Scott stands by Williams, stays in the hunt

By Doug FergusonNovember 5, 2011, 9:00 am

SHANGHAI – Adam Scott believes his caddie’s racial comment about former boss Tiger Woods was taken out of context and wasn’t a distraction to him. He showed that much in the final hour of the HSBC Champions to charge back into contention.

Steve Williams was given a mock award for “Celebration of the Year” at the caddies’ awards dinner.

In an evening full of banter and salty language, Williams was being interviewed on stage when he was asked why he gave a TV interview after Scott won the Bridgestone Invitational. “My aim was to shove it right up that black -------.”

Williams issued an apology before the third round of the HSBC Champions, and Scott said that was enough for him.

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“Didn’t distract me too badly in the end today,” Scott said after a birdie-birdie-eagle finish for a 69, leaving him three shots behind Fredrik Jacobson going into the final round of the World Golf Championship.

“Look, anything with Tiger involved is a story,” Scott said. “I value Steve’s contribution to my game and to have him on the bag. While he’s caddying, I hope he can caddie for me.”

Overlooked in all this was Jacobson, who won his first PGA Tour event this summer at the Travelers Championship and is on the cusp of adding an even bigger title at Sheshan International.

Jacobson ran in birdie putts of 30 feet and 40 feet on consecutive holes on the back nine, then finished with four pars for a 5-under 67 that gave him a two-shot lead over Louis Oosthuizen.

Jacobson was at 16-under 200, breaking by two shots the 54-hole tournament record.

U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy finally got on track with bogey-free round of 65 and was at 12-under 204, along with Lee Westwood, who had a 67. Martin Kaymer (68) and Graeme McDowell (67) were five shots behind.

Westwood and McIlroy will be in the penultimate group, with their own small drama. McIlroy two weeks ago left the International Sports Management group that includes Westwood.

He has exchanged banter with Westwood on Twitter this year that had a bit of an edge to it, and McIlroy stopped following Westwood on Twitter after leaving Chubby Chandler and ISM.

Even so, nothing compared with the squabble going on with Williams and Woods, which features Scott trying to keep neutral ground. Westwood, Geoff Ogilvy and Ian Poulter were among those who walked away when the topic shifted to Williams and Woods.

“I’ve had an ear infection for two weeks and I couldn’t hear a lot of what was going on,” Westwood said sarcastically. “So it would be wrong for me to comment on anything.”

The leaders didn’t care, either. At stake Sunday is something they feel is far more important.

Jacobson took the lead Friday with a 66, and he has not shown any indications that he will stop firing at flags on a Sheshan International course that remains vulnerable with occasional light rain and an overcast sky.

“I think I’ve been playing aggressive all week,” Jacobson said. “It’s one of those weeks I think you’ve got to keep putting good numbers on the board. So you can’t really play too safe.”

Oosthuizen recently returned to form after the FedEx Cup playoffs on the PGA Tour, and a 63 in the second round put him in the mix. He had another bogey-free round, with a birdie on the final hole keeping him in range.

“Tomorrow, everyone is going to be pumped up because it’s a great leaderboard going into the final round,” Oosthuizen said. “I think everyone wants that title, so you’re going to see some good golf.”

Indeed, it was the strongest leaderboard of all the World Golf Championships this year. Jacobson will be playing in the last group with a former British Open champion and Scott, who has won The Players Championship and a WGC event.

The next group features Westwood, a former world No. 1, a U.S Open champion (McIlroy) and former PGA champion (Kaymer). After that is McDowell, another U.S. Open champ.

Scott had the most exciting day, and it wasn’t all about Williams.

He was lingering behind Jacobson when his tee shot on the par-5 eighth went left into a creek. Scott saw enough of the ball that he rolled up his pants and stepped into the water to play the shot.

But it popped up on him, and stayed in the creek. He had no choice but to go back toward the tee to play his fourth shot. From there, he hit 5-iron over the trees and into the fairway, then 3-iron to the green. He did well to escape with double bogey.

Right when it appeared he was too far back, Scott hit a wedge to tap-in range on the 16th for birdie, hit 5-iron to 8 feet on the 17th for birdie, when ended a wild day - on and off the course - with a wedge from 105 yards that spun back into the hole for eagle.

Just like that, he was three shots behind and still in there with a chance to talk about his golf.

Or not.

In his only other win this year, the WGC at Firestone, the spotlight shifted from Scott to Williams when the caddie said in a network TV interview that it was the “best win of my life,” even though he had been on the bag for 13 of Woods’ majors.

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Minjee Lee birdies 18 to win on her birthday

By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 10:59 pm

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Minjee Lee birdied the 18th hole Sunday for a one-stroke victory over In-Kyung Kim at the LPGA Volvik Championship.

Lee, who turned 22 on Sunday, three-putted for a bogey on No. 17, dropping into a tie with Kim, who finished her round around the same time. So Lee needed a birdie to win on 18, a reachable par 5. Her second shot landed a few feet to the right of the green, and she calmly chipped to about 3 feet

She made the putt to finish at 4-under 68 and 16 under for the tournament. It was the Australian standout's fourth career victory and first since 2016.

Kim (67) shot a 32 on the back nine and birdied No. 18, but it wasn't enough to force a playoff at Travis Pointe Country Club.

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Spieth: Improvement is 'right around the corner'

By Al TaysMay 27, 2018, 10:50 pm

Not that Dallas native Jordan Spieth didn't enjoy the two-week home game that is the AT&T Byron Nelson and the Fort Worth Invitational - he certainly did. But he's eager to get out of town, too.

"It was a great showing these last couple weeks by the fans," Spieth said after closing with a 2-under 68, a 5-under total and a T-32 finish. "Obviously extremely appreciative here in DFW. Wish I could do more. These couple weeks can be a bit taxing, and it's awesome to kind of have that support to carry you through.

"So, you know, I had a great time these couple weeks on and off the golf course as I always do, but I'm also really excited to kind of get out of town and kind of be able to just go back to the room and have nothing to do at night except for get ready to play the next day."

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Spieth will have that experience this coming week in Dublin, Ohio, site of the Memorial. He's hopeful of improving on his T-21, T-32 finishes the past two weeks, and he thinks the main thing holding him back - his putting - is ready for a turnaround.

"I think good things are about to come," he said. "I feel a good run coming for the second half of the season. Today was - each day I've felt better and better with the wedges and the putter and the short game; today was no different. My only bogey being just kind of trying to do too much on a par-5; 3-wood into the hazard.

"So, you know, I'm getting into where I'm not making bogeys, and then soon - the not making bogeys is great, and soon I'll get back to the five, six birdies around and shoot some low rounds.

"So I know it's right around the corner."

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Broadhurst fires 63 to easily win Senior PGA

By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 10:45 pm

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. – Paul Broadhurst shot an 8-under 63 on Sunday to win the Senior PGA Championship by four strokes and match the best 72-hole score in tournament history.

The 52-year-old Englishman finished at 19-under 265 at Harbor Shores for his second senior major victory. The 63 was the best fourth-round score by a winner. Rocco Mediate also shot 19 under at Harbor Shores in 2016.

Also the 2016 British Senior Open winner, Broadhurst led the field with 26 birdies and passed third-round Tim Petrovic and Mark McCarron with a 4-under 31 on the back nine.

Petrovic was second after a 69. McCarron had a 70 to tie for third at 14 under with Jerry Kelly (65).

Broadhurst earned a career-high $585,000 for his fourth PGA Tour Champions victory. He won six times on the European Tour and has three European Senior Tour victories.

BYU men's golf team BYU

Sunday rule proves no advantage for BYU at NCAAs

By Ryan LavnerMay 27, 2018, 10:06 pm

STILLWATER, Okla. – For all the kvetching about the advantage BYU would gain by not playing on Sunday with the other teams at the NCAA Championship, one small thing was conveniently forgotten.

What happens if the Cougars were actually disadvantaged?

That’s what appears to have happened here at Karsten Creek.

Because the Mormon-run school prohibits athletics on Sunday, the NCAA accommodated BYU using its “Sunday Play” rule for the first time in the match-play era. (It was the team’s first NCAA berth since 2006.) That meant that BYU played its practice round last Wednesday, before the start of the final match of the NCAA Women’s Championship. The next day, the Cougars played their Sunday round – the third round of stroke-play qualifying – a half hour after the other 29 teams completed their practice round.

Some coaches grumbled about the issue of competitive fairness: What if BYU played in calm conditions for its third round on Thursday, while everybody else competed in rain and 30-mph winds come Sunday?

BYU coach Bruce Brockbank has been on the NCAA competition committee for the past four years, but even he was curious about how it would all play out.

For the practice round, the NCAA informed the Cougars that they needed to be off the course by 1:30 p.m. local time, a little more than a half hour before the start of the women’s final between Arizona and Alabama. All six players got a look at the course in 5 hours and 30 minutes – or an hour and 15 minutes less than the official Thursday practice round – and needed to run between shots on the 17th and 18th holes to finish on time.

Brockbank tried to prepare his players for what they would face Thursday. It’s a different experience without a playing marker – not seeing another shot affected by the wind, not watching another ball break on the greens, not falling into a rhythm with pace – but perhaps no amount of simulated rounds would have helped.

Playing as singles, with only a rules official and a walking scorer by its side, BYU began its NCAA Championship at 4 p.m. local time Thursday. The Cougars got in only a few holes before the horn sounded to suspend play. It turned out to be a two-hour weather delay, and players slapped it around a sloppy, soggy course until dark, with their last single on the 11th hole.

They returned the next morning, at 6:55, and wrapped up their round in an hour and a half before turning around for another 18.

Their final tally? They shot 24-over 312 – easily the worst third-round score of any team.

“We obviously didn’t handle it very well,” Brockbank said, “but it definitely wasn’t an advantage.”

BYU rebounded the next two rounds, with scores of 298-286, putting the team squarely inside the top-15 cut line.

“And six or seven hours,” he said, “we were right there with the best teams in the country.”

But then the third-round scores got posted, and it was clear that they had no chance of advancing past the 54-hole cut.

“It was pretty frustrating to watch our guys,” he said. “We just didn’t handle it very well.”

The same was true for the team’s best player, senior Patrick Fishburn. With just the first and second round counting, Fishburn (67-72) was in a tie for second, one shot off the individual lead, heading into Sunday. Then his third-round 78 from Thursday was posted, and he tumbled down the leaderboard, needing help just to advance to the final round of stroke-play qualifying.

“I’d rather have it this way,” Brockbank said. “If we had shot 5 under par and everyone else is over par, I don’t want to hear that wrath. The coaches wouldn’t put up with that. The fact that we’re not a factor, it’ll go away. But if the day did go well, it would have been a different story.”

Still, it was a strange dynamic Sunday, as a team competing in the NCAA Championship never even made it to the course – Brockbank preferred that the guys stay away from Karsten Creek, if only for appearances.

They went to a local church for three hours, then ate lunch and retired to the team hotel, where they watched TV and studied and played chess. Fishburn has another round to play Monday, but he didn’t even hit balls.

“I don’t think he’s even concerned about that – it’s just a nice, quiet Sabbath day,” Brockbank said. “But as a coach, it’s definitely a little odd.”