Verplank Sole Leader at Disney

By Associated PressNovember 2, 2007, 4:00 pm
 LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Scott Verplank and Tag Ridings are separated by one shot atop the leaderboard at Disney and by more than $2.76 million in season earnings. One is playing out the season and enjoying time with his family, the other is fighting for a job.
 
That could be one difference that separates a bunched leaderboard of haves and have-nots going into the weekend at the Children's Miracle Network Classic.
 
Verplank made enough birdies on his first nine holes Friday on the Magnolia Course that he wasn't too bothered by closing with nine straight pars, giving him a second straight 6-under 66 and a one-shot lead over Ridings, Stephen Ames and Ryan Armour.
 
'I got out of rhythm just a little bit and kind of struggled to find it,' said Verplank, who was at 12-under 132. 'But I got on such a nice roll in the first nine holes that I didn't just kill myself by making a bunch of pars.'
 
Verplank already has won this year at the EDS Byron Nelson Championship. He is 15th on the money list, played in the Presidents Cup, has qualified for the four majors next year and has few worries across the street from the Magic Kingdom.
 
Not so for Ridings, who has split time playing the PGA TOUR and Nationwide Tour this year and came into the final event of the season at No. 210 on the money list. The only way to keep his card is to win, something he has never done. If he were to finish in second place alone, all that would do is allow him to skip the second stage of Q-school.
 
If he has no worries, it's because he is resigned to his predicament.
 
'I'm not really thinking of anything besides just playing this tournament,' he said.
 
Ames, who captured The Players Championship last year, is playing because it's cold in Calgary and the courses have been closed for the last month. He didn't want four months off -- notwithstanding the Skins Game later this month -- and didn't show much rust in running off seven straight birdies on the Palm Course before a three-putt bogey at the end put him at 63.
 
Armour, who is safe at No. 119 on the money list, shot a 64 on the Palm.
 
The group at 10-under 134 included Justin Leonard (67), Sean O'Hair (66) and first-round leader J.P. Hayes (69). The first two are trying to get in the Masters, while Hayes needed a good week at No. 123 on the money list.
 
It has been 10 years since Verplank had to endure Q-school, when he rode a cart because Casey Martin was allowed to ride. But he believes the key to winning is blocking out the perks that come with it, whether it's a TOUR card or a trip to the Masters.
 
'If you let all that stuff distract you, it makes it that much harder,' he said. 'One of keys to getting comfortable out here and playing good over an extended period of time is to learn how to block all that out and just play. You can't force any of that to happen. So the guys that are struggling now to make the cut or to keep their card or to do whatever, that's the biggest challenge they have.'
 
Not that Verplank is immune from that.
 
'The challenge for me is not to get ahead or think too much about winning,' he said.
 
A rare day of sunshine brought some tremendous play by those who desperately needed it. Duffy Waldorf, at No. 167 on the money list, was on the verge of going home until he birdied the last two holes to make the cut on the number. Glen Day is at No. 163, and he ran off a string of birdies late in the afternoon for a 67 to qualify for the weekend.
 
It seems like everyone will keep playing. The field is so bunched that 89 players made the cut.
 
That doesn't include Ted Purdy, who was at No. 125 on the money list. He made a meaningless birdie on the last hole, but is assured of finishing outside the top 125 and will have to go to Q-school to try to regain full status. Purdy was 110th on the money list when the Fall Series began, played all seven events and still didn't make it.
 
'I'm just tired,' he said. 'It's been a long seven weeks. I knew what I needed to do and just didn't do it.'
 
Also going home -- and facing the longest trip -- is 16-year-old Tadd Fujikawa of Hawaii. He shot 72 for a 1-under 143, missing by two shots.
 
Ridings didn't show the frazzled nerves of someone whose job was on the line.
 
Then again, this is nothing new for him.
 
In 2004, he came to final PGA TOUR event of the year at No. 190 on the money list, made seven birdies over the last 10 holes and shot 64 to tie for 11th, earning just enough money to finish No. 125 on the money list. A year later, he was at No. 125 with two events left when he tied for third in Tampa to secure his card. And last year, he made the cut on the number to salvage 149th on the money list and conditional status.
 
He wasn't even sure he would get into Disney as the 14th alternate, but he received a call on Tuesday that he was up to second alternate and was in the tournament when he arrived.
 
Add all that together, and he's got nothing to lose.
 
'I'm not quite in the same position as I have been in the last couple of years,' Ridings said. 'That's why I'm just focused on one tournament. I'm not worried about that other stuff. I play good on the weekend, I'll get paid for it, and I'll be glad to take a check.'
 
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    Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

    By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

    NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

    Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

    The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

    Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

    Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

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    Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

    Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

    Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

    Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

    4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

    4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

    4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

    4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

    4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

    5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

    5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

    5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

    5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

    5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

    6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

    6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

    6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

    6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

    6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

    6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

    7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

    7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

    7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

    7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

    7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

    7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

    8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

    8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

    8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

    8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

    8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

    8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

    9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

    9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

    9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

    9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

    9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

    10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

    10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

    10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

    10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

    10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

    10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

    11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

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    Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

    He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

    “There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

    Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

    “I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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    Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

    Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

    Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

    “I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

    Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

    “It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

    More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

    “I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”