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Rosaforte Report: Fitzgerald an All-Pro-Am champ

By Tim RosaforteFebruary 12, 2018, 9:59 pm

In this week's Rosaforte Reporte: Larry Fitzgerald gets his title, Tiger Woods mulls his upcoming schedule, Ted Potter Jr. comes out of horse country to win, and Phil Mickelson eyes his 43rd PGA Tour victory.

Larry Fitzgerald plays off a 10.6 index at Whisper Rock GC in Scottsdale, Arizona, which equated to a 13 handicap in the team portion of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. The scouting report on the perennial All-Pro wideout and future Hall of Famer is that he sprays it off the tee but has 4-handicap's touch, accuracy and competitiveness when his ball is in play. That explains the 28 shots he cut Kevin Streelman in winning the pro-am portion of the competition at 41 under par.

While Fitzgerald played above his usual game, he didn’t win the Jack Lemmon Trophy given to the amateur that helped his pro the most. That award went in a final-round tiebreaker to Gordon Dean, the partner for Jonathan Randolph.

Another impressive performance worth noting among the pro athletes that competed this year was turned in by Justin Verlander, the ace of the World Series champion Houston Astros. Playing off a 4 handicap, Verlander cut Russell Knox 24 strokes in their third-place finish.

While the scores didn’t reflect it, Fitzgerald said he was completely out of his comfort zone and came away with a better sense of respect for the guys that win and play consistently at a high level. He called golf, “the hardest game out there.”

The story resonated in many ways. Before he became a tour pro, Streelman worked as a caddie at Whisper Rock in 2001-2002. Fitzgerald was the first African-American to win the Pebble Beach Pro-Am and the first athlete since Dan Marino in 1988.

Streelman and Fitzgerald became friends through their memberships at “The Rock,” and Fitzgerald flew home to Arizona on Sunday night with the trophy in the seat beside him. Streelman said that Fitzgerald started playing golf less than five years ago. They hit it off as friends, with Streelman initially giving Fitzgerald two shots per hole and then one. “He’s just madly in love with the game,” Streelman said. “It’s a pretty cool story for both of us, especially Larry.”



Where will we next see Tiger after Genesis?

Tiger Woods needs reps. When and where they’ll come during the Florida Swing is still undetermined. Tiger’s long-time manager, Mark Steinberg, had “zero updates” for me in a text on Sunday night, adding, that the Woods' camp “will decide as time goes on.”

Woods has until Friday night to commit to his hometown event, the Honda Classic. In the past, he has committed early, giving the tournament’s executive director, Ken Kennerly, time to promote and prepare for Tiger’s appearances in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Woods played the best at PGA National in ’12, finishing T-2 after shooting 62 on Sunday to put a scare in Rory McIlroy. He was T-37 on the Champion course in ’13 and withdrew with back spasms in ’14.

Kennerly remains patient, figuring Tiger’s decision will be based on how he plays in the Genesis Open at Riviera, and how his back reacts to tournament competition. Committing to Honda would mean two-straight starts for Woods, after a cross-country flight.

In the mix for the first time is the Valspar Championship. Wood has not played Innisbrook since pairing with Kelly Kuehne in a mixed-team event in 1996. Tournament director Tracy West has Tiger on a “possibility list,” which is based on conversations she’s had with Steinberg. “It’s a possibility, but I don’t think it’s a great possibility,” West said. “At least it’s not a no.”



Horses, a wizard, and a Potter

Ocala, Florida, is known as horse country and is certainly a long way from the Monterey Peninsula and PyeongChang, South Korea. On Sunday, it became identified with both AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am champion Ted Potter Jr. and Olympic speed skaters Brittany Bowe, Erin Jackson and Joey Mantia.

Ocala is described as one of those towns where everybody knows everybody. Potter’s wife, Cheri, told me Monday that she went to school with Joey, and Bowe’s mother was her cheerleading coach. “Our house is in a horse neighborhood,” Cheri said. “There’s an equestrian park around the corner. The horses are intermixed with all of us.”

The connection to inline and ice-skating is renowned coach Renee Hildebrand, who is based in Ocala. Potter learned the game through his father, who worked on the grounds crew at a local course and came home one day with a club for his son, then barely old enough to walk.

A natural right-hander, Ted Jr. flipped the club over and started swinging left handed. With his father providing guidance, Potter grew up with one swing and became a mini-tour legend, winning his first PGA Tour title at The Greenbrier in 2012. Most of his practice is done at Golden Ocala Golf & Esquestrian Club, and his money games are played at a course connected to one of the retirement communities in the area. That’s where he was the Friday before winning at Pebble, playing for $16 a hole in a 20-man skins game.

Potter recently he went through his first swing change, doing it on his own with the help of caddie John Balmer. That made his victory even more remarkable, considering the way his swing held up at Pebble, and under the pressure of pursuers Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Phil Mickelson and Jon Rahm.

His nickname, “The Wizard,” is obviously a takeoff on Harry Potter and was given to him because of the short-game magic he showed on the mini-tours - like his hole-out for birdie on the seventh hole Sunday.

“It’s his way,” Cheri said. “He doesn’t care how the others are doing it.”

Russell Knox once called Potter the most talented player he ever played with. The irony is that Potter is not a grinder that hits a lot of balls. “I have never been a hard worker,” he said in his closing news conference at Pebble Beach. “I mean I’m probably better than what I think I am. I’ve got to figure out how to keep that focus on trying to get better instead of just being where I’m at.”



Mickelson trending ahead of Genesis

At 47 years of age, Phil Mickelson got better with age during his first four stops of the California swing. He started with missed cut at the CareerBuilder Challenge. He shot 76-74 on the weekend at the Farmers Insurance Open to drop from T-9 to T-45. At the Waste Management Phoenix Open, he closed with three scores in the sixties to finish T-5. And at AT&T, he birdied 14, 16 and 17o n Sunday to shoot 67 and finish T-2.

Now he heads to his fifth-straight tournament at the Genesis Open, where he hopes to put it all together and win for the first time since the 2013 Open Championship. “That’s where Riviera comes in,” he said. “I can’t wait to get started.”

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John Deere purse payout: Kim wins a million

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 16, 2018, 9:07 am

Michael Kim won his first PGA Tour event, and with it, over $1 million. Here's how the purse was paid out at the John Deere Classic.

1 Michael Kim -27 $1,044,000
T2 Francesco Molinari -19 $382,800
T2 Joel Dahmen -19 $382,800
T2 Sam Ryder -19 $382,800
T2 Bronson Burgoon -19 $382,800
6 Harold Varner, III -18 $208,800
T7 Kevin Streelman -16 $168,780
T7 John Huh -16 $168,780
T7 Chad Campbell -16 $168,780
T7 Keith Mitchell -16 $168,780
T7 Andres Romero -16 $168,780
T12 Scott Brown -15 $117,450
T12 Steve Wheatcroft -15 $117,450
T12 Tyler Duncan -15 $117,450
T12 Matt Jones -15 $117,450
T16 Zach Johnson -14 $81,366
T16 Mackenzie Hughes -14 $81,366
T16 Whee Kim -14 $81,366
T16 Parker McLachlin -14 $81,366
T16 Seamus Power -14 $81,366
T16 David Hearn -14 $81,366
T16 Johnson Wagner -14 $81,366
T23 Dominic Bozzelli -13 $48,886
T23 Joaquin Niemann -13 $48,886
T23 John Merrick -13 $48,886
T23 Chris Kirk -13 $48,886
T23 Richy Werenski -13 $48,886
T23 Derek Fathauer -13 $48,886
T23 Fabian Gomez -13 $48,886
T30 Patton Kizzire -12 $36,830
T30 Jason Bohn -12 $36,830
T30 Chris Stroud -12 $36,830
T30 Robert Garrigus -12 $36,830
T34 Hunter Mahan -11 $27,453
T34 C.T. Pan -11 $27,453
T34 John Senden -11 $27,453
T34 Vaughn Taylor -11 $27,453
T34 Austin Cook -11 $27,453
T34 J.J. Henry -11 $27,453
T34 Nick Taylor -11 $27,453
T34 Cody Gribble -11 $27,453
T34 Denny McCarthy -11 $27,453
T43 Nick Hardy -10 $18,096
T43 Dylan Meyer -10 $18,096
T43 Troy Merritt -10 $18,096
T43 Steve Stricker -10 $18,096
T43 Patrick Rodgers -10 $18,096
T43 Ricky Barnes -10 $18,096
T43 Blayne Barber -10 $18,096
T50 Tom Lovelady -9 $13,990
T50 Kevin Tway -9 $13,990
T50 Hudson Swafford -9 $13,990
T50 Stuart Appleby -9 $13,990
T50 Corey Conners -9 $13,990
T55 Conrad Shindler -8 $13,108
T55 Ryan Moore -8 $13,108
T55 Ryan Blaum -8 $13,108
T55 Andrew Landry -8 $13,108
T55 Matt Atkins -8 $13,108
T60 Nick Watney -7 $12,644
T60 Lanto Griffin -7 $12,644
T60 Sam Saunders -7 $12,644
T63 Mark Wilson -6 $12,354
T63 Kelly Kraft -6 $12,354
T65 Benjamin Silverman -4 $12,006
T65 Arjun Atwal -4 $12,006
T65 Brett Stegmaier -4 $12,006
T65 J.T. Poston -4 $12,006
T69 Nicholas Lindheim -3 $11,658
T69 Tommy Gainey -3 $11,658
71 Kris Blanks -2 $11,484
MDF Chesson Hadley -3 $11,136
MDF Bill Haas -3 $11,136
MDF David Lingmerth -3 $11,136
MDF George McNeill -3 $11,136
MDF Martin Flores -3 $11,136
MDF Ryan Palmer -2 $10,730
MDF Sean McCarty -2 $10,730
MDF Andrew Putnam -1 $10,556
MDF D.J. Trahan E $10,440
MDF Brian Stuard 1 $10,324
MDF Brendon de Jonge 3 $10,208
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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 16, 2018, 9:00 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 GolfChannel.com.  

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; GC.com=GolfChannel.com or check the GLE app)

Monday, July 16

GC: 7-9AM: Morning Drive (stream.golfchannel.com)

GC: 9-11AM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)

GC: 7-9PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Tuesday, July 17

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Wednesday, July 18

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Thursday, July 19

GC: Midnight-1:30AM: Midnight Drive (stream.golfchannel.com)

GC: Day 1: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 1: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 1: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 1: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Friday, July 20

GC: Day 2: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 2: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 2: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 2: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Saturday, July 21

GC: Day 3: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

NBC: Rd. 3: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 3: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 3: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 3: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 3-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Sunday, July 22

GC: Day 4: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

NBC: Rd. 4: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-2:30PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 4: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-2:30PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 4: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-2PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 4: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-2PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 2:30-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)

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Davies wins by 10 on 'best ball-striking round'

By Associated PressJuly 16, 2018, 1:53 am

WHEATON, Ill. - Laura Davies immediately recognized the significance of having her name inscribed on the first U.S. Senior Women's Open trophy.

It might be a long time before anyone secures the title as emphatically as Davies did.

Davies went virtually unchallenged in Sunday's final round of the inaugural USGA championship for women 50 and older, claiming the title by 10 strokes over Juli Inkster.

''It's great seeing this (trophy) paraded down for the very first time and I get my name on it first, you know?'' Davies said. ''This championship will be played for many years and there will only be one first winner - obviously a proud moment for me to win that.''

The 54-year-old Davies shot a 5-under 68 to finish at 16-under 276 at Chicago Golf Club.

It was the English player's 85th career win, and she felt the pressure even though her lead was rarely in danger.

''I haven't won for eight years - my last win was India, 2010,'' Davies said. ''So that's the pressure you're playing under, when you're trying to do something for yourself, prove to yourself you can still win.

''So this ranks highly up there. And obviously it's a USGA event. It's hard comparing tournaments, but this is very high on my list of achievements.''

A 7-under 66 Saturday provided Davies with a five-shot lead over Inkster and what she said would be a sleepless night worrying about the pressure.


Full-field scores from the U.S. Senior Women’s Open


The World Golf Hall of Famer widened her advantage early Sunday when she birdied the par-5 second hole and Inkster made bogey. Davies said a par she salvaged at the 10th was another turning point.

''It wasn't the greatest hole I ever played, but I think that, to me, was when I really started to think I might have one hand on the trophy and just had to get the other one in there.''

Inkster shot an even-par 73. England's Trish Johnson also shot 73 to finish third, 12 shots back.

''I mean, she was absolutely spectacular this week,'' Johnson said about Davies. ''I've played against her for 35 years. Yesterday was the best I have ever seen her play in her entire career.

''She just said walking down 18 it was best ball-striking round she ever had. Considering she's won 85 tournaments, that's quite some feat.''

Danielle Ammaccapane was fourth and Yuko Saito finished fifth. Martha Leach was the top amateur, tying for 10th at 6-over 298.

Davies plans to play in the Women's British Open next month, and called this win a confidence-booster as she continues to compete against the younger generation. She finished tied for second at the LPGA's Bank of Hope Founders Cup earlier this year.

''You build up a little bit of momentum, and a golf course is a golf course,'' Davies said. ''Sometimes the field strength is a little bit different, but in your own mind if you've done something like this, 16 under for four rounds around a proper championship course, it can't do anything but fill you full of confidence.''

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Romo rallies to win American Century Championship

By Associated PressJuly 16, 2018, 12:42 am

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Nev. - Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo rallied from four points back to win his first American Century Championship at Lake Tahoe on Sunday.

Romo, who retired after the 2016 NFL season and is now an NFL analyst, had 27 points on the day to beat three-time defending champion Mark Mulder and San Jose Sharks captain Joe Pavelski, the the leader after the first two rounds.

''It's a special win,'' said Romo, who had finished second three times in seven previous trips to the annual celebrity golf tournament at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. ''It feels like you're playing a tournament back home here. The day felt good for a lot of reasons.''

Romo tapped in for par, worth one point, on the 18th hole to finish with 71 points, three ahead of Mulder, the former major league pitcher. He then caught a flight to Berlin, Wis., where he was to compete in a 36-hole U.S. Amateur qualifying tournament on Monday.

The American Century Championship uses a modified Stableford scoring system which rewards points for eagles (six), birdies (three) and pars (one) and deducts points (two) for double bogeys or worse. Bogeys are worth zero points.

Pavelski had a 7-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th that could have tied Romo, but it slid by. He finished with 66 points, tied for third with Ray Allen, who will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 7.


Full-field scores from the American Century Championship


''It feels like nothing went in for me today,'' Pavelski said. ''But I couldn't ask for more than to have that putt to tie on the last hole.''

Romo plays as an amateur, so his $125,000 first-place check from the $600,000 purse will go to local charities and the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, the primary charitable arm of title sponsor American Century Investments.

Rounding out the top five were Trent Dilfer, a Super Bowl-winning quarterback with the Baltimore Ravens in 2001, and former tennis player Mardy Fish. Each had 62 points.

Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry, who fell out of contention with a mediocre round Saturday, jumped into Lake Tahoe amidst much fanfare after losing a bet to his father, Dell. The elder Curry jumped into the lake last year, so he negotiated a 20-point handicap and won by two points.

Other notable players in the 92-player field included John Smoltz, the MLB hall of Fame pitcher who two weeks ago competed in the U.S. Senior Open and finished 10th here with 53 points; Steph Curry, who finished tied for 11th with retired Marine and wounded war hero Andrew Bachelder (50); actor Jack Wagner (16th, 47 points); Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (tied for 18th, 44 points); actor Ray Romano (tied for 71st, minus-26 points); comedian Larry the Cable Guy (tied for 77th, minus-33 points); and former NBA great Charles Barkley, who finished alone in last with minus-93 points.

The tournament drew 57,097 fans for the week, setting an attendance record for the fourth straight year.