Kuehne Sluman Repeat as Champions

By Sports NetworkNovember 14, 2004, 5:00 pm
04 Franklin Templeton ShootoutNAPLES, Fla. -- Hank Kuehne and Jeff Sluman combined to shoot an 11-under 61 on Sunday to repeat as champions of the Franklin Templeton Shootout. They completed the 54-hole event at 29-under-par 187.
 
Steve Flesch and Justin Leonard, who shared the lead after round two with Kuehne and Sluman, carded their third straight round of 9-under 63 to finish in second at 27-under-par 189. Loren Roberts and Mark Calcavecchia took third place one stroke further back at minus-26 after a final-round 61.
 
Sunday saw teams use a scramble format. Each player hit their own tee shots and after choosing the best one, each player hit his second shot from there and so on until the hole is complete.
 
Kuehne and Sluman got off to a hot start with birdies on each of the first three holes. They played the next two holes at even-par to maintain a one-shot edge over the hard-charging, father-son duo of Jay and Bill Haas.
 
The big-hitting Kuehne and Sluman picked up another birdie at the sixth when Sluman sank a 5-foot putt, but were joined atop the leaderboard at minus-22 by the Haas', who birdied nine and 10.
 
Kuehne and Sluman carded birdies at eight and nine to move one shot clear of the Haas duo. The Haas' briefly joined Kuehne and Sluman in the lead at 24- under with a birdie at the 16th.
 
Things got real interesting from there. Sluman sank a 6-foot birdie putt at the 13th to get to 25 under. The Haas duo birdied No. 17 to tie them for the lead. Calcavecchia and Roberts, meanwhile, birdied the 15th to make it a three-way tie for the lead.
 
Flesch and Leonard made it a four-way tie for first when they birdied the 14th.
 
However, Kuehne and Sluman regained the lead by themselves when Kuehne rolled in a 6-footer for birdie at the 14th. They were briefly joined at 25 under by Calcavecchia and Roberts, who birdied the 17th.
 
Kuehne and Sluman ran away from the field from there. Sluman drained a 9- footer for birdie at the 16th and made it two in a row with a two-putt birdie on 17. The duo closed the event in style when Kuehne ran in a 15-foot birdie putt at the last to finish two strokes clear of the field.
 
'Its been a fantastic experience for me again,' Kuehne said. 'Jeff hit a really good putt at 16. I said if we birdied the rest of the way from there, we'd be okay.'
 
They become the second pair to repeat as champions. Brad Faxon and Scott McCarron titled here in 2000 and 2001.
 
'I came in here loose and carefree,' said Sluman. 'If it shows us anything maybe its the way we should play on tour. I didn't expect to win and then we made birdie at 16 and it kind of put us over the top.'
 
The Haas duo closed with their second straight 11-under 61 and finished at 25- under-par 191. They shared fourth place with tournament host Greg Norman and McCarron, who closed with a 62.
 
Scott Hoch and Kenny Perry took sixth place at 24-under-par 192, while Rory Sabbatini and John Daly were one stroke further back at minus-23.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Franklin Templeton Shootout
  • Full Coverage - Franklin Templeton Shootout
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    Next up for Koepka: Buddies and a bachelor party

    By Will GrayJune 24, 2018, 7:46 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – Coming off a successful title defense at the U.S. Open, Brooks Koepka arrived at the Travelers Championship in need of a nap. It appears he won’t be getting one anytime soon.

    Koepka normally wakes up by 6 a.m. without using an alarm, but without much down time since his victory at Shinnecock Hills he slept in until 8:20 a.m. Sunday morning, prior to his 10:40 a.m. tee time. Any impact to his pre-round routine appeared negligible, as Koepka fired a 5-under 65 that included seven birdies over his first 13 holes.

    “I felt like today was kind of the first day I got everything back,” Koepka said. “I was definitely running behind, but it was nice to catch up on some sleep.”

    Koepka became the first U.S. Open winner to play the week after since Justin Rose in 2013, and he finished the Travelers at 9 under with four straight sub-par rounds. While he’s got some free time in the coming days, it won’t exactly be restful.


    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    “We’ve got 11 guys that I’m pretty close with, so I’m looking forward to hanging out with them in Boston for a few days and then [getting] back down to West Palm for a night, and then we’re off to my best friend’s bachelor party,” Koepka said. “I was really hoping to get some rest, but I don’t know how much that will happen.”

    Last year, Koepka took a month off following his U.S. Open win at Erin Hills, only touched a club once, and still finished T-6 at The Open at Royal Birkdale. While this will be his final competitive start before Carnoustie, he expects to make a strong run toward a third major title next month in Scotland.

    “I’m shutting it down for a while. I don’t feel like I need to play,” Koepka said. “I feel like my game’s in a good spot, played really well this week. Just some stupid mistakes and mental errors. That’s all it was, lack of focus and low energy. To be honest with you, I’m not surprised. I did play well though, I putted well, and I’m somewhat pleased.”

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    Spieth ends busy stretch without top-10 finish

    By Will GrayJune 24, 2018, 7:39 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – There were no final-round heroics this time around for Jordan Spieth at the Travelers Championship.

    After taking the title last year with perhaps the most memorable shot of the year, Spieth appeared poised to make a robust defense of his title after an opening-round 63 gave him a share of the lead. But that proved to be as good as it would get, as he played the next three rounds in a combined 3 over to drop outside the top 40 on the final leaderboard.

    It marked the end of a pedestrian run of six events in seven weeks for Spieth, during which his best finish was a tie for 21st at the AT&T Byron Nelson.

    “A lot of cut-line golf, which is somewhat unusual historically for me, fortunately,” Spieth said after closing with a 1-under 69. “Kind of a grind, but I made actually a lot of progress where I needed to within the last few weeks.”


    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    Spieth has struggled to get on track on the greens this year, but he has started to turn a corner in recent weeks, specifically during a missed cut at the Memorial Tournament, and he picked up more than three shots on the field this week in strokes gained: putting.

    “My putting’s right on point where it needs to be. It’s getting better every single week,” Spieth said. “It’s the best it’s been in a couple years.”

    Unfortunately for Spieth, a slight uptick in putting has coincided with some regression from his normally reliable ball-striking. Of the 74 players who made the cut at TPC River Highlands, he ranked 61st in strokes gained: tee-to-green.

    “I’ve just got to kind of get my alignment back in order on the full swing. It’s tough when you swing and you think you hit a good shot, and you look up and the ball’s, it could be 15 yards right or 15 yards left, and it’s all because of alignment,” Spieth said. “It’s literally the same thing I went through with the putting. I’ve just got to find a way to get it back on track with the full swing.”

    Having concluded a busy stretch, Spieth noted that he now has “a few weeks off.” But still in search of his first quality chance to contend heading into a final round this year, he didn’t rule out the notion of adding a start before defending his title at Carnoustie next month.

    Spieth is not in the field for next week’s Quicken Loans National, but he won the John Deere Classic in both 2013 and 2015, which will be played the week before The Open.

    “As far as leading into The Open, we’ll see,” Spieth said. “Last year I went in after three weeks off and it didn’t hurt me. So I believe I can get the work in whether I’m playing or not, to get the repetitions.”

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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 charges 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.