Howell Retains Three-Stroke Advantage

By Sports NetworkMay 27, 2006, 4:00 pm
European TourSURREY, England -- David Howell closed with back-to-back birdies for a round of 3-under 69 Saturday, which helped him stay three strokes clear of the field after three rounds of the BMW Championship. Howell completed 54 holes at 14-under-par 202.
 
Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez flew up the leaderboard in round three as he fired a bogey-free, 7-under 65 to move into second place at 11-under-par 205.
 
The 65 by Jimenez was the round of the day as conditions worsened throughout the day. Rain began to fall as the leaders were finishing their front nine. Later in the round, members of the greens crew needed to squeegee water off the 18th green so the final few groups wouldn't have to putt through puddles.
 
The second round was completed earlier Saturday after being suspended for the night due to darkness on Friday. Heavy rain before Friday's round caused an hour delay at the start of the round. With all the rain this week, players have been able to lift-clean-and-place their golf balls.
 
A pair of Englishmen -- Paul Casey (69) and Simon Khan (70) -- are tied for third place at minus-8.
 
Jean Van de Velde, famous for his collapse at the 1999 British Open, had the second-best round of the day with a 6-under 66. He moved into a share of fifth place at 6-under-par 210, where he was joined by Nick Dougherty (74), Padraig Harrington (68) and Francois Delamontagne (71).
 
Howell was steady to open his round as he started with five straight pars. He dropped in a 15-foot birdie effort on the sixth at Wentworth Club's West Course to move to 12 under.
 
The Englishman stuck his second shot within 6 feet of the hole on the seventh and rolled that putt in for his second straight birdie. Howell was 13 under and led Dougherty by four at that point.
 
Howell, who had no bogeys over his previous 24 holes, three-putted for bogey on the 10th. He missed an 8-foot birdie putt at the 11th, then had no less than 35 feet for birdie over the next several holes.
 
The 30-year-old two-putted for par on five straight holes, including from the fringe on 16 to remain at 12 under. Howell's approach from the rough on 17 stopped 2 feet from the cup and he kicked that in for birdie and a two-stroke lead over Jimenez.
 
Howell, who leads the European Tour Order of Merit, got up and down for birdie at the last to stretch his lead back to three strokes.
 
'A 69 was a good effort in the conditions,' Howell admitted. 'Miguel has obviously played fantastically well. If I shoot 66 (on Sunday), I can take it out of most people's hands, but if Miguel plays well then I'll have to as well.
 
'I'm in a strong position and there's a fair chance it's between the two of us. I figured it wouldn't be as plain sailing as yesterday, and it wasn't, but I managed to stay patient.'
 
Howell leads after the third round for the sixth time in his European Tour career. He won three of the previous five events. Howell's best finish at this tournament came last year when he took fourth place.
 
Jimenez, who missed the cut in six of his previous 16 starts here, carded four birdies on his front nine. His first came at the second, then the next was at the fourth.
 
The Spaniard also sank birdies on seven and nine to turn at minus-8. Jimenez, whose best finish here is a tie for fourth in 1994, birdied the 11th. He converted a birdie on the par-4 16th for the second round in a row.
 
Jimenez got up and down for birdie from left of the green at the last to finish at 11 under.
 
'Today was fantastic,' Jimenez stated. 'I was very solid from tee-to-green and also very solid on the greens. My caddy did a good job of keeping everything dry.'
 
Soren Hansen posted a 3-under 69 to grab a share of ninth place at 5-under-par 211. He stands alongside Niclas Fasth and Robert Karlsson.
 
World No. 6 Ernie Els and defending champion Angel Cabrera are among eight players one stroke further back at minus-4.
 
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    'The Golf Club 2019' adds Elvy to commentary team

    By Nick MentaJuly 19, 2018, 4:45 pm

    “The Golf Club 2019” is adding a new name to its commentary team.

    Broadcaster Luke Elvy will join returning announcer and HB Studios developer John McCarthy for the title's third installment.

    Golf fans will recognize Elvy from his recent work with CBS in addition to his time with Sky Sports, FOX Sports, TNT, PGA Tour Live and PGA Tour Radio.

    A 25-year media veteran from Australia, he now works in the United States and lives with his family in Canada.

    "Ian Baker-Finch was my right-hand man on Australian televison," Elvy told GolfChannel.com in an interview at the Quicken Loans National. "And Finchy said to me, 'What are you doing here? You should be with me in the States.’ He introduced me to a few people over here and that's how the transition has happened over the last five or six years."

    Elvy didn't have any prior relationship with HB Studios, who reached out to him via his management at CAA. As for why he got the job, he pseudo-jokes: "They heard the accent, and said, 'We like that. That works for us. Let's go.' That's literally how it happened."

    He participated in two separate recording sessions over three days, first at his home back in February and then at the HB Studios shortly after The Players Championship. He teased his involvement when the game was announced in May.

    Although he doesn't describe himself as a "gamer," Elvy lauded the game's immediate playability, even for a novice.

    “It’s exactly how you’d want golf to be,” he said.

    "The Golf Club 2019" will be the first in the HB series to feature PGA Tour branding. The Tour had previously licensed its video game rights to EA Sports.

    In addition to a career mode that will take players from the Web.com Tour all the way through the FedExCup Playoffs, "The Golf Club 2019" will also feature at launch replicas of six TPC courses played annually on Tour – TPC Summerlin (Shriners Hospitals for Children Open), TPC Scottsdale's Stadium Course (Waste Management Phoenix Open), TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course (The Players Championship), TPC Southwind (FedEx St. Jude Classic/WGC-FedEx St. Jude Championship), TPC Deere Run (John Deere Classic), and TPC Boston (Dell Technologies Championship).

    “I played nine holes at Scottsdale,” Elvy added. “It’s a very close comparison. Visually, it’s very realistic."

    The Golf Club 2019 is due out this August on PlayStation 4, XBOX One, and PC.

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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.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    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.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    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.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    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.”