Kim hurts Ryder Cup chances with missed cut
In his final chance to make an impression before Pavin announces his four picks Tuesday, Kim opened with a 68 and then crashed out Saturday with a 76 to miss the cut in the Deutsche Bank Championship.
Does he have a chance?
“If he believes my game will come around in a month,” Kim said in the locker room as he finishing writing notes to his pro-am partners. “If he judges me on my last two weeks, I probably won’t be a pick.”
The 25-year-old Kim, fresh off a victory in the Houston Open and a third-place finish at the Masters, was No. 2 in the Ryder Cup standings when he decided to have surgery on his thumb that kept him out for three months.
Since his return, Kim was 76th out of 79 players at Firestone (where there is no cut), then missed the cut in his next four events. He fell out of the automatic eight qualifiers at the PGA Championship.
Kim has regained his length off the tee and said he spent seven hours practicing on Tuesday, which he could have never done before surgery. He just can’t seem to post a score.
“I told Corey if I’m not playing good, I would swear on everything and tell him,” Kim said. “It’s close. I’ve been playing every day.”
Kim doesn’t regret having the surgery. If he could have played through the pain, he easily would have qualified. His only regret is returning when he did.
Kim said he was healthy enough to return, but rusty from not being able to practice enough. Instead, he showed up at Firestone trying to pick up points and secure a spot on the team.
“At that point, I needed to make points,” he said. “Unfortunately, he (Pavin) now has some scores in front of him to look at.”
He headed to the car with his clubs in a travel bag from the Ryder Cup at Valhalla, were Kim led the Americans to victory. And despite his struggles, he was still smiling.
“I just need to have someone tap Corey on the shoulder in the middle of the night and say, ‘Pick the kid. He’ll be ready.”’
FUNNY RULES: Chad Campbell was No. 83 in the FedEx Cup standings and opened with a 72. He never got a chance to improve his position, at the Deutsche Bank and in the playoffs, when he was disqualified Saturday for a technicality.
He forgot to register for the tournament.
Players have three responsibilities that have nothing to do with their swings – officially enter a tournament, register for the event before their first tee shot, and sign their card.
If Campbell were to ever fail to sign his card, he would have the hat trick.
A year ago, he was on a plane halfway across the Pacific Ocean when he realized he never entered the Sony Open in Honolulu. The blunder at Deutsche Bank was even worse.
“Just can’t believe you would make a mistake like that,” Campbell said. “Just kind of slipped my mind.”
Reminded of the Sony Open mishap, he said, “It’s starting a trend.”
COLLEGE SPIRIT: Nike makes sure its players get into the college spirit a couple of times a year, such as the Transitions Championship (NCAA basketball tournament) and the Deutsche Bank Championship on Saturday, for the start of the college football season.
Tiger Woods had the Stanford logo on his white shirt, while Anthony Kim had his OU logo for the Sooners’ opener and Justin Leonard wore burnt orange with a Texas Longhorns logo on the back. Paul Casey (Arizona State) and Lucas Glover (Clemson) also got involved.
Stewart Cink, the Georgia Tech grad, wore a white shirt with thin blue and gray lines, no logo anywhere.
He left his Yellow Jackets shirt back at his hotel by accident, except that it was no accident. Turns out Cink is a little superstitious, and he didn’t like the results he was getting on what he calls “special shirt day.”
“My scoring average is like 76,” Cink said. “Every time it’s special shirt day, I have a bad round.”
He pointed to a 78 he shot at the Transitions Championship in the opening round, leading to a missed cut. And the “Live Strong” shirt he wore at the Travelers Championship, where he got off to a bad start and shot 70. A year ago at the TPC Boston, he shot 71 to miss the cut.
So on Saturday, he took a pass.
“It’s in my room,” he said. “I put my iPad on top of it so it would look like I forgot.”
Cink shot a 66 and was four shots out of the lead.
OVERFLOWING CUP: Stewart Cink twice has been a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup, and he is considered a favorite to get one of the four picks Tuesday. But he’s awfully tired of talking about it, much less thinking about it.
“The Ryder Cup is like a reward,” he said after a 66. “I’d love to be on the team, and I hope to get his attention. But I’m getting so many Ryder Cup questions. I just want to concentrate on this tournament.”
DIVOTS: The last 36-hole leader to win Deutsche Bank Championship was Olin Browne in 2005. … Scott Verplank withdrew from the second round with a wrist injury. He is in danger of falling out of the top 70 in the standings and missing next week. … The last time Woods lost his No. 1 ranking after a five-year run was at the TPC Boston in 2004. … Andres Romero made a hole-in-one on the eighth hole. Romero made it to Boston by making a 40-foot birdie putt on the last hole of The Barclays.
Ahead by four, No. 1 ranking within Koepka's grasp
Following a closing birdie and a third-round 67 at Nine Bridges, Brooks Koepka will take a four-shot lead over Ian Poulter and Scott Piercy into final round of the CJ Cup. Here's how Koepka separated himself from the field in South Korea.
Leaderboard: Koepka (-13), Poulter (-9), Rafa Cabrera Bello (-8), Cameron Smith (-8), Jaime Lovemark (-8), Pat Perez (-8), Gary Woodland (-8), Chez Reavie (-8)
What it means: Koepka is in search of his fifth PGA Tour victory and – believe it or not – only his second non-major. The three-time major champion’s only other win came all the way back in February 2015, at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. One behind overnight leader Scott Piercy to start the day, Koepka opened with eight straight pars and birdied Nos. 9 and 10 to take the outright lead at 10 under par. He added three more circles at 14, 17 and 18 to close out a bogey-free round of 5 under and go ahead by ahead by four. He'll be chased on Sunday by Piercy, a four-time PGA Tour winner who won the Zurich Classic earlier this year alongside Billy Horschel, and by Poulter, who ended a five-year worldwide winless drought back in April and is coming off a 2-2 performance at the Ryder Cup, with a Sunday singles victory over current world No. 1 Dustin Johnson. Speaking of which, unless Justin Thomas finds a way to win this tournament from 12 back, Koepka will for the first time ascend to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking with a win or a solo second-place finish.
Round of the day: Four players – Rafa Cabrera Bello, Ted Potter Jr., Jason Day and Brendan Steele – shot 7-under 65 Saturday. Day played his first four holes in 2 over and his final 14 in 9 under.
Best of the rest: Paul Casey, Hideki Matsuyama and Emiliano Grillo signed for 66. Casey went seven straight holes without a par, Matusyama was bogey-free, and Grillo did all his damage on the back nine after nine consecutive pars on the front.
Biggest disappointment: The only previous winner of this event, world No. 4 Justin Thomas entered the week with a chance to take back the No. 1 ranking with a successful title defense. But rounds of 73-70-72 have him 1 under for the week. Thomas played his back nine in 1 over Saturday with six pars, a birdie, a quadruple bogey and a closing eagle.
Shot of the day: Koepka flying his tee shot 330 yards to the front edge of the green at the par-4 14th and going on to two-putt for birdie.
Watch: Koepka flies ball 330 yards, drives green
It's a good thing par doesn't actually matter in tournament play, because if it did, the PGA Tour would have to consider 350-yard par-3s, and even those might not stop Brooks Koeopka.
Already ahead by two during Saturday's third round at the CJ Cup in South Korea, Koepka drove the green at the par-4 14th, carrying his ball 330 yards to the front edge.
The back-to-back U.S. Open champ would go on to two-putt for birdie and push his lead to three.
... The USGA is going to try that 350-yard par-3 idea, isn't it?
Bend it like Garcia? Sergio scores in player-caddie soccer match
Sergio Garcia has always been able to work his golf ball from left to right, but he's also - apparently - proficient at playing a draw with a soccer ball.
This year's Adalucia Valderrama Masters is suffering through some weather issues. But the highlight of the week - and, according to the Felipe Aguilar, "the year" - was always going to be the event's player-caddie soccer match, which you can see here:
Players Caddies— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) October 19, 2018
The biggest football derby in golf. pic.twitter.com/nplylmVJeE
The standout highlight? This bending, left-footed(!) strike from defending champion Sergio Garcia:
"Just a little bit of fun with the caddies and some of the players," Garcia nonchalantly says in the video. "Yeah, just a little bit of running and it was good fun."
Garcia, a diehard Real Madrid fan who kicked off El Clasico in his green jacket back in 2016, has previously appeared in professional matches for CF Borriol, a Tercera Division club in Spain.
"It's good fun and whenever I'm around I get to practice with them a little bit and play a little bit here and there. This season, I've played probably five games, so not a lot, but I enjoy it," Garcia told CNN back in 2013.
Dunlap, in 'excruciating pain,' shares early Dominion lead
RICHMOND, Va. – Scott Dunlap and Fran Quinn shot 5-under 67 on Friday to share the first-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions' playoff-opening Dominion Energy Charity Classic.
Fighting a left wrist injury that will require surgery, Dunlap matched Quinn with a closing birdie on the par-5 18th on The Country Club of Virginia's James River Course.
''Maybe excruciating pain is the key to playing good golf because I'm not getting nervous on a shot, you're just trying to get through it,'' Dunlap said. ''The worst parts are gripping it and getting the club started ... that's when that bone hits that bone.''
The top 72 players qualified for the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs opener. The top 54 on Sunday will get spots next week in the Invesco QQQ Championship in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and the top 36 after that will advance to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Phoenix.
The 55-year-old Dunlap entered the week 29th in the standings. Playing through the wrist injury, he's coming off ties for ninth and seventh in his last two starts.
''I think I finally taped it the right way,'' Dunlap said. ''Or maybe it's the pain meds kicking in. I don't know, one of the two.''
Quinn is 64th in the standings.
''I finished up strong last year, too, kind of secured my privileges for the following year making eagle on 18,'' Quinn said. ''I played solid all day. I had a lot of opportunities. A couple hiccups.''
Jay Haas was a stroke back with Kent Jones, Stephen Ames, Woody Austin and Tim Petrovic. The 64-year-old Haas won the last of his 18 senior titles in 2016.
Vijay Singh and Miguel Angel Jimenez, second in the standings, were at 69 with Joey Sindelar, Tom Gillis, Billy Mayfair, Lee Janzen, Glen Day and Gene Sauers.
Defending champion Bernhard Langer opened with a 70. The 61-year-old German star won the SAS Championship last week in North Carolina to take the points lead. He has two victories this year and 38 overall on the 50-and-over tour.
Defending Charles Schwab Cup champion Kevin Sutherland had a 71. He's 14th in the standings. No. 3 Jerry Kelly shot 72. No. 4 Scott McCarron, the 2016 tournament winner, had a 74.