After starring in Tampa, McCoy T-7 in college event

By Ryan LavnerMarch 14, 2016, 11:31 pm

Adrenaline still coursing through his body, Lee McCoy didn't sleep much once he arrived home in Athens, Ga., at 4 a.m. Monday.

A few hours later, he woke up to himself on TV. He thought he was still dreaming. 

The Georgia senior, fresh off the best finish by an amateur in a regular PGA Tour event in 18 years, played in the Bulldogs’ one-day, 36-hole home tournament on Monday. 

Though he said in a text that he was "running on fumes through 9, sleepwalking the last 27," McCoy still tied for seventh at the Southern Intercollegiate after rounds of 70-71. Second-ranked Georgia won the team title by three shots over Arkansas.

All in all, it was a memorable 24 hours, following McCoy's fourth-place finish at the PGA Tour's Valspar Championship.

“Right now he is just mentally exhausted,” Georgia coach Chris Haack said by phone Monday. “He told me in the parking lot, ‘Hey, I’ll give you everything I’ve got today, but I don’t have a lot in the tank.’ I told him to just have fun and enjoy it. You could tell he was just running on adrenaline and probably will throughout the day. But tonight, he’s going to crash and sleep like a baby.”

Fortunately for McCoy, carts were allowed during the event Monday, a welcome reprieve after a long week at Innisbrook.

Haack said he and the rest of the team watched nearly every shot of McCoy’s final round in Tampa, cheering and high-fiving as he played alongside world No. 1 Jordan Spieth. In contention in his fourth career Tour start, in his hometown tournament, about a par 5 from his childhood home, McCoy shot 69, beat Spieth by four shots and finished solo fourth. Because of his amateur status, McCoy forfeited $292,800, then made the 7 1/2-hour drive back to Athens so that he could play in his home tournament one final time. 

Though McCoy is an All-American with a sparkling résumé – the low single-season scoring average in school history (quite an accomplishment, given the alumni), a U.S. Open appearance, a Walker Cup team – Haack has been working with his 22-year-old star on his on-course comportment. He knew the final-round date with Spieth was a significant test. 

“I thought he did a terrific job,” Haack said. “I told him: Yesterday it looked like you’d arrived. You’d finally learned it’s a game and you plug along. I was very impressed.”

No school has produced more PGA Tour wins over the past few years than Georgia, a testament to the way that Haack runs his program. For the past 20 years, he has challenged his players on a daily basis with an intense qualifying system.

“We don’t interfere,” he said. “We leave it up to them and how they’re going to perform. And so they’re playing every round with pressure, so they’re used to it. They always have to hit shots with the heat on.” 

Apparently, that system works. Haack’s former players include Bubba Watson, Kevin Kisner, Russell Henley, Harris English, Chris Kirk, Brian Harman and Brendon Todd, among others. 

Both Henley and English won Tour events as amateurs, in 2011. Now, McCoy is getting his turn in the spotlight, just months before he embarks on a pro career. 

“He’s got the game and physical attributes to play as good as anybody I’ve ever had,” Haack said. “What he needed to get better at was composure and mental toughness. As he conquers that, he’s going to be a very good Tour player.” 

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Watch: Gary Player tires people out with sit-ups

By Grill Room TeamJune 24, 2018, 11:33 pm

Well all know Gary Player is a fitness nut, and at 82 years young he is still in phenomenal shape.

That's why it was incredible to see two mere mortals like us try to keep up with him in a sit-up competition at the BMW International Open.

Watch the video below.

The guy in blue makes the smart decision and bows out about halfway through. But give the other guy an "A" for effort, he stuck with Player for about 60 sit-ups, and then the nine-time major champion just starts taunting him.

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Japan teen Hataoka rolls to NW Ark. win

By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 11:07 pm

ROGERS, Ark. - Japanese teenager Nasa Hataoka ran away with the NW Arkansas Championship on Sunday for her first LPGA title

The 19-year-old Hataoka won by six strokes, closing with an 8-under 63 at Pinnacle Country Club for a tournament-record 21-under 192 total. She broke the mark of 18 under set last year by So Yeon Ryu.

Hataoka won twice late last year on the Japan LPGA and has finished in the top 10 in five of her last six U.S. LPGA starts, including a playof loss last month in the Kingsmill Championship.

Hataoka began the round tied with Minjee Lee for the lead.

Austin Ernst shot a 65 to finish second.

Lee and third-ranked Lexi Thompson topped the group at 13 under.

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Tour investigating DeChambeau's use of compass

By Will GrayJune 24, 2018, 10:09 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Bryson DeChambeau’s reliance on science to craft his play on the course is well known, but he took things to a new level this week at the Travelers Championship when television cameras caught him wielding a compass while looking at his yardage book during the third round.

According to DeChambeau, it’s old news. He’s been using a compass regularly to aid in his preparation for nearly two years, dating back to the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in October 2016.

“I’m figuring out the true pin locations,” DeChambeau said. “The pin locations are just a little bit off every once in a while, and so I’m making sure they’re in the exact right spot. And that’s it.”

Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

But social media took notice this weekend, as did PGA Tour officials. DeChambeau explained that he was approached on the range Saturday and informed that the Tour plans to launch an investigation into whether or not the device is allowable in competition, with a decision expected in the next week.

It’s not the first time the 24-year-old has gone head-to-head with Tour brass, having also had a brief run with side-saddled putting earlier in his career.

“They said, ‘Hey, we just want to let you know that we’re investigating the device and seeing if it’s allowable,’” DeChambeau said. “I understand. It wouldn’t be the first time this has happened.”

DeChambeau won earlier this month at the Memorial Tournament, and the Tour’s ruling would not have any retroactive impact on his results earlier this year. Playing alongside tournament winner Bubba Watson in the final round at TPC River Highlands, DeChambeau shot a final-round 68 to finish in a tie for ninth.

“It’s a compass. It’s been used for a long, long time. Sailors use it,” DeChambeau said. “It’s just funny that people take notice when I start putting and playing well.”

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Bubba fires 63 to win his third Travelers title

By Nick MentaJune 24, 2018, 9:52 pm

Bubba Watson fired a final-round 63 to storm from six back and steal the Travelers Championship. Here’s how Bubba came from behind once again at TPC River Highlands.

Leaderboard: Bubba Watson (-17), Stewart Cink (-14), Beau Hossler (-14), J.B. Holmes (-14), Paul Casey (-14)

What it means: This is Watson’s 12th PGA Tour win, his third of the season, and his third Travelers title. Watson picked up his first Tour victory at this event in 2010 – when he also came from six back – and won again in 2015 in a playoff victory over – guess who – Casey. Thinking he might need a round of 60 to scare the leader, Watson made eight birdies, the last of which came on the 72nd hole, giving him the outright lead by one. A short while later, Casey would bogey the 16th and 17th to end the drama and allow Bubba to breathe easy. With the win, Watson becomes the only Tour player to win three times this season. He moves to third in the FedExCup points race, behind two-time winners Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson.

Round of the day: Cink’s round was a stroke better, but Bubba earns this title for winning the title. The left-hander made the turn in 2-under 33 and then ripped off five birdies on his back nine to take the clubhouse lead, which he wouldn’t relinquish.

Best of the rest: Cink looked as though he was going to record the second sub-60 round at the Travelers in the last three years. The 2009 champion golfer of the year played his first 10 holes in 7 under par on the par-70 layout. Cink added three more birdies but also added two bogeys to settle for 8-under 62, tying the round of the week. The 45-year-old has finished T-4 and T-2 in his last two starts.

Biggest disappointment: Casey (2-over 72) began the day up four and couldn’t close. Even par on his round through 15 holes, he missed a 4-footer for par on 16 and found the water off the tee at 17, ending his chances. The Englishman, who ended a nine-year Tour winless drought earlier this season at the Valspar, is now 1 for 4 with a 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour.

Shot of the day: Watson’s wedge from 77 yards at the 72nd hole, setting up his eighth and final birdie of the day.

Quote of the day: “That’s the best shot you ever hit.” – caddie Ted Scott to Bubba Watson on his approach at 18