Singh in Control at Bay Hill

By Associated PressMarch 14, 2008, 4:00 pm
2007 Arnold Palmer InvitationalORLANDO, Fla. -- Vijay Singh was forced to take four days off from practicing, which was unprecedented. He found himself atop the leaderboard one week later at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which is not surprising in the least.
 
Weakened by a stomach virus that caused him to lose 18 pounds in five days, Singh recovered in time to make a strong defense of his Bay Hill title by chipping in twice Friday on his way to a 5-under 65 and a two-shot lead over Carl Pettersson.
 
The 45-year-old Fijian looked like the model of athleticism on a day of gray clouds and occasional rain, not even remotely resembling someone afraid to stray too far from the bathroom for four days.
 
Ive got a very heavy shirt on. I can see my ribs, said Singh, who was at 9-under 131. I thought I was going to pull out of this tournament, but on Friday, I just started to hit a few (balls). And that was it.
 
What he couldnt see on the leaderboard was Tiger Woods, who hasnt been this far out of the lead since the British Open.
 
The worlds No. 1 player also looked sick, but only after watching putts come up short on shoddy greens. Woods, trying to continue a winning streak that stretches all the way back to September, had to settle for nine straight pars to close out a 2-under 68. He was seven shots behind going into the weekend.
 
Ill have to play better and make a lot more putts that I have been, Woods said. I just wasnt swing the club very well today. And when I did put myself in position to make a putt, I didnt make them.
 
After hitting a tee shot on the 16th that stopped next to a grandstand on the 17th, Woods still had a 15-foot birdie putt that rolled and wiggled and bumped and eventually slid by the hole. By this point, he only smiled.
 
Runs like a fairway, he said under a breath.
 
But they are the same for everybody, and scoring has been reasonable.
 
Pettersson opened with three straight birdies on his way to a 65. Former U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk, coming off an unproductive West Coast Swing, birdied the last hole for 67, leaving him in the group at 134 that included Lee Westwood (68) and Ken Duke (67).
 
Singh finally exorcised his demons at Bay Hill last year with a comfortable two-shot victory, giving him 31 career victories to tie Harry Lighthorse Cooper for most by a foreign-born player.
 
Theyre still tied.
 
Singh has gone more than a year without winning, and it was only a month ago that he squandered a three-shot lead with five holes to play at Pebble Beach, losing to Steve Lowery in a playoff.
 
That didnt make him nearly as sick as a trip to India two weeks ago for the Johnnie Walker Classic.
 
Tried to eat clean and drink bottled water, and it didnt work, Singh said. I got the flu and a stomach virus, so both things were not very good. I came back on Monday and just never left the bathroom for four days. It was almost a forced rest.
 
Singh says his fitness regimen from the offseason helped him recover quickly, and he has felt himself getting stronger with each day. It helps, of course, to chip in twice, including an eagle on the sixth hole that gave him the outright lead.
 
He also chipped in from 40 feet short of the par-3 14th green, and thats one way to cope with greens that are not in the best shape. Then again, Singh knows Bay Hill perhaps better than any other course on the PGA TOUR.
 
Palmer gave him an exemption before he ever won on the PGA TOUR, in 1993, and he has never missed a tournament or a cut. He has played 62 rounds, and this was his 14th consecutive round at par or better.
 
Sometimes I dont need a yardage from the caddie, he said. I just know where to hit it.
 
Fred Couples, who shared the first-round lead, made four bogeys before finally making a birdie on the 14th and shot 73, leaving him in the group with Woods at 2-under 138.
 
Another shot behind was Phil Mickelson, who has had a quiet week thus far, although he rallied late to make sure he was around for the weekend. The cut was at 142, and that included amateur Webb Simpson.
 
Singh is regarded a good front runner, although his PGA TOUR record with a 36-hole lead is only 12-10. And there are memories of Pebble Beach, when Singh felt out of sync and looked even worse over the closing holes.
 
A lot can happen on this golf course, Furyk said. A lot of water, a lot of lakes, a lot of catastrophes it seems like. And Ive avoided them for two days. Hopefully on the weekend, I can make a few more birdies and a few more putts.
 
That seems to be a script for Woods manual at Bay Hill, a tournament he won four straight times, but has not fared better than 20th in the four years since that streak.
 
He finished his rough with a 3-wood into the rough on the right of the 18th hole, forcing him to hit a 6-iron over the water and the rocks guarding the green, hoping it came out the right way. It landed near the flag, leaving him a 15-foot birdie putt.
 
And left it short.
 
Sums up the whole day right there, Woods said.
 
Divots
 
Among those in Woods gallery was LPGA Championship winner Suzann Pettersen, a member at Bay Hill. Pat Perez made a hole-in-one on the second hole with a 5-iron. He wound up with a 65 and was tied for 20th. John Senden made the cut on the number after a 72, giving him a chance to crack the top 50 in the world ranking and qualify for the World Golf Championship next week at Doral. U.S. Amateur champion Colt Knost birdied his last hole for an 80.
 
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    Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

    By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

    NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

    Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

    The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

    Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

    Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

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    Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

    Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

    Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

    Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

    4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

    4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

    4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

    4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

    4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

    5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

    5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

    5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

    5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

    5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

    6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

    6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

    6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

    6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

    6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

    6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

    7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

    7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

    7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

    7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

    7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

    7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

    8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

    8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

    8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

    8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

    8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

    8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

    9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

    9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

    9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

    9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

    9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

    10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

    10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

    10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

    10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

    10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

    10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

    11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

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    Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

    He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

    “There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

    Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

    “I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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    Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

    Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

    Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

    “I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

    Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

    “It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

    More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

    “I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”