Rose leads BMW through 54 holes

By Doug FergusonSeptember 17, 2011, 6:51 pm

LEMONT, Ill. – Justin Rose kept it simple even as Cog Hill got a little harder Saturday, making only one bogey in his 2-under 69 that gave him a four-shot lead going into the final round of the BMW Championship.

Rose played a tidy round in mild sunshine and a swirling breeze. And while he failed to birdie any of the par 5s, he didn’t make any of the big mistakes that hurt the other two players in the final group.

Mark Wilson, who started the day tied for the lead, played a five-hole stretch in 5 over on the back nine and shot 77. He played the last hour unsure if he would get a two-shot penalty for grounding his club in the bunker at No. 14, although he was cleared because his club was placed in the sand to keep his balance as he replaced his ball. Wilson still shot 77 and fell eight shots back.

Webb Simpson was in contention until going from a bunker into the hazard and making double bogey on No. 17. He shot 73 and was six shots out of the lead.

Rose, who is at No. 34 in the FedEx Cup, should have no trouble getting into the top 30 who advance to the Tour Championship next week in Atlanta. He was at 13-under 200.

The closest player to him was John Senden of Australia, who needs to win to have any chance of making the Presidents Cup team. Senden had a rugged start, but had four birdies on his last eight holes for a 70.

Even with Rose looking like a runaway winner, there was plenty at stake for two cups – the FedEx Cup that pays $10 million to the winner next week at East Lake, and the Presidents Cup in Australia that doesn’t pay a dime.

The latter means more to Geoff Ogilvy, who grew up in Melbourne and now has a home on the 14th hole. He put himself into position for a shot at both of them with four birdies late in his round for a 68, leaving him in a tie for third at 8-under 205.

A week ago, he was on the verge of being eliminated from the FedEx Cup playoffs until making a birdie on the final hole to finish at No. 69, when only the top 70 advanced to Cog Hill.

If he can stay no worse than a two-way tie for third, he will go to Atlanta and qualify for the International team at the Presidents Cup.

“I’m trying not to think about anything other than just play good golf, but it creeps into your mind every now and then,” Ogilvy said. “It’s a bit more complicated than your normal tournament.”

He was tied with Bill Haas, who was within three shots of the lead until a bad break on his tee shot at the 16th led to double bogey. Haas, who is No. 12 in the Presidents Cup standings, had to settle for a 69 and was five shots behind.

If he can hold his position, Haas would make the team.

Similar to Ogilvy, a strong Sunday might give him a double bonus. His goal was to make the Tour Championship, and that now appears safe, and he has never played for a U.S. team in any cup.

Luke Donald, the world No. 1 who was an NCAA champion at Northwestern, is only kicking himself for the way he started. He opened with a 75, yet followed that with rounds of 66 and 67 and was tied for seventh, although eight shots out of the lead. The only other player with a 67 on Saturday was Sergio Garcia, who broke a club in anger along the way. Garcia also was tied for seventh.

Rose really has done very little wrong this week at Cog Hill.

He worked on his swing with coach Sean Foley earlier in the week and has a simple thought process over each shot, mostly related to turning his hips. The shots look easy. The club selection never seems to be a big debate. He’s making enough putts.

Even as those around him fell apart, Rose stayed the course.

“I was aware today that it was a pretty tricky day and guys weren’t going low,” Rose said. “Pretty happy to get it in where I was.”

The trick now is to avoid playing defensively with a four-shot lead, although it doesn’t look as though Sunday will be easy. Rose also had a four-shot lead last year at the AT&T National and wound up winning by one shot. He also had a three-shot lead at Hartford last year and failed to win.

“I’ve been there a little bit last year – won one, lost one when I was in a situation like this,” he said. “So I’ve got some good experience on which to count on. Just keep seeing good shots and keep playing one shot at a time. I don’t think you can get defensive. A four-shot lead isn’t really a big enough lead to waste holes.”

Jim Furyk, who is holding down the No. 9 spot in the Presidents Cup, had a 70 and was tied for seventh. He is narrowly ahead of David Toms, who is narrowly ahead of Brandt Snedeker. They all took turns making a run, though Toms and Snedeker shot 73s and were tied for 14th.

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Ciganda, S.Y. Kim share lead in Shanghai

By Associated PressOctober 20, 2018, 9:28 am

SHANGHAI - Carlota Ciganda of Spain fired a 5-under 67 Saturday to share the lead with Sei Young Kim after the third round of the LPGA Shanghai.

Ciganda carded her fifth birdie of the day on the par-4 18th to finish tied with overnight leader Kim at 11-under 205. Kim shot a 71 with four bogeys and five birdies.

Angel Yin also birdied the final hole for a 68 and was a further stroke back with Brittany Altomare (69), Danielle Kang (71) and Ariya Jutanugarn (71).


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Local favorite Yu Liu was in sole possession of seventh place after offsetting a lone bogey with four birdies for a 69.

Paula Creamer also shot a 69 and shared eighth at 8 under with Minjee Lee (70) and Bronte Law (71).

The tournament is the second of five being played in South Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan in the LPGA's annual Asian swing.

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Koepka's pursuers have no illusions about catching him

By Nick MentaOctober 20, 2018, 8:50 am

Ahead by four, wielding his driver like Thor's hammer, Brooks Koepka is 18 holes from his third victory in five months and his first ascent to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking.

The tournament isn't over. No one is handing him the trophy and updating the OWGR website just yet. But it will likely take some combination of a meltdown and low round from someone in the chase pack to prevent a Koepka coronation Sunday in South Korea.

Thirteen under for the week, the three-time major champion will start the final round four shots ahead of his playing partners, Ian Poulter and Scott Piercy, and five ahead of six more players at minus-8.

As is his nature, Poulter figures to be undaunted. The 42-year-old is fresh off a Sunday singles victory over Dustin Johnson at the Ryder Cup and in the midst of a career renaissance, having broken a five-year winless drought earlier this year. In one sense, it's Europe vs. the United States again, but this isn't match play, and Koepka, a guy who doesn't need a head start, has spotted himself a four-shot advantage.


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"Tomorrow I'm going to need to make a few birdies. Obviously Brooks is in cruise control right now and obviously going to need a shoot a low one," Poulter conceded. "Do what I'm doing, just enjoy [it]. Obviously try and make as many birdies as I can and see how close we get."

Perez, in the group at 8 under par, isn't giving up, but like Poulter, he's aware of the reality of his situation.

"We're chasing Brooks, who of course obviously is playing phenomenally," he said. "A lot of the long hitters now when they get in contention, they hit that driver and they're really hard to catch. I'm not worried about it too much. It's going to be harder for me tomorrow than him, so I'm going to try and go out and just do my thing, hit some shots, hopefully hit some close and make some putts and we'll see. I don't expect him to come backwards, but hopefully I can try to go catch him."

Gary Woodland, also 8 under par, summed up the predicament best when he alluded to Koepka's perhaps advantageously aloof demeanor.

"You obviously want to get off to a good start and put pressure on him as soon as you can," he said. "You know, Brooks doesn't seem like he cares too much, and he's playing so good, so you're going to have to go out and post a number."

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Koepka has his chance 'to earn' his way to No. 1

By Nick MentaOctober 20, 2018, 8:09 am

There won't need to be any wonky math involved. He won't have to settle for finally reaching the the top via some kind of mathematical reset while he's sitting at home on the couch (or more likely working out in the gym).

No, Brooks Koepka on Sunday in South Korea will have a chance to ascend to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking the way every player would most want to - with a victory.

On the strength of a bogey-free round of 5-under 67 Saturday, Koepka will enter the final round of the CJ Cup four clear of Ian Poulter and Scott Piercy, with six more players five behind.

The tournament is Koepka's to lose, and so too is the No. 1 ranking. So long as Justin Thomas doesn't somehow defend his title from 12 shots back, Koepka can supplant Dustin Johnson atop the rankings with a win or a solo second-place finish.


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"It was something I wanted to do. I always wanted to become World No. 1 in a week that I was playing," Koepka said Saturday. "I thought like I could really earn it and not have a week off where it just so happens that you bump up. No, it would be very special, and to do it here would be nice and hopefully get to world No. 1 and cap it off with a win, I don't think there would be much better."

It would be a fitting end to this breakthrough year for Koepka, who successfully defended his U.S. Open title and then added his third major victory at the PGA Championship en route to claiming the PGA Tour's Player of the Year Award. Oddly enough, considering his status a three-time major winner and an impending No. 1, this would be Koepka's fifth Tour victory but only his second in a non-major; his only regular Tour win to date was his first, at the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

"My confidence has always been pretty high," Koepka said. "Anytime you can win three majors you're going to be feeling pretty good about yourself. To do what I've done over the last two years has been special, but I'm looking to build on that."

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Koepka ahead by four, with No. 1 ranking in his grasp

By Nick MentaOctober 20, 2018, 5:48 am

Following a closing birdie and a third-round 67 at Nine Bridges, Brooks Koepka will take a four-shot lead over Ian Poulter and Scott Piercy into final round of the CJ Cup. Here's how Koepka separated himself from the field in South Korea.

Leaderboard: Koepka (-13), Piercy (-9), Poulter (-9), Rafa Cabrera Bello (-8), Cameron Smith (-8), Jaime Lovemark (-8), Pat Perez (-8), Gary Woodland (-8), Chez Reavie (-8)

What it means: Koepka is in search of his fifth PGA Tour victory and – believe it or not – only his second non-major. The three-time major champion’s only other win came all the way back in February 2015, at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. One off the lead to start the day, Koepka opened with eight straight pars and birdied Nos. 9 and 10 to take the outright lead at 10 under par. He added three more circles at 14, 17 and 18 to close out a bogey-free round of 5 under and go ahead by ahead by four. He'll be chased on Sunday by Piercy, a four-time PGA Tour winner who won the Zurich Classic earlier this year alongside Billy Horschel, and by Poulter, who ended a five-year worldwide winless drought back in April and is coming off a 2-2 performance at the Ryder Cup, with a Sunday singles victory over current world No. 1 Dustin Johnson. Speaking of which, unless Justin Thomas finds a way to win this tournament from 12 back, Koepka will for the first time ascend to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking with a win or a solo second-place finish.

Round of the day: After contending last week at the CIMB, Shubankhar Sharma rebounded from opening rounds of 74 and 75 with a nine-birdie, 8-under 64 to move up 45 spots into a tie for 26th through 54 holes.

Best of the rest: Four players – Rafa Cabrera Bello, Ted Potter Jr., Jason Day and Brendan Steele – shot 7-under 65 Saturday. Day played his first four holes in 2 over and his final 14 in 9 under.

Biggest disappointment: The only previous winner of this event, world No. 4 Justin Thomas entered the week with a chance to take back the No. 1 ranking with a successful title defense. But rounds of 73-70-72 have him 1 under for the week. Thomas played his back nine in 1 over Saturday with six pars, a birdie, a quadruple bogey and a closing eagle.

Shot of the day: Koepka flying his tee shot 330 yards to the front edge of the green at the par-4 14th and going on to two-putt for birdie.