Sindelar leads U.S. Senior Open through two rounds

By Associated PressAugust 13, 2016, 12:15 am

UPPER ARLINGTON, Ohio – Joey Sindelar, one of four former Ohio State players in the U.S. Senior Open at Scioto Country Club in suburban Columbus, has felt the support of the hometown crowd all week.

It apparently was a big help Friday. The 58-year-old Sindelar shot a 4-under 66 on a hot and humid day to take the second-round lead. He had five birdies, including two in a row after a bogey on No. 5. After finishing the first round with a 69, he was at 5 under overall.

''I've never been unconvinced that that many people in your corner, as the four of us have witnessed this week, cannot somehow kind of talk you into what might happen,'' Sindelar said.

His highlight was a 40-foot birdie putt on the par-3 17th, after pars on the six previous holes.

''I'm seeing the line very well, and I seem to be able to hit the ball where I'm looking, and so far it's been a fun week with the putter,'' said Sindelar, whose best finish in a senior event was a second in 2009.

Billy Mayfair, making his first senior start after turning 50 last Saturday, was a stroke back after a 67. He had four birdies and a bogey.

''Any time you put the words USGA in front of a tournament, first of all, they're going to be the best venues you're ever going to find, and they're going to be set up very difficult,'' Mayfair said. ''You've got to drive the ball well. You've got to hit good, smart iron shots, and you've got to position the ball on the green really well. Usually, that's below the hole. The greens will get firmer and firmer.''

First-round leader Vijay Singh followed his opening 66 with a 75 to drop into a tie for eighth at 1 over.

''I didn't hit that many fairways,'' Singh said. ''It was a lot windier today. I got some bad breaks, didn't putt as well. But all in all, I managed. I didn't play as bad as what the score reads.''

Defending champion Jeff Maggert also was 1 over after a 71. He won last year at Del Paso in California.

Sindelar said stamina has been factor for the 50-and-over players in the blistering heat and high humidity. For one thing, Sindelar said he also had trouble keeping his hands dry on the club. The conditions also have worked in their favor, with the course playing hard and fast.

''Some of us have aged way different than others,'' he said. ''I'm extremely arthritic so the heat is good for me. It keeps me loose so I'm kind of enjoying it. But, boy, at night we're cramping no matter how much you drink. Everybody got beat down a little. It's just tough physically to go through that out there.''

John Daly had an 81 to miss the cut. He had three double bogeys, six bogeys and a birdie.

Bernhard Langer was tied for 23rd at 3 over after a 70.

Because of the threat of rain Saturday, the players will play in threesomes starting at about 7:30 a.m.

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Five-time Open champ Thomson passes at 88

By Associated PressJune 20, 2018, 1:35 am

MELBOURNE, Australia – Five-time Open Championship winner Peter Thomson has died, his family said Wednesday. He was 88.

Thomson had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for more than four years and died at his Melbourne home surrounded by family members on Wednesday morning.

Born on Aug, 23, 1929, Thomson was two months short of his 89th birthday.

The first Australian to win The Open Championship, Thomson went on to secure the title five times between 1954 and 1965, a record equaled only by Tom Watson.

On the American senior circuit he won nine times in 1985.

Thomson also served as president of the Australian PGA for 32 years, designing and building courses in Australia and around the world, helping establish the Asian Tour and working behind the scenes for the Odyssey House drug rehabilitation organization where he was chairman for five years.

He also wrote for newspapers and magazines for more than 60 years and was patron of the Australian Golf Writers Association.

In 1979 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his service to golf and in 2001 became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his contributions as a player and administrator and for community service.

Thomson is survived by his wife Mary, son Andrew and daughters Deirdre Baker, Pan Prendergast and Fiona Stanway, their spouses, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements were to be announced over the next few days.

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Gaston leaves USC to become head coach at Texas A&M

By Ryan LavnerJune 19, 2018, 11:00 pm

In a major shakeup in the women’s college golf world, USC coach Andrea Gaston has accepted an offer to become the new head coach at Texas A&M.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Gaston, who informed her players of her decision Monday night, has been one of the most successful coaches over the past two decades, leading the Trojans to three NCAA titles and producing five NCAA individual champions during her 22-year reign. They have finished in the top 5 at nationals in an NCAA-record 13 consecutive seasons.

This year was arguably Gaston’s most impressive coaching job. She returned last fall after undergoing treatment for uterine cancer, but a promising season was seemingly derailed after losing two stars to the pro ranks at the halfway point. Instead, she guided a team with four freshmen and a sophomore to the third seed in stroke play and a NCAA semifinals appearance. Of the four years that match play has been used in the women’s game, USC has advanced to the semifinals three times.  

Texas A&M could use a coach with Gaston’s track record.

Last month the Aggies fired coach Trelle McCombs after 11 seasons following a third consecutive NCAA regional exit. A&M had won conference titles as recently as 2010 (Big 10) and 2015 (SEC), but this year the team finished 13th at SECs.

The head-coaching job at Southern Cal is one of the most sought-after in the country and will have no shortage of outside interest. If the Trojans look to promote internally, men’s assistant Justin Silverstein spent four years under Gaston and helped the team win the 2013 NCAA title.  

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Spieth 'blacked out' after Travelers holeout

By Will GrayJune 19, 2018, 9:44 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – It was perhaps the most-replayed shot (and celebration) of the year.

Jordan Spieth’s bunker holeout to win the Travelers Championship last year in a playoff over Daniel Berger nearly broke the Internet, as fans relived that raucous chest bump between Spieth and caddie Michael Greller after Spieth threw his wedge and Greller threw his rake.

Back in Connecticut to defend his title, Spieth admitted that he has watched replays of the scene dozens of times – even if, in the heat of the moment, he wasn’t exactly choreographing every move.


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“Just that celebration in general, I blacked out,” Spieth said. “It drops and you just react. For me, I’ve had a few instances where I’ve been able to celebrate or react on a 72nd, 73rd hole, 74th hole, whatever it may be, and it just shows how much it means to us.”

Spieth and Greller’s celebration was so memorable that tournament officials later shipped the rake to Greller as a keepsake. It’s a memory that still draws a smile from the defending champ, whose split-second decision to go for a chest bump over another form of celebration provided an appropriate cap to a high-energy sequence of events.

“There’s been a lot of pretty bad celebrations on the PGA Tour. There’s been a lot of missed high-fives,” Spieth said. “I’ve been part of plenty of them. Pretty hard to miss when I’m going into Michael for a chest bump.”

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Pregnant Lewis playing final events before break

By Randall MellJune 19, 2018, 9:27 pm

Stacy Lewis will be looking to make the most of her last three starts of 2018 in her annual return to her collegiate roots this week.

Lewis, due to give birth to her first child on Nov. 3, will tee it up in Friday’s start to the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Arkansas. She won the NCAA individual women’s national title in 2007 while playing at the University of Arkansas. She is planning to play the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship next week and then the Marathon Classic two weeks after that before taking the rest of the year off to get ready for her baby’s arrival.

Lewis, 33, said she is beginning to feel the effects of being with child.

“Things have definitely gotten harder, I would say, over the last week or so, the heat of the summer and all that,” Lewis said Tuesday. “I'm actually excited. I'm looking forward to the break and being able to decorate the baby's room and do all that kind of stuff and to be a mom - just super excited.”

Lewis says she is managing her energy levels, but she is eager to compete.

“Taking a few more naps and resting a little bit more,” she said. “Other than that, the game's been pretty good.”

Lewis won the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in 2014, and she was credited with an unofficial title in ’07, while still a senior at Arkansas. That event was reduced to 18 holes because of multiple rain delays. Lewis is a popular alumni still actively involved with the university.