Green Edges Out Campbell in New Zealand

By Sports NetworkDecember 3, 2006, 5:00 pm
2006 Blue Chip New Zealand OpenWHANGAPARAOA, New Zealand -- Nathan Green fired a 6-under 65 Sunday to finish the New Zealand Open at 5-under-par 279.
When he completed his round, he was not even in the lead, but as the leaders went backwards Green's score held up giving him his first European Tour title.
For the second straight day, the wind got worse as the day went on giving those out early the best of the conditions.
'I can't believe it. We definitely had the best of the conditions this morning,' said Green, who was in the 12th group out on the course. 'It was brutal out there this afternoon. I managed to just hang on. I saw the boys had a bit of trouble on 16 and 17, so I am just ecstatic to earn the win.'
Marcus Fraser, who shared the lead with Graeme Storm and Kim Felton after three rounds, stumbled to a 2-over 73. That dropped him into a share of second place at 3-under-par 281.
Fraser ended alongside 2005 U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell (72), Nick Dougherty (67), Jarrod Moseley (70), Wade Ormsby (70) and Brett Rumford (71).
Green flew out of the gate with birdies on the first two holes. He collected back-to-back birdies from the third to move to minus-3.
The Australian parred his next four holes. Green dropped a stroke on the 10th, but rebounded with birdies on 11 and 12 at Gulf Harbour Country Club to move to minus-4.
Green stood there as he parred his next four holes and the leaders started their rounds. With plenty of early movement on the leaderboard, Green stood one stroke behind six players at one point.
Two of those players were Fraser and Campbell, who were at minus-5 after one hole.
Fraser took the lead with back-to-back birdies from the second to move to 7-under. He slid back into a share of the lead with Green and Felton after bogeys on the sixth and ninth. For the week, Fraser played the par-4 ninth at plus-4.
Green had gotten to 5 under with a birdie at the 17th. He parred his final hole, then had to watch and wait. Green joined the television broadcast for a while to kill time, then found a television to watch some cricket as well.
'I watched a bit of the cricket and have been watching the golf for the last hour or so. It has been pretty nerve-wracking,' admitted Green, as the last groups finished their rounds. 'I really didn't know what to do. I didn't know if I should go hit balls or what so I just tried to stay warm and stay with what the guys were doing.'
Fraser moved back out in front with a birdie on the 11th. Fraser, playing one group ahead of Felton, bogeyed the 14th to slip back to minus-5.
Meanwhile, Felton opened his round with 13 straight pars. Felton also bogeyed the 14th to fall out of the lead. He went on to bogey three of the final four holes to share second.
That left Fraser and Green standing at 5 under. Fraser also bogeyed 15 to give Green the lead for good. Fraser closed with a bogey on the last to share third.
Campbell, a New Zealand native, was even-par for his round through 13 holes with two birdies and two bogeys. He needed one birdie over the final five holes to force a playoff. Campbell had makeable birdie putts on 16 and 17, but both narrowly missed each time.
His approach at the last came up short of the green meaning he would need to pitch in for birdie to force an extra session. Campbell was unable to sink the chip and actually bogeyed the hole to share second.
Green's title was not secured until Peter O'Malley failed to hole his second shot at the 18th for eagle. O'Malley also bogeyed the last to slide into a share of eighth at 2 under.
'The greens were just so much easier to play this morning,' Green said. 'We saw a lot of guys go out early (Saturday) and post some good scores, so I knew it was out there to be had today.'
O'Malley closed with a 2-over 73 to end in a share of eighth at 2-under-par 282. He was joined there by Greg Chalmers (72), Scott Strange (71) and Simon Wakefield (69).
Felton led a group of six players that finished at minus-1. Also in that group was Daniel Chopra, who birdied five of the first seven holes to grab a share of the lead at 5 under before playing the rest of the round at plus-4.
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    Minjee Lee co-leads Walmart NW Arkansas Championship

    By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 12:25 am

    ROGERS, Ark. - Minjee Lee wasn't all that concerned when she missed her first cut of the year this month at the ShopRite LPGA Classic.

    The ninth-ranked Australian has certainly looked at ease and back in form at Pinnacle Country Club in her first event since then.

    Lee and Japan's Nasa Hataoka each shot 6-under 65 on Saturday to share the second-round lead in the NW Arkansas Championship 13-under 129. Lee is chasing her fifth victory since turning pro three years ago. It's also an opportunity to put any lingering frustration over that missed cut two weeks ago behind her for good.

    ''I didn't particularly hit it bad, even though I missed the cut at ShopRite, I just didn't really hole any putts,'' Lee said. ''I'd been hitting it pretty solid going into that tournament and even into this tournament, too. Just to see a couple putts roll in has been nice.''

    The 22-year-old Lee needed only 24 putts during her opening 64 on Friday, helping her to match the low round of her career. Despite needing 28 putts Saturday, she still briefly took the outright lead after reaching as low as 14 under after a birdie on the par-5 seventh.

    Full-field scores from the Walmart Arkansas Championship

    Lee missed the green on the par-4 ninth soon thereafter to lead to her only bogey of the day and a tie with the 19-year-old Hataoka, who is in pursuit of her first career win.

    Hataoka birdied six of eight holes midway through her bogey-free round on Saturday. It was yet another stellar performance from the Japanese teenager, who has finished in the top 10 in four of her last five tournaments and will be a part of Sunday's final pairing.

    ''I try to make birdies and try to be under par, that's really the key for me to get a top ten,'' Hataoka said. ''Golf is just trying to be in the top 10 every single week, so that's the key.''

    Third-ranked Lexi Thompson matched the low round of the day with a 64 to get to 11 under. She hit 17 of 18 fairways and shot a 5-under 30 on her opening nine, The American is in search of her first win since September in the Indy Women in Tech Championship.

    Ariya Jutanugarn and Celine Boutier were 10 under.

    First-round leader Gaby Lopez followed her opening 63 with a 75 to drop to 4 under. Fellow former Arkansas star Stacy Lewis also was 4 under after a 72.

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    Henley will try to put heat on Casey in final round

    By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 11:55 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – While it will be a tall task for anyone to catch Paul Casey at the Travelers Championship, the man who will start the round most within reach of the Englishman is Russell Henley.

    Henley was in the penultimate group at TPC River Highlands on Saturday, but he’ll now anchor things during the final round as he looks to overcome a four-shot deficit behind Casey. After a 3-under 67, Henley sits at 12 under through 54 holes and one shot clear of the three players tied for third.

    Henley closed his third round with a run of five straight pars, then became the beneficiary of a pair of late bogeys from Brian Harman that left Henley alone in second place.

    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    “Could have made a couple more putts, but to end with two up-and-downs like that was nice,” Henley said. “I felt a little bit weird over the shots coming in, put me in some bad spots. But it was nice to have the short game to back me up.”

    Henley has won three times on Tour, most recently at the 2017 Houston Open, and he cracked the top 25 at both the Masters and U.S. Open. But with Casey riding a wave of confidence and coming off an 8-under 62 that marked the best round of the week, he knows he’ll have his work cut out for him in order to nab trophy No. 4.

    “I think I can shoot a low number on this course. You’ve got to make the putts,” Henley said. “I’m definitely hitting it well enough, and if I can get a couple putts to fall, that would be good. But I can’t control what he’s doing. I can just try to keep playing solid.”

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    Back from back injury, Casey eyeing another win

    By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 11:36 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – Given his four-shot cushion at the Travelers Championship and his recent victory at the Valspar Championship, it’s easy to forget that Paul Casey hit the disabled list in between.

    Casey had to withdraw from The Players Championship because of a bad back, becoming the only player in the top 50 in the world rankings to miss the PGA Tour’s flagship event. He flew back to England to get treatment, and Casey admitted that his T-20 finish at last month’s BMW PGA Championship came while he was still on the mend.

    “I wasn’t 100 percent fit with the back injury, which was L-4, L-5, S-1 (vertebrae) all out of place,” Casey said. “Big inflammation, nerve pain down the leg and up the back. I didn’t know what was going on.”

    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Thanks in large part to a combination of MRIs, back adjustments and anti-inflammatories, Casey finally turned the corner. His T-16 finish at last week’s U.S. Open was the first event for which he felt fully healthy since before the Players, and he’s on the cusp of a second title since March after successfully battling through the injury.

    “We thought we were fixing it, but we weren’t. We were kind of hitting the effects rather than the cause,” Casey said. “Eventually we figured out the cause, which was structural.”

    Casey started the third round at TPC River Highlands two shots off the lead, but he’s now four clear of Russell Henley after firing an 8-under 62 that marked the low round of the week.

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    Bubba thinks he'll need a Sunday 60 to scare Casey

    By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 11:15 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – Perhaps moreso than at most PGA Tour venues, a low score is never really out of reach at TPC River Highlands. Positioned as a welcome change of pace after the U.S. Open, the Travelers Championship offers a lush layout that often pushes the balance much closer to reward than risk.

    This is where Jim Furyk shot a 58 on the par-70 layout two years ago – and he didn’t even win that week. So even though Paul Casey enters the final round with a commanding four-shot lead, there’s still plenty of hope for the chase pack that something special could be in store.

    Count Bubba Watson among the group who still believe the title is up for grabs – even if it might require a Herculean effort, even by his standards.

    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Watson has won the Travelers twice, including in a 2015 playoff over Casey. But starting the final round in a large tie for sixth at 10 under, six shots behind Casey, he estimates that he’ll need to flirt with golf’s magic number to give the Englishman something to worry about.

    “My 7 under yesterday, I need to do better than that. I’m going to have to get to like 10 [under],” Watson said. “The only beauty is, getting out in front, you have a chance to put a number up and maybe scare them. But to scare them, you’re going to have to shoot 10 under at worst, where I’m at anyway.”

    Watson started the third round three shots off the lead, and he made an early move with birdies on Nos. 1 and 2 en route to an outward 32. The southpaw couldn’t sustain that momentum, as bogeys on Nos. 16 and 17 turned a potential 65 into a relatively disappointing 67.

    “Bad decision on the par-3, and then a very tough tee shot for me on 17, and it just creeped into the bunker,” Watson said. “Just, that’s golf. You have mistakes every once in a while.”