Furyk Donald tied for lead at East Lake

By Doug FergusonSeptember 25, 2010, 2:29 am
2006 The TOUR Championship presented by Coca-ColaATLANTA – This should serve as a wake-up call for Jim Furyk: He’s tied for the lead at the Tour Championship, and very much in the hunt for the $10 million FedEx Cup prize.

Furyk played bogey-free on the back nine at East Lake for a 5-under 65 on Friday, giving him a share of the 36-hole lead with Luke Donald heading into a weekend of dwindling possibilities.

A two-time winner on the PGA Tour this year, Furyk began the playoffs at No. 3 in the standings. But in the opening event at The Barclays, he was disqualified for missing his pro-am when the alarm didn’t go off. He slipped six spots, and didn’t scare anyone the next two weeks to fall to No. 11.

But with the top players in the standings starting to fade, Furyk only has to win at East Lake to collect the biggest payoff in golf.

“It’s a bunch of money,” Furyk said. “The only thing I can really control is to go out and play good on the weekend, try to win the golf tournament. And at that point, there’s nothing else I can do about it.”

Furyk has a chance to join Tiger Woods as the only FedEx Cup champion to skip the first playoff event, although it wasn’t by choice.

“I’d like to join him with about 16 majors, too,” Furyk said. “But that doesn’t look like it’s in the cards.”

Going into the weekend, the deck is stacked in his favor.

Donald did a great job scrambling whenever he struggled off the tee, and pieced together another 66 to join Furyk at 8-under 132. One shot behind was Geoff Ogilvy, who had seven birdies in his round of 67.

Ogilvy’s biggest concern was the Australian Rules Football grand final in Melbourne with his beloved St. Kilda going for only its second championship. He planned to watch the game and worry about sleep some other night.

Saturday’s third round, with tee times moved up because of NBC Sports’ obligation to Notre Dame football, could determine whether this FedEx Cup finale is a three-man race.

Ogilvy, at 7-under 133, was the only player within four shots of the leaders. K.J. Choi did well to stay close by knocking in a 45-foot birdie putt on the par-3 18th, one of only seven birdies on that hole through two rounds.

Phil Mickelson’s hopes were fading. He had a chance to become the first repeat winner of the Tour Championship, and even a runner-up finish would be enough to replace Woods at No. 1 in the world ranking. Mickelson, however, had a 72 and was tied for 13th, nine shots out of the lead.

Paul Casey, getting plenty of attention for his Ryder Cup snub, had a share of the lead at various times during the hot afternoon until a sloppy finish, making bogeys on this last three holes for a 71. That put him in the group at 3-under 137.

Casey is No. 5 in the standings – the highest-seeded player without a victory this year – and he could wind up a FedEx Cup champion with a runner-up finish depending on how top-seeded Matt Kuchar fares.

“If I want to get up there and challenge those guys, I’m going to have to hit it a lot better than I did today,” Casey said.

Furyk was in that spot a year ago – a chance to win the FedEx Cup without winning on tour that year. He was a stronger contender this year with his victories at Innisbrook and Hilton Head. But then he lost ground with his pro-am blunder. Furyk headed home to Florida, making no excuses for his battery dying in a cell phone that he used for an alarm.

The tour changed its pro-am policy a week later after an outcry by just about every player except him.

“It was my fault,” Furyk said. “If I whined or complained or anything about the rule, it’s just going to make me look worse. My peers actually did plenty of that for me.”

He got plenty of sympathy, followed by plenty of grief.

“Hundreds of people told me that I was going to get alarm clocks for Christmas,” Furyk said.

He could afford plenty of those depending on how the rest of the week goes. He has made only one bogey through 36 holes, that coming on the seventh hole Friday when he missed the green to the right and missed a 7-foot par putt.

All he is thinking about his a good round Saturday, another one Sunday then figure out where he is.

“Yesterday I said all I want to do was think about the next day, try to shoot a round in the 60s,” Furyk said. “I’ll be doing the same thing tonight – try to shoot another round in the 60s and put myself in the hunt.”

That’s not a simple task at East Lake, which is such a stern test that it doesn’t take much for a round in the 60s to wind up over par. Kuchar had to play one shot on the 17th hole with his feet in the water and scrambled for a 70, leaving him in a tie for 15th at 2-over 142.

Charley Hoffman, the surprise winning in Boston to get to No. 3 in the standings, rallied with a 67 and was among the nine players still under par. He was at 2-under 138. The other players in the top five in the FedEx Cup – they only have to win to capture the prize – were Dustin Johnson (71) at 144 and Steve Stricker (68) at 142.

Donald hasn’t won on the U.S. tour all year, but he is showing great form with the Ryder Cup looming. It wasn’t the fairways-and-greens golf for which Donald is known, but it was good enough for a share of the lead.

“The short game on the back nine kind of kept my score together,” he said.

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Molinari holds off McIlroy to win BMW PGA

By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 3:20 pm

VIRGINIA WATER, England - Rory McIlroy left his victory charge too late at Wentworth as Francesco Molinari delivered a clinic in front-running to win the BMW PGA Championship by two shots with a 4-under 68 on Sunday.

McIlroy, who led by three shots at halfway, entered the final round tied for the lead with Molinari on 13 under par but a Sunday shootout at the European Tour's flagship event never really materialized.

Instead, as McIlroy toiled to a 70 that was propped up by birdies on the par fives at Nos. 17 and 18, Molinari went bogey-free for a second straight day to claim the fifth victory of his career and the biggest since a World Golf Championship in Shanghai in 2010.


Full-field scores from the BMW PGA Championship


The Italian only dropped two shots all week and finished on 17-under 271, with McIlroy alone in second place. Alex Noren (67) and Lucas Bjerregaard (65) were tied for third place a stroke further back.

Molinari moved into the automatic qualifying places for the Ryder Cup, which he hasn't played since 2012 when Europe beat the United States in the so-called ''Miracle at Medinah.''

He'd previously had five top-10 finishes in the last six years at Wentworth, including being runner-up to Noren last year.

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Four top finishers in Japan qualify for The Open

By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 10:19 am

IBARAKI, Japan – Shota Akiyoshi of Japan shot a 2-under-par 70 on Sunday to win the Mizuno Open and qualify for The 147th Open.

Akiyoshi offset three bogeys with five birdies at the Royal Golf Club in Ibaraki, Japan, to finish 1 under overall and secure his first ever tournament win on the Japan Golf Tour.

Michael Hendry of New Zealand and Japanese golfers Masahiro Kawamura and Masanori Kobayashi were tied for second one stroke off the pace to also qualify for The Open at Carnoustie, Scotland, from July 19-22.

Hendry, who led the tournament coming into the final round, came close to forcing a playoff with Akiyoshi but dropped a shot with a bogey on the final hole when he needed a par to draw level.

Hendry will make his second appearance at The Open after qualifying at the Mizuno Open for the second year in a row.

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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.