Simpson leads Greenbrier; Tiger, Phil MC

By Associated PressJuly 7, 2012, 1:54 am

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. – One week after he won for the third time this season, Tiger Woods gets a rare weekend off.

Woods missed the cut in the Greenbrier Classic by a stroke Friday, following an opening 71 with a 69 to finish at even par. He missed a cut for only the ninth time in his PGA Tour career, and for the third time in a tournament following a victory.

After winning Sunday at Congressional, Woods was on a course he'd never seen before.

''I didn't quite have it,'' Woods said. ''I drove it really good today and I just did not have the feel for the distances. The ball was just going forever. I know we're at altitude, but I just couldn't get the ball hit pin high no matter what I did, and subsequently, I made some bogeys.''

Phil Mickelson also failed to advance to weekend play, the first time Woods and Mickelson have missed the cut in the same tournament as professionals.

Mickelson shot his second straight 71.

U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson topped the leaderboard at 9 under when play was suspended because of darkness in the round that was delayed because of rain.

Simpson made a 6-foot birdie putt on the par-3 18th for a 4-under-66.

A dozen players were unable to complete the round.

Woods believes his distance control will be easy to work on heading to the British Open, which starts July 19 at Royal Lytham and St. Annes.

''Yeah, because it's not going to be this warm and we're not going to be at altitude. We'll be on the beach,'' he said.

After the rain delay, Woods had bogeys at Nos. 10 and 11 to fall to 3 over, then made three birdies down the stretch but missed two other tries from inside 12 feet.

The other times that Woods followed a win with a missed cut came in 2005 at Disney and in 2009 at the British Open. Both those times he took a week off after his wins.

When Woods was an amateur, he and Mickelson missed the cut in the 1993 Byron Nelson.

Mickelson had focused more on golf at this year's tournament after taking advantage of the resort's numerous amenities with his family last year. The result was the same.

''I really enjoy the golf course,'' he said. ''I don't get it. I mean, I certainly struggled a little bit on the greens both years, but nothing that should have led to these scores.''

He has gone seven consecutive rounds over par and hopes his game improves.

''I certainly am looking forward to links golf,'' Mickelson said. ''I enjoy playing the ball on the ground and hitting it - you know, trying to keep it below head high on some tee shots and so forth. That was fun last year when we had some terrible weather. And it will hopefully play to one of my strengths, which is short game, and I'll try to get that sharp heading into the British.''

Simpson has played in Woods' group both times he has missed the cut this year, with the other being at Wells Fargo. And they played together at Doral in the fourth round in March when Woods withdrew after 11 holes because of tightness in his left Achilles tendon.

Simpson led last year's Greenbrier Classic with nine holes left in the final round before fading to a tie for ninth.

''I was confident last year, I'm confident this year,'' Simpson said. ''I don't think a whole lot has changed. I learned a lot about myself in the final round last year. I think I was only one back on the final round. So I've got a long ways to go, a bunch of good players right there.''

Simpson had four birdies in a bogey-free round. Two of the birdies came after the rain delay.

Among those still on the course when play was stopped by darkness was Martin Flores, who was a stroke back at 8 under with two holes left. The round was delayed more than two hours earlier in the day because of thunderstorms.

Rookie Charlie Beljan (62), Jonathan Byrd (68), Jeff Maggert (68) and Jerry Kelly (66) also were 8 under.

Beljan had his career-best round, carding five birdies over a seven-hole stretch before making before a bogey on his final hole, the par-4 ninth. His best finish this year is a tie for 29th two week ago in Connecticut in the Travelers Championship.

''Today was the best day of my career,'' said Beljan, making his first visit to a PGA Tour media room. ''I look forward to the weekend. I'm sure it's going to be a zoo.''

Being near the top of the leaderboard certain fits Beljan's philosophy of a high-energy life. One of his goals is to be strapped to the wing of a biplane in flight. Another is to ride a motorcycle in the Isle of Man TT Race.

''I like getting my heart beating,'' he said. ''I like the adrenaline.''

Byrd has been battling illness the past three weeks.

''They always say beware of the sick golfer or the injured golfer,'' Byrd said. ''Obviously I would rather be feeling healthier.''

First-round leader Vijah Singh shot 74 to drop six strokes back.

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Casey comes up short (again) to Bubba at Travelers

By Will GrayJune 25, 2018, 12:07 am

CROMWELL, Conn. – Staked to a four-shot lead entering the final round of the Travelers Championship, Paul Casey watched his opening tee shot bounce off a wooden wall and back into the middle of the fairway, then rolled in a 21-foot birdie putt off the fringe.

At the time, it appeared to be a not-so-subtle indicator that Casey was finally going to get his hands on a trophy that has barely eluded him in the past. Instead it turned out to be the lone highlight of a miserable round that left the Englishman behind only Bubba Watson at TPC River Highlands for the second time in the last four years.

Casey shot the low round of the tournament with a third-round 62 that distanced him from the field, but that opening birdie turned out to be his only one of the day as he stalled out and ultimately finished three shots behind Watson, to whom he lost here in a playoff in 2015.

Casey’s score was 10 shots worse than Saturday, as a 2-over 72 beat only five people among the 73 others to play the final round.


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“I mean, I fought as hard as I could, which I’m proud of,” Casey said. “Not many times you put me on a golf course and I only make one birdie. I don’t know. I’d be frustrated with that in last week’s event, but it is what it is.”

Casey led by as many as five after his opening birdie, but he needed to make a 28-foot par save on No. 10 simply to maintain a one-shot edge over a hard-charging Watson. The two men were tied as Casey headed to the 16th tee, but his bogeys on Nos. 16 and 17 combined with a closing birdie from Watson meant the tournament was out of reach before Casey even reached the final tee.

Casey explained that a “bad night of sleep” led to some neck pain that affected his warm-up session but didn’t impact the actual round.

“Just frustrating I didn’t have more,” he said. “Didn’t have a comfortable swing to go out there and do something with.”

Casey won earlier this year at the Valspar Championship to end a PGA Tour victory drought that dated back to 2009, but after being denied a second victory in short succession when he appeared to have one hand on the trophy, he hopes to turn frustration into further success before turning the page to 2019.

“I’m probably even more fired up than I was post-Tampa to get another victory. This is only going to be more fuel,” Casey said. “I’ve got 12 events or something the rest of the year. So ask me again in November, and if I don’t have another victory, then I will be disappointed. This is merely kind of posturing for what could be a very good climax.”

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Watch: Gary Player tires people out with sit-ups

By Grill Room TeamJune 24, 2018, 11:33 pm

Well all know Gary Player is a fitness nut, and at 82 years young he is still in phenomenal shape.

That's why it was incredible to see two mere mortals like us try to keep up with him in a sit-up competition at the BMW International Open.

Watch the video below.

The guy in blue makes the smart decision and bows out about halfway through. But give the other guy an "A" for effort, he stuck with Player for about 60 sit-ups, and then the nine-time major champion just starts taunting him.

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Japan teen Hataoka rolls to NW Ark. win

By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 11:07 pm

ROGERS, Ark. - Japanese teenager Nasa Hataoka ran away with the NW Arkansas Championship on Sunday for her first LPGA title

The 19-year-old Hataoka won by six strokes, closing with an 8-under 63 at Pinnacle Country Club for a tournament-record 21-under 192 total. She broke the mark of 18 under set last year by So Yeon Ryu.

Hataoka won twice late last year on the Japan LPGA and has finished in the top 10 in five of her last six U.S. LPGA starts, including a playof loss last month in the Kingsmill Championship.

Hataoka began the round tied with Minjee Lee for the lead.

Austin Ernst shot a 65 to finish second.

Lee and third-ranked Lexi Thompson topped the group at 13 under.

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Tour investigating DeChambeau's use of compass

By Will GrayJune 24, 2018, 10:09 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Bryson DeChambeau’s reliance on science to craft his play on the course is well known, but he took things to a new level this week at the Travelers Championship when television cameras caught him wielding a compass while looking at his yardage book during the third round.

According to DeChambeau, it’s old news. He’s been using a compass regularly to aid in his preparation for nearly two years, dating back to the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in October 2016.

“I’m figuring out the true pin locations,” DeChambeau said. “The pin locations are just a little bit off every once in a while, and so I’m making sure they’re in the exact right spot. And that’s it.”


Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


But social media took notice this weekend, as did PGA Tour officials. DeChambeau explained that he was approached on the range Saturday and informed that the Tour plans to launch an investigation into whether or not the device is allowable in competition, with a decision expected in the next week.

It’s not the first time the 24-year-old has gone head-to-head with Tour brass, having also had a brief run with side-saddled putting earlier in his career.

“They said, ‘Hey, we just want to let you know that we’re investigating the device and seeing if it’s allowable,’” DeChambeau said. “I understand. It wouldn’t be the first time this has happened.”

DeChambeau won earlier this month at the Memorial Tournament, and the Tour’s ruling would not have any retroactive impact on his results earlier this year. Playing alongside tournament winner Bubba Watson in the final round at TPC River Highlands, DeChambeau shot a final-round 68 to finish in a tie for ninth.

“It’s a compass. It’s been used for a long, long time. Sailors use it,” DeChambeau said. “It’s just funny that people take notice when I start putting and playing well.”