Weary Pavin back on course at Senior Players Championship

By Associated PressOctober 7, 2010, 4:57 am

Champions TourPOTOMAC, Md. – It was a long flight back to the United States for Corey Pavin, giving the Ryder Cup captain plenty of time to wonder “What if?” after his team’s narrow loss to Europe.

A slow start, nasty weather, wardrobe malfunctions and questionable pairings gave way to a rousing finish that nearly saw the U.S. team pull off an unprecedented comeback Monday.

But Pavin didn’t stew about missed opportunities on the way home from Wales.

“I’m not one of those guys. I did the best I could with everything, all my decisions,” Pavin said Wednesday. “The Ryder Cup is over. It was great, but it’s time to move on.”

He now has the difficult task of trying to regroup from one emotionally draining experience by stepping into another – a major championship.

Despite his Ryder Cup commitment, which included an extra day overseas, Pavin stayed in the field for the Constellation Energy Senior Players ChampionshipChampions Tour season.

From his perspective, the tournament, held at the recently renovated TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm outside of Washington, offers him a chance to decompress from Ryder hysteria and get back to the place where he is most comfortable – on the course.

“It’s probably good I have a tournament to play this weekend,” Pavin said. “It keeps my mind occupied on something else rather than having nothing to do and thinking about last week so much. It was a hard week, it was a great week and it was an emotional week.”

Fred Couples, who has served as President’s Cup captain and will return to the role in 2011, said that Pavin will have to make a mental and physical shift to get back into the swing of things.

“To be honest, I’m sure it’s … I don’t know what the word would be, not a letdown, because even if they won, he’d be coming here with a high – but he probably hasn’t played golf in a week,” Couples said.

Indeed, Pavin said that because of his preparations for the Ryder Cup, he hadn’t swung a club for six weeks before Wednesday’s Pro-Am round.

“There was a lot that happened – there were a lot of hours of the day that were filled with things to do,” he said. “It was fun, it was a challenge and that part of my life is over now. It’s time to move on and get back to playing golf.”

Pavin enters the Senior Players at No. 13 on the Charles Schwab Cup points list and No. 19 on the money list. But several players said now that Pavin’s duties as Ryder Cup captain are over, he will become more of a factor in the Champions Tour’s homestretch.

“Now he can shift his focus strictly to his own play and being as much of a bulldog as he is, a tough competitor, he’ll be focused on the Champions Tour and playing well right here,” Fred Funk said. “He’ll be a force to be reckoned with, especially at a lot of the venues we play here.”

Avenel, which hosted PGA Tour events from 1987-2004 and again in 2006, might be a familiar location for many of the players in the field but the course, which was completely rebuilt at a cost of $25 million, remains a tournament unknown.

“I’m real curious to see what we’re going to shoot out there,” said Funk, a Maryland native. “It’s going to beat a lot of people up. It’s a tough par-70. I’ll take even par right now.”

Points leader Bernhard Langer thought the field was going to be in for a long weekend, especially if the cool and wet weather continued.

“It’s really, really tough. It’s a difficult test of golf,” Langer said. “The ball’s not rolling whatsoever. You’ve got to drive the ball, you’ve got to hit some good iron shots. It’s going to take a complete player to win here. You can’t have a weakness and expect to win.”

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Four top finishers in Japan qualify for The Open

By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 10:19 am

IBARAKI, Japan – Shota Akiyoshi of Japan shot a 2-under-par 70 on Sunday to win the Mizuno Open and qualify for The 147th Open.

Akiyoshi offset three bogeys with five birdies at the Royal Golf Club in Ibaraki, Japan, to finish 1 under overall and secure his first ever tournament win on the Japan Golf Tour.

Michael Hendry of New Zealand and Japanese golfers Masahiro Kawamura and Masanori Kobayashi were tied for second one stroke off the pace to also qualify for The Open at Carnoustie, Scotland, from July 19-22.

Hendry, who led the tournament coming into the final round, came close to forcing a playoff with Akiyoshi but dropped a shot with a bogey on the final hole when he needed a par to draw level.

Hendry will make his second appearance at The Open after qualifying at the Mizuno Open for the second year in a row.

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Lewis hopes to win at Volvik with baby on the way

By Randall MellMay 27, 2018, 12:55 am

Stacy Lewis was listening to more than her caddie on her march up the leaderboard Saturday at the Volvik Championship.

Pregnant with her first child, she is listening to her body in a new way these days.

And she could hear a message coming through loud and clear toward the end of her round at Travis Point Country Club in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“The little one was telling me it’s dinnertime,” Lewis said.

Lewis birdied five of the last six holes to shoot 5-under-par 67 and move into position to make a Sunday run at winning her 13th LPGA title. She is two shots behind the leader, Minjee Lee, whose 68 moved her to 12 under overall.

Sunday has the makings of a free for all with 10 players within three shots of the lead.


Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


Lewis, 33, is four months pregnant, with her due date Nov. 3. She’s expecting to play just a few more times before putting the clubs away to get ready for the birth. She said she’s likely to make the Marathon Classic in mid-July her last start of the season before returning next year.

Of course, Lewis would relish winning with child.

“I don’t care what limitations I have or what is going on with my body, I want to give myself a chance to win,” she told LPGA.com at the Kingsmill Championship last week.

Lewis claimed an emotional victory with her last title, taking the Cambia Portland Classic late last summer after announcing earlier in the week that she would donate her entire winnings to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in her Houston hometown.

A victory Sunday would also come with a lot of emotion.

It’s been an interesting year for Lewis.

There’s been the joy of learning she’s ready to begin the family she has been yearning for, and the struggle to play well after bouncing back from injury.

Lewis missed three cuts in a row before making it into the weekend at the Kingsmill Championship last week. That’s one more cut than she missed cumulatively in the previous six years. In six starts this year, Lewis hasn’t finished among the top 50 yet, but she hasn’t felt right, either.

The former world No. 1 didn’t make her second start of 2018 until April, at the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration. She withdrew from the HSBC Women’s World Championship in late February with a strained right oblique muscle and didn’t play again for a month.

Still, Lewis is finding plenty to get excited about with the baby on the way.

“I kind of had my first Mother’s Day,” Lewis told LPGA.com last week. “It puts golf into perspective. It makes those bad days not seem so bad. It helps me sleep better at night. We are just really excited.”

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Rose hasn't visited restroom at Colonial - here's why

By Nick MentaMay 27, 2018, 12:20 am

In case you're unaware, it's pretty hot in Texas.

Temperatures at Colonial Country Club have approached 100 degrees this week, leaving players to battle both the golf course and potential dehydration.

With the help of his caddie Mark Fulcher, Fort Worth Invitational leader Justin Rose has been plenty hot himself, staking himself to a four-shot lead.


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


"Yeah, Fulch has done a great job of just literally handing me water bottle after water bottle. It seems relentless, to be honest with you," Rose said Saturday.

So just how much are players sweating the heat at Colonial? Well, it doesn't sound like all that water is making it all the way through Rose.

"I haven't even seen the inside of a restroom yet, so you can't even drink quick enough out there," he shared.

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Up four, Rose knows a lead can slip away

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 11:21 pm

Up four shots heading into Sunday at the Fort Worth Invitational, Justin Rose has tied the largest 54-hole lead of his PGA Tour career.

On the previous two occasions he took a 54-hole Tour lead into the final round, he closed.

And yet, Rose knows just how quickly a lead can slip away. After all, it was Rose who erased a six-shot deficit earlier this season to overtake Dustin Johnson and win the WGC-HSBC Championship. 

"I think I was in the lead going into the final round in Turkey when I won, and I had a four-shot lead going into the final round in Indonesia in December and managed to put that one away," Rose said Saturday, thinking back to his two other victories late last year.

"I was five, six back maybe of DJ, so I've got experience the other way. ... So you can see how things can go both ways real quick. That's why there is no point in getting too far ahead of myself."


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Up one to start the third round Saturday, Rose extended his lead to as much as five when he birdied four of his first six holes.

He leads the field in strokes gained: tee-to-green (+12.853) and strokes gained: approach-the-green (+7.931).

Rose has won five times worldwide, including at the 2016 Rio Olympics, since his last victory in the United States, at the 2015 Zurich Classic.

With a win Sunday, he'd tie Nick Faldo for the most PGA Tour wins by an Englishman post-World War II, with nine.

But he isn't celebrating just yet.

"It is a big lead, but it's not big enough to be counting the holes away. You've got to go out and play good, you've got to go out positive, you've got to continue to make birdies and keep going forward.

"So my mindset is to not really focus on the lead, it's to focus on my game tomorrow and my performance. You know, just keep executing the way I have been. That's going to be my challenge tomorrow. Going to look forward to that mindset."