Weekley tops Kuchar, Johnson at Colonial

By Associated PressMay 26, 2013, 10:25 pm

FORT WORTH, Texas – Boo Weekley was at the 13th hole during the final round of the Colonial before he finally glanced at a leaderboard – and saw his name on the top.

It was at that par 3 surrounded by an often rowdy crowd that he also heard the loudest ''Boo!'' in quite some time.

Weekley hit his birdie putt from about 22 feet, then swiped his putter in the air as if guiding the ball into the cup. He thrust the club above his head when the ball dropped to get him to 14 under, where he finished Sunday for his first PGA Tour victory in five years.

''That's when I realized, 'Wow, here I go.' I need to do something, either hold on to it or try to make a couple of more birdies,'' Weekley said. ''I knew I was hitting the ball too well just to hold on.''

With five consecutive pars after that, Weekly finished at 14-under 266 for a one-stroke victory over Matt Kuchar, the second- and third-round leader who had a closing 68.


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Defending Colonial champion Zach Johnson, who also won at Hogan's Alley in 2010, shot 66 to finish third at 12 under for his first top-10 finish this season.

Both of Weekley's previous wins had been at Harbour Town, in 2007 and 2008. Like the Heritage winner, the Colonial champion gets a plaid jacket, though the 2008 Ryder Cup team member wasn't able to compare any differences between them.

''I couldn't tell you, it's been so long,'' said Weekley, who moved up to No. 55 in the world ranking, making him eligible for the U.S. Open.

Weekley, whose check of just more than $1.1 million matched what he earned his previous 14 tournaments this season while making 12 cuts and finishing in the top 10 three times, never trailed after consecutive birdies at Nos. 8-10. Those came at the same time Scott Stallings made double bogey at No. 15 to drop out of the lead.

Kuchar, at No. 13 the highest-ranked player in the field, was 12 under after a 55-foot birdie putt at the 436-yard 12th hole. Kuchar punched his right arm into the air to punctuate the shot that got him within a stroke of Weekley for the lead.

Johnson was at No. 17, where a 19-footer for his second consecutive birdie also got him to 12 under.

Almost as quickly, their one-stroke deficit was back to two after Weekley's birdie at No. 13.

''I played well; that's all you can do and whoever wins, tip of the cap,'' Johnson said.

Stallings' closing 66 put him in a tie for fourth at 11 under, with John Rollins (68) and Matt Every (69).

The best round of the day was a 62 by Web.com Tour player Franklin Corpening, a Fort Worth native who grew up at Colonial and played at TCU. He finished at 8 under and tied for 14th, earning an automatic invitation to play again next year.

Kuchar made an 11-foot birdie putt off the back fringe at No. 2 before a bogey on the next hole when he took two shots from a greenside bunker. Then came a steady stream of pars until rolling in that long putt at No. 12. He didn't have another birdie until a closing 20-footer for second place alone, his sixth career runner-up finish.

''It's a bummer for me. This is a tournament, and this is a golf course, that I love,'' said Kuchar, a five-time PGA Tour winner. ''It's difficult at the moment coming just one shot short but you can't control what other guys do.''

Weekley won the same week he went to see a doctor about the problem he has had recently maintaining focus in his left eye, sometimes causing bad twitches and making it problematic reading greens.

''I had a few out there. It was coming and going in that wind,'' Weekley said. ''I don't know what's going to happen. We're going to get home and work on it.''

Stallings had a 6-under 29 on the front nine, one off the course record, and was 13 under with a one-stroke lead when he got to the 428-yard 15th hole. But he took three shots from inside a radius of about 5 yards after his approach shot from a left fairway bunker stopped behind the hole.

His chip shot then hit the edge of a greenside bunker, rolling into the sand, and he failed to get out of there on his next shot before finally blasting to 6 feet. Weekley had just made an 18-foot birdie at No. 9 to get to 12 under.

''It was kind of a make-it, break-it point,'' Stallings said. ''You've got to get up and down, especially with the guys with a lot of holes left.''

It was also at No. 15 where the only bogey of the day came for Johnson, who missed an opportunity to join five-time winner Ben Hogan as the only players to win Colonial more than twice.

While on the easy par-5, 548-yard first hole, the long-hitting Weekley told his caddie that it was good to feel butterflies again.

Weekley's 22-foot eagle chance at No. 1 stopped about 6 inches from the cup before he chipped in for another birdie from behind the third green. He sliced his tee shot out of bounds at No. 5 toward the Trinity River for a bogey and dropped another shot at the 437-yard seventh hole before starting his go-ahead birdie run with a 6-iron inside 4 feet at the 200-yard eighth hole.

''It feels good to actually have butterflies again, knowing that I'm in this, an opportunity to maybe win,'' Weekley said. ''I might have shot 80 today. But I didn't. It was my time to win.''

TOUR Championship Final Round Becomes Most-Watched FedExCup Playoffs Telecast Ever and Most-Watched PGA TOUR Telecast of 2018

By Golf Channel Public RelationsSeptember 25, 2018, 6:48 pm

ORLANDO, Fla., (Sept. 25, 2018) – NBC Sports Group’s final round coverage of the TOUR Championship on Sunday (3:00-6:19 p.m. ET) garnered a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 7.8 million average viewers, as Tiger Woods claimed his 80th career victory, and his first in five years. The telecast’s TAD was up 212% vs. 2017 (2.5m). Television viewership posted 7.18 million average viewers, up 192% YOY (2.46m) and a 4.45 U.S. household rating, up 178% vs. 2017 (1.60). It also becomes the most-watched telecast in the history of the FedExCup Playoffs (2007-2018) and the most-watched PGA TOUR telecast in 2018 (excludes majors).

Coverage peaked from 5:45-6 p.m. ET with 10.84 million average viewers as Woods finished his TOUR Championship-winning round and Justin Rose sealed his season-long victory as the FedExCup champion. The peak viewership number trails only the Masters (16.84m) and PGA Championship (12.39m) in 2018. The extended coverage window (1:30-6:19 p.m. ET) drew 5.89 million average viewers and a 3.69 U.S. household rating to become the most-watched and highest-rated TOUR Championship telecast on record (1991-2018).

Sunday’s final round saw 18.4 million minutes streamed across NBC Sports Digital platforms (+561% year-over-year), and becomes NBC Sports’ most-streamed Sunday round (excluding majors) on record (2013-’18).

Sunday’s lead-in coverage on Golf Channel (11:54 a.m.-1:25 p.m. ET) also garnered a Total Audience Delivery of 829K average viewers and posted a .56 U.S. household rating, becoming the most-watched and highest rated lead-in telecast of the TOUR Championship ever (2007-2018). Golf Channel was the No. 2 Sports Network during this window and No. 7 out of all Nielsen-rated cable networks during that span.

 This week, NBC Sports Group will offer weeklong coverage of the biennial Ryder Cup from Le Golf National outside of Paris. Live From the Ryder Cup continues all week on Golf Channel, surrounding nearly 30 hours of NBC Sports’ Emmy-nominated live event coverage, spanning from Friday morning’s opening tee shot just after 2 a.m. ET through the clinching point on Sunday. The United States will look to retain the Ryder Cup after defeating Europe in 2016 (17-11), and aim to win for the first time on European soil in 25 years, since 1993.

 

-NBC Sports Group-

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Tiger Woods names his Mount Rushmore of golf

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 25, 2018, 6:29 pm
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Mickelson savoring his (likely) last road game

By Rex HoggardSeptember 25, 2018, 3:49 pm

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – Phil Mickelson lingered behind as his foursome made its way to the ninth tee during Tuesday’s practice round.

He needed the extra practice, no doubt. He’s one of just six players on the U.S. Ryder Cup team with even a modicum of knowledge about Le Golf National, but the likely reason for Lefty’s leisurely tempo was more personal.

The 2019 Ryder Cup will likely be Mickelson’s last road game as a player.

He’ll be 52 when the U.S. team pegs it up at the 2022 matches in Rome. Although there’s been players who have participated in the biennial event into their golden years – most notably Raymond Floyd who was 51 when he played the ’93 matches – given Mickelson’s play in recent years and the influx of younger players the odds are against him.

“I am aware this is most likely the last one on European soil and my last opportunity to be part of a team that would be victorious here, and that would mean a lot to me personally,” Mickelson said on Tuesday.

It’s understandable that Mickelson would want to linger a little longer in the spotlight of golf’s most intense event.

For the first time in his Ryder Cup career Mickelson needed to be a captain's pick, and he didn’t exactly roar into Paris, finishing 30th out of 30 players at last week’s Tour Championship. He’s also four months removed from his last top-10 finish on the PGA Tour.


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Although he’s reluctant to admit it for Mickelson Le Golf National looks every bit a swansong for the most accomplished U.S. Ryder Cup player of his generation.

In 11 starts at the Ryder Cup, Mickelson has a 26-16-13 record. Perhaps more telling is his 7-3-1 mark since 2012 and he holds the U.S. record for most matches played (45) and is third on the all-time list for most points won (21.5), just two shy of the record held by Billy Casper.

Mickelson’s record will always be defined by what he’s done at the Masters and not done at the U.S. Open, but his status as an anchor for two generations of American teams may never be matched.

For this U.S. team - which is trying to win a road Ryder Cup for the first time since 1993 - Lefty is wearing many hats.

“You know Phil and you know he's always trying to find a way to poke fun, trying to mess with someone,” Furyk said. “He's telling a story. Sometimes you're not sure if they are true or not. Sometimes there's little bits of pieces in each of those, but he provides some humor, provides some levity.”

But there is another side to Mickelson’s appeal in the team room. Although he’s never held the title of vice captain he’s served as a de facto member of the management for some time.

“At the right times, he understands when a team needs a kick in the butt or they need an arm around their shoulder, and he's been good in that atmosphere,” Furyk said. “He's a good speaker and good motivator, and he's been able to take some young players under his wing at times and really get a lot out of them from a partner standpoint.”

In recent years Mickelson has become something of a mentor for young players, first at the ’08 matches with Anthony Kim and again in ’12 with Keegan Bradley.

His role as a team leader in the twilight of his career can’t be overstated and will undoubtedly continue this week if Tuesday’s practice groupings are any indication, with Lefty playing with rookie Bryson DeChambeau.

As DeChambeau was finishing his press conference on Tuesday he was asked about the dynamic in the U.S. team room.

“We're going to try and do our absolute best to get the cup back,” he said.

“Keep the cup,” Lefty shouted from the back of the room, noting that the U.S. won the last Ryder Cup.

It was so Mickelson not to miss a teaching moment or a chance to send a subtle jab delivered with a wry smile.

Mickelson will also be remembered for his role in what has turned out to be an American Ryder Cup resurgence.

“Unfortunately, we have strayed from a winning formula in 2008 for the last three Ryder Cups, and we need to consider maybe getting back to that formula that helped us play our best,” Mickelson said in the Scottish gloom at the ’14 matches. “Nobody here was in any decision.”

If Mickelson doesn’t step to the microphone in ’14 at Gleneagles in the wake of another U.S. loss and, honestly, break some china there probably wouldn’t have been a task force. Davis Love III likely wouldn’t have gotten a second turn as captain in ’16 and the U.S. is probably still mired in a victory drought.

Lefty’s Ryder Cup career is far from over. The early line is that he’ll take his turn as captain in 2024 at Bethpage Black – the People’s Champion riding in to become the People’s Captain.

Before he moves on to a new role, however, he’ll savor this week and an opportunity to win his first road game. If he wants to hang back and relish the moment so be it.

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DeChambeau gets foursomes, fourball mixed up

By Will GraySeptember 25, 2018, 3:31 pm

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – Bryson DeChambeau is an accomplished player when it comes to match play, having captured the U.S. Amateur and starred on a Walker Cup team. But don’t ask him to explain the semantic difference between the formats in play at this week’s Ryder Cup.

DeChambeau became crossed up Tuesday at Le Golf National when he was asked about the intricacies of foursomes play – better known to many Americans as alternate shot.

“Fourball, foursomes, I always get those mixed up,” DeChambeau said. “It’s just easier for me to say alternate shot.”


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Thankfully for DeChambeau, he still has some time to make a distinction between the two before the matches begin in earnest. And when they do, it’ll be fourballs for the morning sessions both Friday and Saturday, with foursomes in the afternoon – a change from the 2016 matches when DeChambeau was on the grounds at Hazeltine as a spectator.

While the foursomes format brings with it added pressure in an already tense environment, one of the biggest concerns is how well players can adjust to using the ball of their partner on a given hole. DeChambeau is known to leave nothing to chance in his preparation, and he’s already circled that particular factor as he gets set to make his Ryder Cup debut.

“It’s key because we want to be comfortable. Each player needs to be comfortable with the ball that they are playing,” DeChambeau said. “So for compatibility reasons, it’s one of the most important things out there in regards to alternate shot. It is the most important.”