Pettersson takes lead with record round

By Associated PressAugust 15, 2008, 4:00 pm
Wydham ChampionshipGREENSBORO, N.C. ' Carl Pettersson supported moving the Wyndham Championship to Sedgefield Country Club. After a performance like this, its easy to see why.
 
The local favorite produced the latest record-breaking round at Sedgefield, shooting a tournament-record 61 on Friday to match the PGA TOUR's 36-hole mark at 15-under 125.
 
Carl Pettersson
Carl Pettersson reacts after making a putt in Round 2. (Getty Images)
He had a three-stroke lead over Garrett Willis (64). Scott McCarron (64) was four strokes back, and Kevin Streelman (64) was another shot behind. Jerry Kelly (65), Bob Sowards (66) and Tim Clark (67) were 9 under.
 
But clearly, the day belonged to Pettersson, a Swede who went to high school in Greensboro, played collegiately at North Carolina State and serves on the tournaments board of directors.
 
This is like his retirement fund, defending champion Brandt Snedeker said. He plays good here every year.
 
A year ago, while speaking at the Wyndhams previous home, Pettersson voiced his support for the then-rumored switch to Sedgefield. He played the Donald Ross course for the first time in November, shortly before the move was made official.
 
Then, he began this years tournament with a 64 and admitted afterward that he was a bit edgy starting out because this is a home game for me.
 
This time around, those jitters were long gone.
 
The courses (on the PGA TOUR) have been set up hard, so its a nice change to be really aggressive, and (Sedgefield) kind of suits my style, Pettersson said. I try to play really aggressive all the time, and so far its paid off great.
 
In matching the lowest single-round score on the PGA TOUR this year, he shot a 30 through his opening nine holes. Six of his 11 birdies came on the front nine, and he set the tone with birdies on first three holes.
 
As soon as I did that, my mind kind of set in and played nice all day, Pettersson said.
 
By the time Pettersson reached the par-5 15th, he confessed to catching himself daydreaming about shooting a 59 ' and then promptly bogeyed the easiest hole on the course, sending his third shot into a greenside bunker.
 
He quickly recovered, sinking a 40-foot putt on the 16th for the first of two straight birdies. He had a chance to make it three in a row on the courses most difficult hole ' the 507-yard, par-4 18th ' but rolled his birdie putt a foot to the right of the hole, tapped in for par and tipped his visor to the vocal hometown crowd.
 
I was glad Carl ran out of holes, Willis said. Every time I made a birdie, it seemed like he made one, too.
 
That remarkable round put him in position to contend for his third career PGA TOUR victory and first since the 2006 Memorial.
 
He eclipsed the Wyndhams previous low of 62 ' a mark shared by four players, most recently Charles Warren in 2005 ' and shattered the course record of 63 that was matched a day earlier by first-round leaders Bob Heintz and Martin Laird.
 
This course, you can make a lot of birdies, but its quite easy to have a few bogeys in there, too, Pettersson said. I kind of knew at the beginning of the week, I thought it was going to be a low-scoring week, just because you have a lot of wedges, 8-irons, 9-irons into par 4s.
 
Petterssons two-round score equaled the tour record shared by Tiger Woods, Mark Calcavecchia, Tom Lehman and Corey Pavin, and his 18-hole score matched the 61 recorded six months ago by Roland Thatcher during the third round of the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Cancun.
 
The first-round leaders, facing the hard, dried-out greens that accompanied their afternoon tee times, quickly fell off the pace. Heintz wound up 10 strokes off the lead after his 72, and Laird was two strokes behind him after his 74 dropped him to the cut line of 137.
 
Among the players who entered on the FedExCup bubble but ultimately wound up missing the cut were No. 140 Tag Ridings (138), No. 141 Todd Hamilton (141), No. 143 Brett Rumford (143) and No. 146 Craig Kanada (144).
 
Vijay Singh ' who at No. 5 in the world was the highest-ranked player in the field ' bogeyed three of the final six holes of his 72 to finish at 141 and miss the cut for the second straight week, just the fifth time in his career that has happened. John Daly, who was at 137, made his first cut since February.
 
Play was delayed late in the day for 1 hour, 11 minutes because of rain.
 
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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.”