Notes: Scott not getting involved in Woods, Williams split

By Doug FergusonAugust 5, 2011, 1:39 am

AKRON, Ohio – Even after Tiger Woods fired him as his caddie on July 3, after the AT&T National, Steve Williams chose not to go public until after the British Open so it would not be a distraction to his new employer, Adam Scott.

After the split was announced, Williams went on New Zealand television and said he was disappointed with Woods and that he felt as though he had wasted the last two years of his life. Clearly, hard feelings remain.

Scott, though, isn’t interested.

“To be honest, I haven’t really been following it,” Scott said Thursday after his 8-under 62 in the Bridgestone Invitational gave him a one-shot lead over Jason Day and left him six shots clear of Woods, who played for the first time since May 12.

“I don’t really care,” Scott said. “It’s not my business. And until it really has an effect on me and how I’m going to play, then I’m not going to … he’s dealing with it the way he wants to deal with it. He’s a big boy. He can handle it.”

There appears to have been no communication between Scott and Woods, and the Australian isn’t sure there needs to be.

He asked Williams to caddie for him at the U.S. Open if the Kiwi were available, and when Williams learned (after flying to America) that Woods was not going to play at Congressional, he called Scott. Williams caddied again for him at the AT&T National, where he was fired by Woods, and then the British Open.

Scott said at the U.S. Open that he has not talked to Woods, and he hasn’t seen him at Firestone.

“I saw him at Aronimink (site of the AT&T National), but I had no idea that it was going down like that,” Scott said. “I haven’t seen him yet. I don’t think it should be awkward. This kind of thing happens on tour. It happens a lot every year with everyone, and just because it’s Tiger and Steve, I’m not going to treat it like it’s anything different than anyone else going through this.

“I hope it’s not going to be awkward,” he said. “I don’t have a problem, but if he has a problem, then he can definitely tell me.”

Scott is more interested in what Williams has to say, and so far he has been impressed.

One thing is clear. Williams doesn’t mince words, a similar bluntness to what Scott received when he worked with Butch Harmon.

“He’s been very honest with me what he thinks of my game,” Scott said. “He thinks I can be as good a player as I want to be, but he’s adamant that you’ve got to put the work in, and I think he sees that I am putting in the work.”

Scott was asked if he thought Williams felt a little more motivation because this was Woods’ first tournament back.

“He just wants to get me going, wants to get me playing like this more often,” Scott said. “Yeah, I’m sure he feels good about today.”


BIG FIRST SERVE: Sergio Garcia played with tape tightly wrapped around his right wrist, due to a slight injury that doesn’t effect his golf game. In fact, he didn’t even tweak it playing golf.

It was tennis.

Garcia, known to be a good tennis player, had a doubles match last week with some of the tennis teachers at The Greenbrier. On one particular serve, Garcia went at it pretty hard and felt a twinge on the side of his right hand.

“It doesn’t bother me,” Garcia. “It’s just being safe.”

Garcia said if he really pops a good serve, he can reach up to 110 mph.


CLARKE’S DAY: Darren Clarke is back at the Bridgestone Invitational because of his win at the British Open.

It just didn’t go as well as he had planned.

Playing with Tiger Woods, Clarke bogeyed the opening hole from a fairway bunker, chipped through the green for another bogey on No. 5 and couldn’t get up-and-down from a bunker on the seventh.

It looked as though he was back in business on No. 8, when his 7-iron from 184 yards bounced twice and dropped for eagle. But it fell apart on the back nine, especially on the 17th.

Clarke had about a 15-foot birdie putt that came up 2 feet short. He jokingly pulled the putter back like he was going to smash what looked to be a tap-in par. Settling over the ball with a grin on his face, he missed the putt and took bogey.

Clarke wound up with a 77.

“Tough day. Did my best but my best was poor today,” Clarke later said on Twitter.


DIVOTS: Ryo Ishikawa cut off most of his hair, but didn’t lose much strength. He opened with a 67, finishing with an unlikely par on the 18th when he hit a 60-yard wedge from near the hospitality area and made a 10-foot putt. … The top 10 on the leaderboard featured players from seven countries. … Hunter Mahan and Graeme McDowell were the only players who failed to make at least a par on the par-5 second hole, the easiest at Firestone.

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Grace celebrates birthday with final-round 62

By Will GrayMay 21, 2018, 1:51 am

DALLAS – Branden Grace celebrated his 30th birthday in style, making the biggest charge of the final round at the AT&T Byron Nelson.

Grace closed out a 9-under 62 as the sun began to set at Trinity Forest Golf Club, moving from outside the top 10 into a share of third place, four shots behind Aaron Wise. It equaled Grace’s career low on the PGA Tour, which he originally set last summer at The Open, and it was one shot off Marc Leishman’s course-record 61 from the opening round.

“Good birthday present. It was fun,” Grace said. “Little bit of imagination, little bit of luck here and there. You get more luck on the links golf course than maybe on a normal golf course.”


Full-field scores from the AT&T Byron Nelson

AT&T Byron Nelson: Articles, photos and videos


Weeks after Grace’s wife gave birth to the couple’s first child, he now has his best result on the PGA Tour since winning the RBC Heritage more than two years ago. As a world traveler and former Presidents Cup participant, the South African embraced an opportunity this week to go off the beaten path on an unconventional layout.

“It feels like a breath of fresh air coming to something different. Really is nice. I really enjoyed the golf course,” he said. “Obviously I think we got really lucky with the weather, and that’s why the scores are so low. It can bite you if it settles in a little bit in the next couple years.”

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Scott barely misses qualifying for U.S. Open

By Will GrayMay 21, 2018, 1:33 am

DALLAS – A birdie on the 72nd hole gave Adam Scott a glimmer of hope, but in the end even a closing 65 at the AT&T Byron Nelson wasn’t enough to earn an exemption into next month’s U.S. Open.

Scott entered the week ranked No. 65 in the world, and the top 60 in next week’s rankings automatically qualify for Shinnecock Hills. The cutoff was a big reason why the 2008 tournament champ returned for Trinity Forest’s debut, and midway through the final round it seemed like the Aussie had a shot at snagging a bid at the 11th hour.

Scott needed at least a solo ninth-place finish to pass an idle Chesson Hadley at No. 60, and while his 5-footer on the 18th green gave him a share of sixth place when he completed play, he ultimately ended up in a three-way tie for ninth at 15 under – barely short of a spot in the top 60.


Full-field scores from the AT&T Byron Nelson

AT&T Byron Nelson: Articles, photos and videos


“I tried to make the most of really favorable conditions today, and I did a pretty good job of it. Just never really got a hot run going,” Scott said. “I feel like I struggled on the weekend reading the greens well enough to really get it going, but I think everyone but the leaders did that, too. They’re not the easiest greens to read.”

Scott has played each of the last three weeks in an effort to earn a U.S. Open exemption, and he’ll make it four in a row next week when he returns to the Fort Worth Invitational on a course where he won in 2013. Scott still has another chance to avoid sectional qualifying by earning a top-60 spot at the second and final cutoff on June 11 following the FedEx St. Jude Classic.

Scott has played 67 majors in a row, a streak that dates back to 2001 and is second only to Sergio Garcia among active players. While he’s prepared to play each of the next three weeks in a last-ditch effort to make the field, he’s taking his schedule one event at a time with the hope that one more good result might take care of business.

“I’ll play next week and hopefully play really well, and give myself a bit of cushion so I can take a week or so off and try to prepare the best I can for the U.S. Open,” Scott said.

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Wise wins first Tour title at AT&T Byron Nelson

By Nick MentaMay 21, 2018, 1:22 am

On the strength of a final-round 65, 21-year-old Aaron Wise broke through for his first PGA Tour victory Sunday, taking the AT&T Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest. Here's how Wise beat the field and darkness following a lengthy rain delay:

Leaderboard: Wise (-23), Marc Leishman (-20), Branden Grace (-19), J.J. Spaun (-19), Keith Mitchell (-19)

What it means: This is Wise’s first PGA Tour win in just his 18th start as a member. Tied with Leishman to start the final round, Wise raced ahead with six birdies in a seven-hole stretch from Nos. 4-10 and never looked back. He'd make eight straight pars on his way into the clubhouse and the winner's circle. The 2016 NCAA Division I individual champion just locked up Tour status through the 2019-20 season and guaranteed himself a spot in the PGA Championship.

Best of the rest: Leishman reached 20 under par but just couldn’t keep pace with Wise. This is his second runner-up of the season, following a solo second in the CJ Cup in October.

Round of the day: Grace carded a 62 – where have I heard that before? – with eight birdies, an eagle and a bogey to end up tied for third, his best finish of the season on Tour.

Biggest disappointment: Adam Scott looked as though he had done enough to qualify for the U.S. Open via the Official World Golf Ranking when he walked off the golf course. Unfortunately, minutes later, he’d drop from a four-way tie for sixth into a three-way tie for ninth, narrowly missing out on this week's OWGR cutoff.

Break of the day: Wise could very well have found the hazard off the tee at No. 9 if not for a well-placed sprinkler head. Rather than drop a shot, he took advantage of his good fortune and poured in another birdie putt to extend his lead.

Quote of the day: "It's a dream come true to win this one." - Wise

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Otaegui wins Belgian Knockout by two

By Associated PressMay 21, 2018, 1:20 am

ANTWERP, Belgium – Adrian Otaegui beat Benjamin Hebert by two shots in the final of the Belgian Knockout to win his second European Tour title.

The hybrid format opened with two rounds of stroke play on Thursday and Friday, before the leading 64 players competed in nine-hole knockout stroke play matches.

Otaegui and Hebert both finished three shots off the lead at 5 under after the first two days and worked their way through five matches on the weekend to set up Sunday's final at the Rinkven International Golf Club.


Full-field scores from the Belgian Knockout


''I'm very happy, very relaxed now after the last nine holes against Ben that were very tight,'' Otaegui said. ''I'm just very proud about my week.

''I just tried to play against myself. Obviously your opponent is just next to you but I just tried to focus on my game.''

Scotland's David Drysdale beat James Heath of England by one shot in the playoff for third spot.

Herbet said he was ''just a little short this week.''

''Adrian is a very good player, especially in this kind of format,'' he said. ''He's already won one tournament in match play last year. This format is fun, it puts you under pressure almost every hole because everything can happen. I think it's a great idea.''