Scott oversleeps, almost misses tee time

By Doug FergusonJune 29, 2012, 1:33 am

BETHESDA, Md. – Few holes on the PGA Tour offer a more difficult opening shot than the par-3 10th at Congressional, which is 220 yards over the water.

For Adam Scott, it was even tougher – because it really was his first swing of the day.

Scott had an 8:02 a.m. tee time Thursday in the AT&T National, so imagine his surprise when he awoke at 7:20 a.m. Worse yet, he is staying this week in Georgetown, which can be a 45-minute drive to the course depending on the traffic.

'Luckily, I had ironed my clothes the night before,' Scott said with a big enough smile to make it clear he was kidding.

He wasn't smiling when he woke up. Typically a calm Aussie, Scott said he was 'jumpy' rushing out to his car and didn't think he had any chance of making it. He arrived at 7:55 a.m., just seven minutes before his tee time. He didn't have time to warm up on the range. He might have been late to the tee, a two-shot penalty, except for starting at the 10th. Because it's a par 3, and a tough one at that, there was a five-minute delay that helped him.

Scott hit 4-iron into the right bunker, blasted out to 4 feet and escaped with par.

'It was probably a 5-iron, but being my first shot of the day, I thought a 4-iron was a better choice,' he said.

Before walking up to the tee on the 11th hole, Scott raced into a portable bathroom, another reminder of how much he had rushed to get to the course.

Scott said he usually doesn't need an alarm clock. He has the uncanny ability of telling his body when he needs to wake up the next morning. This time, he says he forgot to tell his body when to wake up because he had set his alarm – or so he thought.

The AT&T National gave players a new phone as a gift, so Scott decided to switch over from his regular phone.

'Obviously, it was a bit more complicated,' he said. 'I don't know if I didn't hear it or if I didn't set the alarm right.'

The good news is he made it to the golf course on time, and after a rugged start, played even par over the last 11 holes for a 75.

LEISHMAN'S WAIT: Marc Leishman didn't bother going through British Open qualifying last month because he had no intention of going. With an American wife and the recent birth of their first child, he has applied for a green card, which takes time.

'It was looking like I wasn't going to be able to leave the country, so I didn't do it,' he said.

But after winning the Travelers Championship last week, he has gone to the top of a special money list from which the top two players not already exempt will get into the British Open. He is likely to get a spot, and he would love to play.

But one of the conditions of applying for a green card is not leaving the country until it's approved. Thus the quandary.

'It's a good thing to have to worry about,' he said.

He has spoken to immigration lawyers, and he has been approved for advanced parole, which would allow him to travel to England for the Open. Trouble is, that takes 30 days to come through, and the next major starts in 21 days.

'Hopefully, it gets here before the British,' he said. 'Otherwise, I'm not sure what we're going to do.'

WEEKEND WEATHER: Tiger Woods felt the fairways and greens were plenty firm in the opening round. What really makes him wonder is the weekend.

The forecast is for increasing heat, perhaps into the 100s, over the next several days.

'It'll be interesting to see what happens, what they do on the weekend, if it's supposed to be hot again,' Woods said. 'You can water the greens all you want in the morning, and they're going to obviously dry out as the day goes on. I don't see how this course is going to play easier in the afternoon.'

Then again, the scoring average was slightly higher Thursday morning than in the afternoon.

BEAU KNOWS: Davis Love III ran into Beau Hossler and told the 17-year-old, 'You're sure playing a lot of tough courses.'

Hossler was briefly leading in the third round of the U.S. Open at Olympic Club two weeks ago. He played in the U.S. Open last year at Congressional. And he was given a sponsor's exemption into the AT&T National, which felt like a U.S. Open.

No matter. The kid bogeyed his last hole and still had an even-par 71.

'I'm starting to feel pretty comfortable out here, so I feel like I belong,' Hossler said. 'Obviously, my game needs to get better before I'm out here all the time, I feel pretty comfortable out here, feels like I can make the adjustment from junior to amateur to professional golf. I feel like I've made some progress.'

DIVOTS: With the hot weather, Robert Garrigus said the ball is going even farther. 'For you,' said Jim Furyk, who was walking by when he heard the big-hitting Garrigus offer such an assessment. ... Congressional matched the highest score to par among first-round leaders this year with Bo Van Pelt at 4-under 67. Michael Thompson led the U.S. Open at 4-under 66; John Merrick and Jeff Maggert were at 4-under 66 at the St. Jude Classic; and Colt Knost, Vaughn Taylor and Chad Campbell were at 4-under 67 in the Heritage at Hilton Head. ... Garrigus, who opened with a 70, has shot over par only three times in 17 rounds at Congressional.

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Winning on Kerr's mind this week and beyond

By Randall MellMarch 24, 2018, 2:11 am

Cristie Kerr moved into position Friday to do more than win the 21st LPGA title of her career.

She moved into position to claim an LPGA Hall of Fame point this week.

Yes, winning is foremost on her mind at the Kia Classic, where she took the lead with an 8-under-par 64 in the second round, she’s on a larger quest, too.

After turning 40 last fall, Kerr was asked what her goals are.

“The Hall of Fame is attainable, if I stick with it,” she said.

Kerr is five shots ahead of Lizette Salas (67), In-Kyung Kim (69), Hee Young Park (70) and Caroline Hedwall (70).

It’s a good time for Kerr to get on a hot streak, with the year’s first major championship, the ANA Inspiration, next week. She has long been one of the best putters in the women’s game, but her ball-striking is impressive this week. She hit 17 greens in regulation Thursday, and she hit 16 on Friday.

“I like winning,” Kerr said. “I like challenging myself. Definitely doesn't get any easier as you get older, with the travel and recovery time. I got up this morning and I'm like, `Man, why does my hamstring hurt?’ From working around this hilly golf course.”

Kerr acknowledged Friday that her body is more vulnerable to time’s realities, but her mind isn’t.

Full-field scores from the Kia Classic

“The golf ball doesn't know an age,” Kerr said. “I've always said that. As long as I stay hungry, going to just keep playing.”

Kerr won two weeks after her 40th birthday last fall, boosting her LPGA Hall of Fame point total to 22. She is five points short of eligibility for induction. A player earns one point for an LPGA victory and two points for a major championship title. So there’s a lot of Hall of Fame ground to gain this week and next.

It’s a long-term goal that motivates Kerr to take care of her body.

“I don't think the golf changes,” Kerr said. “I think, physically, it gets harder as you get older. Like I said, I've got tape on my hamstring. I strained it, just a little bit yesterday, walking around this golf course. It's tough as you get older, just being fresh and rested. I put more focus into that as I've gotten older. I still practice, but off the course I try to get more rest.”

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Big names chasing Kerr into the weekend at Kia Classic

By Associated PressMarch 24, 2018, 1:55 am

CARLSBAD, Calif. - Cristie Kerr shot an 8-under 64 on Friday in the Kia Classic to take a five-stroke lead into the weekend.

The 40-year-old Kerr had eight birdies in her second straight bogey-free round to reach 13-under 131 at rain-softened Aviara.

''I like winning. I like challenging myself,'' Kerr said. ''Definitely doesn't get any easier as you get older with the travel and recovery time. I got up this morning and I'm like, 'Man, why does my hamstring hurt?' From working around this hilly golf course. The golf ball doesn't know an age. I've always said that. As long as I stay hungry, going to just keep playing.''

She has 20 LPGA victories, winning at Aviara in 2015. She won twice last year and helped the U.S. beat Europe in her ninth Solheim Cup appearance.

''It's tough as you get older just being fresh and rested,'' Kerr said. ''I put more focus into that as I've gotten older. I still practice, but off the course I try to get more rest.''

Lizette Salas, In-Kyung Kim, Hee Young Park and Caroline Hedwall were tied for second. Salas shot 67, Kim 69, and Park and Hedwall 70.

''I really like this golf course. I really like the environment,'' said Salas, the former University of Southern California player from Azusa. ''My family gets to come out. So much confidence at the beginning of the week, and definitely showed the first two days.

Jeong Eun Lee was 7 under after a 69, and defending ANA champion So Yeon Ryu had a 70 to get to 6 under.

Full-field scores from the Kia Classic

Ariya Jutanugarn (72), Brooke Henderson (70) and 2016 winner Lydia Ko (71) were 5 under. Shanshan Feng (68) was another stroke back, and Singapore winner Michelle Wie (72) was 1 under.

Lexi Thompson was 2 over after a 74, making the cut on the number in the final event before the major ANA Inspiration next week at Mission Hills.

Kerr opened with birdies on the par-5 10th and par-3 11th, added birdies on the par-4 16th, 18th and second, and ran off three in a row on the par-3 sixth, par-4 seventh and par-5 eighth.

''I don't think you can fall asleep on one shot,'' Kerr said. ''It's a really good golf course. I think I play better on courses that demand the focus, so I think that's why I've played well here in the past. ... I'm trying not to put limits on myself right now. I've got some good things going on with my swing.''

She has long been one best putters and green-readers in the world.

''I can see the subtleties that a lot of people can't,'' Kerr said. ''It's a gift from God being able to do that. I've always had that, so I'm lucky.''

Laura Davies withdrew after an opening 82. The 54-year-old Davies tied for second last week in the Founders Cup in Phoenix, playing through painful left Achilles and calf problems.

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DJ hits 489-yard drive, but it doesn't count for history

By Rex HoggardMarch 24, 2018, 12:22 am

AUSTIN, Texas – Dustin Johnson is no stranger to big drives, but even for DJ this one was impressive.

Trailing in his Day 3 match at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Johnson launched a drive at the par-5 12th hole that traveled 489 yards, but that number comes with an asterisk.

“He got lucky it hit the road,” smiled Kevin Kisner, who was leading the world No. 1, 3 up, at the time. “I thought he would make an eagle for sure, he only had 80 yards [to the hole]. He didn’t hit a very good putt.”

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Johnson’s drive, which was 139 yards past Kisner’s tee shot, is the longest recorded on the PGA Tour in the ShotLink era, surpassing Davis Love III’s drive of 476 yards in 2004 at the Tournament of Champions.

The drive will not go into the record books, however, because the Tour doesn’t count statistics from the Match Play.

It should also be noted, Kisner halved the 12th hole with a birdie and won the match, 4 and 3, to advance to the round of 16.

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Durant leads Champions event in Mississippi

By Associated PressMarch 24, 2018, 12:21 am

BILOXI, Miss. - Joe Durant had three straight birdies in a back-nine burst and a shot 6-under 66 on Friday to take the first-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions' Rapiscan Systems Classic.

Durant birdied the par-4 11th and 12th and par-5 13th in the bogey-free round at breezy and rain-softened Fallen Oak. Because of the wet conditions, players were allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls in the fairway.

''It just sets up nice to my eye,'' Durant said. ''It's a beautiful golf course and it's very challenging. The tee shots seem to set up well for me, but the greens are maybe as quick as I've ever seen them here. You really have to put the ball in the right spots. I played very nice today. With the wind swirling like it was, I'm really happy.''

He won the Chubb Classic last month in Naples, Florida, for his third victory on the 50-and-over tour.

Full-field scores from the Rapiscan Systems Classic

''Done this long enough, Friday's just one day,'' Durant said. ''Especially in a three-day tournament, you've got to go out and shoot three good numbers. Fortunate to put one on the board, but I know I have to back it up with a couple of good days because you can get passed very quickly out here.''

Mark Calcavecchia was a stroke back. He won last month in Boca Raton, Florida

''It's probably my best round I've ever had here and it was a tough day to play,'' Calcavecchia said. ''The greens are just lightning fast. They're pretty slopey greens, so very difficult to putt.''

Steve Stricker was third at 68. He took the Tucson, Arizona, event three weeks ago for his first senior victory.

''Just getting it around and managing my game I think like I always do,'' Stricker said. ''You get in the wrong position here with the greens being so fast and you're going to be in trouble. I did that a couple times today.''

Billy Mayfair, Billy Andrade and David McKenzie shot 69. Jerry Kelly, the winner of the season-opening event in Hawaii, was at 70 with Wes Short Jr., Glen Day, Gene Sauers and Jesper Parnevik.

Bernhard Langer opened with a 71, and two-time defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez had a 72.

Vijay Singh, coming off his first senior victory two weeks ago in Newport Beach, California, had a 73.