Webster Foster Lead the Way In Scotland

By Sports NetworkAugust 5, 2005, 4:00 pm
European TourGLENEAGLES, Scotland -- England's Steve Webster fired a 5-under 67 Friday in the second round of the Johnnie Walker Championship, vaulting himself up the leaderboard from a tie for 14th place into a share of the lead.
Webster and overnight leader Mark Foster, also of England, stand at 6-under-par 138 heading into the weekend, one stroke clear of Gregory Bourdy and Sam Little for first place.
Ian Garbutt is alone in fifth place at 4-under-par 140, and a group of six golfers share sixth place one stroke further back. The cut was set at plus-4, with 64 players failing to move on.
Webster, who began his round at 1-under-par, collected seven birdies Friday. He opened on the back nine with consecutive pars before a birdie at No. 12 put him at 2 under.
A two-time winner on tour, Webster bogeyed a pair of par-3s before heading to the front nine, but a birdie at the 16th helped him make the turn at minus-1. Consecutive birdies to start his second nine moved him to 3 under, and three more birdies in his final four holes gave him his share of the lead.
'My mind is pretty good on the course, so if I can keep that up, I know I can be there right in the end,' Webster said.
Webster has compiled 10 top-20 finishes so far this year, including his first European Tour win at the Telecom Italia Open in May. He will be in the field at the PGA Championship next week -- his first tournament in the United States, and only his second visit there after celebrating his 30th birthday in Las Vegas earlier this year.
'If I am playing well I will look forward to it,' Webster said. 'It is going to be difficult, but if I am playing well I will love it, I know I will.'
Foster opened his round with a bogey at the par-four first to fall to 3 under. He then strung together seven straight pars after that before a birdie at No. 9 moved him back to his overnight score of minus-4.
A birdie at the par-5 12th briefly put Foster at 5 under before he gave that stroke back with a bogey at No. 14. The 30-year-old Briton then rebounded with an eagle at the par-5 16th, knocking a 3-wood within 6 feet before making his putt to move to 6 under.
'The eagle on 16 was the highlight,' said Foster, who shot a 2-under 70 on Friday. 'I was playing fine but not much [was] happening. I just kept telling myself to hang in there.
'I said yesterday I wasn't going to worry about other people and [I] did my job out there today. Pleased with it.'
Bourdy briefly climbed to the top of the leaderboard at 7-under-par before a pair of late bogeys dropped him to minus-3 on the day and 5-under-par 139 for the tournament. Little posted a 68 to join Bourdy in second place.
Also posting a 68 in his second round was 1999 British Open champion Paul Lawrie, who is tied for 12th place at 2-under-par 142. Lawrie eagled his final hole -- the ninth -- to reach minus numbers.
'I am a far better player now than I was then (during his Open win in 1999),' said Lawrie. 'I hit far more good shots and quality shots than I used to. But my short game was mustard back then. I would like my short game of 1999 and long game of now. That would be a nice combination.'
Among those not making the cut was Marc Cayeux, who tied for third at last week's Scandinavian Masters. Cayeux finished at 10-over-par 154 after rounds of 78 and 76.
Also not making the weekend was Stephen Dodd, who ranks 10th on the European Tour Order of Merit. Dodd stumbled to a pair of 77s in his two rounds.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles
  • Full Coverage - Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles
  • Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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.”

    Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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.”