Heat Will Be On at Southern Hills

By Brian HewittAugust 6, 2007, 4:00 pm
PGA ChampionshipSouthern Hills Country Club will not necessarily provide southern comfort when the PGA Championship gets to Tulsa for the years fourth and final major on the mens side.
And that has nothing to do with the hospitality of the good folks of Oklahoma. Its just that after an unusually cool and wet summer, which left the golf course in surprisingly good condition, the dog days of August have arrived in no uncertain terms.
The weather forecast for the 89th PGA Championship is for unrelenting heat'highs in the 90s every day'and very little chance of rain. Among other things this will force course superintendent Russ Myers to coddle his greens to keep them alive which could mean higher cutting settings on the greens mowers which could mean slower green speeds.
The players who competed at the U.S. Open at Southern Hills in 2001 will be more concerned with the receptiveness of the ninth and 18th greens at architect Perry Maxwells seminal design which, by the way, will play to 7,131 yards and a par of 70.
Six years ago the worlds best players arrived at Southern Hills for our national championship only to find the elevated surfaces at the ninth and 18th rejecting approaches that had any backspin at all. This condition forced the USGA to set the green speeds on those two holes slower than the other 16 for the championship.
Players hate inconsistent speeds. And to be sure, if either Retief Goosen or Mark Brooks had two-putted their 72nd hole, they would have won the event outright. If Stewart Cink had two-putted his final hole, he would have joined Goosen and Brooks in the 18-hole Monday playoff eventually won by Goosen.
Since then, Southern Hills has spent a lot of money on the golf course and the clubhouse. The ninth and 18th greens were made more level and Myers told GOLF CHANNEL last month they were holding well-struck approaches.
Meanwhile the defending champion, Tiger Woods, will be looking to avoid a shutout at Southern Hills while winning his first major championship as a father. Woods wife, Elin, gave birth to a baby girl in June. And that has prompted Woods to say that no matter what happens on the golf course this year 2007 will have been an unqualified success.
On the other hand, when it comes to his vocation, Woods lives for major championships. And so far he is 0-for-2007 in that department. At the 2001 U.S. Open Woods finished tied for 12th. A lot of people insisted back then that Southern Hills landing areas off the tee didnt suit Woods game.
You have to place the ball correctly there, Woods said recently. And if youre not hitting the ball well there, you will definitely be exposed. Putting is also an integral part of the game, but you need to get to the putting surfaces first and foremost on the golf course and be in the right position in order to make putts.
Asked specifically in June if Woods didnt believe the course didnt suit his game, he replied, Correct.
Woods remains the solid favorite. He always is these days, particularly after winning the past week's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in a route. His lead over No. 2 Jim Furyk in the world rankings is bigger than most continents. Furyk, by the way, was forced to withdraw from Akron with a stiff back in the days leading up to Southern Hills. A tender wrist, which has bothered world No. 3 Phil Mickelson since before the U.S. Open in June, has punched a hole in his expectations as well.
If youre looking for a dark horse, you might want to consider the guy with the dark shades. Hunter Mahan is arguably the hottest player in golf the last month off of four finishes of eighth or better in his last five events, highlighted by a win at the Travelers Championship.
Even more interesting is this fact about Mahan, who played his college golf at nearby Oklahoma State: In 2003 he won the Big 12 title at Southern Hills by a whopping 13 shots.
The PGA Championship, of course, is a large step up in class from the Big 12's. But as Professor Harold Hill said in The Music Man: Youve got to know the territory. Mahan does.
One final thing to watch: All three major winners so far this year'Zach Johnson at the Masters, Angel Cabrera at the U.S. Open, and Padraig Harrington at the Open Championship'did so for the first time. Only once (2003) in the last 37 years have the four major winners in a given year all been first-time major champions.
If that trend continues, dont count out Sergio Garcia. Garcia let the British get away at Carnoustie last month. But hes hitting the ball as well as anybody in golf right now. And if Myers greens play a tad slow because of the weather, it may be Sergio sipping Southern Comfort Sunday night at Southern Hills.
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    Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

    By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

    NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

    Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

    The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

    Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

    Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

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    Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

    Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

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    Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

    Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

    Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

    4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

    4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

    4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

    4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

    4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

    5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

    5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

    5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

    5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

    5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

    6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

    6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

    6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

    6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

    6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

    6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

    7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

    7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

    7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

    7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

    7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

    7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

    8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

    8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

    8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

    8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

    8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

    8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

    9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

    9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

    9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

    9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

    9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

    10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

    10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

    10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

    10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

    10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

    10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

    11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

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    Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

    He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

    “There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

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    At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

    Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

    “I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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    Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

    Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

    Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

    “I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

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    Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

    Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

    “It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

    More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

    “I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”