Rain jackets fail US doesnt

By Associated PressOctober 2, 2010, 1:58 am

Ryder Cup

NEWPORT, Wales – The Sir Terry river was flowing wildly down the hill toward the 18th green, as thousands of fans trudged toward home through the muck of a golf course that was never supposed to flood. Taking advantage of a badly needed break, U.S. Ryder Cup players huddled in their team room, presumably trying to figure out why an event that earns so many millions couldn’t afford to give them rain jackets that didn’t leak.

At least the jackets offered a convenient excuse. Better to blame the equipment for what was starting to shape up as a European rout than face the reality that, just a few holes into the Ryder Cup, the Americans were already a team in desperate disarray.

The day before their captain had forgotten Stewart Cink was even there. On this miserable day, it seemed like most of the team had forgotten how to play.

Their shots were as ugly as their leaky rain jackets, which looked as if they might have been leftovers from the U.S. track team in the 1960 Olympics. Tiger Woods seemed so embarrassed to be seen in his that he took it off before embarrassing himself anyway by taking four shots to reach the first green.

If the fairways that billionaire owner Sir Terry Matthews said could never flood hadn’t flooded, the Americans would have been finished before afternoon tea. But even billionaires can mess up a sure thing, and for that the Americans should buy the Celtic Manor founder a pint.

Matthews boasted earlier that the course could take a month’s worth of rain and drain in 10 minutes. It got a week’s worth, and it took seven hours and 18 minutes.

The delay did more than just give the fairways a chance to dry out. It gave the Americans perhaps the only chance they had to regroup.

New jackets. New swings. New hope.

And new appreciation, perhaps, for a team that suddenly doesn’t seem like such an underdog.

“We all made good comebacks, I thought,” Steve Stricker said. “We all kind of rallied a little bit, and they are going to be tight and close.”

None of it translated into any points, but those will come soon enough. Sometime Saturday morning is the best guess, when the four opening better ball matches should finish in a Ryder Cup that organizers will try to compress into two long and wet days.

The relentless rain forced officials to combine formats and send off every player in the remaining three rounds, hoping against hope that the new front coming in Sunday won’t dump so much more rain on the course that the Sir Terry river starts churning again. Not everyone—the weatherman in particular—is convinced the new plan will work. If it doesn’t, the Ryder Cup will go to a Monday for the first time.

Either way, the most carefully laid plans of both team captains can be tossed away. They can’t rest anyone now, can’t sit a bad player and can’t make some of the pairings they might like to make.

Captains Colin Montgomerie and Corey Pavin agreed to the changes; then again, they didn’t have much choice. They work for the people running the Ryder Cup, the same people who refused to give any of the many thousands of fans who left early refunds on their $160 tickets.

“I’m pleased that the solution was thought of by very smart people, other than myself, because I’m not a smart person,” Pavin said.

On that, Pavin might have gotten some agreement before his players rallied to take leads in two of four matches and tie a third. Though Pavin always comes off as dull to the colorful Montgomerie, he was under fire even before play began for forgetting to introduce Cink at the opening ceremony and for pairings some thought were questionable.

He looked a lot better as darkness halted play, largely because the conditions had changed and the Americans found the lack of wind and soft greens to their liking. Cink made five birdies in 11 holes, Woods and Phil Mickelson began showing some signs of life, and the surprise pairing of rookies Bubba Watson and Jeff Overton also played solid.

If play hadn’t resumed Friday, the Americans would have faced a long night wondering what else could go wrong. They might have gone to bed haunted by the sight of fans carrying around life-sized cardboard replicas of Monty holding the Ryder Cup.

Now, the swagger is back. It’s anyone’s cup.

Assuming the Sir Terry doesn’t overflow again, the game is back on.

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Four top finishers in Japan qualify for The Open

By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 10:19 am

IBARAKI, Japan – Shota Akiyoshi of Japan shot a 2-under-par 70 on Sunday to win the Mizuno Open and qualify for The 147th Open.

Akiyoshi offset three bogeys with five birdies at the Royal Golf Club in Ibaraki, Japan, to finish 1 under overall and secure his first ever tournament win on the Japan Golf Tour.

Michael Hendry of New Zealand and Japanese golfers Masahiro Kawamura and Masanori Kobayashi were tied for second one stroke off the pace to also qualify for The Open at Carnoustie, Scotland, from July 19-22.

Hendry, who led the tournament coming into the final round, came close to forcing a playoff with Akiyoshi but dropped a shot with a bogey on the final hole when he needed a par to draw level.

Hendry will make his second appearance at The Open after qualifying at the Mizuno Open for the second year in a row.

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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.

Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship

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 LPGA.com 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 LPGA.com 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.

Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

"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

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

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."