Austin Alone on Top in Texas

By Sports NetworkSeptember 24, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Valero Texas OpenSAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Woody Austin birdied two of his last three holes on Saturday to post a 3-under 67 and grab a one-shot lead at the Texas Open. Austin stands at 13-under-par 197 through 54 holes.
 
Mark Wilson was in the lead at minus-14, but bogeyed his last two holes to card an even-par 70. He stands at 12-under-par 198 and was joined there by Robert Gamez (68) and second-round leader Dean Wilson (70).
 
J.J. Henry fired a 4-under 66 Saturday to move into a share of fifth place at minus-11. He was tied there by John Senden, Bob Heintz and Jeff Maggert.
 
Austin started the day two strokes behind Dean Wilson. Austin fell further back with a bogey on the first. He battled back with a birdie on the second.
 
The 41-year-old parred his next four holes. Austin dropped another stroke at the par-4 seventh. He atoned for that error with a birdie on the eighth.
 
Austin tripped to his third bogey at the ninth to make the turn at minus-9. He settled in with four consecutive pars on the Resort Course at LaCantera Golf Club.
 
The two-time winner on the PGA Tour then eagled the par-5 14th to move to minus-11 after hitting his approach from 202 yards out to 2 feet.
 
Austin rolled in a birdie on the 16th to get within one of Mark Wilson's lead. After Wilson bogeyed the last, Austin birdied the same hole to take the out-right lead after three rounds.
 
'It's all new, but it's all new in a good way, so there's nothing wrong with that,' said Austin, who leads entering the final round for the first time in his tour career. 'I've played in one final group, and that was just this year at Hartford. I was trying to defend. I haven't had too many of these.'
 
Mark Wilson got off to a good start with a birdie on the first. He ran off three straight birdies from the sixth to jump into a tie for the lead at minus-12.
 
The 30-year-old climbed into the lead by himself with a birdie on the par-4 11th. Wilson moved two clear of the field with a birdie on the par-5 14th. However, he tripped to back-to-back bogeys from the 17th to fall one behind Austin.
 
'I wasn't focusing on my target anymore, I was just kind of hoping it on the green,' said Wilson of his approach on 18. 'I had a great look at the hole and I didn't trust that the wind was going to push it, and I was aiming left center of the green and I didn't trust it. So I hit it at the flag and hit it in the bunker.
 
'So the finish was a bummer, but I really putted well early, so I'll try to recreate that tomorrow.'
 
Dean Wilson, no relation to Mark, birdied the first. He faltered to a bogey on the next though. He parred his next seven holes, but stumbled to another bogey on the 10th.
 
The 35-year-old got one stroke back with a birdie on the 12th. After a bogey on No. 13, Dean Wilson birdied the 14th to get back to minus-12. He parred his next four holes to share second place.
 
Gamez, who led after the first round, birdied the first, but bogeyed the second. After a pair of pars, he rolled in a birdie putt on the par-4 fifth.
 
The 37-year-old parred eight consecutive holes around the turn. Gamez birdied the par-5 14th to get to minus-12. He got within one of Mark Wilson's lead with a birdie at the 16th. However, Gamez bogeyed the next to drop back to 12 under and a tie for second.
 
Steve Lowery posted his second straight round of 4-under 66 on Saturday. He stands at 9-under-par 201 and was joined in a tie for ninth place by Olin Browne (71) and Alex Cejka (68). Paul Claxton is one stroke further back at minus-8. Bart Bryant, the defending champion, is tied for 15th at 6-under-par 204.
 
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    Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 3:48 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jhonattan Vegas thought someone was playing a practical joke on him.

    Or maybe he was stuck in the middle of a horror movie.

    Scheduled to leave for The Open a week ago, he didn’t arrive at Carnoustie until a little more than an hour before his first-round tee time Thursday.

    “Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose,” he said, “you couldn’t really do it.”

    The problem was an expired visa.

    Vegas said that he must have gotten confused by the transposed date on the visa – “Guessing I’ve been living in America too long” – and assumed that he was cleared to travel.

    No problem, he was told. He’d have a new visa in 24 hours.


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    Except the consulate in New York didn’t respond to his application the next day, keeping him in limbo through the weekend. Then, on Monday, he was told that he’d applied for the wrong visa. UPS got shut down in New York and his visa never left, so Vegas waited in vain for seven hours in front of the consulate in Houston. He finally secured his visa on Wednesday morning, boarded a flight from Houston to Toronto, and then flew to Glasgow, the final leg of a 14-hour journey.

    His agent arranged a helicopter ride from Glasgow to Carnoustie to ensure that he could make his 10:31 a.m. (local) tee time.

    One more issue? His clubs never made it. They were left back in Toronto.

    His caddie, Ruben Yorio, scrambled to put together a new bag, with a mismatched set of woods, irons, wedges and putter.

    “Luckily the (equipment) vans are still here,” Vegas said. “Otherwise I probably would have played with members’ clubs today.”

    He hit about 20 balls on the range – “Luckily they were going forward” – but Carnoustie is one of the most challenging links in the world, and Vegas was working off of two hours’ sleep and without his own custom-built clubs. He shot 76 but, hey, at least he tried.

    “It was fun,” he said, “even though the journey was frustrating.”

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    'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

    Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

    “The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”


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    Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

    The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

    “That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”

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    Perez: R&A does it right, 'not like the USGA'

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:28 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez didn’t even attempt to hide his frustration with the USGA at last month’s U.S. Open, and after an opening-round 69 at The Open, he took the opportunity to double down on his displeasure.

    “They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA,” Perez said of the setup at Carnoustie. “They've got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you've got the greens receptive. They're not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn't. The course is just set up perfect.”


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    Concerns at Shinnecock Hills reached a crescendo on Saturday when the scoring average ballooned to 75.3 and only three players broke the par of 70. Of particular concern for many players, including Perez, were some of the hole locations, given how fast and firm the greens were.

    “The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”