Van Pelt Still on Top at Puerto Rico Open

By Associated PressMarch 21, 2008, 4:00 pm
PGA Tour (75x100)RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico -- Bo Van Pelt continued the most productive week off of his career Friday at the Puerto Rico Open.
 
Van Pelt, seeking his first PGA TOUR victory, shot a 4-under 68 to take a one-stroke lead over Jerry Kelly halfway through the inaugural event.
 
Typically, Van Pelt skips events opposite a World Golf Championship stop to rest up for his next appearance. Earlier this season, he figured hed miss this one, too.
 
Dont expect that next year after his performance at Trump International Golf Club.
 
I just tried to take advantage of coming down here, he said. I didnt want to just waste the trip.
 
He hasnt yet.
 
Van Pelt started Thursday with his lowest round in nine months, then followed with another sub-70 showing'a back-to-back effort he hadnt accomplished in seven previous tournaments this season.
 
Its been good to me so far, Van Pelt said. Its just the halfway point, but weve enjoyed the resort.
 
Kelly, at No. 63 in the world, is the highest-ranked competitor in the field. He had a chance to tie Van Pelt, but missed a 5-foot birdie putt on No. 18. Still, he followed his first-round 67 with a 66, not too shabby for a player worried about his game when the week began.
 
Kelly wasnt making near as many birdies as he should and his missed shots were pretty bad, he said.
 
Ive cleaned up my missed shots to where theyre just off the green now and my good shots are to where Im giving myself good birdie opportunities, he said.
 
Ted Purdy (68) was two strokes behind at 10 under, while Greg Kraft (66), 24-year-old qualifier Ryan Blaum (66) and Briny Baird (68) were another shot back.
 
If Van Pelts oldest children'theres 6-year-old Olivia, 5-year-old Trace and 1-year-old Crew'hadnt been on spring break, the family mightve spent Easter weekend at home in Tulsa.
 
The location may be tropical and he may hold the lead, but Van Pelts doesnt get a break from his childrens wishes once he steps off the course. The golf just kind of gets in the way of their fun, he said.
 
Take last night: Was Van Pelt working out some swing technique or honing his putting stroke? No, the Oklahoma State grad was eating pizza on the grass like the kids wanted.
 
I guess that was pretty much a redneck picnic in Puerto Rico, he said.
 
The Van Pelts could have all the picnics they want anywhere on the island if dad leaves with the first championship trophy.
 
By the time Van Pelt teed off, his two-shot first-round lead had disappeared.
 
He rolled in a 40-foot birdie putt on his second hole, the 11th, to keep pace. A bogey on No. 14, however, dropped him from the top of the leaderboard and left him wondering if his good play would continue.
 
Not to worry. Van Pelt soon found the game he brought to Puerto Rico.
 
He made birdies on the first and second holes to regain the lead. When he lost a stroke after three-putting the par-4 third, he knocked an 8-iron 10 feet away on the next hole to grab it back. Two more birdies coming in'both on par 3s'sent him back into the lead.
 
Kelly kept soaking in his Carribean trip. Kelly lives on two lakes in Wisconsin and believes everyones better off when theyre surrounded by water.
 
Put me on an island and Im a happy man, he said.
 
Thats obvious this week.
 
Kelly birdied five of his first six holes to stay near the top. Things slowed down back nine, but he closed with a particularly pleasing birdie on the par-4 17th after blasting out of a bunker. I think thats the first time thats happened in about 12 years, he said, laughing.
 
Purdy, seeking his first victory since 2005, had birdies on the 17th and 18th holes to remain where he began the round'two in back of Van Pelt.
 
Divots
 
Three Puerto Ricans made the cut in the islands first PGA TOUR event. Miguel Suarez was at 4 under, Wilfredo Morales was a stroke behind at 3 under and amateur Rafael Campos was even par. Eighty-one players made the cut at even-par 144. That means the field will be sliced to the closest number to 70 after Saturdays round. Those missing the cut this week included course designer Tom Kite and former U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Lehman.
 
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    OB tee shot, bunker trouble dooms Rahm to MC

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:24 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The key to surviving Carnoustie is avoiding the bunkers.

    Jon Rahm found three bunkers to close out the front nine Friday, the start of a triple bogey-double-bogey run that led to a second-round 78 and missed cut at The Open.

    “All of them were as bad a lie as they could have been,” he said. “Besides that, things didn’t happen. I can’t give an explanation, really. I don’t know.”

    Rahm’s troubles started on the seventh hole, a par 4 with a steady left-to-right wind. Out of bounds loomed left, and Rahm, who primarily plays a cut shot, hadn’t missed left all week. This time, his ball didn’t curve, and the OB tee shot led to a triple.

    “Whenever I start missing shots to the left,” he said, “it’s really hard for me to play.”  

    After a career-best fourth-place finish at the Masters, Rahm has now missed the cut in consecutive majors.

    “Right now I’m not in any mental state to think about what happened, to be honest,” he said.

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    Three of world's top 5 MC; not 60-year-old Langer

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 7:04 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Three of the top five players in the world missed the cut at The Open.

    Bernhard Langer did not.

    The 60-year-old, who is in the field via his victory in last year’s Senior Open Championship, shot even-par 71 on Friday. At 2 over through 36 holes, he safely made it under the plus-3 cut line.

    "You know, I've played the Masters [this year], made the cut. I'm here and made the cut. I think it is an accomplishment," he said. "There's a lot of great players in the field, and I've beaten a lot of very good players that are a lot younger than me."

    Langer had three birdies and three bogeys in the second round and said afterwards that he was “fighting myself” with his swing. He’s spent the last few days on the phone with his swing coach, Willy Hoffman, trying to find some comfort.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Despite his score, and his made cut, Langer the perfectionist wasn’t satisfied with the way he went about achieving his results.

    "I wasn't happy with my ball-striking. My putting was good, but I was unlucky. I had like four lip-outs, no lip-ins. That part was good. But the ball-striking, I wasn't really comfortable with my swing," he said. "Just, it's always tough trying stuff in the middle of a round."

    Langer, a two-time Masters champion, has never won The Open. He does, however, have six top-3 finishes in 30 prior starts.

    As for finishing higher than some of the top-ranked players in the world, the World Golf Hall of Famer is taking it in stride.

    "I'm not going to look and say, 'Oh, I beat Justin Rose or beat whatever.' But it just shows it's not easy. When some of the top 10 or top 20 in the world don't make the cut, it just shows that the setup is not easy," Langer said. "So I got the better half of the draw maybe, too, right? It wasn't much fun playing in the rain, I guess, this morning for five hours. I had to practice in the rain, but I think once I teed off, we never used umbrellas. So that was a blessing."

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    Kisner doubles 18, defends not laying up

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 6:42 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It was only fitting that Jean Van de Velde was there working as an on-course reporter on Friday as Kevin Kisner struggled his way up Carnoustie’s 18th fairway.

    Rolling along with a two-stroke lead, Kisner’s 8-iron approach shot from an awkward lie in the rough from 160 yards squirted right and bounced into Barry Burn, the winding creek where Van de Velde’s title chances at the 1999 Open Championship began to erode.

    Unlike Van de Velde, who made a triple bogey-7 and lost The Open in a playoff, Kisner’s double bogey only cost him the solo lead and he still has 36 holes to make his closing miscue a distant memory. That’s probably why the 34-year-old seemed at ease with his plight.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “It just came out like a high flop shot to the right. It was weird. I don't know if it caught something or what happened,” said Kisner, who was tied with Zach Johnson and Zander Lombard at 6 under par. “You never know out of that grass. It was in a different grass than usual. It was wet, green grass instead of the brown grass. So I hadn't really played from that too much.”

    Like most in this week’s field Kisner also understands that rounds on what is widely considered the most difficult major championship venue can quickly unravel even with the most innocent of mistakes.

    “To play 35 holes without a double I thought was pretty good,” he said. “I've kept the ball in play, done everything I wanted to do all the way up into that hole. Just one of those things that came out completely different than we expected. I'll live with that more than chipping out and laying up from 20 feet.”

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    Wind, not rain more a weekend factor at Open

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:39 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – After a half-day of rain in Round 2 of the 147th Open Championship, the weekend offers a much drier forecast.

    Saturday at Carnoustie is projected to be mostly cloudy with a high of 62 degrees and only a 20 percent chance of rain.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Sunday calls for much warmer conditions, with temperatures rising upwards of 73 degrees under mostly cloudy skies.

    Wind might be the only element the players have to factor in over the final 36 holes. While the winds will be relatively calm on Saturday, expected around 10-15 mph, they could increase to 25 mph in the final round.