Neumann Has a Good Friday
It was beautiful today. Very perfect conditions today, I think, Neumann said.
The conditions are perfect, Sorenstam said echoing her sentiments. Theres hardly any wind. The course is in good shape.
Neumanns success at this years first major may be a result of her displeasure with her game at the end of last season. When 2001 wrapped-up, Neumann was none too pleased to be ranked 136th in driving accuracy and 124th in driving distance, and decided to do something about it.
I looked at my stats from last year and realized, I think I was about 150th in driving distance on tour and about 150th in accuracy, too, reflected Neumann. So thats just a terrible combination. So I decided to spend some time in the gym and work out and just trying to get stronger and more balanced; and that way, be able to hit the ball longer and straighter.
Neumann has been instilled with the same workout ethic that Sorenstam has exhibited. Her regular workout schedule was enhanced during the off-season when Neumann hired a personal trainer to take her to the next level.
This off-season I spent a lot of time in the gym ' we had plenty of time off, so I got myself a trainer and really dedicated myself to getting in better shape,' she said.
The results are clear. A workout that includes a lot of rubber bands and the medicine ball has strengthened her core and has increased her distance by at least a club length. So far, I think its been paying off and I feel like Im hitting the ball longer off the tee and just give myself some easier shots into the greens.
Weather and course conditions were described as perfect Friday but tough pin placements resulted in a course that was giving up few birdies. As a result, scores were not particularly low.
I think what was tougher today was I think some of the pins were really tucked in the corners, Neumann said. Just on 18, for example, its just like three, four steps from the edge, and same on 16, 15.
I think thats probably why you dont see the scores being quite as low today. Because you think, because of the conditions, the scores are going to be much better today, but I think with some of the pin placements, it makes it more difficult.
Sorenstam was pleased with her results, but admitted that she left a few out on the course ' in part, because she has difficulty reading the greens.
I read them with glasses. I read them without glasses. Its just theres a special shine to the greens, and I find that very difficult to read, the defending champion admitted. Somebody told me that everything breaks to Indio, but I really dont know where Indio is anymore. Ive given up.
Sorenstam was not the only player to have trouble reading the greens. Daniel admitted that she also had problems reading the greens and ended up having her caddie do it for her. I had my caddie read them, too, Sorenstam said.
Daniel has recorded 5 top-10 finishes during her 27 appearances at the Nabisco, but has never won here.
Rosie Jones second round of 3-under left her in a tie for second and in good position for the weekend. I feel great right now, Jones said. What a beautiful day to play golf. Jones closed out her second round with back-to-back birdies on the par-3 17th and the par-5 18th.
Braved the last two holes to kind of get myself back in the game, Jones said with a smile.
Jones' tee shot landed nine feet from the hole - in the fringe - off the front of the green on the 17th. From there she made a magnificent putt to move to 2-under. She then sunk a 15-foot putt on the 18th to end the day on an upbeat note. Her birdie at the last was indeed redemption for the double bogey she recorded there Thursday.
Ive got a lot of experience going into big tournaments on weekends. Im really just going to go out there and play tomorrow just like I did today and just like I tried to do yesterday. Hopefully, Ill play just as well, Jones said. And even better.
With two rounds left to go, players will be buckling down over the weekend. As usual, Sorenstam is threatening the leaders position. Im planning on going low tomorrow, she said.
But the first major is not in the bag quite yet. There are two more days to go and the defending champ is predicting the possibility of low scores over the weekend: I think that would be very possible. But on the other hand, it is a tough course. It is a major.
At the conclusion of round two, 71 professionals and 4 amatuers had made the cut. The cut, at 9-over 153, was the highest cut in history since 1995.
Four amateurs made the 36-hole cut. Aree Wongluekiet is tied with a slew of others art 145 while sister Naree is at 140. Meredith Duncan is a t 153 after a second round of 75. Lorena Ochoas tow day total of even par after a second round of 69.
Failing to make the cut was Nicole Perrot who recorded a two-day total of 156.
Nancy Lopez also failed to make the cut. She finished at 160.
Full-field scores from the Kraft Nabisco Championship
Tiger putts way into contention at The Open
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – When Tiger Woods benched his trusty Scotty Cameron blade putter last month at the Quicken Loans National for a new TaylorMade mallet-headed version some saw it as a sign of desperation, but if his performance on Carnoustie’s greens on Saturday were any indication it could end up being a calculated success.
Woods stormed into contention on Day 3 with a 5-under 66 to move to within shouting distance of the lead at The Open, thanks in large part to his vastly improved putting.
“I hit so many good putts out there today, and this week from distance, I've had really good feels,” said Woods, whose 29 putts on Saturday belies his performance on Carnoustie’s greens. “Even as this golf course was changing and evolving, I've maintained my feels with the putter. I've made a couple of putts from about 40 to 60 feet, which is nice. I just feel like I've been able to roll the ball.”
The highlight of Woods’ round came at the par-4 ninth hole when he charged in a 40-footer for birdie from the front edge of the green to begin a run of three consecutive birdies. Perhaps more impressive, he didn’t have a three-putt, and has only had two all week, which is always a bonus on links courses.
Woods temporarily took a share of the lead with a lengthy birdie putt at the 14th hole and scrambled for a par save at the last after his drive nearly found the Barry Burn.
“I hit a few putts that I think should have gone in from 20, 30 feet today," he said. "So that's always a good sign.”
TT postscript: A 66, he's in contention - awesome
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods went berserk Saturday and shot 5-under 66 to vault up the leaderboard at The Open at Carnoustie:
• THAT WAS AWESOME!
At 4:13PM here in Scotland, when Tiger two-putted for birdie on the par-5 14th hole, he held a share of the lead in a major championship. It was once unthinkable, but it happened. I saw it with my own eyes.
• Tiger’s last two weekend rounds in the 60s in The Open both happened at Carnoustie and both happened on July 21. In 2007, Woods shot 69 here. On Saturday, that score was clipped by three shots. Tiger shot 65 in the second round of The Open at Royal Liverpool in 2006. He won his third claret jug that week. Tiger last shoot 66 in a major during the second round of the 2011 Masters.
• This is the sixth time that Tiger has recorded three consecutive rounds of par of better to start The Open. He went on to win three of the previous five times.
• One bad swing, the only bad swing of the day according to Tiger, produced the luckiest of breaks. Standing on the 18th tee with an iron in hand, Tiger pulled his tee shot that hit on the top of the Barry Burn and very easily could’ve ended in a watery grave. Instead it ended in thick rough, some 250 yards from the pin. Tiger punted it up the fairway, but got up and down from 83 yards to save par and shoot 66. “I hit my number,” he quipped about hitting wedge to 2 feet.
• On the other hand, the lone bogey came from one poor putt. On the par-3 16th hole, with half of Scotland screaming his name, Tiger missed a 7-footer for par. It was deflating at the time because the last three holes are so difficult. Pars on the last two holes were stellar.
• Final stats: 12 of 15 fairways, 14 of 18 greens and 29 total putts. Tiger hit six drivers and one 3-wood, proving that he was way more aggressive. He hit four drivers on Friday and only one on Thursday.
• One of the aforementioned drivers that he hit on the ninth hole was well left and in some thick round, 170 yards from the hole. A safe approach to 40 feet set him up for and easy two-putt par. But he slammed the putt home and made an improbable birdie. “I hit so many good putts out there today, and this week from distance, I’ve had really good feels,” he said.
• In his own words about his chances of winning: “It certainly is possible. I’ve shown that I’ve been there close enough with a chance to win this year. Given what happened the last few years, I didn’t know if that would ever happen again, but here I am with a chance coming Sunday in a major championship. It’s going to fun.”
Yes, yes it is.
Watch: Guy sleeps next to many beers at Open
It's Moving Day at The Open Championship for all but one sedentary fan.
Cameras caught this potentially browned-out man having himself a Saturday snooze on the browned-out grasses of Carnoustie:
Browned out. That's a great term. Glad it's in the public domain. We've been using it all weekend. I imagine we'll continue to use it. A lot.
Watch: Tiger makes 6 birdies, 1 amazing par in Rd. 3
Tiger Woods started the third round of The Open at even par, having made seven birdies and seven bogeys over the first 36 holes at Carnoustie.
Following three pars to start on Saturday, Woods went on a birdie binge.
No. 1 came with this putt at the par-4 fourth.
No. 2 with this two-putt at the par-5 sixth.
No. 3 thanks to this 30-footer at the par-4 ninth.
No. 4 after nearly jarring his approach shot on the par-4 10th.
No. 5 when he almost drove the green at the par-4 11th and two-putted, from just off the green, from 95 feet.
And No. 6, which gave him a share of the lead, came courtesy another two-putt at the par-5 14th.
Woods bogeyed the par-3 16th to drop out of the lead and almost dropped - at least - one more shot at the par-4 18th. But his tee shot got a lucky bounce and he turned his good fortune into a par.
Woods shot 5-under 66 and finished the day at 5 under par.