Open rookie Steve Marino learns a painful lesson

By Associated PressJuly 18, 2009, 4:00 pm
135th Open Championship TURNBERRY, Scotland ' Steve Marino got a kick out of playing links golf for the first time. Took right to it, in fact.
Playing in the final group of a major on the weekend for the first time? With Tom Watson, no less?
Well, that was a little different.
Marino made it to the big stage for the first time in his fledgling career Saturday with a 67-68 start to his first British Open, but the nerves sure showed during a wild ride Saturday along the Scottish coast.
Despite a rough Round 3, Steve Marino still believes he can win. (Getty Images)
It was a combination of the good, the bad and the ugly out there, Marino moaned.
The 29-year-old went tumbling down the scoreboard in the first five holes, losing five strokes. He plugged his ball in the side of a hill, had to drop from an adjoining fairway and took triple bogey. He missed a bunch of putts inside 10 feet, the sort of thing you just cant do trying to win your first major championship.
But Marino also had an eagle, nearly made another and closed with a birdie-birdie finish that kept him on the fringe of contention, even as everyone else at Turnberry was toasting Watson, his 59-year-old playing partner in the last group and the improbable leader heading to the final round.
Right now, Im a little bit bummed out because I really hung in there in the middle of the round, said Marino, who finished with a 6-over 76 that included only seven pars. Its amazing how fast you can let a pretty good round get away from you.
He certainly deserves credit for hanging in there. His round started dismally'three straight bogeys beginning at No. 2, then a double bogey at the fifth when he drove his tee shot into a bunker, hit a poor approach that left him with a treacherous line above the hole, and wound up missing a short one after he finally got it down near the cup.
But two brilliant shots gave Marino a virtual tap-in for eagle at the par-5 seventh, and his first birdie of the round at No. 11 carried him within a stroke of Watson for the lead.
I was going along so well and all of a sudden it was like, bam! Marino said. Next thing you know I was like 8 over for the round.
He made a bogey at No. 12, but a few of those are acceptable with the wind howling off the Irish Sea and only five players managing to break par. Marinos real trouble came at the par-3 15th, where one bad shot off the tee led to all sorts of mayhem.
It took awhile just to find the ball, lodged among the tall grass on the side of a hill. A marshal finally located it, and Marino pondered whether to take a whack. But he could barely see the ball, wouldve had trouble just taking a stance and finally decided to take an unplayable.
Allowed to move his ball backward along a straight line, Marino wound up over by the eighth fairway. But there was no way he could stop a wedge near the flag, cut along the right side, and his shot skipped all the way through the green. From there, it took three more shots to get down ' a devastating triple bogey.
Still shaken, Marino drove in the bunker at 16, lipped out a short putt and had to write down a second straight 6, his score for the round climbing to 8 over.
I started playing real well, I thought, Marino said. All of a sudden I just missed it right on 15, had a horrible lie and my only option was to take an unplayable or go back to the tee.
Fortunately, he still had two holes left to mitigate the damage. Taking his own advice from a day earlier ' crazy things happen at a British Open and be ready to deal with them ' Marino somehow pulled himself together. Again.
He had an eagle putt at No. 17, but the ball slid by the cup. He pulled out the driver at 18, hit a brilliant approach toward the flag and made the putt for his second straight birdie.
Amazingly, hes still in the mix for the claret jug, five shots behind Watsons 4-under 206.
This is my first Open and its happened to almost every guy thats played in the British Open, so you know its just crazy, Marino said. It was definitely a learning experience. At the same time, Im only five shots off the lead and anything can happen in this golf tournament. I still think I have a chance to win.
If nothing else, he relished the chance to play alongside Watson, a five-time Open champion whos put himself in position to become the oldest major winner in golf history.
I joked with him and said, You could probably be the king of Scotland! These people love you, Marino said. It was just awesome watching him do his thing. You know theres a reason why hes won five claret jugs.
And Marino hasnt given up on winning his first.
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    Lewis hopes to win at Volvik with baby on the way

    By Randall MellMay 27, 2018, 12:55 am

    Stacy Lewis was listening to more than her caddie on her march up the leaderboard Saturday at the Volvik Championship.

    Pregnant with her first child, she is listening to her body in a new way these days.

    And she could hear a message coming through loud and clear toward the end of her round at Travis Point Country Club in Ann Arbor, Mich.

    “The little one was telling me it’s dinnertime,” Lewis said.

    Lewis birdied five of the last six holes to shoot 5-under-par 67 and move into position to make a Sunday run at winning her 13th LPGA title. She is two shots behind the leader, Minjee Lee, whose 68 moved her to 12 under overall.

    Sunday has the makings of a free for all with 10 players within three shots of the lead.

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    Lewis, 33, is four months pregnant, with her due date Nov. 3. She’s expecting to play just a few more times before putting the clubs away to get ready for the birth. She said she’s likely to make the Marathon Classic in mid-July her last start of the season before returning next year.

    Of course, Lewis would relish winning with child.

    “I don’t care what limitations I have or what is going on with my body, I want to give myself a chance to win,” she told at the Kingsmill Championship last week.

    Lewis claimed an emotional victory with her last title, taking the Cambia Portland Classic late last summer after announcing earlier in the week that she would donate her entire winnings to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in her Houston hometown.

    A victory Sunday would also come with a lot of emotion.

    It’s been an interesting year for Lewis.

    There’s been the joy of learning she’s ready to begin the family she has been yearning for, and the struggle to play well after bouncing back from injury.

    Lewis missed three cuts in a row before making it into the weekend at the Kingsmill Championship last week. That’s one more cut than she missed cumulatively in the previous six years. In six starts this year, Lewis hasn’t finished among the top 50 yet, but she hasn’t felt right, either.

    The former world No. 1 didn’t make her second start of 2018 until April, at the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration. She withdrew from the HSBC Women’s World Championship in late February with a strained right oblique muscle and didn’t play again for a month.

    Still, Lewis is finding plenty to get excited about with the baby on the way.

    “I kind of had my first Mother’s Day,” Lewis told last week. “It puts golf into perspective. It makes those bad days not seem so bad. It helps me sleep better at night. We are just really excited.”

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    Rose hasn't visited restroom at Colonial - here's why

    By Nick MentaMay 27, 2018, 12:20 am

    In case you're unaware, it's pretty hot in Texas.

    Temperatures at Colonial Country Club have approached 100 degrees this week, leaving players to battle both the golf course and potential dehydration.

    With the help of his caddie Mark Fulcher, Fort Worth Invitational leader Justin Rose has been plenty hot himself, staking himself to a four-shot lead.

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    "Yeah, Fulch has done a great job of just literally handing me water bottle after water bottle. It seems relentless, to be honest with you," Rose said Saturday.

    So just how much are players sweating the heat at Colonial? Well, it doesn't sound like all that water is making it all the way through Rose.

    "I haven't even seen the inside of a restroom yet, so you can't even drink quick enough out there," he shared.

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    Up four, Rose knows a lead can slip away

    By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 11:21 pm

    Up four shots heading into Sunday at the Fort Worth Invitational, Justin Rose has tied the largest 54-hole lead of his PGA Tour career.

    On the previous two occasions he took a 54-hole Tour lead into the final round, he closed.

    And yet, Rose knows just how quickly a lead can slip away. After all, it was Rose who erased a six-shot deficit earlier this season to overtake Dustin Johnson and win the WGC-HSBC Championship. 

    "I think I was in the lead going into the final round in Turkey when I won, and I had a four-shot lead going into the final round in Indonesia in December and managed to put that one away," Rose said Saturday, thinking back to his two other victories late last year.

    "I was five, six back maybe of DJ, so I've got experience the other way. ... So you can see how things can go both ways real quick. That's why there is no point in getting too far ahead of myself."

    Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

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    Up one to start the third round Saturday, Rose extended his lead to as much as five when he birdied four of his first six holes.

    He leads the field in strokes gained: tee-to-green (+12.853) and strokes gained: approach-the-green (+7.931).

    Rose has won five times worldwide, including at the 2016 Rio Olympics, since his last victory in the United States, at the 2015 Zurich Classic.

    With a win Sunday, he'd tie Nick Faldo for the most PGA Tour wins by an Englishman post-World War II, with nine.

    But he isn't celebrating just yet.

    "It is a big lead, but it's not big enough to be counting the holes away. You've got to go out and play good, you've got to go out positive, you've got to continue to make birdies and keep going forward.

    "So my mindset is to not really focus on the lead, it's to focus on my game tomorrow and my performance. You know, just keep executing the way I have been. That's going to be my challenge tomorrow. Going to look forward to that mindset."

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    Grillo still hunting follow-up to debut win

    By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 10:53 pm

    Following a round of 1-under 69 Saturday, Emiliano Grillo will enter Sunday's final round at Colonial four shots behind leader Justin Rose.

    Grillo is hunting his first win since he took the 2015 Safeway Open in his rookie debut as a PGA Tour member. 

    The young Argentinian finished 11th in the FedExCup points race that season, contending in big events and finishing runner-up at the 2016 Barclays.

    In the process, Grillo had to learn to pace himself and that it can be fruitless to chase after success week to week.

    "That was a hot run in there," Grillo said Saturday, referring to his rookie year. "I played, in 2016, I played the majors very well. I played the big tournaments very well. I was in contention after two, three days in most of the big events.

    Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

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    "I think, you know, I wanted to do better. I pushed for it. Some of the tournaments I ended up being 50th or 60th just because I wanted to play. I wanted to play well so badly. That played against me, so I learned from that. In that rookie year, I learned that."

    Grillo was still plenty successful in his sophomore season, advancing to the BMW Championship last fall.

    But now he's beginning to regain some of that form that made him such an immediate success on Tour. Grillo has recorded four top-10 finishes year - a T-9 at Mayakoba, a T-8 at Honda, a T-3 at Houston, and a T-9 at Wells Fargo - and will now look to outduel U.S. Open champs in Rose and Brooks Koepka on Sunday at Colonial.

    "Well, he's top 10 in the world, so everything he does he does it pretty well," Grillo said of Rose. "You know, he does his own thing. Like I say, he's top 10 in the world. Nothing wrong with his game. ...

    "He's in the lead on a Sunday. Doesn't matter where you're playing, he's got to go out and shoot under par. He's got 50 guys behind him trying to reach him, and I'm one of those. I've just got to go out and do what he did today on those first five or six holes and try to get him in the early holes."