Simpson maintains 4-shot lead in Las Vegas

By Associated PressOctober 19, 2013, 11:59 pm

LAS VEGAS – Webb Simpson was far from comfortable with a four-stroke lead at TPC Summerlin.

''This is a golf course where guys can shoot, as we've seen this week, 8, 9, 10, 11 under,'' Simpson said. ''So, I have to go out with a mindset of attacking and trying to make birdies.''

Simpson maintained his four-shot advantage Saturday in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, birdieing four of the last seven holes for a 4-under 67.

''I think the key tomorrow is to, No. 1, stay patient again in case I do get off to another slow start,'' said Simpson, who missed a playoff – that Jonathan Byrd won with a hole-in-one on the fourth extra hole – by a stroke in 2010 after making a double bogey on the par-3 17th.

Making his first start since helping the U.S. win the Presidents Cup, the 2012 U.S. Open champion was 19 under overall. He opened with rounds of 64 and 63.


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''The conditions were perfect,'' Simpson said. ''I knew guys were shooting low numbers. I felt like I was playing good enough. I just was shooting pretty bad – parred 9, dropped the shot at 11. So, it was frustrating. But my caddie just told me to stay patient and let the birdies come. And that's what happened. I made some putts coming in.''

Chesson Hadley was second after a 67, birdieing the short par-4 15th and following with a hole-out for an eagle on the par-5 16th.

''They waved us up on 15 and I just roasted a driver up there,'' Hadley said. ''I think it hit perfectly into the hill and dribbled up there to about 10 feet. I hit a good putt. It was just a little to the left, so it was a nice tap-in birdie. So that was good.

''Then I drove it right on 16, and I laid up to the perfect number. And my first thought when I hit it was, 'Please go a little.' Then I saw it take the first bounce and it looked like it just one-hopped right in the bottom of the stick. That was huge.''

The Web.com Tour Championship winner last month, Hadley is making his fourth career PGA Tour start. He and Simpson are both from Raleigh, N.C.

''Webb and I grew up playing together,'' Hadley said. ''He's always been more successful earlier than I have been. And you know, he's been such a good role model and just influence for the game as far as his faith is concerned. I'm just looking forward to playing with him tomorrow.''

Jeff Overton was third at 14 under after a 68.

Jason Bohn had a 69 to reach 13 under, and Sean O'Hair shot a 63 to join first-round leader J.J. Henry, defending champion Ryan Moore, William McGirt, Ryo Ishikawa and Russell Knox at 12 under.

O'Hair eagled the 15th.

''I've been playing some nice golf, and it was nice to come out today and get started off quick,'' O'Hair said. ''I was 3 under pretty quickly and turned at 4, and kind of started off slow on the back nine, but that eagle helped on 15. So, it was just all in all a great day.''

O'Hair had to play the four-event Web.com Tour Finals to regain his PGA Tour card.

''I think it was a tough time this year for me, especially late because I was realizing I was going to lose my card,'' O'Hair said. ''I just had to get my mind right going into those Web.com events. I knew I had an opportunity to get my card back, but I had to be in a right spot mentality. It was a disappointing time for me.

''I was able to get my mind right, and I played fairly well. ... I really feel good about my game right now, everything about it, from putting, ball-striking. I really feel like I can play some great golf right now. I think it helped me to kind of go back to basics and simplify my game.''

Henry has shot 71-70 after opening with a course-record 60. McGirt shot 64, Ishikawa had a 68, and Moore and Knox shot 69.

Daniel Summerhays had a 68 to reach 11 under. He eagled the par-5 13th and 16th holes.

Jimmy Walker, the winner of the season-opening Frys.com Open last week in California, was 10 under after a 64.

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'The Golf Club 2019' adds Elvy to commentary team

By Nick MentaJuly 19, 2018, 4:45 pm

“The Golf Club 2019” is adding a new name to its commentary team.

Broadcaster Luke Elvy will join returning announcer and HB Studios developer John McCarthy for the title's third installment.

Golf fans will recognize Elvy from his recent work with CBS in addition to his time with Sky Sports, FOX Sports, TNT, PGA Tour Live and PGA Tour Radio.

A 25-year media veteran from Australia, he now works in the United States and lives with his family in Canada.

"Ian Baker-Finch was my right-hand man on Australian televison," Elvy told GolfChannel.com in an interview at the Quicken Loans National. "And Finchy said to me, 'What are you doing here? You should be with me in the States.’ He introduced me to a few people over here and that's how the transition has happened over the last five or six years."

Elvy didn't have any prior relationship with HB Studios, who reached out to him via his management at CAA. As for why he got the job, he pseudo-jokes: "They heard the accent, and said, 'We like that. That works for us. Let's go.' That's literally how it happened."

He participated in two separate recording sessions over three days, first at his home back in February and then at the HB Studios shortly after The Players Championship. He teased his involvement when the game was announced in May.

Although he doesn't describe himself as a "gamer," Elvy lauded the game's immediate playability, even for a novice.

“It’s exactly how you’d want golf to be,” he said.

"The Golf Club 2019" will be the first in the HB series to feature PGA Tour branding. The Tour had previously licensed its video game rights to EA Sports.

In addition to a career mode that will take players from the Web.com Tour all the way through the FedExCup Playoffs, "The Golf Club 2019" will also feature at launch replicas of six TPC courses played annually on Tour – TPC Summerlin (Shriners Hospitals for Children Open), TPC Scottsdale's Stadium Course (Waste Management Phoenix Open), TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course (The Players Championship), TPC Southwind (FedEx St. Jude Classic/WGC-FedEx St. Jude Championship), TPC Deere Run (John Deere Classic), and TPC Boston (Dell Technologies Championship).

“I played nine holes at Scottsdale,” Elvy added. “It’s a very close comparison. Visually, it’s very realistic."

The Golf Club 2019 is due out this August on PlayStation 4, XBOX One, and PC.

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Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey

By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 3:48 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jhonattan Vegas thought someone was playing a practical joke on him.

Or maybe he was stuck in the middle of a horror movie.

Scheduled to leave for The Open a week ago, he didn’t arrive at Carnoustie until a little more than an hour before his first-round tee time Thursday.

“Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose,” he said, “you couldn’t really do it.”

The problem was an expired visa.

Vegas said that he must have gotten confused by the transposed date on the visa – “Guessing I’ve been living in America too long” – and assumed that he was cleared to travel.

No problem, he was told. He’d have a new visa in 24 hours.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Except the consulate in New York didn’t respond to his application the next day, keeping him in limbo through the weekend. Then, on Monday, he was told that he’d applied for the wrong visa. UPS got shut down in New York and his visa never left, so Vegas waited in vain for seven hours in front of the consulate in Houston. He finally secured his visa on Wednesday morning, boarded a flight from Houston to Toronto, and then flew to Glasgow, the final leg of a 14-hour journey.

His agent arranged a helicopter ride from Glasgow to Carnoustie to ensure that he could make his 10:31 a.m. (local) tee time.

One more issue? His clubs never made it. They were left back in Toronto.

His caddie, Ruben Yorio, scrambled to put together a new bag, with a mismatched set of woods, irons, wedges and putter.

“Luckily the (equipment) vans are still here,” Vegas said. “Otherwise I probably would have played with members’ clubs today.”

He hit about 20 balls on the range – “Luckily they were going forward” – but Carnoustie is one of the most challenging links in the world, and Vegas was working off of two hours’ sleep and without his own custom-built clubs. He shot 76 but, hey, at least he tried.

“It was fun,” he said, “even though the journey was frustrating.”

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'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

“The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

“That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”

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Perez: R&A does it right, 'not like the USGA'

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:28 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez didn’t even attempt to hide his frustration with the USGA at last month’s U.S. Open, and after an opening-round 69 at The Open, he took the opportunity to double down on his displeasure.

“They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA,” Perez said of the setup at Carnoustie. “They've got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you've got the greens receptive. They're not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn't. The course is just set up perfect.”


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Concerns at Shinnecock Hills reached a crescendo on Saturday when the scoring average ballooned to 75.3 and only three players broke the par of 70. Of particular concern for many players, including Perez, were some of the hole locations, given how fast and firm the greens were.

“The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”