McDowell Vaults into Lead

By Sports NetworkSeptember 10, 2004, 4:00 pm
COLOGNE, Germany -- Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell fired an 8-under 64 on Friday to surge ahead at the Linde German Masters. McDowell finished 36 holes at 11-under-par 133 for a three-shot lead heading into the weekend.
 
Raphael Jacquelin of France joined Australian's Nick O'Hern and Richard Green in a tie for second at 8-under-par 136. Germany's Alex Cejka was one shot further back at 7-under-par 137.
 
McDowell, who won this year's Italian Open, was hardly in contention for a spot in the Ryder Cup this year, but the 25-year-old finished within reach of one of the last entries on the European points list.
 
'I began to realize how realistic the Ryder Cup really is for me,' said McDowell. 'I obviously played great for the first six, seven months this year and put myself right in the position where Ryder Cup was obviously realistic and I missed out this time, but 2006, Ireland is certainly going to be right on my horizon.'
 
He birdied the first two holes at Gut Lrchenhof on Friday and knocked his third in a greenside bunker at the par-5 third. McDowell then hit his sand shot within a few inches of the hole and tapped in to make it three in a row.
 
McDowell added a birdie at the par-5 seventh and joined the leaders at 8 under par with a birdie at the par-3 11th. He fell one off the pace with a bogey at the par-5 13th, but recovered in style at the very next hole.
 
'Kind of had a bit of nightmare on 13,' said McDowell. 'Some times the golf course takes things away and gives them straight back.'
 
McDowell holed out from the fairway with a wedge for a birdie at the par-4 14th and followed that up with a birdie at the 15th. He added to his lead with a birdie at the par-4 17th to hold the top spot through 36 holes for the first time in his European Tour career.
 
'The course is yielding a lot of birdies,' said McDowell. 'The front nine was playing difficult and right about our 10th or 11th hole today the wind actually started to subside a little bit and I guess we had it a little easier coming in.'
 
Jacquelin played the back side first and collected three bogeys and two birdies over his first nine holes. He began to turn things around with a birdie at the second and hit his third shot within a foot of the hole for a birdie at the par-5 third.
 
The 30-year-old drained a 14-foot putt for a birdie at the fourth and played his second shot to 8 feet for a birdie at the fifth. Jacquelin then birdied the seventh for his second straight round of 68.
 
O'Hern tallied five birdies and a bogey for a 68 of his own, while Green did the same for his 68.
 
Thomas Levet carded a 68 to take sixth place alone at 6-under-par 138 as the top-ranked European Ryder Cup member through the second round. Greg Owen and Robert-Jan Derksen tied for seventh place at 5-under-par 139.
 
Ryder Cup member Paul Casey shared ninth place with Peter O'Malley at 4-under-par 140.
 
Another pair of Ryder Cuppers were one shot further back at 3-under-par 141, including first-round leader Padraig Harrington. Harrington struggled to a 75 on Friday to join teammate Darren Clarke, Alastair Forsyth and Raymond Russell in a tie for 11th.
 
Defending champion K.J. Choi finished at 2-over-par 146, one shot off the cut line, which fell at 3-over-par 147.
 
A total of 72 players survived to play the weekend. Among those who won't be around are Ryder Cup captain Bernhard Langer and team members Colin Montgomerie and Ian Poulter. Open champion Todd Hamilton also missed the cut.
 
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    Lewis hopes to win at Volvik with baby on the way

    By Randall MellMay 27, 2018, 12:55 am

    Stacy Lewis was listening to more than her caddie on her march up the leaderboard Saturday at the Volvik Championship.

    Pregnant with her first child, she is listening to her body in a new way these days.

    And she could hear a message coming through loud and clear toward the end of her round at Travis Point Country Club in Ann Arbor, Mich.

    “The little one was telling me it’s dinnertime,” Lewis said.

    Lewis birdied five of the last six holes to shoot 5-under-par 67 and move into position to make a Sunday run at winning her 13th LPGA title. She is two shots behind the leader, Minjee Lee, whose 68 moved her to 12 under overall.

    Sunday has the makings of a free for all with 10 players within three shots of the lead.


    Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


    Lewis, 33, is four months pregnant, with her due date Nov. 3. She’s expecting to play just a few more times before putting the clubs away to get ready for the birth. She said she’s likely to make the Marathon Classic in mid-July her last start of the season before returning next year.

    Of course, Lewis would relish winning with child.

    “I don’t care what limitations I have or what is going on with my body, I want to give myself a chance to win,” she told LPGA.com at the Kingsmill Championship last week.

    Lewis claimed an emotional victory with her last title, taking the Cambia Portland Classic late last summer after announcing earlier in the week that she would donate her entire winnings to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in her Houston hometown.

    A victory Sunday would also come with a lot of emotion.

    It’s been an interesting year for Lewis.

    There’s been the joy of learning she’s ready to begin the family she has been yearning for, and the struggle to play well after bouncing back from injury.

    Lewis missed three cuts in a row before making it into the weekend at the Kingsmill Championship last week. That’s one more cut than she missed cumulatively in the previous six years. In six starts this year, Lewis hasn’t finished among the top 50 yet, but she hasn’t felt right, either.

    The former world No. 1 didn’t make her second start of 2018 until April, at the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration. She withdrew from the HSBC Women’s World Championship in late February with a strained right oblique muscle and didn’t play again for a month.

    Still, Lewis is finding plenty to get excited about with the baby on the way.

    “I kind of had my first Mother’s Day,” Lewis told LPGA.com last week. “It puts golf into perspective. It makes those bad days not seem so bad. It helps me sleep better at night. We are just really excited.”

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    Rose hasn't visited restroom at Colonial - here's why

    By Nick MentaMay 27, 2018, 12:20 am

    In case you're unaware, it's pretty hot in Texas.

    Temperatures at Colonial Country Club have approached 100 degrees this week, leaving players to battle both the golf course and potential dehydration.

    With the help of his caddie Mark Fulcher, Fort Worth Invitational leader Justin Rose has been plenty hot himself, staking himself to a four-shot lead.


    Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

    Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


    "Yeah, Fulch has done a great job of just literally handing me water bottle after water bottle. It seems relentless, to be honest with you," Rose said Saturday.

    So just how much are players sweating the heat at Colonial? Well, it doesn't sound like all that water is making it all the way through Rose.

    "I haven't even seen the inside of a restroom yet, so you can't even drink quick enough out there," he shared.

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    Up four, Rose knows a lead can slip away

    By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 11:21 pm

    Up four shots heading into Sunday at the Fort Worth Invitational, Justin Rose has tied the largest 54-hole lead of his PGA Tour career.

    On the previous two occasions he took a 54-hole Tour lead into the final round, he closed.

    And yet, Rose knows just how quickly a lead can slip away. After all, it was Rose who erased a six-shot deficit earlier this season to overtake Dustin Johnson and win the WGC-HSBC Championship. 

    "I think I was in the lead going into the final round in Turkey when I won, and I had a four-shot lead going into the final round in Indonesia in December and managed to put that one away," Rose said Saturday, thinking back to his two other victories late last year.

    "I was five, six back maybe of DJ, so I've got experience the other way. ... So you can see how things can go both ways real quick. That's why there is no point in getting too far ahead of myself."


    Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

    Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


    Up one to start the third round Saturday, Rose extended his lead to as much as five when he birdied four of his first six holes.

    He leads the field in strokes gained: tee-to-green (+12.853) and strokes gained: approach-the-green (+7.931).

    Rose has won five times worldwide, including at the 2016 Rio Olympics, since his last victory in the United States, at the 2015 Zurich Classic.

    With a win Sunday, he'd tie Nick Faldo for the most PGA Tour wins by an Englishman post-World War II, with nine.

    But he isn't celebrating just yet.

    "It is a big lead, but it's not big enough to be counting the holes away. You've got to go out and play good, you've got to go out positive, you've got to continue to make birdies and keep going forward.

    "So my mindset is to not really focus on the lead, it's to focus on my game tomorrow and my performance. You know, just keep executing the way I have been. That's going to be my challenge tomorrow. Going to look forward to that mindset."

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    Grillo still hunting follow-up to debut win

    By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 10:53 pm

    Following a round of 1-under 69 Saturday, Emiliano Grillo will enter Sunday's final round at Colonial four shots behind leader Justin Rose.

    Grillo is hunting his first win since he took the 2015 Safeway Open in his rookie debut as a PGA Tour member. 

    The young Argentinian finished 11th in the FedExCup points race that season, contending in big events and finishing runner-up at the 2016 Barclays.

    In the process, Grillo had to learn to pace himself and that it can be fruitless to chase after success week to week.

    "That was a hot run in there," Grillo said Saturday, referring to his rookie year. "I played, in 2016, I played the majors very well. I played the big tournaments very well. I was in contention after two, three days in most of the big events.


    Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

    Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


    "I think, you know, I wanted to do better. I pushed for it. Some of the tournaments I ended up being 50th or 60th just because I wanted to play. I wanted to play well so badly. That played against me, so I learned from that. In that rookie year, I learned that."

    Grillo was still plenty successful in his sophomore season, advancing to the BMW Championship last fall.

    But now he's beginning to regain some of that form that made him such an immediate success on Tour. Grillo has recorded four top-10 finishes year - a T-9 at Mayakoba, a T-8 at Honda, a T-3 at Houston, and a T-9 at Wells Fargo - and will now look to outduel U.S. Open champs in Rose and Brooks Koepka on Sunday at Colonial.

    "Well, he's top 10 in the world, so everything he does he does it pretty well," Grillo said of Rose. "You know, he does his own thing. Like I say, he's top 10 in the world. Nothing wrong with his game. ...

    "He's in the lead on a Sunday. Doesn't matter where you're playing, he's got to go out and shoot under par. He's got 50 guys behind him trying to reach him, and I'm one of those. I've just got to go out and do what he did today on those first five or six holes and try to get him in the early holes."