Bloodshot eyes and a final Olympic push

By Doug FergusonOctober 7, 2009, 5:29 am
Presidents Cup

PGA champion Y.E. Yang arrived at the Presidents Cup with a bloodshot right eye. Not streaked with pink, but rather a dark red blot toward the inside corner.

He said it was a blood vein that popped and that it was nothing serious.

Yang also knows how it happened. Attribute it to the price of celebrity from being the guy who took down Tiger Woods.

“Since the PGA Championship, it’s been a tiresome two months,” Yang said. “I’m not saying it was unpleasant – it was very enjoyable – but it was a long, long schedule and I was out of my routine. And that’s why I got a little stressed out. One of my veins popped.”

Yang said it burst about five days ago, and it would take about two weeks to heal.

“It’s getting to where it’s the grossest right now,” he said. “But it will be better.”

As for the biggest change to his routine, Yang would start with Harding Park. He would not have made the International team for the Presidents Cup without winning the PGA Championship; it moved him to No. 9 in the standings in the final week of qualifying.

More changes are ahead.

Yang figures he will be playing more tournaments because of his victory, which translates to longer seasons.

As for the stress?

There is a chance he could get a rematch with Woods because captains can manipulate the pairings. The final day is singles, and putting Woods and Yang together might carry the most appeal.

Yang joked at Hazeltine that he doesn’t want to play Woods again. If it comes to that, he at least has experience.

“I will try to play with a similar strategy, to try to play my own game and I won’t try to force anything,” Yang said. “It’s going to be tough, but I’ll try to keep my calm.”

VILLEGAS EXPERIENCE: Camilo Villegas is making his Presidents Cup debut. He has not played on a team since he was in Florida, and it was inspiring to return to his hotel room and see the uniforms in place.

Just don’t get the idea the Colombian lacks experience in this format.

Being at the Presidents Cup reminds him of his junior days when he played in the South American Championship. He said each country had five players and they played different nations at once – foursomes one day, fourballs another day, followed by singles.

“You could play two matches at the same time,” he said. “So I would be playing Argentina and Brazil one day. It was my favorite event, and I’m very excited to be back doing something similar.

“I love it, man. I love this format,” he said. “I’m just excited to be part of this team.”

YANG AND THE BRUINS: Y.E. Yang spent two days playing The Institute, a hidden gem south of San Jose owned by John Fry and his brothers of Fry’s Electronics. They plan to move the Fry’ Open there when the time is right, and they have been inviting PGA Tour players over the last few years to take a look.

Yang was on his way to the course Sunday when he reached into his bag and realized he only had one ball. Staying at the Corde Valle Resort, he went to the pro shop only to discover it didn’t have Taylor Made golf balls. Yang didn’t feel it would be right, even in a private setting, to play something other than what he endorses.

Just his luck, the UCLA golf team was on the course.

Resort workers went to the team and asked if they could use a couple of golf balls. They collected six – all with the UCLA logo – and Yang was set.

Consider him a Bruins fans now. And he certainly caught on to the school spirit. Also playing The Institute that day was Jamie Lovemark, who won an NCAA title playing for Southern Cal.

Yang tossed him one of the balls and smiled. Lovemark tossed it back.

NORMAN’S SCHEDULE: It’s not easy for Greg Norman to handle all his captain’s duties with his right arm in a sling, courtesy of surgery last week on his shoulder. Sure, he could have waited. Then again, he was looking at the bigger picture.

The Shark wants to be ready for his limited winter schedule, which includes the Australian Open the first week of December, followed by the Shark Shootout.

Norman is the host, and he plans to have U.S. captain Fred Couples as his partner.

“We had a good agreement, Freddie and I, so I’m working my way back for the Australian Open and the Shootout,” Norman said. “That’s my schedule. That’s my goal. There’s a lot of rehab to take place between now and then, but I’m pretty confident that I’ll be back hitting balls 10 days before then.”

FINAL OLYMPIC PUSH: Three-time major winner Padraig Harrington and Michelle Wie are going to Copenhagen this week to help golf make its final push to get into the Olympics.

Harrington, Wie, Suzann Pettersen of Norway and 16-year-old British Amateur champion Matteo Manassero of Italy will join golf’s Olympic executive in making the final presentation.

PGA Tour vice president Ty Votaw, who has led golf’s bid along with Royal & Ancient chief executive Peter Dawson, said it was important to show that golfers from all parts of the world, both professional and amateur, want golf in the Olympics.

In the most recent presentation in June, Votaw and Dawson were joined by Annika Sorenstam and Colin Montgomerie.

The IOC executive board recommended that golf and rugby sevens be added to the Olympic program in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, which was selected as the host city last week. The full vote on adding sports will be Friday.

DIVOTS: Camilo Villegas had a 2-inch scab below his right elbow, a scratch that was healing, and another wound that could not be shown. With a wistful smile, he confessed: During a trip home to Colombia, while riding his bike, the front tire blew out and Villegas tumbled over the handle bars. … Steve Stricker prepared to hit a 4-iron to the 10th hole, telling Tiger Woods he would hit a high draw and hold it against the wind. After pulling off the shot, Woods excitedly said, “That’s why you’re double comeback-player-of-the year.”

STAT OF THE WEEK: Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh are the only players to have competed in every Presidents Cup. Each has won only one singles match.

FINAL WORD: “When Tiger plays well and the other guy doesn’t, it’s really hard to beat two guys, no matter who they are.” – Fred Couples on Tiger Woods’ team record in the Presidents Cup (10-9-1).

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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

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

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

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

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

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

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.”