Fowler holds 54-hole lead at Memorial

By Doug FergusonJune 6, 2010, 4:34 am

2007 The Memorial Tournament

DUBLIN, Ohio – Rickie Fowler showed poise beyond his 21 years, unfazed by six hours of rain delays Saturday at the Memorial or a series of charges up the leaderboard to keep his three-shot lead at Muirfield Village.

Another long day left him one round away from joining the recent youth movement on the PGA Tour.

Fowler showed some imagination with a cut 9-iron over the water to 6 feet for his first birdie of the round, and he kept bogeys off his card for the second straight day to shoot 3-under 69 to lead Tim Petrovic (68) and Ricky Barnes, who shot a tournament-best 62 while playing alongside Tiger Woods.

Fowler was at 16-under 200 and had the largest 54-hole lead at the Memorial since Woods led by six shots in 2000.

“I’m hitting the ball well,” Fowler said. “I kept it out of trouble, and I knew opportunities were coming around. It was a matter of waiting for them.”

Patience doesn’t seem to fit with the trend toward youth.

Fowler will try Sunday to become the third PGA Tour winner in the last six week at age 22 or under, joining Rory McIlroy, who won Quail Hollow two days before his 21st birthday, and Jason Day, who was 22 when he won the Byron Nelson Championship.

Experience might not be a factor in this case. The five players separated by five shots going into the final round have combined for one PGA Tour victory, by Tim Petrovic in New Orleans in five years ago.

“I want to win against the best,” Fowler said. “That doesn’t change the way I play.”

The largest crowd at Muirfield Village followed Woods, and the cheers were loud and frequent. They just weren’t for him.

Barnes began his round my making a 40-foot birdie down the hill. Woods began his by walking to the hole as his birdie putt was about to drop, only to see it spin around the cup. Barnes holed out a 9-iron for eagle on No. 11 to reach 7 under for the day, and he kept right on going until he had the lowest round of his career, and the best score of the week.

Rickie Fowler
Fowler has gone 52 holes without a bogey, the third-longest streak in Memorial history. (Getty Images)

“I think it probably got noticed a little bit more,” Barnes said. “Obviously, the cameras were probably already in our group, so they didn’t need to go anywhere. I’ll take a 62 anywhere, wither it’s with my buddies or a Saturday at the Memorial.”

For the first time since Woods returned to competition, he refused to speak to the media. “I’m done,” he said to a PGA Tour official before walking over a bridge toward the locker room, stopping to sign a few autographs at the top of a hill.

Woods had a 69, which included a double bogey on the 10th hole when his tee shot went 45 degrees to the right and out-of-bounds, much like his tee shot on the 14th hole of The Players Championship that went into a pond on the adjacent hole.

He was at 6-under 210, tied for 20th, well out of contention. A four-time winner at the Memorial, Woods has not been this far out of the lead since he finished 17 shots behind in 1998.

Phil Mickelson, in his third tournament with a chance to become No. 1 in the world by winning, could only manage a 70 on a relatively easy day for scoring. The greens were soft from the rain and soft skies, and there was no wind. He was at 8-under 208.

Mickelson also declined to speak to reporters.

Justin Rose shot a 70 and was still only four shots behind. That was the deficit he faced at the turn, after he dumped his approach into the water and made bogey as Fowler manufactured his 9-iron with a splendid shot behind the cup.

Rose rallied, however, and was only one shot behind through 14 holes when he chopped up the par-5 15th and took bogey. Fowler reached the green in two, but missed a 3-foot birdie putt. That was about his only mistake of the day.

Fowler has gone 52 holes without a bogey, the third-longest streak in Memorial history.

He caught a break Saturday morning when the third round was delayed more than four hours before he arrived at the course, allowing a little extra time to sleep. More rain was expected overnight and into the morning, which should keep Muirfield – a course that Fowler only saw for the first time on Tuesday – somewhat vulnerable.

Despite his youth, he has been under this pressure before.

Fowler was 20 last year and lost in a three-way playoff in his second PGA Tour start as a pro. At the Phoenix Open in February, he played in the final group and had a chance to win until failing to make birdie down the stretch and finishing one shot behind.

He believes his time is coming, and Fowler could not have asked for a better position. He has a three-shot lead on a soft course, with the heavyweights of Muirfield – Woods, Mickelson, Kenny Perry and Vijay Singh – far behind.

Getty Images

Hataoka leads Minjee Lee by one at LPGA Volvik

By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 12:54 am

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - After losing in a playoff last weekend, Nasa Hataoka is making another bid for her first LPGA Tour victory.

Hataoka shot a 4-under 68 on Friday, and the Japanese teenager led by one stroke over Minjee Lee after the second round of the Volvik Championship. Hataoka, who is coming off the first two top-10 finishes of her LPGA career, made seven birdies at Travis Pointe Country Club. She began her round on No. 10, and her best stretch came toward the end, when she birdied Nos. 4, 5 and 6.

''I'm really comfortable playing the LPGA,'' the 19-year-old Hataoka said through a translator. ''I've really got confidence now.''

Hataoka made the cut nine times in 17 starts as a rookie in 2017, and she has made significant strides of late. She tied for seventh at last month's MEDIHEAL Championship and nearly won a week ago at the Kingsmill Championship in Virginia.

Hataoka finished the second round in Michigan at 9 under. Lee (69) was also solid Friday. Gaby Lopez (68), Jodi Ewart Shadoff (70) and Lindy Duncan (70) were a stroke behind Lee in a tie for third.

Hataoka did not make a single bogey in last week's three-round tournament, and she didn't have any in the first round in Michigan. She finally made a few Friday, but that didn't stop her from taking sole possession of the lead.

''I kind of feel like not really perfect, but I just kind of try to (be) aggressive,'' she said.


Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


Lee, who lost by one stroke on this course last year, is in contention again.

''I guess the fairways are pretty generous and I think the greens are a little bit on the trickier side to read,'' Lee said. ''As long as your iron shots are pretty solid, I think you're going to be in good position around this golf course.''

Lee birdied the first two holes, and the only blemish on her scorecard Friday came on the par-5 14th. After missing the fairway to the right, she hit an aggressive shot out of the rough that went straight toward a water hazard well in front of the green. She settled for a bogey after taking a drop.

''I thought the ball was sitting OK in the rough, but it must have been a bit funny, or underneath it,'' she said. ''I made a mistake. I thought it was good enough to hit 3-wood there.''

Lee lost last year in Michigan to Shanshan Feng, but Feng will have some ground to make up in her attempt to repeat. She shot 69 on Friday but is still eight strokes behind the leader.

Ariya Jutanugarn was 6 under after a second consecutive 69.

Lopez made only six pars in the second round, tied for the fewest of the day, but her eight birdies and four bogeys put her near the top of the leaderboard.

''It was a little bit of an up and down,'' she said. ''There's so many opportunities out here to make birdie, that the most important thing to do is just to be patient, to be in the moment and not to get ahead of yourself. I think I came back from a couple mistakes that I did.''

In contrast to Lopez, Brittany Lincicome parred all 18 holes Friday and made the cut at 1 under. Paula Creamer (71) triple bogeyed the par-4 13th. She followed that with an eagle on the very next hole but missed the cut by a stroke.

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Childhood rivals share Sr. PGA lead

By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 12:00 am

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Kevin Sutherland and Scott McCarron have been rivals since their junior golf days around Sacramento, California. The two old friends were back at it Friday at the top of the Senior PGA Championship leaderboard.

''It's honestly, nothing new for us,'' said Sutherland who played in the third-to-last group and birdied his last two holes for a 5-under 66 to match McCarron at 8 under.

McCarron had a 68 in the morning wave to emerge from a championship record group of six tied for the first-round lead.

Sutherland was last year's Charles Schwab Cup winner with his only senior win coming in the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship, while McCarron has six PGA Tour Champions wins, including a major at the 2017 Senior Players Championship.

''We are both (Northern California) guys, played in high school, junior golf, on tour and it seems like a lot on the Champions Tour,'' Sutherland said. ''We were in the last group on Sundays a lot last year. Scott played so well and had an incredible year, and I had a great year, too.''

Sutherland's lone PGA Tour victory came at McCarron's expense in 2002 at La Costa in the Accenture Match Play Championship, when he beat McCarron 1 up in the 36-hole final. As youngsters they played on opposing high school teams located about an hour apart and met often in state tournaments as well as on the California junior circuit.

''It's been happening for 30 years, wait 35 years now, I guess,'' Sutherland said. ''Playing together on a Saturday is a little different. We're both still trying to get in position to win.''

Jerry Kelly shot a 65 to join Tim Petrovic (69), Chris Williams (68) and Joe Durant (67) at 7 under. Durant tied for second last week in the Regions Tradition, also a major championship.


Full-field scores from the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship


McCarron feels like he is just starting to warm to the task this year. He had to replace his clubs, including a favored putter damaged beyond repair in air transit two months ago.

''I've been putting with a back-up putter I had, but it just didn't feel quite right,'' he said. ''I changed last Sunday at the Regions Tradition and started putting better on Sunday. So I'm using this one again this week and seem to be putting pretty good with it.''

McCarron said the Harbor Shores course played a little tougher in light winds in the second round. He made six birdies and three bogeys.

''I would just like to have a couple of those bogeys back,'' he said. ''But we're in a good position going into the weekend.''

McCarron came to the press center after his round and walked in on a press conference where course-designer Jack and Barbara Nicklaus were being honored by sponsoring KitchenAid with the establishment of a local college scholarship program in their name.

McCarron, who said he has idolized Nicklaus since his youth, played media and asked Nicklaus what he ate when he was near the lead going into the weekend of a major championship.

Nicklaus said if you play well one day, eat the same thing the next day.

''But no hamburgers, or you will play like hamburger,'' he said.

Stuart Smith, the Reno, Neveda, club pro who was tied for the lead after the first round, missed the 36-hole cut with a second-round 83.

''I'll take the 66, 83 and enjoy the 66 yesterday,'' he said. ''You put this one down to just plain old golf. It's a nasty game we play sometimes. Glad I have a day job.''

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Wise, Simpson both miss cut at Colonial

By Nick MentaMay 25, 2018, 11:34 pm

The two most recent winners on the PGA Tour, Aaron Wise and Webb Simpson, missed the cut at the Fort Worth Invitational on Friday.

Wise and Simpson both came up short of the 2-over total by a shot following rounds of 70-73.

Wise was safely inside the number before playing his last four holes in 4 over par with two bogeys and a closing double following a trip into the water at the par-4 ninth.


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Simpson, making his first start following his Players triumph, similarly struggled coming home, bogeying three of his final six holes.

Other notables who won't be around for the weekend at Colonial include Xander Schauffele (+4), Jason Dufner (+5), Patrick Cantlay (+6), Smylie Kaufman (+13), and Sam Burns (+13).

This is Kaufman's 11th consecutive MC and his 15th in his last 16 starts.

Jason Seaman and Kristi Hubly Seaman

Sr. PGA caddie learns of nephew's heroism in school shooting

By Tim RosaforteMay 25, 2018, 10:33 pm

Tracy Hubly caddied for her husband, club pro Chris Starkjohann, on Friday at the KitchenAid Senior PGA and learned after their round that her nephew was credited with helping stop the school shooting at Noblesville West Middle School in Indiana.

Jason Seaman, a 29-year-old science instructor and seventh grade football coach at the school, took three bullets but survived as what his aunt called a hero.

“You hear the stories about these shootings and I think about Parkland and the officer that was trained but didn’t go into the school,” Hubly said. “It’s really shocking to think it comes close to your family, but it does."

It’s not unusual for Hubly to caddie for her husband, a teacher at Carlsbad Golf Center and coach of a PGA Junior League program in Southern California. Hubly, who works in the pro shop at Emerald Island Golf Course in Oceanside, Calif., was on the bag when he was low golf professional at the 2009 Senior PGA Championship held at Canterbury GC. 

Starkjohann, 61, missed the cut at Harbor Shores with rounds of 76-79—155 and was heading to the Colorado State Open.

 “I didn’t hear about it until after my round was done,” Starkjohann said. “Everything happened after I got in.”