Major Shoot-out at Major Finale

By Sports NetworkAugust 26, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Jeld-Wen TraditionALOHA, Ore. -- Bobby Wadkins led by as many as four strokes during the front nine Saturday, however three bogeys over his final 10 holes cost him the outright lead.
Wadkins posted a 1-under 71 after a three-putt bogey at the last to end at 11-under-par 205. He was joined there by Lonnie Nielsen, who shot a bogey-free, 4-under 68 thanks to three birdies on the back nine.
Tom Kite
2000 champion Tom Kite is three back entering the final round.
Meanwhile, defending champion Loren Roberts is lurking one stroke behind the leaders. Like Nielsen, Roberts shot 68 Saturday to get to minus-10.
Tom Jenkins, who briefly shared the lead on the back nine, bogeyed his final two holes to card a 2-under 70. He shares fourth place at 8-under-par 208 with Tom Kite, who also shot 70 in round three.
Wadkins, who won the Senior Players Championship earlier this year, got on the board with a birdie on the third. Another birdie at the par-5 sixth at Reserve Vineyards & Golf Club moved Wadkins to 12 under, four clear of Nielsen.
Things quickly began to change at the ninth. Wadkins' second shot went left of the greenside bleachers. He got a free drop from the bleachers, but still could not save par.
Wadkins also bogeyed the 10th to slip to minus-10. As he parred the next four holes, Jenkins got into the fray.
Jenkins opened with birdies on one and three. He gave a stroke back with a bogey on No. 5, then parred his next six holes. Jenkins ran off three birdies in a four-hole span from the 12th to grab a share of the lead at 10 under. His late struggles cost him though.
Nielsen was right there as well. After four pars to open his round, Nielsen birdied the fifth from 12 feet out. He carded his next birdie at 12 to move to minus-9.
Wadkins hit a stellar bunker shot to 5 feet from short of the 15th green. He rolled that putt in, but Nielsen also birdied the hole to remain one back as he got up and down from a greenside bunker.
A two-putt birdie on the 16th moved Wadkins to 12 under, but his lead was still only one as Nielsen also two-putted for birdie.
At the last, Wadkins left himself 35 feet for birdie. However, he left his birdie try seven feet short and was unable to sink the par putt to fall back to 11 under.
'I played halfway decent, but didn't make the putts when I needed to,' stated Wadkins. 'I left some putts short. I don't like finishing with a bogey like I did today.'
Nielsen hit his drive at 18 into the trees on the right, then pitched out. He dropped his third on the green, but had over 47 feet for birdie. Nielsen two-putted for par to earn his share of the lead thanks to a bogey-free round.
'The key to the round has been to stay away from bogeys this week,' said Nielsen, who has just two bogeys over the opening 54 holes. 'The birdie on 15 was a nice confidence builder.'
Nielsen had a chance to take the Senior Players Championship that Wadkins won, but a bad final round doomed Nielsen.
'I had a chance to win at the Senior Players this year and didn't get it done,' Nielsen admitted, who shot 4-over 76 in the final round. 'It was my most disappointing round this year. It would mean a lot to me to play well tomorrow.'
David Edwards moved into a share of sixth place at 7-under-par 209 thanks to a 5-under 67. He stands alongside Larry Nelson (70) and Tom Purtzer (71). Keith Fergus, Bruce Fleisher, Bob Gilder, Morris Hatalsky, John Jacobs and Eduardo Romero are one stroke further back at minus-6.
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    Ball headed O.B., Stone (68) gets huge break

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 19, 2018, 2:14 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Brandon Stone knew it when he hit it.

    “I knew I hit it out of bounds,” the South African said following his opening round in the 147th Open Championship.

    Stone’s second shot on the par-4 18th, from the left fescue, was pulled into the grandstands, which are marked as O.B. But instead of settling in with the crowd, the ball ricocheted back towards the green and nearly onto the putting surface.

    Stone made his par and walked away with a 3-under 68, two shots off the early lead.

    “I really didn’t put a good swing on it, bad contact and it just came out way left,” Stone said. “I feel so sorry for the person I managed to catch on the forehead there, but got a lucky break.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    “When you get breaks like that you know you’re going to have good weeks.”

    It’s been more than just good luck recently for Stone. He shot 60 in the final round – missing a 9-foot birdie putt for the first 59 in European Tour history – to win last week’s Scottish Open. It was his third career win on the circuit and first since 2016. It was also just his first top-10 of the season.

    “A testament to a different mental approach and probably the change in putter,” said Stone, who added that he switched to a new Ping Anser blade model last week.

    “I’ve been putting, probably, the best I have in my entire life.”

    This marks Stone’s sixth start in a major championship, with his best finish a tie for 35th in last year’s U.S. Open. He has a missed cut and a T-70 in two prior Open Championships.

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    Kang on cheating allegation: 'I did the right thing'

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 1:26 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Three weeks after his playing partner claimed that he “cheated,” taking an improper drop at the Quicken Loans National, Sung Kang insisted Thursday that he did nothing wrong.

    Joel Dahmen tweeted that Kang cheated after a lengthy dispute about where his ball had last crossed the line of a hazard. A PGA Tour official ruled in Kang’s favor. Kang made par on the hole, shot 64 and earned one of the available spots in the Open Championship.

    Kang didn’t learn of the controversy until the next day, when he received an email from a PGA Tour communications official seeking comment. He researched online what the furor was about, then issued a brief statement through the Tour (which added its own statement, saying that there was “no clear evidence” to suggest that Kang dropped incorrectly).

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Kang said he tried to clear the air with Dahmen before the first round of last week’s John Deere Classic, but they never had the opportunity to discuss their differences.

    “I followed the rules official and I think I did the right thing,” Kang told a handful of reporters Thursday following his opening round at Carnoustie, where he shot a 2-under 69 to sit three shots off the early lead.

    Kang said he was hesitant to discuss the incident with reporters, because he said there clearly was a difference in opinions. He said he’d already told his side to South Korean news outlets but that “whatever I say, some people are going to trust it and some people are not going to trust it. Then I’ve got to think about it more and more when it’s not going to help my golf game.”

    “I really want to say a lot of things about it, the truth about what happened,” he added, “but I’m not going to say anything.”

    Kang said that he wouldn’t alter his approach when dealing with rulings in the future.

    “No. Why?” he said. “I did the right thing. There’s no point in changing.”

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    Kisner (67) enjoying 'frat' life, soccer matches with Jordan and Co.

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 12:49 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The frat house tradition continued this year at The Open, with a group of seven high-profile Americans rooming together for the week, including early first-round leader Kevin Kisner.

    Kisner explained after his opening 5-under 66 that the group – which includes Jordan Spieth, Jason Dufner, Zach Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler – has spent the week talking about how demanding Carnoustie is playing and enjoying the summer weather.

    “We're out there playing soccer at night and hanging out,” he said.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    To be clear, this isn’t a proper soccer match, but instead a penalty-kick situation with all but one player taking turns trying to score.

    “I just try to smash [Dufner] in the face,” Kisner laughed. “He's the all-time goalie.”

    Although Kisner said he’s always impressed with the athletic prowess of other players, Spieth has proven himself particularly adept on the impromptu pitch.

    “Jordan scored when Duf tripped, it was hilarious,” Kisner smiled. “[Spieth] is good until he sends it over the goal four houses over, and we've got to go knock on a neighbor’s door for the soccer ball.”

    The group is actually staying in two local houses that are next to each other, one with a large enough back yard and a soccer net, but perhaps not enough soccer balls.

    “We’re going to have to Amazon Prime a couple new balls to replace the ones we lost,” Kisner said.