Paul Casey Geoff Ogilvy and John Senden share Houston lead

By Associated PressApril 3, 2009, 4:00 pm
2007 Shell Houston OpenHUMBLE, Texas ' Paul Casey shot a 2-under 70 on Friday for a share of the lead with Geoff Ogilvy and John Senden at 8 under during the suspended second round of the Shell Houston Open.
 
Casey was one of only five players to complete two rounds Friday after high wind suspended play Thursday afternoon. The horns sounded at 7:43 p.m. Friday with 65 players on the course and 72 others scheduled to start their second rounds Saturday morning.
 
I didnt think wed get done, Casey said, but we did. That was great.
 
Geoff Ogilvy
Geoff Ogilvy is in contention for his third win of the season. (Getty Images)
Ogilvy, the Australian star who won the season-opening Mercedes-Benz and the Accenture Match Play, played 14 holes in the second round, while Senden played 10.
 
Ogilvy opened with a 67, then birdied seven of the first nine holes of his second round. He had a double bogey on the par-4 second and a bogey at the fourth.
 
Ogilvy and Casey were two of the 72 players who had their first-round tee times pushed back to Friday. Casey shot a 6-under 66 in his first round, then raced the sun to finish a second-round 70. After two-putting for par on No. 17, he ran to the 18th tee and smacked a 318-yard drive into the fairway just before the round was officially suspended, allowing him to finish the hole Friday.
 
I figured it was worth it, Casey said. Theres something to be said about saving energy. Its turning into a long week. If I had to get up early (Saturday), that could have been very detrimental. I took a chance, ran for the tee.
 
Bo Van Pelt (67) was 7 under along with Jonathan Byrd, Henrik Stenson, Tommy Armour III and former SMU player Colt Knost. Bryd played 16 holes in the second round, Stenson 13, Armour 11 and Knost eight.
 
Senden, Nicholas Thompson and Briny Baird shared the first-round lead at 7 under.
 
Playing the back nine first, Ogilvy began his surge with a 13-foot birdie putt on the par-4 11th and then hit approaches inside 10 feet on the next three holes to take the outright lead. He drove into the trees and bogeyed the par-5 15th, then holed a bunker shot on the par-3 16th before birdies on 17 and 18, two long par-4s.
 
His 6-under 30 on his the nine was one shot shy of a tournament record.
 
Casey shot an opening 66, then birdied four of his first 11 holes in his second round. The Englishman bogeyed both par 3s on the back nine to slip to 8 under.
 
Ogilvy and Casey are two of the 15 top-20 players here this week to tune up for the Masters next week. The Tournament Course at Redstone was set up to simulate Augusta, with fast greens and light rough. But soft greens and ideal conditions Friday yielded 67 scores under par in the first round.
 
Fred Couples and Justin Leonard posted early 68s. James Nitties took the lead briefly with a 66, the best score among the 72 players forced to halt their rounds on Thursday.
 
Phil Mickelson didnt deal with the interruption nearly as well, stumbling to a 77.
 
Meanwhile, the players who started their first rounds Friday hardly got a break before starting their second 18s.
 
Thompson had eight birdies and a bogey on Friday, his best round in 11 starts this year. He walked off No. 18, stopped for a quick interview, then raced to a a waiting cart to head to No. 10 for the start his second round.
 
Baird, playing in the group behind Thompson, didnt even stop for reporters, grabbing a sandwich from a cooler before another cart whisked him off to the 10th tee. Baird moved to 9 under early in the second round, but he was back at 6 under when play was halted.
 
Casey didnt mind hurrying.
 
Its a bit like college golf ' heres your lunch and keep on going, the former Arizona State star said. I honestly expected us to have maybe a short little break, maybe 20 minutes to compose ourselves or do whatever we needed to do. We werent allowed that, we had to keep going. But hindsight, Im glad we did.
 
The comfortable weather drew big crowds Friday and they got an early morning treat when fan favorite Couples birdied four of his first seven holes. He three-putted No. 6, but still wound up with his fourth straight sub-70 round at Redstone.
 
I like the course, said Couples, who played at the University of Houston. A lot of it is shaping it, and the way your eye looks at it.
 
Divots:Defending champion Johnson Wagner, who has missed six cuts in 10 starts this year, shot a 2-under 70 in the first round. Theres nothing about this place I dont like, Wagner said. There are a lot of birdies out there, and I know where they are. Chris Couch withdrew after three holes Friday because of a shoulder injury. Dean Wilson also pulled out Friday, citing a sore back. Greg Norman, making a rare appearance on the regular tour to prepare for the Masters, had two birdies Friday to finish a 71. Former President George H.W. Bush and wife Barbara rode around the course on a cart, waving to fans and watching the tournament. The Bushes live in Houston.
 
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    Watch: Tiger 'drops mic' in long drive contest

    By Golf Channel DigitalMay 20, 2018, 12:44 am

    Tiger Woods is in Las Vegas this weekend for the 20th annual Tiger Jam charity event that benefits his foundation.

    During the tournament on Saturday afternoon, Woods challenged World Long Drive competitor Troy Mullins to a long drive contest.

     

    A post shared by TROY MULLINS (@trojangoddess) on May 19, 2018 at 1:25pm PDT

    Safe to say it looks like Tiger won.

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    Sunday showdown for Wise, Leishman at Nelson

    By Will GrayMay 19, 2018, 11:40 pm

    DALLAS – While the swirling Texas winds may still have their say, the AT&T Byron Nelson is shaping up to be a two-horse race.

    With a four-shot gulf between them and their closest pursuers, co-leaders Marc Leishman and Aaron Wise both stepped up to the microphone and insisted the tournament was far from over. That it wouldn’t revert to a match-play situation, even though the two men didn’t face much pressure from the pack down the stretch of the third round and have clearly distanced themselves as the best in the field through 54 holes.

    But outside of an outlier scenario or a rogue tornado sweeping across Trinity Forest Golf Club, one of the two will leave with trophy in hand tomorrow night.

    That’s in part because of their stellar play to this point, but it’s also a byproduct of the tournament’s new and unconventional layout: at Trinity Forest, big numbers are hard to find.

    Even with the winds picking up during the third round and providing the sternest challenge yet, the field combined for only 16 scores of double bogey, and nothing worse than that.


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    There’s irony in a course called Trinity Forest offering a tree-less test, sure, but there are also no water hazards in play here. For the most part, players have been maxing out with bogey – and Leishman and Wise have combined for only six of those so far this week.

    If someone from the chase pack is going to catch them, the two sharing the pole position aren’t going to do them any favors.

    “I don’t really want to give them a chance,” Leishman said. “I’d love to go out and shoot a low one and make Aaron have to shoot a good score tomorrow to beat me, which, I fully expect him to shoot a good score.”

    While Leishman has been somewhat of a late bloomer on the PGA Tour, with only one win across his first eight seasons, he now has a golden opportunity to add a third trophy in the last 14 months. He has felt right at home on a sprawling layout that reminds him of a few back in his native Australia, and he’s part of a Down Under invasion on a leaderboard that also includes Matt Jones (-13) and Adam Scott (-9).

    While Wise briefly held sole possession of the lead, Leishman has seemingly held an iron grip on the top spot since opening his week with a blistering 61.

    “Before last year, I was a pretty slow starter. I always got off to a slow start Thursday, or I’d be fighting to make the cut and have a good weekend to slide into the top 10,” Leishman said. “Getting into that round straight away on the first tee rather than the ninth green or something, which sounds like a really basic thing, but it’s something I didn’t do very well until last year.”

    But as Leishman acknowledged, he likely can’t count on a stumble from Wise to help finish off a wire-to-wire victory. As the youngest player to make the cut this week, Wise is facing a challenge of taking down a top-ranked Aussie for the second time in as many starts.

    While he came up short at the Wells Fargo Championship, tying for second behind Jason Day, he remains supremely confident that he can put those hard-earned lessons to use this time around.

    “I feel like it’s a great opportunity,” Wise said. “It will obviously be a huge day for me. I feel like having one go at it already, I’m a little more confident going into it this time.”

    Even among the landscape of the Tour’s promising next wave, Wise stands out as a particularly young gun. Still only 21, he could feasibly be heading to Karsten Creek next week with his Oregon Duck teammates to close out his senior season with another NCAA championship appearance.

    But Wise turned pro after winning the NCAA individual title as a sophomore, and he steadily worked his way through the professional ranks: first a win on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada, then one last summer on the Web.com Tour.

    Now he’s poised to turn what he described as a “lackluster” season before his Quail Hollow runner-up into one that defies even his own expectations.

    “Absolutely, I am way ahead of the curve. It’s pretty hard to do what I’ve done at such a young age. Only a few have done it,” Wise said. “I feel like I’m getting some great experience for a kid this young. It’s only going to serve me well down the road.”

    An unpredictable Coore-Crenshaw layout will have one more day to star, and outside of Wise the top six names on the leaderboard have at least one Tour win to their credit. But after the two men traded punches on a firm and fast afternoon, it sure feels like the final round is shaping up to offer more of the same.

    For Leishman, it’s a chance to add another notch to some quickly expanding credentials; for Wise, it’s an opportunity to win on the one level he has yet to do so.

    “It’s golf, at the end of the day. If you play better than everyone else, you’re going to win,” Wise said. “That’s why I play it. That’s why I love this sport, and tomorrow is nothing different.”

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    5 thoughts from NCAA Women's Championship Day 2

    By Ryan LavnerMay 19, 2018, 11:35 pm

    The field is almost halfway through stroke-play qualifying at the NCAA Women’s Championship. Here are some thoughts on the first two days at Karsten Creek:

    1. UCLA is on a mission. Just a year ago, the Bruins were headed home from regionals after becoming the first No. 1 seed that failed to advance out of the qualifying tournament. This year, with the core of the team still mostly intact, the Bruins have opened up a five-shot lead on top-ranked Alabama and a comfortable 16-shot cushion over Southern Cal in third place. On one of the most difficult college courses in the country, UCLA has received contributions from all four of its usual counters – standout Lilia Vu shot 68 on Saturday, while Mariel Galdiano posted a 69. Freshman Patty Tavatanakit and junior Bethany Wu also broke par. This is a strong, deep lineup that will pose issues for teams not just in stroke-play qualifying, but also the head-to-head, match-play bracket.

    2. What happened to Arkansas? Riding high off their first SEC Championship and a dominant regional performance, the Razorbacks were considered one of the top threats to win the national title. But entering Sunday’s third round of stroke play, they need to hold it together just to ensure they make the top-15 cut. Arkansas is 32 over par through two rounds. The Razorbacks had shot in the 300s just once this season in the play-five, count-four format. Here at Karsten Creek, they’ve now done so in consecutive rounds.


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    3. The Player of the Year race is heating up. With a decent showing at nationals, Arkansas’ Maria Fassi should have been able to wrap up the Annika Award, given annually to the top player in the country. She has six individual titles, plays a difficult schedule and is well-liked among her peers. But through two rounds she’s a whopping 15 over par while spraying it all over the map. If the Razorbacks don’t survive the 54-hole cut, neither will Fassi. That’d open the door for another player to steal the votes, whether it’s UCLA’s Vu or Wake Forest’s Jennifer Kupcho. There’s a lot still to be decided.

    4. Stanford has steadied itself. One of the biggest surprises on Day 1 was the horrendous start by the Cardinal, one of just two teams to advance to match play each of the three years it’s been used to determine a national champion. They were 19 over for their first nine holes Friday, but instead of a blowup round that cost them a shot at the title, they’ve found a way to hang tough. Stanford has been just 4 over par over its last 27 holes. Andrea Lee made only one bogey during her second-round 69, Albane Valenzuela eagled the 18th hole for a 73 and senior leader Shannon Aubert – who has been a part of each postseason push – carded a 74. And so, even with its early struggles, coach Anne Walker once again has Stanford in position to reach match play.

    5. Karsten Creek is identifying the best teams. The top teams in the country want a difficult host venue for NCAAs – it helps separate the field and draws an unmistakable line between the contenders and pretenders. Only one team (UCLA) is under par after 36 holes. Fewer than a dozen players are under par individually. The dearth of low scores might not be the greatest advertisement for how talented these players are, but the cream has still risen to the top so far: Five top-10 teams currently sit inside the top 7 on the leaderboard (and that doesn’t even include last year’s NCAA runner-up Northwestern). This is all any coach wants, even if the scores aren’t pretty.

    Quick hits: Cheyenne Knight, part of Alabama’s vaunted 1-2-3 punch along with Lauren Stephenson and Kristen Gillman, shot rounds of 70-69 to figure in the mix for individual honors. The junior will turn pro after nationals. …  Arizona’s Bianca Pagdanganan made a hole-in-one on the 11th hole Saturday en route to a 68 that tied the low round of the day. She’s at 5-under 139, same as Knight. ... Defending champion Arizona State, which lost star Linnea Strom to the pro ranks at the halfway point of the season, is 35 over par after two rounds. … Play was delayed for nearly an hour and a half Saturday because of inclement weather.

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    Wise (21) makes Leishman (34) feel a little old

    By Will GrayMay 19, 2018, 10:55 pm

    DALLAS – With the final round of the AT&T Byron Nelson likely to take on a match-play feel, Marc Leishman likes his chances to close out another win – even if his opponent makes him feel a little old.

    Leishman, 34, shares the lead at Trinity Forest Golf Club with 21-year-old Aaron Wise, who was the youngest player to make the cut at the tournament’s new venue. The two men will start the final round at 17 under, four shots clear of their next-closest pursuers.

    Leishman played the third round alongside Wise and Brian Gay, and he originally didn’t realize just how fresh-faced his fellow co-leader is.


    Full-field scores from the AT&T Byron Nelson

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    “He’s a solid player for, I heard this morning he’s only 21. I didn’t realize that,” Leishman said. “I guess I was in high school before he was born, so that’s – I don’t know. You hear guys talk about that all the time but I’ve never said that, I think. Yeah, he’s a good player.”

    Wise won the 2016 NCAA individual title while at Oregon, and he opted to turn pro after his sophomore season. While he could have been capping his senior season with a return to the NCAAs next week, Wise is pleased with the career choice and remains eager for a chance to close out his first career PGA Tour win against a seasoned veteran.

    “I feel like I’m in a great spot for tomorrow,” Wise said. “I feel like I’m getting some great experience for a kid this young. It’s only going to serve me well down the road.”