Hot Scott Steals the Spotlight

By Sports NetworkAugust 24, 2006, 4:00 pm
WGC-Bridgestone - 125wAKRON, Ohio -- Adam Scott fired a 7-under-par 63 on Thursday to take the first-round lead of the World Golf Championships - Bridgestone Invitational.
Jason Gore shot a 5-under-par 65 and is alone in second place at the South Course at Firestone Country Club. Lucas Glover, snubbed by United States Ryder Cup captain Tom Lehman for one of his picks, carded a 4-under-par 66 and is third.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods is in search of his fifth career win in this event.
Tiger Woods, the defending champion and four-time winner of this event, showed some post PGA Championship hangover on Thursday. Woods, who collected his 12th major title on Sunday, birdied two of his last three holes for a 3-under 67 and a share of fourth place.
'You can get fired up in a heartbeat,' said Woods, who has won his last three starts dating back to the British Open. 'This is a World Golf Championships event and on top of that, this is one my favorite golf courses in the world.'
Woods had an up and down front side at Firestone. He carded three birdies and two bogeys on the opening side, then rattled off six consecutive pars to begin his back nine.
At the par-5 16th, even Woods could not reach the green in two. He spun a wedge back to 5 feet from 76 yards out and converted the putt. Woods hit an average pitching-wedge at the closing hole that stopped 20 feet from the flagstick.
He rolled in the birdie try to grab his share of fourth place.
'I didn't hit the ball very good starting out, but I fixed a couple of things on the back nine,' admitted Woods. 'I really played a pretty good back nine, then got myself four back of the lead.'
Davis Love III, Michael Campbell, David Howell, David Toms and Luke Donald, who shared third place with Scott and Sergio Garcia at Medinah, joined Woods at 3-under-par 67.
Scott began on the back nine Thursday and did not get off to the kind of start one thinks of for a leader. He drove into the right rough, chipped out, wedged on, then three-putted for a bogey. The young Australian parred his next five holes before his ascent up the leaderboard.
At the long, par-5 16th, Scott laid up with a 6-iron, then hit a lob-wedge to 5 feet. He rolled in the birdie putt and added a 7-footer for birdie at 18 to make the turn at 1 under par.
Scott caught fire at the start of his second nine. At one, Scott knocked a sand-wedge to a foot and tapped-in for birdie. He two-putted for birdie at the par-5 second and made it four in a row with another kick-in birdie at the third.
'I drove the ball really well today, pretty long and straight, and had a lot of wedges,' said Scott. 'I hit a lot of shots 5 feet and in and took a lot of pressure off my putting.'
Scott was not done moving up the leaderboard, but first came another hiccup. At the fourth, Scott hit a 6-iron for his second, but three-putted for another bogey.
He stood at 3 under par for the championship, but had another torrid run of birdies in him. Scott hit a 7-iron to 4 feet to set up birdie at the fifth, then made it two in a row when his 8-iron second at the sixth stopped 2 feet from the stick.
Scott parred the seventh, but came right back at No. 8. He hit driver off the tee, then hit a lob-wedge to 20 feet. Scott ran that birdie putt home and closed with a tap-in birdie at nine to grab the lead and post a second-nine 29.
Scott, whose best finish in this event has been a tie for 36th last year, saw this strong round coming after last week's PGA Championship, where he went 69-69-67 to tie for third place.
'I played really well last weekend at Medinah,' acknowledged Scott. 'It was just something to keep the good vibes going from there and carry over here. I knew I was swinging well enough and just waited and the good shots came and rolled in a couple of nice putts.'
Ernie Els, Olin Browne, Kevin Stadler, Chris DiMarco, Tim Clark, Jose Maria Olazabal and Chad Campbell are knotted in 10th place at 2-under-par 68.
Reigning Masters champion Phil Mickelson struggled Thursday with a 4-over-par 74 and is tied for 56th place.
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    Chamblee comments on Choi's unique step-through swing

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 24, 2018, 3:55 pm

    The golf world found itself enamored with a largely unknown journeyman this weekend.

    Ho-sung Choi went from 554th in the world to No. 1 in the hearts of all those who swing the golf club just a little bit differently thanks to his run at the Korean Open.

    The 44-year-old with the exaggerated step through impact found himself two off the pace through 54 holes and in contention for one of two available invitations to this year's Open Championship at Carnoustie.

    Choi fell out of the hunt for tournament title and the Open exemption with a final-round 74, but nonetheless left an impression with his tie for fifth.

    Asked about Choi's swing Saturday night, Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee offered the following:

    "If Chi Chi Rodriguez and Gary Player had a golf school, what would their first professional golfer swing like? Voila," Chamblee said.

    "Both those legends had walk through finishes, but Ho Sung has taken this move to a new level with a borderline pirouette to keep from hanging back.

    "In an era when professional golfers get accused of having golf swings that all look alike, I’ve never seen anyone swing quite like Ho Sung Choi.

    "I can’t wait to try this on the range tomorrow."

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    Wallace holds off Olesen to win BMW International

    By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 3:43 pm

    PULHEIM, Germany - England's Matt Wallace shot a 7-under 65 to hold off a record-breaking charge from Thorbjorn Olesen and win the BMW International Open on Sunday.

    Wallace finished on 10-under 278 - just ahead of Olesen, Mikko Korhonen and 2008 winner Martin Kaymer, whose chances took a blow with a bogey on the 17th hole.

    ''I want to keep building on this,'' Wallace said after his third European Tour win. ''Obviously this gives me a lot of confidence to go on and play well and I want to kick on and hopefully do this in the bigger events from now on.''

    Full-field scores from the BMW International Open

    Olesen had played himself into contention with the lowest round in tournament history, with nine birdies and an eagle for an 11-under 61. It was the lowest round of his European Tour career and it gave the Dane a three-shot lead before the final group had even teed off.

    ''I was just trying today to go out there and build on my game, see if I could shoot a low score,'' Olesen said. ''Obviously as the round progressed I kept on thinking birdies and trying to make the round better. Finishing with four birdies was pretty nice.''

    Wallace turned in 34 but then made five birdies in seven holes from the turn to edge a shot past Olesen. He waited as Kaymer and Korhonen went close with rounds of 68 and 67, respectively.

    England's Aaron Rai and Denmark's Lucas Bjerregaard finished joint-fifth with rounds of 69.

    Sunghyun Park (left) and Minchel Choi (right). Getty Images

    Choi, Park qualify for Carnoustie from Korean Open

    By Nick MentaJune 24, 2018, 2:54 pm

    Two players - Minchel Choi and Sanghyun Park - qualified for next month's Open Championship at Carnoustie via the Open Qualifying Series on Sunday.

    Choi (69) held off Park (66) to win the Korean Open by two shots.

    This was the Qualifying Series debut for the Korean Open, whiched awarded Open Championship exemptions to the tournament's top two finishers inside the top eight and ties who were not already qualified.

    Choi, the 532nd-ranked player in the Official World Golf Ranking, punched his ticket in his first professional win.

    Park, the 146th in the world, is a six-time Korean Tour champion who has already won twice this season. 

    Both players will be making their first ever major starts.

    “I am absolutely honored to be playing in The Open and I wanted to win this championship to give me [that] opportunity," Choi said. "I cannot believe that I have won today. I am so happy and excited."

    “It is a great honor to have qualified for The Open and make my first appearance in the championship," Park added. "I’ve watched The Open on television every single year and I can’t really believe that I have qualified, it is amazing."

    The Open Qualifying Series continues next week at the Open de France, where as many as three exemptions will be awarded to the three leading players inside the top 10 and ties who are not already qualified.

    The 147th Open will be held at Carnoustie from July 19-22.

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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.