Singh Shoots 28 at Bell Canadian

By Associated PressSeptember 10, 2004, 4:00 pm
OAKVILLE, Ontario -- With an awesome display of shots that brought him to No. 1 in the world, Vijay Singh put himself in the record books Friday morning with a 28 on the front nine at Glen Abbey to surge into contention at the rain-delayed Canadian Open.
Twelve shots better than his back nine, Singh finished with a 68 and was two shots behind Joey Sindelar, who finished his 66 late Thursday.
Singh, among half the field who failed to finish the first round because of a five-hour rain delay, hit his approach into the water and took bogey on the 18th to shoot 40 on his opening nine. He was in jeopardy of missing the cut in his first event since replacing Tiger Woods at No. 1 in the world ranking.
All that changed on the front nine, played under gorgeous sunshine and little wind.
Starting with a 3-foot birdie on the second hole, Singh played the next seven holes in 7 under par. He made five birdies inside 6 feet, and holed a 40-foot eagle putt on the fifth.
His 28 broke by one shot the Canadian Open record for nine holes, previously held by Mike McCullough in 1984 and Andy Bean in 1983, both times at the Abbey.
Singh had a 25-foot birdie putt on his final hole that would have tied the PGA Tour record of 27.
It was an even better performance by the last No. 1 player at Glen Abbey. Four years ago, Woods was close to the cut line in the second round when he finished birdie-eagle-birdie-eagle to shoot 65, and he went on to win.
Just as suddenly, Singh again looks like the man to beat.
He declined comment after his record-setting nine holes - 'Not now,' he said to a Royal Canadian Golf Association media official - and headed back out to start his second round.
Billy Andrade, who won a dramatic playoff in 1998 at the Abbey, also turned around his fortunes by playing his final 10 holes in 6 under par for a 67, leaving him one shot behind along with Craig Barlow.
The biggest star, former Masters champion Mike Weir of Canada, recovered from a double bogey on the eighth hole to shoot a 68, his lowest round at Glen Abbey and the second time he has shot in the 60s on the Jack Nicklaus design that has never been one of his favorites.
Singh and the other players who had late starts Thursday and didn't finish the round caught a huge break. They returned Friday morning to pristine conditions that replaced 30 mph gusts, allowing for only a dozen scores under par.
Sindelar, who won earlier this year at Wachovia to end a 14-year drought, did not tee off until 4:25 p.m.
He had every reason to lose his patience Thursday.
The Canadian Open is his sixth consecutive tournament, and he hasn't played any of them particularly well. Then, he had to wait through five hours of rain delays before he could tee it up, turning a morning round into an afternoon round with vicious gusts.
Ultimately, it turned out to be a lovely day.
Sindelar made the Abbey look like a breeze with his 5-under 66, giving him a two-shot lead over Pat Perez among half the field that finished the first round.
'Through this five weeks, I haven't done well,' Sindelar said. 'But my swing feels very, very good. I'm hitting a lot of shots right at it, which tells me my swing plane is OK. I drove the ball well, stayed out of trouble, hit a lot of greens. Everything went as I hoped it would.'
David Duval took another step emerging from his slump - not because he shot an even-par 71, but because he was upset about it.
'That's a good place to be - not happy about an even par on a day like this,' Duval said. 'That's a lot of progress from where I was a couple of months ago.'
On the other side was Perez, who managed to keep his cool despite being known for his hot temper. Perez had food poisoning Wednesday and almost withdrew, so the rain delay helped him - and so did five birdies after starting the tournament with a three-putt bogey.
'Old me would have gone to the car,' Perez said. 'I didn't get mad today. I've been working on not getting as mad and frustrated, just waiting for it all to come together.'
Sindelar made three straight birdies around the turn - one of those a two-putt from 4 feet after reaching the par-5 18th with a 6-iron. He missed the green long on No. 2 for a bogey and was headed for another one on the par-5 fifth until he rolled in a 50-footer from the fringe for birdie.
Masters champion Phil Mickelson started and finished his round with a birdie, but made a mess of it in between in his debut with a new golf ball, driver and fairway metals after signing with Callaway this week. He took a double bogey on No. 8, made five other bogeys and shot 75, matching his highest score of the year.
'I knew I was rusty,' said Mickelson, coming off a two-week break.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Bell Canadian Open
  • Full Coverage - Bell Canadian Open

    Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • Getty Images

    Phil rubs fan's Donald Duck hat seven times, signs it

    By Nick MentaJune 18, 2018, 3:09 pm

    There is a case to be made that what Phil Mickelson did on Saturday made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

    There is also a case to be made that the USGA's setup of Shinnecock Hills made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

    Whatever you think about what Mickelson did on Saturday - and how he attempted to justify it after the fact without even a hint of remorse - watch this video.

    The next time you hear someone say, "If anybody else had putted a moving ball on purpose and not apologized for it, it would get a different reaction," you can point to this video and say, "Yeah, here's why."

    Here's what happened once a still-strident Mickelson was done rubbing Donald Duck hats on Sunday, per Ryan Lavner:

    If you’re wondering whether Mickelson would be defiant or contrite on Sunday, we don’t know the answer. He declined to stop and speak with the media, deciding instead to sign autographs for more than a half hour and then offering a few short answers before ducking into player hospitality.

    “The real question is, ‘What am I going to do next?’” he said. “I don’t know.”

    The 2024 Ryder Cup at Bethpage is going to be a three-ring circus, and Mickelson, a likely choice to captain the U.S. team, will be the ringmaster.

    Separately, shoutout to 2017 Latin Am champ Toto Gana, who does a terrific Donald Duck (skip to end).

    Getty Images

    Ryder Cup race: Mickelson out, Simpson in

    By Will GrayJune 18, 2018, 2:34 pm

    There's a new man at the top of the U.S. Ryder Cup race following the U.S. Open, and there's also a familiar name now on the outside looking in.

    Brooks Koepka's successful title defense vaulted him to the top of the American points race, up four spots and ensuring he'll be on the team Jim Furyk takes to Paris in September. Dustin Johnson's third-place finish moved him past Patrick Reed at No. 2, while Webb Simpson entered the top eight after a a tie for 10th.

    While Bryson DeChambeau remained at No. 9, Phil Mickelson dropped two spots to No. 10. Tony Finau, who finished alone in fifth, went from 16th to 13th, while Tiger Woods fell two spots to No. 37.

    Here's a look at the latest U.S. standings, with the top eight after the PGA Championship qualifying automatically:

    1. Brooks Koepka

    2. Dustin Johnson

    3. Patrick Reed

    4. Justin Thomas

    5. Jordan Spieth

    6. Rickie Fowler

    7. Bubba Watson

    8. Webb Simpson


    9. Bryson DeChambeau

    10. Phil Mickelson

    11. Matt Kuchar

    12. Brian Harman

    On the European side, England's Tommy Fleetwood took a big stride toward securing his first Ryder Cup appearance with a runner-up finish that included a Sunday 63 while countryman Matthew Fitzpatrick snuck into a qualifying spot after tying for 12th.

    Here's a look at the updated Euro standings, with the top four from both points lists joining four picks from captain Thomas Bjorn at Le Golf National:

    European Points

    1. Tyrrell Hatton

    2. Justin Rose

    3. Tommy Fleetwood

    4. Francesco Molinari


    5. Thorbjorn Olesen

    6. Ross Fisher

    World Points

    1. Jon Rahm

    2. Rory McIlroy

    3. Alex Noren

    4. Matthew Fitzpatrick


    5. Ian Poulter

    6. Rafael Cabrera-Bello

    @jenamsims on Instagram

    Koepka autographs local kids' 'Go Brooks' sign after win

    By Grill Room TeamJune 18, 2018, 2:30 pm

    Brooks Koepka is a two-time U.S. Open winner, but that doesn't mean he's now too big to go sign a couple pieces of cardboard in somebody's front yard in the middle of the night.

    Koepka's girlfriend, Jena Sims, posted two pictures to her Instagram story on Sunday of "Go Brooks" signs she says were put up by some local kids in the area where Koepka was staying for the week.

    The first is dated prior to Koepka's final-round tee time.

    The second is from Sunday night.

    And here, separately, for no reason in particular (other than the fact that she posted it) is a video of Sims running over a parking cone at last year's U.S. Open at Erin Hills.

    Speaking of kids, just feels those two are gonna make it.

    Getty Images

    Koepka moves to No. 4 in world with U.S. Open win

    By Will GrayJune 18, 2018, 2:05 pm

    After successfully defending his U.S. Open title, Brooks Koepka reached a new career high in the Official World Golf Ranking.

    Koepka held off Tommy Fleetwood to win by a shot Sunday at Shinnecock Hills, becoming the first player to go back-to-back in nearly 30 years. As a result, he jumped five spots in the latest rankings to No. 4, six spots higher than he reached with last year's U.S. Open victory at Erin Hills.

    Fleetwood finished alone in second place and moved up two spots to No. 10, tying his career-best placement. Patrick Reed moved up two spots to No. 11 by finishing fourth, while fifth-place Tony Finau went from No. 37 to No. 31.

    Updated Official World Golf Ranking

    It was a largely quiet week in the rankings despite the fact that a major championship was contested. Outside of Koepka and Finau, the only other player inside the top 50 to move up or down more than three spots was Jason Dufner, who went from 53rd to 48th with a T-25 finish.

    Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1 for the second consecutive week, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Koepka and Jordan Spieth. Jon Rahm dropped one spot to No. 6, with Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day and Fleetwood rounding out the top 10. Hideki Matsuyama fell two spots to No. 12, dropping out of the top 10 for the first time since October 2016.

    Despite a missed cut at Shinnecock, Tiger Woods actually moved up one spot to No. 79 in the latest rankings. He plans to play the Quicken Loans National and The Open in the coming weeks, which will be his final two chances to move into the top 50 in time to qualify for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. The event is being held for the final time this summer at Firestone Country Club, where Woods has won eight times.