Simpson, de Jonge share lead at Greenbrier

By Associated PressJuly 30, 2011, 12:02 am

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. – Brendon de Jonge rode a wave of Hokie fever to a share of the second-round lead at the Greenbrier Classic.

De Jonge shot a 3-under-par 67 Friday and was tied with Webb Simpson at 7 under midway through the tournament.

Among those failing to advance to weekend play were Phil Mickelson, whose streak of making 17 straight cuts ended, and defending champion Stuart Appleby. Both finished 3 over, missing the cut by two strokes.

With shouts of encouragement all around him, de Jonge, a former Virginia Tech golfer, is flourishing for the second straight year at The Greenbrier resort, less than two hours from his college stomping grounds.

“It’s a little bit of adrenaline,” de Jonge said. “Keeps you going. It’s always a little pick-me-up if you’re struggling a little bit. It’s fun. It’s nice to hear `Go Hokies’ on every tee.”

De Jonge has played the Old White TPC course many times and he finished third in last year’s inaugural tournament at 17 under. It was one of three third-place finishes in 2010 that helped him earn a career-best $2.2 million.

The native of Zimbabwe is the Tour leader in birdies, yet admits he needs to work on eliminating the bogeys. His only one Friday was a three-putt on No. 11.

“I think the biggest thing is just getting out of my own way,” de Jonge said. “It’s very, very difficult to win out here. It’s difficult to win anywhere. Staying in your own routine, I guess, is the best way to put it.”

Simpson couldn’t get any momentum going until he made three birdies on the back nine and shot 68.

The former Wake Forest golfer is playing less than five hours from his old campus. He grew up in North Carolina and moved to Charlotte earlier this year.

His own cheering section will get a bit bigger on Saturday.

“I told my wife today I’m going to go out and be in the lead, so you’ve got to come for the weekend,” Simpson said.

Both Simpson and de Jonge are chasing their first career victories. The tournament champion will earn a spot in next week’s Bridgestone Invitational.

Like last year, when Appleby came from a seven-stroke deficit and shot 59 in the final round to win, it’s anyone’s tournament. Thirty-five players were within five shots of the lead entering the third round.

Simpson and de Jonge were the only two of the top 10 from the first round to break par in the second. The cut was three shots higher than last year.

First-round leader Trevor Immelman made just two birdies, shot 70 and was at 6 under.

Looking for his first win since the 2008 Masters and less than two years removed from wrist surgery, Immelman isn’t thinking about how far he has come if he can advance to Bridgestone.

“It would be fantastic,” he said. “And I’d love to be there. But (it’s) the furthest thing from my mind.”

Tied at 5 under were Scott Stallings (65), Michael Letzig (66), Gary Woodland (70), Brian Davis (64) and Derek Lamely (70). Lamely was tied for the lead before a stretch of three bogeys and a double-bogey over seven holes.

Canadian Chris Baryla made five birdies in an eight-hole stretch in his morning round to rocket to the top of the leaderboard at 8 under, then made triple-bogey on the par-4 sixth. He shot 69 and was in a group of six at 4 under.

Australian Steven Bowditch moved to 6 under after an early birdie, but had a double-bogey and three bogeys on his final four holes to fall to even par.

NOTES: Brett Wetterich eagled the par-4 first hole to help him advance to the weekend at even par. … Garrett Willis had six birdies in his round but made the cut on the line after needing three shots to get out of a fairway bunker on the par-4 11th and making an 8. … Chris Kirk, who had his tour-best streak of 10 straight below-par rounds snapped with a 71 on Thursday, started another one with a 69 Friday. … Michael Sim withdrew before the second round with a shoulder injury. Michael Putnam withdrew during the round with an injured wrist.

Getty Images

Lewis hopes to win at Volvik with baby on the way

By Randall MellMay 27, 2018, 12:55 am

Stacy Lewis was listening to more than her caddie on her march up the leaderboard Saturday at the Volvik Championship.

Pregnant with her first child, she is listening to her body in a new way these days.

And she could hear a message coming through loud and clear toward the end of her round at Travis Point Country Club in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“The little one was telling me it’s dinnertime,” Lewis said.

Lewis birdied five of the last six holes to shoot 5-under-par 67 and move into position to make a Sunday run at winning her 13th LPGA title. She is two shots behind the leader, Minjee Lee, whose 68 moved her to 12 under overall.

Sunday has the makings of a free for all with 10 players within three shots of the lead.


Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


Lewis, 33, is four months pregnant, with her due date Nov. 3. She’s expecting to play just a few more times before putting the clubs away to get ready for the birth. She said she’s likely to make the Marathon Classic in mid-July her last start of the season before returning next year.

Of course, Lewis would relish winning with child.

“I don’t care what limitations I have or what is going on with my body, I want to give myself a chance to win,” she told LPGA.com at the Kingsmill Championship last week.

Lewis claimed an emotional victory with her last title, taking the Cambia Portland Classic late last summer after announcing earlier in the week that she would donate her entire winnings to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in her Houston hometown.

A victory Sunday would also come with a lot of emotion.

It’s been an interesting year for Lewis.

There’s been the joy of learning she’s ready to begin the family she has been yearning for, and the struggle to play well after bouncing back from injury.

Lewis missed three cuts in a row before making it into the weekend at the Kingsmill Championship last week. That’s one more cut than she missed cumulatively in the previous six years. In six starts this year, Lewis hasn’t finished among the top 50 yet, but she hasn’t felt right, either.

The former world No. 1 didn’t make her second start of 2018 until April, at the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration. She withdrew from the HSBC Women’s World Championship in late February with a strained right oblique muscle and didn’t play again for a month.

Still, Lewis is finding plenty to get excited about with the baby on the way.

“I kind of had my first Mother’s Day,” Lewis told LPGA.com last week. “It puts golf into perspective. It makes those bad days not seem so bad. It helps me sleep better at night. We are just really excited.”

Getty Images

Rose hasn't visited restroom at Colonial - here's why

By Nick MentaMay 27, 2018, 12:20 am

In case you're unaware, it's pretty hot in Texas.

Temperatures at Colonial Country Club have approached 100 degrees this week, leaving players to battle both the golf course and potential dehydration.

With the help of his caddie Mark Fulcher, Fort Worth Invitational leader Justin Rose has been plenty hot himself, staking himself to a four-shot lead.


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


"Yeah, Fulch has done a great job of just literally handing me water bottle after water bottle. It seems relentless, to be honest with you," Rose said Saturday.

So just how much are players sweating the heat at Colonial? Well, it doesn't sound like all that water is making it all the way through Rose.

"I haven't even seen the inside of a restroom yet, so you can't even drink quick enough out there," he shared.

Getty Images

Up four, Rose knows a lead can slip away

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 11:21 pm

Up four shots heading into Sunday at the Fort Worth Invitational, Justin Rose has tied the largest 54-hole lead of his PGA Tour career.

On the previous two occasions he took a 54-hole Tour lead into the final round, he closed.

And yet, Rose knows just how quickly a lead can slip away. After all, it was Rose who erased a six-shot deficit earlier this season to overtake Dustin Johnson and win the WGC-HSBC Championship. 

"I think I was in the lead going into the final round in Turkey when I won, and I had a four-shot lead going into the final round in Indonesia in December and managed to put that one away," Rose said Saturday, thinking back to his two other victories late last year.

"I was five, six back maybe of DJ, so I've got experience the other way. ... So you can see how things can go both ways real quick. That's why there is no point in getting too far ahead of myself."


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Up one to start the third round Saturday, Rose extended his lead to as much as five when he birdied four of his first six holes.

He leads the field in strokes gained: tee-to-green (+12.853) and strokes gained: approach-the-green (+7.931).

Rose has won five times worldwide, including at the 2016 Rio Olympics, since his last victory in the United States, at the 2015 Zurich Classic.

With a win Sunday, he'd tie Nick Faldo for the most PGA Tour wins by an Englishman post-World War II, with nine.

But he isn't celebrating just yet.

"It is a big lead, but it's not big enough to be counting the holes away. You've got to go out and play good, you've got to go out positive, you've got to continue to make birdies and keep going forward.

"So my mindset is to not really focus on the lead, it's to focus on my game tomorrow and my performance. You know, just keep executing the way I have been. That's going to be my challenge tomorrow. Going to look forward to that mindset."

Getty Images

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.


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


"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."