Watson shares Travelers lead with Hoffman, DeLaet

By Associated PressJune 22, 2013, 10:07 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Charley Hoffman lost his chance at winning last year's Travelers Championship on the 71st hole.

His tee shot on the difficult par-4 17th at the TPC of River Highlands found the pond that runs along the fairway and he finished second, missing out on his third PGA Tour win.

This year Hoffman is in a three-way tie for the lead heading into Sunday's final round and he expects a different outcome.

''Obviously if I get on 17 tee (in the lead), I'd be lying to say I'm not going to think about that tee shot,'' Hoffman said Saturday after his 4-under 66 tied him with Bubba Watson and Graham DeLaet at 10-under 200.

''But I'm a much more mature, better player than I was a year ago and don't feel uncomfortable on that tee shot.''

Watson, who led by two shots when he began the third round and by four shots midway through it, made three bogeys in his last six holes to help create the logjam. DeLaet tied for the low round of the day with a 65.

Highlights: Watson shares lead as Travelers heads to Sunday

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Chris Stroud and Nick O'Hearn are one shot back of the leaders at 9 under, while Ken Duke's 65 put him alone in sixth place.

Justin Rose, less than a week after his U.S. Open victory, is 7 under and in a tie for seventh after a second straight 68.

After shooting a 61 in the opening round, Hoffman struggled and shot 73 on Friday. He bounced back with a 66 Saturday that included five birdies.

''I got off to a pretty quick start and then birdied 10, thought I was going to get going again,'' Hoffman said. ''And then a little three-putt bogey on 12 sort of slowed things down.''

Watson made three birdies in his first six holes Saturday and was ahead by four shots after the third. But bogeys on Nos. 13, 15 and 17 brought the 2012 Masters champion back to the field.

Watson, who won the 2010 Travelers, is trying to become the seventh man to win the event at least twice. Arnold Palmer and Phil Mickelson have also done it.

''I hit some shots today that were really good, quality shots,'' said Watson, who carded an even-par 70. ''I got a couple bad breaks here and there, but that's golf. At the end of the day I still have a chance on Sunday and that's what we're always looking for.''

DeLaet may be playing this week in New England but many of his thoughts are with his native Canada. The heavy rain and flooding in Alberta forced the PGA Tour Canada to cancel its event this week, just one of the many issues the area is facing.

The 2009 Canadian Tour player of the year has pledged to donate $1,000 for every birdie he makes this weekend and $2,500 for every eagle to help the relief efforts.

''It's a pretty small part, what we're doing, but anything helps,'' said DeLaet, a native of Weyburn, Saskatchewan. ''There's a lot of help from everyone all across Canada.''

DeLaet first made it to 10 under after beginning his back nine with four straight birdies. A bogey at the difficult par-3 16th put a slight damper on his round, but DeLaet finished strong by delicately rolling in a downhill putt from the fringe on the 18th hole.

''I did play well pretty much all day. I had a lot of good birdie chances on the front nine, just couldn't really seem to find the hole,'' DeLaet said. ''Julien (Trudeau), my caddie, just told me to stay patient.''

Watson began the day with a two-shot lead and immediately began to extend it. After saving par on the first hole with a sliding, 7-foot putt, Watson made birdie at No. 2 by hitting a wedge some 2 feet from the hole. He followed that by draining a 30-foot putt from the front edge on No. 3 for a second straight birdie.

Another birdie at the par-5 sixth gave Watson a four-shot lead and he seemed ready to lap the field. Watson also made relatively lengthy par-saving putts on Nos. 7 and 10.

The smallest cracks in Watson's armor appeared at the par-5 13th, where his drive faded too far left and ended up in a fairway bunker.

He was still short of the green after three shots and eventually made bogey, his first of the day and first in his last 30 holes.

He made another bogey at the easiest hole at the TPC of River Highlands, the 296-yard, par-4 15th. His drive left him just 50 feet from the hole but his putt through the fringe didn't make it up the steep hill in front of the green. A chip and two putts followed, moving Watson back to 11 under.

Watson's final bogey came on the 17th and was the result of a tee shot pushed left into a fairway bunker.

The lack of rain recently combined with an increase in the wind late Saturday made TPC of River Highlands, one of the shortest courses on Tour, increasingly difficult for the players.

''I think we've never seen the golf course like this, as firm as it is and as firm as some of the greens are,'' Watson said. ''It's hard to get to certain points, so a lot of people probably played it safe.''

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Watch: Bubba casually hits flop shot over caddie's head

By Grill Room TeamMarch 22, 2018, 9:20 pm

We've seen this go wrong. Really wrong.

But when your end-of-year bonus is a couple of brand new vehicles, you're expected to go above and beyond every now and then.

One of those times came early Thursday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, where Bubba Watson’s caddie Ted Scott let his boss hit a flop shot over his head.

It wasn’t quite Phil Mickelson over Dave Pelz, but the again, nothing is.

And the unique warm-up session paid off, as Watson went on to defeat Marc Leishman 3 and 2 to move to 2-0-0 in group play.

Hey, whatever works.

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Spieth explains why he won't play in a 'dome'

By Rex HoggardMarch 22, 2018, 9:01 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – No one at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play was as excited about Thursday’s forecast as Jordan Spieth.

Winds blew across Austin Country Club to 20 mph, which is typical for this time of year in Texas, and Spieth put in a typical performance, beating HaoTong Li, 4 and 2, to remain undefeated entering the final day of pool play.

The windy conditions were exactly what Spieth, who never trailed in his match, wanted. In fact, demanding conditions factor into how he sets his schedule.

“I have, and will continue to schedule tournaments away from a dome, because it's just unusual for me. I like having the feel aspect,” said Spieth, who attended the University of Texas and played Austin Country Club in college. “Places with no wind, where it's just driving range shots, it's just never been something I've been used to. So I don't really know what to do on them.”

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Scoring | Group standings

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Spieth used the CareerBuilder Challenge as an example. The Coachella Valley event rarely has windy conditions, and as a result he’s never played the tournament.

“I played in a dome in Phoenix, and I didn't strike the ball well there. Actually I've had quite a few this year, where we didn't have very windy conditions,” said Spieth, who will face Patrick Reed in his final pool play match on Friday. “I don't go to Palm Springs, never have, because of that. Look at where you can take weeks off and if they match up with places that potentially aren't the best for me, then it works out.”

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Curry jokes about Romo's 77: 'Got him by a stroke'

By Grill Room TeamMarch 22, 2018, 8:40 pm

This just in ... professional athletes are competitive. Even when they're playing their secondary sport.

Playing in the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship on a sponsor exemption Thursday, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo started hot with an even-par 36 on his opening nine holes, but faded down the stretch to open with a 5-over 77.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle's Ron Kroichick, Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry couldn't help but crack a smile when informed of the score, saying, "I got him by a stroke."

Curry was referencing his brief foray into pro golf last August, when he shot back-to-back 4-over 74s at the Web.com's Ellie Mae Classic.

So just in case Romo needed another reason to go low tomorrow when he tees off at 1 p.m. in the second round, he's got one.

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Group standings at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 22, 2018, 7:20 pm

Here are the group standings for pool play at the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship in Austin, Texas. The player with the most points in each pool advanced to Saturday's Round of 16 in Austin, Texas. Click here for scoring and click here for the bracket.

Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4
(1) D. Johnson: 0-2-0 (2) J. Thomas: 1-0-0 (3) J. Rahm: 0-1-1 (4) J. Spieth: 2-0-0
(32) K. Kisner: 0-0-1 (21) F. Molinari: 1-0-0 (28) K. Aphibarnrat: 1-0-0 (19) P. Reed: 2-0-0
(38) A. Hadwin: 1-0-1
(48) P. Kizzire: 0-1-0 (43) C. Reavie: 1-1-0 (34) H. Li: 0-2-0
(52) B. Wiesberger: 1-0-0
(60) L. List: 0-1-0 (63) K. Bradley: 0-0-1 (49) C. Schwartzel: 0-2-0
Group 5 Group 6 Group 7 Group 8
(5) H. Matsuyama: 1-0-0 (6) R. McIlroy: 1-1-0 (7) S. Garcia: 1-0-0 (8) J. Day: 1-0-0
(30) P. Cantlay: 0-1-0
(18) B. Harman: 0-0-1 (20) X. Schauffele: 1-0-0 (25) L. Oosthuizen: 1-0-0
(46) C. Smith: 1-0-0 (44) J. Vegas: 0-1-1 (41) D. Frittelli: 0-1-0 (42) J. Dufner: 0-1-0
(53) Y. Miyazato: 0-1-0 (51) P. Uihlein: 1-0-0 (62) S. Sharma: 0-1-0 (56) J. Hahn: 0-1-0
Group 9 Group 10 Group 11 Group 12
(9) T. Fleetwood: 1-1-0 (10) P. Casey: 2-0-0 (11) M. Leishman: 0-2-0 (12) T. Hatton: 1-0-0
(26) D. Berger: 0-2-0 (31) M. Fitzpatrick: 0-1-0 (23) B. Grace: 1-1-0 (22) C. Hoffman: 0-1-0
(33) K. Chappell: 1-1-0 (45) K. Stanley: 1-1-0 (35) B. Watson: 2-0-0 (36) B. Steele: 1-0-0
(58) I. Poulter: 2-0-0 (51) R. Henley: 0-1-0 (64) J. Suri: 1-1-0 (55) A. Levy: 0-1-0
Group 13 Group 14 Group 15 Group 16
(13) A. Noren: 2-0-0 (14) P. Mickelson: 1-1-0 (15) P. Perez: 0-0-1 (16) M. Kuchar: 1-0-1
(29) T. Finau: 2-0-0 (17) R. Cabrera Bello: 1-1-0 (24) G. Woodland: 0-0-1 (27) R. Fisher: 1-1-0
(39) T. Pieters: 0-2-0 (40) S. Kodaira: 0-2-0 (37) W. Simpson: 0-0-1 (47) Y. Ikeda: 1-1-0
(61) K. Na: 0-2-0 (59) C. Howell III: 2-0-0 (50) S.W. Kim: 0-0-1 (54) Z. Johnson: 0-1-1