Goosen leads by 1 at Northern Trust

By Will GrayFebruary 21, 2015, 1:23 am

Things remain difficult through two rounds at Riviera Country Club. Here's how things look at the halfway point of the Northern Trust Open, where Retief Goosen holds a slim lead:

Leaderboard: Retief Goosen (-6), Ryan Moore (-5), Graham DeLaet (-5), Justin Thomas (-5), Angel Cabrera (-4), Bubba Watson (-3), Jordan Spieth (-3), J.B. Holmes (-3)

What it means: Goosen began the day as one of six co-leaders, and he now has the top spot to himself after a 1-under 70. The group of contenders is highlighted by Thomas, one of the Tour's rising stars, but established champs like Watson and Spieth lurk just three shots off the pace.

Round of the day: DeLaet still needs to play his way into the WGC-Cadillac Championship and the Masters, but the Canadian took a big step toward both goals with a 4-under 67 in the second round. DeLaet carded five birdies against just one bogey and now sits one shot off the pace heading into the weekend, still in search of his first PGA Tour win.

Best of the rest: Hunter Mahan is making just his second start since his wife Kandi gave birth to their second child, but he didn't appear to be rusty during his 67 Friday. Mahan had five birdies and an eagle, scraping his way back to even par to easily make the cut despite an opening-round 75.

Biggest disappointment: Geoff Ogilvy was on the early leaderboard after an opening-round 68, but the Aussie struggled to a 5-over 76 in Round 2. Ogilvy opened with a double bogey on No. 10, his first hole of the day, and made only one birdie all afternoon. At 2 over, he now sits eight shots off the pace.

Main storyline heading into Saturday: Goosen hasn't won since the Valspar Championship in 2009, but at age 46 he has turned back the clock through 36 holes in Los Angeles. Should the South African falter, the player to watch could be Watson, who at 3 under is looking to become the first player to go back-to-back at Riviera since Phil Mickelson in 2008-2009.

Shot of the day: Lucas Glover gave the fans a reason to cheer on the par-3 sixth hole when the veteran made a hole-in-one with an 8-iron. It was the first hole-in-one at this event since Joe Ogilvie in 2012, although despite the ace, Glover still missed the cut by one shot.

@bubbawatson on Instagram

Bubba gets inked by Brooks, meets Tebow

By Grill Room TeamJune 18, 2018, 5:40 pm

Bubba Watson missed the cut at Shinnecock Hills following rounds of 77-74, but that didn't stop him from enjoying his weekend.

Watson played alongside Jason Day and eventual champion Brooks Koepka in Rounds 1 and 2, and somehow this body ink slipped by us on Thursday.

Got autographed by defending @usopengolf Champ @bkoepka!! #NeverShoweringAgain

A post shared by Bubba Watson (@bubbawatson) on

And while we're sure Bubba would have rather been in contention over the weekend, we're also sure that taking your son to meet the second most famous minor-league baseball player who ever lived was a lot more fun than getting your teeth kicked in by Shinnecock Hills over the weekend, as just about everyone not named Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood did.

Already in Hartford, Watson will be going for his third Travelers Championship trophy this week, following wins in 2010 and 2015.

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Phil rubs fan's Donald Duck hat seven times, signs it

By Nick MentaJune 18, 2018, 3:09 pm

There is a case to be made that what Phil Mickelson did on Saturday made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

There is also a case to be made that the USGA's setup of Shinnecock Hills made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

Whatever you think about what Mickelson did on Saturday - and how he attempted to justify it after the fact without even a hint of remorse - watch this video.

The next time you hear someone say, "If anybody else had putted a moving ball on purpose and not apologized for it, it would get a different reaction," you can point to this video and say, "Yeah, here's why."

Here's what happened once a still-strident Mickelson was done rubbing Donald Duck hats on Sunday, per Ryan Lavner:

If you’re wondering whether Mickelson would be defiant or contrite on Sunday, we don’t know the answer. He declined to stop and speak with the media, deciding instead to sign autographs for more than a half hour and then offering a few short answers before ducking into player hospitality.

“The real question is, ‘What am I going to do next?’” he said. “I don’t know.”

The 2024 Ryder Cup at Bethpage is going to be a three-ring circus, and Mickelson, a likely choice to captain the U.S. team, will be the ringmaster.

Separately, shoutout to 2017 Latin Am champ Toto Gana, who does a terrific Donald Duck (skip to end).

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Ryder Cup race: Mickelson out, Simpson in

By Will GrayJune 18, 2018, 2:34 pm

There's a new man at the top of the U.S. Ryder Cup race following the U.S. Open, and there's also a familiar name now on the outside looking in.

Brooks Koepka's successful title defense vaulted him to the top of the American points race, up four spots and ensuring he'll be on the team Jim Furyk takes to Paris in September. Dustin Johnson's third-place finish moved him past Patrick Reed at No. 2, while Webb Simpson entered the top eight after a a tie for 10th.

While Bryson DeChambeau remained at No. 9, Phil Mickelson dropped two spots to No. 10. Tony Finau, who finished alone in fifth, went from 16th to 13th, while Tiger Woods fell two spots to No. 37.

Here's a look at the latest U.S. standings, with the top eight after the PGA Championship qualifying automatically:

1. Brooks Koepka

2. Dustin Johnson

3. Patrick Reed

4. Justin Thomas

5. Jordan Spieth

6. Rickie Fowler

7. Bubba Watson

8. Webb Simpson


9. Bryson DeChambeau

10. Phil Mickelson

11. Matt Kuchar

12. Brian Harman

On the European side, England's Tommy Fleetwood took a big stride toward securing his first Ryder Cup appearance with a runner-up finish that included a Sunday 63 while countryman Matthew Fitzpatrick snuck into a qualifying spot after tying for 12th.

Here's a look at the updated Euro standings, with the top four from both points lists joining four picks from captain Thomas Bjorn at Le Golf National:

European Points

1. Tyrrell Hatton

2. Justin Rose

3. Tommy Fleetwood

4. Francesco Molinari


5. Thorbjorn Olesen

6. Ross Fisher

World Points

1. Jon Rahm

2. Rory McIlroy

3. Alex Noren

4. Matthew Fitzpatrick


5. Ian Poulter

6. Rafael Cabrera-Bello

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Koepka autographs local kids' 'Go Brooks' sign after win

By Grill Room TeamJune 18, 2018, 2:30 pm

Brooks Koepka is a two-time U.S. Open winner, but that doesn't mean he's now too big to go sign a couple pieces of cardboard in somebody's front yard in the middle of the night.

Koepka's girlfriend, Jena Sims, posted two pictures to her Instagram story on Sunday of "Go Brooks" signs she says were put up by some local kids in the area where Koepka was staying for the week.

The first is dated prior to Koepka's final-round tee time.

The second is from Sunday night.

And here, separately, for no reason in particular (other than the fact that she posted it) is a video of Sims running over a parking cone at last year's U.S. Open at Erin Hills.

Speaking of kids, just feels those two are gonna make it.