Glover leads defending champion Ogilvy at SBS

By Doug FergusonJanuary 10, 2010, 8:33 am
SBS Championship

KAPALUA, Hawaii – Even with a three-shot lead at Kapalua going into the weekend, U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover figured it would be tight. Surely, a few players in this winners-only field would post a low score, and a few guys wouldn’t.

He just didn’t think he would be the one struggling to get by Saturday.

Or that so many others would get into the hunt.

Glover went from a three-shot lead to a two-shot deficit in the SBS Championship, only to have his fortunes change as quickly as the direction of the wind. Three birdies over his last five holes allowed him to salvage a 2-under 71 and a one-shot lead over defending champion Geoff Ogilvy going into a final round with endless possibilities.

“Everybody wants an opportunity on Sunday, and I have that,” Glover said.

Glover can attribute that to his finish, when the Kona wind shifted to the prevailing trade wind. That made the par-5 18th hole play shorter than its 663 yards, and it helped that Glover pounded a drive that rolled out 406 yards. He reached the green easily and two-putted from 60 feet to walk off the Plantation Course at Kapalua with the lead.

“I knew it was going to tighten up,” Glover said. “Some guys were going to play well, and some guys weren’t. That happened to be me.”

He was at 17-under 202 and will play in the final group with the defending champion.

Ogilvy had a 5-under 68, his seventh consecutive round in the 60s at Kapalua, with his only blemish coming on the 16th. That’s about when Ogilvy noticed the switch in the wind, found the worst spot – a bunker – and advanced the ball only about 80 yards in making bogey.

He also birdied the final hole to give himself a chance at starting another year with a win.

The final round figures to be anything but at two-man race.

Martin Laird of Scotland had a 4-under 69 and was at 204, while Ryan Moore shot 68 and was another shot back. The group at 206 included three major champions – Retief Goosen, Stewart Cink and Angel Cabrera.

Glover showed that a three-shot lead isn’t safe. Eleven players were separated by five shots going into the last day, with five of them major champions.

“It’s that sort of week,” Ogilvy said. “There are cases when guys go crazy and win by a lot. It can bunch up guys as well. It doesn’t matter what you’re shooting.”

It was one of the most unusual days at Kapalua, and players with deep local knowledge could have known what to expect when neighboring Molokai was shrouded with “vog,” which is produced by volcanic ashes that drift from 100 miles away on the Big Island without the prevailing trade wind to disperse it.

Glover is making only his second trip to Kapalua and most likely is not aware of vog. What he did notice walking down the first fairway was Troy Matteson playing from a 40-foot valley of light rough beyond the ninth fairway.

The typical play in this wind is to hit iron off the 521-yard ninth hole to keep from running through the fairway. Matteson and Bo Van Pelt opted for driver down the valley, leaving a blind shot to the green – but also a short iron instead of another long iron.

They were among seven players who took that route, and Glover joined them.

“Walking down No. 1, I saw Troy and Bo, and it didn’t look like they had a bad lie,” Glover said. “I didn’t know if I could hold a fairway metal downwind. That was the thinking there. I never even thought about it before. Even on Tuesday and Wednesday, the wind wasn’t blowing that hard.”

Six of those seven players made birdie, and it came at the right time for Glover.

Having missed birdie chances on three straight holes early in the round, he lost his feel for the speed on the Bermuda greens had consecutive three-putts, one that went 8 feet by the hole, another that came up 8 feet short.

Suddenly, he was no longer in the lead.

The birdie on nine settled him, and he found his speed on the back nine with short but tricky birdie putts on the 14th and 16th holes that enabled him to regain the lead as he tries to give Kapalua a wire-to-wire winner for the second straight year.

Glover would have preferred a big lead, the way Ogilvy built a six-shot lead, although being in the hunt at the start of a new year was all he had in mind at the start of the week.

Having this much company?

Ogilvy walked off the 17th green and stared at a leaderboard for the longest time. Each page that turned continued to have player after player easily within range of the lead.

“This is a course where there’s still 10 guys who can win,” Ogilvy said.

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Casey comes up short (again) to Bubba at Travelers

By Will GrayJune 25, 2018, 12:07 am

CROMWELL, Conn. – Staked to a four-shot lead entering the final round of the Travelers Championship, Paul Casey watched his opening tee shot bounce off a wooden wall and back into the middle of the fairway, then rolled in a 21-foot birdie putt off the fringe.

At the time, it appeared to be a not-so-subtle indicator that Casey was finally going to get his hands on a trophy that has barely eluded him in the past. Instead it turned out to be the lone highlight of a miserable round that left the Englishman behind only Bubba Watson at TPC River Highlands for the second time in the last four years.

Casey shot the low round of the tournament with a third-round 62 that distanced him from the field, but that opening birdie turned out to be his only one of the day as he stalled out and ultimately finished three shots behind Watson, to whom he lost here in a playoff in 2015.

Casey’s score was 10 shots worse than Saturday, as a 2-over 72 beat only five people among the 73 others to play the final round.

Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

“I mean, I fought as hard as I could, which I’m proud of,” Casey said. “Not many times you put me on a golf course and I only make one birdie. I don’t know. I’d be frustrated with that in last week’s event, but it is what it is.”

Casey led by as many as five after his opening birdie, but he needed to make a 28-foot par save on No. 10 simply to maintain a one-shot edge over a hard-charging Watson. The two men were tied as Casey headed to the 16th tee, but his bogeys on Nos. 16 and 17 combined with a closing birdie from Watson meant the tournament was out of reach before Casey even reached the final tee.

Casey explained that a “bad night of sleep” led to some neck pain that affected his warm-up session but didn’t impact the actual round.

“Just frustrating I didn’t have more,” he said. “Didn’t have a comfortable swing to go out there and do something with.”

Casey won earlier this year at the Valspar Championship to end a PGA Tour victory drought that dated back to 2009, but after being denied a second victory in short succession when he appeared to have one hand on the trophy, he hopes to turn frustration into further success before turning the page to 2019.

“I’m probably even more fired up than I was post-Tampa to get another victory. This is only going to be more fuel,” Casey said. “I’ve got 12 events or something the rest of the year. So ask me again in November, and if I don’t have another victory, then I will be disappointed. This is merely kind of posturing for what could be a very good climax.”

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Watch: Gary Player tires people out with sit-ups

By Grill Room TeamJune 24, 2018, 11:33 pm

Well all know Gary Player is a fitness nut, and at 82 years young he is still in phenomenal shape.

That's why it was incredible to see two mere mortals like us try to keep up with him in a sit-up competition at the BMW International Open.

Watch the video below.

The guy in blue makes the smart decision and bows out about halfway through. But give the other guy an "A" for effort, he stuck with Player for about 60 sit-ups, and then the nine-time major champion just starts taunting him.

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Japan teen Hataoka rolls to NW Ark. win

By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 11:07 pm

ROGERS, Ark. - Japanese teenager Nasa Hataoka ran away with the NW Arkansas Championship on Sunday for her first LPGA title

The 19-year-old Hataoka won by six strokes, closing with an 8-under 63 at Pinnacle Country Club for a tournament-record 21-under 192 total. She broke the mark of 18 under set last year by So Yeon Ryu.

Hataoka won twice late last year on the Japan LPGA and has finished in the top 10 in five of her last six U.S. LPGA starts, including a playof loss last month in the Kingsmill Championship.

Hataoka began the round tied with Minjee Lee for the lead.

Austin Ernst shot a 65 to finish second.

Lee and third-ranked Lexi Thompson topped the group at 13 under.

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Tour investigating DeChambeau's use of compass

By Will GrayJune 24, 2018, 10:09 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Bryson DeChambeau’s reliance on science to craft his play on the course is well known, but he took things to a new level this week at the Travelers Championship when television cameras caught him wielding a compass while looking at his yardage book during the third round.

According to DeChambeau, it’s old news. He’s been using a compass regularly to aid in his preparation for nearly two years, dating back to the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in October 2016.

“I’m figuring out the true pin locations,” DeChambeau said. “The pin locations are just a little bit off every once in a while, and so I’m making sure they’re in the exact right spot. And that’s it.”

Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

But social media took notice this weekend, as did PGA Tour officials. DeChambeau explained that he was approached on the range Saturday and informed that the Tour plans to launch an investigation into whether or not the device is allowable in competition, with a decision expected in the next week.

It’s not the first time the 24-year-old has gone head-to-head with Tour brass, having also had a brief run with side-saddled putting earlier in his career.

“They said, ‘Hey, we just want to let you know that we’re investigating the device and seeing if it’s allowable,’” DeChambeau said. “I understand. It wouldn’t be the first time this has happened.”

DeChambeau won earlier this month at the Memorial Tournament, and the Tour’s ruling would not have any retroactive impact on his results earlier this year. Playing alongside tournament winner Bubba Watson in the final round at TPC River Highlands, DeChambeau shot a final-round 68 to finish in a tie for ninth.

“It’s a compass. It’s been used for a long, long time. Sailors use it,” DeChambeau said. “It’s just funny that people take notice when I start putting and playing well.”