Furyk takes Saturday lead at East Lake

By Doug FergusonSeptember 25, 2010, 11:53 pm
2006 The TOUR Championship presented by Coca-ColaATLANTA – Jim Furyk ended a demanding round with an even-par 70 in the Tour Championship. It was just enough to give him a one-shot lead Saturday, and not nearly enough to allow him to think ahead to a possible $10 million payoff.

There were simply too many players right behind, too many possibilities going into the final round of the FedEx Cup.

Furyk scrambled for two good bogeys on the back nine and two consecutive birdies late on another steamy day at East Lake to build a one-shot lead over Retief Goosen and Luke Donald going into the final round Sunday.

Goosen, who won the Tour Championship in 2004 on a rare occasion that Tiger Woods didn’t hold a 54-hole lead, didn’t make a bogey until the final hole and shot a 4-under 66. Donald was atop the leaderboard most of the round until a three-putt double bogey on No. 15, the only par 5 on the back nine. He shot a 71.

“I have to win tomorrow, and the idea is just to go out and do the best I can to do that,” said Furyk, who was at 8-under 202.

The top three on the leaderboard can win the FedEx Cup, along with Geoff Ogilvy (72) at 5-under 205.

But it’s not as simple as winning.

Paul Casey, who shot a 69 and tied for fifth at 4-under 206, could still win the FedEx Cup by finishing in second place alone. Charley Hoffman, another shot back at 207 after his 69, still has a chance win the $10 million bonus if he were to finish alone in third.

Never has the FedEx Cup finale had so many possibilities.

“In the past, we had an idea who was going to win, or who had already won,” Goosen said, referring to Tiger Woods in 2007 and 2009, and Vijay Singh in 2008 when the points system was so skewed that the Fijian had already clinched the cup when he showed up at East Lake.

A half-dozen players have a realistic chance at winning the FedEx Cup.

It starts with playing well on Sunday, when the tee times will be early because rain is in the forecast that could dramatically change the fast, firm conditions of East Lake.

And as Donald showed in the third round, it all can change so quickly.

The Englishman was never out of the lead until he dumped his third shot into the bunker on the par-5 15th up the hill into a far corner of East Lake. He blasted out to about 12 feet, then ran his par putt 3 feet by. Donald hit the next putt too firmly to catch the grain, and he walked off with a shocking double bogey.

Furyk, who holed a 10-foot birdie, suddenly had a two-shot lead.

“It was frustrating to give away a couple there,” Donald said. “But I hit a lot of good shots today. I’m in great position – still just one back, and this is the last Sunday of the regular tour, and I’ve got a chance to win it all. So that’s nice to know.”

Goosen has a chance to cap off a solid year with a victory, something he has failed to do. His nine top 10s are second on tour only to Matt Kuchar, although the two-time U.S. Open champion has never come seriously close to winning.

What a time it would be to end that drought. Goosen has a chance to walk away with $11.35 million, including the bonus. He was asked if ever imagined winning $10 million in a single day when he turned pro.

“Maybe 10 million Zimbabwean dollars,” the South African said.

Ogilvy fell out of the hunt quickly, with a bogey on the first hole and a double bogey on the next one. He battled his way around, however, and finished with a 10-foot birdie that seemed to take 10 minutes to trickle down the slope and fall in the side of the cup. That left him only three shots behind.

And if anyone needed evidence a low score was available at East Lake, consider Nick Watney. His caddie has been calling him “Melba” all week because Watney is so tired from a long year – and with his wedding a month away – that he’s toast. Watney had never heard of Melba toast, which was just as well. He resembled a jalapeno on Saturday, making seven birdies on the back nine for a 28, and shooting a 63 that put him all the way to 2-under 208 and in eighth place.

Phil Mickelson shot a 68 and was seven shots behind, enough to hope, but little more than that. He also would need a victory to have any chance of winning the FedEx Cup for the first time, and six shots out of second place. That’s what Lefty needs to replace Woods at No. 1 in the world ranking.

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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."