Choi leads Open; high winds suspend Round 3

By Doug FergusonAugust 3, 2013, 6:45 pm

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Inbee Park wanted tough conditions at St. Andrews to try to make up an eight-shot deficit in her pursuit of a fourth straight major.

It turned out to be too tough for anyone.

The third round of the Women's British Open was suspended Saturday by gusts that topped 40 mph and kept golf balls from staying put on the greens. After waiting six hours for the wind to calm, players were told to return Sunday morning for a marathon finish.

Whether that becomes a huge break for the leaders - Na Yeon Choi at 10-under 134 was an hour away from teeing off - won't be known until Sunday.

''It's still going to be windy tomorrow - not, hopefully, as windy as it's been today, but there's no letup in it,'' said Susan Simpson, head of operations for the Ladies Golf Union. ''It's still going to be very breezy and equally difficult conditions.''

How difficult?

Nine players who completed the third round had an average score of 78.2. Cristie Kerr and Lydia Ko each had a 75, the best of those who finished. Rikako Morita shot 86. The cumulative nine-hole scores for the 20 players who at least made the turn was 54-over par.


Ricoh Women’s British Open: Articles, videos and photos


There were 508 holes played, and only 26 birdies.

Park is trying to become the first golfer, male or female, to win four straight professional majors in the same season. Her hope was for a steady round in raging wind and for the leading players to lose ground. Park was 1 under through four holes, making a 30-foot birdie putt at No. 3.

But it was her par on the fourth hole that helped make officials realize it was time to stop. The ball moved from its position from a gust, and Park called for a ruling to make sure she could replace it as long as she didn't address the ball.

Simpson said it wasn't Park's ruling alone.

''The time frame for the balls actually moving was very short,'' Simpson said. ''We got five calls, all in the space of a few minutes. ... So I can't actually say which one was the last one that made the difference because it all happened so quickly. There was a gust of almost 40 mph, and with that singular gust, all the balls started to move on the five calls that we had. And we suspended play immediately.''

The most impressive round belonged to Anna Nordqvist, who was 1 under through 15 holes. Danielle Kang was even through 11 holes.

Everyone was to return at 6:15 a.m. Sunday to resume the third round. That means the last group of Choi and Miki Saiki is expected to tee off about 7:30 a.m. The draw will not change for the final round - players will head right back out, and if everything goes according to plan, the Women's British Open should finish around 6 p.m.

Choi had a one-shot lead over Saiki. Morgan Pressel was another shot behind.

Most of the trouble was around the loop - Nos. 7-11 on the far end of the Old Course that is exposed to the elements. Simpson said the wind reached a sustained speed of 30 mph, and during the suspensions, one gust was recorded at 50 mph.

Because more than half of the 69-player field did not finish, there is an option to scrap the third round and start over. Eighteen players had not even started the third round. Simpson said starting over was considered, but not for long.

''We had five groups complete the round, and while we took that into account and it was part of the discussions, it was quite quickly ruled out,'' she said. ''Because we don't feel that's fair to the players who have also competed and already played their rounds. We want to try to continue. Tomorrow, the conditions are meant to be difficult in the morning, as well.''

She said she spoke to all the players and their response was mixed.

''Some are delighted and some are not delighted,'' she said. ''And I think that's the way it works.''

Wind is the main defense of links courses, and St. Andrews is among the toughest of the British links in these elements because the Old Course is exposed. Simpson said officials prepared for a big blow Saturday by not cutting the green on the par-3 11th hole and being mindful of hole locations, making sure they were not on ridges. The greens were 9.4 on the Stimpmeter, compared with 10 the previous two days.

They just weren't prepared for this much wind.

Simpson said the tournament could be extended to Monday, if necessary, which would lead to chaos for the Solheim Cup captains, Meg Mallon and Liselotte Neumann. This is the final qualifying event for the Cup, which starts Aug. 16 at the Colorado Golf Club. They were to announce their captain's picks two hours after the Women's British Open is over, and Mallon said her 12-player team was to fly to Denver on Monday for a practice round.

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Garcia tosses driver, misses Valero cut

By Will GrayApril 21, 2018, 1:00 am

It wasn't quite to the level of his watery meltdown earlier this month at the Masters, but Sergio Garcia still got frustrated during the second round of the Valero Texas Open - and his driver paid the price.

Garcia had a hand in redesigning the AT&T Oaks Course along with Greg Norman several years ago, but this marked his first return to TPC San Antonio since 2010. After an opening-round 74, Garcia arrived to the tee of the short par-4 fifth hole and decided to get aggressive with driver in hand.

When his shot sailed well left, a heated Garcia chucked the club deep into the bushes that lined the tee box:

It took considerable effort for Garcia to find and retrieve the club amid the branches, and once he did things only got worse. He appeared to shank a chip once he got up to his ball, leading to a bogey on one of the easiest holes on a demanding track.

Garcia closed out his round with four straight pars, and at 2 over he eventually missed the cut by a shot. It marks the first time he has missed consecutive cuts on the PGA Tour since 2003, when he sat out the weekend at the AT&T Byron Nelson, Fort Worth Invitational and Memorial Tournament in successive weeks.

Garcia entered the week ranked No. 10 in the world, and he was the only top-20 player among the 156-man field. He missed the cut at the Masters in defense of his title after carding an octuple-bogey 13 on the 15th hole during the opening round.

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Johnson, Moore co-lead Valero Texas Open through 36

By Associated PressApril 21, 2018, 1:00 am

SAN ANTONIO - Zach Johnson was going nowhere in the Valero Texas Open when it all changed with one putt.

He made an 8-foot par putt on the 13th hole of the opening round to stay at 2 under. He followed with a big drive, a hybrid into 12 feet and an eagle. Johnson was on his way, and he kept right on going Friday to a 7-under 65 and a share of the 36-hole lead with Ryan Moore.

''You just never know. That's the beauty of this game,'' Johnson said. ''I felt like I was hitting some solid shots and wasn't getting rewarded, and you've just got to stay in it. You've got to persevere, grind it out, fight for pars. You just never know.''

Moore had three birdies over his last five holes for a 67 and joined Johnson at 9-under 135.

They had a one-shot lead over Grayson Murray (69) and Andrew Landry (67).

Ben Crane (66), Martin Laird (65) and David Hearn (68) were three shots behind. Billy Horschel and Keegan Bradley shot 71 and were four shots behind at 5-under 139.


Full-field scores from the Valero Texas Open

Valero Texas Open: Articles, photos and videos


Sergio Garcia, who consulted Greg Norman on the design of the AT&T Oaks Course at the TPC San Antonio, had a short stay in his first time at the Texas Open since 2010. Garcia shot an even-par 72, and at one point became so frustrated he threw his driver into the shrubs.

Garcia finished at 2-over 146 and missed the cut.

It was the first time since 2010 that Garcia missed the cut in successive starts. That was the PGA Championship and, 10 weeks later, the Castello Masters in Spain. This time, he missed the cut in the Masters and Texas Open three weeks apart.

Johnson, a two-time winner of the Texas Open, appeared to be headed to a short week until the key par save on the 13th hole, followed by his eagle, par and three straight birdies. He began the second round Friday with five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine, a sixth birdie on the par-4 first hole, and then an eagle on the short par-4 fifth when he holed out from a greenside bunker.

The only sour taste to his second round was a three-putt bogey from about 30 feet on his final hole. Even so, the view was much better than it was Thursday afternoon.

Moore thought he had wasted a good birdie opportunity on the par-5 14th hole when he left his 50-foot eagle putt about 6 feet short. But he made that, and then holed a similar putt from 8 feet for birdie on the next hole and capped his good finish with a 15-foot putt on the 17th.

''That was a huge momentum putt there,'' Moore said of the 14th. ''It was a tough putt from down there with a lot of wind. That green is pretty exposed and ... yeah, really short and committed to that second putt really well and knocked it right in the middle.''

The birdies on the 14th and 15th were important to Moore because he missed a pair of 10-foot birdie tries to start the back nine.

''So it was nice to get those and get going in the right direction on the back,'' he said.

The cut was at 1-over 145, and because 80 players made the cut, there will be a 54-hole cut on Saturday.

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Daly-Allen team grabs Legends of Golf lead on Day 2

By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 11:14 pm

RIDGEDALE, Mo. - John Daly and Michael Allen took the second-round lead Friday in the cool and breezy Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.

Daly and Allen shot an 8-under 46 on the Top of the Rock par-3 course with wind gusting to 15 mph and the temperature only in the high-50s at Big Cedar Lodge. They had three birdies on the front nine in alternate-shot play and added five more on the back in better-ball play to get to 13 under.

''Michael and I go back to the South African days in the late 80s and playing that tour,'' Daly said. ''We've been buddies since. He's just fun to play with. We feed off each other pretty good. And if he's not comfortable guinea-pigging on one hole, I'll go first.''

On Thursday, they opened with a 66 on the regulation Buffalo Ridge course. They will rotate to the 13-hole Mountain Top par-3 course on Saturday, and return to Top of the Rock for the final round Sunday.

''I went to high school in Jeff City, so it's cool to have the fans behind us,'' Daly said.

Allen won the PGA Tour Champions team event with David Frost in 2012 and Woody Austin in 2016.

''I'm just here to free up John,'' Allen said. ''It was fun. Luckily, I started making good putts today. We just want to keep the good times rolling.''


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


Defending champions Vijay Singh and Carlos Franco were a stroke back along with Bernhard Langer-Tom Lehman and Paul Broadhurst-Kirk Triplett. Singh and Franco had a 7-under 32 in best-ball play at Mountain Top, and Lehman-Langer and Broadhurst-Tripplet each shot 6-under 48 at Top of the Rock.

''Part of the issue here is all the tees are elevated, so you're up high hitting to a green that's down below and the wind is blowing, and there is more time for that wind to affect it,'' Lehman said. ''If you guess wrong on the wind, you can hit a really good shot and kind of look stupid.''

Former UCLA teammates Scott McCarron and Brandt Jobe were two strokes back at 11 under with Steve Flesch and David Toms and the Spanish side of Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez. McCarron-Jobe had a 47, and Jimenez-Olazabal a 48 at Top of the Rock, and Tom Flesch shot 34 at Mountain Top.

First-round leaders Jeff Maggert and Jesper Parnevik had a 52 at Top of the Rock to fall three shots back at 10 under. Madison, Wisconsin, friends Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly also were 10 under after a 32 at Mountain Top. Jay Haas aced the 131-yard seventh hole at Mountain Top with a gap wedge. Haas and fellow 64-year-old Peter Jacobsen were 8 under after a 32.

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Football coach hates golf: Don't need practice swearing

By Jason CrookApril 20, 2018, 10:15 pm

Some football coaches are a little more talkative than others. On one side of the spectrum, there's Bill Belichick. On the other sits Washington State football coach Mike Leach.

Leach always delivers the goods, and when asked recently if he liked golf, he didn't hold back:

As wrong as the 57-year-old is on the topic (golf is awesome), the man makes some hilarious points:

• “It’s boring. I don’t care where that ball goes.”

• "Golfers are always practicing their swing. But you know what I never did? I never practice fishing in my living room.”

• "They'll line up over the ball and they'll say they're going to do something that you can't do with a sniper rifle and a scope, but they're going to do it with a stick and a ball."

• “Golf’s pretty much for people that don’t swear effectively enough or need practice. And so there are people that need golf, and I don’t think I do.”

So in conclusion, it's confirmed: Mike Leach - not a golf guy.