Bruins Cruise at US Intercollegiate
The 11th ranked UCLA men's golf team captured its fifth tournament title of the season Sunday, the U.S. Intercollegiate, hosted by Stanford at the Stanford Golf Course in Palo Atlo, Calif.
The Bruins defeated second place Oklahoma State by 10 shots, firing an even par score of 284 in the final round for a 54-hole total of 840, 12-under par. The Cowboys were runners-up at 850, followed by San Diego State at 851, Fresno State at 853 and Oregon at 856.
Individually, junior John Merrick was the Bruins' top finisher, tying for fourth place with OSU's Hunter Mahan at 5-under-par 208. Merrick posted a final round score of 1-under par 70. Roy Moon, who led the tournament after 36 holes Saturday, carded a 78 and finished at 4-under-par 209, tied for sixth. Steve Conway fired a 3-under-par 68 and tied for 12th at 212. Junior Travis Johnson tied for 19th place at 214, 1-over par and freshman Spencer Levin tied for 52nd at 223.
San Diego Sate's Mark Warman won the event with a three-round total of 206, 7-under par. Oregon's John Ellis and UC Irvne's Jeff Coburn tied for second at 6-under-par 207.
UCLA will host the Pac-10 Championships, Apr. 28-30, at the Oakmont Country Club in Glendale, Calif.
Fin. School Scores
1 UCLA 279 277 284 840 -12
2 Oklahoma State U. 293 274 283 850 -2
3 San Diego State U. 292 273 286 851 -1
4 Fresno State Univ. 289 278 286 853 +1
5 Oregon, U. of 274 294 288 856 +4
6 UC-Irvine 284 283 292 859 +7
7 Stanford University 289 287 288 864 +12
8 Washington State U. 294 283 292 869 +17
9 Long Beach State 285 295 290 870 +18
10 Pacific, U. of the 287 283 302 872 +20
11 California, U. of 300 285 288 873 +21
12 San Jose State Univ. 291 297 287 875 +23
13 San Francisco, U. of 293 291 293 877 +25
14 Texas A&M University 296 297 298 891 +39
15 San Diego, U. of 294 306 294 894 +42
16 Santa Clara Univ. 304 291 307 902 +50
Fin. Name School Scores
1 Mark Warman SanDiegoSt 71 62 73 206 -7
2 John Ellis Oregon 67 72 68 207 -6
Jeff Coburn UC-Irvine 66 67 74 207 -6
4 Hunter Mahan Okla. St. 70 65 73 208 -5
John Merrick UCLA 69 69 70 208 -5
Fowler (oblique) withdraws from playoff opener
The injury that slowed Rickie Fowler at last week's PGA Championship will keep him out of the first event of the PGA Tour's postseason.
Fowler was reportedly hampered by an oblique injury at Bellerive Country Club, where he started the third round two shots off the lead but faded to a tie for 12th. He confirmed the injury Tuesday in an Instagram post, adding that an MRI revealed a partial tear to his right oblique muscle.
According to Fowler, the injury also affected him at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, where he tied for 17th. After receiving the test results, he opted to withdraw from The Northern Trust next week at Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey.
"My team and I feel like it's best not to play next week in the Northern Trust," Fowler wrote. "I will be back healthy and competitive ASAP for the FedEx Cup and more than ready for the Ryder Cup!!!"
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News got out last week that I was dealing with an oblique injury the past two tournaments...it was confirmed yesterday, via MRI, that I have a partial tear in my right oblique...my team and I feel like it’s best not to play next week in the Northern Trust...I will be back healthy and competitive ASAP for the FedEx Cup and more than ready for the Ryder Cup!!
Fowler is one of eight players who earned automatic spots on the U.S. Ryder Cup team when the qualifying window closed last week. His next opportunity to tee it up would be at the 100-man Dell Technologies Championship, where Fowler won in 2015.
Fowler has 12 top-25 finishes in 18 starts, highlighted by runner-up finishes at both the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in the fall and at the Masters. He is currently 17th in the season-long points race, meaning that he's assured of starts in each of the first three playoff events regardless of performance and in good position to qualify for the 30-man Tour Championship for the fourth time in the last five years.
Playoff streaks in jeopardy for Garcia, Haas
Since the advent of the FedExCup in 2007, only 13 players have managed to make the playoffs each and every year. But two of the PGA Tour's stalwarts head into the regular-season finale with work to do in order to remain a part of that select fraternity.
Sergio Garcia has rarely had to sweat the top-125 bubble, but the Spaniard enters this week's Wyndham Championship 131st in the current standings. Left with even more work to do is former FedExCup winner Bill Haas, who starts the week in Greensboro 150th.
Garcia got off to a strong start in the spring, sandwiching a pair of top-10 finishes in WGC events around a fourth-place showing at the Valspar Championship. But quality results largely dried up after Garcia missed the cut at the Masters; he has made only two cuts in 10 Tour starts since April, including early exits in all four majors.
Garcia has some history at Sedgefield Country Club, having won this event in 2012 to break a lengthy U.S. victory drought. He also finished fourth in 2009 but hasn't played the Donald Ross layout since a T-29 finish as the defending champ in 2013.
It's been a difficult year for Haas both on and off the course, as the veteran was involved as a passenger in a car accident on the eve of the Genesis Open that killed the driver. He returned to action three weeks later in Tampa, and he tied for seventh at the RBC Heritage in April. But that remains his lone top-10 finish of the season. Haas has missed 11 cuts including three in a row.
While the bubble will be a fluid target this week at Sedgefield, Garcia likely needs at least a top-20 finish to move into the top 125 while Haas will likely need to finish inside the top 5.
One of the 13 playoff streaks is assured of ending next week, as Luke Donald has missed most of the year with a back injury. Other players to qualify for every Tour postseason include Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson, Adam Scott, Bubba Watson, Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker, Charles Howell III, Charley Hoffman and Ryan Moore.
Airlines lose two sets of Olesen's clubs in 10 days
Commercial airlines losing the golf clubs of a professional golfer is not exactly a groundbreaking story. It happens.
But European Tour pro Thorbjorn Olesen is on quite the roll, losing two sets of clubs and five suitcases in the span of 10 days.
Olesen, the reigning Italian Open champ, claimed his primary set of golf clubs were lost last week. Having little faith they'd be found before this week's Nordea Masters, he decided to bring his backup set for the event in Sweden.
A veteran move by the 28-year-old, unless, of course, those clubs were lost too. And wouldn't you know it:
Another week, another set of missing golf clubs and lost baggage with @AmericanAir & @British_Airways. Any chance you could help find all of my luggage and send it to me before my tournament this week?! Need them for work!! Thanks— Thorbjørn Olesen (@Thorbjornolesen) August 13, 2018
So the comedy continues, @British_Airways have managed to now lose 5 suitcases and 2 sets of golf clubs in 10 days!— Thorbjørn Olesen (@Thorbjornolesen) August 14, 2018
Decided to bring my only backup set of clubs on this morning's flight to the Nordea Masters in case my other lost set don't arrive and BA have also now lost these! pic.twitter.com/V6QPXzAaBk
Just reached 50,000 followers on Twitter and was going to do a bag giveaway, but @British_Airways has lost them all a href="https://t.co/WwiPqD9bql">pic.twitter.com/WwiPqD9bql— Thorbjørn Olesen (@Thorbjornolesen) August 14, 2018
After pestering the airlines with some A+ GIFs, Olesen was reunited with at least one of his sets and was back in action on Wednesday.
He also still plans on giving his golf bag away to some lucky follower, provided it's not lost again in transit. Something he's no longer taking for granted.
For those that are asking about the Bag Giveaway, that’ll be done next week as promised... once my luggage isn’t left behind again— Thorbjørn Olesen (@Thorbjornolesen) August 15, 2018
Details to follow! pic.twitter.com/3AVMgE02HU
Podcast: Brandel compares Tiger and Hogan's comebacks
Tiger Woods on Sunday at Bellerive recorded his seventh runner-up finish in a major and his first in nine years.
A favorite guest of the Golf Channel Podcast, Brandel Chamblee joins host Will Gray to compare and contrast Tiger's return to competitive golf with that of Ben Hogan and Babe Didrikson Zaharias in the 1950s.
Chamblee also discusses Brooks Koepka's major dominance, Bellerive as a major venue, Tiger and Phil as Ryder Cup locks, and who else might be in line to receive Jim Furyk and Thomas Bjorn's remaining captain's picks.
Finally, Brandel shares what it was it was like to qualify for the Senior Open Championship and compete for a major title on the Old Course at St. Andrews. Listen here: