Purdy Enters Houston a Little Shell-Shocked

By Mercer BaggsApril 21, 2004, 4:00 pm
For many journeyman professionals there seems to be one ' and only one ' real, solid opportunity to claim a PGA Tour title.
Some are able to take advantage of that rare opportunity. Todd Hamilton did so at this years Honda Classic. And while he may have another chance to play the final few holes of a tour event in serious contention, if he doesnt, at least he got his One.
The tour record book is littered with one-time winners. But a far more populated group is one filled with the unfulfilled ' those who came close ' very, very close ' but just couldnt get it done.
Ted Purdy came close ' very, very close ' to winning last weeks MCI Heritage. He had a four-stroke lead entering the final round. He had a 10-foot birdie putt to win on the final hole of regulation and missed it. Strike One. He had a 15-foot birdie putt to win on the first hole of a playoff with Stewart Cink and missed it. Strike Two.
And when Cink, on the fifth hole of sudden death, knocked an L-wedge from a waste area to 6 feet and then converted the putt, it was Strike Three.
But, in baseball terms, that was a called third strike ' one based on interpretation, Purdy believes. And Purdy, who is competing in this weeks Shell Houston Open, is still not happy with the call.
Cink was given permission, under the rules of golf, by Slugger White, the PGA Tour tournament director and referee in chief, to move loose impediments in the waste area.
And Cink did just that, picking up a number of items behind his ball. But during the television broadcast it showed that Cink used his right index finger to swipe away the area behind his ball, seemingly improving his lie.
Several viewers noticed this; and as many are wont to do, many called in to complain.
So White grabbed Cink, after he already had accepted the tartan jacket at the champions ceremony, and the two reviewed the incident. White concluded all was well and the matter appeared over.
Purdy graciously accepted defeat, but it wasnt until the following day that he got a chance to see exactly what transpired on the 16th, the hole in question.
When I saw the video tape on Monday morning ' I wasnt privy to it Sunday night ' it just made my gut sink, Purdy told The Golf Channel.
I wish I had interpreted the rules that way when I was in the waste area on 15.
On the par-4 15th in regulation, Purdy was positioned in a similar waste area, just 70 yards from the hole, and was unable to advance his ball to the green. He made a costly bogey.
If I had interpreted the rules the way Stewart had, I would have drawn a line under my ball and hit the ball cleanly and knocked it on the green and, at worst, made par in regulation, Purdy said.
Purdy said he harbors no ill will towards Cink, whom he calls a friend, but said, even days removed from the incident, he is still unsatisfied with the manner in which things transpired.
Im upset with the interpretation of that rule by the tour ' the tour official, Purdy said. They are there to protect me and to protect the field, obviously, but I was the field because it was a playoff.
He wasnt individually picking shells or anything, he was sweeping the sand ' sand is not a loose impediment ' sweeping the sand behind the ball to improve his lie.
I dont think Stewarts interpretation of how you can move loose impediments was correct.
Tour officials, however, disagree. Dodgy, as CBS commentator Peter Oosterhuis described it, perhaps, but, correct by tour rules.
Wednesday, tournament official Jon Brendle addressed the matter on The Golf Channels Sprint Pre Game show.
It's an area that has a gray area to it. It's all loose impediment, Brendle said, noting that the waste area is not comprised of sand, but of crushed coral.
'If you were in pine straw or on a gravel road, where you weren't going to take a drop, you're allowed to sweep. It's all loose impediments. It doesn't say how you have to take them away. If you have a pile of acorns behind your ball, you can sweep them away.
'You're improving your lie, but the rules allow you to improve your lie by moving loose impediments.'
Cink told The Golf Channel Wednesday that he asked White what the rules were to avoid such a controversy. He added that he didn't want to get into a verbal shouting match and that even though he is uncomfortable with the negative attention that this matter is drawing, he believes he was in the right.
He addressed the matter fully after his victory.
We went to the video and with the PGA Tour official we determined that I did everything within the rules, Cink said Sunday.
The first thing I did (before hitting the shot) was to go to Slugger White, who was with the playoff. I asked him what I could do, what I couldn't do. Am I allowed to move this or not, or am I not allowed. He told me exactly what I was allowed to move, and I did what I was told I could do. And he was right, I was right, and we looked at it and that's fine.
Cink described his shot as unbelievable, and that he couldnt replicate it if given a hundred tries. Purdy thought the same thing ' at the time.
In the playoff, I thought he had just hit the most amazing shot of all time, Purdy said. But then once I saw it on tape, I thought: I could have hit that, too.
Hopefully, for his sake, Purdy will get another opportunity to win a tour event. If not this week, then down the road.
I need to get back into this position, he said Sunday night. And I'm playing well enough to go win next week.
The $518,400 he earned at Harbour Town was enough to secure his tour card for next season. He can take some solace in that. But for a 30-year-old journeyman professional, one who has one top-10 finish in 41 career starts on tour, he knows opportunities like the one he had last week dont come very often.
Thats what makes this matter all-the-more irritating.
Its a closed issue for me, because the tours made it a closed issue, he said.
Theres no recourse. Whats happened happened. Nothings going to come from this. Its just frustrating.
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    Koepka: Second-place finishes becoming 'annoying'

    By Al TaysMay 28, 2018, 12:02 am

    Brooks Koepka didn't go down without a fight.

    Trailing Justin Rose by four shots going into the final round of the Fort Worth Invitational, Koepka shot his second 7-under 63 of the week - and made up precisely one shot. He finished solo second at 17 under par, three shots behind Rose.

    He could only marvel at the Englishman's performance in closing with a 6-under 64.

    "It was pretty impressive," he said. "Justin played well. Hat's off to him. Any time you can come into a lead with four shots and play the way he did today, that's impressive."

    Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

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    Although Koepka was pleased with his own play - especially his putting - he said it felt "annoying" to come in second. Again.

    "I feel like we've had so many second-place finishes," he said. "Always seem to run into a buzz saw, whatever it is."

    Since May of 2016, Koepka has five solo second-place finishes and one T-2. But he also has a U.S. Open title, won last year at Erin Hills. He'll attempt to defend that title June 14-17 at Shinnecock Hills. "It's nice to finally be playing well and get going into the season," he said. "Kind of peaking right where I need to be."

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    Minjee Lee birdies 18 to win on her birthday

    By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 10:59 pm

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Minjee Lee's task was simple: A birdie on No. 18 would win her the tournament. It was a manageable par 5, the easiest hole on the course in the final round.

    After a good drive, her second shot came closer to trouble than much of the gallery probably realized.

    ''I almost clipped the tree,'' Lee said. ''I overcut it a little bit, but it finished out in a good position.''

    Lee's shot came to rest just to the right of the green, and from there it was a simple chip and putt for the birdie that gave her a one-stroke win over In-Kyung Kim at the LPGA Volvik Championship on Sunday. Lee, who turned 22 on Sunday, won for the first time since 2016. It was the Australian's fourth career victory.

    Lee three-putted for a bogey on No. 17, dropping into a tie with Kim, who finished her round about the same time. So Lee needed a birdie to win on 18. The 18th hole was 470 yards Sunday. There were 44 birdies there in the final round.

    Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship

    ''The tee was up,'' she said. ''I was pretty confident that I could get there in two if I had a good drive.''

    Lee made her winning putt from about 3 feet. She finished at 4-under 68 and 16 under for the tournament. Kim (67) shot a 32 on the back nine and birdied No. 18, but it wasn't enough to force a playoff at Travis Pointe Country Club.

    ''I kind of knew that 16 was the number and I mean, I give my best,'' Kim said. ''I make some good shots and birdies.''

    Moriya Jutanugarn (65) finished third at 14 under.

    Lee took a two-stroke lead into the final round, and that was her margin over playing partner Stacy Lewis before Lewis (71) bogeyed No. 7 and 8. Kim emerged as the biggest threat to Lee when she birdied four of the first five holes on the back nine. Lewis is playing four months' pregnant with her first child.

    Kim and Lee were briefly tied at 15 under, but then Lee made a tap-in birdie on the par-5 14th, while Kim bogeyed 15. Lee saved par on 15 despite a wayward drive into a bunker.

    ''I wasn't sure where I was score-wise then. That par 5 is reachable in two, so I think a lot of people would have made birdie there,'' Lee said. ''The next tee shot I just pulled into the bunker. ... I think that was really important for me to hole that par putt just to keep the momentum going.''

    Lee had gone 38 consecutive holes without a bogey before making one on the par-4 17th. That, combined with Kim's birdie on 18, left the two golfers tied, but Lee still had the 18th to come.

    Su Oh (68) and Lindy Duncan (69) finished at 13 under, and Megan Khang (67) was another stroke back. Lewis finished at 11 under along with Ariya Jutanugarn (69) and Danielle Kang (70).

    Lewis birdied three of the first six holes, but Lee did as well.

    ''It's hard to get close when somebody does that,'' Lewis said. ''She played great all day and played solid. When she needed to make a par putt, she did, and didn't make any mistakes.''

    Lee lost this event by one stroke last year. Shanshan Feng, the 2017 winner , finished tied for 21st this time.

    The LPGA has had a different winner in each of its 13 tournaments this year. The U.S. Women's Open starts Thursday at Shoal Creek.

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    Spieth: Improvement is 'right around the corner'

    By Al TaysMay 27, 2018, 10:50 pm

    Not that Dallas native Jordan Spieth didn't enjoy the two-week home game that is the AT&T Byron Nelson and the Fort Worth Invitational - he certainly did. But he's eager to get out of town, too.

    "It was a great showing these last couple weeks by the fans," Spieth said after closing with a 2-under 68, a 5-under total and a T-32 finish. "Obviously extremely appreciative here in DFW. Wish I could do more. These couple weeks can be a bit taxing, and it's awesome to kind of have that support to carry you through.

    "So, you know, I had a great time these couple weeks on and off the golf course as I always do, but I'm also really excited to kind of get out of town and kind of be able to just go back to the room and have nothing to do at night except for get ready to play the next day."

    Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

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    Spieth will have that experience this coming week in Dublin, Ohio, site of the Memorial. He's hopeful of improving on his T-21, T-32 finishes the past two weeks, and he thinks the main thing holding him back - his putting - is ready for a turnaround.

    "I think good things are about to come," he said. "I feel a good run coming for the second half of the season. Today was - each day I've felt better and better with the wedges and the putter and the short game; today was no different. My only bogey being just kind of trying to do too much on a par-5; 3-wood into the hazard.

    "So, you know, I'm getting into where I'm not making bogeys, and then soon - the not making bogeys is great, and soon I'll get back to the five, six birdies around and shoot some low rounds.

    "So I know it's right around the corner."

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    Broadhurst fires 63 to easily win Senior PGA

    By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 10:45 pm

    BENTON HARBOR, Mich. – Paul Broadhurst wishes he had played this well in his 23 years on the European Tour.

    ''I know a lot more about my swing now and I guess you get that with age and experience,'' the 52-year-old Englishman said after shooting an 8-under 63 on Sunday to win the Senior PGA Championship by four strokes and match the best 72-hole score in tournament history.

    Broadhurst finished at 19-under 265 at Harbor Shores for his second senior major victory. The 63 was the best fourth-round score by a winner. Rocco Mediate also shot 19 under at Harbor Shores in 2016.

    Also the 2016 British Senior Open winner, Broadhurst led the field with 26 birdies and passed third-round co-leaders Tim Petrovic and Mark McCarron with a 4-under 31 on the back nine.

    Petrovic was second after a 69. McCarron had a 70 to tie for third at 14 under with Jerry Kelly (65).

    Full-field scores from the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship

    Broadhurst earned a career-high $585,000 for his fourth PGA Tour Champions victory and moved to the top of the money list. He won six times on the European Tour, was a 1991 Ryder Cup player for Europe and has three European Senior Tour victories.

    ''It was really a special week,'' he said. ''It got a little bit tense out there. I knew I was playing well but I didn't seem to making any progress against Tim Petrovic. He was side-by-side on the back nine it seemed.''

    He learned his lead was three strokes standing on the 18th tee when his caddie asked a television announcer.

    ''So we put my driver away and reached for the rescue club,'' he said. ''If I made a 5 there that would be fine.''

    Broadhurst started the round two strokes behind Petrovic and McCarron, birdied the first hole and was tied with Petrovic for the lead by the turn. He took his first lead with a birdie on the 12th hole, led by two after 16 and birdied the final two holes, including a dramatic 40-foot putt for birdie at the 18th hole.

    ''I guess it would have been a bit of anti-climax if I would have three-putted the last green, but that would have given Tim a chance of holing his second shot,'' he said. ''I actually spoke to my caddie about that going down the last - we don't want to three-putt and five him the opportunity because stranger things have happened in golf. To see it go in the middle of the hole was just a special feeling.''

    Petrovic said missed birdie putts on Nos. 7 and 8 were costly, but it might not have mattered with the way Broadhurst was playing.

    ''In hindsight it was all for naught,'' he said. ''He was so far ahead of us. Hat's off the guy. It was a great week - we just got beat. When he made the putt on 18 ahead of us I almost started clapping in the fairway and waving a white towel. It was well-deserved. That was great playing. He won the championship for sure.''

    Broadhurst shot 72 in the first round, started rolling in putts with a 66 in the second round and was 15 under on the weekend. In addition to the leading 26 birdies, he topped the putts per greens in regulations numbers for the tournament as well with a 1.574 average.

    ''I wasn't aware I made that many birdies,'' he said. ''That's pretty impressive around this course.''

    He said his game has long been unpredictable.

    ''I'm not blessed with a consistent swing like Bernhard Langer, but when it's on, it works,'' he said. ''If I'm putting well, then anything can happen, really.''