Who breaks through for a major win in 2013?

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 19, 2012, 9:40 pm

Adam Scott and Luke Donald each won this past week, Scott in Australia and Donald in Japan. The two are on the short list of Best Players Not to Have Won a Major. Will either of them get it done in 2013? GolfChannel.com contributors weigh in with their pick for player most likely to shed the major-less label.

By RYAN LAVNER

The best player without a major is the same guy who should have captured one of golf’s biggest titles this season: Adam Scott, British Open heart-breaker.

One par. Remember, that’s all the Aussie would have needed to make over the closing stretch at Royal Lytham. Instead, he bogeyed the last four holes and lost by one. It hurts just to type.

Naturally, we wondered if Scott would be able to recover. Sure, he said optimistic things and reminded himself that he had played brilliantly for 68 holes and knew that, unfortunately, it was just one very public learning experience. While therapeutic to say aloud, major scar tissue can’t be erased in interviews, or even with a day at the spa.

Which made what Scott did in his next major start, 2 1/2 weeks later, all the more promising. At the PGA, he opened with 68 and eventually was T-11. He finished 15th or better in each of the four majors this season, and now in six of his past eight.

Since the PGA, though, he has posted four top 10s before breaking through last week with a dominating performance at the Australian Masters, a victory that wouldn’t be so significant except it was the 32-year-old’s first title since the Open debacle.

Will a win in Oz erase the sting of that meltdown? Of course not. But if nothing else, it proves he’s on his way to giving himself another major opportunity.


By DAMON HACK

If momentum is real in golf – and I believe it is – Ian Poulter is in for big things in 2013. Huge things. Major things.

Poulter may not be the best player without a major, but he doesn’t have to be to win his first major in 2013.

Lee Westwood is more decorated and Luke Donald has been world No. 1, but

Poulter has more positive mojo than either. In the hunt at the 2008 British Open at Birkdale and 2012 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, Poulter displayed the grit, fire and love of the fight that is crucial in major championships.

Some players never rise to meet the challenge. Poulter was built for it.

At 36, Poulter is in the sweet spot of his career, needing only a major to round out his resume. He has proven himself more than capable on golf’s most pressure-filled stages, practically willing the European Ryder Cup team to a comeback victory at Medinah. His victories at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in 2010 and the WGC-HSBC Champions further displayed his tenacity against the best in the world.

Poulter is hungry for a major. In 2013, the peacock will eat.


By MERCER BAGGS

Luke Donald + Merion Golf Club = First major title. Donald hasn’t had much success in the U.S. Open – or in any major, for that matter – but this isn’t Torrey Pines South or Bethpage Black. Merion is a classic course that will play in the 6,900-yard range. 

Donald’s lack of distance shouldn’t be a big disadvantage. However, his putting (third on Tour in 2012 in strokes gained putting), bunker play (20th in sand save percentage) and scrambling (fifth) should be huge assets. 

Ben Hogan won eight majors championship titles after the age of 35, including the 1950 U.S. Open at Merion. Donald would like to get No. 1 at the same venue – at the age of 35.

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Garcia among bubble boys keeping playoff hopes alive

By Randall MellAugust 18, 2018, 12:34 am

Sergio Garcia gave himself a chance to keep his perfect FedExCup Playoffs record going with his rally Friday at the Wyndham Championship.

D.A. Points moved into position to make a historic leap into the postseason.

And Johnson Wagner dunked his last shot of the day from long range to keep his hopes of making the playoffs alive.

But the day didn’t end nearly as well for Tyrone Van Aswegen’s FedExCup hopes.

Van Aswegen didn’t do himself any favors trying to hold on to the 125th spot on the FedExCup points list. He missed the cut by a shot.

Only the top 125 advance to The Northern Trust and next week’s start to the playoffs.

Van Aswegen wasn’t alone among “bubble boys” missing the cut. No. 122 Jhonattan Vegas, No. 123 Seamus Power, No. 124 Martin Piller, No. 126 Chad Campbell and No. 127 Robert Garrigus all failed to make the weekend.

Garcia is among 13 players who have advanced to the FedExCup Playoffs every year since they began in 2007, but his run was in jeopardy of ending starting the week. He’s 131st on the FedExCup points list

With a 65 Friday following his opening round 66, Garcia is in more than a great position to advance. He’s in position to win the Wyndham. He is tied for fourth, five shots off the lead. The day ended with Garcia projected to move up to 118th on the FedExCup points list.


Wyndham Championship: Full-field scores | Full coverage

Current FedExCup points list


“I'm just going to try to keep building on the things that I did well these first two days,” Garcia said. “Whatever happens, happens. Like I said at the beginning of the week, if I have a great weekend, then it will be great. If I don't have a great weekend, it will still be great because

I'll get to rest.”

Points started the week 214th on the FedExCup points list. With back-to-back 64s, he trails only Brandt Snedeker going into the weekend. He’s projected to move to 81st in points. Nobody has ever started the Wyndham Championship that far back in points and qualified for the playoffs. Davis Love III was 186th when he won and advanced in 2015.

Wagner, 136th on the FedExCup points list, went to spectacular lengths Friday to keep his playoff hopes alive. He was outside the cut line until holing his 153-yard approach at the last.

Bill Haas, who is among those 13 players to have qualified for the playoffs every year, started the week 150th in points. He can keep his perfect playoff record going with a big weekend. He shot 68 Friday to make the cut. He’s tied for 52nd in the tournament.

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Points two back after missing 16 of 17 cuts

By Randall MellAugust 17, 2018, 11:54 pm

What’s the better story come Sunday?

Brandt Snedeker turning his 59 in the opening round into a victory at the Wyndham Championship?

Or D.A. Points winning after missing 16 cuts in his last 17 starts?

They’re both scripts in the works at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C.

Points, who has been struggling this season with a herniated disc that causes numbness in his fingers, has broken through his season-long funk to shoot back-to-back 64s. He starts the weekend in second place, two shots behind Snedeker.


Full-field scores from Wyndham Championship

Wyndham Championship: Articles, photos and videos


“It's been difficult,” Points said of his slump. “It's been hard on my family. I was in this position a couple years ago, and I clawed my way back and won in Puerto Rico.

“I had that big downturn, and I clawed my way out of it just to find myself way back down in another deep hole again.”

Points, 41, is a three-time PGA Tour winner. He won his first title playing alongside Bill Murray at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2011 and two years later won the Shell Houston Open. He slipped into a three-year funk after that, before rebuilding his game and winning the Puerto Rico Open last year.

“Hopefully, this is my way of starting to claw back out,” Points said.

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New 'Mr. 59' Snedeker needs Day 2 rally to keep Wyndham lead

By Randall MellAugust 17, 2018, 11:24 pm

Brandt Snedeker struggled coming off the emotional high that comes with shooting 59, but it didn’t stop him from rallying Friday to try to turn his historic round into a victory at the Wyndham Championship.

After a sluggish start to the second round, Snedeker caught fire on the back nine at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C., to take the lead going into the weekend.

With a 3-under 67, Snedeker moved to 14 under overall, two shots ahead of D.A. Points (64).

“I knew it was going to be tough” Snedeker said. “It wasn't going to be the same way it was yesterday. Kind of battling the emotion of everybody pulling hard for you, wanting to see you do it again. So the front nine was disappointing.”

A day after becoming the ninth player in PGA Tour history to post a sub-60 tournament round, Snedeker opened with three bogeys and two birdies on the front nine. He said it was a struggle to begin anew.


Full-field scores from Wyndham Championship

Wyndham Championship: Articles, photos and videos


“You hear people telling you every two seconds, `Mr. 59,’ or saying how cool it was to watch it,” Snedeker said. “Phone's still blowing up this morning, guys in the locker room are still talking to me about it. So, yes, totally on your mind. You can't ignore it. You can't try to forget about it. Hardest thing is trying to get back into a rhythm.”

Snedeker did with an eagle and two birdies on the back nine. Rolling in a 30-foot eagle putt at the 15th gave him back the lead he lost earlier in the round.

“To see that go in was huge,” Snedeker said.

Not every player to break 60 on the PGA Tour has gone on to win. In fact, Snedeker is looking to become just the fifth player to do so.

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Garwood (64) leads Dick's Sporting Goods Open

By Associated PressAugust 17, 2018, 9:53 pm

ENDICOTT, N.Y. - Doug Garwood birdied the final three holes for an 8-under 64 and the first-round lead Friday in the Dick's Sporting Goods Open.

The 55-year-old Garwood had nine birdies and a bogey, playing his final nine holes - the front nine at En-Joie Golf Club - in 6-under 31.

''Drove it well, hit the irons well, pitched well, putted well, thought well,'' Garwood said. ''I got to a point I was just making birdies and I kind of lost track of how it was going,'' Garwood said. ''That's always a good thing.''

He won the 2016 SAS Championship for his lone PGA Tour Champions title.


Full-field scores from the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open


"I haven't been playing great this year, but I've been working hard on my game and things I've been working on are paying off,'' Garwood said. ''My golf, I take it a shot at a time, don't think about too far in advance because you really can't control, you know, the 13th hole tomorrow. It's just about the tee shot on No. 1.''

Michael Bradley and Marco Dawson shot 65, Woody Austin and Clark Dennis followed at 66, and Bob Estes and Tom Gillis were at 67.

''It was a good day,'' Bradley said. ''I've traditionally not driven the ball well here and you've got to drive the ball good here to shoot a good score. I drove the ball well and made a few putts, so that was that.''

Kenny Perry, the 3M Championship winner two weeks ago in Minnesota, had a 68. Bernard Langer and Miguel Angel Jimenez each shot 70. Langer won the 2014 tournament. Jimenez is coming off a victory at St. Andrews in the British Senior Open.

Defending champion Scott McCarron had a 72. Kevin Sutherland also had a 72. He shot the only 59 in PGA Tour Champions history in the 2014 event. John Daly, the winner of the PGA Tour's 1992 B.C. Open at En-Joie, opened with a 73.