Crowded leaderboard at Deutsche Bank

By Doug FergusonSeptember 4, 2011, 9:29 pm

NORTON, Mass. - For all that went wrong for Bubba Watson on the back nine Sunday, at least he still had the lead at the Deutsche Bank Championship.

Right when he was starting to pull away in the third round at the TPC Boston, Watson lost control off the tee and made three bogeys in a five-hole stretch, then failed to get up-and-down for birdie from just behind the par-5 18th green. He still managed a 1-under 70 to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the second FedEx Cup playoff event.

“It’s always nice to be in the final group because then you know what everybody is doing. If you play slow enough, you’ll be two holes back, so when you know what you have to do,” said Watson, one of golf’s quickest players. “It’s a good position to be in. That’s where you want to be. Every week, that’s what we try to do, is get in the final group because that means you have a great chance.”

Even so, the Labor Day finish figures to be wide open.

Adam Scott (71) and Jason Day (67) were among five players in a tie for second. Luke Donald, the No. 1 player in the world, and Jim Furyk were in the large group just two shots behind.

Phil Mickelson even has a chance. He holed out a 7-iron from the rough on the 12th hole for eagle on his way to a 63, and wound up among two dozen players separated by four shots with 18 holes remaining.

“It’s not even that there’s so many guys,” Brendan Steele said. “It’s who the guys are, too. There’s a lot of talent there. Somebody is going to have to definitely go and take this tournament. It’s not going to be given to them.”

The tournament became so wild over the final hour that Steele couldn’t even find his name on the first two pages of the electronic leaderboard after a bogey on the 14th. He rolled in a long birdie putt up the ridge on the 16th, then hit 5-iron to 4 feet for eagle on the last hole for a 67 and was in a six-way tie for the lead.

That’s nothing new for the TPC Boston. Six years ago, there was a five-way tie for the lead going into the final round in the Deutsche Bank Championship. Adding to the stakes this year is the FedEx Cup, with the winner assuring himself a spot among the top five at the Tour Championship when 30 players have a shot at the $10 million prize.

Watson moved to 13 under after a short birdie on the 10th to build a two-shot lead. But he was wild to the left on the par-3 11th for bogey, and he had to scramble for bogey on the 12th after a poor tee shot. He reclaimed the lead with a birdie on the 17th.

Watson was at 11-under 202 as he goes after his third win of the year, and by far the biggest of his career.

The new long shot of these playoffs is Chez Reavie, who had a 68 and was one shot behind. Reavie started the season on a major medical exemption, meaning he had 13 events to earn $673,983 and keep his card. He missed his mark through June, then got into enough tournaments and did well enough to qualify for the playoffs.

At No. 87 this week, he now has a good chance to get to the third playoff event outside Chicago - and maybe even the Tour Championship at East Lake for the first time in his career.

Not bad for a guy who, despite having earned more than $1 million this year, isn’t even eligible for the Fall Series because he won’t have full standing again until next year.

“It’s been a strange year,” said Reavie, who missed the second half of 2010 with a knee injury he didn’t know existed. He had his meniscus repaired in his right knee, along with a rebuilt ACL using the ligament from his knee cap.

Mickelson, who is using a belly putter this week, had three straight birdies early in his round, a birdie-birdie-eagle stretch in the middle and finished with a two-putt birdie from 10 feet. He finished his round some two hours before the leaders even went to the range, not very optimistic that he would be in the mix.

The wind arrived, however, and while it made a two of the par 5s easy to reach, it caused some confusion and became even more punishing when balls strayed from the fairway.

Of the last eight players to tee off in the third round, Jerry Kelly had the best score at 68. That put him in the mix, just one shot behind. Those players in the last four groups had a combined score of only 3 under.

Now, it’s anyone’s game on Monday, when the wind again is likely to be a factor.

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Bjorn adds four Ryder Cup veterans as vice captains

By Will GrayMay 22, 2018, 1:05 pm

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn has added a quartet of vice captains for the biennial matches this fall in Paris.

Bjorn had already named Robert Karlsson as his first assistant, and he announced Tuesday at the BMW PGA Championship that his group of advisors will also include major champions Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell, and former world No. 1s Lee Westwood and Luke Donald.

Westwood is among Europe's most decorated Ryder Cup players, and his addition in this role signals he likely won't participate as a player in the matches for the first time since 1995. The Englishman has spoken openly about his desire to captain the European squad at Whistling Straits in 2020, but he's been quiet on the course in recent months, with a missed secondary cut at the Houston Open his only start since mid-February.

Harrington is seen as another possible captain for the 2020 matches, and he'll don an earpiece for the third straight Ryder Cup, having represented Europe as a player on six straight teams from 1999-2010.

Donald played on four Ryder Cup teams from 2004-12, with the Europeans winning each time he was on the roster. This will mark his first stint as a vice captain, as Donald announced last month that he would be sidelined indefinitely while recovering from a back injury.

At age 38, McDowell will be the youngest vice captain in the room, having holed the winning putt eight years ago at Celtic Manor. He won the French Open in both 2013 and 2014 at Le Golf National, site of this year's matches, and will also be making his debut as a vice captain.

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Bidder pays $50,000 to caddie for Woods

By Grill Room TeamMay 22, 2018, 12:28 pm

Someone has paid $50,000 to caddie for Tiger Woods at this year’s Hero World Challenge.

An unnamed bidder paid for the opportunity at an auction Saturday night at Tiger Jam, where monies are raised to support the Tiger Woods Foundation.



The Hero World Challenge will be contested Nov. 29-Dec. in Albany, Bahamas. The pro-am is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 28.

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NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 11:28 am

The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

After three days of stroke play, eight teams have advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals and semifinals will be contested on Tuesday, with the finals being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.

Wake Forest junior Jennifer Kupcho won the individual title. Click here for live action, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.

Scoring:

TV Times (all times ET):

Tuesday
11AM-conclusion: Match-play quarterfinals (Click here to watch live)
4-8PM: Match-play semifinals

Wednesday
4-8PM: Match-play finals

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Arizona grabs last spot with eagle putt, playoff win

By Ryan LavnerMay 22, 2018, 3:18 am

STILLWATER, Okla. – With her team freefalling in the standings, Arizona coach Laura Ianello was down to her last stroke.

The Wildcats began the final round of the NCAA Championship in third place, but they were 19 over par for the day, and outside the top-8 cut line, with only one player left on the course.

Bianca Pagdaganan had transferred from Gonzaga to compete for NCAA titles, and on the 17th hole Ianello told her that she needed to play “the best two holes of your life” to keep the dream alive.

She made par on 17, then hit a 185-yard 6-iron out of a divot to 30 feet. Not knowing where she stood on the final green, Pagdaganan felt an eerie calm over the ball. Sure enough, she buried the eagle putt, setting off a raucous celebration and sending the Wildcats into a play-five, count-four team playoff with Baylor at 33 over par.

Their match-play spot wasn’t yet secure, but Ianello still broke down in tears.


NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Team scoring

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Individual scoring


“Bianca is such an inspiration for all of us,” she said. “She’s the kind of kid that you want to root for, to have good things happen to.”

Arizona prevailed on the second playoff hole. As the 8 seed, the Wildcats will play top-seeded UCLA in the quarterfinals Tuesday at Karsten Creek.

Though the finish had plenty of drama, no teams played their way into the coveted top 8 on the final day of stroke-play qualifying.

Baylor came closest. The Bears barely advanced past regionals after a mysterious stomach virus affected several players and coaches. They competed in the final round with just four healthy players.

On Monday, Gurleen Kaur put Baylor in position to advance, shooting 68, but the Bears lost by three strokes on the second extra hole.

Arkansas finished one shot shy of the team playoff. The second-ranked Razorbacks, who entered NCAAs as one of the pre-tournament favorites, having won seven times, including their first SEC title, couldn’t overcome a 308-300 start and finished 10th. Player of the Year favorite Maria Fassi finished her week at 19 over par and counted only two rounds toward the team total.