Jacobson leads Oosthuizen, Scott, Bradley in China

By Doug FergusonNovember 4, 2011, 9:09 am

SHANGHAI – Adam Scott can join rare company with a second World Golf Championship. Keegan Bradley still has hopes of winning PGA Tour Player of the Year. Paul Casey thought his PGA Tour card was gone, and has a shot at getting it back.

The HSBC Champions, the semi-official end of the PGA Tour and the start of a big finish on the European Tour, offers a little bit of everything to so many players.

Scott, Bradley and Casey put themselves in contention Friday on a humid, overcast day at Sheshan International. They were chasing Fredrik Jacobson, who rattled off six birdies and kept mistakes off his card for a 6-under 66. Jacobson tied the tournament record at 11-under 133 and led by one shot over Scott and Louis Oosthuizen going into the weekend.

Jacobson, a Swede who lives and plays primarily in America, won his first PGA Tour title this year at the Travelers Championship and believes his game has improved to the point that he can think about getting on his first Ryder Cup team.

That’s still 10 months away.

There are more immediate goals for others in Shanghai, and not just of the PGA Tour variety.

U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy still has the best chance of running down Luke Donald on the European Tour money list, though he might need to win the HSBC Champions and fare well in Hong Kong in three weeks to make a real game of it. McIlroy sputtered along Friday on a day of supreme scoring, trading birdies with too many bogeys for a 69 that left him six shots behind.

“I was just always trying to play catch up,” McIlroy said. “I feel like over the past two days, I’ve left quite a few shots out there. It’s one of those things. I just have to try and make them up over the weekend.

“I’ll need to do something pretty good over the weekend if I want to try and win this tournament.”

Scott was in much better shape after making nine birdies in his 18 holes and missing only one green in his round of 65.

As always, Scott feels as though he could have done more this year, though he wouldn’t trade that one win at the Bridgestone Invitational. A win this week would allow him to join Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson as the only players to win multiple World Golf Championships in the same year. Woods did it five times, while Mickelson won at Doral and the HSBC in 2009.

“That would be a really good year,” Scott said. “I feel like overall I played really well this year, and I wouldn’t say I would be disappointed to only win one tournament for the year. But I feel like I’ve played well enough, and been in a position a few other times, and haven’t taken advantage of it. So I would like to be in a position late on Sunday and see if I can edge out the field here.

“And then to win two World Golf Championships … these are the tournaments that you want to add up by the end of your career.”

He certainly looked up to the task while playing alongside Bradley and Lee Westwood, a threesome that combined to make 16 birdies and an eagle that kept their gallery thoroughly entertained. Westwood wound up with a 68 and was four shots out of the lead.

Scott led the way by running off four straight birdies early in his round, capped off by a 7-iron from 190 yards to 3 feet on the par-3 sixth. It looked as though he might make it five in a row until he tried to ram in a 12-foot birdie putt, only to run it some 5 feet by the hole and three-putted for bogey. He bounced back with two more birdies to close out his front nine and get into the hunt.

Bradley might have the most at stake this week. A win at Sheshan International would be his PGA Tour-leading third win of the year, and with two of those being the PGA Championship and a WGC, it might be enough to be voted Player of the Year.

For now, Bradley was pleased to still be in the game.

He was even par on the back, and thankful for it. On two holes, Bradley left himself 10 feet and 12 feet away for par, and both times he holed the putt. He missed his last four tee shots, yet hit a sand wedge to 5 feet for birdie on the last hole to salvage a 70 and stay only two shots behind at the halfway point.

“The birdie on 18 was big,” Bradley said. “Today could have easily been even par, and I was 2 under. I’m only two shots back. I’m in a really good spot. I know I could shoot a really good number on this course again.”

Malaysia winner Bo Van Pelt had a 69 – he’s 31 under in his six rounds of this Asian adventure – and was three shots behind. Joining him was Casey, who suddenly has a chance for a happy ending to an otherwise dour year.

Casey dealt most of the year with a foot injury that got his swing out of sync. His domestic PGA Tour season ended at Sea Island a few weeks ago when he missed the cut, and he wound up at No. 136 on the money list to lose his tour card.

However, just as it does for Bradley, a win at the HSBC Champions would count as official for PGA Tour members. That means Casey, who had limited status when he left for Shanghai, could return home with an official win and a three-year exemption.

“The season is not over yet, although I kind of feel like I’m working toward next year already,” Casey said. “And the golf I played today is the golf I remember playing.”

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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.

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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."