Roberts on a Roll in Hawaii

By Associated PressJanuary 27, 2006, 5:00 pm
KAHUKU, Hawaii-- Another island, another fantastic round for Loren Roberts.
 
Fresh off a win at the MasterCard Championship on the Big Island, Roberts shot a 6-under 66 on Friday in the first round of the Turtle Bay Championship to take a one-stroke lead over Bruce Summerhays.
 
Five-time defending champion Hale Irwin had trouble finding his groove and carded a 1-over 73 in the Champions Tour's first full-field event of the year. Irwin bogeyed No. 3 and parred the next 15 holes.
 
Irwin is seeking his sixth straight Turtle Bay title but it was Roberts who continued his strong play in Hawaii.
 
'I feel comfortable and I feel good with the way I'm swinging,' Roberts said. 'I'm not having to make a lot of swing thoughts. I'm basically getting up there, seeing the shot and ripping at it.'
 
He sank putt after putt, making the turn at 33 and recording seven birdies, including four in the last seven holes. The 66 was the lowest first-round score on the oceanside Palmer Course.
 
Roberts sank a 22-foot birdie on the 530-yard No. 3 to get his putter going. He took the lead on No. 18 by holing a 3-footer for birdie set up by a nice chip from the fringe.
 
'I hit the ball solid all day,' he said. 'You can't shoot under par when the winds are blowing like this without hitting the ball solidly. That's the whole key to playing in the wind.'
 
He missed just two greens in regulation.
 
Last week, Roberts had a 25-under 191 in ideal conditions at Hualalai course to shatter the Champions Tour record for relation to par in a 54-hole event. He also broke the tour record for birdies in a three-round tournament with 26.
 
'You can't predict how things go, but I did feel really ready to play this year,' said Roberts, who tied for 18th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open. 'My game was in order when I showed up.'
 
Roberts, an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour, joined the 50-and-over tour in July 2005 and finished 16th on the final money list in just six starts.
 
Don Pooley, who lost to Roberts by a stroke at Hualalai, was two strokes off the lead at 68.
 
The field of 78 was challenged by the breezy and damp conditions.
 
'It was really windy and blustery,' said Summerhays, who tied for second in 1997 and tied for third in 2003. 'As a matter of fact, on the last hole I almost got bamboozled out there.'
 
Summerhays, who turns 62 next month, got off to his best start at Turtle Bay. He birdied three of the par-3s, but none of the par-5s.
 
He had a chance to move to 6-under, but three-putted the final hole for par.
 
Summerhays played in front of more than 30 family members, down from 44 that watched him last week at the MasterCard Championship on the Big Island.
 
Japan's Kiyosi Murota making his Champions Tour debut on a sponsors exemption, was at 69 with former Hawaii resident Scott Simpson, Jim Thorpe and Mark Johnson.
 
'I got nervous on my first four or five holes, but then I decided to just enjoy myself and I played pretty good,' said Murota, who birdied three of his final four holes.
 
Simpson, a native of San Diego who lived in nearby Kailua for five years, began the day with an eagle on the par-4 first by holing his approach shot using a 6-iron from 167 yards.
 
He told playing partner Morris Hatalsky: 'There's two ways to look at it: It's a great way to start the year, but it can only go down hill.'
 
The group at 70 included Jerry Pate, Tom McKnight, Raymond Floyd, Ben Crenshaw, Lonnie Nielson, and Jay Haas.
 
Isao Aoki and Tom Watson were another stroke back.
 
Last year, Irwin won at Turtle Bay with a record 16-under 200 to become the first player to win a PGA Tour-sanctioned event five straight times.
 
Divots:
Tom Purtzer withdrew with a sore back and was replaced by Jim Chancey. ... The Palmer Course, built on a marsh, was used by the Army as a landing strip for bombers and housing area during World War II. ... Roberts, Haas, Peter Jacobsen and Craig Stadler opened their season by playing in the Sony Open in Hawaii on the PGA Tour.
 
Related links:
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    Koepka watches as named engraved again on U.S. Open trophy

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 18, 2018, 12:10 am

    For the second consecutive year, Brooks Koepka won the U.S. Open. So, once again he got to watch as his name was forever etched onto the trophy.

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    Masters champ Reed: 'I definitely had a chance'

    By Will GrayJune 17, 2018, 11:55 pm

    SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – Patrick Reed’s Grand Slam bid made it all the way to the closing stretch of the final round at the U.S. Open.

    Reed had never cracked the top 10 in a major championship before a runner-up finish at last year’s PGA Championship, and he followed that with a convincing victory at the Masters in April. In the U.S. Open, despite starting the final round three shots behind a quartet of co-leaders, he made a concerted effort to add a second major title.

    With Shinnecock Hills declawed in response to third-round conditions that bordered on unplayable, Reed birdied each of his first three holes and five of his first seven to move to 1 over and within a shot of Brooks Koepka’s lead. He could get no closer, though, as three bogeys in a four-hole stretch on Nos. 9-12 effectively ended his title bid.

    Reed finished alone in fourth place at 4 over, three shots behind Koepka after closing with a 2-under 68.


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    “Of course, Grand Slam would have been nice. But you know, I mean honestly, to me, that was really the last thing on my mind,” Reed said. “It was go out, play some solid golf, try to post a number and see if you can get the job done. I had a chance. I definitely had a chance.”

    It’s the third top-15 finish at the U.S. Open in the last four years for Reed, who tied for 13th at Chambers Bay and finished T-14 last year at Erin Hills.

    Reed was bidding to erase a nine-shot deficit after 36 holes, which would have been the second-largest comeback in tournament history. He was also looking to join Craig Wood, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth on the short list of players to capture the Masters and U.S. Open in the same year.

    “Of course it’s disappointing,” Reed said. “But at the same time … To finish in the top 10 my last three majors, and to have a chance to really win all three of them and to close one off, it means a lot.”

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    Watching Koepka, Fleetwood knew he was one shot short

    By Will GrayJune 17, 2018, 11:33 pm

    SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – In the end, even a record-tying performance wasn’t enough for Tommy Fleetwood at the U.S. Open.

    Fleetwood started the final round at Shinnecock Hills six shots off the pace, but he quickly moved up the board with a run of four birdies over his first seven holes. He added four more in a row on Nos. 12-15, and he had a 9-footer for birdie on No. 18 to become the first player to ever shoot a 62 in the U.S. Open.

    He missed, and that proved to be the difference – for both the record and the tournament.

    Fleetwood waited around in player hospitality for the next three hours while the leaders finished, alternating between watching the golf (with sandwich in hand) and playing with his newborn son, Frankie. He was on the chipping green when Brooks Koepka completed play at 1-over 281, successfully defending his title and finishing one shot ahead of Fleetwood.

    “Brooks kept giving me like a little bit of hope, and then he’d hole a putt just to stab you in the stomach a little bit,” Fleetwood said. “I always just had that feeling that I was one shy, so I never really got massively, massively excited.”


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    This was the first year the U.S. Open would have gone to a two-hole, aggregate playoff, so Fleetwood needed to stay loose for a possible overtime that in previous years would have instead been an 18-hole playoff on Monday. He emerged from the locker room and headed to the range to warm up after Koepka birdied No. 16 to take a two-shot lead with two holes to play.

    “I just thought, 'I should really go up, because you never know,'” Fleetwood said. “I mean, the worst thing that could happen is if something did happen and I wasn’t really ready, so it’s better warming up with that intention.”

    The solo runner-up is a career-best major finish for Fleetwood, who also finished fourth last year at Erin Hills. He now shares a piece of tournament history, becoming just the sixth player to shoot a 63, joining a list that includes Jack Nicklaus, Tom Weiskopf, Johnny Miller, Vijay Singh and Justin Thomas.

    And after torching a demanding layout to the tune of eight birdies, he insisted he won’t dwell much on the final putt that got away – even though Koepka’s closing bogey meant that it ultimately made the difference.

    “The putt on 18, I actually wanted more for the 62 at the time, and then it became a thing for the tournament,” Fleetwood said. “Obviously, that’s the putt that will play on your mind because that was the last shot you hit and that was your chance. But I missed some putts in the week, and I made some putts. I think everybody did. And your score is your score. And for me, just getting that close to winning a major again, I think that is the ultimate thing I’ll take from it.”

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    DJ and more congratulate Koepka on social media

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 17, 2018, 11:31 pm

    Brooks Koepka won his second consecutive U.S. Open title at Shinnecock Hills. Dustin Johnson, his friend and playing competitor on Sunday, was quick to congratulate Koepka. And he wasn't alone.