Van De Velde Finds Hope in Latest Loss

By Associated PressJune 28, 2005, 4:00 pm
What most people saw as another comical collapse by Jean Van de Velde, he saw as a significant step toward resurrecting his career.
At least I have a job again, Van de Velde said.
Jean-Francois Remesy
Jean-Francois Remesy got the win while Jean Van De Velde got a second chance.
Forever known as the Frenchman who took triple bogey on the 72nd hole of the 99 British Open and lost in a playoff, Van de Velde again blew a lead on the 18th hole Sunday at the French Open by hitting into the water. He hit another shot into the water in the playoff and made triple bogey, allowing Jean-Francois Remesy to win.
Van de Velde, whos had two operations on his right knee, no longer has exempt status on the European tour and relies on invitations. But his runner-up finish was worth about $470,000, moving him up to 21st on the money list to secure his card for next year.
It also made him exempt for the British Open in two weeks at St. Andrews.
Just five months ago, I wasnt sure I would walk properly again, Van de Velde said. Now Im a player again. Thats the main thing.
Former British Open champion David Duval lives about a quarter-mile away from the 17th tee at Cherry Hills, so he brought his wife and their 2-month-old son out to the course for the final round of the U.S. Womens Open. Duval is trying to find his own game, but he still has an eye for talent.
Standing behind the ropes along the second fairway, he watched a parade of teens come by -- 18-year-old Paula Creamer, then 15-year-old Michelle Wie, followed by 17-year-old Morgan Pressel in the final group.
Pressels demeanor caught his attention.
Look at the way shes walks, Duval said. Shes the only one who thinks she can win this thing. Shes walking like, Hey, Im the deal. You know?
He almost was prophetic.
Creamer had three bad holes on her way to a 79. Wie couldnt make putts inside 3 feet and shot 82. Pressel was poised to win until an improbable bunker shot by Birdie Kim on the final hole left her tied for second.
Ty Votaw has already done a big favor for Carolyn Bivens, his successor as commissioner of the LPGA Tour. No one will ask her when were bringing a tournament back to Florida, Votaw said with a laugh.
For the first time in five years, the spring schedule will include an LPGA Tour event in the Sunshine State. The Ginn Clubs & Resorts Open will be played April 27-30 at Reunion Resort & Club of Orlando.
Votaw resisted putting a tournament in Florida unless it was a strong event, and this has all the trappings. It will offer $2.5 million in prize money, joining the Evian Masters as the richest among regular LPGA Tour events.
The weekend rounds will be televised by CBS Sports.
Whats in a name? St. Andrews bridge offers options
Jack Nicklaus will be playing in his final British Open next month, and it will be a momentous occasion when he strolls over the Swilcan Bridge at St. Andrews one last time.
Or is that the Swilken Bridge?
The most famous bridge in golf, which crosses a small burn on the 18th fairway, is spelled at least three ways in various publications that are almost as old as the Old Course itself.
Its this wonderful idea we have that spelling should be consistent, which was not an 18th century idea, or even an early 19th century idea, said Peter Lewis at the British Golf Museum at St. Andrews. Youll find in minutes and publications that names get spelled innumerable different ways within a paragraph of each other.
Lewis said the Links Trust, which operates St. Andrews, goes by Swilcan.
How it reached that conclusion is anyones guess.
In Chamberss Journal dated Aug. 1, 1906, Mr. WT Linskill wrote that when he used to play with Young Tom Morris in the early 1870s, the historic Swilcan Burn formerly swept almost into the centre of the links before it turned to the sea, and one often drove into this bed from the first tee.
Lewis, however, said the earliest known map of St. Andrews in 1821 shows the spelling as Swilkin. But then theres Alister Mackenzies survey of the Old Course in 1924, when he referred to the burn and bridge as Swilken.
The official spelling of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club is Swilcan, but even the R&A cant get it right, which is not to suggest either way is wrong.
The official British Open annual in 2000 published by the R&A spells the bridge and the burn Swilcan in the text and photo captions. But turn to the map at the back of the book, and it goes by Swilken. Plus, the official Old Course hole-by-hole booklet from 2000 refers to it as Swilken.
Its a phonetic name that doesnt seem to have an absolute, rock-standard spelling, Lewis said. Its six of one, one-half dozen of another. I wont complain whichever way you do it.
Stewart McDougal, who oversees publicity matters for the R&A, said the correct spelling is Swilcan.
That seems to be as good as any.
Lorie Kane sure knows how to make up ground when conditions are severe. Six years ago, she was in 49th place going into the final round of the U.S. Womens Open at Blackwolf Run, shot the only round under par and moved up 30 spots. On Sunday at Cherry Hills, the Canadian was tied for 30th and again was the only player to break par in the final round'a 2-under 69 -- to move into a tie for fourth. ... The 2006 season on the European tour again will start in the fall with a tournament in Shanghai on Nov. 10. The tour will play three times in China and twice in South Africa, before the calendar changes to 2006.
The $560,000 that Birdie Kim earned for winning the U.S. Womens Open represents 87.5 percent of her career earnings on the LPGA Tour.
When you have talent like that, youre always going to have a little controversy around it.'Cristie Kerr, on Michelle Wie.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Phil rubs fan's Donald Duck hat seven times, signs it

By Nick MentaJune 18, 2018, 3:09 pm

There is a case to be made that what Phil Mickelson did on Saturday made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

There is also a case to be made that the USGA's setup of Shinnecock Hills made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

Whatever you think about what Mickelson did on Saturday - and how he attempted to justify it after the fact without even a hint of remorse - watch this video.

The next time you hear someone say, "If anybody else had putted a moving ball on purpose and not apologized for it, it would get a different reaction," you can point to this video and say, "Yeah, here's why."

Here's what happened once a still-strident Mickelson was done rubbing Donald Duck hats on Sunday, per Ryan Lavner:

If you’re wondering whether Mickelson would be defiant or contrite on Sunday, we don’t know the answer. He declined to stop and speak with the media, deciding instead to sign autographs for more than a half hour and then offering a few short answers before ducking into player hospitality.

“The real question is, ‘What am I going to do next?’” he said. “I don’t know.”

The 2024 Ryder Cup at Bethpage is going to be a three-ring circus, and Mickelson, a likely choice to captain the U.S. team, will be the ringmaster.

Separately, shoutout to 2017 Latin Am champ Toto Gana, who does a terrific Donald Duck (skip to end).

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Ryder Cup race: Mickelson out, Simpson in

By Will GrayJune 18, 2018, 2:34 pm

There's a new man at the top of the U.S. Ryder Cup race following the U.S. Open, and there's also a familiar name now on the outside looking in.

Brooks Koepka's successful title defense vaulted him to the top of the American points race, up four spots and ensuring he'll be on the team Jim Furyk takes to Paris in September. Dustin Johnson's third-place finish moved him past Patrick Reed at No. 2, while Webb Simpson entered the top eight after a a tie for 10th.

While Bryson DeChambeau remained at No. 9, Phil Mickelson dropped two spots to No. 10. Tony Finau, who finished alone in fifth, went from 16th to 13th, while Tiger Woods fell two spots to No. 37.

Here's a look at the latest U.S. standings, with the top eight after the PGA Championship qualifying automatically:

1. Brooks Koepka

2. Dustin Johnson

3. Patrick Reed

4. Justin Thomas

5. Jordan Spieth

6. Rickie Fowler

7. Bubba Watson

8. Webb Simpson


9. Bryson DeChambeau

10. Phil Mickelson

11. Matt Kuchar

12. Brian Harman

On the European side, England's Tommy Fleetwood took a big stride toward securing his first Ryder Cup appearance with a runner-up finish that included a Sunday 63 while countryman Matthew Fitzpatrick snuck into a qualifying spot after tying for 12th.

Here's a look at the updated Euro standings, with the top four from both points lists joining four picks from captain Thomas Bjorn at Le Golf National:

European Points

1. Tyrrell Hatton

2. Justin Rose

3. Tommy Fleetwood

4. Francesco Molinari


5. Thorbjorn Olesen

6. Ross Fisher

World Points

1. Jon Rahm

2. Rory McIlroy

3. Alex Noren

4. Matthew Fitzpatrick


5. Ian Poulter

6. Rafael Cabrera-Bello

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Koepka autographs local kids' 'Go Brooks' sign after win

By Grill Room TeamJune 18, 2018, 2:30 pm

Brooks Koepka is a two-time U.S. Open winner, but that doesn't mean he's now too big to go sign a couple pieces of cardboard in somebody's front yard in the middle of the night.

Koepka's girlfriend, Jena Sims, posted two pictures to her Instagram story on Sunday of "Go Brooks" signs she says were put up by some local kids in the area where Koepka was staying for the week.

The first is dated prior to Koepka's final-round tee time.

The second is from Sunday night.

And here, separately, for no reason in particular (other than the fact that she posted it) is a video of Sims running over a parking cone at last year's U.S. Open at Erin Hills.

Speaking of kids, just feels those two are gonna make it.

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Koepka moves to No. 4 in world with U.S. Open win

By Will GrayJune 18, 2018, 2:05 pm

After successfully defending his U.S. Open title, Brooks Koepka reached a new career high in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Koepka held off Tommy Fleetwood to win by a shot Sunday at Shinnecock Hills, becoming the first player to go back-to-back in nearly 30 years. As a result, he jumped five spots in the latest rankings to No. 4, six spots higher than he reached with last year's U.S. Open victory at Erin Hills.

Fleetwood finished alone in second place and moved up two spots to No. 10, tying his career-best placement. Patrick Reed moved up two spots to No. 11 by finishing fourth, while fifth-place Tony Finau went from No. 37 to No. 31.

Updated Official World Golf Ranking

It was a largely quiet week in the rankings despite the fact that a major championship was contested. Outside of Koepka and Finau, the only other player inside the top 50 to move up or down more than three spots was Jason Dufner, who went from 53rd to 48th with a T-25 finish.

Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1 for the second consecutive week, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Koepka and Jordan Spieth. Jon Rahm dropped one spot to No. 6, with Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day and Fleetwood rounding out the top 10. Hideki Matsuyama fell two spots to No. 12, dropping out of the top 10 for the first time since October 2016.

Despite a missed cut at Shinnecock, Tiger Woods actually moved up one spot to No. 79 in the latest rankings. He plans to play the Quicken Loans National and The Open in the coming weeks, which will be his final two chances to move into the top 50 in time to qualify for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. The event is being held for the final time this summer at Firestone Country Club, where Woods has won eight times.