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Lexi playing with fellas at site of 2-foot miss

By Randall MellDecember 7, 2017, 11:11 pm

Lexi Thompson has a million reasons to be excited about her return to Tiburon Golf Club for the QBE Shootout this week and one bad memory to shake off.

Two weeks after missing a 2-foot putt that might have cost her the Rolex Player of the Year Award and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking at the end of the CME Group Tour Championship, Thompson is back on the same course in Naples, Fla., playing an unofficial PGA Tour two-person team event. She will have to wait almost two months to hit her next meaningful shot in an LPGA event.

Thompson returned to Naples reveling in what she won, rather than what she might have lost. Thompson won the Vare Trophy and the $1 million Race to the CME Globe jackpot two weeks ago, but that short miss cost her a chance at a much larger payoff when Ariya Jutanugarn birdied the final hole to beat her for the tournament trophy by a shot.

Thompson drove two hours from her home in Delray Beach to Naples this week in a sporty new Nissan GT-R, where she is teamed with long-hitting Tony Finau. She bought the car with some of her winnings in Naples.

“It’s unfortunate what happened,” Thompson told reporters at the Shootout. “I couldn’t tell you what I did, but, yeah, you just have to forget about it. There are so many things that will happen on the golf course, bad and good. You just have to remember the good and move on. I played amazing golf that week, and I made some amazing putts that last day. So, I’ll just remember those and move on and take the positive from it.”

The Shootout is hosted by Greg Norman, the former world No. 1 who knows something about bouncing back from tough losses. While Norman won two major championships, he suffered some memorably tough losses in majors. He was asked about Thompson’s loss two weeks ago.

“She’s a classy gal, and she’s going to work through it,” Norman told the Naples Daily News. “That stuff happens to every player. It really does. You just have to accept that it’s part of golf, and we screw up. She’s a strong-minded gal.”

For the second year in a row, Thompson is the only woman in the Shootout.

Finau asked to play with Thompson.

“I thought Lexi was a great choice,” Finau said. “I heard great things about her game and about her as a person.”

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Lewis wins Portugal Masters for second time

By Associated PressSeptember 23, 2018, 6:19 pm

VILAMOURA, Portugal – Tom Lewis won the Portugal Masters for a second time after shooting a 5-under 66 in Sunday's final round.

Lewis finished three strokes ahead of fellow Englishman Eddie Pepperell (67) and Australia's Lucas Herbert (71).

Sergio Garcia prepared for the Ryder Cup next weekend with a 65 to finish seven strokes behind Lewis.

Lewis made six birdies along with a single bogey on No. 10 to finish the tournament at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course on 22-under 262.

Herbert led through the first three rounds only to struggle on the final day. He hit a double bogey on the final hole to finish the round on par.

Lewis had trailed Herbert by nine shots after the first round.

''It's been a rough ride but this week I played hard,'' Lewis said. ''I obviously got off to a bad start, to finish the way I've been finishing has been brilliant.''

Lewis first won the tournament in 2011.

''I think this one means more,'' Lewis said, ''it means a lot to come and win this again.''

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Tiger Tracker: Tour Championship

By Tiger TrackerSeptember 23, 2018, 3:00 pm

Tiger Woods began the final round of the Tour Championship with a three-shot lead, and he's cruising at East Lake. We're tracking him.

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Rose tries to ignore scenarios, focus on winning

By Rex HoggardSeptember 23, 2018, 12:59 am

ATLANTA – No one has more to play for than Justin Rose on Sunday at the Tour Championship.

The Englishman will begin the day three strokes behind front-runner Tiger Woods after a third-round 68 that could have been much worse after he began his day with back-to-back bogeys.

Winning the tournament will be Rose’s top priority, but there’s also the lingering question of the FedExCup and the $10 million bonus, which he is currently projected to claim.

Projected FedExCup standings

Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

“The way I look at tomorrow is that I have many scenarios in play. I have the FedExCup in play. I have all of that to distract me,” Rose said. “But yet, I'm three back. I think that's my objective tomorrow is to come out and play good, positive golf and try and chase down the leader and win this golf tournament. I think in some ways that'll help my other task of trying to win the FedExCup. It'll keep me on the front foot and playing positive golf.”

Although there are many scenarios for Rose to win the season-long title, if Woods wins the Tour Championship, Rose would need to finish fifth or better to claim the cup.

There’s also the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking to consider. Rose overtook Dustin Johnson for No. 1 in the world with his runner-up finish at the BMW Championship two weeks ago. He will retain the top spot unless Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka or Johnson win the finale and he falls down the leaderboard on Sunday.

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McIlroy needs putter to heat up to catch Woods

By Rex HoggardSeptember 23, 2018, 12:29 am

ATLANTA – Although Rory McIlroy is three strokes behind Tiger Woods at the Tour Championship and tied for second place he had the look of a man with a secret when he left East Lake on Saturday.

Trying to play catch up against Woods is never ideal, but McIlroy’s confidence stemmed from a tee-to-green game that has been unrivaled for three days.

“I definitely think today and the first day were similar,” said McIlroy, whose 66 included birdies at two of his final three holes. “I gave myself plenty of chances, and I think the biggest thing today was only just that one bogey. Got to put your ball in the fairway, put yourself in position, and for the most part, I did that today.”

Projected FedExCup standings

Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

For the week McIlroy ranks first in strokes gained: off the tee, third in strokes gained: approach to the green and second in greens in regulation. But to catch Woods, who he will be paired with, he’ll need a much better day on the greens.

The Northern Irishman needed 30 putts on Day 2 and ranks 23rd, out of 30 players, in strokes gained: putting.

McIlroy skipped the first playoff event, opting instead for an extra week at home to work on his swing and the move has paid off.

“I hit the ball well. My wedge play has been really good,” he said. “I've done a lot of work on it the last few weeks, and it seems to have paid off.”