Press Pass Redemption for Sergio

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 8, 2007, 4:00 pm
Press PassEach week, GOLF CHANNEL experts and analysts offer their thoughts and opinions on hot topics in the world of golf with the Press Pass.
Hot Topic
What is your favorite PGA Championship moment?
Brian Hewitt Brian Hewitt - Columnist,
It would have to be the Tiger Woods-Bob May duel at the 2000 PGA at Valhalla that lasted much of the final day, not just the playoff. Close behind are Shaun Micheel's 7-iron at Oak Hill in '03 on the 72nd hole and the rainbow that appeared over the green on the last hole of Davis Love's win at Winged Foot in 1997.
Mercer Baggs Mercer Baggs - Senior Producer,
The first PGA Championship I attended was in 2000 and it didn't disappoint. Valhalla is not much on the eyes, but the drama produced by Tiger Woods and Bob May that year has not been since matched. Tiger proved that week that he wasn't just a bully who beat up the little kids but then backed down when someone challenged him; he beat you up even if you fought back.
Mark Rolfing Mark Rolfing - Analyst, GOLF CHANNEL:
Sergio Garcias second shot at No. 16 at Medinah in 1999 when he was trying to chase down Tiger Woods. He carved a long iron around the tree and followed it up the fairway leaping like a gazelle. Where is that Sergio now?
Hot Topic
The amount of club pros in the PGA has been reduced the past two years to 20. Is that a good number, or should it be more or less?
Not more than 20. So few club pros make the cut. I am a huge fan of club pros and the long hours they put in with very little actual time left over to work on their games. But they do have their own national championship.
I like 10, no more than 15. As talented as they are, the club pros just can't compete in a major championship. I'd rather see those extra spots go to players not otherwise qualified in the form of exemptions -- either to international or TOUR players.
I think 20 is a good number. There still should be a club professional presence but any more than 20 would dilute the field and the stature of the event.
Which was more impressive last week: Lorena Ochoas first major win at St. Andrews or Tigers runaway sixth title at Firestone?
Tiger's was more impressive. Rory is road kill again. But Lorena's win was much more fun to watch. To win her first major at the Old Course, it was worth the wait.
Tiger's feels more impressive, but that's probably because he received far more airtime than did Lorena. However, I'll give the nod to Lorena. She's had to deal with the pressure of being ranked No. 1 yet not having won a major. She was also coming off a blown opportunity at the U.S. Women's Open. With all eyes on her, she dominated the field and won on the most historic course in all of golf. It's a shame there wasn't more than 1 1/2-2 hours worth of coverage each day.
I have to say Tigers runaway at Firestone. It was only a matter of time before Lorena would win a major like that. But Tigers victory and the way he did it shows just how dominant he is.
What is the ONE thing you are most looking forward to this week?
I'll be watching Sergio very closely for more signs of permanent scarring from Carnoustie. But the big story will center around whether Tiger completes 2007 winless in the majors.
Seeing if Tiger can finish off the major season in victorious fashion. As interesting as it will be to see if Sergio can bounce back from his heart-breaking loss at the British, I am more interested in seeing if Tiger can win his first major of the season in the final major of '07.
Will the thermometer break 100 in Tulsa? If it does anything could happen.
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    Garcia (73), Fleetwood (74) off to slow starts at BMW

    By Associated PressJune 21, 2018, 8:30 pm

    PULHEIM, Germany – Sebastien Gros carded a 4-under 68 in windy conditions to lead by one shot after the opening round of the BMW International Open on Thursday.

    The Frenchman had four birdies to take the lead before the turn, and a six-footer on the 15th hole moved him two ahead. But a bogey on the next hole left the 28-year-old Gros just one ahead of Jorge Campillo, Scott Jamieson, Aaron Rai and Henric Sturehed.

    Sturehed eagled the par-5 No. 13 to take the lead in the morning at the Gut Laerchenhof club.

    Christofer Blomstrand, Nico Geyger, Mark Tullo, Victor Perez, David Howell and Nicolai von Dellingshausen are a further stroke back on 2-under 70.

    Defending champion Andres Romero was among a large group at 1 under, including 2013 winner Ernie Els and three-time European Tour winner Andy Sullivan.

    Romero is bidding to be the first player to retain the title.

    Local favorite and 2008 champion Martin Kaymer shot 72, ahead of Sergio Garcia (73) and Tommy Fleetwood (74).

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    Ryu thriving again after simple advice from Inbee Park

    By Randall MellJune 21, 2018, 7:07 pm

    So Yeon Ryu shared Rolex Player of the Year honors last year.

    She reigned as world No. 1 for almost five months.

    So when she couldn’t keep her momentum going at year’s start, she got frustrated. She wasn’t happy with two top 10s in her first 11 starts.

    “I lost a lot of confidence at the beginning of the year,” Ryu said Thursday as she prepared to lead a strong field as the defending champion in Friday’s start of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. “My expectation level was way too high.”

    So she sought the counsel of her pal, world No. 1 Inbee Park, who gave her some plain-spoken advice.

    Full-field scores from the Walmart Arkansas Championship

    “Get over it,” Park told her. “You know what to do. You’ve done it, so it’s not really a big deal. Don’t worry about it. You were No. 1. You’ve achieved a lot of things as a professional golfer. Just don’t be too hard on yourself.”

    Ryu got over it winning the Meijer LPGA Classic last week, the sixth LPGA title of her career, her third in 15 months. She’s feeling good again leading a stellar field this week at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Ark., a strong tune up before next week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the year’s third major championship.

    World No. 1 Park, No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn and No. 3 Lexi Thompson are among the top nine players in the world scheduled to compete this week. Twenty-four of the top 30 are in the field.

    “When you come to defend your title, you obviously have a lot of pressure, but after I won last week, now I sort of think, maybe I have a chance to defend my title,” Ryu said. “So I've got total confidence, by last week.”

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    Watch: Spieth, JT hole bunker shots in back-to-back groups

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 21, 2018, 6:57 pm

    Jordan Spieth has a thing for holing bunker shots at the Travelers Championship, where he made one in a playoff to win last year.

    He did it again in Round 1 at TPC River Highlands, knocking in this shot for eagle at the par-5 sixth to reach 4 under par for the tournament

    In the next group, Justin Thomas did the same thing to reach 1 under. Keep an eye out for the best part of this highlight, when Thomas' caddie Jimmy Johnson tries to hand him his putter.

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    River Highlands a 'breather' for Zach Johnson (63)

    By Will GrayJune 21, 2018, 6:43 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – After enduring the pressure-cooker of the U.S. Open, Zach Johnson was more than happy to drift north to the friendly confines of TPC River Highlands.

    Birdies were rare last week at Shinnecock Hills, but they’ll be plentiful all week long at the Travelers Championship. Browned-out and crispy conditions transitioned to lush and verdant, and players can attack flags without fear of turning a possible par into a struggle to avoid triple.

    Johnson did just that in the opening round, carding eight birdies against a single bogey to take the early lead with a 7-under 63.

    “It’s a different kind of breathing. It’s a different kind of exhaling, if you will, but they’re both good,” Johnson said. “You can put some red on the board here. We know that. We’ve seen it. You can go the other way in a hurry if you press it; it can keep going in the other way. So you kind of have to let it happen. This is one of those courses where you have to let it happen.”

    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Like many in this week’s field, Johnson took it easy after a grueling major championship, staying away from the course Monday and easing into his prep over the next two days. Those decisions paid off quickly as he rattled off six straight birdies on Nos. 11-16 to take sole possession of the lead.

    While Johnson tied for 12th last week at Shinnecock Hills, that was just his second top-15 finish since the Sony Open in January. But the veteran is no stranger to fast starts at TPC River Highlands, having now opened with 65 or better four times in his last eight appearances dating back to 2011.

    It’s a course where he continues to have success, even if his past consistency hasn’t lived up to expectations.

    “I feel like every time I get here it feels like I should shoot nothing, and it bites me,” Johnson said. “The last couple years I’m like, ‘All right, you can’t have any expectations in that regard. You’ve just got to go out and execute, you know, put the ball in the fairway and you will have opportunities.’”