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Qualifier McKenzie shares Bear Mountain lead

By Associated PressSeptember 17, 2017, 1:54 am

VICTORIA, British Columbia - David McKenzie birdied the final six even-numbered holes for a 7-under 64 and a share of the lead with Jerry Smith on Saturday in the PGA Tour Champions' Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship.

McKenzie, the 50-year-old Australian who Tuesday qualified to get in the field, began the unique run on the par-4 eighth and added birdies on Nos. 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 to match Smith at 12-under 130 on Bear Mountain's Mountain Course.

''I'm just trying to stand upright and play golf,'' McKenzie said. ''If I play well, it's good. If I play bad, I'm unhappy, but it's not the end of the world. That's probably been the biggest thing.''

Making his third senior start after turning 50 on July 26, McKenzie is trying to become the first qualifier to win since Willie Wood in the 2012 Dick's Sporting Goods Open.

''It would be nice, but my thoughts at the moment are just to keep playing,'' McKenzie said. ''I've got a qualifier on Tuesday if I don't win or don't finish in the top 10 here, so I'll plan for the worst and hope for the best.''

McKenzie tied for second last month in the regular European Tour's Fiji International.

Smith, tied for the first-round lead with Steve Flesch, followed his opening 64 with a 66. Smith opened with an eagle on the par-5 first.

''If you hit good shots out there, you get rewarded and you get opportunities to make birdies,'' Smith said. ''If you don't, you're really having to work to save pars.''

He won the 2015 Encompass Championship for his lone tour title.

''I'm glad to be where I am,'' Smith said. ''Last group is always good. I've been there a few times this year. I've had one good Sunday, one not so good, so maybe third time's a charm. It'll be tough, it's going to be a battle out there.''

Jerry Kelly was a stroke back after a 66. Kelly won the Boeing Classic three weeks ago outside Seattle for his first tour victory.

Lee Janzen was 10 under after a 64, and Doug Garwood was another shot behind after a 67.

Flesch had a 70 to drop into a tie for sixth at 8 under.

Charles Schwab Cup points leader Bernhard Langer also was 8 under after a 69. Coming off a two-week break, the 60-year-old German star won three of the tour's five majors and is tied with Scott McCarron for tour victory lead with four.

John Daly, a stroke back after an opening 65, had two triple bogeys in a 79 to tumble into a tie for 60th at 2 over.

McCarron was 6 under after a 65. He lost a playoff to Colin Montgomerie last year at Bear Mountain, and tied for second last week in Japan after winning three of the previous six events.

Montgomerie had a 68 to get to 4 under.

Nick Faldo was 1 under after a 68.

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Ryu wins Meijer Classic by 2 shots

By Associated PressJune 17, 2018, 9:46 pm

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - So Yeon Ryu won the Meijer LPGA Classic on Sunday for her first victory of the season and sixth overall, closing with a 5-under 67 for a two-stroke margin.

The 29-year-old South Korean player birdied the par-5 16th and par-4 17th and parred the par-4 18th to finish at 21-under 267 at Blythefield Country Club.

Two strokes behind Anna Nordqvist and Lee-Anne Pace entering the round, Ryu had six birdies and a bogey in the final round.


Full-field scores from the Meijer LPGA Classic


Caroline Masson was second after a 68. Lydia Ko shot a 67 to finish third at 18 under.

Nordqvist and Pace each shot 73 - after each had a 64 on Saturday - to tie for fourth at 17 under with Jacqui Concolino (66), Azahara Munoz (68) and Angela Stanford (70).

U.S. Women's Open winner Ariya Jutanugarn shot a tournament-record 62. She birdied five of the first seven holes, eagled No. 8 and added three more birdies to finish 12th at 15 under.

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Fleetwood fires 63, waits to see if score is enough

By Rex HoggardJune 17, 2018, 8:52 pm

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – Tommy Fleetwood became the sixth player to shoot 63 at the U.S. Open, and just the second to do it in the final round. Now he waits.

Fleetwood teed off almost 2 ½ hours before – and six strokes behind – the leaders at Shinnecock Hills on Sunday, but stormed into the hunt thanks to four consecutive birdies starting at the 12th hole. The Englishman’s round was even more impressive considering he didn’t birdie either of the layout’s par 5s.


U.S. Open: Scores | Live blog | Full coverage


Fleetwood finished at 2 over par – after missing a 9-foot putt for birdie and 62 at the 18th – which was tied for second place and one stroke off the lead held by Brooks Koepka when he completed his round.

After speaking with the media, Fleetwood went to the locker room to await a possible playoff, which was changed this year from an 18-hole overtime to just two holes of aggregate play.

“We'll go and relax a little bit and just see,” said Fleetwood, who rolled in 159 feet of birdies putts. “Only time will tell what's going to happen today at the course. If it was like yesterday, I'd feel a little more comfortable than now.”

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Fowler follows 84 with 65, praises Shinnecock setup

By Rex HoggardJune 17, 2018, 5:44 pm

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – As promised, the USGA dialed back Shinnecock Hills for Sunday’s final round, watering the greens overnight and deferring to more user-friendly hole locations.

The evidence of this was on the leaderboard, with four early finishers having shot under-par rounds, including Rickie Fowler, who closed with a round-of-the-week 65. There were just three under-par cards on Saturday.

“That's the golf course I enjoy playing. Obviously, pin placements were a lot safer,” said Fowler, who had just one bogey on Sunday and opened his day with a 4-under 31 on his opening nine. “The pins today will definitely allow for the greens to firm up and get fast, and we'll see how much they dry out. It was definitely more receptive this morning than yesterday, that's for sure.”


U.S. Open: Scores | Live blog | Full coverage


It was a 19-stroke turnaround for Fowler, who ballooned to a third-round 84 on Day 3 during what most contend were the week’s toughest conditions. Fowler had put himself into contention going into the weekend thanks to a second-round 69, but struggled on Saturday afternoon like much of the field.

Fowler said the setup was vastly different to what players faced on Saturday and that even if the winds increase for the afternoon tee times the course will remain playable, unlike Round 3 when many players said the USGA “lost” the golf course.

“They did a good job of staying safe,” Fowler said, “because if it does dry out, it will still be very playable.”

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Phil celebrates par on 13, ducks media after round

By Ryan LavnerJune 17, 2018, 5:35 pm

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – Phil Mickelson didn’t have another meltdown at the U.S. Open.

Back on the 13th green Sunday – less than 24 hours after taking a two-shot penalty for hitting a moving ball and recording a sextuple-bogey 10 – Mickelson poured in a 10-footer and raised his arms in mock triumph, as if he’d finally won that elusive major title.

Not quite.

He’d simply made par.

“It looked like he won the Masters,” said playing partner Rickie Fowler. “He didn’t jump, but he had a little celebration there.”


U.S. Open: Scores | Live blog | Full coverage


The par save and the final-round 69 were one of the lone bright spots during what was an adventurous week for Lefty, even by his unpredictable standards. Mickelson’s shocking swat was still the talk of this Open, especially after USGA executive director Mike Davis revealed Saturday night that Mickelson had called him to ask for more clarification on the rule he said that he knew he’d broken.

Despite some calls for him to withdraw from the tournament, Mickelson displayed his usual cheerful demeanor inside the ropes with Fowler.

“He joked about it right as we went down the first hole,” Fowler said.

Fowler said that he didn’t know “if I would have had the wits like Phil to run after it” on 13, but added that it never should have come to that in the first place.

“He could have saved himself a shot by just letting it go and taking unplayable, but then that would still look pretty funny too,” he said. “The course shouldn’t play that way.”

If you’re wondering whether Mickelson would be defiant or contrite on Sunday, we don’t know the answer. He declined to stop and speak with the media, deciding instead to sign autographs for more than a half hour and then offering a few short answers before ducking into player hospitality.

“The real question is, ‘What am I going to do next?’” he said. “I don’t know.”