Surprising Streelman Tied atop the Leaderboard

By Associated PressJune 12, 2008, 4:00 pm
2008 U.S. OpenSAN DIEGO -- Thick rough or not, something about Torrey Pines Golf Course agrees with Kevin Streelman.
The 29-year-old PGA Tour rookie shot a 3-under-par 68 Thursday, tying him with Justin Hicks, another golfer who has toiled on the mini-tours for years, as the first-round leaders in the 108th U.S. Open.
I do enjoy this golf course. The lines off the tee kind of suit my eye well, Streelman said through a constant smile. Fortunately, drove it well and my iron play was pretty solid today.
I just really love this golf course.
Before Thursday, Streelmans claim to fame came at the Buick Invitational on the same striking city-owned golf course perched on cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
As the third alternate, Streelman figured that he probably wouldnt get a chance to play. So he was rapping a few putts to kill time when somebody tapped him on the shoulder and told him he was teeing off in a few minutes.
When he looked up, he was startled to see Tiger Woods in front of him, but he was too intimidated to say hi.
Even more jarring was seeing Woods with him on the first tee in the final group that Saturday after Streelman opened with a 67, then made it around the tough South Course on Friday with a 69 that put him in second place'and under a big spotlight on the weekend.
I was the last alternate to get in Thursday morning, six minutes before my tee time, and kind of raced out and went out and shot a 5-under on the other course and came back here and shot a 3-under, and all of a sudden I was paired with Tiger, Streelman recounted.
That was definitely an eye-opening experience, and to this day one of the cooler experiences of my life.
Woods, the worlds No. 1 player, said at the time he had never heard of Streelman, and when told that he was No. 1,354 in the world rankings, Woods replied, I think he might be going up.
He rose to No. 608 entering play this week.
While Woods went on to win the Buick, Streelman faded, shooting 75-77 on the weekend to finish tied for 29th. Still, his $33,063 check was his biggest on Tour until he finished tied for 14th at the Shell Houston Open, netting $92,400.
Streelman, whos just back from his honeymoon and a two-week break from golf, used his surprising success at the Buick to soothe his nerves Thursday.
I felt like to kind of do that out of the gates took away a lot of the anxiety, I would say. I almost feel a lot less nervous on my tee boxes after doing that with him, Streelman said. Great experience for me.
Playing with a new Scotty Cameron putter that he received just this week, Streelman had a chance to grab the lead all to himself before bogeying his last hole, the 612-yard, par-5 ninth.
I thought I hit a perfect hybrid down the fairway, and it normally should kick right down there, and it shot through and jumped into that other cut of rough, and I just caught a flier, to be honest, Streelman said. I hit a good shot and it just jumped on me a little, and I was pretty much in a lot of trouble over the back of that green.
Streelman said he planned to tap into his experience playing on the weekend with Woods six months ago to help him try to keep this dream alive on Friday.
The main thing I took out of it was the necessity of rest, said Streelman, who planned to grab a quick dinner and hit the sack early.
He also said hes gotten over the wow factor.
The first time with Tiger was definitely an incredible experience, Streelman said. The first time we walked off the first hole, he said, Hey, Kev, whats going on? And he was chatting like he was a buddy. You realize theyre guys, as well.
And Streelmans definitely one of the guys now.
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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.

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    “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

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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.”

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    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

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