Day leads BMW by six, eyes No. 1 ranking

By Nick MentaSeptember 19, 2015, 9:31 pm

Jason Day started the third round with a five-shot lead and extended that margin by one at the BMW Championship, as he looks to pass Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth and ascend to No. 1 in the world. Here’s how things shape up heading into Sunday at Conway Farms:

Leaderboard: Jason Day (-20), Daniel Berger (-14), Scott Piercy (-14), Rory McIlroy (-13), Rickie Fowler (-12), Dustin Johnson (-12), Kevin Na (-12)

What it means: Looking at the leaderboard, it would be a pretty exciting tournament if not for Day, who is 18 holes from his seventh PGA Tour win and fifth this season. Day led by as much as eight but labored on the back-nine before a closing birdie at the last for a 2-under 69. Six clear of the field, he will move to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking with a win Sunday. He would become the third Aussie to reach No. 1, joining Greg Norman and Adam Scott, and become the youngest of the three to do it. Day would also become one of only three players in the last two decades to win five or more events in the same season, joining Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh. Day has not finished lower than T-12 in his last seven starts. Over that stretch, he has won three times, including the PGA. In his last 27 rounds, he's a combined 99 under par. With a win tomorrow, he'll join Woods, Singh, Billy Horschel and Henrik Stenson in the group of players to win multiple playoff events in the same year.

Round of the day: The BMW winner, Fowler made six birdies against a lone bogey to shoot a 5-under 66. Fowler has posted rounds of 69-66-66 this week and still remains eight shots behind Day. He’s also won three times this season, including The Players and a playoff event, and he won’t even sniff Player of the Year consideration thanks to Day and Jordan Spieth. Fowler was joined by Daniel Summerhays, who carded a 66 of his own.

Best of the rest: Four players - Piercy, McIlroy, J.B. Holmes and Sangmoon Bae - turned in rounds of 4-under 67. McIlroy sandwiched his lone bogey of the day at the 16th with three other birdies in his final four holes. 

Biggest disappointment: Playing in the final group with Day and Berger, Brendon Todd played a three-hole stretch from Nos. 4-6 in 5 over with a triple bogey at the fourth. Todd entered the week 48th in the FedEx rankings and would have comfortably advanced to East Lake with his position through 36 holes. But a 5-over 76 on Saturday has him back down to 43rd.

Shot of the day: Bae elected to putt from just off the 14th green, leaving himself this 117-foot attempt for eagle:

Projected No. 28 in the FedEx ranking, Bae is on the bubble to make the Tour Championship in his final PGA Tour season before returning to South Korea for mandatory military conscription. Whether he makes it to East Lake, Bae will compete as a captain's pick for Nick Price's International team at the Presidents Cup next month.

Storyline to watch heading into Sunday: Day’s march to No. 1 is the obvious answer, but keep one eye fixed on the FedEx Cup standings. Only the top 30 make it to next week’s Tour Championship at East Lake and earn an automatic invite to next year’s majors.

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'The Golf Club 2019' adds Elvy to commentary team

By Nick MentaJuly 19, 2018, 4:45 pm

“The Golf Club 2019” is adding a new name to its commentary team.

Broadcaster Luke Elvy will join returning announcer and HB Studios developer John McCarthy for the title's third installment.

He had previously teased his involvement back in May:

Golf fans will recognize Elvy from his recent work with CBS in addition to his time with Sky Sports, FOX Sports, TNT, PGA Tour Live and PGA Tour Radio.

A 25-year media veteran from Australia, Elvy now works in the United States and lives with his family in Canada.

"Ian Baker-Finch was my right-hand man on Australian televison," Elvy told in an interview at the Quicken Loans National. "And Finchy said to me, 'What are you doing here? You should be with me in the States.’ He introduced me to a few people over here and that's how the transition has happened over the last five or six years."

Elvy didn't have any prior relationship with HB Studios, who reached out to him via his management at CAA. As for why he got the job, he pseudo-jokes: "They heard the accent, and said, 'We like that. That works for us. Let's go.' That's literally how it happened."

Elvy participated in two separate recording sessions over three days, first at his home back in February and then at the HB Studios shortly after The Players Championship.

Although he doesn't describe himself as a "gamer," he lauded the game's immediate playability, even for a novice.

“It’s exactly how you’d want golf to be,” he said.

"The Golf Club 2019" will be the first in the HB series to feature PGA Tour branding. The Tour had previously licensed its video game rights to EA Sports.

In addition to a career mode that will take players from the Tour all the way through the FedExCup Playoffs, "The Golf Club 2019" will also feature at launch replicas of six TPC courses played annually on Tour – TPC Summerlin (Shriners Hospitals for Children Open), TPC Scottsdale's Stadium Course (Waste Management Phoenix Open), TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course (The Players Championship), TPC Southwind (FedEx St. Jude Classic/WGC-FedEx St. Jude Championship), TPC Deere Run (John Deere Classic), and TPC Boston (Dell Technologies Championship).

“I played nine holes at Scottsdale,” Elvy said. “It’s a very close comparison. Visually, it’s very realistic."

The Golf Club 2019 is due out this August on PlayStation 4, XBOX One, and PC.

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Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey

By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 3:48 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jhonattan Vegas thought someone was playing a practical joke on him.

Or maybe he was stuck in the middle of a horror movie.

Scheduled to leave for The Open a week ago, he didn’t arrive at Carnoustie until a little more than an hour before his first-round tee time Thursday.

“Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose,” he said, “you couldn’t really do it.”

The problem was an expired visa.

Vegas said that he must have gotten confused by the transposed date on the visa – “Guessing I’ve been living in America too long” – and assumed that he was cleared to travel.

No problem, he was told. He’d have a new visa in 24 hours.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Except the consulate in New York didn’t respond to his application the next day, keeping him in limbo through the weekend. Then, on Monday, he was told that he’d applied for the wrong visa. UPS got shut down in New York and his visa never left, so Vegas waited in vain for seven hours in front of the consulate in Houston. He finally secured his visa on Wednesday morning, boarded a flight from Houston to Toronto, and then flew to Glasgow, the final leg of a 14-hour journey.

His agent arranged a helicopter ride from Glasgow to Carnoustie to ensure that he could make his 10:31 a.m. (local) tee time.

One more issue? His clubs never made it. They were left back in Toronto.

His caddie, Ruben Yorio, scrambled to put together a new bag, with a mismatched set of woods, irons, wedges and putter.

“Luckily the (equipment) vans are still here,” Vegas said. “Otherwise I probably would have played with members’ clubs today.”

He hit about 20 balls on the range – “Luckily they were going forward” – but Carnoustie is one of the most challenging links in the world, and Vegas was working off of two hours’ sleep and without his own custom-built clubs. He shot 76 but, hey, at least he tried.

“It was fun,” he said, “even though the journey was frustrating.”

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'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

“The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

“That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”

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Perez: R&A does it right, 'not like the USGA'

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:28 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez didn’t even attempt to hide his frustration with the USGA at last month’s U.S. Open, and after an opening-round 69 at The Open, he took the opportunity to double down on his displeasure.

“They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA,” Perez said of the setup at Carnoustie. “They've got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you've got the greens receptive. They're not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn't. The course is just set up perfect.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Concerns at Shinnecock Hills reached a crescendo on Saturday when the scoring average ballooned to 75.3 and only three players broke the par of 70. Of particular concern for many players, including Perez, were some of the hole locations, given how fast and firm the greens were.

“The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”