DJ 2 shots off Castro's lead in BMW

By Doug FergusonSeptember 9, 2016, 12:26 am

CARMEL, Ind. - Roberto Castro wants nothing more than to go home to Atlanta, and he took a soggy step in the right direction Thursday in the BMW Championship.

Castro was just as good before the rain as he was after the storms cleared at Crooked Strick, running off eight birdies until a bogey on his last hole for a 7-under 65 and the temporary lead.

Storms and heavy rain caused a 3 1/2-hour delay and changed the nature of Crooked Stick from fast and firm to greens that were soft and accessible. The delay meant that just under half the 69-man field finished the round.

The first round was to resume at 8 a.m. Friday, with more bad weather in the forecast.

Brian Harman got right back into gear. He was in position to potentially lock up his spot in the Tour Championship until closing with a 77 from the final group at the TPC Boston on Monday. He opened with a 66, with an eagle on the par-5 15th hole and no bogeys on his card.

U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson was within one shot of the lead until he sent his drive into the lake to the right of the 18th fairway and made bogey, giving him a 67 along with Jason Dufner.


BMW Championship: Articles, photos and videos


Among those still on the course, Chris Kirk was at 5 under at the turn, while Hideki Matsuyama, Paul Casey and Adam Scott were at 4 under on the back nine. Casey had the 54-hole lead last week at the TPC Boston.

Castro went to Georgia Tech and still lives in Atlanta, about 15 minutes from East Lake. That's the destination for everyone in the field trying to get into the top 30 in the FedEx Cup and advance to the Tour Championship for a shot at the $10 million bonus.

Castro, who has yet to win on the PGA Tour, made it to the Tour Championship in 2013 with a pair of top 10s in the playoffs.

''I told myself the last two weeks really to play like I had nothing to lose, and to make a bunch of birdies is a good way to start,'' Castro said. ''Sure, it's a hometown tournament for me. It's the hardest one to get to, unfortunately, but it's still a great tournament. I would love to be back.''

He is at No. 53 in the FedEx Cup and likely would need to finish fourth at Crooked Stick to have a chance.

The BMW Championship is back at Crooked Stick for the first time since 2012, when Rory McIlroy won on a rain-softened course. This time, it was blazing hot during the pro-am Wednesday and players had a look at how tough it could play - at least until the rain.

Jason Day played a wedge out of the rough on the second hole, landed it some 30 feet short of the pin and watched it race across the green and into thick rough. After the delay, it was an entirely different golf course. Patrick Reed, who is leading the FedEx Cup, hit a short iron out of dense rough that plopped down 12 feet from the cup.

The course could be attacked, and that's what the players did.

McIlroy, coming off a victory at the TPC Boston, was at 3 under through 10 holes. Jordan Spieth was at 2 under, both birdies on par 5s on the front nine.

But it was another struggle for Rickie Fowler, bidding for a Ryder Cup captain's pick. After squandering a chance to make the U.S. team at The Barclays, Fowler was in the middle of the pack at the Deutsche Bank Championship and opened the BMW Championship with a 75.

Bubba Watson, also hopeful of a pick, was 1 under through 13 holes. He followed three straight birdies with three straight bogeys on the front nine.

Day, meanwhile, is set for the Tour Championship and assured of being in the top five in the FedEx Cup, meaning he would only have to win at East Lake to claim the cup and its lucrative bonus. The Australian looked out of sorts after the rain delay, however, missing fairways, missing greens and missing putts. The frustration mounted on the 16th green when he flipped his ball into the water after his third bogey on the back nine.

Day's biggest putt came on the next hole, however, a birdie from 25 feet that he struck before Reed could even mark his ball. It stopped his slide, sure. But it allowed him to head over to the 18th tee and hit his shot to make sure that his group finished before the horn sounded to stop play.

DIVOTS: Dustin Johnson switched to a square-faced mallet putt like the one Jason Day uses. ... Brooks Koepka, who is No. 30 in the FedEx Cup, was 3 under through 14 holes when play was stopped. ... British Open champion Henrik Stenson is the only player missing from Crooked Stick. He wanted two weeks off to rest his right knee and be fresh for the Ryder Cup.

Getty Images

Ko part of 5-way tie for Mediheal lead

By Associated PressApril 27, 2018, 3:20 am

DALY CITY, Calif. - Lydia Ko was back on top at Lake Merced.

Ko shot a 4-under 68 on a chilly Thursday morning at the LPGA Mediheal Championship for a share of the first-round lead. Jessica Korda, Caroline Hedwall, In-Kyung Kim and Su Oh joined Ko atop the leaderboard in the LPGA's return to Lake Merced after a year away.

''This is a golf course where you need to drive the ball well and putt well,'' said Ko, the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic winner at the course in 2014 and 2015.

Ko eagled the par-5 fifth and had four birdies and a bogey. The New Zealander has 14 LPGA wins, the last in July 2016.

''It's nice to come back to a place where you feel super-welcomed,'' Ko said. ''It just brings back a lot of great memories. ... My family and friends are here this week, so I'm hoping that I'm going to continue the solid play.''

She turned 21 on Tuesday.

''I don't think I feel a huge difference, but I know turning 21 is a huge thing in the U.S.,'' Ko said, ''So, I'm legal and I can do some fun things now.''

Korda, playing alongside Kim a group ahead of Ko, also eagled the fifth and had four birdies and a bogey. Korda won in Thailand in February in her return from reconstructive jaw surgery.


Full-field scores from the LPGA Mediheal Championship


''The score says one thing and my hands say another,'' Korda said. ''It was really cold out there today, so it was good that I stuck to kind of my process. ... Actually, this is still some of the nicer conditions that we've played in compared to the past. I'll take the cold as long as there's no rain.''

Hedwall and Kim each had five birdies and a bogey.

''I just love the city. It's really nice,'' said Hedwall, from Sweden. ''It's sort of a European-style city with all the shopping going on downtown and stuff. I love it here. I even like this weather, suits me really well, too.''

Oh had a bogey-free round. The Australian was the only one of the five players tied for the lead to play in the afternoon.

''It was cold and pretty windy out there and, because it's got a lot of elevation, it kind of swirls in the middle like in the low areas, so it was tough,'' Oh said. ''I hit the ball really solid today. Then the ones I missed, I made really good up-and-downs.''

Lexi Thompson, Sei Young Kim, Charley Hull and Celine Herbin shot 69.

''This course is very challenging, especially when the wind picks up,'' the third-ranked Thompson said. ''It's chilly, so it's a little longer of a course. Some of the par 5s are reachable, so you try to take advantage of that, but pars were good and just take the birdie chances as you can get them.''

Moriya Jutanugarn, the winner Sunday in Los Angeles for her first LPGA title, had a 71 playing with former Stanford student Michelle Wie and ANA Inspiration winner Pernilla Lindberg. Wie had a 74, and Lindberg shot 79. Ariya Jutanugarn matched her sister with a 71, playing in the group with Ko.

Top-ranked Inbee Park matched playing partner Brooke Henderson with a 72. The third member of the afternoon group, second-ranked Shanshan Feng, shot 73.

Juli Inkster shot 72. The 57-year-old Hall of Famer grew up in Santz Cruz, starred at San Jose State and lives in Los Altos. She won the last of her 31 LPGA titles in 2006.

Stacy Lewis had a 74 after announcing that she is pregnant with a due date of Nov. 3. She plans to play through the Marathon Classic in July and return for a full season next year.

Getty Images

Glover, Reavie share Zurich lead with Chinese pair

By Associated PressApril 27, 2018, 3:04 am

AVONDALE, La. - Chez Reavie had quite a few good moments at TPC Louisiana on Thursday. So did teammate Lucas Glover.

In best-ball format, the most important thing was those moments came on different holes.

Reavie and Glover teamed to shoot a 12-under 60 for a share of the Zurich Classic lead with China's Zhang Xinjun and Dou Zecheng.

''Chez started well and I picked it up in the middle of the back nine,'' Glover said. ''He closed it off and then we both played really well on the front. Just kind of ham and egged it, I guess, as they would say.''

Reavie and Glover each had six birdies in the best-ball format, pushing through soggy weather early in the round before conditions cleared at TPC Louisiana. Six teams are two shots back in a tie for third after shooting 62.

''We were just rolling,'' Reavie said. ''I think we're comfortable. We like to laugh and have a good time when we're playing golf, and it definitely helps.''

Zhang and Dou birdied four of their final five holes. Dou made a 31-foot putt on No. 9 to cap the impressive rally and jump into the lead with Reavie and Glover.


Full-field scores from the Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Zurich Classic of New Orleans: Articles, photos and videos


Tony Finau-Daniel Summerhays, Chris Paisley-Tommy Fleetwood, J.J. Henry-Tom Hoge, Michael Kim-Andrew Putnam, Kevin Kisner-Scott Brown and Troy Merritt-Brendon de Jonge shot 62. Jason Day and Ryan Ruffels shot 64.

It's the first time since last year's Tour Championship that the reigning champs of all four majors have been in the same field. None of them were among the leaders after the first round.

Masters champion Patrick Reed and Patrick Cantlay had a 65, and British Open winner Jordan Spieth and Ryan Palmer were at 66.

''I didn't feel like there was really any rust,'' Reed said. ''I felt like I hit the ball all right today. I felt I hit some good quality putts. A couple of them went in, a couple of them didn't.''

This is the second year that two-player teams have competed at the Zurich Classic. The unusual tournament features best-ball play in the first and third rounds and alternate shot in the second and final rounds.

U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka and Marc Turnesa shot a 67. PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas and Bud Cauley shot a 70.

There are 80 teams in the tournament and the top 35, along with ties, will make the cut after Friday's second round.

Getty Images

Lewis says she's expecting first child in November

By Randall MellApril 27, 2018, 2:18 am

Stacy Lewis is pregnant.

The 12-time LPGA winner confirmed after Thursday’s first round of the Mediheal Championship that she and her husband, University of Houston women’s golf coach Gerrod Chadwell, are expecting their first child on Nov. 3.

Lewis learned she was pregnant after returning home to Houston in late February following her withdrawal from the HSBC Women’s World Championship with a strained oblique muscle.

“We're obviously really excited,” Lewis said. “It wasn't nice I was hurt, but it was nice that I was home when I found out with [Gerrod]. We're just really excited to start a family.”

Lewis is the third big-name LPGA player preparing this year to become a mother for the first time. Suzann Pettersen announced last month that she’s pregnant, due in the fall. Gerina Piller is due any day.


Full-field scores from the LPGA Mediheal Championship


Piller’s husband, PGA Tour pro Martin Piller, withdrew from the Zurich Classic on Thursday to be with her. Piller and Lewis have been U.S. Solheim Cup partners the last two times the event has been played.

“It's going to be fun raising kids together,” Lewis said. “Hopefully, they're best friends and they hang out. But just excited about the next few months and what it's going to bring.”

Lewis, a former Rolex world No. 1 and two-time major championship winner, plans to play through the middle of July, with the Marathon Classic her last event of the year. She will be looking to return for the start of the 2019 season. The LPGA’s maternity leave policy allows her to come back next year with her status intact.

“This year, the golf might not be great, but I've got better things coming in my life than a golf score.” Lewis said. “I plan on coming back and traveling on the road with the baby, and we'll figure it out as we go.”

Getty Images

Coach scores in NFL Draft and on golf course

By Grill Room TeamApril 27, 2018, 1:47 am

To say that Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio had a good day Thursday would be an understatement. Not only did his team snag one of the top defensive players in the NFL Draft - Georgia outside linebacker Roquan Smith, who the Bears took with the eighth pick of the first round - but earlier in the day Fangio, 59, made a hole-in-one, sinking a 9-iron shot from 125 yards at The Club at Strawberry Creek in Kenosha, Wis.

Perhaps the ace isn't so surprising, though. In late May 2017, Fangio made another hole-in-one, according to a tweet from the Bears. The only information supplied on that one was the distance - 116 yards.