Lovely Start for Geiberger and others at Buick

By Mercer BaggsFebruary 8, 2001, 5:00 pm
After a 62-start winless drought on the PGA Tour, Davis Love III knows you need to ride out a hot streak.
Following a win at last week's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Love made an 11th-hour entry into this week's Buick Invitational, where he's continued his stellar play.
Playing the more difficult South Course at Torrey Pines, Love fired a bogey-free seven-under-par 65 to finish within one stroke off the first-round lead, held by Brent Geiberger.
First round comments from Mickelson, Woods, Love III and Geiberger
Geiberger, whose father Al finished second in this event the first time it was contested at Torrey Pines in 1968, opened in eight-under-par 64 on the North Course to grab the outright lead in La Jolla, Calif.
1997 Buy.Com Player of the Year Chris Smith stands alone in third place after carding a six-under-par 66 on the North Course. Eleven players share fourth place at five-under, including Brad Faxon and Charley Hoffman, a local product who received a sponsor's exemption.
Battling a bout of food poisoning, defending champion Phil Mickelson recorded four birdies, one bogey and an eagle at the par-five 18th on the South Course for a round of four-under-par 68.
Last Sunday at Pebble Beach, Mickelson double bogeyed the par-five 18th to finish in a tie for third. Ironically, he's playing in the same group with Love over the first two rounds.
'I feel better,' Mickelson said of his health. 'I was feeling a little weak the last nine or ten holes.'
1999 Buick Invitational champion Tiger Woods is six shots off the 18-hole lead following a two-under-par 70 on the North Course. Woods birdied four of his first ten holes to earn an early share of the lead, but fell from the pack after a double bogey at the par-three sixth, his 15th hole of the day.
Woods fired a six-iron from 206 yards over the green at the sixth, and then fluffed his chip. He pitched his third shot six feet past the hole, where he two-putted for a double-bogey 5.
Tiger's putting woes continued at the par-four eighth, where he three-putted for bogey. Woods concluded his day by birdying the par-five ninth.
'I tried as hard as I could, it just didn't work out,' said Woods, who took 34 putts in the first round. 'I left a lot of shots out there.'
Love began his first round at La Jolla much like he did Sunday at Pebble - with a birdie. Though the 14-time PGA Tour winner wasn't able to duplicate his front-nine 28 of four days ago, Love did make the turn in three-under-par 33. He carded two more birdies and an eagle at the par-five 18th for a flawless round of 65.
'I usually don't like to play four weeks in a row,' said Love. 'But when you're making putts, you don't want to go home. I had some confidence before. Now, I have a lot of confidence. That makes you excited to play.'
Geiberger is certainly excited about his play, especially after an injury-plagued 2000 and a rough start to the '01 season.
Using a new putter, Geiberger posted matching 32s on the front and back nines. The highlight of his round came at the 326-yard par-four second, where he nearly drove the green, and then chipped in for an eagle 2.
'It's a good start for me,' said Geiberger, who tied for 10th at this event in 2000 and tied for fifth in 1998.
Seven of the last ten Buick Invitational winners have grown up in Southern California. Geiberger, who was born in Santa Barbara, would like to add to that list.
The 32-year-old won the 1999 Greater Hartford Open, but suffered through a nerve problem in his shoulder in 2000. This year, he was ousted in the first round of the Accenture World Match Play championship, missed the cut in Tucson and finished near the bottom in Phoenix.
News, Notes and Numbers
*John Cook withdrew from the event due to an unspecified injury. Cook was even par through 13 holes.
*Charley Hoffman grew up in San Diego. He qualified for the Buick Invitational three times as an amateur. He missed the cut twice and finished 76th in 1996. He also competed in the 2001 Touchstone Energy Tucson Open, where he missed the cut after rounds of 82-76.
Click here for Full-Field scores from the Buick Invitational!
Read what these players had to say after their round:
Brent Geiberger
Davis Love III
Tiger Woods
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Chamblee: Like Tiger in '13, Mickelson should've DQ'd self

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 19, 2018, 2:46 pm

Two days after Brooks Koepka left Long Island with the U.S. Open trophy, the third-round antics of Phil Mickelson are still garnering plenty of discussion.

Mickelson became a lightning rod of opinion after he intentionally hit a moving ball on the 13th green Saturday at Shinnecock Hills, incurring a two-shot penalty but not a disqualification. In the aftermath, he explained that he made a conscious choice to take the penalty to avoid playing back and forth across the crispy putting surface, and he tied for 48th after a final-round 66.

Speaking Tuesday on "Morning Drive," Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee shared his view that Mickelson would have been well-served to disqualify himself ahead of the final round. He also compared it to Tiger Woods' incident at the 2013 Masters, when he took an incorrect drop and, like Mickelson, received a two-shot penalty but not a disqualification.

"I think Tiger, at least it's my opinion that his year would have been less distracting if he had done so," Chamblee said. "And I think the same of Phil Mickelson. If he had withdrawn from the championship and said, 'Look. This is a little sketchy. It didn't play out the way I thought. I've given it some thought and it's in the best interest of the championship that I withdraw.'"

Chamblee added that Mickelson's antics were "really distracting" on a day filled with drama as the USGA lost control of course conditions, noting that Mickelson and playing partner Andrew "Beef" Johnston were the only tee time where both players failed to break 80 despite the difficult conditions.

But having had time to review the situation and having surveyed a number of peers, Chamblee is as convinced as ever that Mickelson made a mistake by showing up for his final-round tee time.

"What Phil did, I haven't run into a single person that hasn't said he deserved to be disqualified," Chamblee said. "Under any interpretation, a serious breach - if gaining an advantage is not a serious breach, I don't know what is. And he clearly said he was gaining an advantage and doing it for strategic reasons."

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Norman to pose in ESPN's 'Body Issue'

By Grill Room TeamJune 19, 2018, 2:05 pm

Professional golfers have, from time to time, appeared in ESPN's "Body Issue," which features athletes strategically posed in the nude. The list includes: Belen Mozo, Carly Booth, Gary Player, Camilo Villegas, Sandra Gal, Christina Kim, Anna Grzebien, Suzann Pettersen and Sadena Parks.

And now, Greg Norman.

Modesty has never been an issue for Norman, who has an affinity for posing without a shirt (and sometimes without pants) on his Instagram account.

He joins a list of athletes, in this year's edition, ranging from professional wrestlers (Charlotte Flair) to Olympians (Adam Rippon) to WNBA stars (Sue Bird). Click here for a full list of the athletes to appear.


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DJ listed as betting favorite for The Open

By Will GrayJune 19, 2018, 2:00 pm

With the U.S. Open officially in the books, oddsmakers quickly turned their attention to the season's third major.

Minutes after Brooks Koepka holed the winning putt to successfully defend his title at Shinnecock Hills, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook published its first set of odds for The Open. Jordan Spieth, who opened at 14/1, will defend his title as the tournament shifts to Carnoustie in Scotland for the first time since 2007, when Padraig Harrington defeated Sergio Garcia in a playoff.

Joining Spieth at 14/1 is 2014 Open champion Rory McIlroy, but they're both listed behind world No. 1 Dustin Johnson. Johnson, who was a runner-up at the 2011 Open at Royal St. George's and just finished third at the U.S. Open, opened as a 12/1 betting favorite. Koepka, now a two-time major winner, is listed at 20/1 alongside U.S. Open runner-up Tommy Fleetwood.

Here's a look at the first edition of odds, with The Open just five weeks away:

12/1: Dustin Johnson

14/1: Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy

16/1: Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas

20/1: Brooks Koepka, Tommy Fleetwood, Jon Rahm

25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

30/1: Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed, Hideki Matsuyama

40/1: Phil Mickelson, Branden Grace, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Marc Leishman

50/1: Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, Tyrrell Hatton

60/1: Matt Kuchar, Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau, Ian Poulter, Francesco Molinari, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Matthew Fitzpatrick

80/1: Tony Finau, Zach Johnson, Thomas Pieters, Daniel Berger, Xander Schauffele, Bubba Watson, Shane Lowry

100/1: Charl Schwartzel, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker

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Golf Channel, Loch Lomond Partner on Claret Jug Tour Ahead of 147TH Open

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJune 18, 2018, 9:35 pm

Award-Winning Independent Scotcb Whisky Sponsoring Tour to Select U.S. Cities; Will Include Special Tastings and Opportunities for Fans to Engage with Golf’s Most Storied Trophy

Golf Channel and Loch Lomond Group are partnering on a promotional tour with the Claret Jug – golf’s most iconic trophy, first awarded in 1873 to the winner of The Open – to select U.S. cities in advance of the 147TH Open at Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland. Loch Lomond Whisky’s sponsorship of the tour further enhances the brand’s existing five-year partnership with the R&A as the official spirit of The Open, initially announced in February.

“We are proud to partner with Golf Channel to support this tour of golf’s most iconic trophy,” said Colin Matthews, CEO of Loch Lomond Group. “Whisky and golf are two of Scotland’s greatest gifts to the world, and following the news of our recent partnership with the R&A for The Open, being a part of the Claret Jug tour was a perfect fit for Loch Lomond Group to further showcase our commitment to the game.”

“The Loch Lomond Group could not be a more natural fit to sponsor the Claret Jug tour,” said Tom Knapp, senior vice president of golf sponsorship, NBC Sports Group. “Much like the storied history that accompanies the Claret Jug, Loch Lomond’s Scottish roots trace back centuries ago, and their aspirations to align with golf’s most celebrated traditions will resonate with a broad range of consumers in addition to golf fans and whisky enthusiasts.”

The tour kicks off today in Austin, Texas, and will culminate on Wednesday, July 11 at the American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe one week prior to The Open. Those wishing to engage with the Claret Jug will have an opportunity at one of several tour stops being staged at Topgolf locations in select cities. The tour will feature a custom, authentic Scottish pub where consumers (of age) can sample Loch Lomond’s portfolio of whiskies in the spirit of golf’s original championship and the Claret Jug. The Claret Jug also will make special pop-up visits to select GolfNow course partners located within some of the designated tour markets.

(All Times Local)

Monday, June 18                    Austin, Texas              (Topgolf, 5:30-8:30 p.m.)

Tuesday, June 19                    Houston                      (Topgolf, 5-8 p.m.)

Wednesday, June 20               Jacksonville, Fla.        (Topgolf, 6-9 p.m.)

Monday, June 25                    Orlando, Fla.               (Topgolf, 6-9 p.m.)

Wednesday, July 4                 Washington D.C.        (Topgolf, 5:30-8:30 p.m. – Ashburn, Va.)

Monday, July 9                       Edison, N.J.                (Topgolf, Time TBA)

Wednesday, July 11               Lake Tahoe, Nev.       American Century Championship (On Course)

Fans interacting with the Claret Jug and Loch Lomond during the course of the tour are encouraged to share their experience using the hashtag, #ClaretJug on social media, and tag @TheOpen and @LochLomondMalts on Twitter and Instagram.

NBC Sports Group is the exclusive U.S. television home of the 147TH Open from Carnoustie, with nearly 50 live hours of tournament coverage, Thursday-Sunday, July 19-22. The Claret Jug is presented each July to the winner of The Open, with the winner also being given the title of “Champion Golfer of the Year” until the following year’s event is staged. The Claret Jug is one of the most storied trophies in all of sports; first presented to the 1873 winner of The Open, Tom Kidd. Each year, the winner’s name is engraved on to the trophy, forever etched into the history of golf’s original championship. It is customary for the Champion Golfer of the Year to drink a favorite alcoholic beverage from the Claret Jug in celebration of the victory.