Steady Slocum grabs lead at McGladrey Classic lead

By Associated PressOctober 10, 2010, 2:59 am

PGA Tour (75x100)

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – No matter what golf course Heath Slocum is playing, his formula for winning doesn’t change. He tries to keep it in the short grass and make as many putts as he can.

And no matter who else is playing, his desire to win isn’t any different, either.

Despite making his first bogey in 50 holes at Sea Island, Slocum posted a third straight round of 4-under 66 on Saturday to build a one-shot lead over Joe Durant and PGA Tour rookie Troy Merritt going into the final round of the new McGladrey Classic.

The last time Slocum won was last year at The Barclays, when a birdie on the final hole gave him a one-shot win over Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington and Steve Stricker.

This Fall Series event had only four players from the top 50 in the world.

“A golf tournament is a golf tournament, no matter if it’s a major, a playoff event or a Fall Series event,” Slocum said. “It means the same to me. “Yeah, the crowds, the media attention and what comes with that … definitely a lot more relaxed here than New York. Ultimately, I think it’s the same. I’ll go out with the same desire to win as I did at The Barclays.”

Slocum’s only bogey came at the 16th, when the sea breeze died as he fired an aggressive 6-iron to a back pin. It went over the green, and he failed to get up-and-down.

Otherwise, he was steady. Slocum has missed only seven fairways all week, a formula he worked out when he first played Sea Island and realized the rough could be unpredictable.

He will play in the final group with Merritt, a PGA Tour rookie who had a bogey-free 64 at just the right time.

Like so many others at this Fall Series event, Merritt is trying to finish among the top 125 on the money list to keep his card. Merritt came into this tournament at No. 123. Durant, who started the year with limited status, is at No. 131. He put himself in the mix by running off four straight birdies toward the end of his front nine for a 68.

Toward the end of another gorgeous day on the Golden Isles, it was a matter of keeping mistakes at a minimum.

David Toms, the 36-hole leader, stumbled twice along the St. Simons Sound. He pitched over the 14th green and had to scramble for bogey, then caught a flier from the rough over the green on the par-5 15th and had made another bogey. Toms shot a 70, but still was only two shots out of the lead going into a Sunday that could be wide open.

Twenty players were separated by five shots going into the last round.

That includes Davis Love III, the tournament host, who thrilled his hometown crowd with a 65. Love is among three players who spent last week in the rain and muck of Celtic Manor for the Ryder Cup. He was a vice captain, and the likely choice to be captain for 2012 when the Ryder Cup returns to America.

For now, he is thinking about winning – and running a tournament.

“Not a whole lot of expectations, but I’ve been hitting it better every day, and now I’m made because I’ve had two bogeys on No. 6 and three bogeys on 16, or I’d be right in the tournament,” Love said. “I’m doing better than I expected, but you know, you’re supposed to play good on your home course.”

Two Ryder Cup players were on their last leg. Zach Johnson shot a 68 and was at 6-under 204, six shots behind, while Matt Kuchar was another shot behind after a 68.

Kuchar is playing his final official event of the year and has a good chance at winning the money title and Vardon Trophy.

“One more round,” he said, wiping his forehead after he finished.

For so many others, their season has a long way to go. Durant was among six players within four shots of the lead who were outside the top 125 on the money list, a group that includes Tom Pernice Jr.

Pernice, who turned 50 last year and won in his debut on the Champions Tour, is adamant about playing against the best. He is skipping a senior major this week to play the Fall Series at No. 142 on the money list, and gave himself a good chance with a 65 to join the large group at 8-under 202.

Love hosted a party for the players earlier this week, and PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem dropped by.

“He said, ‘What are you doing here? Why aren’t you at the (Senior) Players?”’ Pernice said. “I said, ‘Well, I’m trying to get my card out here.’ That’s been by goal from the get-go.”

Slocum is simply trying to win, as he does every week.

He still has another year from winning The Barclays, and at No. 43 on the money list, he is set for all the limited-field events. Slocum wanted to give himself three shots in the Fall Series at winning so he could start his year on Maui, and finish in the top 30 on the money list to earn a trip back to the Masters.

Durant is 46, with four PGA Tour victories, and he played this year on his status as a past champion. This is only his 17th tournament because of a limited schedule, but he feels as though he has been ready to play when he goes into tournaments.

He at least has experience on his side – not only winning, but knowing not to get to preoccupied with the money list.

“There’s no finality to tomorrow,” Durant said.
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Rose (64) peaking just ahead of the U.S. Open

By Nick MentaMay 25, 2018, 8:40 pm

A former U.S. Open champion appears to be finding his form just three weeks ahead of the year's second major.

Justin Rose ascended to the top of the leaderboard Friday at the Fort Worth Invitational, with rounds of 66-64 pushing him to 10 under par for the week.

Through 36 at Colonial, Rose has marked 12 birdies against just two bogeys.

"Yeah, I did a lot of good things today," Rose said. "I think, you know, the end of my round got a little scrappy, but until the last three holes it was pretty flawless. I think I hit every fairway pretty much and obviously every green to that point. ...

"Yeah, the way I played through, I guess through my first 15 holes today, was about as good as I've played in a long time."

Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

Rose won in back-to-back weeks last fall, stunning Dustin Johnson at the WGC-HSBC Championship and riding that victory right into another at the Turkish Airlines Open.

Now the 2013 U.S. Open winner at Merion feels himself once again rounding into form ahead of this year's Open at Shinnecock. A final-round 66 at The Players gave Rose something to focus on in his recent practice sessions with swing coach Sean Foley, as the two work to shore up the timing of Rose's transition into the downswing.

As for his decision to tee it up at Colonial for the first time since 2010, "It was more the run of form really," Rose explained. "I feel like if I didn't play here it was going to be a little spotty going into the U.S. Open. I felt like I wanted to play enough golf where I would have a good read on my game going into Shinnecock.

"So rather than the venue it was more the timing, but it's obviously it's just such a bonus to be on a great layout like this."

For whatever reason, Rose does tend to play his best golf at iconic venues, having won PGA Tour events at Muirfield Village, Aronimink, Cog Hill, Doral, Merion and Congressional.

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Koepka (63): Two wrist dislocations in two months

By Nick MentaMay 25, 2018, 8:19 pm

Brook Koepka's journey back from a wrist injury that kept him out four months hasn't been totally smooth sailing, even if his play has suggested otherwise.

Koepka on Friday fired a 7-under 63 to move up the leaderboard into a tie for third, three shots behind leader Justin Rose through the end of the morning wave at the Fort Worth Invitational.

After a slow start Thursday saw him play his first 13 holes 3 over, Koepka is 10 under with 11 birdies in his last 23 holes at Colonial.

"It doesn't matter to me. I could care less. I'm still going to try as hard as I can," Koepka said. "I don't care how many over or how many under I am. Still going to fight through it."

Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

Just like he's been fighting his wrist the last two months or so. Koepka reinjured his wrist the Wednesday of The Players when he was practicing on the range and had to halt mid-swing after a golf cart drove in front of him. He nonetheless managed to finish T-11.

And that's not the only issue he's had with that wrist during his return.

"We had a bone pop out of place. I didn't tell anybody, but, yeah, they popped it back in," Koepka admitted Friday. "Luckily enough we kind of popped it back into place right away so it wasn't stiff and I didn't have too, too many problems.

"Yeah. I mean, I've dislocated my wrist twice in the last two months. You know, different spots, but, I mean, it's fun. I'll be all right."

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Twitter spat turns into fundraising opportunity

By Rex HoggardMay 25, 2018, 6:30 pm

Country music star Jake Owen, along with Brandt Snedeker, has turned a spat on Twitter into a fundraising campaign that will support Snedeker’s foundation.

On Thursday, Owen was criticized during the opening round of the Tour’s Nashville Golf Open, which benefits the Snedeker Foundation, for his poor play after opening with an 86.

In response, Snedeker and country singer Chris Young pledged $5,000 for every birdie that Owen makes on Friday in a campaign called NGO Birdies for Kids

Although Owen, who is playing the event on a sponsor exemption, doesn’t tee off for Round 2 in Nashville until 2 p.m. (CT), the campaign has already generated interest, with NBC Sports/Golf Channel analyst Peter Jacobsen along with Tour player Zac Blair both pledging $100 for every birdie Owen makes.

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Noren so impressed by Rory: 'I'm about to quit golf'

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 5:33 pm

Alex Noren won the BMW PGA Championship last year, one of his nine career European Tour victories.

He opened his title defense at Wentworth Club in 68-69 and is tied for fourth through two rounds. Unfortunately, he's five back of leader Rory McIlroy. And after playing the first two days alongside McIlroy, Noren, currently ranked 19th in the world, doesn't seem to like his chances of back-to-back wins.

McIlroy opened in 67 and then shot a bogey-free 65 in second round, which included pars on the pair of par-5 finishing holes. Noren walked away left in awe.

"That's the best round I've ever seen," Noren said. "I'm about to quit golf, I think."

Check out the full interview below: