Power Rankings: 2014 RBC Canadian Open

By Will GrayJuly 22, 2014, 11:15 pm

This week marks the 37th event of the 2013-14 PGA Tour season, as the Tour heads north to Canada for the RBC Canadian Open. A field of 152 players will tee it up this week at Royal Montreal Golf Club, which will host the event for the first time since 2001.

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Brandt Snedeker returns to defend the title he won here a year ago by three shots over a quartet of players. Here are 10 names to watch this week in Montreal:

1. Jim Furyk: Coming off a solo fourth-place finish at Royal Liverpool, Furyk returns to an event where he won back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007. The veteran has now locked up his spot on the Ryder Cup squad this fall and is in the midst of a stellar season, one that includes a runner-up showing at TPC Sawgrass. He'll add to that record this week.

2. Dustin Johnson: Johnson faded down the stretch in Hoylake, but his game is rounding back into form after top-15 finishes in each of the last two majors. After a strong start to his season, DJ now has five top-25 finishes in his last seven starts and has the game to overpower nearly any venue.

3. Graeme McDowell: The Ulsterman quietly notched a top-10 finish at the Open, tying for ninth on the heels of his win in France. McDowell has six top-10 finishes in 12 PGA Tour starts this season, and can owe much that success to his work on the greens, as he leads the Tour in strokes gained putting.

4. Matt Kuchar: Kuchar has cooled somewhat since a strong start to 2014, and his last top-10 finish at the HP Byron Nelson in May. Still, he was a runner-up at this event last year at Glen Abbey and tied for fourth in 2010, showing that he tends to have an effective remedy for any lingering Open hangover.

5. Charl Schwartzel: The South African tied for seventh in Hoylake and now has three top-15 finishes in his last four PGA Tour starts. Schwartzel has made the cut in each of his three Canadian Open starts, including a T-9 finish in 2011, and he is currently sixth on Tour in birdie average.

6. Luke Donald: Donald has struggled somewhat since a runner-up at Harbour Town, unable to crack the top 35 in four subsequent starts. The Englishman still has one of the best short games around - he ranks sixth on Tour in strokes gained putting - and is one of few in the field who played Royal Montreal in 2001, when he tied for 18th.

7. Brandt Snedeker: The defending champ failed to break 70 at the Open but had three straight top-25 finishes before that, as his putter has started to show signs of life. Snedeker also had top-10 finishes in this event in 2007 (T-7) and 2009 (T-5) and is now back inside the top 25 in strokes gained putting at No. 23.

8. Graham DeLaet: The top-ranked Canadian in this week's field, DeLaet will look to become the first to win his national Open since Pat Fletcher in 1954. DeLaet is among the Tour's best ball-strikers, ranking second in GIR percentage, but will need to make some putts if he's to contend for the first time since May.

9. Hunter Mahan: A karma pick, if nothing else. Mahan was the leader at the halfway point last year before withdrawing when his wife went into labor, paving the way to a Snedeker victory. The veteran could use some momentum, as his last top-10 finish came in March, but he has cracked the top 35 in each of his last two starts.

10. Charley Hoffman: Hoffman has missed just one cut in 20 starts this season, producing 10 top 25s including a tie for third at the Quicken Loans National last month. Hoffman tied for 16th last year at Glen Abbey and enters the week ranked ninth on Tour in both par-4 performance and birdie average.

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McIlroy battles back into tie for BMW PGA lead

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 26, 2018, 4:09 pm

Rory McIlroy got off to a rocky start on Saturday in the third round of the BMW PGA Championship, including hitting a spectator and making a double bogey. But after that incident on the sixth hole, he didn't drop another shot, birdieing the final hole to shoot a 1-under 71 and tie for the lead.

McIlroy had gone into Moving Day with a three-shot lead, but Francesco Molinari had the round of the day, a 6-under 66. "It was nice keep a clean scorecard," said Molinari, who hasn't made a bogey since the 10th hole on Friday.

McIlroy and Molinari will be paired in Sunday's final round. They are tied at 13 under par, four shots clear of Ross Fisher, Branden Grace, Sam Horsfield and Alexander Noren.


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Watch: McIlroy hits spectator on hand

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 26, 2018, 2:58 pm

We never cease to wonder at how close fans crowd in to the intended line of some shots, and just how skilled Tour players are in not hitting someone.

But every once in a while, golf ball and spectator intersect, with painful results. It happened to Rory McIlroy during the third round of the BMW PGA Championship, after he had hit a wayward drive on the sixth hole. Attempting to hack out his second shot from under a bush, McIlroy struck a female spectator on her right hand. There was no official word on her condition, but she was clearly - and understandably - in pain.

McIlroy went on to make double bogey but was able to put the incident behind him, as he promptly birdied the next hole.

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Hataoka leads Minjee Lee by one at LPGA Volvik

By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 12:54 am

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – After losing in a playoff last weekend, Nasa Hataoka is making another bid for her first LPGA Tour victory.

Hataoka shot a 4-under 68 on Friday, and the Japanese teenager led by one stroke over Minjee Lee after the second round of the Volvik Championship. Hataoka, who is coming off the first two top-10 finishes of her LPGA career, made seven birdies at Travis Pointe Country Club. She began her round on No. 10, and her best stretch came toward the end, when she birdied Nos. 4, 5 and 6.

''I'm really comfortable playing the LPGA,'' the 19-year-old Hataoka said through a translator. ''I've really got confidence now.''

Hataoka made the cut nine times in 17 starts as a rookie in 2017, and she has made significant strides of late. She tied for seventh at last month's MEDIHEAL Championship and nearly won a week ago at the Kingsmill Championship in Virginia.

Hataoka finished the second round in Michigan at 9 under. Lee (69) was also solid Friday. Gaby Lopez (68), Jodi Ewart Shadoff (70) and Lindy Duncan (70) were a stroke behind Lee in a tie for third.

Hataoka did not make a single bogey in last week's three-round tournament, and she didn't have any in the first round in Michigan. She finally made a few Friday, but that didn't stop her from taking sole possession of the lead.

''I kind of feel like not really perfect, but I just kind of try to (be) aggressive,'' she said.

Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship

Lee, who lost by one stroke on this course last year, is in contention again.

''I guess the fairways are pretty generous and I think the greens are a little bit on the trickier side to read,'' Lee said. ''As long as your iron shots are pretty solid, I think you're going to be in good position around this golf course.''

Lee birdied the first two holes, and the only blemish on her scorecard Friday came on the par-5 14th. After missing the fairway to the right, she hit an aggressive shot out of the rough that went straight toward a water hazard well in front of the green. She settled for a bogey after taking a drop.

''I thought the ball was sitting OK in the rough, but it must have been a bit funny, or underneath it,'' she said. ''I made a mistake. I thought it was good enough to hit 3-wood there.''

Lee lost last year in Michigan to Shanshan Feng, but Feng will have some ground to make up in her attempt to repeat. She shot 69 on Friday but is still eight strokes behind the leader.

Ariya Jutanugarn was 6 under after a second consecutive 69.

Lopez made only six pars in the second round, tied for the fewest of the day, but her eight birdies and four bogeys put her near the top of the leaderboard.

''It was a little bit of an up and down,'' she said. ''There's so many opportunities out here to make birdie, that the most important thing to do is just to be patient, to be in the moment and not to get ahead of yourself. I think I came back from a couple mistakes that I did.''

In contrast to Lopez, Brittany Lincicome parred all 18 holes Friday and made the cut at 1 under. Paula Creamer (71) triple bogeyed the par-4 13th. She followed that with an eagle on the very next hole but missed the cut by a stroke.

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Childhood rivals share Sr. PGA lead

By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 12:00 am

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. – Kevin Sutherland and Scott McCarron have been rivals since their junior golf days around Sacramento, California. The two old friends were back at it Friday at the top of the Senior PGA Championship leaderboard.

''It's honestly, nothing new for us,'' said Sutherland who played in the third-to-last group and birdied his last two holes for a 5-under 66 to match McCarron at 8 under.

McCarron had a 68 in the morning wave to emerge from a championship record group of six tied for the first-round lead.

Sutherland was last year's Charles Schwab Cup winner with his only senior win coming in the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship, while McCarron has six PGA Tour Champions wins, including a major at the 2017 Senior Players Championship.

''We are both (Northern California) guys, played in high school, junior golf, on tour and it seems like a lot on the Champions Tour,'' Sutherland said. ''We were in the last group on Sundays a lot last year. Scott played so well and had an incredible year, and I had a great year, too.''

Sutherland's lone PGA Tour victory came at McCarron's expense in 2002 at La Costa in the Accenture Match Play Championship, when he beat McCarron 1 up in the 36-hole final. As youngsters they played on opposing high school teams located about an hour apart and met often in state tournaments as well as on the California junior circuit.

''It's been happening for 30 years, wait 35 years now, I guess,'' Sutherland said. ''Playing together on a Saturday is a little different. We're both still trying to get in position to win.''

Jerry Kelly shot a 65 to join Tim Petrovic (69), Chris Williams (68) and Joe Durant (67) at 7 under. Durant tied for second last week in the Regions Tradition, also a major championship.

Full-field scores from the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship

McCarron feels like he is just starting to warm to the task this year. He had to replace his clubs, including a favored putter damaged beyond repair in air transit two months ago.

''I've been putting with a back-up putter I had, but it just didn't feel quite right,'' he said. ''I changed last Sunday at the Regions Tradition and started putting better on Sunday. So I'm using this one again this week and seem to be putting pretty good with it.''

McCarron said the Harbor Shores course played a little tougher in light winds in the second round. He made six birdies and three bogeys.

''I would just like to have a couple of those bogeys back,'' he said. ''But we're in a good position going into the weekend.''

McCarron came to the press center after his round and walked in on a press conference where course-designer Jack and Barbara Nicklaus were being honored by sponsoring KitchenAid with the establishment of a local college scholarship program in their name.

McCarron, who said he has idolized Nicklaus since his youth, played media and asked Nicklaus what he ate when he was near the lead going into the weekend of a major championship.

Nicklaus said if you play well one day, eat the same thing the next day.

''But no hamburgers, or you will play like hamburger,'' he said.

Stuart Smith, the Reno, Neveda, club pro who was tied for the lead after the first round, missed the 36-hole cut with a second-round 83.

''I'll take the 66, 83 and enjoy the 66 yesterday,'' he said. ''You put this one down to just plain old golf. It's a nasty game we play sometimes. Glad I have a day job.''