Three tied atop Deutsche Bank leaderboard

By Doug FergusonSeptember 3, 2011, 10:04 pm

NORTON, Mass. – Masters champion Charl Schwartzel turned anger into a string of birdies for a 5-under 66 on Saturday that put him in a three-way tie for the lead with Adam Scott and Bubba Watson in the Deutsche Bank Championship.

Watson, who finally put some attention back on his golf, played in the morning and produced what he called a “boring” round of 64 that included an eagle on the seventh hole for the second straight day. Scott, who won on the TPC Boston eight years, shot 63 in the afternoon.

Schwartzel would not have imagined another 66 on his card when he made the turn. He was in perfect position off the tee on the par-5 18th until he pulled his approach, and then compounded the error with a three-putt for a soft bogey. Still stewing when he got to the first tee, he left the 5-wood in his bag and hit driver.

“I was, to say the least, fairly upset,” Schwartzel said. “It’s sometimes very crucial to come back straightaway, otherwise your round can get away from you. The birdie on the first just got me going in the right mindset again.”

The drive set up a flip wedge to 6 week. Another massive drive left him only a 7-iron on the par-5 second, and he was on his way. Schwartzel ran off five birdies in a six-hole stretch and was tied for the lead at the halfway point.

The morning was filled with big cheers, mostly around one hole.

Brandt Snedeker hit 9-iron from 146 yards on the par-3 16th, and the ball spun back to the right and into the cup. Some 20 minutes later, Greg Chalmers also made an ace.

It proved to be a bigger boost for Snedeker, the start of a bizarre 1-5-3 on his card—the ace, followed by a sloppy bogey that got his attention, and an eagle putt on the 18th as he went on to a 64 and was one shot behind. Nick Watney, a two-time winner on tour this year, had another 67 and was two shots behind.

The leaders were at 10-under 132 as they work their way to a Labor Day finish.

“I’m happy to put myself in the hunt because I need a good week to move up in this FedEx Cup,” said Scott, who is at No. 23 in the standings. “I’m running out of time quick.”

The top 70 on the FedEx Cup list after this week advance to the third playoff event outside Chicago in two weeks, with the top 30 from there going to Atlanta for a shot at the $10 million prize.

Typical for these FedEx Cup playoffs, there were other scores that were significant.

Ernie Els was among the last to qualify for the playoffs, though he still faced long odds. He barely advanced out of the first round and then shot a 65 on Saturday to move into a tie for sixth with a group that included Rickie Fowler.

“I’ve been working quite hard to get some kind of game going, and it seems like I’ve got it going a bit now,” Els said. “The putter is starting to cooper a little bit better.”

Els currently is using a belly putter. Phil Mickelson tried the belly putter for the second straight day, although it was more his long game that led to a 73. He was 11 shots behind and made the cut on the number - 1-over 143 - at the tournament he won four years ago.

William McGirt, the 125th and last man into these playoffs, kept his hopes alive with a second straight 69 that at least gave him a reasonable chance of moving on to Chicago.

Watson hasn’t missed many cuts this year. He really hasn’t done much of anything aside from his two wins in San Diego and New Orleans. He attributed it to getting accustomed to a little more celebrity.

“You win three times in less than a year, all the people are writing about you in the paper, you’ve got more fans, you’ve got a lot more friends, you’ve got a lot more family, you’ve got a lot more of everything,” he said. “For me, for getting a simple guy like myself, it’s not what I dream to do.”

He said he feared he might be sick because his energy was drained, then later realized that being in the spotlight required more energy. Watson also learned about the attention from his growing star power in France, when he joked about not knowing the names of some of the most famous landmarks and was criticized in Europe and at home.

Self-deprecating as ever, Watson had no problem making fun of himself or the situation in France. When asked about the landmarks in New England, he said, “There’s a fence or something, isn’t there? A green one?”

He was only joking about Fenway’s “Green Monster.”

“I love the Yankees, sorry,” he said. “They’re all going to hate me, anyways.”

The FedEx Cup playoffs ended for Ian Poulter, Anthony Kim and Stewart Cink, among others. They missed the cut and already were outside the top 70 on the list of players who are trying to advance to Chicago.

 

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Lewis hopes to win at Volvik with baby on the way

By Randall MellMay 27, 2018, 12:55 am

Stacy Lewis was listening to more than her caddie on her march up the leaderboard Saturday at the Volvik Championship.

Pregnant with her first child, she is listening to her body in a new way these days.

And she could hear a message coming through loud and clear toward the end of her round at Travis Point Country Club in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“The little one was telling me it’s dinnertime,” Lewis said.

Lewis birdied five of the last six holes to shoot 5-under-par 67 and move into position to make a Sunday run at winning her 13th LPGA title. She is two shots behind the leader, Minjee Lee, whose 68 moved her to 12 under overall.

Sunday has the makings of a free for all with 10 players within three shots of the lead.


Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


Lewis, 33, is four months pregnant, with her due date Nov. 3. She’s expecting to play just a few more times before putting the clubs away to get ready for the birth. She said she’s likely to make the Marathon Classic in mid-July her last start of the season before returning next year.

Of course, Lewis would relish winning with child.

“I don’t care what limitations I have or what is going on with my body, I want to give myself a chance to win,” she told LPGA.com at the Kingsmill Championship last week.

Lewis claimed an emotional victory with her last title, taking the Cambia Portland Classic late last summer after announcing earlier in the week that she would donate her entire winnings to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in her Houston hometown.

A victory Sunday would also come with a lot of emotion.

It’s been an interesting year for Lewis.

There’s been the joy of learning she’s ready to begin the family she has been yearning for, and the struggle to play well after bouncing back from injury.

Lewis missed three cuts in a row before making it into the weekend at the Kingsmill Championship last week. That’s one more cut than she missed cumulatively in the previous six years. In six starts this year, Lewis hasn’t finished among the top 50 yet, but she hasn’t felt right, either.

The former world No. 1 didn’t make her second start of 2018 until April, at the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration. She withdrew from the HSBC Women’s World Championship in late February with a strained right oblique muscle and didn’t play again for a month.

Still, Lewis is finding plenty to get excited about with the baby on the way.

“I kind of had my first Mother’s Day,” Lewis told LPGA.com last week. “It puts golf into perspective. It makes those bad days not seem so bad. It helps me sleep better at night. We are just really excited.”

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Rose hasn't visited restroom at Colonial - here's why

By Nick MentaMay 27, 2018, 12:20 am

In case you're unaware, it's pretty hot in Texas.

Temperatures at Colonial Country Club have approached 100 degrees this week, leaving players to battle both the golf course and potential dehydration.

With the help of his caddie Mark Fulcher, Fort Worth Invitational leader Justin Rose has been plenty hot himself, staking himself to a four-shot lead.


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


"Yeah, Fulch has done a great job of just literally handing me water bottle after water bottle. It seems relentless, to be honest with you," Rose said Saturday.

So just how much are players sweating the heat at Colonial? Well, it doesn't sound like all that water is making it all the way through Rose.

"I haven't even seen the inside of a restroom yet, so you can't even drink quick enough out there," he shared.

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Up four, Rose knows a lead can slip away

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 11:21 pm

Up four shots heading into Sunday at the Fort Worth Invitational, Justin Rose has tied the largest 54-hole lead of his PGA Tour career.

On the previous two occasions he took a 54-hole Tour lead into the final round, he closed.

And yet, Rose knows just how quickly a lead can slip away. After all, it was Rose who erased a six-shot deficit earlier this season to overtake Dustin Johnson and win the WGC-HSBC Championship. 

"I think I was in the lead going into the final round in Turkey when I won, and I had a four-shot lead going into the final round in Indonesia in December and managed to put that one away," Rose said Saturday, thinking back to his two other victories late last year.

"I was five, six back maybe of DJ, so I've got experience the other way. ... So you can see how things can go both ways real quick. That's why there is no point in getting too far ahead of myself."


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Up one to start the third round Saturday, Rose extended his lead to as much as five when he birdied four of his first six holes.

He leads the field in strokes gained: tee-to-green (+12.853) and strokes gained: approach-the-green (+7.931).

Rose has won five times worldwide, including at the 2016 Rio Olympics, since his last victory in the United States, at the 2015 Zurich Classic.

With a win Sunday, he'd tie Nick Faldo for the most PGA Tour wins by an Englishman post-World War II, with nine.

But he isn't celebrating just yet.

"It is a big lead, but it's not big enough to be counting the holes away. You've got to go out and play good, you've got to go out positive, you've got to continue to make birdies and keep going forward.

"So my mindset is to not really focus on the lead, it's to focus on my game tomorrow and my performance. You know, just keep executing the way I have been. That's going to be my challenge tomorrow. Going to look forward to that mindset."

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Grillo still hunting follow-up to debut win

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 10:53 pm

Following a round of 1-under 69 Saturday, Emiliano Grillo will enter Sunday's final round at Colonial four shots behind leader Justin Rose.

Grillo is hunting his first win since he took the 2015 Safeway Open in his rookie debut as a PGA Tour member. 

The young Argentinian finished 11th in the FedExCup points race that season, contending in big events and finishing runner-up at the 2016 Barclays.

In the process, Grillo had to learn to pace himself and that it can be fruitless to chase after success week to week.

"That was a hot run in there," Grillo said Saturday, referring to his rookie year. "I played, in 2016, I played the majors very well. I played the big tournaments very well. I was in contention after two, three days in most of the big events.


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


"I think, you know, I wanted to do better. I pushed for it. Some of the tournaments I ended up being 50th or 60th just because I wanted to play. I wanted to play well so badly. That played against me, so I learned from that. In that rookie year, I learned that."

Grillo was still plenty successful in his sophomore season, advancing to the BMW Championship last fall.

But now he's beginning to regain some of that form that made him such an immediate success on Tour. Grillo has recorded four top-10 finishes year - a T-9 at Mayakoba, a T-8 at Honda, a T-3 at Houston, and a T-9 at Wells Fargo - and will now look to outduel U.S. Open champs in Rose and Brooks Koepka on Sunday at Colonial.

"Well, he's top 10 in the world, so everything he does he does it pretty well," Grillo said of Rose. "You know, he does his own thing. Like I say, he's top 10 in the world. Nothing wrong with his game. ...

"He's in the lead on a Sunday. Doesn't matter where you're playing, he's got to go out and shoot under par. He's got 50 guys behind him trying to reach him, and I'm one of those. I've just got to go out and do what he did today on those first five or six holes and try to get him in the early holes."