Kevin Na has a big finish and wins the Sony Open
Chris Kirk putts on the 13th green during the third round at the Sony Open golf tournament Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Honolulu. Na finished one shot ahead of Joaquin Niemann and Chris Kirk, and only one of them got a consolation prize. Niemann chipped in for birdie from 55 feet on the par-3 17th and got up-and-down with a long bunker shot on the 18th hole for a 66. Needing nearly 150 FedEx Cup points at the Sony Open, his tie for second was worth 245 points. He looked comfortable even when the Sony Open appeared to be slipping away.
Steele takes lead with 61 to get another chance in Sony Open
Brendan Steele lines up his putt on the ninth green during the third round at the Sony Open golf tournament Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)HONOLULU – Brendan Steele knows he can play well at the Sony Open whether it's windy or calm, in sunshine or rain. One year after Steele lost a late lead at Waialae and lost in a playoff, he delivered the lowest score of his career Saturday in ideal conditions with a 9-under 61 that gave him a two-shot lead going into the final round. “You hope that you come back and you play well and erase whatever negative memories there are,” Steele said. It was wide open on Saturday, and it's not likely to be any different in the final round.
Nick Taylor gets a break and a birdie and leads Sony Open
Nick Taylor hits from the eighth fairway during the second round of the Sony Open golf tournament Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu. Taylor gave himself at least some separation with a gap wedge to 6 feet for birdie on No. 8, and then even his worst swing of the day turned into a birdie on the par-5 ninth. “I think it's probably harder out here to make double (bogey) and there's a lot of birdie opportunities,” Taylor said. Cink already won the season-opener in the Safeway Open in September, his first victory since the 2009 British Open at Turnberry.
Niemann finishes with eagle and shares the lead at Sony Open
(AP Photo/Jamm Aquino)HONOLULU – Joaquin Niemann had no regrets about the 18th hole at the Sony Open. “Spent a few days thinking about that last hole, but taking all the positives from the week and pull it out for this week.”They weren't easy days for Niemann. The 22-year-old from Chile is still too young to have experienced the inevitable losses that pile up in this sport. Niemann's only bogey was when he fell asleep on a 25-foot birdie putt above the hole at No. We talked for an hour about the whole tournament, not for that 18th hole.
Schauffele recovers from COVID-19, optimistic about new year
Schauffele is among 16 players in the Tournament of Champions who didn't win last year. His girlfriend came down with COVID-19 in the middle of December, and a few days later, Schauffele tested positive and eventually had minor symptoms. Schauffele is among 16 players at Kapalua who failed to win an official event, though he did have the lowest 72-hole score at the Tour Championship. The winners-only field is including players who reached the Tour Championship because golf was shut down for three months due to the pandemic. Schauffele already has played four times in the new season, which began in September, and that includes two majors.
A quiet start to empty week at Augusta National for Masters
Instead of Augusta National members and their guests, the course was filled Monday with Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas, Bubba Watson and Jordan Spieth, all of them playing a practice round on a course that only looked the same. The COVID-19 pandemic that shut down golf for three months forced a reconfigured major championship schedule unlike any other, particularly at the Masters. "The things that will be the same is it still means the same to us all, and maybe even more so because we return to Augusta National every year. This is the Augusta National hardly anyone gets to see. When it means going to Augusta National to get ready for the Masters — April, November, doesn't matter — it takes the sting off.
Garcia withdraws from Masters after positive COVID-19 test
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)AUGUSTA, Ga. – Sergio Garcia pulled out of the Masters on Monday after informing Augusta National he tested positive for the coronavirus, making him the second player to withdraw following a positive test. Garcia won his only major at the Masters three years ago in his 19th appearance, the most of any player before winning a green jacket. “After 21 years of not missing a major championship, I will sadly miss the Masters this week,” he tweeted. He brings to 15 the number of PGA Tour players who have tested positive since golf returned in June from the COVID-19 pandemic-caused shutdown. Adam Scott tested positive a week later in California and also had to withdraw.
DeChambeau and his Paul Bunyan power the talk of the Masters
FILE - In this Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, file photo, Bryson DeChambeau, of the United States, reacts after sinking a putt for par on the 18th hole to win the U.S. Open golf tournament in Mamaroneck, N.Y. DeChambeau's first major validated his work at getting bigger and stronger. He is the favorite going into the Masters. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)
DeChambeau and his Paul Bunyan power the talk of the Masters
DeChambeau walked over to his bag, removed a wrench and tightened the screws on the bottom of his driver. It hit a small tree right of the fairway, dropping straight down and robbing DeChambeau of what he figured would have been a 400-yard drive. Moments like these are why DeChambeau is the talk of golf going into the Masters. He believes DeChambeau is headed done the right path with his program and his relentless passion to think outside the box. And now he goes to the Masters as the betting favorite in a year in which five players other than DeChambeau have reached No.
Johnson, Scheffler favorites for tour's top player, rookie
For the PGA Tour player of the year, the candidates were Johnson, Thomas, PGA champion Collin Morikawa (two wins), Webb Simpson (two wins) and Jon Rahm (two wins). Johnson won the Travelers Championship and The Northern Trust to go along with his FedEx Cup title he won at the Tour Championship. He also was runner-up to Morikawa at the PGA Championship. More interesting will be the vote for PGA Tour rookie of the year. ... Country singer Colt Ford, who once played professionally, is making his PGA Tour Champions debut on a sponsor exemption.
Rahm's makes the biggest putt to win a thriller at BMW
Jon Rahm reacts after making his putt on the first playoff hole during the final round of the BMW Championship golf tournament at the Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Ill., Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020. I was fully confident it was going to come into a playoff and hoping to win it. They were the only five players under par at Olympia Fields. Rahm won for the second time this year on the PGA Tour, and the 11th time in his career worldwide. He now gets two weeks off before the U.S. Open at Winged Foot, and Olympia Fields proved to be a good test for that.
Johnson, Matsuyama tied for lead at tough Olympia Fields
Every par at Olympia Fields is hard work, and Johnson played the final 13 holes Saturday with nothing worse than that. It's what carried him to a 1-under 69 and a share of the lead with Hideki Matsuyama, leaving them as the only players under par going into the final round. I feel like it's fairly similar, just obviously these conditions and the greens are a lot more difficult," he said. Rounds like that go a long way at Olympia Fields, the former U.S. Open course playing like one with its thick rough and rock-hard greens and enough wind to make the fairways look tighter than they are. All of them are one round away on a golf course where small mistakes can lead to bogeys or worse on just about every hole.
4-way tie for lead at Heritage as another wild finish looms
Tyrrell Hatton of England had one of six rounds at 63 as he tries to win back-to-back starts for the second time in his year. Abraham Ancer rode his strong iron play to a 65, while Ryan Palmer had a 66 to join the lead at 15-under 198. A week ago at the Charles Schwab Challenge, 14 players were separated by three shots going into the final round. The six rounds at 63 marked the third time since October that at least six players shot 63 in a round. There were seven such rounds at the RSM Classic in November, about 80 miles down the Atlantic coast at Sea Island.