Rose takes Scottish Open for second straight win

By Associated PressJuly 13, 2014, 6:25 pm

ABERDEEN, Scotland - Justin Rose won the Scottish Open by two shots after a final round 6-under 65 on Sunday, sealing back-to-back victories either side of the Atlantic and bolstering his confidence ahead of next week's British Open.

The 2013 U.S. Open champion turned the last day into a procession, rolling in six birdies and going bogey-free on a windless Royal Aberdeen links course that was there for the taking on a day of low scoring.

Unheralded Swede Kristoffer Broberg finished second on 14 under after a 66. That earned him one of the three qualifying places for the British Open at Hoylake, along with other top-10 finishers Tyrrell Hatton and Scott Jamieson.

Rose, who started the day tied for the lead with Marc Warren, eased to a first win in Europe since 2007 and backed up his victory at the Quicken Loans National at Congressional last month that ended a yearlong drought going back to the U.S. Open at Merion.

''It feels unbelievable to be back in the winner's circle so quickly,'' said Rose, who has banked almost $2 million in prize money for his impressive fortnight's work.

There were birdies aplenty on Sunday because of the ideal conditions, with Scotland's Stephen Gallacher and Chile's Felipe Aguilar breaking the course record with 8-under 63s and deposed champion Phil Mickelson saving his best round for last with a 65. If players wanted one last tough test before Hoylake, it wasn't going to come as Royal Aberdeen was laid bare with a lack of wind off the North Sea, soft greens and easy pin positions.

Likely up to No. 3 in the world from No. 6 with this 15th professional victory worldwide, Rose is in prime form heading to his home major. And there was no stopping him here.


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The Englishman was nerveless in making birdies at Nos. 2 and 3 - from a combined 40 feet - to power into a two-shot lead over Warren, who was looking to avenge a final-round meltdown at the Scottish Open two years ago.

Rose added three more birdies in the front nine and another at No. 12, before parring his way home. He had the luxury of being able to soak up the applause as he ambled down the 18th hole, having planted his drive straight down the fairway and his approach onto the center of the green.

His iron play has been imperious this week, reviving memories of the form he produced during his first - and only - major win 13 months ago.

''I was pretty calm out there as I got off to a good start,'' Rose said. ''I never felt in a lot of trouble.''

Rose is making a habit of winning on tough courses, with Royal Aberdeen joining a list that includes Merion, Doral, Valderrama and most recently Congressional.

Mickelson was tied for 11th while Rory McIlroy tied for 14th after a 67. Both world stars seemed satisfied with the state of their games ahead of the British Open, however.

''I feel a lot sharper and I feel like I have direction in my ball-striking and direction in my short game and putting,'' said Mickelson, who will be defending the claret jug.

It was more Scottish Open heartbreak for Warren (70), who wasn't within two shots of playing partner Rose from the second hole. In 2012, Warren blew a three-shot lead with four to play but it was a different story here.

''Not a lot I could have done about that,'' Warren said. ''Once he gets out in front, he's very tough to catch. The whole day he was very clinical.

''I don't like being on the end of it but it was a pleasure to watch.''

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Down seven pounds, Thomas can gain No. 1

By Rex HoggardMarch 24, 2018, 11:29 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – On March 7, Justin Thomas had his wisdom teeth removed, and just when he was recovering from that, he was slowed by a bout with the flu.

In total, he estimates he lost about seven pounds, and he admitted on Saturday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play that he wasn’t sure he’d be able to play the event.

“I had a pretty serious conversation with my dad on Monday if I was going to play,” Thomas said. “I never want to play in a tournament, first off, if it's going to hurt my health. If I was sick or really sick, me trying to play this week wasn't going to do me any good.”

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Thomas went on to explain he was “50/50” whether he’d play the World Golf Championship, but decided to make the start and it’s turned out well for the world’s second-ranked player.

After going undefeated in pool play, Thomas cruised past Si Woo Kim, 6 and 5, in the round of 16 and secured himself a spot in the semifinals with a 2-and-1 victory over Kyle Stanley in the quarterfinals. If Thomas wins his semifinal match against Bubba Watson on Sunday, he’s assured enough points to overtake Dustin Johnson atop the Official World Golf Ranking.

“I don't care when it happens; I just hope it happens and it happens for a while,” Thomas said when asked about the possibility of becoming world No. 1. “I don't know what to say because I've never experienced it. I don't know what's going to come with it. But I just hope it happens tomorrow.”

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Garnett's six-shot lead dwindles to two in Punta Cana

By Associated PressMarch 24, 2018, 10:57 pm

PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic - Brice Garnett took a six-stroke lead into the wind Saturday in the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship. He came out with a two-stroke advantage.

Garnett bogeyed three of the final six holes in the wind and rain for a 3-under 69 and a 16-under 200 total.

''Once we made the turn coming back, all those holes coming in toward the north, it was all we wanted and then some,'' Garnett said. ''I kind of took advantage of some holes going out, some holes downwind, some par 5s, and then we were just trying to leave it in the right spot those last four or five holes. Pars are pretty good scores on those holes.''

Canadian Corey Conners was second after a 67, and Tyler McCumber also had a 67 to get to 12 under. Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo dropped out Friday, finishing last in the 132-man field in his PGA Tour debut. He shot 77-82 playing as an amateur on a sponsor exemption.

A stroke ahead after each of the first two rounds, Garnett opened with a bogey, birdied Nos. 2, 4 and 6, eagled the par-5 seventh, and made two more birdies on the par-3 ninth and par-5 12th. He bogeyed the par-4 13th, par-5 15th and par-3 17th.

Full-field scores from the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship

''I looked once and the lead was a little bigger than what it is now,'' Garnett said. ''The eagle was huge, kind of gave me that confidence that I can push it on out and stretch it a little bit more. That wind was tough and I'll take a two-shot lead into tomorrow.''

The 34-year-old Garnett is winless on the PGA Tour. He won twice last year on the Tour.

''You've got another 18 holes. So much can happen,'' Garnett said. ''Just going to try to keep the golf ball in front of me. I have that self-belief this week and that's what I had last year when I won, so I'll just keep my head down and just keep going.''

Conners had five birdies and a bogey on the front nine and added a birdie on No. 12.

''Really happy with the round,'' Conners said. ''I got off to a nice start, made a bunch of birdies on the front nine and kind of held it together on the back nine. It was playing really difficult. The wind was really blowing out there, made things challenging.''

McCumber, the son of 10-time PGA Tour winner Mark McCumber, has played his last 39 holes with a bogey.

''Second shots have been pretty solid,'' McCumber said. ''Putting pretty well, short game is pretty good. Just really being in the right areas and staying below the hole.''

Tom Lovelady was fourth at 11 under after a 68. Seamus Power (71), Denny McCarthy (71) and Seungsu Han (72) were 10 under.

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Poulter incorrectly told he's in Masters before loss to Kisner

By Rex HoggardMarch 24, 2018, 10:33 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – Ian Poulter was not happy, and it was only partially because of his blowout loss to Kevin Kisner in Saturday’s quarterfinals at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

Following his morning victory in the round of 16 over Louis Oosthuizen, the Englishman was incorrectly informed that by making it to the Elite 8 at Austin Country Club he was assured enough Official World Golf Raking points to move into the top 50 and qualify for the Masters in two weeks.

“I should never listen to other people,” Poulter said following his 8-and-6 loss to Kevin Kisner in the quarterfinals. “When you finish a round of golf and the press and everybody is telling you you're in the Masters, and then you get a text message 10 minutes before you tee off to correct everybody, to say, ‘Oh, we've made a mistake, actually, no, that was wrong, you're not in. You need to go and win.’

“Not that that's an excuse in any form or factor, it's a little disappointing.”

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Poulter actually needed to advance to the semifinal round to move into the top 50. Instead, his last chance to qualify for the Masters is to win next week’s Houston Open, although he was unsure if he’d play the event.

“I don't know yet, I haven't decided,” said Poulter when asked if he’d play next week. “I'm tired. It's been a long week. It's been a draining week. I'll wait until Monday night and if I have the energy then I will.”

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Not DJ, not Poulter: Kisner most proud to take down Kuchar

By Rex HoggardMarch 24, 2018, 9:34 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – On his way to this week’s Final Four at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Kevin Kisner has beaten world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and the European match play ninja Ian Poulter. But neither match could compare to his duel with Matt Kuchar early Saturday.

“I was more jacked to beat [Kuchar], really. Kuch is such a good player and our games are so similar,” said Kisner, who defeated Kuchar in the round of 16, 1 up. “We both made eight birdies this morning and I barely snuck out of there. I thought it was a lot of fun.”

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By comparison, his quarterfinal bout against Poulter wasn’t nearly as electric. Kisner won two of the first four holes when the Englishman made bogey (No. 3) and when he was conceded the fourth hole, hecruised to an 8-and-6 victory for the week’s most lopsided win.

“I don't know Ian that well, so I don't really have a history with him, other than watching him kill us in the Ryder Cup,” Kisner laughed.

Things won’t get any easier for Kisner on Sunday when he’ll play Alex Noren in the semifinals. The Swede has been dominant this week and is considered one of Europe’s top players heading into this year’s Ryder Cup.