From Start to Finish

By Mercer BaggsSeptember 7, 2009, 4:00 pm
Steve Stricker

MR. SEPTEMBER: Steve Stricker birdied his final two holes Monday to win the Deutsche Bank Championship and take over the top spot on the FedEx Cup points list. He also moved to No. 2 on the Official World Golf Ranking. Stricker edged Scott Verplank, who birdied his final four holes, and Jason Dufner by one shot.
Backspin Stricker now has two wins, two more top-3s, and a total of nine top-20 finishes in 10 playoff starts. He's also played on victorious Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup teams over the past two years. Who loves golf during football season more than him? Someone should tell him that he can still play in official events after the Tour Championship.

Padraig Harrington at the WGC-Bridgestone

THE BANK WAS OPEN: Padraig Harrington was one of eight players who had at least a share of the lead during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship. However, an errant driver, which led to a bogey at 10 and a double bogey at 12, relegated him to a tie for third.
Backspin Harrington seemed to seize control of a wide open tournament with four birdies over his first seven holes Monday. But his inexplicable stumble after the turn kept the Irishman winless on the season. This is just the latest in a recent string of final-round mishaps. After watching him close out last year's British Open and PGA Championship, it's hard to believe that this is the same Harrington.

Tiger Woods

NOT THROWING IN THE BALL ... ER, TOWEL: Tiger Woods fired an 8-under 63 Monday to finish tied for 11th at the Deutsche Bank Championship. The score was the low round of the day by two strokes. His round included eight birdies, one eagle and two bogeys [both on the back nine].
Backspin If you've ever wondered why Woods doesn't play more events each season, here's the reason: He doesn't have the temperment to deal with mediocrity. That's been pretty evident the last couple of weeks, including Monday when he didn't seem overly pleased with his score. Woods doesn't play for fun; he's plays to win. He has his routine, and that routine has translated into great success. Assuming he plays in the final two playoff events, that will make seven tournaments in an eight-week span. That's overkill for Woods. Right now he's tired, he's grumpy and all he can think about is not playing golf.

Suzann Pettersen

TEXT BOOK: Suzann Pettersen ended a 43-event winless drought on the LPGA by cruising to a five-shot victory at the the CN Canadian Women's Open. Pettersen claimed her sixth career tour title and first since 2007, when she won five times.
Backspin Pettersen said she used a text message from her Nike stablemate Tiger Woods as motivation prior to the final round. Wonder what Woods' digital Rolodex looks like. Think he just sends text messages to other famous people all the time? He probably just gets bored and shoots off messages like, 'What's up, dude?' to Mandela.

Anna Rawson

GOOD BEGINNING: Anna Rawson opened in 7-under 64 to lead after the first round of the Canadian Women's Open. The Australian golfer/model finished with rounds of 73-72-70 to tie for 18th.
Backspin The result was Rawson's second top-20 of the season and moved her to 92nd on the money list, with the top 90 earning tour cards for next season. Rawson has talent and good looks. Success for her would mean additional success for the LPGA. But the tour needs more than pretty faces; it's needs personality. Suzann Pettersen has plenty of that.

Vijay Singh

VIJAY DOES NOT MEAN VICTORY: The FedEx Cup playoffs are halfway done and only 70 players remain in contention for the $10 million bonus. Not among them is defending champion Vijay Singh. Last year's FedEx Cup champion started the week in 81st position and could not improve enough to stay alive.
Backspin Unlike last year, the 2009 FedEx Cup champion is still to be determined with two events remaining. Yet, similarly to last year, these playoffs don't seem overly compelling ' even with a fairly exciting final round at the Deutsche Bank. There is still much work to be done.

Tiger Woods and Ernie Els

THANKS, BUDDY: Ernie Els, fresh off his runner-up showing at The Barclays, said he was feeling great and looking forward to possibly earning his first win of the season at the Deutsche Bank. He then missed the cut. To add insult to injury, Tiger Woods took a swipe at Els saying he hasn't worked as hard physically as he needed to in order to rebound properly from ACL surgery.

Backspin Woods knows what he's talking about since he, too, underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL in his knee. He also knows Els. The Big Easy turns 40 this year. His three-year plan to catch Woods atop the world ranking never panned out, but he still has time to add to his Hall-of-Fame resume ' maybe even another major championship. It just might require a Tiger Woods work ethic.

Ava Madelyn McGee

OH, BABY: Annika Sorenstam gave birth to her first child last week. Sorenstam and her husband, Mike McGee, announced that Ava Madelyn McGee was born at 3:30 a.m. Tuesday. She weighed 6 pounds and 10 ounces and measured 19 inches.
Backspin Welcome to motherhood, Annika. No victory will be as cherished, no missed putt as frustrating, nothing more challenging or rewarding than raising your child. Word of advice from a father of twin girls: Take a deep breath, exit the room and then return. You'll understand what that means in due time.

Jeff Sluman

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Jeff Sluman defended his title at the Champions Tour's Wal-Mart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach. ... Alexander Noren won for the first time on the European Tour at the Omega European Masters. ... Troy Merritt won for the first time on the Nationwide Tour at the Mexico Open. ... Ryo Ishikawa claimed his fifth Japan Tour title with a five-shot victory at the Fujisankei Classic.
Backspin Sluman used an ace at the par-3 fifth hole to help him hold onto his trophy. ... Noren used a chip-in eagle en route to his victory. ... Merritt made a 20-foot birdie putt on the first hole of sudden death to claim his maiden title. ... It will interesting to see if the teen gets the nod from International Presidents Cup captain Greg Norman.
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Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

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Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

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Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”