Teen Leads in Tennessee
'Im not nervous, Gulbis said after recording 66 in the third round to move to 11-under-par. Im just very excited for the opportunity to play in the last group. Ive never been in the lead group at the end, so itll be good to see how I stack up to the other players.
The cross-handed putter with the self-proclaimed homemade swing recorded seven birdies with mom and dad in the gallery to watch. A lone bogey on the 360-yard, par-4 eighth marred her otherwise perfect round.
Paired with Pat Hurst, the twosome experienced a first on the 16th Saturday.
We both had tap-ins for par and she elected to go first and asked if I minded if she tapped in first, Gulbis said. I have a metal ball marker and it stuck to her putter. It actually stuck there a couple of times and we had to call an official to decide where to replace the mark.
You know, I was an inch in front of her ball and I was wondering whether or not to putt or to move her ball-marker aside and I asked her, because it was kind of up in the air and when I went to tap it down it stuck to the putter, Hurst recollected.
'I knew as soon as I did it that it was not on the ground and I dont think that it has ever happened before, but I did not think that it would be a penalty because it was not my marker it was hers. I think had it been mine I would have been more nervous and I would have not known what to do.'
Hurst recorded par on the 16th. In all, she had four birdies and two bogeys on her way to recording a 67.
First-round leader Brandie Burton is tied with Hurst at 10-under. Burton recorded eagle on the par-5 fourth, where she chipped in from 45 yards. In addition, she recorded one birdie and one bogey on her way to shooting her highest score of the tournament.
On this golf course, every hole was birdieable today, Burton said lamenting her perfomance. Weve played three different golf courses in three days. Every day has been opposite, its unbelievable. The greens are rolling really smooth, so if you find the right line and get a good stroke moving, its going to go in. That was obviously shown today with a lot of low scores.
Annika Sorenstam, not at all pleased with a second round of 72, sent herself to the range until dark Friday. Saturday, she gained back some ground, recording 70 to move to 9-under. She carded four birdies and back-to-back bogeys on No.s 11 and 12 - the same two holes as Hurst.
I think I was off to a solid start and I struck the ball good then and then I lost the swing a bit, but it was once again a good comeback with my swing. Sorenstam said just prior to heading to the range again. 'I hope to hit it good and get off to a good start again tomorrow. I would like to hit the ball good and I am really looking forward to playing tomorrow and I think I will be ready to go once again.
Only one round stands in the way of a first win for Gulbis, but with so many good players at the top of the leaderboard Pat Hurst summed up her chance when she said, Its anybodys tournament tomorrow.
Full-field scores from the Aerus Electrolux USA Championship
Kisner doubles 18, defends not laying up
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It was only fitting that Jean Van de Velde was there working as an on-course reporter on Friday as Kevin Kisner struggled his way up Carnoustie’s 18th fairway.
Rolling along with a two-stroke lead, Kisner’s 8-iron approach shot from an awkward lie in the rough from 160 yards squirted right and bounced into Barry Burn, the winding creek where Van de Velde’s title chances at the 1999 Open Championship began to erode.
Unlike Van de Velde, who made a triple bogey-7 and lost The Open in a playoff, Kisner’s double bogey only cost him the solo lead and he still has 36 holes to make his closing miscue a distant memory. That’s probably why the 34-year-old seemed at ease with his plight.
“It just came out like a high flop shot to the right. It was weird. I don't know if it caught something or what happened,” said Kisner, who was tied with Zach Johnson and Zander Lombard at 6 under par. “You never know out of that grass. It was in a different grass than usual. It was wet, green grass instead of the brown grass. So I hadn't really played from that too much.”
Like most in this week’s field Kisner also understands that rounds on what is widely considered the most difficult major championship venue can quickly unravel even with the most innocent of mistakes.
“To play 35 holes without a double I thought was pretty good,” he said. “I've kept the ball in play, done everything I wanted to do all the way up into that hole. Just one of those things that came out completely different than we expected. I'll live with that more than chipping out and laying up from 20 feet.”
Wind, not rain more a weekend factor at Open
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – After a half-day of rain in Round 2 of the 147th Open Championship, the weekend offers a much drier forecast.
Saturday at Carnoustie is projected to be mostly cloudy with a high of 62 degrees and only a 20 percent chance of rain.
Sunday calls for much warmer conditions, with temperatures rising upwards of 73 degrees under mostly cloudy skies.
Wind might be the only element the players have to factor in over the final 36 holes. While the winds will be relatively calm on Saturday, expected around 10-15 mph, they could increase to 25 mph in the final round.
Van Rooyen holes putt after ball-marker ruling
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Erik van Rooyen was surveying his 10-footer for par, trying to get a feel for the putt, when his putter slipped out of his hand and dropped onto his ball marker.
The question, then, was whether that accident caused his coin to move.
The rules official looked at various camera angles but none showed definitively whether his coin moved. The ruling was made to continue from where his coin was now positioned, with no penalty.
This was part of the recent rules changes, ensuring there is no penalty if the ball or ball maker is accidently moved by the player. The little-used rule drew attention in 2010, when Ian Poulter accidentally dropped his ball on his marker in Dubai and wound up losing more than $400,000 in bonus and prize money.
After the delay to sort out his ruling Friday, van Rooyen steadied himself and made the putt for par, capping a day in which he shot even-par 71 and kept himself in the mix at The Open. He was at 4-under 138, just two shots off the clubhouse lead.
“I wanted to get going and get this 10-footer to save par, but I think having maybe just a couple minutes to calm me down, and then I actually got a different read when I sat down and looked at it again,” he said. “Good putt. Happy to finish that way.”
Lyle birdies last hole in likely his final Open start
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – If this was Sandy Lyle’s final Open appearance, he went out in style.
Playing on the final year of his automatic age exemption, the 60-year-old Scot buried a 30-foot birdie on the last hole. He missed the cut after shooting 9-over 151 over two rounds.
“I was very light-footed,” he said. “I was on cloud nine walking down the 18th. To make birdie was extra special.”
Lyle, who also won the 1988 Masters, has missed the cut in his last eight majors, dating to 2014. He hasn’t been competitive in The Open since 1998, when he tied for 19th.
To continue playing in The Open, Lyle needed to finish in the top 10 here at Carnoustie. He’d earn a future exemption by winning the Senior British Open.
“More punishment,” he said.