Moving Up Down In and Out

By Rex HoggardSeptember 5, 2010, 2:29 am
DeutscheBank Logo 2007NORTON, Mass. – They call it 'Moving Day,' a cliché that for 51 weeks seems like an oversimplification. As if any day wouldn’t be a good day to climb a leaderboard.

That is until the travelling circus set up shop at the Deutsche Bank Championship, where on this windblown Saturday more baggage, of the literal and psychological variety, was processed than on Thanksgiving at LaGuardia.

Brandt Snedeker rolled into a share of the lead, which, with all apologies to Snedeker, may have been the day’s least-compelling storyline given what was on the line for so many.
Steve Marino
Steve Marino is among those looking to keep alive his playoff run. (Getty Images)
For many, Round 2 at TPC Boston was a “Hail Mary” shot at advancing to next week’s playoff stop in Chicago. For some, the Deutsche Bank turn was the final blow to whatever Ryder Cup hopes they were clinging to.

Although the FedEx Cup axe was much more absolute, the finality of it all also was unmistakable for the likes of Anthony Kim, a Ryder Cup lock as recent as a month ago but likely on the outside of captain Corey’s watch list after missing another cut in Boston.

“All of a sudden it’s looking like three easy choices for Pavin (and) one tough one,” 2008 U.S. captain Paul Azinger Tweeted Saturday afternoon.

In no particular order, you have a T-8 (Zach Johnson), T-8 (Stewart Cink) and a TW, who carded his first bogey-free round of the year and is tied for 29th. Mr. Pavin will take three veterans, on form, hold the second guessing.

Johnson, a rare bright spot for the U.S. side the last time the matches were played on the unfriendly confines of the Continent, has made the biggest move in recent weeks. He’s also something of a motivated wild-card after missing the last matches at Valhalla.

“I watched every second of (the 2008 Ryder Cup),” Johnson said. “As I told Corey, 2010 Ryder Cup captain, it was one I was cheering for them like crazy.”

That final pick, however, promises to put the labor back into Labor Day for Pavin, On Wednesday night, Pavin gathered his Elite Eight, those who had already qualified for his team, at a local Fleming’s Steakhouse for a relaxed night of storytelling. He should have been asking for advice.

Golf Channel continued to crunch the Ryder Cup numbers after last month’s PGA Championship, and the perennial favorites seem to be Lucas Glover (No. 10), Sean O’Hair (No. 19) and Rickie Fowler (No. 21).

Among that group, O’Hair hit the ball all over New England and missed the cut in Boston, finishing 97th out of 97 players. Glover and Fowler will be around for the weekend, but neither has been particularly impressive in recent weeks.

At this rate, Pavin may want to check on the immigration status of Paul Casey and Justin Rose, the eighth-ranked player in the world and a two-time Tour winner this year, respectively, who were passed over for picks by European captain Colin Montgomerie.

At least Glover and Fowler have two more days to make their case. For the likes of Spencer Levin and D.A. Points, their playoff hopes went the way of a Red Sox pennant run.

Both began the week as Chicago long shots, Levin 71st and Points 74th on the points list and never broke par.

“Chicago was in the back of my mind, missing the cut was in the back of my mind,” Levin said. “Watching the playoffs last year I knew it was something I wanted to do.”

Ditto for Chris Couch, who started the week 67th on the list, signed for back-to-back 72s and will watch the last two playoff tilts from his couch.

That’s not to say no one made hay on Saturday. Steve Marino, who had slipped to 78th after missing the cut at The Barclays, is at 8 under and likely bound for the BMW. Journeyman Kris Blanks has made a similar climb from 91st . Blanks needs to finish inside the top 20 to advance. He’s currently tied for eighth.

But the biggest postseason climb belongs to Andres Romero. The Argentine was mired in his worst season as a pro with only two top-10 finishes, just made it into the playoffs (115th) and finished tied for 52nd at The Barclays to earn the last spot into the Deutsche Bank. Thanks to a 5-under 66 on Saturday and an 8-under total he still has Chicago on his travel itinerary.

Moving Day, indeed.
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Davies headlines field at Senior LPGA at French Lick

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 14, 2018, 10:40 pm

Laura Davies will be looking to win her second senior major championship this year when she tees it up in Monday’s start of the Senior LPGA Championship at French Lick Resort in Indiana.

Davies, who won the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open in July, will join a field that includes fellow World Golf Hall of Famer Jan Stephenson, who was announced last week with Peggy Kirk Bell as the Hall’s newest members. Hall of Famers Juli Inkster and Hollis Stacy are also in the 54-hole event.

Trish Johnson is back to defend her title after winning the inaugural Senior LPGA Championship a year ago. Brandi Burton, Jane Geddes, Helen Alfredsson and Liselotte Neumann are also in the field of 81 players who will compete for a $600,000 purse, with $90,000 going to the winner.

Golf Channel will televise all three rounds live from 4-6 p.m. ET on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

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Langer (65) wins regular-season finale by six

By Associated PressOctober 14, 2018, 10:07 pm

CARY, N.C. – Bernhard Langer ran away with the SAS Championship on Sunday to take the points lead into the PGA Tour Champions' Charles Schwab Cup playoffs

Langer shot a bogey-free 7-under 65 for a six-stroke victory in the regular-season finale.

''I just played very solid all day long,'' Langer said. ''Putted well, hit the ball where I was looking and did everything exceptionally well.''

The 61-year-old German star has 38 victories on the 50-and-over tour, also winning this year near Houston. He has a record four victories after turning 60.

''I don't have anything to prove, but I still have golf,'' Langer said. ''I still want to improve my own game. I still want to play to the best Bernhard Langer can play. I don't think I need to prove anything, but I love competing, I love winning or being in the hunt. As long as I can do that, I think you're going to see me out here.''

Langer finished with a tournament-record 22-under 194 total at Prestonwood Country Club, the tree-lined layout softened by heavy rain Thursday from Hurricane Michael. He opened with a 62 on Friday to match Gene Sauers and Tom Lehman for the lead, and had a 67 on Saturday to remain atop the leaderboard with Sauers.

Full-field scores from the SAS Championship

''The 10 under was amazing,'' Langer said. ''I couldn't believe there were two other guys who shot 10 under.''

The four-time Charles Schwab Cup winner also won at Prestonwood in 2012.

''It's always fun to go back to where you've won before because you feel like you know how to play the course and you're somewhat comfortable and that's certainly the case here,'' Langer said. ''I've been probably 50, 70 times now around this golf course and I know how to play every hole.''

Scott Parel was second, closing with a double bogey for a 65.

''Bernhard is just in his own world this week,'' Parel said.

Jerry Kelly had a 68 to finish third at 15 under, and Lehman followed at 13 under after a 71.

Sauers shot a 75 to tie for fifth with Miguel Angel Jimenez (68) at 12 under.

The top 72 players in the Schwab Cup standings qualified for the playoffs, the three-event series that begins next week with the Dominion Energy Charity Classic in Richmond, Va. Dan Forsman tied for 56th to jump from 74th to 72nd, edging John Huston for the final spot by $932. Huston tied for 46th.

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Pepperell captures British Masters, eyes Augusta

By Associated PressOctober 14, 2018, 5:29 pm

WALTON HEATH, England -- Eddie Pepperell won his second European Tour title with a two-shot victory at the British Masters on Sunday and likely secured the even bigger prize of a place in next year's Masters at Augusta National.

The Englishman shot an even-par 72 and held off his playing partner, Sweden's Alexander Bjork (71), as the pair went to the 72nd hole at a wet and windy Walton Heath with Pepperell just a stroke in front.

Pepperell finished on 9-under 279.

Herbert Lucas (69) and Jordan Smith (73) were tied for third, another two shots behind Bjork.

English pair Sam Horsfield (69) and Tom Lewis (70) along with American Julian Suri (74) tied for fifth, one shot in front of tournament host Justin Rose (70).

The victory takes Pepperell into the world's top 35 and almost certainly secures a first appearance at Augusta in 2019. The top 50 at the end of the year are guaranteed a place in the first major of the year in April.

Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood (72) finished 2 under in a seven-way tie for ninth.

Full-field scores from the British Masters

A top-two finish on Sunday would have seen Rose reach the top of the world rankings for the second time this season, the 38-year-old having spent two weeks as No. 1 in September

Pepperell was ranked outside the top 500 as recently as May last year, but won the Qatar Masters in February and followed a runner-up finish in the Scottish Open with a tie for sixth in the British Open seven days later, carding a closing 67 at Carnoustie despite saying he had a hangover.

His three-shot overnight lead was down to a single stroke on Sunday when Bjork covered the front nine in 34 and Pepperell three-putted the ninth, the same hole where he enjoyed a spectacular hole-in-one on Thursday.

However, the 27-year-old Pepperell promptly holed his second shot to the 10th from 122 yards for an eagle to move three clear and a par save from off the green on the 14th looked to have sealed the win.

There was still time for some late drama, though, as Pepperell dropped shots on Nos. 15 and 16 to see his lead cut to a single shot, but Bjork bogeyed the 18th after driving into the heather and Pepperell saved par from a greenside bunker.

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Disappointed Sharma fades to T-10 at CIMB

By Will GrayOctober 14, 2018, 1:46 pm

For the second time this year, India's Shubankhar Sharma watched an opportunity for a breakthrough win turn into a learning experience.

Sharma burst onto the scene in March, taking a two-shot lead into the final round of the WGC-Mexico Championship only to fade to a tie for ninth. It was a similar story Sunday at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia, where Sharma started the final round in a three-way tie for the lead but struggled to an even-par 72 that dropped him into a tie for 10th.

"Disappointing, not really happy with the way I finished," Sharma told reporters.

Full-field scores from CIMB Classic

CIMB Classic: Articles, photos and videos

The 22-year-old was 1 over for his first six holes, but he battled back with four straight birdies on Nos. 7-10 to get within three shots of eventual winner Marc Leishman. But his tee shot at the par-3 11th found the water, leading to the first of three straight bogeys that ended any hopes of victory.

"That was probably one of the worst swings of the day," Sharma said. "That 11th hole I think killed the momentum for me. A par there would have gone a long way, and I probably could have made more birdies after that."

Sharma remained optimistic this spring following his final-round fade in Mexico, and he retained a positive mindset despite a rough afternoon as he eyes upcoming starts at both the CJ Cup in South Korea and the WGC-HSBC Champions in China.

"Great experience. Very, very good to have two top-10s on the PGA Tour, so that's a good way of looking at it," he said. "Also, it pushes me to keep playing well. I feel like I have it in me to win out there on the PGA Tour, and I've given myself two opportunities. Game is in a decent place now."