BuyCom Tour Blows into Windy City
Kemper Lakes Golf Club in Long Grove, IL plays host this week. The first time the Buy.Com Tour has ventured into suburban Chicago. And while the jury is still out on the long-term success of this event, it certainly has the makings of a great debut.
Eighteen of the top 20 on the money list are here, including No. 1 Cliff Kresge and No. 2 Todd Fischer. Kresge and Patrick Moore have a chance to win for the third time which would send them immediately to the PGA Tour beginning with the Reno-Tahoe Open.
Perhaps most interesting this week is the presence of the world's 63rd ranked player Peter O'Malley of Australia. The European Tour player, who knocked off Tiger Woods earlier this year in the World Golf Championship Match Play event, is in town as the 15th ranked player on the money list.
But O'Malley is really here with two missions. First, he's prepping for next week's PGA Championship at Hazeltine. (Why wouldn't he come to Kemper Lakes to do that?) Secondly, at 15th on the Buy.Com money list he has a chance to win and climb higher in earnings giving him a chance to play the PGA Tour full-time next year. He says that's a goal he would like to achieve.
O'Malley, it seems, is in a bit of a confused state about it all. He says he wants to play the PGA Tour, yet he's not too excited about playing the Buy.Com Tour to get there. He won earlier this year as the Buy.Com Tour began the year 'down-under' in O'Malley's neck of the woods, but hasn't chosen to continue the quest to finish in the Top-15 and earn his PGA Tour card that way.
Seems a bit strange. He says if he plays well this week, he'll play more on this Tour later in the year to achieve the goal. I say, go ahead and give this tour your full-time attention. If you're good enough to be ranked 63rd in the world, he's good enough to finish in the top 15. Heck, he's 15th having hardly made his name known on this tour.
Gene Sarazen won the first Chicago Open played at Medinah in 1937. Sam Snead won the second in 1938 at Olympia Fields. Now the old Chicago Open has a new name, and a tour affiliation as well. The La Salle Bank Open won't have a name like Byron Nelson or Ben Hogan as its winner (each won a Chicago Open). But it will have a great champion, and it definitely has a great venue to let the story unfold.
DEFCON Tiger: Athletes tweet while watching Tiger
Tiger Woods grabbed the Tour Championship lead and the sports world by the throat Saturday, making birdie on six of his first seven holes in his third round and sending social media into a frenzy.
Here's a sampling, and we'll start with two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry.
.@TigerWoods I want whatever you had for breakfast this morning! This is insane— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) September 22, 2018
Tiggggeerrrrrrrr— Mark Ingram II (@MarkIngram22) September 22, 2018
Wow @TigerWoods is ready to go today!— Harry Kane (@HKane) September 22, 2018
Tiger just had his 6th birdie of the day on the 7th hole! pic.twitter.com/eqLFbpEbbG— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) September 22, 2018
Tv on Airplane. Oh boy !!!!— Ricky Barnes (@RealRickyBarnes) September 22, 2018
Lewis fires 61, two behind Herbert in Portugal
VILAMOURA, Portugal – Tom Lewis came within two shots of tying English countryman Oliver Fisher's European Tour record on another day of low scoring at the Portugal Masters on Saturday.
Lewis returned a 10-under 61 in the third round, just 24 hours after Fisher carded the first 59 on the circuit. Lewis moved to two strokes behind leader Lucas Herbert of Australia.
Lewis acknowledged the thought of another 59 crept into his mind: ''It's something I noticed with three holes to go. I wasn't that bothered at the end of the day.
''I'm pleased that I shot 10 under par. I can only continue to make birdies and see what happens tomorrow.''
Herbert, who is playing off invites this season as he looks to earn his full tour playing privileges, shot a 64 for a 19-under total of 194.
Fisher took 10 more strokes than he did on Friday and was in a group on 14-under 199.
Sergio Garcia of Spain, trying to find form ahead of next week's Ryder Cup, was on 204 after a 68.
Tiger Tracker: Tour Championship
After grinding out a 68 on Friday, Tiger Woods is trying to get the lead all to himself in Round 3 at the Tour Championship. We're tracking him.
Tweets by GCTigerTracker
Highlights: Tiger birdies six of his first seven
Tiger Woods entered Saturday tied atop the board and wasted little time taking the outright lead at East Lake.
Woods moved clear of the field with this birdie at No. 1, whipping the Atlanta crowd into an early frenzy.
Following a 4-foot par save at the second, Woods moved ahead by two and reached 9 under par when he played this approach from 144 and sank this 8-footer for birdie at the third.
One hole later, Woods reached double digits at 10 under par when he poured in a bending 21-footer that just crept over the lip.
He made it four birdies in his first five holes when he bombed a 320-yard drive, wedged to 7 feet, and converted again.
He looked in danger of not capitalizing on his first crack at a par-5 after he came out of a fairway wood on his second shot, but a splash from the bunker and a make from 6 feet gave him his fifth circle in six holes.
He went Vintage Tiger at the seventh, playing this fairway bunker shot from 172 yards to 5 feet, setting up his sixth birdie in his first seven holes and advancing him to 13 under, five clear.
Looking to make the turn in 29, Woods instead missed the green at the par-3 ninth, failed to get up and down for par, and had to settle for 5-under 30.