Overton plays final round at PGA in record time

By Doug FergusonAugust 15, 2010, 8:34 pm

2010 PGA Championship

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. – Jeff Overton pumped his fist Sunday and broke into a wide smile when he finished the PGA Championship.

He is virtually a lock to make his first Ryder Cup team. But that wasn’t the cause of his mock celebration.

Playing alone in the first group off when ailing Ian Poulter withdrew, Overton walked 18 holes at Whistling Straits in 2 hours, 9 minutes, to break the PGA Championship record for quickest round.

“Awesome! My first record at a major,” Overton said.

It beat the previous mark – by one minute – set by Phil Blackmaar at Crooked Stick in 1991.

The record is not official, of course. But the information came from Kerry Haigh, the championship director for the PGA of America, so somebody is keeping track of this stuff – even if Overton wasn’t.

And it’s not as if he didn’t care, at least at the start of his round.

He was aware Poulter was suffering from a chest infection and that he would be playing by himself. Overton opened with a bogey, took double bogey on the fourth and figured there wasn’t much left for him to do but finish.

“I gave it my best, especially early,” he said. “I got some bad breaks, and the next thing I know I said, ‘Let’s go ahead and get this round over with.”’

He finished the front nine in one hour, and made a clutch 7-foot putt for par on the last hole to shoot 79.

In relatively mild conditions Sunday morning, caddie Eric Larson was sweating. Larson has experience with fast play, having worked with Mark Calcavecchia several times.

Who’s faster?

“Calc can’t run down some of these hills,” Larson said.

Overton was playing for the eighth time in 10 weeks and was exhausted. Closing with a 79 most likely will have no bearing on finishing among the top eight in the Ryder Cup standings to earn a spot on his first team. He is at No. 5, with two of the three players directly below him having missed the cut.

It would take a mathematical miracle Sunday for Overton not to finish among the top eight, and the realization began to sink in. Overton studied the list well going into the PGA Championship, doing everything but pushing a pencil.

Still, he wasn’t quite ready to celebrate. He conceded that the scenarios to bump him out of the top eight would be the equivalent of someone shooting a 59 in the final round.

“And I’ve had a 59 shot on me,” he said, referring to Stuart Appleby at the Greenbrier.

Overton would be the first American in the Ryder Cup to have never won on the PGA Tour. Oliver Wilson of England has yet to win as a professional and played the last Ryder Cup.

Overton, a 27-year-old from Indiana, played as consistently as anyone this year. After starting out with no top 10s in his first 10 tournaments, he spent two weeks working with his old coaches, hired Larson as his caddie and took off  – runner-up in New Orleans and Dallas, third in Colonial, third at the AT&T National.

Then, he added Greenbrier at the last minute because it had a big purse, and finished second to Appleby.

Overton never dreamed he would be in this spot at the start of the year.

“I had no idea what it took, what the requirements were,” Overton said. “But that would be awesome. I’m looking forward to getting over there. I feel like I’m playing as good as anyone.”

On Sunday, he was playing as quickly as anyone ever has in the PGA Championship.

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Woods admits fatigue played factor in Ryder Cup

By Jason CrookOctober 17, 2018, 12:35 pm

There was plenty of speculation about Tiger Woods’ health in the wake of the U.S. team’s loss to Europe at last month’s Ryder Cup, and the 14-time major champ broke his silence on the matter during a driving range Q&A at his annual Tiger Woods Invitational at Pebble Beach on Tuesday.

Woods, who went 0-4 in Paris, admitted he was tired because he wasn’t ready to play so much golf this season after coming back from a fourth back surgery.

“It was just a cumulative effect of the entire season,” Woods said. “I was tired because I hadn’t trained for it. I hadn’t trained this entire comeback to play this much golf and on top of that deal with the heat and the fatigue and the loss of weight.”

The topic of conversation then shifted to what's next, with Woods saying he's just starting to plan out his future schedule, outside of "The Match" with Phil Mickelson over Thanksgiving weekend and his Hero World Challenge in December.

“I’m still figuring that out,” Woods said. “Flying out here yesterday trying to look at the schedule, it’s the first time I’ve taken a look at it. I’ve been so focused on getting through the playoffs and the Ryder Cup that I just took a look at the schedule and saw how packed it is.”

While his exact schedule remains a bit of a mystery, one little event in April at Augusta National seemed to be on his mind already.

When asked which major he was most looking forward to next year, Woods didn't hesitate with his response, “Oh, that first one.”

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Podcast: Fujikawa aims to offer 'hope' by coming out

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 17, 2018, 12:03 pm

Tadd Fujikawa first made golf history with his age. Now he's doing it with his recent decision to openly discuss his sexuality.

Last month Fujikawa announced via Instagram that he is gay, becoming the first male professional to come out publicly. Now 27, he has a different perspective on life than he did when he became the youngest U.S. Open participant in 2006 at Winged Foot at age 15, or when he made the cut at the Sony Open a few months later.

Joining as the guest on the latest Golf Channel podcast, Fujikawa discussed with host Will Gray the reception to his recent announcement - as well as some of the motivating factors that led the former teen phenom to become somewhat of a pioneer in the world of men's professional golf.

"I just want to let people know that they're enough, and that they're good exactly as they are," Fujikawa said. "That they don't need to change who they are to fit society's mold. Especially in the golf world where it's so, it's not something that's very common."

The wide-ranging interview also touched on Fujikawa's adjustment to life on golf-centric St. Simons Island, Ga., as well as some of his hobbies outside the game. But he was also candid about the role that anxiety and depression surrounding his sexuality had on his early playing career, admitting that he considered walking away from the game "many, many times" and would have done so had it not been for the support of friends and family.

While professional golf remains a priority, Fujikawa is also embracing the newfound opportunity to help others in a similar position.

"Hearing other stories, other athletes, other celebrities, my friends. Just seeing other people come out gave me a lot of hope in times when I didn't feel like there was a lot of hope," he said. "For me personally, it was something that I've wanted to do for a long time, and something I'm very passionate about. I really want to help other people who are struggling with that similar issue. And if I can change lives, that's really my goal."

For more from Fujikawa, click below or click here to download the podcast and subscribe to future episodes:

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Davies takes 2-shot lead into final round of Senior LPGA

By Associated PressOctober 17, 2018, 2:00 am

FRENCH LICK, Ind. - Laura Davies recovered from a pair of early bogeys Tuesday for a 2-under 70 that gave her a two-shot lead going into the final round of the Senior LPGA Championship as she goes for a second senior major.

In slightly warmer weather on The Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort, the 55-year-old Davies played bogey-free over the last 11 holes and was at 6-under 138. Brandi Burton had a 66, the best score of the tournament, and was two shots behind.

Silvia Cavalleri (69) and Jane Crafter (71) were three shots behind at 141.

Juli Inkster, who was one shot behind Davies starting the second round, shot 80 to fall 11 shots behind.

''I had a couple of bogeys early on, but I didn't panic,'' Davies said. ''I'm playing with a bit of confidence now and that's good to have going into the final round.''

Davies already won the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open this summer at Chicago Golf Club.

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Miller's biggest on-air regret: Leonard at Ryder Cup

By Jason CrookOctober 17, 2018, 12:00 am

Johnny Miller made a broadcasting career out of being brutally honest, calling golf tournaments exactly like he saw them.

His unfiltered style is what kept him on the air for nearly 30 years, but it wasn't always the most popular with players.

After announcing his upcoming retirement, Miller was asked Tuesday if there were any on-air comments he regretted over the last three decades. One immediately came to mind.

"I think that I didn't say the right words about Justin Leonard at Miracle at Brookline about he should be home watching it on TV. I meant really - I did say he should be home, but I meant the motel room. Even then I probably shouldn't have said that," Miller recalled. "I want so much for the outcome that I'm hoping for that I actually get overwhelmed with what I want to see. Almost the kind of things you would say to your buddies if you were watching it on TV, you know? He just couldn't win a match."

After struggling on Friday and Saturday in team play, Leonard ended up the U.S. hero after halving his Sunday singles match with José María Olazábal by holing a 40-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole - one of the most famous shots in Ryder Cup history.

"Of course he ended up - after the crappy comment I made that motivated maybe the team supposedly in the locker room, and he ends up making that 45-, 50- foot putt to seal the deal," Miller said. "Almost like a Hollywood movie or something."

Not only did the putt seal the comeback for the U.S., but it also earned Leonard an apology from Miller. 

"I apologized to him literally the next day; I happened to see him. I tried to make a policy when I go over the line that I get ahold of the guy within 24 hours and tell him I made a double bogey, you know. That's just the way I have done it through the years."