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Stricker's water ball gives Tolles lead in Tucson

By Associated PressMarch 4, 2018, 1:13 am

TUCSON, Ariz. – Steve Stricker lost the Cologuard Classic lead Saturday when he drove into the water on the par-5 18th in a closing double bogey.

A year after losing a chance to win the event in his PGA Tour Champions debut when his 3-wood went left into the water on the final hole, Stricker did it again Saturday.

''Pulled it poorly, pulled it 20 yards left of where I hit it in the water last year,'' Stricker said. ''It was close again, but just too far left. It just doesn't set up very well for me, that hole. Struggling to try to get it in the fairway.''

Stricker ended up with a 3-under 70, leaving him a stroke behind Tommy Tolles with a round left on Omni Tucson National's Catalina Course. Tolles bogeyed the 18th for a 70 after following Stricker into the water.


Full-field scores from the Cologuard Classic


''I had my moments again today, good and bad, and for the most part it was more good than bad,'' Tolles said. ''I did not putt near as well.''

Stricker also hit into the water on the par-3 fourth for a double bogey.

''Made two doubles. Other than that, I played OK again,'' Stricker said. ''Just finishing with a double, three-putting 17 for par and then doubling 18 doesn't sit so well with me right now. But I'm still in a good spot heading into tomorrow, so got to look at the bright side and try to get a good night's sleep and try to come out tomorrow and not make any mistakes.''

Stricker finished behind Tom Lehman last year, blowing a two-shot lead on the final three holes. The 12-time PGA Tour winner tied for second two weeks in Florida in the Chubb Classic, his fifth top-three finish in seven career senior starts.

The 50-year-old Tolles, making his eighth start on the senior tour, had an 11-under 135 total.

''Tomorrow is just another day,'' Tolles said. ''You can't really play any hole like it's more important than the previous one. Yes, when you get down to the end, if you need a birdie you have to play it differently than you normally would. If you need to make a par, bogey, triple, whatever it is. When I play the first hole, I'm going to hit it just like I did on Thursday, second hole, just like I did on Thursday, until they tell me I can't play anymore.''

Scott Dunlap, tied for the first-round lead with Tolles, was tied with Stricker at 10 under after a 71. Dunlap, Tolles and Stricker will play in a threesome Sunday for the second straight day.

''My day was pretty inconsistent, but I didn't shoot myself in the foot,'' Dunlap said. ''We hung in there and my partners didn't go crazy, although they did a little better than I did. So, live to fight another day.''

Rocco Mediate (65) and Doug Garwood (68) were 9 under.

Mike Small, the University of Illinois coach playing on a sponsor exemption, followed his opening 66 with a 73 to drop into a tie for 10th at 7 under. Lehman was 3 under after a 72, and Bernhard Langer had a 77 to drop to 1 under.

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Ryu thriving again after simple advice from Inbee Park

By Randall MellJune 21, 2018, 7:07 pm

So Yeon Ryu shared Rolex Player of the Year honors last year.

She reigned as world No. 1 for almost five months.

So when she couldn’t keep her momentum going at year’s start, she got frustrated. She wasn’t happy with two top 10s in her first 11 starts.

“I lost a lot of confidence at the beginning of the year,” Ryu said Thursday as she prepared to lead a strong field as the defending champion in Friday’s start of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. “My expectation level was way too high.”

So she sought the counsel of her pal, world No. 1 Inbee Park, who gave her some plain-spoken advice.


Full-field scores from the Walmart Arkansas Championship


“Get over it,” Park told her. “You know what to do. You’ve done it, so it’s not really a big deal. Don’t worry about it. You were No. 1. You’ve achieved a lot of things as a professional golfer. Just don’t be too hard on yourself.”

Ryu got over it winning the Meijer LPGA Classic last week, the sixth LPGA title of her career, her third in 15 months. She’s feeling good again leading a stellar field this week at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Ark., a strong tune up before next week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the year’s third major championship.

World No. 1 Park, No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn and No. 3 Lexi Thompson are among the top nine players in the world scheduled to compete this week. Twenty-four of the top 30 are in the field.

“When you come to defend your title, you obviously have a lot of pressure, but after I won last week, now I sort of think, maybe I have a chance to defend my title,” Ryu said. “So I've got total confidence, by last week.”

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Watch: Spieth, JT hole bunker shots in back-to-back groups

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 21, 2018, 6:57 pm

Jordan Spieth has a thing for holing bunker shots at the Travelers Championship, where he made one in a playoff to win last year.

He did it again in Round 1 at TPC River Highlands, knocking in this shot for eagle at the par-5 sixth to reach 4 under par for the tournament



In the next group, Justin Thomas did the same thing to reach 1 under. Keep an eye out for the best part of this highlight, when Thomas' caddie Jimmy Johnson tries to hand him his putter.

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River Highlands a 'breather' for Zach Johnson (63)

By Will GrayJune 21, 2018, 6:43 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – After enduring the pressure-cooker of the U.S. Open, Zach Johnson was more than happy to drift north to the friendly confines of TPC River Highlands.

Birdies were rare last week at Shinnecock Hills, but they’ll be plentiful all week long at the Travelers Championship. Browned-out and crispy conditions transitioned to lush and verdant, and players can attack flags without fear of turning a possible par into a struggle to avoid triple.

Johnson did just that in the opening round, carding eight birdies against a single bogey to take the early lead with a 7-under 63.

“It’s a different kind of breathing. It’s a different kind of exhaling, if you will, but they’re both good,” Johnson said. “You can put some red on the board here. We know that. We’ve seen it. You can go the other way in a hurry if you press it; it can keep going in the other way. So you kind of have to let it happen. This is one of those courses where you have to let it happen.”


Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


Like many in this week’s field, Johnson took it easy after a grueling major championship, staying away from the course Monday and easing into his prep over the next two days. Those decisions paid off quickly as he rattled off six straight birdies on Nos. 11-16 to take sole possession of the lead.

While Johnson tied for 12th last week at Shinnecock Hills, that was just his second top-15 finish since the Sony Open in January. But the veteran is no stranger to fast starts at TPC River Highlands, having now opened with 65 or better four times in his last eight appearances dating back to 2011.

It’s a course where he continues to have success, even if his past consistency hasn’t lived up to expectations.

“I feel like every time I get here it feels like I should shoot nothing, and it bites me,” Johnson said. “The last couple years I’m like, ‘All right, you can’t have any expectations in that regard. You’ve just got to go out and execute, you know, put the ball in the fairway and you will have opportunities.’” 

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First photos from Norman's 'Body' shoot

By Grill Room TeamJune 21, 2018, 6:35 pm

It was revealed earlier this week that Greg Norman would be one of the athletes showcased in ESPN's "Body Issue," which features the models stategically posed in the nude.

Well, the first photos are out from Norman's shoot and ... here they are, if you want them.