Webb eyes major No. 8 with Olympics on horizon

By Randall MellJune 12, 2015, 11:54 pm

HARRISON, N.Y. – Karrie Webb has hoisted seven major championship trophies in her career.

Nobody teeing it up this week at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship has won more majors.

In fact, only six women in the history of golf have won more.

Only real legends have won more, only Patty Berg (15), Mickey Wright (13), Louise Suggs (11), Annika Sorenstam (10), Babe Zaharias (10) and Betsy Rawls (8).

That’s what made Webb’s admission so telling after she closed out a 2-under-par 71 Friday at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship to move into weekend position to win her eighth major. She tees it up Saturday one shot behind Sei Young Kim.

“I didn’t sleep well last night,” Webb said. “I don’t know if it’s been awhile since I’ve played with that much adrenaline. I just still had it in my body when I was trying to go to sleep.”

Webb still has the drive to win on the game’s grandest stages. Twenty years after she won her first LPGA title, 16 years after she won her first major, she still craves more.

“I was a little antsy,” Webb said of Friday’s start.

KPMG Women’s PGA: Articles, videos and photos

At 40, Webb is still driven by a dream. She wants to win an Olympic gold medal for her native Australia with golf returning to the Olympics next year. There’s still a lot of “want to” in Webb’s game and there’s something special to appreciate in that because she might not be around a whole lot longer, at least not with this same high level of ambition.

She has told us this Olympic bid fuels her and after it’s over we might not see as much of her. Even if we do, we might not see the same burning desire. We saw Annika Sorenstam hit the wall after performing at such a high level for so many years. Sorenstam stepped away from the game at 37. We saw Lorena Ochoa do the same at 28.

There’s longevity to Webb’s excellence to marvel over as she makes this last hard run of hers through the Olympics next year because this level of excellence can’t be fueled forever. This is a huge investment Webb is making to win gold.

“I sort of feel like I am going to play as full a schedule as I have, and work as hard as I have, for the next two years and then see where that shakes out,” Webb said earlier this year. “I could be playing close to the best golf of my career, and it could be really hard to scale back. Or, I might just be ready for a break. Or, I might be somewhere in between.”

Webb went to work changing her swing with Mike McGetrick last year, and we’re seeing the fruit of their work. Webb is full of confidence as she seeks to win her first major since taking the Kraft Nabisco in 2006.

“I definitely think my game is as good as it's ever been,” Webb said. “It's just a matter of getting out of my own way and allowing that to happen.”

The women’s game is so much younger than the men’s game. Webb is reminded of that all the time with 18-year-old Lydia Ko reigning as the Rolex No. 1, with 19-year-old Hyo Joo Kim beating her down the stretch at the Evian Championship last year, with 17-year-old Brooke Henderson contending this week.

“It makes me think about my age,” said Webb, who won twice last season. “It's fun to watch the young kids play because I know I used to be that fearless, and that's probably the only thing I wish I had. Because, obviously, as you get older, it doesn't matter what we're doing, we all lose that little bit of fearlessness that we have when we were young. But I think for me, the experience of knowing myself very well, and what I need to do to play well, is just as important.”

Juli Inkster can appreciate what it takes to keep the love of the game going strong enough to do the work it takes to keep pace with all the youth in the women’s game. Inkster, like Webb, has won seven majors. At 54, Inkster made the cut this week. Laura Davies can appreciate Webb’s longevity, too. She’s 51 and she also made the cut.

With Webb going out with Kim as the leaders in the final pairing Saturday, Webb is right where she wants to be, trying to control all the adrenalin that comes with being in contention and trying to get a good night’s sleep.

“I feel comfortable with where I put myself,” Webb said. “Who knows if that will be leading or tied for the lead or one behind tomorrow. I'm just really happy to have played the course really solidly for two days and see what happens on the weekend.”

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Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

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.

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Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

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.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

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

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Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

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.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

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.”

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Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

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.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

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.”