Tom Watson leads as Tiger Woods misses cut

By Associated PressJuly 17, 2009, 4:00 pm
135th Open Championship TURNBERRY, Scotland ' Tom Watson leading the British Open heading to the weekend?
 
Tiger Woods gassing up the plane and heading for home?
 
Treacherous Turnberry delivered a pair of shockers Friday.
 
The 59-year-old Watson rolled in two impossibly long putts, danced a Scottish jig on the 18th green and walked off tied with unheralded American Steve Marino for the 36-hole lead at the British Open, where the course struck back with a fury thanks to a stiff breeze whipping off the Firth of Clyde.
 
Tom Watson
Tom Watson made four birdies and no bogeys over his final 10 holes Friday. (Getty Images)
Woods probably wont be around to see how it all turns out. He took two double bogeys on the back side, limped off with a 4-over 74 and appeared likely to miss the cut in a major for only the second time in his professional career.
 
It was just problem after problem, said Woods, who came into golfs oldest championship as an overwhelming favorite after winning three times since his return from knee surgery. I kept compounding my problems out there.
 
Major title No. 15 will have to wait, it seems.
 
I hit some bad tee shots, a couple of bad iron shots, didnt get it up and down, Woods said. I kept making mistake after mistake.
 
Watson, trying to shatter the record for the oldest major winner, had all his bad shots at the start. The five-time Open champion bogeyed five out of six holes on the front ' four of them in a row ' but he remarkably played the final 10 holes at 4 under.
 
He signed for a 70 that might have been more impressive than his bogey-free 65 in the opening round.
 
I wouldnt be here if I didnt think I could win, Watson said.
 
Woods had missed only one cut in a major since turning pro, and that was at the 2006 U.S. Open shortly after the death of his father, Earl. He tried to rally, making birdies on two of the last three holes, but that was likely to leave him one stroke shy of the cut line.
 
Unfortunately, it just didnt happen, Woods said. No doubt Im frustrated. I was playing well the first seven holes, right there in the championship. I felt like if I was under par for the tournament, I would be in the top 10. I didnt do that. I went the other way.
 
The top 70, plus ties, make it to the final two rounds. When Woods walked off the course, he was tied for 77th at 5-over 145.
 
The British Open doesnt have a 10-shot rule, which would allow anyone within 10 strokes of the lead to make the cut. Woods was 10 behind co-leaders Marino and Watson.
 
Marino shot 68 in treacherous conditions and will go out in the final group Saturday with Watson. Another old-timer, 49-year-old Mark Calcavecchia, will start one stroke back.
 
Its as if the spirits are on my side, said Watson, who rolled in a 75-foot birdie at the 16th and a 45-footer at the final hole. I hope the spirits stay on my side.
 
Since the 06 miss at Winged Foot, Woods had made the cut in 43 consecutive tournaments worldwide. He opened with a disappointing 71 in much easier conditions Thursday, but was still in decent shape when he made the turn.
 
Then, he fell apart.
 
Woods tee shot at No. 10 sailed wildly into the tall grass far right of the fairway ' a familiar problem both days ' and it was clear he was in trouble when he hit a provisional. Even with dozens of fans helping him look, he could only find someone elses lost ball ' who knows how long thats been there? ' took a one-stroke penalty and wound up with a double-bogey 6.
 
He made bogey at the 12th after driving into a fairway bunker, then had another double at 13. He was only 159 yards away in the first cut of rough after his tee shot, then needed five more strokes to get down. A ragged approach missed the green, a sloppy chip failed to stay on, and a missed putt from about 5 feet sent him tumbling into an even deeper hole.
 
I just made mistakes, Woods said. And obviously you cant make mistakes and expect to not only make the cut, but also try and win a championship. You have to play clean rounds of golf, and I didnt. I made my share of mistakes out there today and didnt play a very clean card.
 
Watson began to rally with two birdies around the turn, but he closed with a real flourish. The long putt at No. 16 plopped right in the center of the cup, prompting Watson to pump both fists. The one from the edge of the 18th green dropped, too, and Watson kicked his right leg with glee, hardly looking like a guy who had his left hip replaced last October.
 
He would easily be the oldest major champion in golf history; Julius Boros was 48 when he set the record at the 1968 PGA Championship.
 
But remember, the Open teased us with a similar scenario a year ago ' Greg Norman, then 53, led after 54 holes but faded on the final day.
 
Maybe Calcavecchia will take it down. With his wife on the bag and just one year away from being eligible for the senior tour, he got off to a 67-69 start two decades after his lone major title, right up the road at Troon.
 
Im real happy with the way things have gone, he said. Im getting some good bounces, and Im getting lucky on occasion, which always helps.
 
With props to his father for sending along his passport, Marino looked right at home in his first Open appearance.
 
I didnt have a passport, said Marino, who got in as an alternate. I had to fly my dad down to Florida so he could get my passport and FedEx it to me. I wasnt even expecting to play in this tournament.
 
His father made the dash from his home in Virginia, sent along the passport to his son playing in the John Deere Classic and flew back'all in the same day. When Shingo Katayama withdrew from the Open last weekend because of an injury, Marino received the spot.
 
Though he had never played on a true links course, Marino felt his game was suited to a style of golf that requires imagination and low ball flight.
 
I would consider myself a feel player, he said. I kind of see shots before I hit them. I dont really hit the same shot every time. Over here, you kind of have to be that way a little bit and hit some low shots and some high shots and bounce them in there and use the slopes.
 
For most, this was a day for surviving.
 
First-round leader Miguel Angel Jimenez struggled to a 73. The ponytailed, cigar-smoking Spaniard got off to a grisly start but held it together and joined the pack at 137.
 
Im pleased the way I finished, not very pleased with the way I started, Jimenez said. You need to put it on the fairways, and I started missing the fairways for a little bit.
 
Japans Kenichi Kuboya had the lead for a while, but lost it ' along with his ball ' when an errant tee shot at No. 13 led to double bogey. A 72 kept him in contention among at 137, along with Englands Ross Fisher (68), South Africas Retief Goosen (70) and Fijian Vijay Singh (70).
 
Sergio Garcia was in the hunt at 140. John Daly, who won at St. Andrews in 1995, made it to an Open weekend for the first time in four years with a 140 after shooting 72.
 
It was brutal out there, moaned Daly, who might have said the same about his psychedelic green pants. The course'whether it is calm or blowing'your are always 5 feet or 5 inches from a disaster.
 
Just ask Ben Curtis, the 2003 Open champion. He was challenging for the lead with an opening 65, but soared to an 80 on Friday.
 
I just hit it bad, he said. I got lucky yesterday with the weather. That helped me keep it in play. Today was different.
 
To say the least.
 
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    McIlroy battles back into tie for BMW PGA lead

    By Golf Channel DigitalMay 26, 2018, 4:09 pm

    Rory McIlroy got off to a rocky start on Saturday in the third round of the BMW PGA Championship, including hitting a spectator and making a double bogey. But after that incident on the sixth hole, he didn't drop another shot, birdieing the final hole to shoot a 1-under 71 and tie for the lead.

    McIlroy had gone into Moving Day with a three-shot lead, but Francesco Molinari had the round of the day, a 6-under 66. "It was nice keep a clean scorecard," said Molinari, who hasn't made a bogey since the 10th hole on Friday.


    Full-field scores from the BMW PGA Championship


    McIlroy and Molinari will be paired in Sunday's final round. They are tied at 13 under par, four shots clear of Ross Fisher, Branden Grace, Sam Horsfield and Alexander Noren.

    The Wentworth course ends with back-to-back par-5s, and McIlroy birdied both of them. He got a break on the 18th hole as his drive hit a spectator and bounced into light rough.

    "It was a struggle out there today," McIlroy said. "I think when you're working on a few things in your swing and the wind is up and you're stuck between trying to play different shots, but also try to play - you know, make good swings at it, I just hit some loose tee balls on the first few holes. But I'm proud of myself. I stayed patient. I actually - I'm feeling a bit better about myself after today than I was even walking off the course yesterday."

    Getty Images

    Watch: McIlroy hits spectator on hand

    By Golf Channel DigitalMay 26, 2018, 2:58 pm

    We never cease to wonder at how close fans crowd in to the intended line of some shots, and just how skilled Tour players are in not hitting someone.

    But every once in a while, golf ball and spectator intersect, with painful results. It happened to Rory McIlroy during the third round of the BMW PGA Championship, after he had hit a wayward drive on the sixth hole. Attempting to hack out his second shot from under a bush, McIlroy struck a female spectator on her right hand. There was no official word on her condition, but she was clearly - and understandably - in pain.

    McIlroy went on to make double bogey but was able to put the incident behind him, as he promptly birdied the next hole.

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    Hataoka leads Minjee Lee by one at LPGA Volvik

    By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 12:54 am

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. – After losing in a playoff last weekend, Nasa Hataoka is making another bid for her first LPGA Tour victory.

    Hataoka shot a 4-under 68 on Friday, and the Japanese teenager led by one stroke over Minjee Lee after the second round of the Volvik Championship. Hataoka, who is coming off the first two top-10 finishes of her LPGA career, made seven birdies at Travis Pointe Country Club. She began her round on No. 10, and her best stretch came toward the end, when she birdied Nos. 4, 5 and 6.

    ''I'm really comfortable playing the LPGA,'' the 19-year-old Hataoka said through a translator. ''I've really got confidence now.''

    Hataoka made the cut nine times in 17 starts as a rookie in 2017, and she has made significant strides of late. She tied for seventh at last month's MEDIHEAL Championship and nearly won a week ago at the Kingsmill Championship in Virginia.

    Hataoka finished the second round in Michigan at 9 under. Lee (69) was also solid Friday. Gaby Lopez (68), Jodi Ewart Shadoff (70) and Lindy Duncan (70) were a stroke behind Lee in a tie for third.

    Hataoka did not make a single bogey in last week's three-round tournament, and she didn't have any in the first round in Michigan. She finally made a few Friday, but that didn't stop her from taking sole possession of the lead.

    ''I kind of feel like not really perfect, but I just kind of try to (be) aggressive,'' she said.


    Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


    Lee, who lost by one stroke on this course last year, is in contention again.

    ''I guess the fairways are pretty generous and I think the greens are a little bit on the trickier side to read,'' Lee said. ''As long as your iron shots are pretty solid, I think you're going to be in good position around this golf course.''

    Lee birdied the first two holes, and the only blemish on her scorecard Friday came on the par-5 14th. After missing the fairway to the right, she hit an aggressive shot out of the rough that went straight toward a water hazard well in front of the green. She settled for a bogey after taking a drop.

    ''I thought the ball was sitting OK in the rough, but it must have been a bit funny, or underneath it,'' she said. ''I made a mistake. I thought it was good enough to hit 3-wood there.''

    Lee lost last year in Michigan to Shanshan Feng, but Feng will have some ground to make up in her attempt to repeat. She shot 69 on Friday but is still eight strokes behind the leader.

    Ariya Jutanugarn was 6 under after a second consecutive 69.

    Lopez made only six pars in the second round, tied for the fewest of the day, but her eight birdies and four bogeys put her near the top of the leaderboard.

    ''It was a little bit of an up and down,'' she said. ''There's so many opportunities out here to make birdie, that the most important thing to do is just to be patient, to be in the moment and not to get ahead of yourself. I think I came back from a couple mistakes that I did.''

    In contrast to Lopez, Brittany Lincicome parred all 18 holes Friday and made the cut at 1 under. Paula Creamer (71) triple bogeyed the par-4 13th. She followed that with an eagle on the very next hole but missed the cut by a stroke.

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    Childhood rivals share Sr. PGA lead

    By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 12:00 am

    BENTON HARBOR, Mich. – Kevin Sutherland and Scott McCarron have been rivals since their junior golf days around Sacramento, California. The two old friends were back at it Friday at the top of the Senior PGA Championship leaderboard.

    ''It's honestly, nothing new for us,'' said Sutherland who played in the third-to-last group and birdied his last two holes for a 5-under 66 to match McCarron at 8 under.

    McCarron had a 68 in the morning wave to emerge from a championship record group of six tied for the first-round lead.

    Sutherland was last year's Charles Schwab Cup winner with his only senior win coming in the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship, while McCarron has six PGA Tour Champions wins, including a major at the 2017 Senior Players Championship.

    ''We are both (Northern California) guys, played in high school, junior golf, on tour and it seems like a lot on the Champions Tour,'' Sutherland said. ''We were in the last group on Sundays a lot last year. Scott played so well and had an incredible year, and I had a great year, too.''

    Sutherland's lone PGA Tour victory came at McCarron's expense in 2002 at La Costa in the Accenture Match Play Championship, when he beat McCarron 1 up in the 36-hole final. As youngsters they played on opposing high school teams located about an hour apart and met often in state tournaments as well as on the California junior circuit.

    ''It's been happening for 30 years, wait 35 years now, I guess,'' Sutherland said. ''Playing together on a Saturday is a little different. We're both still trying to get in position to win.''

    Jerry Kelly shot a 65 to join Tim Petrovic (69), Chris Williams (68) and Joe Durant (67) at 7 under. Durant tied for second last week in the Regions Tradition, also a major championship.


    Full-field scores from the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship


    McCarron feels like he is just starting to warm to the task this year. He had to replace his clubs, including a favored putter damaged beyond repair in air transit two months ago.

    ''I've been putting with a back-up putter I had, but it just didn't feel quite right,'' he said. ''I changed last Sunday at the Regions Tradition and started putting better on Sunday. So I'm using this one again this week and seem to be putting pretty good with it.''

    McCarron said the Harbor Shores course played a little tougher in light winds in the second round. He made six birdies and three bogeys.

    ''I would just like to have a couple of those bogeys back,'' he said. ''But we're in a good position going into the weekend.''

    McCarron came to the press center after his round and walked in on a press conference where course-designer Jack and Barbara Nicklaus were being honored by sponsoring KitchenAid with the establishment of a local college scholarship program in their name.

    McCarron, who said he has idolized Nicklaus since his youth, played media and asked Nicklaus what he ate when he was near the lead going into the weekend of a major championship.

    Nicklaus said if you play well one day, eat the same thing the next day.

    ''But no hamburgers, or you will play like hamburger,'' he said.

    Stuart Smith, the Reno, Neveda, club pro who was tied for the lead after the first round, missed the 36-hole cut with a second-round 83.

    ''I'll take the 66, 83 and enjoy the 66 yesterday,'' he said. ''You put this one down to just plain old golf. It's a nasty game we play sometimes. Glad I have a day job.''