Fowler, Scott tied at top of WGC-Bridgestone as Woods falters

By Doug FergusonAugust 5, 2011, 6:19 pm

AKRON, Ohio – Rickie Fowler had eight birdies and an eagle to give himself another shot at winning.Adam Scott did well enough to stay in the lead. PGA Tour rookie Keegan Bradley got in on the action late.

It seemed as if everyone was in contention Friday at the Bridgestone Invitational.

Except for the guy most everyone came to see.

On another soft day that was ripe for low scores, Tiger Woods missed a 2-foot putt and didn’t make enough birdies to atone for his short-game mistakes during a 1-over 71 that left him in the middle of the pack.

He was only seven shots behind, but had 35 players in front of him at Firestone.

“Today was not very good,” Woods said.

It was good enough for Scott, except for making the putts he holed in the opening round of this World Golf Championship. He had a 70, which is never bad at Firestone in any condition.

After opening with a 62, Scott was at 8-under 132 along with Ryan Moore (66), Fowler (64) and Bradley (65). Jason Day bogeyed his last hole for a 70 and was one shot behind withMartin Laird (67) and Robert Karlsson (65).

“The last time I shot 62 was probably a long time ago, so am I going to expect to do it two days in a row?” Scott said. “I don’t think so. But it’s a hard golf course, and if you’re just a little off, you get quite severely penalized. There’s no real secret that it’s not easy to shoot a couple of 62s.”

Fowler was all over the place. He made only five pars, and kept his gallery guessing the rest of the time. There were three straight birdies, and a wedge he holed from 110 yards for eagle on No. 3. He followed that with three bogeys and three pars.

“A lot of good things came out of today,” said Fowler, who is still searching for his first win. “Building some confidence going into the weekend.”

No one appeared to have more fun than Bradley, the nephew of LPGA Hall of Fame player Pat Bradley and a winner this year at the Byron Nelson Championship. With big crowds lingering even after Woods left the course, he could hear plenty of cheers for birdies all around him, and even some for himself as he worked his way to the top of the leaderboard.

“I had Luke Donald behind me, Phil Mickelson a few groups behind me,” Bradley said. “I mean, it’s something that I dream about since I was 2 years old. It’s kind of happening in front of my eyes, which is a weird feeling to describe. But it’s spectacular. I just can’t express how much fun I’m having out there.”

His biggest birdie came at No. 3, even though it was only a 12-foot putt.

Bradley played a money game with Mickelson on Wednesday, in which Mickelson serves as a mentor until the final holes when the four-time major champion cares only about getting into Bradley’s pocket. Mickelson pointed to a hole location that can be tricky. The putt looks as if it should break right, but it actually moves left.

“And sure enough, I had this exact putt he brought me over to,” Bradley said. “I wanted to make it so bad so I could go back and tell him later tonight.”

Mickelson was among those who couldn’t keep up with 31 guys who broke par in the second round.

He holed out from the 11th fairway for eagle, but followed that with a double bogey on the par-3 12th, and finished with a pair of bogeys for a 73 that put him at even par, eight shots behind.

Geoff Ogilvy had a tough time, as well. The former U.S. Open champion was two shots out of the lead and playing the easiest hole at Firestone, the par-5 second, when he four-putted from 35 feet for double bogey, and finished an annoying round with back-to-back bogeys that dropped him back to a 70 and put him at 2-under 138.

Lee Westwood, taking mental help from Bob Rotella and putting tips from Dave Stockton, was right in the thick of it until dropping four shots on the last six holes for a 71 that also put him at 138.

The starting times for Saturday were moved to the early morning because of storms anticipated in the afternoon. Saturday could go a long way in sorting out who has control of the final tournament before the PGA Championship next week in Atlanta.

Woods is not out of it yet, but his short game was of no help to him. The shocker was the 2-foot par putt he missed on the 14th, followed by another bogey on the 15th set up by an ordinary chip. His back nine was marred by a double bogey when his approach from the rough went just beyond the green and took a wicked hop into a suspect lie in the bunker.

He could have escaped with par except for a three-putt from 50 feet.

“I didn’t putt as well as I did yesterday,” he said, “and consequently, I just never got the round going.”

For those ahead of him, it’s off to the races.

Twenty players were separated by only four shots going into the final two rounds, a group that includes U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy, Steve Stricker, Nick Watney and Ryo Ishikawa of Japan, who was three shots behind.


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Lewis hopes to win at Volvik with baby on the way

By Randall MellMay 27, 2018, 12:55 am

Stacy Lewis was listening to more than her caddie on her march up the leaderboard Saturday at the Volvik Championship.

Pregnant with her first child, she is listening to her body in a new way these days.

And she could hear a message coming through loud and clear toward the end of her round at Travis Point Country Club in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“The little one was telling me it’s dinnertime,” Lewis said.

Lewis birdied five of the last six holes to shoot 5-under-par 67 and move into position to make a Sunday run at winning her 13th LPGA title. She is two shots behind the leader, Minjee Lee, whose 68 moved her to 12 under overall.

Sunday has the makings of a free for all with 10 players within three shots of the lead.


Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


Lewis, 33, is four months pregnant, with her due date Nov. 3. She’s expecting to play just a few more times before putting the clubs away to get ready for the birth. She said she’s likely to make the Marathon Classic in mid-July her last start of the season before returning next year.

Of course, Lewis would relish winning with child.

“I don’t care what limitations I have or what is going on with my body, I want to give myself a chance to win,” she told LPGA.com at the Kingsmill Championship last week.

Lewis claimed an emotional victory with her last title, taking the Cambia Portland Classic late last summer after announcing earlier in the week that she would donate her entire winnings to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in her Houston hometown.

A victory Sunday would also come with a lot of emotion.

It’s been an interesting year for Lewis.

There’s been the joy of learning she’s ready to begin the family she has been yearning for, and the struggle to play well after bouncing back from injury.

Lewis missed three cuts in a row before making it into the weekend at the Kingsmill Championship last week. That’s one more cut than she missed cumulatively in the previous six years. In six starts this year, Lewis hasn’t finished among the top 50 yet, but she hasn’t felt right, either.

The former world No. 1 didn’t make her second start of 2018 until April, at the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration. She withdrew from the HSBC Women’s World Championship in late February with a strained right oblique muscle and didn’t play again for a month.

Still, Lewis is finding plenty to get excited about with the baby on the way.

“I kind of had my first Mother’s Day,” Lewis told LPGA.com last week. “It puts golf into perspective. It makes those bad days not seem so bad. It helps me sleep better at night. We are just really excited.”

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Rose hasn't visited restroom at Colonial - here's why

By Nick MentaMay 27, 2018, 12:20 am

In case you're unaware, it's pretty hot in Texas.

Temperatures at Colonial Country Club have approached 100 degrees this week, leaving players to battle both the golf course and potential dehydration.

With the help of his caddie Mark Fulcher, Fort Worth Invitational leader Justin Rose has been plenty hot himself, staking himself to a four-shot lead.


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


"Yeah, Fulch has done a great job of just literally handing me water bottle after water bottle. It seems relentless, to be honest with you," Rose said Saturday.

So just how much are players sweating the heat at Colonial? Well, it doesn't sound like all that water is making it all the way through Rose.

"I haven't even seen the inside of a restroom yet, so you can't even drink quick enough out there," he shared.

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Up four, Rose knows a lead can slip away

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 11:21 pm

Up four shots heading into Sunday at the Fort Worth Invitational, Justin Rose has tied the largest 54-hole lead of his PGA Tour career.

On the previous two occasions he took a 54-hole Tour lead into the final round, he closed.

And yet, Rose knows just how quickly a lead can slip away. After all, it was Rose who erased a six-shot deficit earlier this season to overtake Dustin Johnson and win the WGC-HSBC Championship. 

"I think I was in the lead going into the final round in Turkey when I won, and I had a four-shot lead going into the final round in Indonesia in December and managed to put that one away," Rose said Saturday, thinking back to his two other victories late last year.

"I was five, six back maybe of DJ, so I've got experience the other way. ... So you can see how things can go both ways real quick. That's why there is no point in getting too far ahead of myself."


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Up one to start the third round Saturday, Rose extended his lead to as much as five when he birdied four of his first six holes.

He leads the field in strokes gained: tee-to-green (+12.853) and strokes gained: approach-the-green (+7.931).

Rose has won five times worldwide, including at the 2016 Rio Olympics, since his last victory in the United States, at the 2015 Zurich Classic.

With a win Sunday, he'd tie Nick Faldo for the most PGA Tour wins by an Englishman post-World War II, with nine.

But he isn't celebrating just yet.

"It is a big lead, but it's not big enough to be counting the holes away. You've got to go out and play good, you've got to go out positive, you've got to continue to make birdies and keep going forward.

"So my mindset is to not really focus on the lead, it's to focus on my game tomorrow and my performance. You know, just keep executing the way I have been. That's going to be my challenge tomorrow. Going to look forward to that mindset."

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Grillo still hunting follow-up to debut win

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 10:53 pm

Following a round of 1-under 69 Saturday, Emiliano Grillo will enter Sunday's final round at Colonial four shots behind leader Justin Rose.

Grillo is hunting his first win since he took the 2015 Safeway Open in his rookie debut as a PGA Tour member. 

The young Argentinian finished 11th in the FedExCup points race that season, contending in big events and finishing runner-up at the 2016 Barclays.

In the process, Grillo had to learn to pace himself and that it can be fruitless to chase after success week to week.

"That was a hot run in there," Grillo said Saturday, referring to his rookie year. "I played, in 2016, I played the majors very well. I played the big tournaments very well. I was in contention after two, three days in most of the big events.


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


"I think, you know, I wanted to do better. I pushed for it. Some of the tournaments I ended up being 50th or 60th just because I wanted to play. I wanted to play well so badly. That played against me, so I learned from that. In that rookie year, I learned that."

Grillo was still plenty successful in his sophomore season, advancing to the BMW Championship last fall.

But now he's beginning to regain some of that form that made him such an immediate success on Tour. Grillo has recorded four top-10 finishes year - a T-9 at Mayakoba, a T-8 at Honda, a T-3 at Houston, and a T-9 at Wells Fargo - and will now look to outduel U.S. Open champs in Rose and Brooks Koepka on Sunday at Colonial.

"Well, he's top 10 in the world, so everything he does he does it pretty well," Grillo said of Rose. "You know, he does his own thing. Like I say, he's top 10 in the world. Nothing wrong with his game. ...

"He's in the lead on a Sunday. Doesn't matter where you're playing, he's got to go out and shoot under par. He's got 50 guys behind him trying to reach him, and I'm one of those. I've just got to go out and do what he did today on those first five or six holes and try to get him in the early holes."