Lehman Streaking Back to the Top
That said, however, lets look at one of those who hung around with Tiger until the end - Tom Lehman. Lehman is best known as the new U.S. Ryder Cup captain. But he ever so quietly is making some very big steps. Do you realize he hasnt finished out of the top 10 since October of last year ' a streak that has now reached five tournaments?
Actually, hes been on a roll since early in September, when he tied for fourth at the Canadian Open. The next event he tied for 17th at the Texas Open ' not bad for a guy who earlier in the season had knee surgery. But then began his top-10 string with a tie for second in Las Vegas, a tie for fourth in Greensboro, and a tie for sixth at Disney. And he began 2005 with a tie for ninth at Sony before almost ' what a sad word, almost ' winning at San Diego.
Lehman played the last two rounds with Woods, and though Lehman is 45, he learned something. An old dog DID learn a few new tricks.
Just watching him chip, trying to understand from just watching what his technique is and then working on that, Lehman said of the experience. Hes played alongside Tiger a number of times, but he says he always learns something.
Actually, the chipping lessons were just a minor part of the changeover that has affected Lehman since he finished T40 at The International early in August.
He took a month off in August and changed nearly everything. For one, he didnt touch a club for 3 weeks. He bundled up his family and took a vacation to Italy ' rented a villa in the middle of Tuscany with some friends and played the role of tourist. To me there's no better way to get away from all the worries of the world and try and enjoy something like that. To me it was one of the greatest places I've ever been, he said.
But theres so much more. For one, he had the knee surgery in the middle of the year to repair a badly damaged tendon. And when he went to Canada after his Italian retreat, he changed the orthotics in his shoe ' his knee felt a million times better immediately.
The pain went away, so I actually was able to play pain-free for the first time in a long, long time. Legs are everything in the golf swing, and if you're sore, if your feet are hurting or your ankle or your knees, it's tough to make aggressive swings, 72 holes straight.
And golf? He changed drivers. And then he went back to the long putter. After the sabbatical in Italy, he came to the Canadian Open and shot 2-over the first round using the standard version. The next day he went to the broomstick roller, shot a 64 on Saturday, and has never changed back.
Maybe, he said, it was simply a by-product of reaching the age of 40. He used to be absolutely deadly from six feet in, but in time he began missing a few. The 40-somethings do some baffling things, he admitted, and Lehman was exhibit A. Lehman himself has seen it all to often when a golfer reaches that certain age.
They want to improve their driving or their iron play and they think theyve got to change their swing. And before you know it, they have lost their game, he said. And that is what happened with my putting. I tried to improve my putting by changing my method and I completely lost my putting stroke. So, therefore, the long putter.
The net effect of all these changes was a marked change in attitude. Life was good, he said. I struggled the first day (of the Canadian), but played great the last three almost entirely because of the fact that there's a whole - the positive feelings you have about what's going on around you. It has a huge impact on how you perform.
Lehman is now at a stage where he no longer is satisfied with good showings. He wants a victory. A questioner asked him about the strong showings over the past four months, and Lehman refused to take any props over Sundays loss, even if it was to Tiger.
I'm sick of strong showings, quite frankly, said a downcast Lehman. I'm disappointed. I'm very disappointed. I'm really ticked off that I didn't win. '
Tiger, though, appeared on the verge of again doing it by acting like Houdini with the short game. There were a lot of golfers who were miffed that they didnt pull it out. But maybe Woods legend is about to be resume.
I have to give him a lot of credit, because he definitely didn't play his best golf this week, said Lehman.
Tom Lehman is back, though. Five straight tournaments ought to say something.
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Salas (62) leads LPGA's Indy Women in Tech
INDIANAPOLIS - Lizette Salas matched the Brickyard Crossing record with a 10-under 62 on Thursday in the Indy Women in Tech Championship, making birdie on the final three holes for a two-stroke lead over fast-starting Angel Yin and Japan's Nasa Hataoka.
Yin birdied eight of the first nine holes in her morning round for a front-nine 8-under 28 - one short of the LPGA Tour's nine-hole record. It matched the third-lowest nine-hole score in relation to par in tour history.
Salas eagled the par-5 second in the afternoon and added three straight birdies on Nos. 4-6. She birdied Nos. 12 and 14 before reeling off three more in a row to close, waiting out a late 77-minute suspension for an approaching storm.
Salas matched the course record set by Mike McCullough in the PGA Tour Champions' 1999 Comfort Classic.
Sordet opens with 62 to grab lead at Nordea Masters
GOTHENBURG, Sweden - Clement Sordet opened with four straight birdies to shoot 8-under 62 and take the first-round lead of the Nordea Masters on Thursday.
Sordet says ''I wasn't really focusing on the score, I was just enjoying it.''
The Frenchman, who shot his lowest European Tour round, has a two-stroke lead over Scott Jamieson of Scotland and Lee Slattery of England.
Hunter Stewart is the highest-placed American after a 5-under 65 left him on a four-way tie for fourth with Christofer Blomstrand, Tapio Pulkkanen and Richard Green.
Defending champion Renato Paratore's hopes of becoming the first player to successfully retain the title look in doubt after the Italian shot 9-over 79 at Hills Golf Club.
Peterson confirms plans to play Web.com Finals
After flirting with retirement for much of the summer, John Peterson confirmed that he will give it one more shot in the upcoming Web.com Tour Finals.
Peterson, 29, had planned to walk away from the game and begin a career in real estate in his native Texas if he failed to secure PGA Tour status before his medical extension expired. His T-13 finish last month at The Greenbrier appeared to be enough to net the former NCAA champ at least conditional status, but a closer look at the numbers revealed he missed out by 0.58 points in his last available start.
But Peterson was buoyed by the support he received from his peers at The Greenbrier, and when he got into the Barbasol Championship as a late alternate he decided to make the trip to the tournament. He tied for 21st that week in Kentucky, clinching enough non-member FedExCup points to grant him a spot in the four-event Finals.
Last month Peterson hinted that he would consider playing in the Finals, where 25 PGA Tour cards for the 2018-19 season will be up for grabs, and Thursday he confirmed in an Instagram post that he will give his pro career "one last push."
The Finals kick off next week in Ohio with the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship and will conclude Sept. 20-23 with the Web.com Tour Championship. Peterson will be looking to rekindle his results from 2013, when he finished T-5 or better at each of the four Finals events while earning fully-exempt status as the top money earner.
Lyle honored with sand sculpture at Wyndham
Jarrod Lyle passed away last week at the age of 36 after losing his third battle with cancer.
And after a PGA Championship filled with tributes to the Australian, the Wyndham Championship found its own way to keep his legacy alive at the North Carolina Tour stop.
Next to the Wyndham Championship and PGA Tour logos carved into the sand on site at Sedgefield Country Club is Lyle's name and the "Leuk the Duck" mascot. The duck has become synonymous with Challenge, an organization that supports kids with cancer.
Fellow Aussie Stuart Appleby posted the display on social media:
Lyle was also remembered in a more traditional manner on the first tee, where his bag and trademark yellow bucket hat were prominently displayed.