Roberts Sole Leader at Sr Players Champ

By Associated PressOctober 5, 2007, 4:00 pm
Champions TourBALTIMORE, Maryland -- Loren Roberts capped a bogey-free 66 with a 2-foot birdie putt on the troublesome 18th hole, an appropriate finish to a steady round Friday that gave him a two-shot lead over Scott Hoch at the midpoint of the Senior Players Championship.
 
Roberts made four birdies for a 7-under 133 after 36 holes. Hoch shot a 68 and was alone in second place in the Champion Tour's final major tournament of the year.
 
David Eger shot a 67 for a 136, tied with Des Smyth, who completed his 66 with a bogey on 18.
 
Roberts began the day in a five-way tie atop the leaderboard. He saved par on the 427-yard first hole, blasting out of the left bunker to within 10 feet of the hole before sinking the putt.
 
'I think that settled me down or spurred me on or something, because I really played solid the rest of the day,' he said.
 
Roberts made birdie putts ranging from 4 to 12 feet on Nos. 5, 6 and 15. His best shot of the day came on the 496-yard par-4 18th, when he hit a 3-iron from 208 yards to within 2 feet of the pin before tapping in.
 
Only one player birdied the 18th hole during the first round; Roberts and Hoch were among five who did it Friday.
 
'It's a tough hole. It's surprising, and it feels good to do it,' Hoch said.
 
Roberts' final birdie provided him with a bit of separation from the rest of the field, although he wasn't ready to begin celebrating.
 
'Halfway through it doesn't matter. I think the only time it matters is when you make that turn on Sunday and you're on the 10th hole,' he said.
 
Roberts' birdie on 18 was a product of his approach; Hoch made his by sinking a twisting putt of 26 feet, 7 inches.
 
'When it got about two feet from the hole I thought, man, here's another one I'm going to leave just short,' Hoch said.
 
Playing under cloudy skies, Hoch repeatedly left his putts short of the hole. He blamed the shortcoming on the heavy greens.
 
'I guess it's because there's a little moisture in the air and the sun has not come out to dry them out like yesterday afternoon,' he said. 'Today I just couldn't quite get it to the hole, but I hit enough good shots and recovered from the not-so-good shots to still have a good round.'
 
Hoch's only bogey was on No. 3, when his drive hit the top of the bunker and rolled down. He rebounded with a birdie on No. 4, sank a 15-foot birdie putt on No. 7 and parred the next 10 holes before going out with a flourish with a wicked putt on the 18th.
 
'On the hole before I had about the same putt, maybe 5 feet farther,' Hoch said. 'It just died short of the hole dead in the middle.'
 
Seven golfers were at 137, including first-round co-leader Mark Wiebe, Fred Funk and Tom Watson, who stumbled with a double-bogey on the par-4 16th hole.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes
     
    Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • Getty Images

    Garcia (73), Fleetwood (74) off to slow starts at BMW

    By Associated PressJune 21, 2018, 8:30 pm

    PULHEIM, Germany – Sebastien Gros carded a 4-under 68 in windy conditions to lead by one shot after the opening round of the BMW International Open on Thursday.

    The Frenchman had four birdies to take the lead before the turn, and a six-footer on the 15th hole moved him two ahead. But a bogey on the next hole left the 28-year-old Gros just one ahead of Jorge Campillo, Scott Jamieson, Aaron Rai and Henric Sturehed.

    Sturehed eagled the par-5 No. 13 to take the lead in the morning at the Gut Laerchenhof club.

    Christofer Blomstrand, Nico Geyger, Mark Tullo, Victor Perez, David Howell and Nicolai von Dellingshausen are a further stroke back on 2-under 70.

    Defending champion Andres Romero was among a large group at 1 under, including 2013 winner Ernie Els and three-time European Tour winner Andy Sullivan.

    Romero is bidding to be the first player to retain the title.

    Local favorite and 2008 champion Martin Kaymer shot 72, ahead of Sergio Garcia (73) and Tommy Fleetwood (74).

    Getty Images

    Ryu thriving again after simple advice from Inbee Park

    By Randall MellJune 21, 2018, 7:07 pm

    So Yeon Ryu shared Rolex Player of the Year honors last year.

    She reigned as world No. 1 for almost five months.

    So when she couldn’t keep her momentum going at year’s start, she got frustrated. She wasn’t happy with two top 10s in her first 11 starts.

    “I lost a lot of confidence at the beginning of the year,” Ryu said Thursday as she prepared to lead a strong field as the defending champion in Friday’s start of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. “My expectation level was way too high.”

    So she sought the counsel of her pal, world No. 1 Inbee Park, who gave her some plain-spoken advice.


    Full-field scores from the Walmart Arkansas Championship


    “Get over it,” Park told her. “You know what to do. You’ve done it, so it’s not really a big deal. Don’t worry about it. You were No. 1. You’ve achieved a lot of things as a professional golfer. Just don’t be too hard on yourself.”

    Ryu got over it winning the Meijer LPGA Classic last week, the sixth LPGA title of her career, her third in 15 months. She’s feeling good again leading a stellar field this week at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Ark., a strong tune up before next week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the year’s third major championship.

    World No. 1 Park, No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn and No. 3 Lexi Thompson are among the top nine players in the world scheduled to compete this week. Twenty-four of the top 30 are in the field.

    “When you come to defend your title, you obviously have a lot of pressure, but after I won last week, now I sort of think, maybe I have a chance to defend my title,” Ryu said. “So I've got total confidence, by last week.”

    Getty Images

    Watch: Spieth, JT hole bunker shots in back-to-back groups

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 21, 2018, 6:57 pm

    Jordan Spieth has a thing for holing bunker shots at the Travelers Championship, where he made one in a playoff to win last year.

    He did it again in Round 1 at TPC River Highlands, knocking in this shot for eagle at the par-5 sixth to reach 4 under par for the tournament



    In the next group, Justin Thomas did the same thing to reach 1 under. Keep an eye out for the best part of this highlight, when Thomas' caddie Jimmy Johnson tries to hand him his putter.

    Getty Images

    River Highlands a 'breather' for Zach Johnson (63)

    By Will GrayJune 21, 2018, 6:43 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – After enduring the pressure-cooker of the U.S. Open, Zach Johnson was more than happy to drift north to the friendly confines of TPC River Highlands.

    Birdies were rare last week at Shinnecock Hills, but they’ll be plentiful all week long at the Travelers Championship. Browned-out and crispy conditions transitioned to lush and verdant, and players can attack flags without fear of turning a possible par into a struggle to avoid triple.

    Johnson did just that in the opening round, carding eight birdies against a single bogey to take the early lead with a 7-under 63.

    “It’s a different kind of breathing. It’s a different kind of exhaling, if you will, but they’re both good,” Johnson said. “You can put some red on the board here. We know that. We’ve seen it. You can go the other way in a hurry if you press it; it can keep going in the other way. So you kind of have to let it happen. This is one of those courses where you have to let it happen.”


    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    Like many in this week’s field, Johnson took it easy after a grueling major championship, staying away from the course Monday and easing into his prep over the next two days. Those decisions paid off quickly as he rattled off six straight birdies on Nos. 11-16 to take sole possession of the lead.

    While Johnson tied for 12th last week at Shinnecock Hills, that was just his second top-15 finish since the Sony Open in January. But the veteran is no stranger to fast starts at TPC River Highlands, having now opened with 65 or better four times in his last eight appearances dating back to 2011.

    It’s a course where he continues to have success, even if his past consistency hasn’t lived up to expectations.

    “I feel like every time I get here it feels like I should shoot nothing, and it bites me,” Johnson said. “The last couple years I’m like, ‘All right, you can’t have any expectations in that regard. You’ve just got to go out and execute, you know, put the ball in the fairway and you will have opportunities.’”