Column: Golf fortunes change quickly for Antoine Rozner
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)AUSTIN, Texas – For a sport known for its glacial pace, fortunes can change quickly in golf. That was the cutoff for the top 64 players to get in the Dell Technologies Match Play. Rozner won all four of his matches at Formby Golf Club on the Lancashire coast of England. Rozner said he spoke to Dubuisson last week to find out why he did so well in the Match Play in 2014. I'm trying to take it match after match, step after step.”He makes it sound like a slow process.
Jones survives a challenging day, takes 3-shot lead at Honda
“I'm happy to go low with the ball flight and I'm probably a little more conservative when the wind is up," Jones said. That’s when his woes started, and what became a nine-shot turnaround between he and Jones began. Jones grabbed a share of the lead with a birdie at the par-4 14th. And when Wise made bogey at the par-3 15th, Jones was the outright leader again. “Just keep doing what I'm doing," Jones said.
Match Play field set with possibilities that remain for more
Then, Brian Harman shot 69 to tie for third at The Players Championship and went from No. Most curious is the case of Gary Woodland, the former U.S. Open champion and a Match Play finalist in 2015. Under the PGA Tour guidelines, he has to self-isolate for 10 days. THE BOUNCEIt didn’t take Collin Morikawa long to learn how to win on the PGA Tour. A year later, he won a playoff over Justin Thomas at Muirfield Village and a major at the PGA Championship.
Great start and a better finish gives Burns lead at Riviera
(AP Photo/Ryan Kang)LOS ANGELES – Sam Burns had the ideal start at Riviera. The 24-year-old Burns is still looking for his first PGA Tour victory. On one of the best courses of the year, against another stacked field, it was a good first step. “You can’t ask for a course in better shape,” said Johnson, who won two weeks ago in Saudi Arabia. The 72-hole record, 20-under 264 that Lanny Wadkins set in 1985, has stood the longest of any PGA Tour event.
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.”
Reed dodges controversy to share 54-hole lead at Farmers
(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)SAN DIEGO – Patrick Reed was involved in another rules controversy Saturday in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. Believing the ball didn't bounce, Reed picked it up to see if it was embedded before a rules official arrived. Reed told the official that no one in his group, as well as a nearby volunteer, saw it bounce. “At that point we go with what the rules official said and also with what the volunteers and what we see,” Reed said. Reed shared the lead with Alex Noren after the first round and was one shot off the lead after 36 holes.
Viktor Hovland vaults into Farmers lead at wet Torrey Pines
Viktor Hovland, left, of Norway, waits to putt on the eighth hole of the South Course during the second round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines, Friday, Jan. 29, 2021, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)SAN DIEGO – Viktor Hovland birdied his final for a 7-under 65 on Torrey Pines’ tough South Course on a rainy, miserable Friday, giving him a one-shot lead after two rounds of the Famers Insurance Open. Reed shot an even-par 72 on the South Course a day after firing an 8-under 64 on the easier North Course. AdThe weather is supposed to clear up for the weekend rounds on the South Course. “I just played really solid and made some putts.”He had just one bogey, on the par-4 15th.
Stewart Cink, Webb Simpson share early lead at Sony Open
Stewart Cink follows his shot from the first tee box during the second round of the Sony Open golf tournament Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Jamm Aquino)HONOLULU – Stewart Cink could not remember a more ideal day in Hawaii, and he had a round that matched the occasion. Enjoying a surge in the twilight of his career, the 47-year-old Cink putted for birdie on all but one hole Friday on his way to a 7-under 63 that gave him a share of the early lead with Webb Simpson. Cink already won the season-opener in the Safeway Open in September, his first victory since the 2009 British Open at Turnberry. Simpson holed a 40-foot birdie putt on the par-3 seventh hole, hit it tight on No.
Masters behind him, Johnson ready to keep going in new year
“Motivation for me, it's not that hard,” Johnson said Wednesday at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he has won twice. Johnson was runner-up at the PGA Championship, losing a one-shot lead at Harding Park to a closing 64 by Collin Morikawa. And he did enough at the Tour Championship to claim the FedEx Cup for the first time. Johnson spent much of last week down the coast in Makena to chill out and do a little work. Because of the shortened season, anyone who made it to the Tour Championship joined the 26 winners at Kapalua.
Familiar place, unfamiliar faces at Kapalua to start year
No one has ever gone more than a year without winning and ended the drought at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Winning is the only way to get to Maui at the start of the year, so Schauffele and 15 other players ordinarily wouldn't be here. “I got an asterisk for winning the Tour Championship that counted in certain things and not in others,” Schauffele said. Horschel said the tour has crunched numbers and in a normal year, it would add eight to 10 players to Kapalua. The tour has contemplated an expanded field over the years, such as giving a two-year exemption to Kapalua for winning a tournament.
Not good enough: Smith runner-up despite four rounds in 60s
On the heels of shooting 67, 68 and 69 over the first three rounds, Smith finished with a 15-under total that would've been good enough to win most years. “It would have been cool to do that and win,” Smith said “I would take 15 under around here for the rest of my career. Smith, playing up ahead in the next-to-last threesome, brilliantly scrambled for birdies at the seventh and ninth holes, leaving him two behind at the turn. “I wouldn't say I brought my best stuff, especially my longer stuff,” Smith said. Unfortunately for Smith and Im, Johnson was even better.
Round 1: Casey leads, Woods in hunt as field plays catch-up
Five-time and defending champion Tiger Woods dropped a turn-back-the-clock round of his own, relying more on experience than current form to post a 68. “There is a sense of ease when I come here, just because I understand how to prepare for this golf course,” Woods said after hitting 10 of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens. Small wonder, then, that Woods flashed a wide grin when asked what was most encouraging about the round. “This golf course, as much as I’m trying to attack it, it can bite back,” he said. Still to be determined is how much firmer the greens and the rest of the golf course will get.
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.
A return to Sherwood for Tiger, Mickelson but few others
FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2019, file photo, Tiger Woods celebrates after winning the Zozo Championship golf tournament at the Accordia Golf Narashino country club in Inzai, east of Tokyo, Japan. The Zozo Championship is the second Asia-based event to move to the United States this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. PGA champion Collin Morikawa was at Sherwood back then, as a young spectator looking for an autograph (he didn't get it). The happiest memories belong to Woods, who won his tournament five times at Sherwood and was runner-up on five other occasions. The Zozo Championship made its debut last year in Japan, and it was a big success despite rain that wiped out one day and led to a Monday finish.
Reed takes the lead as the real US Open gets started
Patrick Reed embraced every aspect of it Friday when the U.S. Open lived up to its reputation as the toughest test in golf, and so did Winged Foot. Amateur champion and current muscleman who powered and putted his way to a 68, the lowest score on a day Winged Foot played to an average score of 75.25. After an opening round in which 21 players broke par, Winged Foot allowed only three players under par. Because I’m pretty tired.”There's still 36 holes to go, and no indication that Winged Foot is going to get any easier. “I love when it’s hard, when you have to be creative on all different golf shots,” he said.
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.
Woods faces a new, stern test to get to FedEx Cup finale
Woods, Charles Howell III, Adam Scott and Paul Casey are the only players who competed in that 2003 U.S. Open (Woods tied for 20th). Amateur at Olympia Fields, which featured five other players in the BMW Championship field, including PGA champion Collin Morikawa. For some, this week is about improving their position going to the Tour Championship, which features a staggered start to par. Woods said he looked at few videos of Olympia Fields before he arrived. This golf course is set up more toward an Open than it is anything else.___More AP golf: https://apnews.com/apf-Golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Three-peat? 3 straight bogeys leave Koepka in neutral at PGA
(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)Bogey, bogey, bogey. This was not what Brooks Koepka had in mind when he was thinking about three in a row at the PGA Championship. It's all because of those three straight 5s he made on the par-4 13th, 14th and 15th holes Saturday at chilly Harding Park. He's in the same spot he was coming into the day two shots out of the lead. At one point late in the afternoon, Koepka was one of 15 players within two shots of the lead.
Accidental Tourist Li Leads at Mid-Point of PGA Championship
Li Haotong of China, watches his putt on the 10th hole during the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at TPC Harding Park Friday, Aug. 7, 2020, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)Like too many tour pros, the guy leading the PGA Championship after two rounds is not above letting his clubs do the talking. What makes Li Haotong stand out from the crowd is what one of those clubs says about him. McIlroy, a two-time PGA Championship winner, got the shot back by running off four birdies in a row, then gave that back with a triple-bogey at No. Day recalled seeing Li practicing when he teed off, then incredulously watched a video of Li back at on the range after Day had finished.
Li at his best and builds early lead at PGA Championship
Li Haotong of China, hits from the fairway on the 10th hole during the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at TPC Harding Park Friday, Aug. 7, 2020, in San Francisco. He also played a World Golf Championship last week with middling results, but he found his form in San Francisco. Brendon Todd, who shared the 18-hole lead with Day, settled for a 70 and joined them at 135. Li, who primarily plays the European Tour, went back to China in March when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down golf. If the lead holds, Li would be the first player from China to hold the lead after any round of a major.
Adam Scott back in PGA chase after long break Down Under
Adam Scott, of Australia, gestures toward the 15th fairway during practice for the PGA Championship golf tournament at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)Adam Scott took his own sweet time returning to competitive golf. Scott took a pass, instead skipping both Colonial and the Memorial tournaments he typically plays and instead enjoyed a rare long break back home in Australia. He closed out 2019 by winning the Australian PGA Championship, took seven weeks off and then claimed the Genesis Invitational at Riviera in February. Whether thats preparation enough for a PGA Championship remains to be seen.
Column: The revolving door at No. 1 in the world ranking
The best player in golf? 1, and Justin Thomas can return to the top if they win the World Golf Championship this week in Memphis, Tennessee. Rahm was asked Tuesday if he considered them the best players in the world while they were at No. But it would be foolish of me to say that I'm not here thinking I'm the best player. Rahm understands the world ranking enough to realize it's a product of two years, not one week.
Paul Casey tuned in for more than golf in PGA Tour's return
Casey watched plenty on TV, and he was watching more than the golf. PAIRINGS WITH A PURPOSEThe PGA Tour has four groups of featured pairings for its PGA Tour Live," and then the rest of the field is supposed to be relatively random depending on a player's category. Oak Hill last hosted the PGA Championship in 2013 won by Jason Dufner, while Tiger Woods won his fourth PGA Championship at Southern Hills in 2007. DIVOTSHilton Head has some of the smallest greens on the PGA Tour, and Abraham Ancer hit 65 out of 72 of them in his runner-up finish. FINAL REBUTTALFascinating stuff. CBS analyst Nick Faldo, watching Koepka tee off on the 18th hole and telling viewers he would listen to what Koepka had to say.