Notes: Rose considers coach Foley a true friend

By Doug FergusonJune 18, 2013, 11:16 pm

ARDMORE, Pa. – Next week marks four years that Justin Rose first began working on his swing with Sean Foley. But in the moments after winning the U.S. Open for his first major championship, Rose referred to him as more than just a swing coach.

He gave credit to Foley for improvements each year, particularly being able to hit the ball a little longer and a little straighter. Rose also mentioned a text that Foley sent him Sunday morning before he closed with an even-par 70 for his two-shot win.

''He said something along the lines of just go out there and be the man that your dad taught you to be and be the man that your kids can look up to,'' Rose said Sunday. ''Really, that was my goal. Today was about winning the U.S. Open, but it was also about honoring great men that have come before us. A lot of us have that sort of situation with their fathers.''

Rose lost his father, Ken, to leukemia in 2002 when Rose was 21 and is just starting to recover from a rocky start to his pro career. Rose describes their time together as quality over quantity.

As for Foley?

''I would say it's more than just a player-coach relationship,'' he said. ''I regard him as a true friend, and I regard him as someone who if I ever had a question about golf or about life, he would be very much at the top of my list. He's a very interesting character and very strong mentally. And he passes that on well.''


ON THE BUBBLE: Jimmy Walker, who narrowly missed out getting into the top 60 in the world for an exemption to the U.S. Open, is on another bubble again.

Walker is among those who have three weeks to crack the top 20 in the FedEx Cup for a chance to get an exemption into the British Open. Walker is at No. 21. After The Greenbrier Classic, the leading five players – not already exempt – from the top 20 in the FedEx Cup will earn a spot at Muirfield.

Colonial winner Boo Weekley is at No. 8 and would appear to be safe. The other players inside the top 20 and not yet in the British Open field are Charles Howell III (No. 14), Sony Open winner Russell Henley (No. 15) and St. Jude winner Harris English (No. 17).

Right behind Walker are Byron Nelson winner Sang-Moon Bae,Scott Stallings and Martin Laird of Scotland.

The only other way for a PGA Tour player to earn a spot into the British Open would be to win the John Deere Classic, which is held the week before the Open.


MEMORABLE SECONDS: The U.S. Open has been held five times at Merion, and already four players who were runner-up are in the Hall of Fame – Gene Sarazen (1934), Lloyd Mangrum (1950), Jack Nicklaus (1971) and Phil Mickelson (2013).

Sometimes it's the strength of the leaderboard – not necessarily the winner – that shows what kind of championship test a course provides. Merion passes both tests. Of its five U.S. Open champions, all are multiple major champions except for Justin Rose, who won his first one Sunday at age 32.

Merion might not have the best list of second-place finishers for a U.S. Open.

Oakmont has held the U.S. Open eight times and its runners-up include Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk (2007), Colin Montgomerie (1994), Tom Watson (1983), Arnold Palmer (1962) and Sam Snead (1953).

The strongest list would have to go to Olympic Club in San Francisco, however. That list features Hogan, Palmer, Watson, Payne Stewart and Graeme McDowell.


TIGER CHANCES: Tiger Woods has now played 16 majors since he last won the 2008 U.S. Open, so he remains four short of matching the record of Jack Nicklaus. Can he do it? Padraig Harrington says there is ''no question about it.''

''He only needs to win four more. He's got plenty of years,'' Harrington said. ''The weeks he plays well, he wins. Not too many guys can say, 'Well, if I play well, I'm winning.' All he has to do is pick the right week. Clearly, he's not as good as he was in the past, but he's going to hit the right week enough times to win four more majors.''

Woods has picked the wrong week so far. He has four wins on the PGA Tour.

''That's irrelevant,'' Harrington said. ''He's going to hit the right week eventually.''


NOT AS EASY AS 1-2-3: Being part of the U.S. Open's grouping of the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 players draws a big gallery to watch some ordinary golf.

Merion was the fourth time the USGA went with the 1-2-3 pairing, and the second straight time that none of the three broke par while playing together. In fact, Tiger Woods (68 at Torrey Pines), Lee Westwood (68 at Congressional) and Martin Kaymer (70 at Congressional) represent the only rounds under par.

Woods, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott were a collective 6-over at Torrey Pines in 2008. Westwood, Kaymer and Luke Donald were 7-over at Congressional in 2011. The worst was last year at Olympic Club, when Westwood, Donald and Rory McIlroy combined to go 26-over - only Westwood made the cut.

This year, Woods and McIlroy each shot 3-over, while Scott was at 7-over.


RORY'S ESCORT: The police officer who got Rory McIlroy to the Ryder Cup on time for his singles match at Medinah is moving up. Pat Rollins, the deputy chief of the Lombard Police Department for the last 12 years, is taking over as police chief for the Sugar Grove Police Department.

McIlroy was looking at the wrong time zone when he realized he was running an hour behind. Rollins got him to the Chicago-area golf course in an unmarked car, and McIlroy beat Keegan Bradley as Europe staged a record-tying rally to win.

The car, meanwhile, was to be replaced this year. Instead, the village of Lombard put it up for auction on eBay.


DIVOTS: According to the USGA, Billy Horschel hit all 18 greens in regulation in the second round. He hit 22 greens in regulation over the last two rounds combined. ... Steve Stricker and David Lingmerth were the only players to make par all four rounds on the 18th hole at Merion. ... The Web.com has a new season-ending tournament, with Winco Foods signing a three-year deal as title sponsor of the Portland Open. It will be played Aug. 21-24 on the Witch Hollow course at Pumpkin Ridge. ... Louis Oosthuizen was at the U.S. Open for one day of competition, at least long enough to show off the new logo on his clothing. He is the latest to become a golf brand ambassador for Mercedes-Benz, which also plans to support his junior golf academy in South Africa. ... Tiger Woodshad a 293, which would have put him into a playoff at Merion with Olin Dutra for the 1934 U.S. Open.


STAT OF THE WEEK: Tiger Woods has not broken 70 in his last 10 rounds, his longest such streak since July 2010.


FINAL WORD: ''It's not getting any easier as I get older.'' – Steve Stricker, 46, on trying to win his first major championship.

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M. Jutanugarn eyeing first win with L.A. Open lead

By Associated PressApril 21, 2018, 1:50 am

LOS ANGELES - Moriya Jutanugarn took the lead into the weekend at the Hugel-JTBC L.A. Open in her latest bid to join younger sister Ariya as an LPGA winner.

Moriya Jutanugarn shot a bogey-free 5-under 66 on Friday at Wilshire Country Club to get to 8-under 134 in the LPGA Tour's first event in Los Angeles since 2005. The 23-year-old from Thailand started fast with birdies on the par-5 second, par-4 third and par-3 fourth and added two more on the par-4 11th and par-5 13th.

Ariya Jutanugarn has seven LPGA victories.

Marina Alex was second after a 68.


Full-field scores from the Hugel-JTBC Open


So Yeon Ryu was 6 under after a 69, and fellow South Korean players Inbee Park(71) and Eun-Hee Ji (69). Park was the first-round leader at 66. Lexi Thompsonwas 3 under after a 71.

Top-ranked Shanshan Feng followed her opening 74 with a 67 to get to 1 under.

Ariya Jutanugarn (71) was even par, and Michelle Wie (70) was 1 over. Brooke Henderson, the Canadian star who won last week in Hawaii, had a 79 to miss the cut.

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Garcia tosses driver, misses Valero cut

By Will GrayApril 21, 2018, 1:00 am

It wasn't quite to the level of his watery meltdown earlier this month at the Masters, but Sergio Garcia still got frustrated during the second round of the Valero Texas Open - and his driver paid the price.

Garcia had a hand in redesigning the AT&T Oaks Course along with Greg Norman several years ago, but this marked his first return to TPC San Antonio since 2010. After an opening-round 74, Garcia arrived to the tee of the short par-4 fifth hole and decided to get aggressive with driver in hand.

When his shot sailed well left, a heated Garcia chucked the club deep into the bushes that lined the tee box:

It took considerable effort for Garcia to find and retrieve the club amid the branches, and once he did things only got worse. He appeared to shank a chip once he got up to his ball, leading to a bogey on one of the easiest holes on a demanding track.

Garcia closed out his round with four straight pars, and at 2 over he eventually missed the cut by a shot. It marks the first time he has missed consecutive cuts on the PGA Tour since 2003, when he sat out the weekend at the AT&T Byron Nelson, Fort Worth Invitational and Memorial Tournament in successive weeks.

Garcia entered the week ranked No. 10 in the world, and he was the only top-20 player among the 156-man field. He missed the cut at the Masters in defense of his title after carding an octuple-bogey 13 on the 15th hole during the opening round.

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Johnson, Moore co-lead Valero Texas Open through 36

By Associated PressApril 21, 2018, 1:00 am

SAN ANTONIO - Zach Johnson was going nowhere in the Valero Texas Open when it all changed with one putt.

He made an 8-foot par putt on the 13th hole of the opening round to stay at 2 under. He followed with a big drive, a hybrid into 12 feet and an eagle. Johnson was on his way, and he kept right on going Friday to a 7-under 65 and a share of the 36-hole lead with Ryan Moore.

''You just never know. That's the beauty of this game,'' Johnson said. ''I felt like I was hitting some solid shots and wasn't getting rewarded, and you've just got to stay in it. You've got to persevere, grind it out, fight for pars. You just never know.''

Moore had three birdies over his last five holes for a 67 and joined Johnson at 9-under 135.

They had a one-shot lead over Grayson Murray (69) and Andrew Landry (67).

Ben Crane (66), Martin Laird (65) and David Hearn (68) were three shots behind. Billy Horschel and Keegan Bradley shot 71 and were four shots behind at 5-under 139.


Full-field scores from the Valero Texas Open

Valero Texas Open: Articles, photos and videos


Sergio Garcia, who consulted Greg Norman on the design of the AT&T Oaks Course at the TPC San Antonio, had a short stay in his first time at the Texas Open since 2010. Garcia shot an even-par 72, and at one point became so frustrated he threw his driver into the shrubs.

Garcia finished at 2-over 146 and missed the cut.

It was the first time since 2010 that Garcia missed the cut in successive starts. That was the PGA Championship and, 10 weeks later, the Castello Masters in Spain. This time, he missed the cut in the Masters and Texas Open three weeks apart.

Johnson, a two-time winner of the Texas Open, appeared to be headed to a short week until the key par save on the 13th hole, followed by his eagle, par and three straight birdies. He began the second round Friday with five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine, a sixth birdie on the par-4 first hole, and then an eagle on the short par-4 fifth when he holed out from a greenside bunker.

The only sour taste to his second round was a three-putt bogey from about 30 feet on his final hole. Even so, the view was much better than it was Thursday afternoon.

Moore thought he had wasted a good birdie opportunity on the par-5 14th hole when he left his 50-foot eagle putt about 6 feet short. But he made that, and then holed a similar putt from 8 feet for birdie on the next hole and capped his good finish with a 15-foot putt on the 17th.

''That was a huge momentum putt there,'' Moore said of the 14th. ''It was a tough putt from down there with a lot of wind. That green is pretty exposed and ... yeah, really short and committed to that second putt really well and knocked it right in the middle.''

The birdies on the 14th and 15th were important to Moore because he missed a pair of 10-foot birdie tries to start the back nine.

''So it was nice to get those and get going in the right direction on the back,'' he said.

The cut was at 1-over 145, and because 80 players made the cut, there will be a 54-hole cut on Saturday.

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Daly-Allen team grabs Legends of Golf lead on Day 2

By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 11:14 pm

RIDGEDALE, Mo. - John Daly and Michael Allen took the second-round lead Friday in the cool and breezy Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.

Daly and Allen shot an 8-under 46 on the Top of the Rock par-3 course with wind gusting to 15 mph and the temperature only in the high-50s at Big Cedar Lodge. They had three birdies on the front nine in alternate-shot play and added five more on the back in better-ball play to get to 13 under.

''Michael and I go back to the South African days in the late 80s and playing that tour,'' Daly said. ''We've been buddies since. He's just fun to play with. We feed off each other pretty good. And if he's not comfortable guinea-pigging on one hole, I'll go first.''

On Thursday, they opened with a 66 on the regulation Buffalo Ridge course. They will rotate to the 13-hole Mountain Top par-3 course on Saturday, and return to Top of the Rock for the final round Sunday.

''I went to high school in Jeff City, so it's cool to have the fans behind us,'' Daly said.

Allen won the PGA Tour Champions team event with David Frost in 2012 and Woody Austin in 2016.

''I'm just here to free up John,'' Allen said. ''It was fun. Luckily, I started making good putts today. We just want to keep the good times rolling.''


Full-field scores from the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf


Defending champions Vijay Singh and Carlos Franco were a stroke back along with Bernhard Langer-Tom Lehman and Paul Broadhurst-Kirk Triplett. Singh and Franco had a 7-under 32 in best-ball play at Mountain Top, and Lehman-Langer and Broadhurst-Tripplet each shot 6-under 48 at Top of the Rock.

''Part of the issue here is all the tees are elevated, so you're up high hitting to a green that's down below and the wind is blowing, and there is more time for that wind to affect it,'' Lehman said. ''If you guess wrong on the wind, you can hit a really good shot and kind of look stupid.''

Former UCLA teammates Scott McCarron and Brandt Jobe were two strokes back at 11 under with Steve Flesch and David Toms and the Spanish side of Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez. McCarron-Jobe had a 47, and Jimenez-Olazabal a 48 at Top of the Rock, and Tom Flesch shot 34 at Mountain Top.

First-round leaders Jeff Maggert and Jesper Parnevik had a 52 at Top of the Rock to fall three shots back at 10 under. Madison, Wisconsin, friends Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly also were 10 under after a 32 at Mountain Top. Jay Haas aced the 131-yard seventh hole at Mountain Top with a gap wedge. Haas and fellow 64-year-old Peter Jacobsen were 8 under after a 32.