Rollins 63 leads new Sea Island event

By Doug FergusonOctober 8, 2010, 3:13 am

PGA Tour (75x100)

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Matt Kuchar couldn’t stifle a yawn when he walked out of the scoring trailer. Zach Johnson couldn’t remember which side of the Atlantic Ocean he was on, except for the warm sunshine at Sea Island.

Two days after they returned from long, wet week at the Ryder Cup, the opening round of the new McGladrey Classic was a blur.

“I think I was too relaxed to be nervous,” Kuchar said.

That wasn’t the case for John Rollins.

Motivated by a pep talk from his wife and a meltdown that knocked him out of the FedEx Cup playoffs, Rollins kept bogeys off his card and opened with a 7-under 63 for his best round of the year and a one-shot lead over David Toms and rookie Troy Merritt.

Rollins birdied four straight holes late his round, starting with the tight 14th along St. Simons Sound and ending with a 6-iron to 3 feet on the par-3 17th. Nearly half the field broke par in gorgeous weather along the Georgia coast, a flawless start to a tournament making its debut in the Fall Series.

Kuchar and Johnson ordinarily wouldn’t play the week after the Ryder Cup, except that they live at Sea Island. Kuchar just moved to this picturesque piece of land known as the Golden Isles, and slept in his home for the first time Wednesday night.

Getting over a Ryder Cup hangover might take longer than that.

There could not be two weeks any different for those who were in Wales last week, which includes tournament host Davis Love III, a vice captain at the Ryder Cup.

Sunshine was abundant. And except for about 400 people following Love, Kuchar and Johnson, it was relatively quiet.

“Definitely an intimate feeling,” said Love, who opened with a 70.

Kuchar, who leads the PGA Tour money list and is closing in on the Vardon Trophy for the lowest scoring average, moved about the Seaside Course easily and was challenging for the lead until his drive on the par-4 16th came up about a yard short of clearing the creek, leading to a double bogey. He still managed a 67, though he’s not sure how.

“There were a number of times today I waned to reach down and mark my ball,” he said, referring to preferred lies in effect last week at Celtic Manor Resort because of the waterlogged course.

As for the difference in weather.

“I’m glad I live here,” Kuchar said.

Johnson also was groggy, although he gave himself enough chances to shoot a 70.

“I do remember misreading a lot of putts,” Johnson said. “But the weather was perfect. The crowd was great. I didn’t play bad considering what I was up against.”

Reality of where he was came when he signed his card, and Johnson was picked for drug testing after his round.

Rollins, meanwhile, came to Sea Island with plenty of rest.

He was in good shape to advance to the third round of the FedEx Cup playoffs when he shot a 79 on the final day at the TPC Boston, giving him a month off that he didn’t want.

Rollins and his wife talked about his season – a tie for third in Greenboro, 72nd on the money list, no danger of losing his card because of winning on tour last year. He didn’t feel as though it was up to his standards.

It sounded as though he did most of the listening.

“I don’t want it to seem like she was chewing me out or anything, but it was just sort of a wake-up call – ‘Hey, if you want to play good and make these teams, put the work in and get it done.’ So that’s where we’ve gone,” he said.

Rollins figured there was no need to wait until next year. He has four tournaments left, and he’s trying to end his year with a win.

For most players, the Fall Series is only about finishing in the top 125 on the money list to keep the card for next year. Merritt, who won Q-School a year ago.

Merritt is 123rd on the money list. The group at 65 includes Joe Durant, who is at No. 131, and Michael Letzig at No. 145.

Justin Leonard, who was playing well enough toward the end of the FedEx Cup to warrant consideration for the Ryder Cup, opening with a 66, while Bill Haas shot a 67 a week after winning the Viking Classic. Because he won during the Fall Series, Haas’ victory does not give him an exemption to the Masters. He is No. 26 on the money list, however, and the top 30 get to Augusta National.
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NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 5:50 pm

The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

After three days of stroke play, eight teams have advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals and semifinals will be contested on Tuesday, with the finals being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.

Wake Forest junior Jennifer Kupcho won the individual title. Click here for live action, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.

Scoring:

TV Times (all times ET):

Tuesday
11AM-conclusion: Match-play quarterfinals 
4-8PM: Match-play semifinals (Click here to watch live)

Wednesday
4-8PM: Match-play finals

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Davis: USGA learned from setup errors at Shinnecock

By Will GrayMay 22, 2018, 4:51 pm

With the U.S. Open set to return to Shinnecock Hills for the first time in 14 years, USGA executive director Mike Davis insists that his organization has learned from the setup mistakes that marred the event the last time it was played on the Southampton, N.Y., layout.

Retief Goosen held off Phil Mickelson to win his second U.S. Open back in 2004, but the lasting image from the tournament may have been tournament officials spraying down the seventh green by hand during the final round after the putting surface had become nearly unplayable. With the course pushed to the brink over the first three days, stiff winds sucked out any remaining moisture and players struggled to stay on the greens with 30-foot putts, let alone approach shots.

Speaking to repoters at U.S. Open media day, Davis offered candid reflections about the missteps that led to the course overshadowing the play during that infamous final round.

"I would just say that it was 14 years ago. It was a different time, it was different people, and we as an organzation, we learned from it," Davis said. "When you set up a U.S. Open, it is golf's ultimate test. It's probably set up closer to the edge than any other event in golf, and I think that the difference then versus now is we have a lot more technology, a lot more data in our hands.

"And frankly, ladies and gentlemen, what really happened then was just a lack of water."

Davis pointed to enhancements like firmness and moisture readings for the greens that weren't available in 2004, and he noted that meterological data has evolved in the years since. With another chance to get his hands on one of the USGA's favorite venues, he remains confident that tournament officials will be able to better navigate the thin line between demanding and impossible this time around.

"There are parts that I think we learned from, and so I think we're happy that we have a mulligan this time," Davis said. "It was certainly a bogey last time. In fact maybe even a double bogey, and equitable stroke control perhaps kicked in."

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UCLA junior Vu named WGCA Player of the Year

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 3:23 pm

UCLA junior Lilia Vu was named Player of the Year on Tuesday by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA).

Vu recorded the lowest full-season scoring average (70.37) in UCLA history. Her four tournament wins tied the school record for most victories in a single season.

Vu was also named to the WGCA All-America first team. Here's a look at the other players who joined her on the prestigious list:

WGCA First Team All-Americans

  • Maria Fassi, Junior, University of Arkansas
  • Kristen Gillman, Sophomore, University of Alabama
  • Jillian Hollis, Junior, University of Georgia
  • Cheyenne Knight, Junior, University of Alabama
  • Jennifer Kupcho, Junior, Wake Forest University
  • Andrea Lee, Sophomore, Stanford University
  • Leona Maguire, Senior, Duke University
  • Sophia Schubert, Senior, University of Texas
  • Lauren Stephenson, Junior, University of Alabama
  • Maddie Szeryk, Senior, Texas A&M University
  • Patty Tavatanakit, Freshman, UCLA
  • Lilia Vu, Junior, UCLA
Chris Stroud and caddie Casey Clendenon Getty Images

Stroud's caddie wins annual PGA Tour caddie tournament

By Rex HoggardMay 22, 2018, 3:15 pm

Casey Clendenon, who caddies for Chris Stroud, won the gross division of the annual PGA Tour caddie tournament on Monday, shooting a 5-under 66 at Trinity Forest Golf Club, site of last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson.

Scott Tway (65), who caddies for Brian Harman, won the net division by two strokes over Wayne Birch, Troy Merritt’s caddie.

Kyle Bradley, Jonathan Byrd’s caddie, took second place with a 71 in the gross division.

The tournament was organized by the Association of Professional Tour Caddies, and proceeds from the event went to two charities. The APTC donated $20,000 to Greg Chalmers’ charity, MAXimumChances.org, which aids families living with autism. The association also donated $10,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.