Pair Lead Els 4 Off the Pace

By Associated PressJuly 10, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Barclays Scottish OpenGLASGOW, Scotland -- arcus Fraser of Australia shot into contention with a 30 on the front nine at the Scottish Open on Saturday and wound up in a share of the lead with Gregory Havret of France. Fraser's brilliant round of 7-under 64 propelled him to the top of the leaderboard.
 
The top finisher at Loch Lomond not already eligible earns a place in the field at next week's British Open.
 
'Everyone knows there's one spot up for grabs, and everyone is trying to grab it,' Fraser said, who had to withdraw from a British Open qualifier earlier this year with a shoulder injury.
 
Havret, who failed to earn a spot at a European qualifier two weeks ago, birdied five of the first eight holes and looked as if he might run away from the field, but had only one birdie and a bogey the rest of the way for a 5-under 66 to join Fraser at 14-under 199.
 
Michael Campbell matched the best round of the week with a 63, including one of only a dozen birdies on the 18th that left him one shot out of the lead. David Howell of England (67) was at 201, while Peter Lonard got into the mix with a 66 that put him at 11-under 202.
 
Ernie Els also gave himself a chance to defend his title in the Barclays Scottish Open. Despite a brief confrontation with a photographer, the Big Easy kept his cool long enough to shoot 65 and was among those four shots behind.
 
'It's a little bit difficult to get into the week,' said Els, playing for the first time since an 80 in the final round of the U.S. Open. 'Now that I'm in, I'm going to try to win the tournament.'
 
Also at 10-under 203 was Roger Chapman, the next highest player on the leaderboard not yet in the British Open.
 
Fraser was a little bit miffed about the new format for getting into the British Open. Instead of 36-hole qualifiers held the weekend before the Open at four nearby links, the Royal & Ancient held international qualifiers in four locations around the world.
 
The 25-year-old Aussie picked the Malaysia site, but had to withdraw with a shoulder injury so severe he could not even travel. The R&A did not let him sign up for another qualifier, such as the one at Sunningdale.
 
'I think if you have a legitimate excuse and a medical certificate, you should be allowed to change the venue,' Fraser said. 'Disappointing, but that's the way it goes.'
 
He noted that fellow Aussie Nick O'Hern also had to withdraw from a qualifier in Australia. Further fueling the debate over international qualifiers are the 52 Americans who didn't even bother showing up at Congressional earlier this month for a chance to get into the British Open.
 
'A heart muscle, wasn't it?' Fraser said, adding to the perception of that American golfers are pampered.
 
Fraser, a mild-mannered Aussie whose sole victory on the European tour came last year in Russia, said he saw no reason to complain to the R&A.
 
'Just move on and let my golf clubs do the talking,' he said.
 
They spoke loudly on a such a mild day along the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond that 21 players shot 68 or better. At the other end was Colin Montgomerie, whose hopes for good form going into Royal Troon came crashing down with a 76, the worst score of the day.
 
'You lose confidence and the hole gets very small,' Montgomerie said. 'Never mind. One of those days to forget. Try to score in the 60s tomorrow and take some confidence to Troon.'
 
Fraser and Havret simply want to get to Royal Troon.
 
The Aussie was brilliant from the start, holing a 30-foot eagle putt on the third and making four birdies inside 10 feet. He cooled slightly on the back nine, and a bogey on the par-3 17th dropped him into a share of the lead.
 
Havret holed a 60-foot chip for one of his five birdies, but a three-putt on the 11th slowed his momentum. Like Fraser, the Frenchman is well aware what's at stake on Sunday.
 
'I have never played the Open and I really want to play it this year, if it is possible,' Havret said. 'So I think there is only one spot. Just the one, eh? It will be a good battle.'
 
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    Fowler (oblique) withdraws from playoff opener

    By Will GrayAugust 15, 2018, 8:44 pm

    The injury that slowed Rickie Fowler at last week's PGA Championship will keep him out of the first event of the PGA Tour's postseason.

    Fowler was reportedly hampered by an oblique injury at Bellerive Country Club, where he started the third round two shots off the lead but faded to a tie for 12th. He confirmed the injury Tuesday in an Instagram post, adding that an MRI revealed a partial tear to his right oblique muscle.

    According to Fowler, the injury also affected him at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, where he tied for 17th. After receiving the test results, he opted to withdraw from The Northern Trust next week at Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey.

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    Fowler is one of eight players who earned automatic spots on the U.S. Ryder Cup team when the qualifying window closed last week. His next opportunity to tee it up would be at the 100-man Dell Technologies Championship, where Fowler won in 2015.

    Fowler has 12 top-25 finishes in 18 starts, highlighted by runner-up finishes at both the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in the fall and at the Masters. He is currently 17th in the season-long points race, meaning that he's assured of starts in each of the first three playoff events regardless of performance and in good position to qualify for the 30-man Tour Championship for the fourth time in the last five years.

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    By Will GrayAugust 15, 2018, 8:12 pm

    Since the advent of the FedExCup in 2007, only 13 players have managed to make the playoffs each and every year. But two of the PGA Tour's stalwarts head into the regular-season finale with work to do in order to remain a part of that select fraternity.

    Sergio Garcia has rarely had to sweat the top-125 bubble, but the Spaniard enters this week's Wyndham Championship 131st in the current standings. Left with even more work to do is former FedExCup winner Bill Haas, who starts the week in Greensboro 150th.

    Garcia got off to a strong start in the spring, sandwiching a pair of top-10 finishes in WGC events around a fourth-place showing at the Valspar Championship. But quality results largely dried up after Garcia missed the cut at the Masters; he has made only two cuts in 10 Tour starts since April, including early exits in all four majors.


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    Garcia has some history at Sedgefield Country Club, having won this event in 2012 to break a lengthy U.S. victory drought. He also finished fourth in 2009 but hasn't played the Donald Ross layout since a T-29 finish as the defending champ in 2013.

    It's been a difficult year for Haas both on and off the course, as the veteran was involved as a passenger in a car accident on the eve of the Genesis Open that killed the driver. He returned to action three weeks later in Tampa, and he tied for seventh at the RBC Heritage in April. But that remains his lone top-10 finish of the season. Haas has missed 11 cuts including three in a row.

    While the bubble will be a fluid target this week at Sedgefield, Garcia likely needs at least a top-20 finish to move into the top 125 while Haas will likely need to finish inside the top 5.

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    Airlines lose two sets of Olesen's clubs in 10 days

    By Grill Room TeamAugust 15, 2018, 7:50 pm

    Commercial airlines losing the golf clubs of a professional golfer is not exactly a groundbreaking story. It happens.

    But European Tour pro Thorbjorn Olesen is on quite the roll, losing two sets of clubs and five suitcases in the span of 10 days.

    Olesen, the reigning Italian Open champ, claimed his primary set of golf clubs were lost last week. Having little faith they'd be found before this week's Nordea Masters, he decided to bring his backup set for the event in Sweden.

    A veteran move by the 28-year-old, unless, of course, those clubs were lost too. And wouldn't you know it:

    After pestering the airlines with some A+ GIFs, Olesen was reunited with at least one of his sets and was back in action on Wednesday.

    He also still plans on giving his golf bag away to some lucky follower, provided it's not lost again in transit. Something he's no longer taking for granted.

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    Podcast: Brandel compares Tiger and Hogan's comebacks

    By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 15, 2018, 6:48 pm

    Tiger Woods on Sunday at Bellerive recorded his seventh runner-up finish in a major and his first in nine years.

    A favorite guest of the Golf Channel Podcast, Brandel Chamblee joins host Will Gray to compare and contrast Tiger's return to competitive golf with that of Ben Hogan and Babe Didrikson Zaharias in the 1950s.

    Chamblee also discusses Brooks Koepka's major dominance, Bellerive as a major venue, Tiger and Phil as Ryder Cup locks, and who else might be in line to receive Jim Furyk and Thomas Bjorn's remaining captain's picks.

    Finally, Brandel shares what it was it was like to qualify for the Senior Open Championship and compete for a major title on the Old Course at St. Andrews. Listen here: