Top three in world muddled in the middle after Round 1 at Congressional

By Associated PressJune 16, 2011, 8:14 pm

BETHESDA, Md. – World rankings proved to be worth only so much in the opening round at the U.S. Open.

The top-ranked trio of No. 1 Luke Donald, No. 2 Lee Westwood and No. 3 Martin Kaymer went out as a group and all failed to break par Thursday at Congressional Country Club. They finished a total of 10 over, collecting 17 bogeys and a double between them, with only 9 birdies.

Donald and Westwood, both Englishmen, shot 74 and 75. Kaymer, a German, finished with a 74.

“I think all three of us struggled a bit,” Donald said. “There were no fireworks. We didn’t get on a run and sometimes you need one or two guys to get on a run to get everyone going. It just didn’t happen.

“It was,” he added, “kind of a solemn group, I guess.”

The problem certainly wasn’t the start. Going off the 10th tee, both Donald and Kaymer made birdies, and the Englishman hit another 4-iron flush into the 11th green for a second straight birdie.

“I was loving the start,” Donald said. But his red numbers were quickly wiped out by what he called an “untidy” stretch that began with a 3-putt bogey from 40 feet on No. 13, then extended to bogeys on three of the next four holes and a double at No. 18.

“It wasn’t a matter of just I drove it poorly. It was I didn’t hit enough fairways and when I hit fairways, I was short-siding myself,” Donald said. “When I had those 6- to 8-footers to save some pars, I wasn’t making them. It was a struggle today.”

Westwood’s problems proved even more frustrating because of his certainty that the long and brutal Congressional course – softened up by a morning rain – offered good scoring opportunities.

“I’m quite surprised nobody has gone out this morning and shot 66,” Westwood said.

Asked whether the Open setup, with its fast greens, narrow fairways and graduated rough, heaped additional pressure on the players, Westwood replied, “Any course is a mental grind if you’re not sharp. The U.S. Open is no different. …

“I didn’t hit enough fairways. I didn’t hit enough good irons. My short game was pretty sharp actually. I just made too many mistakes.”

Kaymer blamed his problems on an inconsistent driver. He hit eight of 14 fairways, one better than either of his playing partners, but said an inability to take advantage of the course off the tee cost him all the way around.

“My short game kept me alive,” he said.

So did a good attitude.

“A little strange for me playing with five English guys,” laughed Kaymer, whose caddie, Christian Donald, is Luke’s brother. “But we all get along very well.”

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Rose leads Koepka, Grillo by four at Colonial

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 9:06 pm

On the strength of a 4-under 66 Saturday, Justin Rose will take an four-shot lead over Brooks Koepka and Emiliano Grillo into the final round of the Fort Worth Invitational. Here's where things stand through 54 holes at Colonial Country Club.

Leaderboard: Rose (-14), Koepka (-10), Grillo (-10), Corey Conners (-8), Jon Rahm (-8), Louis Oosthuizen (-8), J.T. Poston (-8), Ryan Armour (-8)

What it means: The fifth-ranked player in the world is 18 holes from his ninth PGA Tour victory and his second this season. Up once to start the third round, Rose extended his lead to as much as five with birdies on four of his first six holes. Through 54 holes, Rose has made XX birdies and just XX bogeys. The 2013 U.S. Open winner and 2016 Olympic gold medalist has a history of winning at iconic venues - Muirfield Village, Aronimink, Cog Hill, Doral, Merion and Congressional - and now looks to add Colonial to the list. He'll be chased on Sunday by Grillo, the young Argentianian who won his first Tour start as a member in 2015, and Koepka, last year's U.S. Open winner who continues to impress in his injury comeback despite ongoing wrist issues.  

Round of the day: Corey Conners and Ted Potter both turned in 8-under 63. Potter was bogey-free and Conners came home in 6-under 29 on the back nine.

Best of the rest: Jon Rahm, Louis Oosthuizen, Brian Harman, and Michael Thompson all signed for 64. Rahm called his six-birdie start the best 10 holes he's played so far this year. 

Biggest disappointment: Jordan Spieth has finished second-first-second in the last three years at this event, but he's yet to find his normal Colonial form through three rounds. Spieth, who said Friday he was capable of shooting "10 or 12 under" over the weekend, shot even-par 70 Saturday. He sits in T-38 at 3 under for the week, 11 back.

Shot of the day: Rory Sabbatini closed out his third round Saturday with this eagle holeout from 134 yards at the 18th. 

His colorful scorecard featured three bogeys, two birdies, a double bogey and that eagle. It added up to a 1-over 71. 

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McCarron closes with only bogey, shares lead

By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 8:49 pm

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Scott McCarron, seeking a second senior major title to go with his 2017 Senior Players Championship, made his only bogey of the third round on the final hole to slip into a tie for the lead Saturday with Tim Petrovic in the Senior PGA Championship.

They were at 13 under par after Petrovic, seeking his first major, shot 65. McCarron has shared the lead through three rounds.

England's Paul Broadhurst, the 2016 British Senior Open winner, matched the best third-round score in tournament history with a 64. He was at 11 under.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, coming off his first major championship last week at the Regions Tradition, shot 65 and was 9 under.

Tom Byrum, who made a hole-in-one in shooting a 67, was in a group at 8 under.

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Watch: Rose one-arms approach, makes birdie

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 26, 2018, 7:25 pm

Justin Rose appears to have taken a course in Hideki Matsuyama-ing.

Already 3 under on his round through five thanks to a birdie-birdie-birdie start, Rose played this approach from 143 yards at the par-4 sixth.

That one-armed approach set up a 6-foot birdie putt he rolled in to move to 4 under on his round and 14 under for the week, five clear of the field.

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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."