 feet past,'' said Verplank, who finished with a 70 and wound up five strokes behind Woods, the leader at 11 under. ``That one lipped out, only about a foot. Got up there to tap it in, and I tapped it right in the middle. And it hit the hole and spun back to about a foot. I had already bent over to pick it out and it came popping out on me.''
That four-putt left the ugliest scar on a scorecard that also included two three-putts, although Verplank did plenty of things right to stay in the mix at 6-under 138. For example, he bounced back with an eagle on the par-5 fifth.
``Every hole was an adventure for me,'' Verplank said. ``That's the nature of the golf course here.''
This is the second straight year Verplank, a former U.S. Amateur champion, goes into the weekend in contention. He was three shots behind last year at Royal Troon. Still, he preferred to be playing with Woods, one shot closer.
``If he's out in the lead and I'm in the last group with him, it means I'm the closest giving chase,'' Verplank said. ``If you don't want to play with him, you probably shouldn't come to this tournament.''
Fred Couples always sounds surprised when he's in the hunt at a major. This time with good reason.
Couples was only two off the lead when his tee shot on the par-3 11th sailed so far right it nearly landed on the eighth tee. Worse yet, Couples grabbed his back, which has been giving him trouble the last 10 years.
He not only finished his round, he shot 71 and was at 5-under 139.
``I ended up not really hurting myself, but my back kind of gave out,'' Couples said. ``I never hit a shot like that in my life. I thought maybe that's a wake-up call. Then I played well coming in.''
It wasn't easy. Couples spent the next several holes wondering if the pain would return.
``I don't know what happened, but it wasn't very much fun the next four or five holes with an iron, because I thought I was going to shank every shot. Now I know what an amateur feels like.''
Maybe the birdie by Jack Nicklaus on the 18th hole at St. Andrews wasn't so remarkable.
The 357-yard closing hole is among the easiest in championship golf, so short that players often wait for the green to clear before hitting their tee shots.
Only six players failed to make par or better, and at one point in the second round, there were 10 consecutive birdies, starting with Toru Taniguchi and ending with Angel Cabrera, who were separated by four groups.
The streak ended with Thomas Bjorn, who drove his tee shot to the right and out-of-bounds. He wound up with a double bogey and missed the cut by one shot.
It was only fitting that Jose Maria Olazabal got into the British Open when fellow Spaniard Seve Ballesteros withdrew. Olazabal repaid his debt by producing some Seve magic on the 18th green.
He drove into the hollow known as the Valley of Sin just short of the green, then used his putter to hit up the slope, onto the green and into the cup for an eagle.
Olazabal held both arms aloft before slapping hands with Tiger Woods as he walked by.
The only player who came close to matching that celebration was Tom Lehman, who also made an eagle from the front edge of the 18th green. At the time, he thought he needed that putt to make the cut.
``I left an awful lot of shots out there, and I was due for something good to happen,'' Lehman said. ``I was playing so well, but I had zero to show for it.''
Lehman had some help.
He played with Paul McGinley, and the Irishman had a similar putt on Thursday that he left short.
``I hit that shot a lot of times during the practice rounds, and you have to hit it twice as hard as you think you have to,'' Lehman said, who estimated the distance at 45 feet.
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    M. Jutanugarn eyeing first win with L.A. Open lead

    By Associated PressApril 21, 2018, 1:50 am

    LOS ANGELES - Moriya Jutanugarn took the lead into the weekend at the Hugel-JTBC L.A. Open in her latest bid to join younger sister Ariya as an LPGA winner.

    Moriya Jutanugarn shot a bogey-free 5-under 66 on Friday at Wilshire Country Club to get to 8-under 134 in the LPGA Tour's first event in Los Angeles since 2005. The 23-year-old from Thailand started fast with birdies on the par-5 second, par-4 third and par-3 fourth and added two more on the par-4 11th and par-5 13th.

    Ariya Jutanugarn has seven LPGA victories.

    Marina Alex was second after a 68.

    Full-field scores from the Hugel-JTBC Open

    So Yeon Ryu was 6 under after a 69, and fellow South Korean players Inbee Park(71) and Eun-Hee Ji (69). Park was the first-round leader at 66. Lexi Thompsonwas 3 under after a 71.

    Top-ranked Shanshan Feng followed her opening 74 with a 67 to get to 1 under.

    Ariya Jutanugarn (71) was even par, and Michelle Wie (70) was 1 over. Brooke Henderson, the Canadian star who won last week in Hawaii, had a 79 to miss the cut.

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    Johnson, Moore co-lead Valero Texas Open through 36

    By Associated PressApril 21, 2018, 1:00 am

    SAN ANTONIO - Zach Johnson was going nowhere in the Valero Texas Open when it all changed with one putt.

    He made an 8-foot par putt on the 13th hole of the opening round to stay at 2 under. He followed with a big drive, a hybrid into 12 feet and an eagle. Johnson was on his way, and he kept right on going Friday to a 7-under 65 and a share of the 36-hole lead with Ryan Moore.

    ''You just never know. That's the beauty of this game,'' Johnson said. ''I felt like I was hitting some solid shots and wasn't getting rewarded, and you've just got to stay in it. You've got to persevere, grind it out, fight for pars. You just never know.''

    Moore had three birdies over his last five holes for a 67 and joined Johnson at 9-under 135.

    They had a one-shot lead over Grayson Murray (69) and Andrew Landry (67).

    Ben Crane (66), Martin Laird (65) and David Hearn (68) were three shots behind. Billy Horschel and Keegan Bradley shot 71 and were four shots behind at 5-under 139.

    Full-field scores from the Valero Texas Open

    Valero Texas Open: Articles, photos and videos

    Sergio Garcia, who consulted Greg Norman on the design of the AT&T Oaks Course at the TPC San Antonio, had a short stay in his first time at the Texas Open since 2010. Garcia shot an even-par 72, and at one point became so frustrated he threw his driver into the shrubs.

    Garcia finished at 2-over 146 and missed the cut.

    It was the first time since 2010 that Garcia missed the cut in successive starts. That was the PGA Championship and, 10 weeks later, the Castello Masters in Spain. This time, he missed the cut in the Masters and Texas Open three weeks apart.

    Johnson, a two-time winner of the Texas Open, appeared to be headed to a short week until the key par save on the 13th hole, followed by his eagle, par and three straight birdies. He began the second round Friday with five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine, a sixth birdie on the par-4 first hole, and then an eagle on the short par-4 fifth when he holed out from a greenside bunker.

    The only sour taste to his second round was a three-putt bogey from about 30 feet on his final hole. Even so, the view was much better than it was Thursday afternoon.

    Moore thought he had wasted a good birdie opportunity on the par-5 14th hole when he left his 50-foot eagle putt about 6 feet short. But he made that, and then holed a similar putt from 8 feet for birdie on the next hole and capped his good finish with a 15-foot putt on the 17th.

    ''That was a huge momentum putt there,'' Moore said of the 14th. ''It was a tough putt from down there with a lot of wind. That green is pretty exposed and ... yeah, really short and committed to that second putt really well and knocked it right in the middle.''

    The birdies on the 14th and 15th were important to Moore because he missed a pair of 10-foot birdie tries to start the back nine.

    ''So it was nice to get those and get going in the right direction on the back,'' he said.

    The cut was at 1-over 145, and because 80 players made the cut, there will be a 54-hole cut on Saturday.

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    Garcia tosses driver, misses Valero cut

    By Will GrayApril 21, 2018, 1:00 am

    It wasn't quite to the level of his watery meltdown earlier this month at the Masters, but Sergio Garcia still got frustrated during the second round of the Valero Texas Open - and his driver paid the price.

    Garcia had a hand in redesigning the AT&T Oaks Course along with Greg Norman several years ago, but this marked his first return to TPC San Antonio since 2010. After an opening-round 74, Garcia arrived to the tee of the short par-4 fifth hole and decided to get aggressive with driver in hand.

    When his shot sailed well left, a heated Garcia chucked the club deep into the bushes that lined the tee box:

    It took considerable effort for Garcia to find and retrieve the club amid the branches, and once he did things only got worse. He appeared to shank a chip once he got up to his ball, leading to a bogey on one of the easiest holes on a demanding track.

    Garcia closed out his round with four straight pars, and at 2 over he eventually missed the cut by a shot. It marks the first time he has missed consecutive cuts on the PGA Tour since 2003, when he sat out the weekend at the AT&T Byron Nelson, Fort Worth Invitational and Memorial Tournament in successive weeks.

    Garcia entered the week ranked No. 10 in the world, and he was the only top-20 player among the 156-man field. He missed the cut at the Masters in defense of his title after carding an octuple-bogey 13 on the 15th hole during the opening round.

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    Daly-Allen team grabs Legends of Golf lead on Day 2

    By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 11:14 pm

    RIDGEDALE, Mo. - John Daly and Michael Allen took the second-round lead Friday in the cool and breezy Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.

    Daly and Allen shot an 8-under 46 on the Top of the Rock par-3 course with wind gusting to 15 mph and the temperature only in the high-50s at Big Cedar Lodge. They had three birdies on the front nine in alternate-shot play and added five more on the back in better-ball play to get to 13 under.

    ''Michael and I go back to the South African days in the late 80s and playing that tour,'' Daly said. ''We've been buddies since. He's just fun to play with. We feed off each other pretty good. And if he's not comfortable guinea-pigging on one hole, I'll go first.''

    On Thursday, they opened with a 66 on the regulation Buffalo Ridge course. They will rotate to the 13-hole Mountain Top par-3 course on Saturday, and return to Top of the Rock for the final round Sunday.

    ''I went to high school in Jeff City, so it's cool to have the fans behind us,'' Daly said.

    Allen won the PGA Tour Champions team event with David Frost in 2012 and Woody Austin in 2016.

    ''I'm just here to free up John,'' Allen said. ''It was fun. Luckily, I started making good putts today. We just want to keep the good times rolling.''

    Full-field scores from the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf

    Defending champions Vijay Singh and Carlos Franco were a stroke back along with Bernhard Langer-Tom Lehman and Paul Broadhurst-Kirk Triplett. Singh and Franco had a 7-under 32 in best-ball play at Mountain Top, and Lehman-Langer and Broadhurst-Tripplet each shot 6-under 48 at Top of the Rock.

    ''Part of the issue here is all the tees are elevated, so you're up high hitting to a green that's down below and the wind is blowing, and there is more time for that wind to affect it,'' Lehman said. ''If you guess wrong on the wind, you can hit a really good shot and kind of look stupid.''

    Former UCLA teammates Scott McCarron and Brandt Jobe were two strokes back at 11 under with Steve Flesch and David Toms and the Spanish side of Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez. McCarron-Jobe had a 47, and Jimenez-Olazabal a 48 at Top of the Rock, and Tom Flesch shot 34 at Mountain Top.

    First-round leaders Jeff Maggert and Jesper Parnevik had a 52 at Top of the Rock to fall three shots back at 10 under. Madison, Wisconsin, friends Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly also were 10 under after a 32 at Mountain Top. Jay Haas aced the 131-yard seventh hole at Mountain Top with a gap wedge. Haas and fellow 64-year-old Peter Jacobsen were 8 under after a 32.