Notes Vijays Deep Cut Elimination Time

By Associated PressAugust 24, 2007, 4:00 pm
the Barclays Logo 2007HARRISON, N.Y. -- Vijay Singh missed the cut Friday in The Barclays, squandering a good opportunity to pass Tiger Woods in the FedEx Cup standings.
 
Singh, No. 2 behind the absent Woods in the playoff standings, followed his opening 75 with a 71 to finish at 4 over -- four strokes off the cut line.
 
Seeking his second straight Westchester Country Club victory and fourth overall, the 44-year-old Fijian also missed the cut two weeks ago in the PGA Championship. He last missed consecutive cuts at the end of the 2005 season.
 
'In one way I'm disappointed, but in another I'd rather be out there working on my game than just trying to play here and playing poorly,' Singh said. 'So, I'm looking forward to the next few days, because I can go home and practice and fix my game.
 
'It's close, but it needs to be closer. I'm going to be ready come next week.'
 
Singh finished the regular season 11,445 points behind Woods, but that margin was cut to 1,000 when the points were re-set entering The Barclays.
 
Two other players in the top 10 in the standings -- No. 8 Charles Howell III and No. 9 Brandt Snedeker -- also missed the cut. Howell shot two 75s. Snedeker, coming off his first PGA Tour victory Sunday in the Wyndham Championship, had rounds of 72 and 73.
 
ELIMINATED
Ten players were eliminated from the playoffs Friday, leaving 130 in the running for the $10 million deferred prize.
 
The top 120 after The Barclays will be eligible for the Deutsche Bank Championship next week in Norton, Mass. The field will then be cut to 70 for the BMW Championship in Lemont, Ill., and to 30 for the Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta.
 
No. 122 Alex Cejka missed the cut along with No. 124 John Merrick, No. 136 Billy Andrade, No. 137 Anders Hansen, No. 138 Jesper Parnevik, No. 140 Shigeki Maruyama, No. 141 Michael Putnam, No. 142 Bob Tway and No. 144 Jeff Gove, while No. 135 Tripp Isenhour withdrew because of back pain after nine holes Friday.
 
No. 126 Jason Bohn (rib injury) and No. 133 Ryan Palmer (family illness) dropped out of the playoffs before the tournament started. No. 130 Gavin Coles withdrew during the first round because of back pain. No. 59 Bernhard Langer is skipping the series.
 
Four players -- No. 121 Doug LaBelle II, No. 127 Johnson Wagner, No. 128 Jason Dufner and No. 132 Bob Heintz -- made the cut by a stroke to avoid elimination.
 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY
Rich Beem opened his entertaining media session with a round of 'Happy Birthday' -- to himself on his 37th birthday.
 
The 2002 PGA Championship winner, two strokes behind leader K.J. Choi after rounds of 64 and 68, is 134th in the FedEx Cup standings, with only the top 120 advancing to the Deutsche Bank Championship.
 
'I know that unless I play well, I'm going home. And I don't want to go home,' Beem said. 'No offense to my wife or kids or anything, but when you're playing well, you want to stay on the road.'
 
And what about tweaking the FedEx Cup format?
 
'I'm going to have to sit down and order a few beers and think about it, because that's when I really get smart,' Beem said.
 
SUPER GRIP
Second-round leader K.J. Choi was watching TV a few months ago when an informercial for an oversized putting grip caught his attention.
 
After initially hesitating to use the 'Super Stroke' grip in competition, he used it last month in his AT&T National victory and has kept it in play.
 
'Because the grip is thick, it's fat, it naturally makes you use the shoulders,' Choi said. 'I thought it made sense, so I picked up the phone and I ordered it. It did look ridiculously big, but I practiced with it and I felt like it was working for me. I still hesitated to take it out to a tournament because of how big it was.
 
'The week before the AT&T National, I decided to take it and practice with it on the greens there and I still felt the same consistent feeling, the positive feeling. So, I made a big decision to use it during the tournament, and it just worked very well and exactly as I thought.'
 
Jim Furyk used one for the first time in competition Thursday, but went back to a normal-sized grip Friday.
 
STRICKER RETURNS
Steve Stricker, four strokes behind after consecutive 67s, tied for 60th at 8 over in 1995 in his only previous Westchester Country Club start.
 
'I told my wife, 'Take a picture. We're not coming back,'' Stricker said.
 
'I'm here because this is one of the playoff events. If it wasn't one of the playoff events, I don't know if I would be here. I just have bad memories about when I played here back in '95, I guess. Obviously, if you ask me now, I want to come back. I'm in good position and I like this style of course.
 
'Maybe I just wasn't hitting it that well in '95 and it just kind of left a bad taste in my mouth. I do like it. It's a great old-style course.'
 
ROAD RAGE
The fourth green was damaged during the night when someone drove a golf cart across the back right portion of the putting surface.
 
Tour officials planned to place the pin in that area, but were forced to move it to the middle of the green. Tire marks also were visible in the mud on a steep slope on the side of the adjacent fifth tee.
 
DIVOTS
Rich Beem leads the field in putting average per green reached in regulation at 1.5 after entering the week tied for 136th at 1.803. He's tied for third in overall putts per round at 27. ... In the 40 previous tournaments at Westchester, only 12 players who held at least a share of the 36-hole lead have gone on to win. ... Vijay Singh is the ninth defending champion to miss a cut this year.
 
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    Minjee Lee co-leads Walmart NW Arkansas Championship

    By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 12:25 am

    ROGERS, Ark. - Minjee Lee wasn't all that concerned when she missed her first cut of the year this month at the ShopRite LPGA Classic.

    The ninth-ranked Australian has certainly looked at ease and back in form at Pinnacle Country Club in her first event since then.

    Lee and Japan's Nasa Hataoka each shot 6-under 65 on Saturday to share the second-round lead in the NW Arkansas Championship 13-under 129. Lee is chasing her fifth victory since turning pro three years ago. It's also an opportunity to put any lingering frustration over that missed cut two weeks ago behind her for good.

    ''I didn't particularly hit it bad, even though I missed the cut at ShopRite, I just didn't really hole any putts,'' Lee said. ''I'd been hitting it pretty solid going into that tournament and even into this tournament, too. Just to see a couple putts roll in has been nice.''

    The 22-year-old Lee needed only 24 putts during her opening 64 on Friday, helping her to match the low round of her career. Despite needing 28 putts Saturday, she still briefly took the outright lead after reaching as low as 14 under after a birdie on the par-5 seventh.


    Full-field scores from the Walmart Arkansas Championship


    Lee missed the green on the par-4 ninth soon thereafter to lead to her only bogey of the day and a tie with the 19-year-old Hataoka, who is in pursuit of her first career win.

    Hataoka birdied six of eight holes midway through her bogey-free round on Saturday. It was yet another stellar performance from the Japanese teenager, who has finished in the top 10 in four of her last five tournaments and will be a part of Sunday's final pairing.

    ''I try to make birdies and try to be under par, that's really the key for me to get a top ten,'' Hataoka said. ''Golf is just trying to be in the top 10 every single week, so that's the key.''

    Third-ranked Lexi Thompson matched the low round of the day with a 64 to get to 11 under. She hit 17 of 18 fairways and shot a 5-under 30 on her opening nine, The American is in search of her first win since September in the Indy Women in Tech Championship.

    Ariya Jutanugarn and Celine Boutier were 10 under.

    First-round leader Gaby Lopez followed her opening 63 with a 75 to drop to 4 under. Fellow former Arkansas star Stacy Lewis also was 4 under after a 72.

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    Henley will try to put heat on Casey in final round

    By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 11:55 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – While it will be a tall task for anyone to catch Paul Casey at the Travelers Championship, the man who will start the round most within reach of the Englishman is Russell Henley.

    Henley was in the penultimate group at TPC River Highlands on Saturday, but he’ll now anchor things during the final round as he looks to overcome a four-shot deficit behind Casey. After a 3-under 67, Henley sits at 12 under through 54 holes and one shot clear of the three players tied for third.

    Henley closed his third round with a run of five straight pars, then became the beneficiary of a pair of late bogeys from Brian Harman that left Henley alone in second place.


    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    “Could have made a couple more putts, but to end with two up-and-downs like that was nice,” Henley said. “I felt a little bit weird over the shots coming in, put me in some bad spots. But it was nice to have the short game to back me up.”

    Henley has won three times on Tour, most recently at the 2017 Houston Open, and he cracked the top 25 at both the Masters and U.S. Open. But with Casey riding a wave of confidence and coming off an 8-under 62 that marked the best round of the week, he knows he’ll have his work cut out for him in order to nab trophy No. 4.

    “I think I can shoot a low number on this course. You’ve got to make the putts,” Henley said. “I’m definitely hitting it well enough, and if I can get a couple putts to fall, that would be good. But I can’t control what he’s doing. I can just try to keep playing solid.”

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    Back from back injury, Casey eyeing another win

    By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 11:36 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – Given his four-shot cushion at the Travelers Championship and his recent victory at the Valspar Championship, it’s easy to forget that Paul Casey hit the disabled list in between.

    Casey had to withdraw from The Players Championship because of a bad back, becoming the only player in the top 50 in the world rankings to miss the PGA Tour’s flagship event. He flew back to England to get treatment, and Casey admitted that his T-20 finish at last month’s BMW PGA Championship came while he was still on the mend.

    “I wasn’t 100 percent fit with the back injury, which was L-4, L-5, S-1 (vertebrae) all out of place,” Casey said. “Big inflammation, nerve pain down the leg and up the back. I didn’t know what was going on.”


    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    Thanks in large part to a combination of MRIs, back adjustments and anti-inflammatories, Casey finally turned the corner. His T-16 finish at last week’s U.S. Open was the first event for which he felt fully healthy since before the Players, and he’s on the cusp of a second title since March after successfully battling through the injury.

    “We thought we were fixing it, but we weren’t. We were kind of hitting the effects rather than the cause,” Casey said. “Eventually we figured out the cause, which was structural.”

    Casey started the third round at TPC River Highlands two shots off the lead, but he’s now four clear of Russell Henley after firing an 8-under 62 that marked the low round of the week.

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    Bubba thinks he'll need a Sunday 60 to scare Casey

    By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 11:15 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – Perhaps moreso than at most PGA Tour venues, a low score is never really out of reach at TPC River Highlands. Positioned as a welcome change of pace after the U.S. Open, the Travelers Championship offers a lush layout that often pushes the balance much closer to reward than risk.

    This is where Jim Furyk shot a 58 on the par-70 layout two years ago – and he didn’t even win that week. So even though Paul Casey enters the final round with a commanding four-shot lead, there’s still plenty of hope for the chase pack that something special could be in store.

    Count Bubba Watson among the group who still believe the title is up for grabs – even if it might require a Herculean effort, even by his standards.


    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    Watson has won the Travelers twice, including in a 2015 playoff over Casey. But starting the final round in a large tie for sixth at 10 under, six shots behind Casey, he estimates that he’ll need to flirt with golf’s magic number to give the Englishman something to worry about.

    “My 7 under yesterday, I need to do better than that. I’m going to have to get to like 10 [under],” Watson said. “The only beauty is, getting out in front, you have a chance to put a number up and maybe scare them. But to scare them, you’re going to have to shoot 10 under at worst, where I’m at anyway.”

    Watson started the third round three shots off the lead, and he made an early move with birdies on Nos. 1 and 2 en route to an outward 32. The southpaw couldn’t sustain that momentum, as bogeys on Nos. 16 and 17 turned a potential 65 into a relatively disappointing 67.

    “Bad decision on the par-3, and then a very tough tee shot for me on 17, and it just creeped into the bunker,” Watson said. “Just, that’s golf. You have mistakes every once in a while.”