Sony Offers Something for All Ages

By Associated PressJanuary 12, 2005, 5:00 pm
04 Sony OpenHONOLULU -- Depth on the PGA Tour takes on a new meaning at the Sony Open.
 
On the far left end of the practice range at Waialae Country Club, 15-year-old Michelle Wie was making a crisp sound with every iron she struck, getting ready for her annual practice round with Ernie Els.
 
A short time later, 55-year-old Tom Kite arrived and began hitting balls from the same spot. Kite has spent the last five years primarily on the Champions Tour, but wanted to take one more crack at the kids.
 
A 10th-grade girl wasn't what he had in mind.
 
'It's amazing how the sport has changed,' Kite said.
 
The tour shifts gears Thursday, going from a winners-only field at the Mercedes Championships to the first full-field event of the year at the Sony Open.
 
It could have been billed as 'Three Old Men and a Little Lady,' but that was before 53-year-old Dick Mast earned one of the four spots from Monday qualifying, putting him in the field at Waialae along with fellow Champions Tour players Kite, Craig Stadler and Peter Jacobsen.
 
Vijay Singh gives the Sony Open a No. 1 presence for the first time since the world rankings began in 1986.
 
Els could give the tournament its first three-peat champion. The 35-year-old South African has won the last two years in a playoff, over Harrison Frazar last year and Aaron Baddeley in 2003.
 
The field also includes Retief Goosen, Stewart Cink, Adam Scott and David Toms.
 
Still, the focus for at least the first two days is on a 15-year-old girl who stands about 6 feet tall, wears hoop earrings and can rip it.
 
Ryan Palmer played with Wie last week in the Mercedes Championships pro-am and came with this impression.
 
'If you're not watching her and just listening, it sounds like one of us out here,' he said.
 
Wie has more PGA Tour experience that five men in the field -- Justin Bolli, Matt Davidson, Sean O'Hair, Euan Walters and Rob Rashell, all of whom are tour rookies.
 
Expectations of her are higher.
 
A year ago, the teen prodigy knocked in a few putts from here to Kauai, shot 68 and missed the cut by one shot. Even so, it was the best score ever by a female competing on a men's tour.
 
Her goal this year is to play all four rounds, and the ultimate would be a top-20 finish.
 
Wie already has played about a dozen practice rounds at Waialae, never worse than 75 and twice at 66. Her stroke average at Waialae in the months leading up to the Sony Open is 1 1/2 shots fewer than it was last year.
 
But she remains realistic.
 
'People always expect that if you're so close, then you definitely should make the cut this year,' she said. 'But it has a lot to do with luck and the way you're playing that day. And hopefully, I'll catch a good day.'
 
She had a good day Tuesday, and a long one. Arriving at 7 a.m. to get ready for a practice round with the Big Easy, she later played in the Pro-Junior Golf Challenge with actor Adam Sandler. Wie didn't leave Waialae until 5:30 p.m., as the sun began to dip over Diamondhead.
 
While some question whether competing against the pros -- men or women -- is better career training than trying to beat amateurs her own age, Wie made it clear that she is thinking differently from most.
 
'I never really wanted to be known as winning 50-some-odd tournaments,' she said. 'I always wanted to be known as someone who did crazy stuff ... stuff that no one ever thought of. I just want to push myself to the limit. I want to be known as people that changed the world, change how people think.'
 
Jim Furyk is looking to change his fortunes after a lost year.
 
The Sony Open brings back wistful memories of 2004, when Furyk missed half of the season recovering from surgery on his left wrist. It was at Waialae when the pain went from being a little uncomfortable to getting his attention. Despite a remarkably quick recovery, Furyk failed to win on the PGA Tour for the first time in six years.
 
'I made peace with last year a long time ago,' Furyk said. 'The most difficult part of last year was toward the end. There was six weeks to go, and I was just starting to get comfortable. There was that sense of urgency. But once October ended, I started looking forward to '05.'
 
Kite is looking back as much as he is forward.
 
Qualifying for the U.S. Open last year at Shinnecock Hills reminded him how much he enjoyed spending time on the PGA Tour. Then he realized he had one more year left on tour, thanks to being in the top 50 in career money.
 
'If you've ever played in the big leagues, that's where you want to play,' he said. 'It gets in your blood.'
 
He plans to play at least 10 times before the U.S. Open, then decide where he wants to go from there.
 
'Either I'll continue to play on the PGA Tour, or run like hell back to the Champions Tour,' Kite said.
 
The Champions Tour doesn't have the appeal of the PGA Tour. Then again, it doesn't have a cut.
 
Nor does it have teenagers.
 
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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.”