Weir looks to break par at Canadian Open

By Associated PressJuly 21, 2011, 1:29 am

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Mike Weir has enjoyed a lot of breakthroughs playing golf in Vancouver, including his first professional win while playing on the Canadian Tour in 1997, and his first PGA Tour victory two years later.

Weir has also long been the favorite to end a Canadian drought at his national open that dates back to Pat Fletcher winning down the road from here in 1954. In 2004 he almost did, losing in a playoff to Vijay Singh just one year after becoming the first Canadian to win a major at the 2003 Masters.

Now, the little lefty returns to Vancouver just trying to break par.

Coming off elbow surgery late last season and an operation to drain fluid from his wrist in March, Weir has yet to finish under par in 14 events in 2011, making the cut in just two while losing his status on the PGA Tour and tumbling down to No. 475 in the world rankings.

“I was injured and developed some bad habits,” Weir said on the eve of the $5.2-million Canadian Open. “I’m fighting my way out of that. I’m trying to work my way back into form and gain some momentum, just string some solid shots together and hopefully it’ll lead to some good rounds.”

If nothing else, after more rounds in the 80s (three) than 60s (one) this season, Weir comes into his home championship with a different set of expectations, at least externally.

“As poorly as I’ve played I still like to think that I have a glimmer of hope if I can find the fairway a few more times than I have been,” Weir said.

He’ll have to this week, with the long, thick rough guarding tree-lined fairways at Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club already earning widespread comparisons to a U.S. Open.

“Probably the thickest we played all year,” said Luke Donald, still the world’s top ranked golfer despite missing the cut at last week’s British Open. “I’d say it’s even thicker than the U.S. Open.”

The rough was just as thick – but not as consistent – when Shaugnessy first hosted the Canadian Open in 2005. Marc Calcavecchia won then with a score of 5-under on the 7,010-yard, par-70 layout above the banks of the Pacific Ocean.

Despite some scores as high as the rough, players raved about the course. It’s a big reason the Canadian Open has its best field since 2004 – three years before it was moved from September to a mid-summer date after the British Open.

“I’ve heard a lot of good things from other PGA players,” said Rickie Fowler, coming off a tie for fifth at the British Open with fellow AmericansAnthony Kim and Chad Campbell, who are both in this week’s field. “Ben Crane was the first one to tell me about it. He said it’s probably one of his favorite places, definitely his favorite place to play in Canada. So I was excited to come.”

Having the tournament’s title sponsor, RBC, on the bag of top players didn’t hurt, helping ensure Donald and Kim made the long trip from England. So too did RBC-backed players like No.8-ranked Matt Kuchar, No. 22Jim Furyk, and No. 25 Ernie Els. Fellow South African Charl Schwartzel, the world’s 12th-ranked player and current Masters champion, is also here, as are No. 15 Paul Casey and No. 18 Hunter Mahan. To make things easier, the tournament chartered a flight from the British Open.

“The charter definitely helps out with getting guys here,” Fowler said of his first trip to Canada’s west coast. “This is about as far as you’re going to get traveling-wise from England all the way to Vancouver but it really wasn’t too bad.

Even after traveling eight time zones, most players didn’t seem to mind the difficult set up.

“I wish we played more golf course like this on Tour,” said Carl Pettersson, who is the defending champion after winning at St. George s Golf and Country Club in Toronto last year – including a tournament record 60 on the Saturday. “It’s set up like a U.S. Open, major-style golf course, very demanding off the tee, the rough is up, the greens are small. It’s a great golf course.”

It’s just not a great place to try and find your game, like Weir.

Or one where you can expect to see any repeats of Pettersson s 60 from last year.

“Yeah,” he said when asked if 60 was out there. “Maybe after 14 holes.”

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Koepka looking to make hay on Horrible Horseshoe

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 10:26 pm

The Horrible Horseshoe - Nos. 3, 4 and 5 at Colonial Country Club - annually ranks as one of the toughest three-hole stretches on the PGA Tour.

Consider Brooks Koepka undeterred.

Last year's U.S. Open champ has played the stretch 2 over this week but knows that if he's going to have any chance at catching Justin Rose on Sunday, he's going to need take advantage of the par-5 first and then find a way to pick up shots on the Horseshoe.

"I feel like just need to get off to a good start on this golf course," Koepka said after a third-round 67 Saturday. "If you can get 2 or 3 under through six holes, I think you'll be right there."

Koepka will start the final round behind Rose, as he looks to win for the first time since his maiden major victory last year.

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The big-hitter missed nearly four months this year with a wrist injury and is progressing quickly in his comeback despite dislocating his wrist on two different occasions over the last two months.

Koepka missed the cut with partner Marc Turnesa at the Zurich Classic in his competitive return before following up with a tie for 42nd at the Wells Fargo Championship and a tie for 11th at The Players Championship.

Now, thanks to a clsong birdie Sunday, he finds himself playing alongside Rose in the final group on Sunday.

"I feel like my game is coming around," he said. "[At Zurich], I was five days into touching clubs. I am finally finding a rhythm and feel like I'm getting really close. ...

"Just want to get off to a good start [tomorrow]. That's really all I am trying to do. You put together a good solid round tomorrow, you never know what can happen. The important thing is we were just trying to get in that final group. I thought the putt on 18 was kind of big to get in that final group and play with Rosey."

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Rose leads Koepka, Grillo by four at Colonial

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 9:06 pm

On the strength of a 4-under 66 Saturday, Justin Rose will take a four-shot lead over Brooks Koepka and Emiliano Grillo into the final round of the Fort Worth Invitational. Here's where things stand through 54 holes at Colonial Country Club.

Leaderboard: Rose (-14), Koepka (-10), Grillo (-10), Corey Conners (-8), Jon Rahm (-8), Louis Oosthuizen (-8), J.T. Poston (-8), Ryan Armour (-8)

What it means: The fifth-ranked player in the world is 18 holes from his ninth PGA Tour victory and his second this season. Up one to start the third round, Rose extended his lead to as much as five with birdies on four of his first six holes. Through 54 holes, Rose has made 17 birdies and just three bogeys. The 2013 U.S. Open winner and 2016 Olympic gold medalist has a history of winning at iconic venues - Muirfield Village, Aronimink, Cog Hill, Doral, Merion and Congressional - and now looks to add Colonial to the list. He'll be chased on Sunday by Grillo, the young Argentinian who won his first Tour start as a member in 2015, and Koepka, last year's U.S. Open winner who continues to impress in his injury comeback despite ongoing wrist issues.

Round of the day: Corey Conners and Ted Potter both turned in 7-under 63. Potter was bogey-free and Conners came home in 6-under 29 on the back nine.

Best of the rest: Jon Rahm, Louis Oosthuizen, Brian Harman and Michael Thompson all signed for 64. Rahm called his six-birdie start the best 10 holes he's played so far this year.

Biggest disappointment: Jordan Spieth has finished second-first-second in the last three years at this event, but he's yet to find his normal Colonial form through three rounds. Spieth, who said Friday he was capable of shooting "10 or 12 under" over the weekend, shot even-par 70 Saturday. He sits in T-38 at 3 under for the week, 11 back.

Shot of the day: Rory Sabbatini closed out his third round Saturday with this eagle holeout from 134 yards at the 18th.

His colorful scorecard featured three bogeys, two birdies, a double bogey and that eagle. It added up to a 1-over 71. 

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McCarron closes with only bogey, shares lead

By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 8:49 pm

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Scott McCarron, seeking a second senior major title to go with his 2017 Senior Players Championship, made his only bogey of the third round on the final hole to slip into a tie for the lead Saturday with Tim Petrovic in the Senior PGA Championship.

They were at 13 under par after Petrovic, seeking his first major, shot 65. McCarron has shared the lead through three rounds.

England's Paul Broadhurst, the 2016 British Senior Open winner, matched the best third-round score in tournament history with a 64. He was at 11 under.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, coming off his first major championship last week at the Regions Tradition, shot 65 and was 9 under.

Tom Byrum, who made a hole-in-one in shooting a 67, was in a group at 8 under.

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Watch: Rose one-arms approach, makes birdie

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 26, 2018, 7:25 pm

Justin Rose appears to have taken a course in Hideki Matsuyama-ing.

Already 3 under on his round through five thanks to a birdie-birdie-birdie start, Rose played this approach from 143 yards at the par-4 sixth.

That one-armed approach set up a 6-foot birdie putt he rolled in to move to 4 under on his round and 14 under for the week, five clear of the field.