Watson two back at Champions event

By Associated PressJanuary 22, 2012, 3:25 am

KAUPULEHU-KONA, Hawaii — Dan Forsman had six back-nine birdies for a 7-under 65 and a two-stroke lead Saturday after the second round of the Champions Tour’s season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship.

Forsman, a two-time winner on the 50-and-over tour, had a 12-under 132 total at Hualalai Resort.

Brad Bryant had the day’s low round, an 8-under 64, to match 2010 champion Tom Watson (65) and Jeff Sluman (66) at 10 under.

Forsman was back in the pack after playing the front nine in 35. He birdied the first two holes on the back nine, pitching to a foot at No. 10 and hitting a round-changing approach shot to No. 11.

“The shot of the day had to be my second shot at 11,” Forsman said. “I hit a 5-iron 185 yards from a gnarly, rough lie and chased it to the back edge of the green. I knocked in an 8-footer for birdie. That shot could have gone anywhere. It could have been long, over, behind the green in a bunker, right or left, but I got the 3 and it was a super boost to my round.

It got me thinking, `I could turn a corner here. It could be a good day.”’

He was prophetic. Forsman moved into a tie for first with birdies at Nos. 13 and 14, and pulled ahead by sinking an 11-foot birdie putt at the 17th and hitting within 2 feet on the final hole to set up another birdie. The five-time PGA Tour winner needed just 21 putts in his round.

Bryant played a bogey-free round, chipping in for two of his eight birdies. His last win was the 2007 U.S. Senior Open.

Watson also avoided bogeys and eagled the 10th hole. At 62 years, 4 months, 18 days, he would be the third-oldest winner in Champions Tour history if he pulls it off Sunday. Watson has eight top-10 finishes in 11 previous starts in the event.

“I think I’ll have to shoot 65 or better to have a chance to win, depending on what the wind does,” Watson said. “If it blows like this, that’s the right score. If it dies like it did three or four years ago (2006) — I was in fourth place and it died. I shot 8-under 64 and lost a spot. I lost a spot and finished fifth. That’s what can happen on this golf course. It’s a good course to get the Champions Tour going.”

Michael Allen and Jay Haas were tied for fifth, three shots back. Defending champion John Cook fired a 66 to share seventh with Jay Don Blake, Denis Watson, Loren Roberts and Bruce Vaughan, who was tied for first after the opening round with 2011 player of the year Tom Lehman. Lehman was one of 12 players, in a field of 41, who did not break par Saturday. His even-par 72 put him in a tie for 12th, four shots back, with Russ Cochran. Fred Couples was another shot at 6 under after a bogey-free 66.

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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.