Spieth four back misses high school graduation

By Associated PressMay 29, 2011, 2:02 am
IRVING, Texas – Jordan Spieth started his high school graduation day with a round of golf – in the PGA Tour’s Byron Nelson Championship.

The 17-year-old amateur birdied the first two holes Saturday. He was 5 under and within three strokes of the lead before hitting a couple of tee shots into bunkers. He finished with a 2-over 72 and was 1 under for the tournament, only four strokes behind leader Ryan Palmer (73).

Spieth’s round ended about 4 p.m. time, the same time the other 245 boys in the senior class of Dallas Jesuit Prep were beginning their graduation ceremony on the SMU campus about 20 miles away.

Because of expected traffic, Spieth’s mother said they wouldn’t try to get to the ceremony, which was also near where Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was getting married.

With a large gallery following Spieth and playing partner Jerry Kelly, the teenager opened with a 10-foot birdie putt.

Then on the 190-yard No. 2 hole, with heavy winds bending the flagstick tucked on the front left of the green, Spieth hit his tee shot inside 3 feet for another birdie.

“I was like all right, who knows what can happen, who says you can’t shoot 5, 6 under today. And then reality kind of kicked in,” Spieth said. “I caught a couple of bad breaks. But also within those bad breaks, I made a couple of amateur decisions, which definitely hurt.”

Spieth’s first hiccup came when his tee shot at the par-4 fourth hole landing on the facing of a fairway bunker. After blasting out only 50 yards – with one foot in the bunker and the other out – his third shot hit and then rolled through the green. When the ball rolled off the back of the green, Spieth gritted his teeth while dropping into a half squat and gripping his club hard with both hands.

After he chipped to 8 feet off, he two-putted for double bogey.

Before his first putt at No. 4, Spieth stood in front of a leaderboard which had his name directly below Palmer and Sergio Garcia, then the co-leaders who had not yet teed off.

Spieth had another bogey at No. 9 when he hit another fairway bunker, then found a greenside bunker before blasting to 5 feet. After an 11-foot birdie on No. 10, his first tee shot at No. 11 went out of bounds and he had a double bogey 6.

“On four or five holes today I made four or five swings where I wasn’t ready to hit me. And it cost me five shots,” he said. “But, you know, I’m happy today the ball is rolling on the greens and my putter is keeping me in this and helping me. Maybe one of these rounds I’ll find a way to not make any bogeys.”

With winds were sustained at 25 mph with gusts near 40, it was a tough day for scoring. There were only eight under-par rounds among 74 players, the best a 3-under 67.

After a birdie at the par-4 14th, Spieth had consecutive bogeys before a 10-foot birdie putt at the par-3 17. He then had a 7-foot par-saving putt after missing the green with his approach at No. 18, where he was greeted with a roaring ovation from the fans.

“I’m actually in a good mood because I finished well on 17 and 18,” he said.

It is the second year in a row the Spieth made the cut at the Nelson. He finished tied for 16th last year and was within three strokes of the lead after 10 holes in the final round. He received a sponsor’s exemption to play in the tournament again this week.

His caddie this week is another local amateur, and his future teammate when they get to the University of Texas next fall. He is carrying Spieth’s “Jesuit Rangers” bag from his high school team.

Spieth, a past U.S. Junior Amateur champion, plans to take part in a U.S. Open qualifying tournament June 6 in Dallas.

When Spieth made it to play the weekend rounds as a 16-year-old at the Nelson last year, he was the sixth-youngest person to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

After Spieth’s second round Friday, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban tweeted: “Shout out to Huge Mavs Fan JORDAN SPIETH.. Congrats and Keep it rolling !!!”

Spieth was sitting in a suite with tournament officials and other golfers Wednesday night at the American Airlines Center when the Mavericks won Game 5 of their Western Conference finals series against Oklahoma City to earn a spot in the NBA Finals.

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Lewis hopes to win at Volvik with baby on the way

By Randall MellMay 27, 2018, 12:55 am

Stacy Lewis was listening to more than her caddie on her march up the leaderboard Saturday at the Volvik Championship.

Pregnant with her first child, she is listening to her body in a new way these days.

And she could hear a message coming through loud and clear toward the end of her round at Travis Point Country Club in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“The little one was telling me it’s dinnertime,” Lewis said.

Lewis birdied five of the last six holes to shoot 5-under-par 67 and move into position to make a Sunday run at winning her 13th LPGA title. She is two shots behind the leader, Minjee Lee, whose 68 moved her to 12 under overall.

Sunday has the makings of a free for all with 10 players within three shots of the lead.

Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship

Lewis, 33, is four months pregnant, with her due date Nov. 3. She’s expecting to play just a few more times before putting the clubs away to get ready for the birth. She said she’s likely to make the Marathon Classic in mid-July her last start of the season before returning next year.

Of course, Lewis would relish winning with child.

“I don’t care what limitations I have or what is going on with my body, I want to give myself a chance to win,” she told LPGA.com at the Kingsmill Championship last week.

Lewis claimed an emotional victory with her last title, taking the Cambia Portland Classic late last summer after announcing earlier in the week that she would donate her entire winnings to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in her Houston hometown.

A victory Sunday would also come with a lot of emotion.

It’s been an interesting year for Lewis.

There’s been the joy of learning she’s ready to begin the family she has been yearning for, and the struggle to play well after bouncing back from injury.

Lewis missed three cuts in a row before making it into the weekend at the Kingsmill Championship last week. That’s one more cut than she missed cumulatively in the previous six years. In six starts this year, Lewis hasn’t finished among the top 50 yet, but she hasn’t felt right, either.

The former world No. 1 didn’t make her second start of 2018 until April, at the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration. She withdrew from the HSBC Women’s World Championship in late February with a strained right oblique muscle and didn’t play again for a month.

Still, Lewis is finding plenty to get excited about with the baby on the way.

“I kind of had my first Mother’s Day,” Lewis told LPGA.com last week. “It puts golf into perspective. It makes those bad days not seem so bad. It helps me sleep better at night. We are just really excited.”

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Rose hasn't visited restroom at Colonial - here's why

By Nick MentaMay 27, 2018, 12:20 am

In case you're unaware, it's pretty hot in Texas.

Temperatures at Colonial Country Club have approached 100 degrees this week, leaving players to battle both the golf course and potential dehydration.

With the help of his caddie Mark Fulcher, Fort Worth Invitational leader Justin Rose has been plenty hot himself, staking himself to a four-shot lead.

Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

"Yeah, Fulch has done a great job of just literally handing me water bottle after water bottle. It seems relentless, to be honest with you," Rose said Saturday.

So just how much are players sweating the heat at Colonial? Well, it doesn't sound like all that water is making it all the way through Rose.

"I haven't even seen the inside of a restroom yet, so you can't even drink quick enough out there," he shared.

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Up four, Rose knows a lead can slip away

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 11:21 pm

Up four shots heading into Sunday at the Fort Worth Invitational, Justin Rose has tied the largest 54-hole lead of his PGA Tour career.

On the previous two occasions he took a 54-hole Tour lead into the final round, he closed.

And yet, Rose knows just how quickly a lead can slip away. After all, it was Rose who erased a six-shot deficit earlier this season to overtake Dustin Johnson and win the WGC-HSBC Championship. 

"I think I was in the lead going into the final round in Turkey when I won, and I had a four-shot lead going into the final round in Indonesia in December and managed to put that one away," Rose said Saturday, thinking back to his two other victories late last year.

"I was five, six back maybe of DJ, so I've got experience the other way. ... So you can see how things can go both ways real quick. That's why there is no point in getting too far ahead of myself."

Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

Up one to start the third round Saturday, Rose extended his lead to as much as five when he birdied four of his first six holes.

He leads the field in strokes gained: tee-to-green (+12.853) and strokes gained: approach-the-green (+7.931).

Rose has won five times worldwide, including at the 2016 Rio Olympics, since his last victory in the United States, at the 2015 Zurich Classic.

With a win Sunday, he'd tie Nick Faldo for the most PGA Tour wins by an Englishman post-World War II, with nine.

But he isn't celebrating just yet.

"It is a big lead, but it's not big enough to be counting the holes away. You've got to go out and play good, you've got to go out positive, you've got to continue to make birdies and keep going forward.

"So my mindset is to not really focus on the lead, it's to focus on my game tomorrow and my performance. You know, just keep executing the way I have been. That's going to be my challenge tomorrow. Going to look forward to that mindset."

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Grillo still hunting follow-up to debut win

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 10:53 pm

Following a round of 1-under 69 Saturday, Emiliano Grillo will enter Sunday's final round at Colonial four shots behind leader Justin Rose.

Grillo is hunting his first win since he took the 2015 Safeway Open in his rookie debut as a PGA Tour member. 

The young Argentinian finished 11th in the FedExCup points race that season, contending in big events and finishing runner-up at the 2016 Barclays.

In the process, Grillo had to learn to pace himself and that it can be fruitless to chase after success week to week.

"That was a hot run in there," Grillo said Saturday, referring to his rookie year. "I played, in 2016, I played the majors very well. I played the big tournaments very well. I was in contention after two, three days in most of the big events.

Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

"I think, you know, I wanted to do better. I pushed for it. Some of the tournaments I ended up being 50th or 60th just because I wanted to play. I wanted to play well so badly. That played against me, so I learned from that. In that rookie year, I learned that."

Grillo was still plenty successful in his sophomore season, advancing to the BMW Championship last fall.

But now he's beginning to regain some of that form that made him such an immediate success on Tour. Grillo has recorded four top-10 finishes year - a T-9 at Mayakoba, a T-8 at Honda, a T-3 at Houston, and a T-9 at Wells Fargo - and will now look to outduel U.S. Open champs in Rose and Brooks Koepka on Sunday at Colonial.

"Well, he's top 10 in the world, so everything he does he does it pretty well," Grillo said of Rose. "You know, he does his own thing. Like I say, he's top 10 in the world. Nothing wrong with his game. ...

"He's in the lead on a Sunday. Doesn't matter where you're playing, he's got to go out and shoot under par. He's got 50 guys behind him trying to reach him, and I'm one of those. I've just got to go out and do what he did today on those first five or six holes and try to get him in the early holes."