Filling It Up in Philly

By Doug FergusonJuly 2, 2011, 10:07 pm

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. – Before he even teed off, Rickie Fowler knew this was going to be a different day at the AT&T National. The course record already had been matched, with several other low rounds in progress at suddenly soft Aronimink Golf Club.

One thought crossed his mind: Go time.

That’s the message Fowler always puts on Twitter right before he plays, and off he went. He birdied six of his opening 10 holes – and missed two other chances inside 10 feet. He wound up with a 6-under 64 on Saturday and a share of the lead with Nick Watney, who set the course record with a 62.

“I got out, and my game has been feeling good all week,” Fowler said. “Went out and started off well, hit some good shots and kept moving from there.”

Watney took a while to get moving. He made a mess of the par-5 ninth and was even par on the front nine, going nowhere. What happened after that, not even Watney can explain.

“The hole looked really big on the back,” said Watney, a World Golf Championship winner. “The ball was going where I was looking, and by the time I looked up, I was 8 under.”

That’s 8 under for his round, and the back nine alone.

After three straight birdies, he then made a 30-foot eagle putt on the par-5 16th. Facing a dangerous pin on the par-3 17th, he went after it with a wedge to 5 feet and another birdie. Watney shot 27 on the back, missing by one the PGA Tour’s nine-hole record.

When the massacre of Aronimink was over – 40 of 76 players shot in the 60s, including 14 rounds at 66 or better – nothing had really been settled except for a lot of birdies being made.

Fowler and Watney were at 9-under 201, one shot ahead of 36-hole leader K.J. Choi, who came to life late in his round with two birdies on the final three holes to salvage a 69.

Steve Marino, who had a 63 to own the course record for about 20 minutes, was two shots behind at 7-under 205 along with Webb Simpson (64) and Adam Scott (66). The group another shot back included Chris Kirk, whose 63 was in the record book much longer – about an hour.

Scott was tempted to start firing at flags when he saw all low scores, but stuck to his plan and meticulously worked his way around the golf course.

“I’m quite happy with a 66, to be honest,” Scott said. “But yeah, it doesn’t really stack up against a 62, does it?”

For all the hype over the fashionable Fowler, the 22-year-old hasn’t won on the PGA Tour in 46 starts as a pro. He gave himself another chance at Aronimink.

But he isn’t the only player going for his first win. Eight of the top 12 players on the leaderboard have yet to win on the PGA Tour.

Marino is regarded as among the best to have never collected a PGA Tour trophy, and he and Simpson – also winless on Tour – could have even more at stake Sunday. The leading player among the top five not already eligible will be exempt for the British Open. Marino and Simpson also are battling for a higher ranking to see who will be the top alternate – which becomes more significant with Tiger Woods not expected to compete at Royal St. George’s.

Watney, the highest-ranked player at Aronimink at No. 15 in the world, didn’t figure to be part of the mix when he ended his front nine with back-to-back bogeys. He birdied his next two holes, then played a five-hole stretch in 6 under capped by his birdie on the 17th.

“I guess anything is possible,” Watney said. “But I don’t think you ever expect to shoot that low. You don’t go on to the golf course very often anticipating a 62.”

Certainly not this golf course.

In the opening round Thursday, only four of the holes average under par. On Saturday, with softer greens, tees moved forward and some hole locations that allowed shots to funnel toward the pin, half of the holes played under par.

Not everyone took advantage.

Chris Riley, playing in the last group with Choi, wound up with a 75. Justin Leonard and Bo Van Pelt each had a 71 to fall five shots behind, although they are still very much in the game.

Mark Russell, a vice president of competition in charge of setting up the course, said the watering pattern didn’t change and attributed the soft conditions to more humidity in the air. It doesn’t figure to change much for the final round, with storms in the forecast. The starting times for Sunday where moved up to try to avoid any weather delays.

Watney’s last win was his biggest – a big drive on the 18th hole of the Blue Monster at Doral for a birdie and a two-shot win, proving to himself that he could deliver key shots under pressure.

Fowler is trying to draw on the experience of being a runner-up. He had two good chances last year, laying up on a par 5 late in his round in Phoenix, then losing a lead at the Memorial when he hit a tee shot into the water on the par-3 12th hole.

“I think the biggest thing is just go out and be patient, not get ahead of myself and not get too excited or anxious, just sit back, relax, go through things the same way tonight and just go have some fun tomorrow,” Fowler said.

Iowa State Cyclones cheerleaders pause at a memorial in the Jacobson Building honoring Celia Barquin Arozamena, at Jack Trice Stadium on September 22, 2018 in Ames, Iowa. Getty Images

Iowa State honors Arozamena before football game

By Associated PressSeptember 22, 2018, 4:57 pm

AMES, Iowa - Iowa State honored slain golf star Celia Barquin Arozamena with an elaborate ceremony ahead of the Cyclones' game against Akron on Saturday.

Iowa State's band used a formation that spelled out Barquin's initials, and both teams wore a decal on their helmets in her memory.

A tribute to Barquin played on a video screen before a moment of silence, and fans were also asked to wear yellow, one of Iowa State's main colors and a nod to Barquin's Spanish roots. Most of the roughly 60,000 fans in attendance complied with yellow and with golf shirts on a chilly morning in central Iowa.

"I think it's fantastic. The tribute is amazing. But ultimately, it would have been perfect if she could have been here for her tribute, which was going to happen anyway." said Ed Hamilton, a retired police officer from nearby Ankeny, Iowa.

Barquin, the Cyclones' first conference champion in 25 years, was finishing up her degree at Iowa State and working toward her ultimate goal of becoming a professional golfer.


A memorial honoring Celia Barquin Arozamena at Jack Trice Stadium. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)


Barquin competed in the U.S Women's Open earlier this summer, and coach Christie Martens said she was approaching "the pinnacle of her career."

"Iowa State fans are very loyal. We haven't had too many winning football teams over the years. Yet the fans turn out. There's a great loyalty here -- but it spills into other sports as well," said Iowa State fan Kent Hollrah of Denison, Iowa.

Collin Richards, also 22, has been charged with first-degree murder in Barquin's death. Police said Richards stabbed Barquin and left her body in a pond on the course, where it was found after other golfers noticed her abandoned bag.

Cyclones coach Matt Campbell also wore an Iowa State golf hat on the sideline to show solidarity with his colleagues.

"Be with all of us today Celia, your legacy will forever live on & we are forever grateful for your impact. Much love from your Cyclonitas," Iowa State linebacker Willie Harvey tweeted earlier Saturday, using the nickname that Barquin had for her teammates.

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Tiger, Bryson testing each other's golf balls ahead of Paris

By Rex HoggardSeptember 22, 2018, 4:21 pm

ATLANTA – The U.S. Ryder Cup team won’t arrive in Paris for next week’s matches until Monday, but one pairing already seems to be penciled into captain Jim Furyk’s lineup.

Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau have become regular practice-round partners, and when Furyk made both captain’s picks, it added to the notion that they would be paired during the team sessions in France. On Tuesday at East Lake, Woods and DeChambeau teed it up yet again.

Both Woods and DeChambeau play Bridgestone golf balls, although they use different models.

“The two are very similar, they are very numbers-oriented and that translates to their feel on the course, but they get fitted to two different golf balls,” said Adam Rehberg, Bridgestone Golf’s ball-fitting manager.


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Woods plays the company’s Tour B XS, which is softer and spins more, while DeChambeau plays the Tour B X, which is designed to take spin off shots.

Although DeChambeau played a version of the company’s golf ball that was close to what Woods now plays earlier in his career, he appeared to be preparing for a pairing next week during Tuesday’s practice round.

“I’ve seen some chipping of the other’s ball during practice rounds, getting used to it,” Rehberg said. “There’s been some sharing of golf balls internally between those guys. It’s almost like the worst kept secret in golf. It seems they are going to be paired up one way or another.”

The rules for the Ryder Cup were changed in 2006. They allow for foursomes teams to change golf balls between holes but not during a hole, which explains the duo’s interest in becoming comfortable with the other’s golf ball, particularly around the green and for chip shots.

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Casey: RC teams planning Lyle, Celia tributes

By Rex HoggardSeptember 22, 2018, 3:58 pm

ATLANTA – Throughout this season Paul Casey has been in regular contact with European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn, with most communication being via text messages that the Englishman said always included an eclectic range of emojis.

But when the Dane decided to make Casey one of his four captain’s picks, it had to be a phone call.

“He called on Monday (Sept. 3). I was in the parking garage at the Philadelphia Marriott,” Casey said this week at the Tour Championship. “It was rewarding, emotional, so many things.”


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Since being named to the team, Casey said his communication with Bjorn and the other members of the European team has been via WhatsApp, which allows the team to share ideas and finalize plans for next week’s matches. Casey said the exchanges have mainly featured good-natured teasing and a some silly pictures, with a few serious moments.

The European team, in coordination with the U.S. team, is planning to honor Jarrod Lyle, a former PGA Tour player who died last month following his third bout with leukemia, next Thursday in France. There is a public memorial service planned for Lyle on Thursday in Australia.

Casey also said the team is coordinating a plan to also honor Celia Barquín Arozamena, a top college player from Spain who was murdered this week in Iowa.

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Another 59: Nesbitt makes PGA Tour Latinoamerica history

By Nick MentaSeptember 22, 2018, 3:17 pm

For the second time in as many days, the golf world witnessed a professional sub-60.

Drew Nesbitt fired a 12-under 59 on Saturday in the second round of PGA Tour Latinoamerica's Brazil Open.

Nesbitt's round included a bogey, eight pars, five birdies, and four eagles - three of which came on one nine and one of which was an ace at the par-3 second, his 11th hole of the day.

The Canadian closed with three straight birdies, including this one at the ninth, to record the first 59 in the tour's history.

Perhaps more impressive than breaking 60 was that Nesbitt found a way overnight to shave 20 strokes off his first-round 79.

"I knew I had to shoot a low round if I was going to make the cut," he said. "The first hole of the day, I happened to knock it in from 100 yards and get my day started pretty quickly. ...

"My goal, obviously, was just to make the cut. To do it shooting 59 was absolutely incredible. You can't really ask for anything more than that."

With rounds of 79-59 for a 4-under-138 total, Nesbitt sits in a tie for 32nd through two rounds, 10 off the lead held by 2015 champ Alexandre Rocha.

"This is a golfer's dream, to shoot a sub-60 round and to do it in a tourmament and to do on this tour especially makes it that much more special," he said.

On Friday, Oliver Fisher became the first player in history to break 60 on the European Tour with a 12-under 59 at the Portugal Masters.