Yang leads crowded leaderboard at Honda

By Associated PressMarch 7, 2009, 5:00 pm
2007 Honda ClassicPALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. ' Mark Calcavecchia finished a round of 65 and left PGA National in a hurry, since his son was waiting at an airport an hour away.
 
If hed stayed, he would have seen his name move up the leaderboard.
 
And so it went on a topsy-turvy day at the Honda Classic ' where the guy who started the third round in front found a way to finish there, too.
 
Y.E. Yang at the Honda Classic
Y.E. Yang is in search of his first PGA Tour victory. (Getty Images)
Y.E. Yang shot even-par 70, good enough to give him a one-shot lead over Jeff Klauk (67) and Jeff Overton (70, with a triple-bogey on the 11th hole, going twice in the water, followed by two birdies in his last three holes) entering the Hondas final round.
 
I kept fighting, Overton said. And now Ive got a chance to win.
 
Yang bogeyed the third hole, birdied the 15th and made nothing but pars the rest of the way, a slow-and-steady approach that worked.
 
Others, well, they needed a roller-coaster mentality.
 
Ben Crane got into the lead with an ace on the 162-yard fifth hole, then chipped in on the next hole for another birdie to get to 7 under. He then made two double-bogeys in the next five holes, finishing three shots back.
 
Charlie Wi (65), Brett Quigley (67) and John Rollins (68) all finished two shots off the pace, at 5 under.
 
If you would have said, take 65 on the first tee, I would have said, See ya later, Wi said. So, you know, I gave myself a chance.
 
So did Calcavecchia, who will start Sunday tied for seventh and in position to pull off something statistically bizarre.
 
He won the Honda in 1987, prevailed again 11 years later ' and now, 11 years after that, is in contention again, at 4 under for the week.
 
It is nice to know that I can still compete out here with these young guys. It is, said Calcavecchia, who moved three spots up the leaderboard after leaving the course. Im still confident in my abilities and if I play a great round tomorrow I can win the tournament. And that would be a huge thrill for me.
 
The guys ahead of him arent exactly some of golfs fabled closers, either.
 
Rollins has won twice in 238 career PGA Tour starts, and hes the only one of the first six on the leaderboard ever to win an event in golfs big leagues. Klauk is 0-for-7. Yang, 0-for-46. Wi, 0-for-84. Overton, 0-for-85. And then theres Quigley, a winner of more than $9 million but no tour events, going 0-for-339.
 
Someone will have a shot at a breakthrough Sunday.
 
This is what we all play for, Klauk said. This is what you want to do. You want to win out here on tour.
 
Yang, Crane, Overton, Klauk, Will MacKenzie (72) and James Nitties (70) all had at least a piece of the lead at some point Saturday. MacKenzie finished in a six-way tie for seventh, three shots back. Nitties is part of a group four shots off Yangs pace.
 
Crane used a 9-iron for his hole-in-one, the first at the Honda in seven years. It hopped a couple of times, just below the hole, then rolled into the cup. And on the next hole, his pitch from off the right side of the green came out a bit hotter than he liked, hit the pin and dropped.
 
Klauk had a bit of luck as well. He hasnt needed his putter at the par-4 14th since Thursday, chipping in there in both the second and third rounds.
 
Easy chip, just right in, Klauk said. The one you want to have.
 
And Yang had the position everyone wants to have going into Sunday.
 
Yang ' best known for beating a field that included Tiger Woods at the 2006 HSBC Champions in Shanghai ' simply plodded along, hitting most fairways and greens in winds that blew as strong as 24 mph.
 
Heres one example of Yangs anonymity at the Honda: As he walked through the resort lobby at PGA National around noon Saturday, no one seemed to notice. The previous evening in that very same area, some caddies were being asked for autographs.
 
If he hangs on Sunday, thatll probably start to change.
 
Notes: U.S. Open runner-up Rocco Mediate shot 77, making him one of seven players to fall victim to the second cut. The first twosome to go off Saturday, Scott Verplank and Ernie Els, played in about 3 1/2 hours, more than a half-hour quicker than nearly every other group. Briny Baird wore a forest green shirt with the Miami Hurricanes distinctive U logo, delighting a few people following him around the course.
 
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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."