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.
Lewis hopes to win at Volvik with baby on the way
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.
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.”
Rose hasn't visited restroom at Colonial - here's why
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.
"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.
Up four, Rose knows a lead can slip away
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."
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."
Grillo still hunting follow-up to debut win
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.
"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."