Manic Monday

By Rex HoggardSeptember 4, 2011, 9:34 pm

NORTON, Mass. – For many Labor Day is the end of a season, for some PGA Tour types Monday promises to be the end of the road, a finality that goes well beyond the play-for-pay set’s affinity for white pants.

Deutsche Bank Championship Monday will be filled with professional milestones large and small, from those vying for playoff survival to others scrambling for last-minute Presidents Cup bids, the final 18 at TPC Boston will decide much more than just a champion.

Who needs the bigger Monday is a matter of perspective, but in CliffNotes form here are a half dozen worth watching.

Adam Scott. Since adding the long putter and Stevie Williams to his bag this year the Australian has quickly transitioned from intriguing comeback tale to world-beater in waiting, a spot he’s occupied in the past before sliding into an inexplicable tailspin in late 2008-2009.

But now those dark days seem like a past life following his victory at last month’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and rounds of 69-63-71 at TPC Boston. He’ll begin the final turn one stroke off the lead held by Bubba Watson and one round away from laying an early claim to the Player of the Year and FedEx Cup titles.

Brandt Snedeker. U.S. Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples’ decision to dole out one of his two coveted picks to Tiger Woods well before the Sept. 26 deadline sent a collective chill down the spines of many American hopefuls.

As the points now stand, Jim Furyk (11th in points), Snedeker (12th), Rickie Fowler (13th) and PGA champion Keegan Bradley (20th) are all vying for that final spot. It’s a list that makes Snedes the odd man out if his spot on the team comes down to needing a pick.

If Snedeker, currently tied for 12th in Boston, is going to make the U.S. team he will need to crack the top 10 on the points list by the end of the BMW Championship, and a good Monday at Deutsche Bank can only help.

Chez Reavie. It would be virtually impossible to tell given his affable demeanor, but the rest of Reavie’s year is riding on Monday’s finishing stretch. He must maintain his place in the top 10 (he’s currently tied for second) just to advance to the next playoff stop in Chicago and hope for more solid play to earn his first trip to the Tour Championship.

But even that won’t get him into the Fall Series. Because of Reavie’s status following knee surgery last June, he’s not qualified for three of the four fall events and he’s into the first stop in Las Vegas only because he finished in the top 10 at the Wyndham Championship.

“It’s been like that all year,” said Reavie, who is currently projected to move up to 27th on the FedEx Cup points list. “I could make it to the Tour Championship and not get into any fall events.”

Geoff Ogilvy. Like Snedeker, the Australian is scrambling for a spot on the International Presidents Cup team. Unlike his American counterpart, Ogilvy is also trying to claw his way into the BMW.

Ogilvy is 12th on the International team’s points list and the Melbourne native could make Greg Norman’s choices easier if he were to play his way onto the squad, which will be set following the BMW. Complicating matters, however, is Ogilvy’s position on the FedEx Cup points list (91st). He will need to finish in the top 15 in Boston if he wants to keep his playoff, and perhaps even his Presidents Cup, hopes alive.

“I’d like to have a good enough (Monday) to guarantee Atlanta (Tour Championship), Presidents Cup, win the tournament. I just want to keep playing,” Ogilvy said.

Kevin Na. Unlike everyone else on this list, Na has no control over what happens on Monday at TPC Boston. He missed the cut with rounds of 73-72 and will be relegated to partial bystander as his FedEx Cup fate is decided.

Throughout the day on Sunday Na lingered between 68th and 70th on the points list, but by the time the sun went down he’d settled at 69th.

“I’ll go home and watch the leaderboard, root for myself because I can’t root against someone else,” Na said after he missed the cut on Saturday.

PGA Tour. After having the playoff opener washed to 54 holes by a hurricane named Irene and jilted for the second time in four years by a postseason no-show by Tiger Woods, the circuit is in need of a big finish to liven things up.

The 54-hole leaderboard is helping, with the high-profile likes of Bubba Watson, Jason Day and Adam Scott, Nos. 16, 15 and 23 on the current playoff points list, topping a board that features 17 players within three strokes of the lead.

Phil Mickelson, who had created more buzz with his decision to go with a belly putter this week than his play, also helped the Deutsche Bank’s “Q-rating” on Sunday, signing for a 63 that gave him an outside chance at his second Boston tilt.

If all the lead characters can maintain the status quo, Monday’s finish could feel, well playoff-like.

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Hataoka leads Minjee Lee by one at LPGA Volvik

By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 12:54 am

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - After losing in a playoff last weekend, Nasa Hataoka is making another bid for her first LPGA Tour victory.

Hataoka shot a 4-under 68 on Friday, and the Japanese teenager led by one stroke over Minjee Lee after the second round of the Volvik Championship. Hataoka, who is coming off the first two top-10 finishes of her LPGA career, made seven birdies at Travis Pointe Country Club. She began her round on No. 10, and her best stretch came toward the end, when she birdied Nos. 4, 5 and 6.

''I'm really comfortable playing the LPGA,'' the 19-year-old Hataoka said through a translator. ''I've really got confidence now.''

Hataoka made the cut nine times in 17 starts as a rookie in 2017, and she has made significant strides of late. She tied for seventh at last month's MEDIHEAL Championship and nearly won a week ago at the Kingsmill Championship in Virginia.

Hataoka finished the second round in Michigan at 9 under. Lee (69) was also solid Friday. Gaby Lopez (68), Jodi Ewart Shadoff (70) and Lindy Duncan (70) were a stroke behind Lee in a tie for third.

Hataoka did not make a single bogey in last week's three-round tournament, and she didn't have any in the first round in Michigan. She finally made a few Friday, but that didn't stop her from taking sole possession of the lead.

''I kind of feel like not really perfect, but I just kind of try to (be) aggressive,'' she said.

Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship

Lee, who lost by one stroke on this course last year, is in contention again.

''I guess the fairways are pretty generous and I think the greens are a little bit on the trickier side to read,'' Lee said. ''As long as your iron shots are pretty solid, I think you're going to be in good position around this golf course.''

Lee birdied the first two holes, and the only blemish on her scorecard Friday came on the par-5 14th. After missing the fairway to the right, she hit an aggressive shot out of the rough that went straight toward a water hazard well in front of the green. She settled for a bogey after taking a drop.

''I thought the ball was sitting OK in the rough, but it must have been a bit funny, or underneath it,'' she said. ''I made a mistake. I thought it was good enough to hit 3-wood there.''

Lee lost last year in Michigan to Shanshan Feng, but Feng will have some ground to make up in her attempt to repeat. She shot 69 on Friday but is still eight strokes behind the leader.

Ariya Jutanugarn was 6 under after a second consecutive 69.

Lopez made only six pars in the second round, tied for the fewest of the day, but her eight birdies and four bogeys put her near the top of the leaderboard.

''It was a little bit of an up and down,'' she said. ''There's so many opportunities out here to make birdie, that the most important thing to do is just to be patient, to be in the moment and not to get ahead of yourself. I think I came back from a couple mistakes that I did.''

In contrast to Lopez, Brittany Lincicome parred all 18 holes Friday and made the cut at 1 under. Paula Creamer (71) triple bogeyed the par-4 13th. She followed that with an eagle on the very next hole but missed the cut by a stroke.

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Childhood rivals share Sr. PGA lead

By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 12:00 am

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Kevin Sutherland and Scott McCarron have been rivals since their junior golf days around Sacramento, California. The two old friends were back at it Friday at the top of the Senior PGA Championship leaderboard.

''It's honestly, nothing new for us,'' said Sutherland who played in the third-to-last group and birdied his last two holes for a 5-under 66 to match McCarron at 8 under.

McCarron had a 68 in the morning wave to emerge from a championship record group of six tied for the first-round lead.

Sutherland was last year's Charles Schwab Cup winner with his only senior win coming in the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship, while McCarron has six PGA Tour Champions wins, including a major at the 2017 Senior Players Championship.

''We are both (Northern California) guys, played in high school, junior golf, on tour and it seems like a lot on the Champions Tour,'' Sutherland said. ''We were in the last group on Sundays a lot last year. Scott played so well and had an incredible year, and I had a great year, too.''

Sutherland's lone PGA Tour victory came at McCarron's expense in 2002 at La Costa in the Accenture Match Play Championship, when he beat McCarron 1 up in the 36-hole final. As youngsters they played on opposing high school teams located about an hour apart and met often in state tournaments as well as on the California junior circuit.

''It's been happening for 30 years, wait 35 years now, I guess,'' Sutherland said. ''Playing together on a Saturday is a little different. We're both still trying to get in position to win.''

Jerry Kelly shot a 65 to join Tim Petrovic (69), Chris Williams (68) and Joe Durant (67) at 7 under. Durant tied for second last week in the Regions Tradition, also a major championship.

Full-field scores from the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship

McCarron feels like he is just starting to warm to the task this year. He had to replace his clubs, including a favored putter damaged beyond repair in air transit two months ago.

''I've been putting with a back-up putter I had, but it just didn't feel quite right,'' he said. ''I changed last Sunday at the Regions Tradition and started putting better on Sunday. So I'm using this one again this week and seem to be putting pretty good with it.''

McCarron said the Harbor Shores course played a little tougher in light winds in the second round. He made six birdies and three bogeys.

''I would just like to have a couple of those bogeys back,'' he said. ''But we're in a good position going into the weekend.''

McCarron came to the press center after his round and walked in on a press conference where course-designer Jack and Barbara Nicklaus were being honored by sponsoring KitchenAid with the establishment of a local college scholarship program in their name.

McCarron, who said he has idolized Nicklaus since his youth, played media and asked Nicklaus what he ate when he was near the lead going into the weekend of a major championship.

Nicklaus said if you play well one day, eat the same thing the next day.

''But no hamburgers, or you will play like hamburger,'' he said.

Stuart Smith, the Reno, Neveda, club pro who was tied for the lead after the first round, missed the 36-hole cut with a second-round 83.

''I'll take the 66, 83 and enjoy the 66 yesterday,'' he said. ''You put this one down to just plain old golf. It's a nasty game we play sometimes. Glad I have a day job.''

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Wise, Simpson both miss cut at Colonial

By Nick MentaMay 25, 2018, 11:34 pm

The two most recent winners on the PGA Tour, Aaron Wise and Webb Simpson, missed the cut at the Fort Worth Invitational on Friday.

Wise and Simpson both came up short of the 2-over total by a shot following rounds of 70-73.

Wise was safely inside the number before playing his last four holes in 4 over par with two bogeys and a closing double following a trip into the water at the par-4 ninth.

Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

Simpson, making his first start following his Players triumph, similarly struggled coming home, bogeying three of his final six holes.

Other notables who won't be around for the weekend at Colonial include Xander Schauffele (+4), Jason Dufner (+5), Patrick Cantlay (+6), Smylie Kaufman (+13), and Sam Burns (+13).

This is Kaufman's 11th consecutive MC and his 15th in his last 16 starts.

Jason Seaman and Kristi Hubly Seaman

Sr. PGA caddie learns of nephew's heroism in school shooting

By Tim RosaforteMay 25, 2018, 10:33 pm

Tracy Hubly caddied for her husband, club pro Chris Starkjohann, on Friday at the KitchenAid Senior PGA and learned after their round that her nephew was credited with helping stop the school shooting at Noblesville West Middle School in Indiana.

Jason Seaman, a 29-year-old science instructor and seventh grade football coach at the school, took three bullets but survived as what his aunt called a hero.

“You hear the stories about these shootings and I think about Parkland and the officer that was trained but didn’t go into the school,” Hubly said. “It’s really shocking to think it comes close to your family, but it does."

It’s not unusual for Hubly to caddie for her husband, a teacher at Carlsbad Golf Center and coach of a PGA Junior League program in Southern California. Hubly, who works in the pro shop at Emerald Island Golf Course in Oceanside, Calif., was on the bag when he was low golf professional at the 2009 Senior PGA Championship held at Canterbury GC. 

Starkjohann, 61, missed the cut at Harbor Shores with rounds of 76-79—155 and was heading to the Colorado State Open.

 “I didn’t hear about it until after my round was done,” Starkjohann said. “Everything happened after I got in.”