Watson, Jones tied atop leaderboard in Phoenix

By Will GrayJanuary 31, 2014, 11:42 pm

Low scores were once again plentiful Friday in Phoenix, which played right into the hand of one of the game's most aggressive players. Here's how things shape up after two rounds at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where Bubba Watson holds a piece of the lead for the second day in a row:

Leaderboard: Bubba Watson (-12), Matt Jones (-12), Greg Chalmers (-10), Harris English (-10), Hideki Matsuyama (-9), Kevin Stadler (-9), Pat Perez (-9)

What it means: After sharing the overnight lead with Y.E. Yang, Watson remained atop the standings with a 5-under 66 Friday as he looks to win on Tour for the first time since the 2012 Masters. He was joined at 12 under by Jones, who has now carded back-to-back rounds of 65 and looks to follow in the footsteps of fellow Australians Adam Scott and Jason Day by entering the winner's circle.

Round of the day: After missing the cut in surprising fashion last week at Torrey Pines, Brandt Snedeker rebounded quickly with a 7-under 64 Friday in Phoenix. The former FedEx Cup champion made it around TPC Scottsdale without dropping a shot, taking just 25 putts while rocketing into contention heading into the weekend. He's now 8 under overall and just four shots off the pace.

Best of the rest: Jones had five top-10 finishes last season on Tour and appears destined for another solid result this week in the desert after his second-straight 65. A 2001 graduate of nearby Arizona State, Jones carded seven birdies and now holds a share of the 36-hole lead for the first time in his career - a fact that likely pleases the scores of Sun Devil fans at TPC Scottsdale.

Biggest disappointment: With an opening-round 66, Keegan Bradley appeared poised to contend this weekend but instead played his way to an early exit Friday afternoon. The former PGA champ played his first 11 holes in 8 over, including a triple bogey on the par-5 third hole, and as a result became a victim of the 36-hole cut - the first time Bradley will miss the weekend since the 2013 U.S. Open.

Main storyline heading into Saturday: Phil Mickelson entered this week as the defending champion in Phoenix, and Watson hopes to carry the torch this time around from his fellow left-hander. Questions often surface over motivation for the former Masters champ, but he certainly appears dialed in through the first 36 holes this week. In order to capture his fifth-career Tour title, Watson will need to remain aggressive, as the chase pack includes English, already a winner this season, and Matsuyama, one of the game's rising stars.

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Ryu wins Meijer Classic by 2 shots

By Associated PressJune 17, 2018, 9:46 pm

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - So Yeon Ryu won the Meijer LPGA Classic on Sunday for her first victory of the season and sixth overall, closing with a 5-under 67 for a two-stroke margin.

The 29-year-old South Korean player birdied the par-5 16th and par-4 17th and parred the par-4 18th to finish at 21-under 267 at Blythefield Country Club.

Two strokes behind Anna Nordqvist and Lee-Anne Pace entering the round, Ryu had six birdies and a bogey in the final round.


Full-field scores from the Meijer LPGA Classic


Caroline Masson was second after a 68. Lydia Ko shot a 67 to finish third at 18 under.

Nordqvist and Pace each shot 73 - after each had a 64 on Saturday - to tie for fourth at 17 under with Jacqui Concolino (66), Azahara Munoz (68) and Angela Stanford (70).

U.S. Women's Open winner Ariya Jutanugarn shot a tournament-record 62. She birdied five of the first seven holes, eagled No. 8 and added three more birdies to finish 12th at 15 under.

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Fleetwood fires 63, waits to see if score is enough

By Rex HoggardJune 17, 2018, 8:52 pm

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – Tommy Fleetwood became the sixth player to shoot 63 at the U.S. Open, and just the second to do it in the final round. Now he waits.

Fleetwood teed off almost 2 ½ hours before – and six strokes behind – the leaders at Shinnecock Hills on Sunday, but stormed into the hunt thanks to four consecutive birdies starting at the 12th hole. The Englishman’s round was even more impressive considering he didn’t birdie either of the layout’s par 5s.


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Fleetwood finished at 2 over par – after missing a 9-foot putt for birdie and 62 at the 18th – which was tied for second place and one stroke off the lead held by Brooks Koepka when he completed his round.

After speaking with the media, Fleetwood went to the locker room to await a possible playoff, which was changed this year from an 18-hole overtime to just two holes of aggregate play.

“We'll go and relax a little bit and just see,” said Fleetwood, who rolled in 159 feet of birdies putts. “Only time will tell what's going to happen today at the course. If it was like yesterday, I'd feel a little more comfortable than now.”

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Fowler follows 84 with 65, praises Shinnecock setup

By Rex HoggardJune 17, 2018, 5:44 pm

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – As promised, the USGA dialed back Shinnecock Hills for Sunday’s final round, watering the greens overnight and deferring to more user-friendly hole locations.

The evidence of this was on the leaderboard, with four early finishers having shot under-par rounds, including Rickie Fowler, who closed with a round-of-the-week 65. There were just three under-par cards on Saturday.

“That's the golf course I enjoy playing. Obviously, pin placements were a lot safer,” said Fowler, who had just one bogey on Sunday and opened his day with a 4-under 31 on his opening nine. “The pins today will definitely allow for the greens to firm up and get fast, and we'll see how much they dry out. It was definitely more receptive this morning than yesterday, that's for sure.”


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It was a 19-stroke turnaround for Fowler, who ballooned to a third-round 84 on Day 3 during what most contend were the week’s toughest conditions. Fowler had put himself into contention going into the weekend thanks to a second-round 69, but struggled on Saturday afternoon like much of the field.

Fowler said the setup was vastly different to what players faced on Saturday and that even if the winds increase for the afternoon tee times the course will remain playable, unlike Round 3 when many players said the USGA “lost” the golf course.

“They did a good job of staying safe,” Fowler said, “because if it does dry out, it will still be very playable.”

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Phil celebrates par on 13, ducks media after round

By Ryan LavnerJune 17, 2018, 5:35 pm

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – Phil Mickelson didn’t have another meltdown at the U.S. Open.

Back on the 13th green Sunday – less than 24 hours after taking a two-shot penalty for hitting a moving ball and recording a sextuple-bogey 10 – Mickelson poured in a 10-footer and raised his arms in mock triumph, as if he’d finally won that elusive major title.

Not quite.

He’d simply made par.

“It looked like he won the Masters,” said playing partner Rickie Fowler. “He didn’t jump, but he had a little celebration there.”


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The par save and the final-round 69 were one of the lone bright spots during what was an adventurous week for Lefty, even by his unpredictable standards. Mickelson’s shocking swat was still the talk of this Open, especially after USGA executive director Mike Davis revealed Saturday night that Mickelson had called him to ask for more clarification on the rule he said that he knew he’d broken.

Despite some calls for him to withdraw from the tournament, Mickelson displayed his usual cheerful demeanor inside the ropes with Fowler.

“He joked about it right as we went down the first hole,” Fowler said.

Fowler said that he didn’t know “if I would have had the wits like Phil to run after it” on 13, but added that it never should have come to that in the first place.

“He could have saved himself a shot by just letting it go and taking unplayable, but then that would still look pretty funny too,” he said. “The course shouldn’t play that way.”

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.”