The Gore the Merrier

By Sports NetworkSeptember 15, 2005, 4:00 pm
84 Lumber ClassicFARMINGTON, Pa. -- Shaun Micheel bogeyed his final three holes on Thursday to fall into a tie for the lead through one round of the 84 Lumber Classic.
Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson shot 1-over 73 in his 84 Lumber tournament debut.
Micheel stands at 7-under-par 65 with Mark O'Meara, Jason Gore and Charlie Wi. The foursome is one stroke ahead of Carl Pettersson, who shot an opening- round 66 to hold fifth place by himself at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort & Spa.
David Toms, the 2001 PGA champion, was taken to a Pittsburgh hospital for tests and observation after falling ill on his 10th hole. Toms, who was even par before withdrawing, was in critical condition, according to doctors.
The 11-time winner is scheduled to represent the United States next week at The Presidents Cup. He is fourth on the money list this season.
Micheel began his round on the back nine at Nemacolin's Mystic Rock Course and moved to 2 under with an eagle at the par-5 11th. He bogeyed the next, but made the turn at minus-4 after posting three straight birdies from 15.
The 2003 PGA champion continued his scorching round with three consecutive birdies beginning at No. 1, which tied him with the clubhouse leaders at 7 under. Micheel then moved to minus-10 with an eagle at the par-5 fifth and a birdie at the sixth.
On pace to easily beat his best round of the year, the 36-year-old stumbled in a major way down the stretch with three straight bogeys to finish the day. But he still bettered his low 2005 round by two strokes.
The dropped shot at No. 8 was perhaps the most disheartening.
'Obviously I'm disappointed with what happened on the eighth hole,' Micheel said of missing a 4-foot putt at the par-5. 'I think I just lost my concentration a little bit.'
Micheel's best finish this season is a tie for seventh place at the Western Open in July. He hasn't won since collecting his maiden victory at the 2003 PGA Championship.
'I saw some good things,' he said of his round. 'The way my year has gone, I should be happy with 65. I played really well.'
O'Meara reached 7 under with eight birdies and a bogey, including six straight birdies from the fifth hole. The 16-time PGA Tour winner and two-time major champion needed just 21 putts to make it through his best round of 2005.
'It was by far the best putting round that I've had in a couple of years,' said the 48-year-old O'Meara, whose best finish this year is a tie for 27th at Byron Nelson Championship.
'Golf is a funny game and today seemed to go my way, so it was nice to get off to a good start.'
Among the leaders, only Gore's round was bogey-free. His day included four birdies on the back nine -- his first nine -- and three on the front.
The 31-year-old, who earned fan-favorite status by playing in the final group at the U.S. Open, is still enjoying the reaction he gets from the gallery since earning a 'battlefield promotion' from the Nationwide Tour last month.
'They were pretty great,' Gore acknowledged afterwards. 'A couple people would yell, and you're like, 'Gosh, I'm like 5 feet away, you don't have to yell.'
'I'll tell you what, the fans have been pretty awesome. It's kind of a really cool thing to see people get in your corner and root for you. It's a pretty special thing that they do for me.'
The fans may have a new underdog to root for on Sunday if Wi continues his strong play. The 33-year-old PGA Tour rookie had four birdies on both the front and back nine, and just one bogey at the par-4 15th.
Wi, who played in Asia and Europe last year, hasn't finished higher than 22nd in his first year on the PGA Tour.
'I know that everyone goes through the process, and I thought I had enough experience playing overseas, but that's part of golf,' he said. 'And I know that in time, everything is going to come together.'
Stuart Appleby, Ben Crane, Zach Johnson and Bob Burns share sixth place at minus-5, while six players are tied for 10th one stroke further back.
All in all, there are 32 players within five strokes of the leaders after the first round.
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    Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

    He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

    “There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.

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    At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

    Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

    “I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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    Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

    Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

    Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

    “I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

    Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

    “It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

    More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

    “I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”

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    After 36, new Open favorite is ... Fleetwood

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 7:49 pm

    With a handful of the pre-championship favorites exiting early, there is a new odds-on leader entering the third round of The Open at Carnoustie.

    While Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner share the 36-hole lead, it's England's Tommy Fleetwood who leads the betting pack at 11/2. Fleetwood begins the third round one shot off the lead.

    Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at

    Tommy Fleetwood: 11/2

    Zach Johnson: 13/2

    Rory McIlroy: 7/1

    Jordan Spieth: 8/1

    Rickie Fowler: 9/1

    Kevin Kisner: 12/1

    Xander Schauffele: 16/1

    Tony Finau: 16/1

    Matt Kuchar: 18/1

    Pat Perez: 25/1

    Brooks Koepka: 25/1

    Erik van Rooyen: 50/1

    Alex Noren: 50/1

    Tiger Woods: 50/1

    Thorbjorn Olesen: 60/1

    Danny Willett: 60/1

    Francesco Molinari: 60/1

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    Perez (T-3) looks to remedy 'terrible' major record

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 7:34 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez’s major record is infinitely forgettable. In 24 Grand Slam starts he has exactly one top-10 finish, more than a decade ago at the PGA Championship.

    “Terrible,” Perez said when asked to sum up his major career. “I won sixth [place]. Didn't even break top 5.”

    It’s strange, however, that his status atop The Open leaderboard through two rounds doesn’t seem out of character. The 42-year-old admits he doesn’t hit it long enough to contend at most major stops and also concedes he doesn’t exactly have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the game’s biggest events, but something about The Open works for him.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    “I didn't like it the first time I came over. When I went to St. Andrews in '05, I didn't like it because it was cold and terrible and this and that,” he said. “Over the years, I've really learned to like to come over here. Plus the fans are so awesome here. They know a good shot. They don't laugh at you if you hit a bad shot.”

    Perez gave the fans plenty to cheer on Friday at Carnoustie, playing 17 flawless holes to move into a share of the lead before a closing bogey dropped him into a tie for third place after a second-round 68.

    For Perez, links golf is the great equalizer that mitigates the advantages some of the younger, more powerful players have and it brings out the best in him.

    “It's hard enough that I don't feel like I have to hit perfect shots. That's the best,” he said. “Greens, you can kind of miss a shot, and it won't run off and go off the green 40 yards. You're still kind of on the green. You can have a 60-footer and actually think about making it because of the speed.”