Local Boy Makes Good

By Golf Channel NewsroomSeptember 21, 2001, 4:00 pm
Western Pennsylvanias own Rocco Mediate fired a 4-under-par 68 to earn a share of the lead at the Marconi Pennsylvania Classic in Ligonier.
Due to a rain delay Thursday at Laurel Valley Golf Club, the first round was completed on Friday. Eventually, darkness forced the suspension of second-round play.
Mediate was one of only 74 players to complete 36 holes. Steve Flesch also stands at 7-under through 10 holes of his second round.
Steve Elkington and Nick Price are each tied at 6-under-par through 10 and seven holes, respectively.
Price led after opening in 66 Thursday. The 44-year-old Zimbabwean, winless on the PGA Tour since 1998, recorded one birdie and one bogey on Friday.
Mediate, who grew up about 20 miles away and joined the Laurel Valley Club six years ago, played 29 holes on Friday.
The Greensburg native offset a pair of bogeys in the second round with four birdies and an eagle.
Im extremely comfortable here, said Mediate, who is staying at his parents house this week. That doesnt get the job done most of the time, but it certainly helps.
Arnold Palmer, who brought the tour back to the Keystone State last year, also played 29 holes Friday, but did so primarily as a marker.
Playing with a sore back, Palmer declined to turn in a scorecard after the first round. He asked the sign holder to stop posting his score in relation to par. The 72-year-old would have shot 90 at the course he founded.
Yet instead of quitting, The King continued to play alongside Vijay Singh and Loren Roberts ' much to the delight of about 1,000 fans following him.
I know a lot of the people came out to see me play, and thats a lot of the reason why I played, said Palmer, who agreed to enter the event only after the tour created an extra spot in the field, because he didnt want to take the place of a younger player.
Many also came out to support Mediate ' and he didnt disappoint.
The four-time PGA Tour winner nearly holed a 9-iron at the par-4 2nd, and then nailed a 25-foot eagle putt at the par-5 6th.
I was a bit nervous yesterday, teeing off, being at home in front of everybody, Mediate said. I can tell the people are pulling for me.
Full-field scores from the Marconi Pennsylvania Classic
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'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

“The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

“That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”

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Perez: R&A does it right, 'not like the USGA'

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:28 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez didn’t even attempt to hide his frustration with the USGA at last month’s U.S. Open, and after an opening-round 69 at The Open, he took the opportunity to double down on his displeasure.

“They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA,” Perez said of the setup at Carnoustie. “They've got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you've got the greens receptive. They're not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn't. The course is just set up perfect.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Concerns at Shinnecock Hills reached a crescendo on Saturday when the scoring average ballooned to 75.3 and only three players broke the par of 70. Of particular concern for many players, including Perez, were some of the hole locations, given how fast and firm the greens were.

“The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”

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Ball headed O.B., Stone (68) gets huge break

By Mercer BaggsJuly 19, 2018, 2:14 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Brandon Stone knew it when he hit it.

“I knew I hit it out of bounds,” the South African said following his opening round in the 147th Open Championship.

Stone’s second shot on the par-4 18th, from the left fescue, was pulled into the grandstands, which are marked as O.B. But instead of settling in with the crowd, the ball ricocheted back towards the green and nearly onto the putting surface.

Stone made his par and walked away with a 3-under 68, two shots off the early lead.

“I really didn’t put a good swing on it, bad contact and it just came out way left,” Stone said. “I feel so sorry for the person I managed to catch on the forehead there, but got a lucky break.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“When you get breaks like that you know you’re going to have good weeks.”

It’s been more than just good luck recently for Stone. He shot 60 in the final round – missing a 9-foot birdie putt for the first 59 in European Tour history – to win last week’s Scottish Open. It was his third career win on the circuit and first since 2016. It was also just his first top-10 of the season.

“A testament to a different mental approach and probably the change in putter,” said Stone, who added that he switched to a new Ping Anser blade model last week.

“I’ve been putting, probably, the best I have in my entire life.”

This marks Stone’s sixth start in a major championship, with his best finish a tie for 35th in last year’s U.S. Open. He has a missed cut and a T-70 in two prior Open Championships.