Europe Ryder Cup captain Donald has a plan for beating US
One major takeaway from the just-concluded Italian Open at the Marco Simone club outside Rome that will host next year’s Ryder Cup is that the course is being set up to reward accurate tee shots with narrow fairways surrounded by nasty rough and even higher grass beyond.
Hadley has 4-shot lead at delayed Palmetto Championship
Chesson Hadley moved a step closer to his first PGA Tour victory in seven years, opening a four-stroke lead over Harris English at Palmetto Championship at Congaree before the third round was halted severe storms and lightning with one hole remaining Saturday.
Great Scot! MacIntyre battles world No. 1 Johnson to a draw
“It was a tough match,” Johnson said. “Obviously, I was dying to win that match,” MacIntyre said. The Spaniard, whose American home is in Austin, won his second match and thus eliminated Hatton, the No. He missed the birdie putt and Rahm, who would have had a putt from the same range, smile a sigh of relief. Johnson was 10 feet away for eagle, and MacIntyre still had him putt it (Johnson made it).
An opening day of emotions and a few surprises at Match Play
In the Dell Technologies Match Play, every day can feel like Sunday. “I turned out to hit that shot really well, went super high over the trees. It was his biggest loss in Match Play since Ben Crane beat him, 8 and 7, in the second round of 2011. Kevin Kisner, the defending champion from 2019 — the Match Play was the third event to be canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic — won his seventh straight match by beating Louis Oosthuizen. When you're up against an opponent who plays really, really well and you play just a little better, it's really satisfying."
Conners builds 1-shot lead at Bay Hill as McIlroy lurks
Conners surged into the lead with a 25-foot eagle putt on the par-5 16th hole — his second eagle on that hole in two days — for a 3-under 69 and a one-shot advantage over former Bay Hill winner Martin Laird (67). He was two shots behind, along with Viktor Hovland and Lanto Griffin, who each had a 68. The forecast featured plenty of rain Saturday, which figures to make Bay Hill play longer and tougher, while also keeping the greens from getting as crusty as they were last year when Tyrrell Hatton won with a closing 74. He won at Bay Hill in 2011 on a final round so tough a 75 was enough to get the job done. He played in the morning, had a pair of birdies and came to the 16th, the easiest at Bay Hill.
McIlroy, DeChambeau put on a show for fans at Bay Hill
The fans were limited in numbers but they all wanted the same dose of entertainment provided by Rory McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau. Defending champion Tyrrell Hatton shot a 77, while past Bay Hill winner Francesco Molinari took a step back from his progress with a 78. He made three of his birdies on par 3s, the strength of Bay Hill. Through it all, it was the activity outside the ropes at Bay Hill that stood out. The tournament is allowing 25% of capacity — roughly 5,000 fans a day — and when most are watching some of golf's bigger draws such as McIlroy, DeChambeau and Spieth, it feels even larger.
Broken clubs behind him, Koepka feeling better about game
It's just sometimes results take a little bit longer.”There are photos to illustrate what Koepka did to his clubs, but those stay among his posse. A lot of players feel that way, but not to the point of naming their son after Riviera (Johnson's youngest is River). “I feel like it’s a tough golf course,” Johnson said. “Generally, the quality of golf course they’re played on is at a very high standard and Riviera fits that category. I feel like if you’ve had a good week here, it’s a good measure certainly generally of where your game is at.”
Rahm joins the lead and the large pack chasing green jacket
Tiger Woods remains in the mix with one birdie and seven pars to complete a 71, leaving him four shots behind. As the sun broke through the clouds when the second round ended, it revealed a Masters that even without spectators was shaping up to be as exciting as always. Rahm joined the lead pack at 9-under 135 with a wedge to 5 feet for birdie on the par-5 13th to resume his second round, but the next par 5 meant just as much. The cut was at even-par 144, a Masters record and a reflection of how rain has affected this Masters in November. That included Woods, who won his fifth green jacket last year by coming from behind for the first time in a major.
For fall Masters, change comes to a tradition like no other
So much else has changed at Augusta National this week, when the first fall Masters will be held without many of the traditions that make it a tradition unlike any other. Another tradition diminished without fans: golfers trying to skip their shots across the surface of the pond in front of the 16th green. “We do think Butler Cabin is something that is really, not only part of the history, but emblematic of what the Masters is all about, giving the champion the green jacket,” Ridley said. “So we will be in Butler Cabin. The fall date also messed with the Masters' spot on the sports schedule.
Johnson back following COVID-19 and trying to play catch-up
HOUSTON – A six-week break going into the Masters was not what Dustin Johnson had in mind. Johnson did find one positive to being the most prominent golfer to recover from COVID-19. “I know I'm playing next week at the Masters,” Johnson said Wednesday, adding that he would be “nervous for sure” if he had to wait for the test results before setting foot on Augusta National. That was his last competition until he tees off Thursday in the Houston Open. For Johnson, it's a matter of playing catch-up.
Munoz in the lead and Woods with his worst score at Sherwood
Throw in a wild tee shot for double bogey, three bogeys and only five pars and it added to an 8-under 64 and a one-shot lead. That led to a 4-over 76 — by two shots his worst score in 49 rounds at Sherwood Country Club — that left him 12 shots out of the lead and in no mood to talk. He is a five-time winner at Sherwood, along with five runner-up finishes, against small fields in a holiday exhibition. On the par-5 13th, he sent his tee shot again to the right, partially blocked by a tree. The sand shot didn't quite reach the green.
Jason Kokrak wins CJ Cup to get PGA Tour title in 233rd try
NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Jason Kokrak was playing for the 233rd time in his 10th season on the PGA Tour without ever having won, so he didn’t need any reminders Sunday in the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek that anything would come easily. Schauffele answered with three straight birdies, the last one a 45-footer that made it feel as though he was going to claim another PGA Tour victory by coming from behind. Kokrak played bogey-free on a course where trouble was never too far away. Making it even tougher on Kokrak and Schauffele was Jason Day, the third in their group, withdrew with a neck injury on the second hole. Kokrak earned a spot in the Masters next month from reaching the Tour Championship a year ago in August.
Jason Kokrak wins CJ Cup to get PGA Tour title in 233rd try
Jason Kokrak makes his tee shot on the second hole during the final round of the CJ Cup golf tournament at Shadow Creek Golf Course Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in North Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. – In his 10th season, in his 233rd tournament, Jason Kokrak can finally call himself a PGA Tour winner. Kokrak earned every bit of it Sunday in the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek. The CJ Cup moved from South Korea this year to Shadow Creek because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Kokrak earned a spot in the Masters next month from reaching the Tour Championship a year ago in August.
Hatton completes career goal by winning BMW PGA Championship
England's Tyrell Hatton on the first fairway during day four of the PGA Championship at Wentworth Club, Virginia Water, England, Sunday Oct. 11, 2020. Hatton shot 5-under 67 to finish on 19-under 269 overall, capping a week when he shot in the 60s every round around Wentworth's storied West Course. “It's unbelievable,” said Hatton, who acknowledged in a walkalong TV interview during the round that he was nervous. Hatton was unaware of the state of play and almost sent his second shot on the 18th into the water. “Part of me is sad I didn’t get to experience the crowds, but it’s just amazing to win this trophy,” Hatton said.
Johnson turns rough day into 1-shot lead at East Lake
Sungjae Im walks on the green with his ball on the 18th hole during the second round of the Tour Championship golf tournament at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020. Johnson could at least see his entire golf ball from the first cut on the par-5 18th at East Lake, setting up a two-putt birdie for an even-par 70 and a one-shot lead lead over Sungjae Im. And it took some help from the leading players who stumbled on an East Lake course that punished mistakes. 8 when he chipped in from 40 feet and the final hole, one of the two par 5s at East Lake. Rahm was frustrated as ever, mainly because he couldn't capitalize when he was in the fairway and felt it was another round at East Lake that would cost him.
Simpson celebrates a Fathers Day win at Harbour Town
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. Nothing can top the first time Webb Simpson won on Father's Day, a U.S. Open title eight years ago at Olympic Club and hearing his father's laughter on the phone to share the joy. Crazy day, Simpson said. "U.S. Open on Father's Day, Ill never forget calling my dad after on the way to the press conference, and when he picked up the phone, he just was laughing. So Im going to miss that laugh today for sure. Simpson, Ancer, Joaquin Niemann and Tyrrell Hatton were tied at 20 under at one point late in the round.
Simpson celebrates a Father's Day win at Harbour Town
The U.S. Open has been scheduled to end on Father's Day every year since 1976, but it was moved to September this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The RBC Heritage filled the spot on the schedule and Simpson, now a father of five, became a winner for the second time this year with a record score at Harbour Town. It was a crazy day, Simpson said. It was a tough runner-up finish for Ancer, trying to become the fifth straight winner of the RBC Heritage to capture his first PGA Tour victory at Harbour Town. Until the first tournament back at Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, the area around Harbour Town was crowded with the start of summer vacation.
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.