Reed's lead dwindles, still wins Humana by 2

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2014, 11:50 pm

Sunday wasn’t nearly as drama-free as Patrick Reed would have preferred, but he still held on for a two-shot, wire-to-wire victory at the Humana Challenge. Here’s the skinny on the final round at PGA West:

The leaderboard: Patrick Reed (-28); Ryan Palmer (-26); Zach Johnson and Justin Leonard at -25; Brian Stuard at -24

What it means: It’s the second career PGA Tour title for Reed, who also won the Wyndham Championship in August. He didn’t have another top 10 in his seven starts since, but this title will propel Reed to about No. 41 in the world, making him a lock for the upcoming WGC-Accenture Match Play. Always overlooked in college among the Henleys and Uihleins of the game, Reed now has two wins in 46 career PGA Tour starts.

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Round of the day: Leading by a touchdown entering the final day, Reed basically just needed to stay upright in the final round, and that he did. Going out in 35 and leading by five, he was able to stay ahead of the pack, though not as comfortably as he would have liked. After making just two bogeys through 59 holes, Reed dropped four shots during a nervy final round. Reed set neither a new record for lowest 72-hole score (254) nor the lowest round in a 72-hole event in relation to par (31 under). That said, his record-breaking start (63-63-63) was even more remarkable when considering that prior to this week, Reed had only two rounds of 63 in 139 career rounds on Tour.

Best of the rest: It was a close race for second place, and Zach Johnson, even running on fumes, nearly made an improbable rise to that position. One of the hottest players on the planet fired a flawless final-round 62 – including five straight birdies to close – to finish joint third, three shots behind. In 2014, he has a win, T-8 and T-3 finish. Now, he takes a four-week break. Ryan Palmer shot 63 to finish solo second, while Leonard's 65 gave him a share of third.

Biggest disappointment: Reed got the victory, but it was a sloppy finish to what had been one of the most impressive weeks in recent memory. Reed was seven ahead at the start of the day, and the field’s chance for victory should have ended when he turned up at PGA West on Sunday morning. Instead, he prolonged the inevitable for nearly the entire final round. Only two players in the top 38 had a worse final-round score than Reed's 71.

Shot of the day: His lead dwindling with four holes to play, Reed rolled in a 17-footer for birdie on 15 that extended his lead to three shots and sealed the victory.

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Watch: Koepka highlights from the Travelers

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 21, 2018, 3:30 pm

U.S. Open hangover? Not for Brooks Koepka. The two-time national champion has carried over his form and confidence from Shinnecock Hills to TPC River Highlands.

Koepka began his round with a par at the par-4 10th and then reeled off four consecutive birdies, beginning at No. 11.

And here is the capper at the 14th

Koepka turned in 4-under 31. Here's more action from his opening nine holes.

After a par at the first, Koepka added a fifth birdie of the day at the par-4 second.

A bogey at the par-4 fourth dropped him to 4 under, but just one off the lead.

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Lyle going through 'scary' period in cancer recovery

By Associated PressJune 21, 2018, 12:58 pm

MELBOURNE, Australia – Jarrod Lyle's wife says the Australian golfer is struggling through a ''really scary'' period in his third battle with cancer.

Lyle, 36, underwent a bone marrow transplant last December following a recurrence of acute myeloid leukemia.

''It's been 190 days since Jarrod's stem-cell transplant and we are going through a really rough patch at the moment,'' Briony Lyle wrote on ''I'm typing this blog on his behalf because he's not able to do it. Jarrod's not able to drive, struggles to prepare any food for himself, can't read stories to the girls and is not able to offer much help at all around the house.

''He is also starting to look like a very frail, sick person.''

Briony Lyle added: ''We are both very aware of the amount of drugs and medication that has gone into Jarrod's body over the years but things are starting to get really scary at the moment. It looks as if this recovery is going to be the longest and hardest one so far.''

Lyle has twice beaten acute myeloid leukemia, in 1998 and 2012, and was able to return to play professional golf.

He made an emotional comeback to the golf course during the 2013 Australian Masters in Melbourne before using a medical exemption to play on the PGA Tour in 2015. He played four seasons on Tour, where he earned $1.875 million in 121 tournaments.

Lyle has since returned to Australia permanently to be with Briony and daughters Lusi and Jemma.

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Vermeer wins PGA Professional; 20 make PGA Championship

By Associated PressJune 21, 2018, 12:42 pm

SEASIDE, Calif. – Ryan Vermeer won the PGA Professional Championship on Wednesday, overcoming front-nine problems to top the 20 qualifiers for the PGA Championship.

The 40-year-old Vermeer, the director of instruction at Happy Hollow Club in Omaha, Nebraska, closed with a 1-over 73 on the Bayonet Course for a two-stroke victory over Sean McCarty and Bob Sowards.

The PGA Championship is in August at Bellerive in St. Louis.

Three strokes ahead entering the day, Vermeer played the front in 4 over with a double bogey on the par-4 second and bogeys on the par-4 seventh and par-4 eighth. He rebounded with birdies on the par-5 10th and par-4 11th and also birdied the par-5 18th.

Full-field scores from the PGA Professional Championship

Vermeer finished at 5-under 283. The former University of Kansas player earned $55,000. He won the 2017 Mizuno Pro/Assistant Championship and finished ninth last year in the PGA Professional to qualify for PGA at Quail Hollow.

McCarty had a 68, and Sowards shot 69. Sowards won the 2004 title.

David Muttitt and Jason Schmuhl tied for fourth at 1 under, and 2012 and 2015 champion Matt Dobyns, Jaysen Hansen, and Johan Kok followed at even par.

Marty Jertson, Brian Smock and Ben Kern were 1 over, and Zach Johnson, Craig Hocknull, Matt Borchert and 2016 winner Rich Berberian Jr. were 2 over. Nine players tied at 3 over, with Shawn Warren, 2017 champion Omar Uresti, 2014 winner Michael Block, Craig Bowden and Danny Balin getting the last five spots at Bellerive in a playoff. Balin got the final spot, beating Brian Norman with a par on the seventh extra hole after Norman lost a ball in a tree.

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Berger more than ready to rebound at Travelers

By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:54 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Daniel Berger hopes that this year he gets to be on the other end of a viral moment at the Travelers Championship.

Berger was a hard-luck runner-up last year at TPC River Highlands, a spectator as Jordan Spieth holed a bunker shot to defeat him in a playoff. It was the second straight year that the 25-year-old came up just short outside Hartford, as he carried a three-shot lead into the 2016 event before fading to a tie for fifth.

While he wasn’t lacking any motivation after last year’s close call, Berger got another dose last week at the U.S. Open when he joined Tony Finau as a surprise participant in the final group Sunday, only to shoot a 73 and drift to a T-6 finish.

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“It was one of the best experiences of my professional golf career so far. I feel like I’m going to be in such a better place next time I’m in that position, having felt those emotions and kind of gone through it,” Berger said. “There was a lot of reflection after that because I felt like I played good enough to get it done Sunday. I didn’t make as many putts as I wanted to, but I hit a lot of really good putts. And that’s really all you can do.”

Berger missed the cut earlier this month to end his quest for three straight titles in Memphis, but his otherwise consistent season has now included six top-20 finishes since January. After working his way into contention last week and still with a score to settle at TPC River Highlands, he’s eager to get back to work against another star-studded field.

“I think all these experiences you just learn from,” Berger said. “I think last week, having learned from that, I think that’s even going to make me a little better this week. So I’m excited to get going.”