Matteson Grabs Top Spot at Disney

By Sports NetworkOctober 21, 2006, 4:00 pm
2005 Funai Classic at the Walt Disney World ResortLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Troy Matteson, last week's winner at the Open in Las Vegas, kicked in a short birdie putt at the last hole to polish off a 7-under 65 and move to the top of the leaderboard at the FUNAI Classic.
He stands at 19-under-par 197 through three rounds and is one ahead of Joe Durant at Walt Disney World Resort.
Durant fired an 8-under-par 64 on Saturday at the Magnolia Course to move into second place at minus-18.
Justin Rose, who fired an opening-round 60 and held the second-round lead, struggled with his driver on Saturday. He only managed an even-par 72, but is well in the hunt for his first PGA Tour win at 17-under-par 199.
Play rotated between the Palm course, where Rose set the course record with his 60 on Thursday, and the Magnolia course. For the final two rounds, play is contested at the Magnolia course.
On Saturday morning, the second round was completed after the start of play on Friday was delayed nearly two hours because of fog. Everyone finished and the third round was completed on schedule.
Matteson wasted little time in breaking into red figures with a birdie at his first hole. He added birdies at the fourth and fifth to move to 15 under par for the championship.
He chipped in for a birdie from off the green at seven, then sank a 7- footer for birdie at the 10th. The birdie at 10 moved Matteson to 17 under par and into a tie for the lead.
Trouble loomed for last year's leading money winner on the Nationwide Tour. After a good par save at the 11th, Matteson missed a 4-footer for a par at the par-3 12th.
Matteson reclaimed the lost stroke quickly with a 7-foot birdie putt at the 13th. He got back to 17 under par, but now trailed Durant by a single stroke as Durant drained a 6-foot birdie putt at the 14th.
Durant did not collect another birdie the rest of the way, but Rose resumed his place atop the leaderboard. The young Englishman bogeyed two of his first five, but a birdie at 10 got him back into the mix.
Rose added a 5-foot birdie putt at the 13th, then holed a 12-footer for birdie at 14 to match Durant in the lead at minus-18.
The par-four 17th hole became an important one as Rose missed the fairway off the tee, then nearly drained his second shot into water. Matteson hit his approach to 30 feet, then Rose chipped seven feet from the cup. Matteson drained his long birdie try and Rose missed his par putt allowing Matteson to tie for the lead and Rose to fall one back.
At the closing hole, Rose once again missed the short grass off the tee, but Matteson split the fairway with his drive. Rose hit a great approach shot to 12 feet, but Matteson topped him when his second stopped 2 feet from the hole.
Rose missed his birdie putt, but Matteson tapped his in for the 54-hole lead.
If Matteson can hold on and visit the winner's circle on Sunday, he will become the first player to win his first two events back-to-back since David Duval in 1997.
Matteson is not the only former winner this month on tour to be in the mix.
Davis Love III, who won two weeks ago in Greensboro, fired an 8-under 64 and is tied for fourth with Charles Howell III, who shot a 65 on Saturday. The pair is tied at minus-16.
Nick Watney (64), Heath Slocum (66) and Woody Austin (67) share sixth place at 15-under-par 201. Jonathan Byrd (65), Mark Calcavecchia (63), Richard S. Johnson (68), Marco Dawson (69) and Jerry Kelly (68) are knotted in ninth place at minus-14.
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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.”