Scott hardened by Open Championship loss

By Jay CoffinJuly 17, 2013, 11:03 am

GULLANE, Scotland – Last year’s Open Championship is impossible to forget. The memories, both good and not so pleasant, remain profoundly vivid.

We were in the midst of an Adam Scott coronation. Royal Lytham & St. Annes was braced to see the Aussie breakthrough and win his first major championship.

Then it all came crashing down in an hour, which, in the context of a 72-hole major championship feels like the blink of an eye. Scott finished with four consecutive bogeys to lose outright to Ernie Els, who finished earlier with a clutch, 20-foot birdie putt on the home hole, not knowing at the time it was good enough for the victory.

Many people use the word surreal to describe moments that, well, just are not surreal. It’s an overused term. In this case the adjective fits perfectly.

There was an eerie quiet cast over Lytham, a place that had been electric for most of the day. No one knew what to say to each other. No one knew what to say to Scott. No one knew what to say to Els. Did Scott lose or did Els win? There was a different vibe than I’d ever felt at a major championship; a bizarre, unexplainable vibe.

Made more unreal was how well Scott handled the historic meltdown. He was calm, thoughtful and introspective. It felt like anyone who spoke with Scott felt worse for him than he did himself.



It was impressive to witness. The man had poured his heart and soul into an indescribable loss and sat there and handled it with dignity, grace and pure class.

Most were so impressed with how Scott handled the devastating moment that the conversation turned and some began to wonder if he had enough fire in his belly to be a great major champion. If Scott was over losing so quickly after the collapse, how could he have enough fortitude to perform again on the biggest stages?

“Overall you just have to be tough coming down the stretch, and I wasn't tough enough that day,” Scott said Wednesday at Muirfield on the eve of the 142nd Open Championship. “A four-shot lead isn't enough if you're not going to be tough.”

After that dreadful week Scott took comfort from the words of others, both those in his inner-circle and those outside it.

Scott played a practice round with Tom Watson late last year at the Australian Open and Watson waited seven holes before mentioning the Open hiccup. Watson told Scott that he let major championships slip early in his career and that he vowed to never let such a situation happen again.

“Obviously, words coming from him I took to heart,” Scott confided.

Said Els: “Like I said last year to Scotty, we’ve all done it. He’s not the first one to have done it. We’ve all done it – messed up major championships – and you learn from it and sometimes it comes back.”

Els, not surprisingly, was gracious in victory last year telling his longtime friend not to let the sting of the defeat linger. Els told Scott to fight hard to get back into contention quickly in a major.

“I think it's all the good advice and guidance that I've been given on how to handle playing a professional sport or handle just being a person and having a decent perspective on all that,” Scott said. “And somehow that turned into me taking Lytham as a positive, and just pushing me harder to try to get across the line to win a major.

As we know, Scott sprinted through that proverbial line in April when he claimed the first-ever Masters victory for an Australian. The studly finish with three birdies over the last six holes (including one at the 18th) to get into a playoff with Angel Cabrera, then the final nail in the form of a birdie on No. 10 on the second sudden-death playoff hole, shredded any previous questions about Scott’s toughness.

“I felt like I played tough, especially in the playoff,” he said. “No one is going to give you a major.”


Photo gallery: Adam Scott through the years

142nd Open Championship: Articles, videos and photos


So, the last 52 weeks come full circle here at Muirfield. On the eve of the Open Championship it’s still tough for Scott to put into perspective how he feels about emotions that come while experiencing the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows. He just knows that he’s glad it’s all in the past and that this week is another opportunity to put himself into contention at a championship that his idol Greg Norman has won twice.

“This really has been the tournament I've been looking forward to most this year, there's no doubt, for obvious reasons,” Scott said. “After what happened at Lytham, I was eager to get back and try and get into another position to hopefully win the claret jug.

“It's been a great year. Obviously putting Lytham behind me and going on to win the Masters this year, has been a bit of a fairy tale, and if I were to get in contention this week, that would just continue. I'm excited about the week. There's so much to look forward to the way everything has shaped up for this Open Championship.”

Last year’s Open was memorable. Only one result would make this year’s contest more unforgettable.

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M. Jutanugarn eyeing first win with L.A. Open lead

By Associated PressApril 21, 2018, 1:50 am

LOS ANGELES - Moriya Jutanugarn took the lead into the weekend at the Hugel-JTBC L.A. Open in her latest bid to join younger sister Ariya as an LPGA winner.

Moriya Jutanugarn shot a bogey-free 5-under 66 on Friday at Wilshire Country Club to get to 8-under 134 in the LPGA Tour's first event in Los Angeles since 2005. The 23-year-old from Thailand started fast with birdies on the par-5 second, par-4 third and par-3 fourth and added two more on the par-4 11th and par-5 13th.

Ariya Jutanugarn has seven LPGA victories.

Marina Alex was second after a 68.


Full-field scores from the Hugel-JTBC Open


So Yeon Ryu was 6 under after a 69, and fellow South Korean players Inbee Park(71) and Eun-Hee Ji (69). Park was the first-round leader at 66. Lexi Thompsonwas 3 under after a 71.

Top-ranked Shanshan Feng followed her opening 74 with a 67 to get to 1 under.

Ariya Jutanugarn (71) was even par, and Michelle Wie (70) was 1 over. Brooke Henderson, the Canadian star who won last week in Hawaii, had a 79 to miss the cut.

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Garcia tosses driver, misses Valero cut

By Will GrayApril 21, 2018, 1:00 am

It wasn't quite to the level of his watery meltdown earlier this month at the Masters, but Sergio Garcia still got frustrated during the second round of the Valero Texas Open - and his driver paid the price.

Garcia had a hand in redesigning the AT&T Oaks Course along with Greg Norman several years ago, but this marked his first return to TPC San Antonio since 2010. After an opening-round 74, Garcia arrived to the tee of the short par-4 fifth hole and decided to get aggressive with driver in hand.

When his shot sailed well left, a heated Garcia chucked the club deep into the bushes that lined the tee box:

It took considerable effort for Garcia to find and retrieve the club amid the branches, and once he did things only got worse. He appeared to shank a chip once he got up to his ball, leading to a bogey on one of the easiest holes on a demanding track.

Garcia closed out his round with four straight pars, and at 2 over he eventually missed the cut by a shot. It marks the first time he has missed consecutive cuts on the PGA Tour since 2003, when he sat out the weekend at the AT&T Byron Nelson, Fort Worth Invitational and Memorial Tournament in successive weeks.

Garcia entered the week ranked No. 10 in the world, and he was the only top-20 player among the 156-man field. He missed the cut at the Masters in defense of his title after carding an octuple-bogey 13 on the 15th hole during the opening round.

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Johnson, Moore co-lead Valero Texas Open through 36

By Associated PressApril 21, 2018, 1:00 am

SAN ANTONIO - Zach Johnson was going nowhere in the Valero Texas Open when it all changed with one putt.

He made an 8-foot par putt on the 13th hole of the opening round to stay at 2 under. He followed with a big drive, a hybrid into 12 feet and an eagle. Johnson was on his way, and he kept right on going Friday to a 7-under 65 and a share of the 36-hole lead with Ryan Moore.

''You just never know. That's the beauty of this game,'' Johnson said. ''I felt like I was hitting some solid shots and wasn't getting rewarded, and you've just got to stay in it. You've got to persevere, grind it out, fight for pars. You just never know.''

Moore had three birdies over his last five holes for a 67 and joined Johnson at 9-under 135.

They had a one-shot lead over Grayson Murray (69) and Andrew Landry (67).

Ben Crane (66), Martin Laird (65) and David Hearn (68) were three shots behind. Billy Horschel and Keegan Bradley shot 71 and were four shots behind at 5-under 139.


Full-field scores from the Valero Texas Open

Valero Texas Open: Articles, photos and videos


Sergio Garcia, who consulted Greg Norman on the design of the AT&T Oaks Course at the TPC San Antonio, had a short stay in his first time at the Texas Open since 2010. Garcia shot an even-par 72, and at one point became so frustrated he threw his driver into the shrubs.

Garcia finished at 2-over 146 and missed the cut.

It was the first time since 2010 that Garcia missed the cut in successive starts. That was the PGA Championship and, 10 weeks later, the Castello Masters in Spain. This time, he missed the cut in the Masters and Texas Open three weeks apart.

Johnson, a two-time winner of the Texas Open, appeared to be headed to a short week until the key par save on the 13th hole, followed by his eagle, par and three straight birdies. He began the second round Friday with five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine, a sixth birdie on the par-4 first hole, and then an eagle on the short par-4 fifth when he holed out from a greenside bunker.

The only sour taste to his second round was a three-putt bogey from about 30 feet on his final hole. Even so, the view was much better than it was Thursday afternoon.

Moore thought he had wasted a good birdie opportunity on the par-5 14th hole when he left his 50-foot eagle putt about 6 feet short. But he made that, and then holed a similar putt from 8 feet for birdie on the next hole and capped his good finish with a 15-foot putt on the 17th.

''That was a huge momentum putt there,'' Moore said of the 14th. ''It was a tough putt from down there with a lot of wind. That green is pretty exposed and ... yeah, really short and committed to that second putt really well and knocked it right in the middle.''

The birdies on the 14th and 15th were important to Moore because he missed a pair of 10-foot birdie tries to start the back nine.

''So it was nice to get those and get going in the right direction on the back,'' he said.

The cut was at 1-over 145, and because 80 players made the cut, there will be a 54-hole cut on Saturday.

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Daly-Allen team grabs Legends of Golf lead on Day 2

By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 11:14 pm

RIDGEDALE, Mo. - John Daly and Michael Allen took the second-round lead Friday in the cool and breezy Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.

Daly and Allen shot an 8-under 46 on the Top of the Rock par-3 course with wind gusting to 15 mph and the temperature only in the high-50s at Big Cedar Lodge. They had three birdies on the front nine in alternate-shot play and added five more on the back in better-ball play to get to 13 under.

''Michael and I go back to the South African days in the late 80s and playing that tour,'' Daly said. ''We've been buddies since. He's just fun to play with. We feed off each other pretty good. And if he's not comfortable guinea-pigging on one hole, I'll go first.''

On Thursday, they opened with a 66 on the regulation Buffalo Ridge course. They will rotate to the 13-hole Mountain Top par-3 course on Saturday, and return to Top of the Rock for the final round Sunday.

''I went to high school in Jeff City, so it's cool to have the fans behind us,'' Daly said.

Allen won the PGA Tour Champions team event with David Frost in 2012 and Woody Austin in 2016.

''I'm just here to free up John,'' Allen said. ''It was fun. Luckily, I started making good putts today. We just want to keep the good times rolling.''


Full-field scores from the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf


Defending champions Vijay Singh and Carlos Franco were a stroke back along with Bernhard Langer-Tom Lehman and Paul Broadhurst-Kirk Triplett. Singh and Franco had a 7-under 32 in best-ball play at Mountain Top, and Lehman-Langer and Broadhurst-Tripplet each shot 6-under 48 at Top of the Rock.

''Part of the issue here is all the tees are elevated, so you're up high hitting to a green that's down below and the wind is blowing, and there is more time for that wind to affect it,'' Lehman said. ''If you guess wrong on the wind, you can hit a really good shot and kind of look stupid.''

Former UCLA teammates Scott McCarron and Brandt Jobe were two strokes back at 11 under with Steve Flesch and David Toms and the Spanish side of Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez. McCarron-Jobe had a 47, and Jimenez-Olazabal a 48 at Top of the Rock, and Tom Flesch shot 34 at Mountain Top.

First-round leaders Jeff Maggert and Jesper Parnevik had a 52 at Top of the Rock to fall three shots back at 10 under. Madison, Wisconsin, friends Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly also were 10 under after a 32 at Mountain Top. Jay Haas aced the 131-yard seventh hole at Mountain Top with a gap wedge. Haas and fellow 64-year-old Peter Jacobsen were 8 under after a 32.