Woodland takes Stableford lead

By Associated PressAugust 4, 2013, 5:30 am

RENO, Nev. – Gary Woodland's seven-point lead in the Reno-Tahoe Open sounds a lot bigger than it is in the wild modified Stableford scoring system.

Woodland holed out from a greenside bunker for eagle and hit an approach shot from the fairway to 2 inches for one of his six birdies Saturday to take the third-round lead with 37 points at Montreux Golf Club on the edge of the Sierra Nevada.

The scoring system awards eight points for eagle, five for eagle, two for birdie, zero for par, minus-one for bogey and minus-three for double-bogey or worse.

The late-charging Brendan Steele vaulted into second place with 30 points. He played the last six holes in 7 under par under a traditional format, capping five consecutive birdies with a 33-foot chip-in for eagle on the 616-yard 18th.

Woodland, the 2011 PGA Tour rookie of the year who like Steele has one career victory, said he figures it translates into maybe a two-stroke lead heading into a typical Sunday.

''It's tough to tell in this format,'' said Woodland, whose best finishes this year are three ties for 16th at the Phoenix Open, Memorial and AT&T National.

''Obviously, if you make birdies, you can move up quickly,'' the Kansas native said. ''Somebody can hole out on a par 5 and all the sudden a seven-point lead vanishes.''

Just ask Steele, who started the day tied for 24th with 13 points. He had two bogeys with a lone birdie for a net zero points on the front nine but started the back side with a 6-foot birdie putt on the par-4 10th.

''Didn't have any points going into No. 10 and I was feeling like I was getting run over,'' he said. ''All of a sudden, things changed and the ball started going in the hole.''

''I think I was in 50th place going into the back nine, so you can obviously move up pretty quick,'' said Steele, whose lone PGA victory also came during his rookie year at the 2011 Texas Open. His best finish this year is a tie for sixth at the Phoenix Open. Last year he tied for fourth at the Texas Open, tied for fifth at Phoenix and was eighth at Reno.

Beginning with the 518-yard 13th, Steele reeled off consecutive birdie putts of 13, 5, 7 and 6 feet.

The streak was in jeopardy when he hit into a bunker guarding the 464-yard, par-4 17th but holed out the sand shot from 27 feet. On No. 18, he drove the ball 364 yards, hit his second shot 246 yards into the rough behind the green, but - after moving some camera equipment and adjusting his swing because a fence was in the way - knocked his chip in the hole.

''Just trying to hit a good shot. I don't ever really try to hole chips,'' he said about the dramatic finish that is the best consecutive, six-hole stretch on the PGA Tour this year.

The 17 points Steele tallied on the back nine alone equal the best one-day record in the format at Reno, equaling the mark J.B. Holmes set last year and Rod Pampling equaled in Friday's second round. Under traditional play, Steele's card would have read 37-28-65.

''It doesn't happen that often. You really have to enjoy it when it does,'' he said. ''I mean, I didn't know what the score even was, but as far as the score goes, it's probably the best I've ever had.''

David Mathis heads into Sunday's round in third place with 29 points, followed by second-round leader Andres Romero at 27, Charlie Wi at 25, Dickey Pride 24 and Rory Sabbatini 23. Stuart Appleby was in a group two more points back at 21.

Woodland, who claimed his victory at the 2011 Transitions Championship, holed out from a greenside bunker 50 feet away for an eagle on the par-5 second Saturday then chipped in from about 53 feet after hitting his tee shot over the green into the rough on the par-3 seventh to avoid trouble early.

''Today was an interesting day,'' said Woodland, who started the day in second place with 21 points, one behind Romero.

''I felt like I hit it really well, I just didn't hit many greens, especially early in the round,'' he said. ''All in all, my short game saved me today.''

Woodland sandwiched birdies around a bogey on the par-5 ninth when he failed to get up and down out of a greenside bunker and two-putted for birdie on the par-5 13th before his 126-yard approach shot on the 439-yard 15th stopped just 2 inches shy of the hole.

He added a 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th to head into Sunday's final round ahead by seven points.

''All in all, I'm going to have to go out and make birdies tomorrow,'' he said.

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Levy wins Trophee Hassan for fifth European Tour title

By Associated PressApril 22, 2018, 6:32 pm

RABAT, Morocco - Alexander Levy finished with a 2-under 70 Sunday to win the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco by a shot from overnight leader Alvaro Quiros.

One off the lead overnight, Levy made two of his four birdies in his first five holes to hit the front and stayed ahead for the rest of the final day at the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam course.

It was the 27-year-old Frenchman's fifth European Tour victory and he will take winning form to Beijing next week when he defends his China Open title.

Levy ended 8-under 280 overall, one ahead of Spain's Quiros, who closed with a second straight 72.


Full-field scores from the Trophee Hassan II


With his chasers pushing hard, Levy kept his cool after dropping a shot on No. 16. He birdied the short, par-3 No. 17 and made par at the last.

Quiros birdied his last two holes to make sure of second place outright. He needed an eagle on No. 18 to force a playoff.

A group of four players finished in a tie for third, including Italy's Andrea Pavan, who finished with a brilliant 6-under 66. Swedish pair Joakim Lagergren (70) and Alexander Bjork (70) and Finland's Mikko Ilonen (72) also shared third.

Levy had three other top 10 finishes in his five previous events this season and moved up to ninth on the European Tour's Race to Dubai points list.

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(Not that) Jutanugarn shares lead with (not that) Ko

By Associated PressApril 22, 2018, 1:58 am

LOS ANGELES - A player eager for her first win and a rookie top the leaderboard at the HUGEL-JTBC LA Open. Lurking two shots back is a Hall of Famer.

Winless Moriya Jutanugarn overcame a poor start and birdied the 18th for a hard-earned 1-under 70 to tie rookie Jin Young Ko at 9 under on Saturday at Wilshire Country Club.

Ko shot a 66 in her bid to become the year's first two-time LPGA winner. She won the Women's Australian Open in February, her first victory as an official tour member after a successful run on the Korean LPGA circuit.

''I'm ready for win or top 10, so maybe tomorrow I will really focus on shot by shot,'' said Ko, who added an exclamation point to her golf bag for each of her wins on the KLPGA. ''I won 11 times, so if I win tomorrow, maybe I change to 12. I need more, I need every time motivation.''

Jutanugarn is trying to match younger sister Ariya as a tour champion. Seven-time winner Ariya was tied for 27th after a 72 in the third round.

Usually when one of the Thai sisters is in the lead, the other will watch when her round is finished.

''If she's not too lazy, she is probably going to come out,'' Moriya said about Ariya.

Playing in an all-Korean threesome, Hall of Famer Inbee Park was two shots back in third after a 69. Her birdie putt for a share of the lead on 18 slid just by the hole. The group drew a large contingent of Korean fans.


Full-field scores from the Hugel-JTBC Open


''I kind of started off a little bad. I was able to come back strong, so I'm really happy with that,'' Park said. ''I left a few putts out there. The greens around this golf course are just really tough. You just don't know what's going to happen.''

Moriya Jutanugarn's round included a double bogey on the par-4 first hole and a bogey on the par-4 sixth. She eagled the par-4 14th after holing out from the fairway 93 feet away. The ball took once bounce and went in, eliciting a stunned look from Jutanugarn before she high-fived her caddie.

''Today was kind of a pretty rough day for me with not a very good start and like trying to come back,'' Jutanugarn said. ''I just try to play my game and be patient out there I think is the key.''

Jutanugarn, the second-round leader, read the break perfectly on a long putt to make birdie on 18 and share the lead with Ko.

Playing two groups ahead of Jutanugarn, Caroline Inglis also eagled the 14th from 180 yards. She briefly jumped up and down and smiled after three bogeys and a double bogey. She shot a 69 and was four shots back in a tie for sixth with Minjee Lee.

''It was like one bounce and then it like trickled in,'' Inglis said.

Aditi Ashok eagled 14 early in the round.

Ko did some scrambling of her own. Her ball found a sandy hazard on the 17th with a scoreboard and a winding creek in between her and the green 190 yards away. Her approach landed just off the green and she made par. Her round included six birdies and a bogey on 16.

Eun-Hee Ji (70) and American Marina Alex (72) were tied for fourth at 6 under.

Top-ranked Shanshan Feng shot a 70 and was in a six-way tie for 12th at 2 under.

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Defending champs Singh, Franco take senior lead

By Associated PressApril 22, 2018, 12:15 am

RIDGEDALE, Mo. - Defending champions Vijay Singh and Carlos Franco took the third-round lead Saturday in the windy Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.

Singh and Franco shot a 7-under 47 in wind gusting to 20 mph on the Top of the Rock par-3 course to get to 19-under 145, a stroke ahead of the teams of David Toms-Steve Flesch and Paul Broadhurst-Kirk Triplett.

''It was a tough day,'' Singh said. ''The wind was swirling, have to get the club right and we made some putts. Carlos played really well on the back nine and I played really well on the front nine, so we ham-and-egged it a little.''

Toms and Flesch also shot 47, and Broadhurst and Triplett had a 33 on the 13-hole Mountain Top par-3 course.

''We just paired well together,'' Toms said. ''I don't think either one of us played great. We picked each other up out there.''

Wind and rain is expected Sunday when the teams finish at Top of the Rock, again playing the front nine in alternate shot and the back nine in better ball.

''Make as many birdies as possible and see what happens,'' Singh said. ''That's all we can do.''

Singh and Franco are trying to become the first to successfully defend a title since Jim Colbert and Andy North in 2001. Singh won the Toshiba Classic in March for his first individual senior title.


Full-field scores from the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf


Flesch won the Mitsubishi Electric Classic last week in Georgia for his first senior victory.

Tom Lehman and Bernhard Langer had a 34 at Mountain Top to join Spanish stars Miguel Angel Jimenez and Jose Maria Olazabal at 17 under. Jimenez and Olazabal had a 33 at Mountain Top.

''It's great for me to be able to play with him as a team member,'' Olazabal said. ''We do have great memories from the Ryder Cup and other events, and it's always a great pleasure to play with a great player and a friend.''

Langer took the final-round forecast in stride.

''We've done it hundreds of times before and we'll probably do it again,'' Langer said. ''We'll make the best of it. We both have a good attitude. We're known to play in all sorts of weather and I just look forward to playing one more day with my partner here.''

Wisconsin neighbors Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly were 16 under after a 48 at Top of the Rock.

John Daly and Michael Allen, the second-round leaders after a 46 at Top of the Rock, had a 37 at Mountain Top to drop into a tie for seventh at 15 under.

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Landry shares Valero lead, eyes first career win

By Will GrayApril 21, 2018, 11:15 pm

After coming up just short of a breakthrough win earlier this season, Andrew Landry has another chance to earn his maiden victory at the Valero Texas Open.

Landry came within inches of winning the CareerBuilder Challenge in January, ultimately losing to Jon Rahm in a four-hole playoff. He struggled to find form in the wake of his close call, missing the cut in each of his four starts following his runner-up finish in Palm Springs.

But Landry took some time off to welcome his first child, Brooks, last month and he made it to the weekend in his first start back last week at the RBC Heritage, where he finished T-42. He made a move up the standings Saturday at TPC San Antonio with a bogey-free 67, and at 13 under shares the lead with Zach Johnson heading into the final round.

"I just did everything really good," Landry told reporters. "I was staying patient and just trying to make a bunch of pars. This golf course can come up and bite you in a heartbeat, and I had a couple bad putts that I didn't really make. I'm happy with it, it's a good 5-under round. Gets me in the final group tomorrow and we'll see what happens."


Full-field scores from the Valero Texas Open

Valero Texas Open: Articles, photos and videos


Landry started the day one shot off the pace and in the final group with Johnson and Ryan Moore, and at one point he took sole possession of the lead after birdies on three of his first six holes. Now he'll have another chance in the day's final tee time where he's grouped with Johnson and Trey Mullinax, who sits one shot back after firing a course-record 62 in the third round.

For Landry, it's another opportunity to break into the winner's circle, and it's one for which he feels prepared after coming so close three months ago.

"I mean, I don't want to go too deep into it because I don't want to sound cocky or anything, but I just believe in myself. There's no other explanation for it," Landry said. "You can totally get out here and play with Zach Johnson, Ryan Moore, two top players in the world, and you can go out there and fold under pressure or you can learn a lot.

"Zach's always been a role model to me the way he plays golf, I feel like we have very similar games, and it's just going to be fun tomorrow getting to play with him again."