Singh Leads Leonard by One at PGA

By Sports NetworkAugust 14, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 PGA ChampionshipHAVEN, Wis. -- Vijay Singh, the 1998 PGA Champion, posted a 3-under 69 on Saturday to take the 54-hole lead of the 86th PGA Championship. He stands at 12-under-par 204 and owns a one-shot lead over Justin Leonard, who bogeyed 18 for a round of 2-under 70 at Whistling Straits.
Phil Mickelson, the reigning Masters champion, flew up the leaderboard with a 5-under 31 on the front side. He shot a 5-under 67 and is tied for third place with Stephen Ames (69), Darren Clarke (72), Ernie Els (72) and Chris Riley (69) at 8-under-par 208.
Tiger Woods barely extended his PGA Tour record for consecutive cuts made on Friday. He birdied two of his final three in the second round to push the number to 129.
Woods carded a 69 on Saturday, but never got anything going on the back nine. He is tied for 25th place at minus-3 and is in danger of running his majorless streak to 10.
'If I could get three or four more on the back nine, I would be right back where I needed to be,' said Woods, who won this title in 1999 and 2000. 'We need some help from the leaders.'
Singh and Leonard showed few signs in the third round that they will be coming back to pack. The duo shared the 36-hole lead and Leonard flinched first with a bogey at No. 1.
Leonard, the 1997 British Open champion, took first place with his play through the opening 10 holes. He collected a pair of short birdie putts at five and six, then knocked his approach to 4 feet at the 10th to reach 11 under par.
Leonard hit a pitching-wedge to 6 feet at the short, par-3 12th to set up birdie. He was now two clear of Singh, but the No. 3 golfer in the world was waiting to move up the leaderboard.
Singh drained an 18-foot birdie putt at the 13th to close the gap to a stroke. Leonard drove into the right rough at the 15th and was forced to lay up short of the green. He hit his third to 15 feet, but missed the putt, bogeying the hole and falling into a tie for the lead with Singh.
Both players found the fairway at the par-5 16th and Leonard's second came up short of the putting surface. Singh went after the green in two with a 5-wood, but his shot came to rest against the lip of a bunker in front of the green. Leonard pitched to 4 feet, while Singh could only manage to blast his 20 feet short of the stick. Singh ran home his long birdie putt and Leonard rolled his in on top of Singh and the duo remained knotted at minus-12.
The pair made routine pars at the par-3 17th, but Whistling Straits' difficult closing hole awaited. Each player drove in the short grass, but Leonard's second fell into a greenside bunker. Singh's approach came up 35 feet short of the hole.
Leonard barely advanced his ball past the fringe, leaving himself with about 40 feet. He narrowly missed that putt and tapped in for bogey. Singh's birdie effort came up 6 feet short, but he calmly holed the par-saver to take first by himself.
'I'm quite happy with the way I'm playing,' said Singh, who also won the 2000 Masters. 'I like playing with Justin and I was just having fun out there. I made some really good putts.'
Singh will have plenty going for him come Sunday afternoon. He is 10-7 all-time on the PGA Tour with a piece of the 54-hole lead, including seven wins in his last seven opportunities. The last time Singh did not win when he held at least a share of the third-round lead was the three years ago at the event in Hilton Head.
Also going for Singh is the history of players with the 54-hole lead at the PGA Championship. In the last seven years, a golfer who has part of the third-round lead has won six times. The only player who squandered the advantage was Leonard in 2002, when Rich Beem took the title.
'I think there's five other guys that are four back now,' said Singh. 'They have to play one shot better to catch me now. They have one more shot to catch up, and that meant a lot to me.'
Singh has four victories this season and if he hoists the Wanamaker Trophy Sunday afternoon, it will be the second time. It will also be his third major and Singh, despite not taking it as seriously as some, is excited about the prospect.
'Majors are important to me. Probably not as important as the other guys, but I strive to win majors,' said Singh. 'I'm going to go out and do my hardest. I'm going to try to beat everybody in the field if I can.'
Leonard is the closest in the rearview mirror, and despite not playing his best golf in 2004, he thinks he learned some valuable lessons from his final-round meltdown at Hazeltine.
'I've gained a lot of perspective in the last couple of years, since Hazeltine, and what I do tomorrow is not going to define the player that I am,' said Leonard, who finished as the runner-up to Davis Love III in 1997. 'I think that if I can keep that in my thoughts, then I'll have a better chance of doing the things that I've done and not worrying about trying to win a golf tournament.'
Els and Briny Baird held a piece of the lead at various points in Saturday's third round, but each struggled down the stretch. Baird triple-bogeyed the par-3 17th and Els bogeyed 18 after a poor club selection off the tee and a chip on the green.
Baird struggled to a 3-over 75 and is tied for 11th at 5-under-par 211.
Chris DiMarco will try to accumulate some much-needed Ryder Cup points on Sunday. In the third round, DiMarco carded a 1-under 71 and is alone in eighth place at 7-under-par 209.
Related Links:
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    Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 10:15 am

    Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.

    Getty Images

    McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.

    McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.

    But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.

    Said Harmon:

    “Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    “He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.

    “This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”

    McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.

    “Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”

    McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.

    Getty Images

    How The Open cut line is determined

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:57 am

    Scores on Day 1 of the 147th Open Championship ranged from 5-under 66 to 11-over 82.

    The field of 156 players will be cut nearly in half for weekend play at Carnoustie. Here’s how the cut line works in the season’s third major championship:

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    • After 36 holes, the low 70 players and ties will advance to compete in the final two rounds. Anyone finishing worse than that will get the boot. Only those making the cut earn official money from the $10.5 million purse.

    • There is no 10-shot rule. That rule means anyone within 10 shots of the lead after two rounds, regardless of where they stand in the championship, make the cut. It’s just a flat top 70 finishers and ties.

    • There is only a single cut at The Open. PGA Tour events employ an MDF (Made cut Did not Finish) rule, which narrows the field after the third round if more than 78 players make the cut. That is not used at this major.

    The projected cut line after the first round this week was 1 over par, which included 71 players tied for 50th or better.

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    How to watch The Open on TV and online

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:30 am

    You want to watch the 147th Open? Here’s how you can do it.

    Golf Channel and NBC Sports will be televising 182 hours of overall programming from the men's third major of the year at Carnoustie

    In addition to the traditional coverage, the two networks will showcase three live alternate feeds: marquee groups, featured holes (our new 3-hole channel) and spotlight action. You can also watch replays of full-day coverage, Thursday-Sunday, in the Golf Channel app, NBC Sports apps, and on  

    Here’s the weekly TV schedule, with live stream links in parentheses. You can view all the action on the Golf Channel mobile, as well. Alternate coverage is noted in italics:

    (All times Eastern; GC=Golf Channel; NBC=NBC Sports; or check the GLE app)

    Monday, July 16

    GC: 7-9AM: Morning Drive (

    GC: 9-11AM: Live From The Open (

    GC: 7-9PM: Live From The Open (

    Tuesday, July 17

    GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

    Wednesday, July 18

    GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

    Thursday, July 19

    GC: Midnight-1:30AM: Midnight Drive (

    GC: Day 1: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 1: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

    GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

    Friday, July 20

    GC: Day 2: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 2: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

    GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

    Saturday, July 21

    GC: Day 3: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

    NBC: Rd. 3: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-3PM (

    GC: Live From The Open: 3-4PM (

    Sunday, July 22

    GC: Day 4: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

    NBC: Rd. 4: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-2PM ( Day 4: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-2PM (

    GC: Live From The Open: 2:30-4PM (