Unbelievable Casey Tames Oakmont

By Associated PressJune 15, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 U.S. OpenOAKMONT, Pa. -- Paul Casey, 66.
Casey's second-round score Friday from tough-as-reputed Oakmont may be remembered for years for its brilliance, even if Casey doesn't win this U.S. Open. For one exceptional round, Casey was beyond good on a day when some of golf's biggest names were caving in to Oakmont's toughness and struggling to break 80.
'Sixty-six is way beyond my expectations, and I'm still a bit surprised at the score I shot,' Casey said.
Fellow Englishman Justin Rose was walking to the 10th tee when he glanced at the leaderboard and saw what Casey was about to do. He didn't need much time to think of a superlative to describe it.
'That's unbelievable,' Rose said. 'Ten shots better than the field average or more? Unbelievable.'
Remarkably, Casey accomplished what Brandt Snedeker predicted a few hours before couldn't be done: break par with Oakmont at its challenging best.
'The wind is blowing so hard on some of those holes, it's virtually impossible to hit a lot of fairways,' Snedeker said. 'The rough is as nasty as it can be and the greens are as firm and fast as anywhere I've seen. You would really have to have an unbelievably good round to even consider breaking par out there.'
Somehow, Casey regrouped from his opening-round 77 to tame Oakmont with what may be the best round played there, given the conditions, since Johnny Miller's record 63 in 1973. For some perspective, consider these other scores: Rich Beem 85, Adam Scott 82, Phil Mickelson 77, Vijay Singh 77. The average score for the day was nearly 77.
'I just hope it gives some of the guys some hope out there and shows them it can be done,' Casey said. 'I certainly don't want the USGA to make it any tougher. ... I got some lucky breaks, because it's brutal.'
Comebacks like this are becoming commonplace for Casey in majors. At last year's U.S. Open, he followed a first-round 77 with a 54-hole closing stretch that was the tournament's best (72-72-69), tying him for 12th. At the Masters, he rallied from a 79 for a 68-77-71 finish and tied for 10th.
To get over his tendency to start majors with bad rounds, he kept score while playing his final practice round Wednesday, something he never does. He shot a 69, and considered that streak to be stopped. Then he shot his 77 on Thursday.
On Friday, Casey got going as soon as he dropped a 45-footer for birdie on the par-4 No. 10, his opening hole -- 'If it doesn't go in, it's 10 feet by the hole,' he said.
'You need breaks like that and it boosted my confidence,' he said.
Casey also birdied the longest hole on the course, the 667-yard No. 12, and was 3 under at the turn despite a bogey on No. 18.
Only in America. He may be British, but he considers the U.S. Open to be the toughest test in golf. Because no one else on the course was scoring well, he picked up extra fans on every hole Friday and said they provided a mental boost.
'I could sense they really wanted to see a low round of golf,' he said. 'They didn't want me dropping shots (to par). They wanted me to try to make birdies. They were just excited.'
That might not have happened several years ago, after Casey was critical of Americans following Europe's Ryder Cup romp over the United States in 2004. Then he said, 'Americans are stupid. I hate them' -- a reference mostly to his perception of how little they follow international affairs.
Casey also said he hated the 'U-S-A! U-S-A!' chant and that it 'makes you want to beat them even more.' The comment was more than a little curious given he was a three-time Pac-10 champion at Arizona State and lived in Arizona for years.
There was considerable fan backlash for a while, and Casey began ducking some PGA Tour events because of it. He also sought professional help for a brief time. But time has diminished the effect of his words, which he said he will 'regret for the rest of my life.'
Now, his round of a lifetime has put the 29-year-old Casey in position to win the national championship of the country he once ridiculed.
Curiously, his Web page opens to an image of Casey and this quotation: 'Almost there. I feel my game is almost there.'
Almost no more. It arrived Friday on one of the world's toughest golf courses.
'Without a doubt, it's the best round of golf I've ever played,' Casey said.
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    Watch: Na punctuates caddie tiff with hole-out

    Microphones captured a fascinating and testy exchange between Kevin Na and his caddie, Kenny Harms, on Na's final hole, No. 9.

    Na was in the right rough, 185 yards from the green, which was guarded by water. He vacillated between a hybrid and an iron, but with either club he would have to hit "a 40-yard cut," as Harms termed it.

    "Over the green's dead," Harms warned.

    "It's not gonna go over the green, Kenny," Na replied.

    Na finally settled on an iron and said to Harms, "As long as you're OK with this club."

    "I'm not," harms replied. "I'm not OK with either one of them."

    "I'm going with this," Na ended the discussion.

    He missed the green with his approach shot, but avoided the water. After taking a free drop away from some TV cables, he had 92 feet 3 inches to the cup and of course, holed the pitch shot for a birdie-3, a 62 and a one-shot lead at the end of the first round.

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    Na (62) leads Hoffman by one at Colonial

    By Nick MentaMay 24, 2018, 10:38 pm

    Kevin Na leads the Fort Worth Invitational by one over Charley Hoffman following a first-round 8-under 62. Here's where things stand through 18 holes at Colonial.

    Leaderboard: Na (-8), Hoffman (-7), Emiliano Grillo (-6), Jhonattan Vegas (-6), Andrew Putnam (-6), Beau Hossler (-6)

    What it means: The veteran Na is in search of just his second PGA Tour victory in 367 events played. The 34-year-old's lone victory came at the 2011 Shriners to go along with nine runner-ups, the most recent of which was a tie for second at this year's Genesis Open. Na missed three straight cuts in April but has rallied back with a weekend stay at The Players and a T-6 at last week's Byron Nelson. Ranked 75th in the world, he is not currently qualified for the U.S. Open or the Open Championship. 

    Round of the day: Na turned in a clean card Thursday with six birdies and an eagle at the par-5 first, his 10th hole of the day. He closed with a chip-in birdie at No. 9 following a friendly disagreement with his caddie (more on that below). 

    Best of the rest: Hoffman was likewise bogey-free, drawing seven circles. The four-time Tour winner and typically steady performer has yet to register a top-10 finish this season.

    Biggest disappointment: Not that a round of 1 under is tragically disappointing, but Jordan Spieth has a pretty solid history of going low at this event and contending for the title. He's seven back through Round 1.

    Shot of the day: Satoshi Kodaira recorded the second albatross in tournament history when he holed a 3-iron from 234 yards at the first.

    Honorable mention: Na got into a pretty good back-and-forth with his caddie about whether to lay up or try to clear the water from the right rough at No. 9. Na went for it, avoided hazard, and holed this chip for birdie. 

    Quote of the day: "I told you." - Na, after his chip-in

    Golf Channel's NCAA Golf Coverage Continues Mon-Wed., May 28-30 With the NCAA Men's Golf Championships

    By Golf Channel Public RelationsMay 24, 2018, 10:24 pm

    Two National Championships to be Decided Over a Three-Day Span – Individual (Mon., May 28) and Team (Wed., May 30)

     Eight of the Top-10 Ranked Programs in the Country Set to Compete; Reigning NCAA Men’s National Champions Oklahoma and Current Top-Ranked Oklahoma State Paired Together Starting Friday

     Buick and Stifel Co-Presenting Sponsors of Golf Channel’s Coverage of the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships

    ORLANDO, Fla., May 24, 2018 – Coming on the heels of Wednesday’s dramatic championship match where Arizona defeated Alabama in a playoff to claim their third women’s golf team national championship, Golf Channel returns to Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla. next week for the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf National Championships. Taking place Monday-Wednesday, May 28-30, Golf Channel’s coverage will feature nearly 30 hours of live tournament and on-site wraparound news coverage, showcasing the top men’s college golf programs in the country.

    NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage: Coverage begins on Monday, May 28 to crown the individual national champion and to track the teams attempting to qualify for the eight-team match play championship. Golf Channel’s coverage on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 29-30 will include all three rounds of the team match play, ultimately crowning a team national champion.

    In addition, Golf Central will surround live tournament action with pre-and post-event news coverage produced on-site at Karsten Creek Golf Club, as well as daily news updates on Morning Drive and online via Golf Channel Digital. News and tournament coverage also will be live streamed on Golf Channel Digital. College Central, Golf Channel’s online home for college golf, will provide comprehensive editorial coverage throughout the championships.

    Golf Channel NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage (all times ET)

    Monday, May   28

    Individual   National Championship

    4-8 p.m.   (Live)

    Tuesday, May   29

    Quarterfinals,   Team Match Play

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    Wednesday, May   30

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    Stifel and Buick Sign on as Co-Presenting Sponsors for Golf Channel’s NCAA Golf Championships Tournament Coverage: New for 2018, Stifel Financial Corp. and Buick have signed on as co-presenting sponsors for Golf Channel’s tournament coverage of the 2018 NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships. In addition, Stifel has extended its partnership with the Fred Haskins Commission, Golf Channel and Golfweek as presenting sponsor of the Fred Haskins Award, given annually to nation’s outstanding male collegiate golfer.Golf Channel will announce the Fred Haskins Award presented by Stifel following the conclusion of the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships, on a live edition of Golf Central, Wednesday, June 6 at 6 p.m. ET. The show will include profiles on the top candidates for the award and a live interview with the winner, who also will receive an exemption to compete in the 2018 Greenbrier Classic on the PGA TOUR. The Haskins Award honors the nation’s most outstanding male Division I collegiate golfer as selected by his peers, coaches and the golf media.

    Semifinal Teams in Match Play to Receive Invitations to Compete in East Lake Cup: The East Lake Cup, taking place in late October at historic East Lake Golf Club, will feature the top-performing teams from the 2018 NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships. Invitations for the field have been extended to Arizona, Alabama, Southern California and Stanford – semifinalists in the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships, and also will be extended to the semifinalists in the Men’s Championships. Modeled after the NCAA Golf Championships, the format for the East Lake Cup consists of an opening round of stroke play to crown an individual male and female champion and determine seeding for the following two days of match play competition. Golf Channel will air live coverage of the East Lake Cup Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 29-31.

    College Central – Golf Channel Digital Coverage: Golf Channel will provide comprehensive coverage via College Central,Golf Channel Digital’s home for college golf. Led by Jay Coffin, and Ryan Lavner, College Central will be the source for all things college golf, including tournament results and scores, features and columns, video highlights and breaking news.

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    Country singer Owen shoots 86 in Web.com debut

    By Will GrayMay 24, 2018, 7:51 pm

    Country music star Jake Owen struggled in his Web.com Tour debut, shooting a 14-over 86 in the opening round of the Nashville Golf Open.

    Owen, who played as a 1 handicap earlier this year while teaming with Jordan Spieth at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, put three balls out of bounds over his first nine holes, including two en route to a quadruple-bogey 9 on the par-5 18th hole. After making the turn in 46, Owen came home in 40 without making a single birdie.

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    Full-field scores from the Nashville Golf Open

    Owen tallied nine pars, six bogeys, two doubles and a quad in his opener and was the only player from the morning wave who failed to break 80. The closest player to him in the standings was two-time major champ Angel Cabrera, who opened with a 79.

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