Harrington ready for 'opportunity of a lifetime' in Rio

By Will GrayJuly 30, 2016, 8:24 pm

SPRINGFIELD, N.J. – Unlike a few of his counterparts, Padraig Harrington is ready for the Olympics. In fact, he’s pretty excited.

Harrington wasn’t on the Rio radar as of a few months ago, but after the Zika-related withdrawals of Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry and Graeme McDowell, the 44-year-old moved into position to represent Ireland in the first Olympic golf competition since 1904.

“It’s the opportunity of a lifetime,” Harrington said.

Perhaps buoyed by his change in summer travel plans, Harrington played his way onto the leaderboard during the third round of the PGA Championship, carding a bogey-free 65 before storms rolled in and halted play at Baltusrol Golf Club. At 4 under, the 2008 PGA champ sits five shots off the lead.

While that gap will likely widen before Harrington begins his final round, he still relishes the opportunity to compete against the game’s best in a major and, in this case, hopefully rack up some FedEx Cup points.

Harrington entered the week at No. 140 in the points race, and while his card for next season is secure thanks to his win at the 2015 Honda Classic, a strong finish could go a long way toward boosting his postseason hopes.

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“I’m in a nice position. I just want to play good golf,” he said. “I know what I need to do to push up in the FedEx Cup. I haven’t really played that much over here in three months. You can go all the way back to San Antonio (T-25) when I really got any points, so it’s been a long time.”

After playing next week in the Travelers Championship, Harrington will put his FedEx Cup aspirations on hold to head down to Brazil for the Olympics. It’s a family affair for the Harringtons, as he plans to stay for the entire second week of events after the men’s golf competition concludes.

According to Harrington, the goal is to attend at least two sporting events per day during his “week’s holiday” in Rio, with his wish list ranging from table tennis to cycling and gymnastics.

“I’m really keen on it. My whole family is keen on it,” he said. “Whenever you’re watching a sport where people are literally, how can I put it, it means everything to them. The pain of losing is exceptional. The joy of winning, it’s right there on the line.

“I’d watch anything in those circumstances, and obviously the Olympics is the pinnacle of it all being on the line. You get one chance, and that’s it.”

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Koepka primed for CJ Cup win and world No. 1

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 6:00 am

Brooks Koepka wants a 2-for-1 at the CJ Cup. If he can collect his second non-major PGA Tour victory he can become world No. 1 for the first time in his career.

He’s in great position to accomplish his goal.

Koepka eagled the par-5 18th en route to a 7-under 65 in the second round at Nine Bridges in Juju Island, South Korea. At 8 under par, he is one back of 36-hole leader Scott Piercy (65).

Koepka, currently ranked third in the world, began the day three shots off the lead, but rapidly ascended the leaderboard. He birdied four of his first eight holes before finding trouble at the ninth. Koepka hooked his tee shot out of bounds, but the ninth is a par 5 and he was able to salvage bogey.

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That was his only dropped shot of the day.

The reigning Tour Player of the Year birdied the 12th and 14th holes in his bid to keep pace with Piercy. Koepka was two back as he played his final hole, where he knocked his second shot to 10 feet. He deftly converted the eagle effort to tie Piercy and earn a spot in Saturday’s final twosome. Piercy later pulled a shot ahead with a birdie at the ninth, his final hole of the day.

Koepka has officially won four PGA Tour events, but three of those are majors (2017, ’18 U.S. Open; 2018 PGA). His lone non-major win was the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

He can still reach world No. 1 with a solo second place, assuming Justin Thomas, currently world No. 4, doesn’t win this week.

That will take a mighty weekend effort by the defending champ.

Thomas also eagled the 18th hole to go from 1 over to 1 under. He shot 2-under 70 in the second round and is seven shots off the lead.

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'Go in'? Yes, JT wants an ace at the par-4 14th

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 5:11 am

Justin Thomas didn’t hesitate after hitting his tee shot on the 353-yard, par-4 14th in Round 2 of the CJ Cup.

“Go in,” he immediately said.

“Please go in,” he added.

Thomas’ tee shot was on a great line, but it landed just short of the green. Surprisingly, it took three more shots for his ball to "go in." After birdies on Nos. 12 and 13, Thomas parred the 14th.

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Watch: Dufner makes six (!) fist pumps after birdie

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 4:53 am

Jason Dufner makes Ben Stein seem like Jonathan Winters. Dufner often looks mighty miserable for someone who plays golf for a living.

But not on Friday at the CJ Cup!

Dufner made a 20-footer for birdie at the 16th hole and “celebrated” with one-two-three-(pause)-four-five-six fist pumps. There could have been more, but the camera cut away.

That was Dufner’s third birdie on the back nine, which offset a triple bogey at the par-3 seventh, en route to an even-par 72. Good times.

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Watch: Paul C-ace-y makes hole-in-one at CJ Cup

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 2:35 am

Par-par-par-par-par-par. It was a boring second round over the first six holes for Paul Casey at the CJ Cup.

And then he aced the par-3 seventh.

Casey's tee shot from 176 tracked straight towards the hole and rolled in near the final revolution. That got him to 2 under par for the tournament. He was five off the lead, held by Chez Reavie, but bogeyed the ninth and 10th holes to give back those two strokes.

Hey, it's a no-cut event and a guaranteed paycheck. Drinks on Casey!