Calc Rises Woods Falls at Phoenix Open
Thursday, it was flying oranges and alien aces. Friday, it was a record round recorded and a record streak snapped.
On a day in which Mark Calcavecchia tied the TPC of Scottsdale course record by shooting an 11-under-par 60, Tiger Woods carded his first over-par round since May of 2000.
Calcavecchia posted 11 birdies en route to tying Grant Waite's course record established in 1996. In the process, the two-time Phoenix Open champion (1989, '92) opened a five-shot lead on the field at 17-under-par.
'I was on from the get-go,' said Calcavecchia, whose previous career low round on the PGA Tour (62) also came at the Phoenix Open in '96. 'Can I keep going? I want to start the third round right now.'
Early morning frost delayed the start of play by an hour on Friday. As a result, darkness officially suspended the second round at 5:50pm local time. Thirty-six players have yet to complete their second 18 holes. They will do so on an expected soggy Saturday morning.
First-round co-leader Scott Verplank is now in second place at 12-under following a 5-under-par 66. Stewart Cink and Scott McCarron share third place at 11-under. McCarron shot 65 in the second round, while Cink still has to complete two holes.
Defending champion Tom Lehman began the second round in a tie for first, but now finds himself nine off the lead after a 1-under-par 70. The third of the overnight leaders, Brad Elder, is now at 3-under following a 75.
Calcavecchia began his second round with a birdie at the par-4 10th. He then made a clutch par at the 11th, which Calc called 'the key to my round.'
Calcavecchia made the turn in 5-under-par 31. A birdie at the first, his 10th hole of the day, gave him sole possession of the lead at 12-under. He then added to his advantage by birdying the third, fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth holes.
Calcavecchia has played his last 24 holes in 16-under. His 125 aggregate total through two rounds is a new Phoenix Open record; it also ties the all-time mark set by Tiger Woods at the 2000 WGC-NEC Invitational.
Using his claw-like putting grip, the 40-year-old needed only 23 swipes of the flatstick on the day. A winner of nine PGA Tour events, Calcavecchia is in search of his first triumph since the 1998 Honda Classic.
Calcavecchia also has new Ping-headed driver in his bag. Friday, he hit 11 of 14 fairways, averaging 285 yards off the tee.
'I've never hit it this far in my life - not even close,' Calcavecchia said. 'I'm in a groove. If I can keep that going with my swing then I'll be in good shape this weekend.'
While Calc rocketed up the leaderboard, Woods fell mightily. Tiger began the day just one shot off the lead after shooting an effortless 5-under-par 66 in the first round. Friday, however, Woods struggled with all facets of his game - particularly, with his putting.
'I had so many putts I lipped out that just didn't go in,' Woods said. 'It's the kind of round I've been turning into 68s, 69s or 70s. But the putts wouldn't drop.'
Three-over-par through 12 holes, Tiger made a late surge to save his streak. He birdied the par-5 13th to get to two-over for the day. But following a par at the 14th, Woods hit two shots into the water at the par-5 15th. He managed to make bogey, but did so on a hole where he was looking for eagle.
Needing to play the final three holes in three-under, Woods nearly chipped in for eagle at the short par-4 17th. He settled for birdie, his only red number over the final three holes, for a round of 2-over-par 73.
Tiger's streak officially came to an end at 52 consecutive rounds at par or better on the PGA Tour, and 60 straight rounds worldwide. Prior to Friday, his last round over par was a 3-over-par 73 in the first round of the Byron Nelson Classic on May 11, 2000.
'It was a good streak,' Tiger said. 'I'd like to have another one.'
While one streak is over, one still remains. Woods has made the cut in 61 consecutive tournaments, dating back to the 1998 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, where he withdrew when the final round was postponed until August.
Tiger wasn't the only player to have a streak snapped on Friday. Phil Mickelson's stretch of 31 straight rounds at par or better on the PGA Tour ended with a 1-over-par 72 in the second round. The 1996 Phoenix Open champion's streak was second only to Tiger's.
Mickelson stands at 1-over-par for the tournament and is in danger of missing the cut.
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Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off
NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.
Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.
The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.
Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.
Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.
Third-round tee times for the 147th Open
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.
Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.
Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.
Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.
Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.
4:15AM ET: Gavin Green
4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed
4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose
4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton
4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley
5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner
5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson
5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)
5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood
5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello
6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford
6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma
6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele
6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood
6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na
6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin
7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim
7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira
7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters
7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li
7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker
7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink
8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook
8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris
8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim
8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari
8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson
8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell
9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka
9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott
9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren
9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone
9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett
10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler
10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell
10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau
10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen
10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele
10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood
11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson
Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.
He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.
“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.
At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.
Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.
“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”
Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?
Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.
Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.
“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”
Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.
Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.
“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.
More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.
“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”