Germany Leads US Struggles

By Sports NetworkNovember 13, 2003, 5:00 pm
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. -- The duo of Alex Cejka and Marcel Siem combined to post a 5-under-par 67 Thursday to give Germany the first-round lead of the World Golf Championships-World Cup.
 
Ian Woosnam, a last-minute replacement, and Bradley Dredge of Wales are alone in second place after a 4-under 68. The French team of Thomas Levet and Raphael Jacquelin paired for a 3-under-par 69 and sole possession of third place.
 
The World Cup is the fourth and final WGC event of the year. There were 24 teams, Chile withdrew Thursday when Felipe Aguilar injured his hand, and Thursday's action was four-balls or better-ball. On Friday and Sunday, it will be foursomes or alternate-shot, and on Saturday, it's once again four-balls.
 
The American team of U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk and Justin Leonard opened with a 1-under 71 to share seventh place.
 
The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Resort proved to be extremely difficult on Thursday with high winds altering several shots and making for many nervous putts.
 
The German tandem collected four birdies on the front side to share first place but the twosome parred the first four holes on the second nine. Things would change at the par-3 14th.
 
Cejka hit his tee ball 18 feet left of the target but Siem, ranked No. 292 in the Official World Golf Ranking, played his drive to three feet. Cejka missed his birdie try but Siem's found every piece of the hole before falling in and giving the Germans a one-shot lead.
 
At the par-5 16th, Cejka had some trouble and chipped his fourth shot to eight feet. Once again it was Siem to the rescue as the 23-year-old failed to hit the green with his second but chipped to four feet and rolled home the birdie putt to go two clear of the field.
 
Kiawah was too hard on Thursday for a team to go through without a bogey. At the very difficult par-3 17th, Siem missed the green short by several yards but Cejka played to the right side of the green, 45 feet from the hole. Siem pitched 12 feet from the cup and Cejka lagged his par try to five feet. Neither player was able to save par and the lead was only one.
 
Neither Cejka nor Siem hit a good drive at 18 but Siem was in better position to save par. Cejka drove into the sand on the right side and barely advanced his ball out of the bunker. Cejka could not get into the hole with bogey but Siem canned a seven-footer for par to hold on to their one-shot lead.
 
'It was great to have that score and see our name up on the leaderboard,' said Cejka, who finished 60th on the PGA Tour money list in 2003. 'The course has changed a lot since 1997 when I played here and with a wind over 40 miles per hour, it was much tougher. We are both very pleased to lead the tournament after round one.'
 
Woosnam, who was called to duty during a vacation in Barbados after Phillip Price could not shake the flu, recorded five birdies to erase a 1-over start through three holes.
 
Woosnam, a winner of this tournament in 1987, seemed happy to represent Wales again, despite being called in from the beach.
 
'I'd probably be sitting down on the beach or in a bar drinking a nice rum and coke, or going for a siesta,' said Woosnam. 'It didn't take much persuading to come here. It was nice to come and represent your country again.'
 
Leonard and Furyk, who will be heading to South Africa next week for the Presidents Cup, mixed three bogeys and two birdies over their first 15 holes. They birdied two of their final three holes to join the group in seventh.
 
Eduardo Romero and Angel Cabrera of Argentina, Carlos Franco and Marco Ruiz of Paraguay and Trevor Immelman and Rory Sabbatini of South Africa all posted rounds of 2-under-par 70 to share fourth place.
 
The Americans, 1999 British Open winner Paul Lawrie and Alastair Forsyth of Scotland, Mexican duo Alejandro Quiroz and Antonio Maldonado, Korea's K.J. Choi and S.K. Ho, Michael Campbell and David Smail of New Zealand and the Spanish pairing of Miguel Angel Jimenez and Ignacio Garrido are tied for seventh at minus-1.
 
Japan is the defending champion in 2003. Shigeki Maruyama and Toshi Izawa won the title last year but Hidemichi Tanaka replaced Izawa in 2003. The Japanese team struggled to a 2-over 74 and are tied for 18th.
 
Related Links:
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    Ball headed O.B., Stone (68) gets huge break

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 19, 2018, 2:14 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Brandon Stone knew it when he hit it.

    “I knew I hit it out of bounds,” the South African said following his opening round in the 147th Open Championship.

    Stone’s second shot on the par-4 18th, from the left fescue, was pulled into the grandstands, which are marked as O.B. But instead of settling in with the crowd, the ball ricocheted back towards the green and nearly onto the putting surface.

    Stone made his par and walked away with a 3-under 68, two shots off the early lead.

    “I really didn’t put a good swing on it, bad contact and it just came out way left,” Stone said. “I feel so sorry for the person I managed to catch on the forehead there, but got a lucky break.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “When you get breaks like that you know you’re going to have good weeks.”

    It’s been more than just good luck recently for Stone. He shot 60 in the final round – missing a 9-foot birdie putt for the first 59 in European Tour history – to win last week’s Scottish Open. It was his third career win on the circuit and first since 2016. It was also just his first top-10 of the season.

    “A testament to a different mental approach and probably the change in putter,” said Stone, who added that he switched to a new Ping Anser blade model last week.

    “I’ve been putting, probably, the best I have in my entire life.”

    This marks Stone’s sixth start in a major championship, with his best finish a tie for 35th in last year’s U.S. Open. He has a missed cut and a T-70 in two prior Open Championships.

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    Kang on cheating allegation: 'I did the right thing'

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 1:26 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Three weeks after his playing partner claimed that he “cheated,” taking an improper drop at the Quicken Loans National, Sung Kang insisted Thursday that he did nothing wrong.

    Joel Dahmen tweeted that Kang cheated after a lengthy dispute about where his ball had last crossed the line of a hazard. A PGA Tour official ruled in Kang’s favor. Kang made par on the hole, shot 64 and earned one of the available spots in the Open Championship.

    Kang didn’t learn of the controversy until the next day, when he received an email from a PGA Tour communications official seeking comment. He researched online what the furor was about, then issued a brief statement through the Tour (which added its own statement, saying that there was “no clear evidence” to suggest that Kang dropped incorrectly).


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Kang said he tried to clear the air with Dahmen before the first round of last week’s John Deere Classic, but they never had the opportunity to discuss their differences.

    “I followed the rules official and I think I did the right thing,” Kang told a handful of reporters Thursday following his opening round at Carnoustie, where he shot a 2-under 69 to sit three shots off the early lead.

    Kang said he was hesitant to discuss the incident with reporters, because he said there clearly was a difference in opinions. He said he’d already told his side to South Korean news outlets but that “whatever I say, some people are going to trust it and some people are not going to trust it. Then I’ve got to think about it more and more when it’s not going to help my golf game.”

    “I really want to say a lot of things about it, the truth about what happened,” he added, “but I’m not going to say anything.”

    Kang said that he wouldn’t alter his approach when dealing with rulings in the future.

    “No. Why?” he said. “I did the right thing. There’s no point in changing.”

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    Kisner (67) enjoying 'frat' life, soccer matches with Jordan and Co.

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 12:49 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The frat house tradition continued this year at The Open, with a group of seven high-profile Americans rooming together for the week, including early first-round leader Kevin Kisner.

    Kisner explained after his opening 5-under 66 that the group – which includes Jordan Spieth, Jason Dufner, Zach Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler – has spent the week talking about how demanding Carnoustie is playing and enjoying the summer weather.

    “We're out there playing soccer at night and hanging out,” he said.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    To be clear, this isn’t a proper soccer match, but instead a penalty-kick situation with all but one player taking turns trying to score.

    “I just try to smash [Dufner] in the face,” Kisner laughed. “He's the all-time goalie.”

    Although Kisner said he’s always impressed with the athletic prowess of other players, Spieth has proven himself particularly adept on the impromptu pitch.

    “Jordan scored when Duf tripped, it was hilarious,” Kisner smiled. “[Spieth] is good until he sends it over the goal four houses over, and we've got to go knock on a neighbor’s door for the soccer ball.”

    The group is actually staying in two local houses that are next to each other, one with a large enough back yard and a soccer net, but perhaps not enough soccer balls.

    “We’re going to have to Amazon Prime a couple new balls to replace the ones we lost,” Kisner said.