Sean OHair leads Bay Hill Tiger Woods five back

By Associated PressMarch 27, 2009, 4:00 pm
Arnold Palmer InvitationalORLANDO, Fla. ' Bay Hill was so penal Friday that most players figured it would be difficult for anyone to shoot a low number and separate themselves from the pack. Sean OHair apparently didnt get the memo.
 
OHair opened with three straight birdies and didnt drop a shot until his final hole, which gave him a 5-under 65 for a three-shot lead over Jason Gore heading into the weekend at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods reacts after chipping in for birdie on Friday. (Getty Images)
Tiger Woods remained in the mix for a sixth title at Bay Hill, courtesy of a short game that turned a mediocre round into a 69.
 
Woods chipped in for birdie on his opening hole for the second straight day, holed another birdie chip on No. 8, and kept his round together with two head-turning chips to save par. He was in fifth place, five shots behind.
 
You can make bogeys in a heartbeat out there today because the greens are not accepting shots very well, Woods said.
 
OHair was at 8-under 132 and will be in the final group Saturday with Gore, who had four birdies and four bogeys for a 70.
 
Robert Allenby had a bogey-free round of 65 and was at 4-under 136, along with Ryuji Imada, who had a 66.
 
OHairs round was set up by his tee shots, and he figured if he was driving it well, he probably would swing the irons the same way. His first three birdies were all within 8 feet, and he had a putt at birdie on all but three holes.
 
It all sounded simple enough.
 
The rough is very penal, but if youre in the fairway all day, you dont have to worry about it, OHair said. The greens are absolutely perfect. You just give yourself some nice opportunities, and all of a sudden youre 8- or 9-under par.
 
Even so, OHair could relate with the grind that it became for Woods, and at times for double major winner Padraig Harrington, who shot a 68 and was at 2-under 138. And he could appreciate what happened to Davis Love III, who had a 74 and missed the cut, seriously damaging his bid to get to the Masters.
 
It doesnt take much to get going the wrong direction.
 
You dont really even need to hit it sideways, OHair said. Just a little bit off here and there, and youre giving yourself some pretty tough par opportunities.
 
Consider his final hole, the par-5 ninth. He hit what appeared to be a good drive, just a little to the left, and found a lie so deep that he felt his best option was to hack out short of the green. It went according to plan until he hit his wedge a little heavy and missed a 10-foot par putt to come one shot back to the field.
 
Those are the kind of shots that spared Woods.
 
He opened with two birdies in three holes to get his name on the leaderboard, then went 13 holes without another. He was in trouble on the par-5 sixth, with a plugged lie in the bunker that forced him to play sideways for his third shot, but he recovered with a skip-and-stop pitch to 4 feet for a par.
 
On the next hole, Woods was on the matted grass of the walkway, facing a 30-foot shot to a green running away from him. He hit a full flop that landed on the fringe and stopped 4 feet away for another par that was easier than expected.
 
After getting fooled by the wind on the next hole, Woods chipped in for birdie.
 
Today was just kind of a grind-it-out day, he said. The golf course is getting fast. The greens are really getting fast.
 
Vaughn Taylor was in the group at 138 thanks to a remarkable three-hole stretch. He hit 6-iron for an ace on the seventh hole, then followed that with consecutive birdies to reach 4 under. Taylor wound up with a 68.
 
Bogeys are there to be made, Gore said. The golf course is playing tough.
 
That much was evident not by the 21 players who remained under par, but the 13-shot differential between OHair at 132 and those who made the cut on the number at 5-over 145.
 
A week ago at Innisbrook, the differential was only seven shots.
 
Love could face an uphill road to Augusta National. He is No. 47 in the world ranking ' the top 50 after this week are invited ' and missing the cut will cause him to fall. Four of the next seven players behind him made the cut, including Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa.
 
Oosthuizen had a triple bogey and double bogey in a four-hole stretch Thursday and rallied with three birdies. On Friday, he fell to the cut line by trying to play a shot out of the water on No. 11 and leaving it in the hazard.
 
I learned Im not a fish, Oosthuizen said, although he had his rain suit, meaning he didnt have to pull a Henrik Stenson and strip down to his underwear.
 
He rallied with three more birdies and could be well on his way to Magnolia Lane.
 
OHair is more interested in Victory Lane at Bay Hill, which comes with a firm handshake from the tournament host, a silver sword and a blazer. But there is much work left, and plenty of players lurking ' including Woods, the defending champion.
 
DIVOTS: Webb Simpson made a hole-in-one on the 17th hole. Ryo Ishikawa, the 17-year-old from Japan, had a 71 but still missed the cut by two shots. The Japanese sensation has missed two cuts in his three PGA Tour events this year. Brad Faxon shot a 72 and was at 2-over 142. It was the first time this year he has made the cut.
 
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    Grillo still hunting follow-up to debut win

    By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 10:53 pm

    Following a round of 1-under 69 Saturday, Emiliano Grillo will enter Sunday's final round at Colonial four shots behind leader Justin Rose.

    Grillo is hunting his first win since he took the 2015 Safeway Open in his rookie debut as a PGA Tour member. 

    The young Argentinian finished 11th in the FedExCup points race that season, contending in big events and finishing runner-up at the 2016 Barclays.

    In the process, Grillo had to learn to pace himself and that it can be fruitless to chase after success week to week.

    "That was a hot run in there," Grillo said Saturday, referring to his rookie year. "I played, in 2016, I played the majors very well. I played the big tournaments very well. I was in contention after two, three days in most of the big events.


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    "I think, you know, I wanted to do better. I pushed for it. Some of the tournaments I ended up being 50th or 60th just because I wanted to play. I wanted to play well so badly. That played against me, so I learned from that. In that rookie year, I learned that."

    Grillo was still plenty successful in his sophomore season, advancing to the BMW Championship last fall.

    But now he's beginning to regain some of that form that made him such an immediate success on Tour. Grillo has recorded four top-10 finishes year - a T-9 at Mayakoba, a T-8 at Honda, a T-3 at Houston, and a T-9 at Wells Fargo - and will now look to outduel U.S. Open champs in Rose and Brooks Koepka on Sunday at Colonial.

    "Well, he's top 10 in the world, so everything he does he does it pretty well," Grillo said of Rose. "You know, he does his own thing. Like I say, he's top 10 in the world. Nothing wrong with his game. ...

    "He's in the lead on a Sunday. Doesn't matter where you're playing, he's got to go out and shoot under par. He's got 50 guys behind him trying to reach him, and I'm one of those. I've just got to go out and do what he did today on those first five or six holes and try to get him in the early holes."

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    Koepka looking to make hay on Horrible Horseshoe

    By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 10:26 pm

    The Horrible Horseshoe - Nos. 3, 4 and 5 at Colonial Country Club - annually ranks as one of the toughest three-hole stretches on the PGA Tour.

    Consider Brooks Koepka undeterred.

    Last year's U.S. Open champ has played the stretch 2 over this week but knows that if he's going to have any chance at catching Justin Rose on Sunday, he's going to need take advantage of the par-5 first and then find a way to pick up shots on the Horseshoe.

    "I feel like just need to get off to a good start on this golf course," Koepka said after a third-round 67 Saturday. "If you can get 2 or 3 under through six holes, I think you'll be right there."

    Koepka will start the final round four behind Rose, as he looks to win for the first time since his maiden major victory last year.


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    The big-hitter missed nearly four months this year with a wrist injury and is progressing quickly in his comeback despite dislocating his wrist on two different occasions over the last two months.

    Koepka missed the cut with partner Marc Turnesa at the Zurich Classic in his competitive return before following up with a tie for 42nd at the Wells Fargo Championship and a tie for 11th at The Players Championship.

    Now, thanks to a closing birdie Sunday, he finds himself playing alongside Rose in the final group on Sunday.

    "I feel like my game is coming around," he said. "[At Zurich], I was five days into touching clubs. I am finally finding a rhythm and feel like I'm getting really close. ...

    "Just want to get off to a good start [tomorrow]. That's really all I am trying to do. You put together a good solid round tomorrow, you never know what can happen. The important thing is we were just trying to get in that final group. I thought the putt on 18 was kind of big to get in that final group and play with Rosey."

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    Rose leads Koepka, Grillo by four at Colonial

    By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 9:06 pm

    On the strength of a 4-under 66 Saturday, Justin Rose will take a four-shot lead over Brooks Koepka and Emiliano Grillo into the final round of the Fort Worth Invitational. Here's where things stand through 54 holes at Colonial Country Club.

    Leaderboard: Rose (-14), Koepka (-10), Grillo (-10), Corey Conners (-8), Jon Rahm (-8), Louis Oosthuizen (-8), J.T. Poston (-8), Ryan Armour (-8)

    What it means: The fifth-ranked player in the world is 18 holes from his ninth PGA Tour victory and his second this season. Up one to start the third round, Rose extended his lead to as much as five with birdies on four of his first six holes. Through 54 holes, Rose has made 17 birdies and just three bogeys. The 2013 U.S. Open winner and 2016 Olympic gold medalist has a history of winning at iconic venues - Muirfield Village, Aronimink, Cog Hill, Doral, Merion and Congressional - and now looks to add Colonial to the list. He'll be chased on Sunday by Grillo, the young Argentinian who won his first Tour start as a member in 2015, and Koepka, last year's U.S. Open winner who continues to impress in his injury comeback despite ongoing wrist issues.

    Round of the day: Corey Conners and Ted Potter both turned in 7-under 63. Potter was bogey-free and Conners came home in 6-under 29 on the back nine.

    Best of the rest: Jon Rahm, Louis Oosthuizen, Brian Harman and Michael Thompson all signed for 64. Rahm called his six-birdie start the best 10 holes he's played so far this year.

    Biggest disappointment: Jordan Spieth has finished second-first-second in the last three years at this event, but he's yet to find his normal Colonial form through three rounds. Spieth, who said Friday he was capable of shooting "10 or 12 under" over the weekend, shot even-par 70 Saturday. He sits in T-38 at 3 under for the week, 11 back.

    Shot of the day: Rory Sabbatini closed out his third round Saturday with this eagle holeout from 134 yards at the 18th.

    His colorful scorecard featured three bogeys, two birdies, a double bogey and that eagle. It added up to a 1-over 71. 

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    McCarron closes with only bogey, shares lead

    By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 8:49 pm

    BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Scott McCarron, seeking a second senior major title to go with his 2017 Senior Players Championship, made his only bogey of the third round on the final hole to slip into a tie for the lead Saturday with Tim Petrovic in the Senior PGA Championship.

    They were at 13 under par after Petrovic, seeking his first major, shot 65. McCarron has shared the lead through three rounds.

    England's Paul Broadhurst, the 2016 British Senior Open winner, matched the best third-round score in tournament history with a 64. He was at 11 under.

    Miguel Angel Jimenez, coming off his first major championship last week at the Regions Tradition, shot 65 and was 9 under.

    Tom Byrum, who made a hole-in-one in shooting a 67, was in a group at 8 under.