Three-Way Tie Halfway Through South African PGA
There would have been a quartet at the top of the leaderboard but for the dramatic disqualification of Hennie Otto, who moved the 150m marker to play his approach shot at the fourth, not realising it was an immovable obstruction, the removal of which constitutes a two-shot penalty, and hence signing for a wrong score before the error was pointed out, which resulted in his exclusion.
Vaughan, who shot 65 and 68 at Sun City for the halfway lead in last weekend's Dimension Data Pro-Am, reversed those scores when he completed a seven-under-par 65, including six birdies, an eagle and a single dropped shot, to total 133 after 36 holes for the second week running.
This time he shares the lead with 1985 champion Williams and Gammon, who were among the later finishers and will play together for the third day in a row on Saturday, joining the American in the lead three-ball.
'The last two days, I've hit it as well as I've done for a while,' said Vaughan, who said he'd got a swing tip - `to stick my ass out'- the other day from fellow touring pro and close friend Derek Crawford, the Scotsman who was only three behind him after a 69 on Friday morning.
Vaughan said he was struggling to read the greens on the new Woodhill course, although he did manage to hole two monster putts, from around 40 feet, for birdies on the 14th and 18th holes. 'I made a couple of bombs, but I missed several along the way, but if you shoot 65 and you're complaining, something's wrong,' said Vaughan.
'Our games carry each other and we both need to do well,' Williams said of his and Gammon's identical scores thus far. 'The pressure of this course is that you have to make a lot of birdies in every round to keep in touch.' Williams said he didn't think the winning score would be as low as 20 under par, but said it was possible if conditions stayed relatively windless.
Gammon started his round with what he described as 'the worst tee-shot of my life' on the 10th hole, but followed it with a brilliant second to three feet. Although he missed the birdie, salvaging the par was a boost to his confidence and he went on to make three birdies on each nine and just a single bogey. He said he still expected someone to shoot a really low round on the new lay-out. 'There are no holes that are real back-breakers out there,' he said.
Overnight leader Ulrich van den Berg, who followed his opening 65 with a 69, was one off the pace while De Wet Basson, who won the Fancourt Hall of Fame title way back in 1992, but has struggled in recent times, shot a bogey-free 66 to be on 135, two behind the leaders and level with Deane Pappas, who shot a 67.
The cut was made at one-over-par 145, with 78 players making it through to the last two rounds.
Report: Tour close to finalizing Detroit tournament
With the final pieces of the 2019 schedule falling into place, the PGA Tour appears on the verge of returning to Michigan for the first time in nearly a decade.
According to a Detroit News report, the Tour is "believed to be close" to an agreement to bring a tournament to the Motor City beginning in 2019, reportedly likely to take place at Detroit Golf Club near downtown.
While the specifics remain undisclosed, the prime candidate for such a move appears to be The National. The Washington, D.C.-area event, which benefits Tiger Woods' TGR Foundation, was sponsored by Detroit-based Quicken Loans from 2014-2017. This year the tournament will be conducted at TPC Potomac without a title sponsor.
According to a Detroit News report in September, Quicken Loans CEO Dan Gilbert was open to continuing his company's sponsorship of the event if it shifted to Detroit.
In addition to The National, the only other current PGA Tour event without a title sponsor is the Houston Open. On Monday Charles Schwab was introduced as the new title sponsor of the Fort Worth Invitational beginning in 2019.
The PGA Tour has not held an event in the state of Michigan since 2009, the final year of the now-defunct Buick Open at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club. While the final details of a revamped schedule have yet to be announced, the Tour is expected to unveil its itinerary for the 2018-19 season at The Players next month.
Inbee Park quietly reclaims world No. 1
Inbee Park moved back to No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings in about as ho-hum fashion as you’ll ever see a player take the top spot.
It isn’t that she doesn’t care about the top ranking. It just wasn’t a priority in her return to golf this year, after missing big portions of the last two years with injuries.
With an Olympic gold medal and seven major championship titles, the LPGA Hall of Famer isn’t done trying to top the scoreboards that matter most to her.
“To be honest, I never really think about being No. 1 again,” Park said early last week, before tying for second at the Hugel-JTBC LA Open. “If it comes to me, great. If not, it doesn't matter.”
It came to her for the fourth time in her career.
Park, 29, reigned at No. 1 for 59 weeks in her longest run on top, back in the 2013 and ’14 seasons.
Oddly, this run to No. 1 almost comes as a surprise to Park, who didn’t need long to get back to the top spot after returning to the tour. She won the Bank of Hope Founders Cup last month in her second after missing seven months with a back injury.
Park last lost the No. 1 ranking in October of 2015, doing so to Lydia Ko.
In six starts this year, Park has finished T-3 or better four times. She leads the tour in scoring average (69.13) and is second in greens in regulation (77.5 percent).
Just wait until her putter heats up.
Yeah, Park’s not very satisfied with her putting. She’s one of the greatest putters who ever played the women’s game, but she has been frustrated with the inconsistency of her stroke much of this season. Of course, her standards are high. She ranks second in putts per greens in regulation so far this year.
On Sunday, this is how Park summed up her putting in 2018: “Some days, I’ve been really good. Some days, I’ve been really bad.”
Park has led the LPGA in putts per GIR in five of the last 10 years. She switched from her preferred mallet-style putter to a blade earlier this season and won with a Toulon Madison blade at the Founders Cup last month. She was back with an Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball mallet this past week. That’s the putter she used to win the gold medal in Rio de Janeiro two years ago. She used an Odyssey Sabertooth winged mallet in her 2013 run of three consecutive major championship victories.
Goose takes down junior golfer - it's awesome
A goose evidently went into business for itself somewhere in Michigan and took down this high school golfer in dramatic, hilarious, photographed fashion. To the evidence we go ...
Per the Blissfield Athletics Twitter account, "The golfers just finished teeing off and were walking down the fairway. To the left there was a goose nest and the golfers did a good job of avoiding it but the guard goose hanging out on the far right thought differently."
Just so we can all continue laughing, the Blissfield account confirmed the kid was OK.
Just his pride was hurt.— Blissfield Athletics (@BlissAthletics) April 22, 2018
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It's official: Charles Schwab to sponsor Colonial event
FORT WORTH, Texas – The longest-running PGA Tour event still played at its original site has a new title sponsor, one already deeply involved in golf.
The PGA Tour and Colonial Country Club announced Monday that financial services provider Charles Schwab & Co. will take over as title sponsor starting in 2019. The four-year agreement goes through 2022.
Local companies are backing the event after upscale grocer Dean and Deluca withdrew as title sponsor after only two tournaments of a six-year deal. The companies include American Airlines, AT&T, XTO Energy and Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway.
Charles Schwab is already a major sponsor on the PGA Tour. On the PGA Tour Champions, the Charles Schwab Cup is awarded to the season's top player.
Next month's tournament at Colonial, which has hosted since 1946, will be played as the Fort Worth Invitational.