Third-round leader Watney implodes with 81

By Associated PressAugust 16, 2010, 4:24 am

2010 PGA Championship

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. – After a shaky start, one click pushed Nick Watney over the edge.

The 29-year-old leader after 54 holes of the PGA Championship squandered an early three-stroke lead but was still tied when a photographer’s camera snap on his backswing on the par-3 seventh unnerved him and sent his tee shot wayward into Lake Michigan.

“I made a birdie on No. 6, which kind of, I was tied for the lead at that point,” he said. “Number 7, a guy clicked me on the backswing, I hit into the lake, made a triple and it was pretty much over after that.”

Watney went on to card bogey or worse on five of the next eight holes and finished with an 81, the highest score ever by a 54-hole leader in PGA Championship history dating to the start of stroke play in 1958.

“I was leading by three shots going into Sunday of a major. For me as a player I need to take as much as I can from that,” he said. “I definitely got way ahead of myself.”

Watney, known by his college buddies as “Rube” after a character in “Major League II” because he’s so polite to seniors, was the only golfer who had a chance to fire in the 60s for all four rounds heading into Sunday’s play.

He passed 70 before finishing the 15th.

The only drama left in his day was watching a rules official walk up when playing partner Dustin Johnson grounded his club on the 18th that cost Johnson a chance at a playoff.

“I was totally shocked, I thought he was coming to me about it with the way my day was going,” he said. “It’s worse to be in Dustin’s situation.”

Sports psychologist Morris Pickens believes Watney will bounce back quickly and only needed to point to Watney’s playing partner, Johnson, who had a similar struggle after being the 54-hole leader at this year’s U.S. Open.

“I’m just going to tell him about perspective,” Pickens said. “Hey there’s golf. There’s pressure and there’s fun pressure. It’s not like you’re waiting on test results because your wife or your husband may have cancer. That’s uneasy pressure. This is, ‘You had a bad day at work.”’

A terrible one with his family watching.

Watney’s parents, sister and girlfriend, Amber Uresti, were following him during the day and by the turn, all Uresti wanted to do was try to comfort him.

“There was nothing I could do. I just wanted to give him a big hug,” she said. “It’s hard to watch when you see things not falling his way. It’s just not easy.”

Watney’s new caddie, Chad Reynolds, kept pushing him to stay positive and eventually the two-time winner on tour broke through with birdies on 16 and 17 to finish at 4-under 284. He was actually feeling better about himself when Johnson’s day turned bitter.

“It’s the first time he’s ever truly been in contention at a major. That’s another step forward. Hopefully that’s the way he’ll look at it,” Pickens said. “Just like a team that goes to the Super Bowl and then they don’t get it done, they come back the next year and they know more.

“I won’t say he’ll win the next time he gets in this position, but he’ll know more.”

Watney admitted he was nervous on Sunday morning, but ready for the challenge of Whistling Straits. It quickly turned sour.

“I was really looking forward to getting out there and I didn’t handle it as well as I would like,” Watney said. “It’s a major, and you definitely want to shoot as low as you can.

“I shot a million.”

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Wie has hand surgery, out for rest of 2018

By Randall MellOctober 18, 2018, 9:43 pm

Michelle Wie will miss the rest of this season after undergoing surgery Thursday to fix injuries that have plagued her right hand in the second half of this year.

Wie announced in an Instagram post that three ailments have been causing the pain in her hand: an avulsion fracture, bone spurs and nerve entrapment.

An avulsion fracture is an injury to the bone where it attaches to a ligament or tendon.

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I think John Mayer once said, “Someday, everything will make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, be strong and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason.” A lot of people have been asking me what’s been going on with my hand and I haven’t shared much, because I wasn’t sure what was going on myself. After countless MRI’s, X-rays, CT scans, and doctor consultations, I was diagnosed with having a small Avulsion Fracture, bone spurring, and nerve entrapment in my right hand. After 3 cortisone injections and some rest following the British Open, we were hoping it was going to be enough to grind through the rest of the season, but it just wasn’t enough to get me through. So I made the decision after Hana Bank to withdraw from the rest of the season, come back to the states, and get surgery to fix these issues. It’s been disheartening dealing with pain in my hand all year but hopefully I am finally on the path to being and STAYING pain free! Happy to announce that surgery was a success today and I cannot wait to start my rehab so that I can come back stronger and healthier than ever. Huge thank you to Dr. Weiland’s team at HSS for taking great care of me throughout this process and to all my fans for your unwavering support. It truly means the world to me. I’ll be back soon guys!!!! Promise

A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

Dr. Andrew Weiland, an attending orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, performed the procedure.

“It’s been disheartening dealing with pain in my hand all year, but, hopefully, I am finally on the path to being and staying pain free,” Wie wrote.

Wie withdrew during the first round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open with the hand injury on Aug. 2 and didn’t play again until teeing it up at the UL International Crown two weeks ago and the KEB Hana Bank Championship last week. She played those events with what she hoped was a new “pain-free swing,” one modeled after Steve Stricker, with more passive hands and wrists. She went 1-3 at the UL Crown and tied for 59th in the limited field Hana Bank.

“After 3 cortisone injections and some rest following the British Open, we were hoping it was going to be enough to grind through the rest of the season, but it just wasn’t enough to get me through,” she wrote.


Buick LPGA Shanghai: Articles, photos and videos


Wie, who just turned 29 last week, started the year saying her top goal was to try to stay injury free. She won the HSBC Women’s World Championship in March, but her goal seemed doomed with a diagnosis of arthritis in both wrists before the year even started.

Over the last few years, Wie has dealt with neck, back, hip, knee and ankle injuries. Plus, there was an emergency appendectomy that knocked her out of action for more than a month late last season. Her wrists have been an issue going back to early in her career.

“I don’t think there is one joint or bone in her body that hasn’t had some sort of injury or issue,” Wie’s long-time swing coach, David Leadbetter, said earlier this year.

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Woods receives his Tour Championship trophy

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 18, 2018, 8:57 pm

We all know the feeling of giddily anticipating something in the mail. But it's doubtful that any of us ever received anything as cool as what recently showed up at Tiger Woods' Florida digs.

This was Woods' prize for winning the Tour Championship. It's a replica of "Calamity Jane," Bobby Jones' famous putter. Do we even need to point out that the Tour Championship is played at East Lake, the Atlanta course where Jones was introduced to the game.

Woods broke a victory drought of more than five years by winning the Tour Championhip. It was his 80th PGA Tour win, leaving him just two shy of Sam Snead's all-time record.

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Garcia 2 back in storm-halted Andalucia Masters

By Associated PressOctober 18, 2018, 7:08 pm

SOTOGRANDE, Spain  -- Ashley Chesters was leading on 5-under 66 at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters when play was suspended because of darkness with 60 golfers yet to complete their weather-hit first rounds on Thursday.

More than four hours was lost as play was twice suspended because of stormy conditions and the threat of lightning at the Real Club Valderrama in southern Spain.


Full-field scores from the Andalucia Valderrama Masters


English journeyman Chesters collected six birdies and one bogey to take a one-shot lead over Gregory Bourdy of France. Tournament host and defending champion Sergio Garcia was on 68 along with fellow Spaniards Alvaro Quiros and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, and Australia's Jason Scrivener.

''It's a shame I can't keep going because the last few holes were the best I played all day. Considering all the delays and everything, I'm very happy with 5 under,'' Chesters said. ''The forecast for the rest of the week is not very good either so I thought I'll just make as many birdies as I can and get in.''

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Caddies drop lawsuit; Tour increases healthcare stipend

By Rex HoggardOctober 18, 2018, 3:33 pm

After nearly four years of litigation, a group of PGA Tour caddies have dropped their lawsuit against the circuit.

The lawsuit, which was filed in California in early 2015, centered on the bibs caddies wear during tournaments and ongoing attempts by the caddies to improve their healthcare and retirement options.

The caddies lost their class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court and an appeal this year.

Separately, the Association of Professional Tour Caddies, which was not involved in the lawsuit but represents the caddies to the Tour, began negotiating with the circuit last year.

“I told the guys, if we really want a healthy working relationship with the Tour, we need to fix this and open the lines of communication,” said Scott Sajtinac, the president of the APTC.

In January 2017, Jay Monahan took over as commissioner of the Tour and began working with the APTC to find a solution to the healthcare issue. Sajtinac said the Tour has agreed to increase the stipend it gives caddies for healthcare beginning next year.



“It took a year and a half, but it turned out to be a good result,” Sajtinac said. “Our goal is to close that window for the guys because healthcare is such a massive chunk of our income.”

In a statement released by the Tour, officials pointed out the lawsuit and the “potential increase to the longtime caddie healthcare subsidy” are two separate issues.

“Although these two items have been reported together, they are not connected. The PGA Tour looks forward to continuing to support the caddies in the important role they play in the success of our members,” the statement said.

Caddies have received a stipend from the Tour for healthcare for some time, and although Sajtinac wouldn’t give the exact increase, he said it was over 300 percent. Along with the APTC’s ability to now negotiate healthcare plans as a group, the new stipend should dramatically reduce healthcare costs for caddies.

“It’s been really good,” said Sajtinac, who did add that there are currently no talks with the Tour to created a retirement program for caddies. “Everybody is really excited about this.”