Rose extends lead at ATT National

By Associated PressJuly 4, 2010, 2:05 am

2010 AT&T NationalNEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. – Justin Rose gets to find out just how much he learned from losing a big lead on the PGA Tour.

Rose made some big par saves in the middle of his round Saturday and finished strong for a 3-under 67 to build a four-shot lead in the AT&T National and give himself a chance to win for the second time in three tournaments.

Rose was at 10-under 200, the only player to reach double digits under par all week on an Aronimink course that is among the toughest PGA Tour tracks of the year. He was four shots ahead of Carl Pettersson, who had a 65, and Charlie Wi, who had a 70.

A week ago at the Travelers Championship, Rose led wire-to-wire and had a three-shot lead going into the final round before he came undone on the back nine and finished in a tie for ninth.

It didn’t take him long to get into that position again.

This time, the test figures to come as much from a firm, fast golf course as his nerves of trying to hold on.

“It’s tougher to go low around here,” said Rose, one of only two players to have broken par all three rounds. “It’s easier to go higher. It’s an interesting test. But it starts with good golf. It’s tough to find the birdies. I’ve just got to keep playing solid.”

Tiger Woods only gets into contention in the majors these days. In his final tournament before the British Open, he again finds himself out of the mix going into the final round. Woods recovered from an atrocious start with an even-par 70, putting him 13 shots behind.

This will be his seventh tournament without a victory on the PGA Tour, his longest drought since he went 16 straight tournaments in 2004 when he was going through a swing change. The only good news for the tournament is that the massive crowd that followed him around in the morning did not leave Aronimink.

Rose and everyone else played before another big gallery on a hot, sunny afternoon, and while there were plenty of possibilities, he was in control from the minute he split the middle of the first fairway and hit a sand wedge into 8 feet for birdie.

Pettersson started 90 minutes earlier and made only one mistake, a bogey on the par-3 eighth, in his round of 65. He was joined by Wi, who saw firsthand how quickly everything can change at Aronomink.

Wi was one shot behind until Rose hit a 9-iron the right distance, the ball crawling up the slope to 4 feet for a birdie on the 13th.

Then came the troublesome 14th, a par 3 with the pin tucked in the right corner. Wi, playing in the group ahead of Rose, was behind the flag and four-putted for a double bogey. Rose was in worse shape, in nasty rough behind the green, and even as he tried to play safe away from the hole, he still went into deep rough on the other side. He chopped out to 4 feet and escaped with bogey.

“That was the only emotion I showed all day, with a fist pump,” Rose said with a grin. “And that was for bogey.”

He got that shot back with his second straight birdie on the par-3 17th.

Jeff Overton, who also has three straight rounds in the 60s, birdied the 18th hole for a 69 and was at 5-under 205. Ryan Moore (69) and Jason Day of Australia (72) were another shot behind.

Woods made Saturday morning feel like Sunday afternoon on the PGA Tour.

Having made the cut on the number, he teed off at 9 a.m. before thousands of fans who followed him around Aronimink and were treated to some stunning shots – with Woods, that can be anything these days.

He twice made bogey with a wedge in his hand from the middle of the fairway, including a shot he chunked so badly that it only went 59 yards without reaching the green. Woods also hit some lasers on the par 3s, nearly making an ace on the tough eighth hole, and hit his driver longer than he has all year.

All that matters is the score, however. Woods made three bogeys on the opening six holes, then got those strokes back over the final 12 holes for a 70 that put him in a tie for 47th. He was 13 shots out of the lead.

“I was trying to be patient, trying to pick my spots, and I just kept making mistake after mistake,” Woods said.

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Country singer Owen shoots 86 in Web.com debut

By Will GrayMay 24, 2018, 7:51 pm

Country music star Jake Owen struggled in his Web.com Tour debut, shooting a 14-over 86 in the opening round of the Nashville Golf Open.

Owen, who played as a 1 handicap earlier this year while teaming with Jordan Spieth at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, put three balls out of bounds over his first nine holes, including two en route to a quadruple-bogey 9 on the par-5 18th hole. After making the turn in 46, Owen came home in 40 without making a single birdie.

Owen is playing as an amateur on an unrestricted sponsor exemption, the same type used by NBA superstar Steph Curry on the Web.com Tour last year and by former NFL quarterback Tony Romo this year on the PGA Tour. Curry missed the cut after rounds of 74-74 at the Ellie Mae Classic, while Romo shot 77-82 at the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship.


Full-field scores from the Nashville Golf Open


Owen tallied nine pars, six bogeys, two doubles and a quad in his opener and was the only player from the morning wave who failed to break 80. The closest player to him in the standings was two-time major champ Angel Cabrera, who opened with a 79.

While Owen struggled against a field full of professionals, he took the setback in stride and even took to Twitter in the middle of his round to fire back at some of his online critics:

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New putter propels Hoffman to Fort Worth lead

By Will GrayMay 24, 2018, 7:30 pm

After sitting at home last week, Charley Hoffman decided it was time for a change.

The veteran estimated that he has been using the same version of a Scotty Cameron putter for the last five years, but heading into this week's Fort Worth Invitational he wanted to shake things up.

"I had an idea on Sunday literally coming out here that I wanted to have a little more weight in my putter," Hoffman told reporters. "I went with one that was sort of in my bag of putters at home that I could add some weight here."

The swap provided immediate results, as Hoffman opened with a 7-under 63 while picking up more than two strokes over the field on the greens to take a one-shot lead over Emiliano Grillo, Jhonattan Vegas and Andrew Putnam. It was an all-around effort Thursday for Hoffman, as he missed only two greens in regulation and never faced a par putt longer than 5 feet.

"I was able to knock in some mid-range putts and played very solid," Hoffman said. "It was a nice, very stress-free round. It was fun to play."


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Hoffman had one of the best seasons of his career in 2017, capping it with a Presidents Cup appearance and a runner-up finish at the Hero World Challenge in December. While he has made nine cuts in 12 starts this year, his T-12 finish at the Masters remains his best result as he has struggled to turn top-20s into opportunities to contend.

Hoffman is making his seventh straight appearance at Colonial, where he tied for 10th in 2015. But he had never shot better than 65 before Thursday, when his decision to switch to a heavier Scotty Cameron model seemingly put a magnet on the bottom of the cup.

"Putting is a fickle part of the game," he said. "So hopefully the good mojo continues."

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McIlroy shoots 67, two off BMW PGA lead

By Associated PressMay 24, 2018, 6:56 pm

VIRGINIA WATER, England – Rory McIlroy walked off the 18th green in disgruntled fashion, shaking his head and looking down at the ground.

Shooting a 5-under 67 at Wentworth can rarely have felt so unsatisfactory.

The four-time major winner pushed his approach shot from the middle of the fairway into the overhanging trees at the par-5 last, saw his chip clip the flag pole, then missed a 3-foot putt for birdie for a disappointing end to his first round at the BMW PGA Championship on Thursday.

McIlroy also missed out on a birdie on the par-5 17th, too. Hence his unhappiness immediately after his round, although he was only two shots off the lead held by Lucas Bjerregaard (65).


Full-field scores from the BMW PGA Championship


''Walking off the 16th green and going to No. 17 at 5 under par, it was good after being 1 over after three (holes),'' McIlroy said, before diverting away from revisiting the end of his round.

''I played really well, gave myself plenty of chances, drove it well, for the most part hit my irons a lot better than I have done, so it was nice to get off to a good start.''

McIlroy is playing the European Tour's flagship event for the first time since 2015. He won it in 2014, the year he won The Open and the PGA Championship – his most recent major victories.

After bogeying No. 3, the former top-ranked McIlroy reeled off seven birdies in 13 holes and later said the greens were in the best condition he'd seen them.

Bjerregaard, whose only win came in Portugal last year, made seven birdies in a bogey-free round – his last at No. 18 giving him the outright lead over South Africans Dean Burmester and Darren Fichardt.

Burmester earlier played his last eight holes in 6 under par – including making eagle at the 15th – to draw level with compatriot Fichardt, who was also bogey-free.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat finished 7-6 on the two par 5s to drop from the outright lead at the time to 4 under.

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Stricker opens with 65 at Colonial despite back pain

By Will GrayMay 24, 2018, 6:45 pm

After four holes of the Fort Worth Invitational, things were looking bleak for Steve Stricker.

The ageless veteran was already 1 over when he tweaked his back playing his approach to No. 13, his fourth hole of the day at Colonial Country Club. He ended up making another bogey, but at that point his score took a backseat to the health of his ailing back.

"I tried to hit a pretty solid 6-iron and got right into the impact area, and actually felt my lower back crack right where I had surgery back in 2014, pretty much right on the spot," Stricker told reporters. "Tried to walk to the green and that wasn't going so well. Kind of tightened up on me. I thought I was going to have to stop and just stand there for a minute, which I did a couple of times. It didn't look or feel very good for a while."

Slowly but surely, Stricker's back began to loosen up, and with it came a turnaround on the scorecard. Stricker had a four-hole stretch in the middle of his round that he played in 5 under, highlighted by a hole-out from the greenside bunker for eagle on the par-5 first hole. Despite the rocky start, he ended up shooting a 5-under 65 to sit two shots off the early pace set by Charley Hoffman.


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


"I just kept plodding along," Stricker said. "I knew there were some birdie holes out here if you can get it in the fairway. There are some short irons."

Stricker had a spot in one of the marquee early-round groups, but his score bettered both Jordan Spieth's 1-under 69 and defending champ Kevin Kisner's 2-over 72. Stricker told reporters that he planned to get his back checked after the round.

Stricker continues to straddle both the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions while crafting a unique schedule, and his appearance this week in Fort Worth came at the expense of skipping the Senior PGA Championnship, a major on the over-50 circuit. But Stricker won at Colonial in 2009 and has now played four straight years on what he described as one of his favorite courses.

"I like to play here. I know I'm going to play John Deere, another favorite tournament of mine, and FedEx St. Jude looks like I am going to try to play in a couple weeks, try to get in the U.S. Open," Stricker said. "So it's just kind of picking them as I go, and seeing where I want to go and seeing what feels good to me at the time."