Day leads at Deutsche Bank Mickelson five back

By Doug FergusonSeptember 6, 2010, 2:07 am
DeutscheBank Logo 2007NORTON, Mass. – The final hole gave Jason Day a one-shot lead in the Deutsche Bank Championship. The final hour gave him a good idea of what he might expect for the Labor Day finish.

Day walked off the 15th green with a three-shot lead Sunday, feeling good about separating himself from the field.

It was gone in two holes.

Then came the par-5 18th, where Day stood just off the back of the green in two as he watched Snedeker make a mess of the easiest hole on the TPC Boston by hitting his approach into the hazard and his fourth shot in deep grass short of the green.

Jason Day
Jason Day is seeking his second PGA Tour win of the 2010 season. (Getty Images)
“I was thinking that he was going to just get up-and-down and make bogey, and I was going to make an eagle or birdie,” Day said. “That would have given me a nice little cushion going into tomorrow.”

It just didn’t work out that way.

Day capped off an exciting day with a routine birdie for a 5-under 66. In another strange twist Sunday, the largest cheer was for the guy who made par. Snedeker chipped in and shot 67, leaving him one shot behind.

“It would have been a tough way to end the day as well as I played coming in,” Snedeker said.

Just like so many other times at this tournament, the Deutsche Bank Championship could be up for grabs.

And so could the No. 1 ranking.

Tiger Woods could only manage one birdie over the last 11 holes and shot a 2-under 69, leaving him tied for 23rd and 10 shots out of the lead. That set the stage for Phil Mickelson or Steve Stricker to end his five-year run atop the world ranking.

Stricker is closer to the lead. Mickelson has better odds.

Both of them might have a tough time catching up to Day, the 22-year-old Australian who won the Byron Nelson Championship in May and is starting to play his best golf during the FedEx Cup playoffs.

Day was at 17-under 196, matching the 54-hole record at the TPC Boston set by Mike Weir two years ago.

Luke Donald, winless on the PGA Tour in more than four years, was steady again in his first tournament since being picked for Europe’s Ryder Cup team. He birdied the last hole for a 66 and was two shots behind.

Defending champion Stricker played his third straight round without a bogey for a 67 and was at 13-under 200 with Charley Hoffman (69).

Mickelson was in a group at 201 that included Geoff Ogilvy (65), who hasn’t finished in the top 10 since winning the season-opening SBS Championship; and Adam Scott (65), who won the Deutsche Bank Championship in 2003.

Snedeker was three shots behind going to the 16th tee when he made consecutive birdies – Day three-putted the 16th – to share the lead. But the final hole – the easiest at the TPC Boston with a tail wind – nearly got him. He didn’t hit enough club and went into the hazard, and after taking a penalty drop, his fourth shot barely cleared the hazard and stayed in the rough.

Snedeker set off one of the loudest cheers of the day when he chipped in to escape with par.

But this was a day for plenty of noise.

Vijay Singh made the rarest shot in golf – albatross – when he holed a 5-iron from 229 yards on the par-5 second hole for a cheer that resounded across the front nine.

“I hit it just like I wanted to and was hoping it was going to get up on the green somewhere, and it went in the hole,” said Singh, who had a 69 and was right on the bubble for getting into the third round next week at the BMW Championship.

It was the second straight year someone made an albatross on that hole, with John Senden doing it a year ago.

Mickelson felt like he was back in 2009, too.

A year ago on the 15th hole, facing a front left pin, he banged his approach off the flag and watched it roll off the green. He was determined not to let that happen again and said he told his caddie, “I’m going to try to just miss the pin.”

He missed his mark – and hit the pin.

The ball spun around, caught the false front and rolled into the rough. Instead of getting mad, Mickelson got even. He chipped in for a birdie, and gave his biggest fist pump of the day.

“That was a fun little moment, because that stuff happens,” Mickelson said.

This is the 10th tournament this year that Mickelson has had a mathematical chance of replacing Woods at No. 1 in the world, and one of his better chances. He was four shots behind going into the final round at Firestone and shot 78.

This time, Mickelson might only need to finish in fourth place alone, provided Woods is out of the top 24. And this time, he is far more confident in his driving, with only his iron play needing to get a little more sharp.

“I haven’t paid attention to what needs to happen,” Mickelson said. “But I’m looking forward to getting in the hunt tomorrow and seeing if I can get off to a good start and make some birdies.”

Woods keeps making progress, although not on the leaderboard.

He got off to a good start and got within four shots of the leaders – before they had teed off – until he stopped making putts. Woods made a difficult flop shot behind the 18th green look easy, hitting it to a foot for birdie. He appears safe to advance to the third round of the playoffs next week at Cog Hill, where he is the defending champion.

“I think I played better than what my score indicated,” Woods said. “I had a lot of putts that I didn’t make.”

Winning will have to wait, though. For the third consecutive tournament, Woods was at least nine shots out of the lead.

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Watch: Tiger 'drops mic' in long drive contest

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 20, 2018, 12:44 am

Tiger Woods is in Las Vegas this weekend for the 20th annual Tiger Jam charity event that benefits his foundation.

During the tournament on Saturday afternoon, Woods challenged World Long Drive competitor Troy Mullins to a long drive contest.

 

A post shared by TROY MULLINS (@trojangoddess) on May 19, 2018 at 1:25pm PDT

Safe to say it looks like Tiger won.

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Sunday showdown for Wise, Leishman at Nelson

By Will GrayMay 19, 2018, 11:40 pm

DALLAS – While the swirling Texas winds may still have their say, the AT&T Byron Nelson is shaping up to be a two-horse race.

With a four-shot gulf between them and their closest pursuers, co-leaders Marc Leishman and Aaron Wise both stepped up to the microphone and insisted the tournament was far from over. That it wouldn’t revert to a match-play situation, even though the two men didn’t face much pressure from the pack down the stretch of the third round and have clearly distanced themselves as the best in the field through 54 holes.

But outside of an outlier scenario or a rogue tornado sweeping across Trinity Forest Golf Club, one of the two will leave with trophy in hand tomorrow night.

That’s in part because of their stellar play to this point, but it’s also a byproduct of the tournament’s new and unconventional layout: at Trinity Forest, big numbers are hard to find.

Even with the winds picking up during the third round and providing the sternest challenge yet, the field combined for only 16 scores of double bogey, and nothing worse than that.


Full-field scores from the AT&T Byron Nelson

AT&T Byron Nelson: Articles, photos and videos


There’s irony in a course called Trinity Forest offering a tree-less test, sure, but there are also no water hazards in play here. For the most part, players have been maxing out with bogey – and Leishman and Wise have combined for only six of those so far this week.

If someone from the chase pack is going to catch them, the two sharing the pole position aren’t going to do them any favors.

“I don’t really want to give them a chance,” Leishman said. “I’d love to go out and shoot a low one and make Aaron have to shoot a good score tomorrow to beat me, which, I fully expect him to shoot a good score.”

While Leishman has been somewhat of a late bloomer on the PGA Tour, with only one win across his first eight seasons, he now has a golden opportunity to add a third trophy in the last 14 months. He has felt right at home on a sprawling layout that reminds him of a few back in his native Australia, and he’s part of a Down Under invasion on a leaderboard that also includes Matt Jones (-13) and Adam Scott (-9).

While Wise briefly held sole possession of the lead, Leishman has seemingly held an iron grip on the top spot since opening his week with a blistering 61.

“Before last year, I was a pretty slow starter. I always got off to a slow start Thursday, or I’d be fighting to make the cut and have a good weekend to slide into the top 10,” Leishman said. “Getting into that round straight away on the first tee rather than the ninth green or something, which sounds like a really basic thing, but it’s something I didn’t do very well until last year.”

But as Leishman acknowledged, he likely can’t count on a stumble from Wise to help finish off a wire-to-wire victory. As the youngest player to make the cut this week, Wise is facing a challenge of taking down a top-ranked Aussie for the second time in as many starts.

While he came up short at the Wells Fargo Championship, tying for second behind Jason Day, he remains supremely confident that he can put those hard-earned lessons to use this time around.

“I feel like it’s a great opportunity,” Wise said. “It will obviously be a huge day for me. I feel like having one go at it already, I’m a little more confident going into it this time.”

Even among the landscape of the Tour’s promising next wave, Wise stands out as a particularly young gun. Still only 21, he could feasibly be heading to Karsten Creek next week with his Oregon Duck teammates to close out his senior season with another NCAA championship appearance.

But Wise turned pro after winning the NCAA individual title as a sophomore, and he steadily worked his way through the professional ranks: first a win on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada, then one last summer on the Web.com Tour.

Now he’s poised to turn what he described as a “lackluster” season before his Quail Hollow runner-up into one that defies even his own expectations.

“Absolutely, I am way ahead of the curve. It’s pretty hard to do what I’ve done at such a young age. Only a few have done it,” Wise said. “I feel like I’m getting some great experience for a kid this young. It’s only going to serve me well down the road.”

An unpredictable Coore-Crenshaw layout will have one more day to star, and outside of Wise the top six names on the leaderboard have at least one Tour win to their credit. But after the two men traded punches on a firm and fast afternoon, it sure feels like the final round is shaping up to offer more of the same.

For Leishman, it’s a chance to add another notch to some quickly expanding credentials; for Wise, it’s an opportunity to win on the one level he has yet to do so.

“It’s golf, at the end of the day. If you play better than everyone else, you’re going to win,” Wise said. “That’s why I play it. That’s why I love this sport, and tomorrow is nothing different.”

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5 thoughts from NCAA Women's Championship Day 2

By Ryan LavnerMay 19, 2018, 11:35 pm

The field is almost halfway through stroke-play qualifying at the NCAA Women’s Championship. Here are some thoughts on the first two days at Karsten Creek:

1. UCLA is on a mission. Just a year ago, the Bruins were headed home from regionals after becoming the first No. 1 seed that failed to advance out of the qualifying tournament. This year, with the core of the team still mostly intact, the Bruins have opened up a five-shot lead on top-ranked Alabama and a comfortable 16-shot cushion over Southern Cal in third place. On one of the most difficult college courses in the country, UCLA has received contributions from all four of its usual counters – standout Lilia Vu shot 68 on Saturday, while Mariel Galdiano posted a 69. Freshman Patty Tavatanakit and junior Bethany Wu also broke par. This is a strong, deep lineup that will pose issues for teams not just in stroke-play qualifying, but also the head-to-head, match-play bracket.

2. What happened to Arkansas? Riding high off their first SEC Championship and a dominant regional performance, the Razorbacks were considered one of the top threats to win the national title. But entering Sunday’s third round of stroke play, they need to hold it together just to ensure they make the top-15 cut. Arkansas is 32 over par through two rounds. The Razorbacks had shot in the 300s just once this season in the play-five, count-four format. Here at Karsten Creek, they’ve now done so in consecutive rounds.


NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Team scoring

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Individual scoring


3. The Player of the Year race is heating up. With a decent showing at nationals, Arkansas’ Maria Fassi should have been able to wrap up the Annika Award, given annually to the top player in the country. She has six individual titles, plays a difficult schedule and is well-liked among her peers. But through two rounds she’s a whopping 15 over par while spraying it all over the map. If the Razorbacks don’t survive the 54-hole cut, neither will Fassi. That’d open the door for another player to steal the votes, whether it’s UCLA’s Vu or Wake Forest’s Jennifer Kupcho. There’s a lot still to be decided.

4. Stanford has steadied itself. One of the biggest surprises on Day 1 was the horrendous start by the Cardinal, one of just two teams to advance to match play each of the three years it’s been used to determine a national champion. They were 19 over for their first nine holes Friday, but instead of a blowup round that cost them a shot at the title, they’ve found a way to hang tough. Stanford has been just 4 over par over its last 27 holes. Andrea Lee made only one bogey during her second-round 69, Albane Valenzuela eagled the 18th hole for a 73 and senior leader Shannon Aubert – who has been a part of each postseason push – carded a 74. And so, even with its early struggles, coach Anne Walker once again has Stanford in position to reach match play.

5. Karsten Creek is identifying the best teams. The top teams in the country want a difficult host venue for NCAAs – it helps separate the field and draws an unmistakable line between the contenders and pretenders. Only one team (UCLA) is under par after 36 holes. Fewer than a dozen players are under par individually. The dearth of low scores might not be the greatest advertisement for how talented these players are, but the cream has still risen to the top so far: Five top-10 teams currently sit inside the top 7 on the leaderboard (and that doesn’t even include last year’s NCAA runner-up Northwestern). This is all any coach wants, even if the scores aren’t pretty.

Quick hits: Cheyenne Knight, part of Alabama’s vaunted 1-2-3 punch along with Lauren Stephenson and Kristen Gillman, shot rounds of 70-69 to figure in the mix for individual honors. The junior will turn pro after nationals. …  Arizona’s Bianca Pagdanganan made a hole-in-one on the 11th hole Saturday en route to a 68 that tied the low round of the day. She’s at 5-under 139, same as Knight. ... Defending champion Arizona State, which lost star Linnea Strom to the pro ranks at the halfway point of the season, is 35 over par after two rounds. … Play was delayed for nearly an hour and a half Saturday because of inclement weather.

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Wise (21) makes Leishman (34) feel a little old

By Will GrayMay 19, 2018, 10:55 pm

DALLAS – With the final round of the AT&T Byron Nelson likely to take on a match-play feel, Marc Leishman likes his chances to close out another win – even if his opponent makes him feel a little old.

Leishman, 34, shares the lead at Trinity Forest Golf Club with 21-year-old Aaron Wise, who was the youngest player to make the cut at the tournament’s new venue. The two men will start the final round at 17 under, four shots clear of their next-closest pursuers.

Leishman played the third round alongside Wise and Brian Gay, and he originally didn’t realize just how fresh-faced his fellow co-leader is.


Full-field scores from the AT&T Byron Nelson

AT&T Byron Nelson: Articles, photos and videos


“He’s a solid player for, I heard this morning he’s only 21. I didn’t realize that,” Leishman said. “I guess I was in high school before he was born, so that’s – I don’t know. You hear guys talk about that all the time but I’ve never said that, I think. Yeah, he’s a good player.”

Wise won the 2016 NCAA individual title while at Oregon, and he opted to turn pro after his sophomore season. While he could have been capping his senior season with a return to the NCAAs next week, Wise is pleased with the career choice and remains eager for a chance to close out his first career PGA Tour win against a seasoned veteran.

“I feel like I’m in a great spot for tomorrow,” Wise said. “I feel like I’m getting some great experience for a kid this young. It’s only going to serve me well down the road.”