Loud and clear: Phoenix leaders survive 16th-hole insanity

By Ryan Reiterman February 6, 2016, 2:29 am

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – We’re through only two rounds at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and already the largest outdoor golf party has gifted us with plenty of storylines.

Bubba Watson’s questionable comments earlier this week brought out the boo birds to TPC Scottsdale. Phil Mickelson continues to thrill and spill in his attempt to get his swing changes grooved before the Masters. And Rickie Fowler has already become the new fan favorite here as he’s gushed about his love for the wild atmosphere in Phoenix.

Oh, and there was an ace by a robot, some “dabbing” and Ian Poulter putting one-handed.

That was just the warm-up act.

Now starting the weekend one stroke behind James Hahn, Fowler will be chasing his second win of the year and fifth in nine months in front of a potentially record-breaking crowd.

“In a great position for the weekend,” Fowler said after finishing with a birdie on 18 and signing for a 3-under 68. “Didn't play easy out there today. Nice to cap it off with a birdie on 18. Excited for tomorrow.”

More than 160,400 people turned out Friday at TPC Scottsdale, shattering the record of 123,674 in 2014. The forecast is perfect for the weekend - 75 and sunny on Saturday and 79 and sunny on Sunday - so the single-day attendance record of 189,722 set in the third round in 2014 is certainly in play on Saturday.

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The fans will be turning out to see Fowler - and for the party at 16 - but there are plenty of good stories on the leaderboard.

Hahn made a name for himself three years ago when he birdied 16 and then celebrated with the “Gangnam Style” dance. He became better known as a PGA Tour winner last year when he knocked off Dustin Johnson and Paul Casey in a playoff at Riviera.

“It's the one week out of the year where you're allowed to do anything you want and not get fined,” Hahn said. “So the fact that the PGA Tour is a little lenient on us doing, you know, whatever things you want to do on that hole, it's good for golf, good for the game, good for the fans that come out here. They support the golf tournament, so might as well give them a show.”

Before Hahn prepares to defend at the Northern Trust Open, he heads into the weekend leading by himself for the first time. If he has a sleepless night on Friday at least it will be in his own bed. Hahn lives about 10 minutes away and is a member at TPC Scottsdale.

He got a member’s bounce in the second round that set him up for his sixth birdie of the day. He pulled his second shot into the par-4 6th, his 15th hole of the day, but it bounced off the side of a hill after nearly beaning a napping fan and settled 6 feet away.

“I have played this course so many times, and it always kicks off that hill,” Hahn said. “I knew if I pulled it a little bit left that it would kick on the green. It's unfortunate the ropes are a little close to the green, but, you know, it was rewarded for a member's bounce, and I am a member here, so ... I pay my dues.”

Hahn showed Friday that Fowler is not the only player who fully embraces the challenge of playing in front of a boisterous crowd. Along with his dance in 2013, Hahn did 10 push-ups Friday as a self-punishment for not hitting the green at 16 the first two days.

“I hit a horrible shot,” he said. “I missed the green yesterday and missed the green today. I was like, all right. I got booed again. It's no fun when you get booed on 16. I felt obligated to give them 10 push-ups. It was well-deserved for them. They came out to watch the gun show, so I popped them out right there on the tee box.”

Fowler put on a different kind of show at 16. He arrived at the tee fresh off a birdie at the par-5 15th, and then as the fans started to quiet down he raised his arms in the air and egged the crowd on to get louder.

They continued to cheer as Fowler hit his tee shot to 25 feet, but then the boos rained down when he left the birdie putt short.

His only bogey of the day came on 17 when he took three swipes from 26 feet, but Fowler answered right back when he stuck his approach to 3 feet on 18.

Fowler shares second with Danny Lee, the 2008 U.S. Amateur champ and a winner last year at The Greenbrier. The two have engaged in a friendly war of practical jokes, but after Lee recorded a 5-under 66 in Round 2 he said the pranks will probably be on hold as they attend to business this weekend.

“At the moment we are just waving a white flag at each other, having a rest at the moment, but I can feel a big one coming up from Rickie,” Lee joked.

Lee, Fowler and Hahn will be together in the final group on Saturday.

“It's one of my favorite events having the loud crowd out there,” Fowler said. “Hopefully we'll give them a reason to get loud.”

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Furyk: Not a 'good idea' to team Tiger, Phil at Ryder Cup

By Ryan LavnerJune 25, 2018, 1:12 pm

Those hoping for another Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson partnership at the Ryder Cup might be sorely disappointed.

U.S. captain Jim Furyk all but slammed the door on the reboot Monday on Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive.” Speaking at the CVS Health Charity Classic, Furyk laughed off the idea and said that it wouldn’t be a “good idea” for him to team them again.

“It worked out so well the first time,” he said, chuckling, referring to the 2004 matches, where captain Hal Sutton paired the sport’s two biggest stars and watched them go 0-2 en route to a lopsided team defeat at home.

Colin Montgomerie, who was also on the set and a member of that ’04 European squad, chimed in: “It was a great decision for Europe!”

Woods and Mickelson’s relationship has improved in recent years, since they were part of the task force that morphed into the Ryder Cup committee. They even played a practice round together this year at the Masters. But Furyk seemed to suggest even that wouldn’t be enough to put them together again in Paris.

“I hope they’re both watching, because they just fell off the couch laughing,” Furyk said. “I wouldn’t guess that would be a good idea as a captain, I’m just saying.”

Both Mickelson and Woods are outside the top 8 automatic qualifiers. Mickelson is currently ranked 10th, while Woods is now 39th.

Woods has already been named a vice captain for this year’s matches, though Furyk said that Woods had broached the topic of being a playing vice captain as early as January. Furyk added that he hasn’t discussed what Woods would need to show him over the course of the year to be considered for a captain’s pick.

“He hasn’t played as big of a schedule as everybody else,” Furyk said, “but when he has played, he’s played pretty well. Definitely an eye-opener for everyone.”

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Grandma hopes sick JT has some 's***-kicking antibiotics'

By Grill Room TeamJune 25, 2018, 1:08 pm

Justin Thomas tied for 56th at the Travelers Championship, still recovering from a brutal test at the U.S. Open and, apparently, battling an illness.

Thomas is next competing at this week's French Open, along with the likes of Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia and a host of potential Ryder Cup foes.

Count his grandmother as one who is pulling – really, really pulling – for his physical recovery.

Grandmothers are the best. And as you can make out from the top of the text exchange, she finally figured out what was on JT’s pants in Round 1 at Shinnecock Hills.

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What's in the bag: Travelers champion Watson

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 25, 2018, 12:22 pm

Bubba Watson won the Travelers Championship for a third time in his career. Here's a look inside his bag:

Driver: Ping G400 LST (7.6 degrees), with Grafalloy Bi-Matrix Prototype X shaft

Fairway wood:  Ping G (13.2 degrees), with Fujikura Tour Spec 8.2 X shaft

Irons: Ping iBlade (2), Ping S55 (4-PW), with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 (52 degrees, 55 degrees, 63 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts

Putter: Ping PLD Anser

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

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Travelers purse payout: Bubba, Cink close low, earn big

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 25, 2018, 12:06 pm

Bubba Watson shot 63 on Sunday to win the Travelers Championship. He took home the trophy, but he wasn't the only player to earn a big payday. Here's how the purse was paid out at TPC River Highlands:

1 Bubba Watson -17 $1,260,000
T2 Stewart Cink -14 $462,000
T2 Beau Hossler -14 $462,000
T2 J.B. Holmes -14 $462,000
T2 Paul Casey -14 $462,000
T6 Kevin Tway -13 $234,500
T6 Brian Harman -13 $234,500
T6 Russell Henley -13 $234,500
T9 Chase Seiffert -12 $189,000
T9 Bryson DeChambeau -12 $189,000
T9 Anirban Lahiri -12 $189,000
T12 Rory McIlroy -11 $147,000
T12 Ryan Blaum -11 $147,000
T12 Jason Day -11 $147,000
T15 Charley Hoffman -10 $115,500
T15 Patrick Cantlay -10 $115,500
T15 Danny Lee -10 $115,500
T15 Kyle Stanley -10 $115,500
T19 Brooks Koepka -9 $79,000
T19 Fabian Gomez -9 $79,000
T19 David Lingmerth -9 $79,000
T19 Zach Johnson -9 $79,000
T19 Emiliano Grillo -9 $79,000
T19 Matt Jones -9 $79,000
T19 Jamie Lovemark -9 $79,000
T26 Sam Ryder -8 $49,700
T26 Si Woo Kim -8 $49,700
T26 Richy Werenski -8 $49,700
T26 Blayne Barber -8 $49,700
T26 Steve Marino -8 $49,700
T26 Peter Malnati -8 $49,700
T26 Patrick Rodgers -8 $49,700
T33 Alex Cejka -7 $39,550
T33 Tyler Duncan -7 $39,550
T33 Kevin Streelman -7 $39,550
T36 Seamus Power -6 $35,175
T36 James Hahn -6 $35,175
T38 Scott Stallings -5 $30,800
T38 Russell Knox -5 $30,800
T38 Brandon Harkins -5 $30,800
T38 Lanto Griffin -5 $30,800
T42 Adam Hadwin -4 $24,500
T42 J.J. Henry -4 $24,500
T42 Jordan Spieth -4 $24,500
T42 Mackenzie Hughes -4 $24,500
T42 Brett Stegmaier -4 $24,500
T47 Billy Hurley III -3 $17,578
T47 Vaughn Taylor -3 $17,578
T47 Sam Saunders -3 $17,578
T47 Kelly Kraft -3 $17,578
T47 Keegan Bradley -3 $17,578
T47 J.J. Spaun -3 $17,578
T47 Wesley Bryan -3 $17,578
T47 Denny McCarthy -3 $17,578
T47 Scott Brown -3 $17,578
T56 Ryan Armour -2 $15,680
T56 Keith Mitchell -2 $15,680
T56 Ken Duke -2 $15,680
T56 Justin Thomas -2 $15,680
T56 Hunter Mahan -2 $15,680
T61 John Huh -1 $14,910
T61 Martin Laird -1 $14,910
T61 Steve Wheatcroft -1 $14,910
T61 James Driscoll -1 $14,910
T61 Tom Lovelady -1 $14,910
T61 Nick Hardy -1 $14,910
T67 Daniel Berger E $14,350
T67 Trey Mullinax E $14,350
T69 Cameron Tringale 1 $14,000
T69 Kyle Thompson 1 $14,000
T69 Ethan Tracy 1 $14,000
T72 Dominic Bozzelli 2 $13,650
T72 Martin Flores 2 $13,650
74 Padraig Harrington 4 $13,440