Goosen shoots 63 to take lead in Scottish Open

By Doug FergusonJuly 10, 2009, 4:00 pm
2009 European TourLUSS, Scotland ' Already a winner on the PGA Tour this year, Retief Goosen continued making progress toward rejoining golfs elite Friday with an 8-under 63 on a gorgeous day at Loch Lomond for a two-shot lead in the Scottish Open.
 
Adam Scott (67) was right behind on the leaderboard, and can only hope hes not too far behind in the recovery process.
 
Both reached as high as No. 3 in the world over the last four years, Scott most recently last summer during the U.S. Open. Both watched various parts of their game break down.
 
Retief Goosen
Retief Goosen waves to the crowd Friday en route to his second-round 63. (Getty Images)
They will be in the final group Saturday at Loch Lomond, the final event before heading south to Turnberry for the British Open.
 
We all want to play well, said Goosen, who was at 11-under 131. We all go through patches in this game. Nobody knows why. Otherwise, all of us would be No. 1, and thats how it is.
 
Scott refused to get derailed by a double bogey late in his round, answering with three birdies over his final four holes that allowed him to take in the pleasant scenery ' sparkling blue water from Loch Lomond, and his name on the leaderboard.
 
Nice to see it up there for a weekend, anyway, Scott said. Two rounds in the 60s in a row, pretty good for me.
 
Martin Kaymer of Germany (65) and Marcus Fraser (66) of Australia were tied for third at 8-under 134. Nick Watney, an American making his European Tour debut, had a 68 and was in the group at 7-under 135.
 
The top four all played in the morning, the start of a spectacular summer day in Scotland with clear skies and virtually no wind.
 
Goosen slipped to No. 45 in the world at the end of last season, broke through with a victory at the Transitions Championship outside Tampa, Fla., and keeps giving himself more chances to win.
 
The only surprise was his opening tee shot, which he topped so badly with a 3-wood that it went only 180 yards into the rough, and he had to lay up short of the water on the 455-yard hole. He hit 7-iron for his third shot to 25 feet and saved par.
 
Then came another big miss, some 40 yards to the right, and Goosen again saved par with a pitch-and-run through a valley in the middle of the green to within 4 feet. As always, he kept a quiet sense of humor about it.
 
Asked the last time he hit a tee shot that went only 180 yards, Goosen said, When I hit a 6-iron off the tee.
 
Scott tied for second in Honolulu at the Sony Open at the start of the year, then his game mysteriously vanished. He hasnt finished in the top 20 since, and missed six consecutive cuts. From 13 months ago, when he was part of the Nos. 1-2-3 grouping at the U.S. Open with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, he has slipped to No. 43.
 
Scott retreated to London, working alone on the range at Queenwood Golf Club to get back to the basics, and he is slowly putting his game back together. He opened with a 66, and arrived at Loch Lomond on Friday expecting to play well.
 
After yesterday, if I hit it at all like I did then, its hard to have a bad score, he said. It feels really good the way my game is at the moment. Im just enjoying being out there, and being able to hit some shots.
 
The toughest part of his week has been dodging questions about tennis star Ana Ivanovic, with whom he has been linked romantically. Scott was courtside during Wimbledon. She has been outside the ropes at Loch Lomond, hard not to notice.
 
Asked if it helped to have a sports star with whom to relate, similar to Greg Normans marriage last year to Chris Evert, Scott smiled through the lengthy question before saying, I dont know what to answer to that question.
 
All areas of my life are in a good place right now, he said.
 
The same could not be said for John Daly, who made double bogeys on both par 5s on his back nine for a 75 to miss the cut. Daly said his rib injury was better, just not his luck. He said a beautiful drive on the third landed in a divot, as did another tee shot on the 12th.
 
Nothing is going right. Im used to it, Daly said.
 
Also missing the cut was Nick Faldo ' known as Sir Nick Faldo on the European Tour Web site, for this was his first tournament since knighthood. He shot 73 and missed the cut by four shots, same as Daly.
 
Colin Montgomerie was spared a weekend off when Martin Erlandsson finished bogey-bogey-triple bogey to allow the top 65 and ties at even-par 142 to advance to the weekend.
 
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    Hammer in position (again) to co-medal at U.S. Am

    By Ryan LavnerAugust 14, 2018, 10:37 pm

    PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Cole Hammer is in position to go for a rare sweep in this summer’s biggest events.

    Two weeks ago, Hammer, an incoming freshman at Texas, was the co-medalist at the Western Amateur and went on to take the match-play portion, as well.

    Here at the U.S. Amateur, Hammer shot rounds of 69-68 and was once again in position to earn co-medalist honors. At 6-under 137, he was tied with 19-year-old Daniel Hillier of New Zealand.

    “It would mean a lot, especially after being medalist at the Western Am,” Hammer said afterward. “It’s pretty special.”

    No stroke-play medalist has prevailed in the 64-man match-play bracket since Ryan Moore in 2004. Before that, Tiger Woods (1996) was the most recent medalist champion.  


    Match scoring from U.S. Amateur

    U.S. Amateur: Articles, photos and videos


    On the strength of his Western Am title, Hammer, 18, has soared to No. 18 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. He credited his work with swing coach Cameron McCormick and mental coach Bob Rotella.

    “Just really started controlling my iron shots really well,” said Hammer, who has worked with McCormick since 2015, when he qualified for the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay as a 15-year-old.

    “Distance control with my wedges and all my iron shots, playing different shots, has become really a strength in my game. I’ve really turned the putter on this year, and I’m seeing the lines and matching the line with the speed really well. I think that’s been the key to my summer.”

    A two-time New Zealand Amateur champion, Hillier is ranked 27th in the world. He said that, entering the tournament, he would have been pleased just to make it to match play.

    “But to come out on top, it’s amazing,” Hillier said. “Cole is a really good golfer and has been playing well lately. So, yeah, I’m in good company.”

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    Tee times, TV schedule, stats for Wyndham Championship

    By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 14, 2018, 9:55 pm

    It's the last tournament of the PGA Tour's regular season as the top 125 in the FedExCup points list advance to next week's playoff event. Here's the key info for the Wyndham Championship. (Click here for tee times)

    How to watch:

    Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 3-6PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

    Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 3-6PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

    Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6 p.m.

    Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6 p.m.


    Purse: $6 million

    Course: Sedgefield Country Club (par 70, 7,127 yards)

    Defending champion: Henrik Stenson. Last year he defeated Ollie Schniederjans by one stroke to earn his sixth career PGA Tour win.


    Notables in the field

    Henrik Stenson at the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational.

    Henrik Stenson

    • Missed the cut last week at the PGA Championship

    • Six top-10 finishes this year, including T-5 at the Masters and T-6 at the U.S. Open


    Sergio Garcia

    • Eight missed cuts in last 10 PGA Tour starts

    • Currently 131 in FedExCup standings (33 points back of 125th)


    Webb Simpson

    • Five top-10 finishes in this event since 2010 (won in 2011)

    • 56 under par in last five years in this event (best of any player in that span)

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    Faldo: Woods told fellow Masters champ 'I'm done' in '17

    By Will GrayAugust 14, 2018, 7:42 pm

    Fresh off his runner-up finish at the PGA Championship, it's easy to get caught up in the recent success and ebullient optimism surrounding Tiger Woods. But it was not that long ago that Woods even hitting another competitive shot was very much in doubt.

    Six-time major champ Sir Nick Faldo shed light on those darker times during a recent appearance on the Dan Patrick Show when he relayed a story from the 2017 Masters champions' dinner. The annual meal is one of golf's most exclusive fraternities, as only the chairman of Augusta National Golf Club is allowed to dine with the men who have each donned a green jacket.

    Last spring Woods had not yet undergone spinal fusion surgery, and Faldo explained that Woods at one point turned to an unnamed Masters champ and grimly assessed his future playing chances.


    Wyndham Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    "I know he whispered to another Masters champion, two Masters dinners ago, 'I'm done. I won't play golf again,'" Faldo said. "He said, 'I'm done. I'm done, my back is done.' He was in agony. He was in pain. His leg, the pain down his legs, there was nothing enjoyable. He couldn't move. If you watched footage of him, he couldn't even get in and out of the golf cart at the (2016) Ryder Cup when he was a vice captain."

    But Woods opted for fusion surgery a few weeks later, and after a lengthy rehab process he returned to competition in December. His 2018 campaign has been nothing short of remarkable, with a pair of runner-up finishes to go along with a T-6 result at The Open when he held the outright lead on the back nine on Sunday.

    After apparently even counting himself out, Woods is back up to 26th in the latest world rankings and appears in line to be added as a captain's pick for the Ryder Cup next month.

    "What he's been able to do is unbelievable," Faldo said. "To turn this aruond, to get this spine fusion, it's completely taken away the pain. To have this mobility is absolutely amazing. Great on him, and great for golf."

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    McDowell needs Wyndham result to maintain status

    By Will GrayAugust 14, 2018, 5:56 pm

    For the first time in nearly three years, Graeme McDowell heads into an event with his PGA Tour status hanging in the balance.

    The Ulsterman joined the Tour in 2006, and he has had nearly uninterrupted status since winning the 2010 U.S. Open. But McDowell's two-season exemption for winning the 2015 OHL Classic at Mayakoba only extends through this week, where he will start the Wyndham Championship at No. 143 in the season-long points race.

    McDowell tied for fifth at Sedgefield Country Club in 2016, and he will likely need a similar result to crack the top 125 in the standings and retain his fully exempt status for the 2019 season. While he finished T-10 in Las Vegas in November, that remains his lone top-10 finish of the Tour season. The veteran's best results this year have come in Europe, where he tied for fifth at the Italian Open and finished T-12 at the BMW PGA Championship.


    Wyndham Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    "I'm trying not to put too much pressure on myself. I feel like it's not a do-or-die scenario for me," McDowell told reporters earlier this month at the Barracuda Championship. "I feel if I was 25 years old without a European Tour card to fall back on, it would be a do-or-die scenario. Certainly trying to put the pressure off, if I don't get myself into the top 125 it's not the end of the world for me. I still feel like I can play a great schedule next season."

    By finishing Nos. 126-150 in points after this week, McDowell would retain conditional status that would likely ensure him at least 12-15 starts next season. He would also still have privileges as a past tournament champion.

    But he's not the only winner from the 2015-16 season whose two-year exemption is on the verge of running out. Fabian Gomez (160th), Peter Malnati (164th) and Billy Hurley III (202nd) all need big results in Greensboro to keep their cards, while Shane Lowry, David Lingmerth and Matt Every all earned three-year exemptions for victories in 2015 but currently sit Nos. 139, 140 and 184 in points, respectively.

    Last year four players moved into the top 125 thanks to strong play at Wyndham, with the biggest jump coming from Rory Sabbatini, who went from No. 148 to No. 122 after tying for fourth place.