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.
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.
Westwood has career-low at Bay Hill and takes 1-shot lead
He might not be able to contemplate driving a par 5 — that sideshow Saturday at Bay Hill belonged to Bryson DeChambeau. You've got to be top 50 in the world,” Westwood said. He grabbed the lead by holing a 30-foot eagle putt on the 16th hole (DeChambeau made birdie) and a 30-foot birdie putt on the closing hole (DeChambeau made par) to reach 11-under 205. Conners, who started the third round with a one-shot lead, could only manage a 71 on a cool, breezy day at Bay Hill with only a few drops of rain. Sunday was shaping up as another thriller at Bay Hill.
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.
Maui Musings: 5 questions for a new year in golf
And no one is more concerned than Ryder Cup officials. THE RYDER CUPNo other golf tournament relies so much on noise than the Ryder Cup, which is why it was postponed from last September. Phil Mickelson has played in every Ryder Cup since 1995 — Morikawa wasn't even born then. Since the last Ryder Cup, Lefty has finished a combined 84 shots behind in the five majors he made the cut. McIlroy, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas all have had moments of brilliance.
Masters field at 84 players heading into the final 3 months
55 after closing with a 77 in the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai to drop to a tie for 23rd. That he accumulated the most world ranking points (463.54) was no surprise. Johnson received credit for the victory with the staggered start based on the FedEx Cup (he tied for third in world ranking points). DIVOTSDustin Johnson earned an average of 25.75 world ranking points in his 18 starts worldwide in 2020. That's more than the total ranking points Tiger Woods earned (19.08) in the nine tournaments he played.
Johnson plays like No. 1 and seizes control at the Masters
They were among four times he had at least a share of the 54-hole lead in a major without converting. “If I can play like I did today, I think it will break that streak,” Johnson said Saturday. He has not converted two 54-hole leads, nor has he won at two majors where he shared the 54-hole lead. “I’m very comfortable with having the lead going into tomorrow. I’ve been in this situation a lot of times,” Johnson said.
Johnson joins Masters lead after round of record scoring
The opening round was delayed nearly three hours at the start by heavy rain, and with limited daylight in November, there was no way to complete the round. Greg Norman still holds the record for lowest opening round, a 63 in 1996, the year he lost a six-shot lead to Nick Faldo in the final round. There were 53 rounds under par in the 92-man field and 24 rounds in the 60s, both Masters records for any round. The previous mark was 47 rounds under par in the second round of 1992 (83-man field). This is his fifth Masters, and not only his lowest score, but the first time he has shot par or better in the opening round.
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.
The road to the Masters is a long way from Augusta National
( (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. – This is no ordinary road to the Masters. Four of the top five players in the world are at Shadow Creek, with top-ranked Dustin Johnson pulling out after his positive test for the coronavirus. Rory McIlroy thinks Shadow Creek might be even better than what Florida offers because of the bentgrass greens that are fast with big slopes. “It's not a bad place to prepare for Augusta,” McIlroy said Wednesday. McIlroy is at Shadow Creek and Sherwood the next two weeks.
Garcia tied for lead going into final round in Mississippi
He was the first to post at 14-under 202, a lead that held until Garcia caught him, and J.T. He also is enjoying himself, even when putts that look like they're going in stay out. “We love to make every putt we look at — or not look at, in this case — but we know that's not going to happen,” Garcia said. Staked to a two-shot lead going into the weekend, he had three bogeys on the front nine before he hit a hybrid from 255 yards to 15 feet for an egle on the 11th hole. Not since that 2017 Masters has he had at least a share of the 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour.
Woods to host TV match at Missouri public course he designed
The Payne's Valley Cup will be played Sept. 22, the Tuesday after the U.S. Open, at Payne's Valley Golf Course at Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale, Missouri. It will feature elements of the Ryder Cup, with a mix of foursomes, fourballs and singles. Mostly, though, it's a chance to show off the first public course of TGR Design. "Paynes Valley is the first public golf course that I have designed. We look forward to showcasing this destination to the world through the Paynes Valley Cup, Morris said.
Hoge in four-way tie for Wyndham lead after two rounds
Hoge, tied for the first-round lead with Harold Varner III and Roger Sloan, kept in front with a steady 2-under 68 to get to 10-under par. Hoge, whose best-ever tour finish was a second at The Greenbrier this season, was asked what it would take for his first PGA Tour win. Like Kim, Gooch shot 65 to get into the foursome on top. He had six birdies, including two of his final three holes, to move up. Kokrak was in a group of seven one shot further back along with past Wyndham champ Webb Simpson, who shot his second straight 66.
Varner III grabs Wyndham lead with career low-tying 62
Webb Simpson hits from the fairway on the eighth hole during the first round of the Wyndham Championship golf tournament at Sedgefield Country Club on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020, in Greensboro, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)GREENSBORO, N.C. Harold Varner III tied his career low round with an 8-under 62 to grab the early lead at the Wyndham Championship on Thursday. Varner was three shots in front of Wesley Bryan and Brian Harman among the early starters at the Sedgefield Country Club. Varner had eight birdies, including four in a row midway through the round, without a birdie his first 15 holes. Former U.S. Open champ and past Wyndham winner Webb Simpson was among a large group at 66. A pair of major champions who challenged at the PGA Championship last week struggled in the opening round.
Dustin Johnson emerges from a pack to lead PGA Championship
Dustin Johnson hits from the fairway on the 18th hole during the third round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at TPC Harding Park Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)SAN FRANCISCO Dustin Johnson lost his yardage book and still found his way through an enormous crowd of contenders Saturday, making eight birdies at Harding Park for a 5-under 65 and a one-shot lead in the PGA Championship. Even that might not have stopped Johnson from making his most birdies in any round of a major. Johnson didn't have smooth sailing, either, especially when he couldn't find his yardage book. Johnson shot 65 even with a double bogey on the ninth hole.
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.
Jason Day leads PGA as Koepka continues to be a major force
(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)SAN FRANCISCO Jason Day took his first step toward a return to the spotlight in the majors Thursday at the PGA Championship. Koepka is the two-time defending champion, presented the opportunity this week to become only the seventh player in the 160-year history of major championship golf to win the same major three years in a row. After a slow start, Koepka powered his way six birdies and made a series of key putts for par and one 12-footer for bogey that gave him an ideal start to this major. Woods is used to tournament golf in the COVID-19 era. He made the adjustment and tied for second last week at a World Golf Championship.
Morikawa takes 3-shot lead into weekend at Muirfield Village
DUBLIN, Ohio Muirfield Village was supposed to be set up easier for the first of two straight PGA Tour events. Collin Morikawa takes a three-shot lead into the weekend at 13-under 131, one shot away from the 36-hole record at Muirfield Village that Jason Dufner set three years ago at the Memorial. That's the highest score to make the cut since the PGA Tour restarted its season after a three-month shutdown from the COVID-19 pandemic. It's the first time in 63 years the PGA Tour has had consecutive events on the same course. The 31-year-old Daffue is playing only his second PGA Tour event.
Berger a winner at Colonial, and PGA Tour feels like it, too
The tour administered 487 tests for the new coronavirus at Colonial, and the results on all of them came back negative. Berger made a 10-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole and heard the deafening silence of a big moment with no spectators allowed at Colonial. He got into a playoff when Collin Morikawa missed a 6-foot birdie putt for the win and Xander Schauffele missed his try from 25 feet. Justin Rose had an 18-foot birdie putt on the 18th that looked good all the way until it wasn't. He finished one behind along with Bryson DeChambeau and Jason Kokrak, who also missed birdie chances on the last hole.
A safe return for golf as Berger wins Colonial in a playoff
Daniel Berger poses with the championship trophy after winning the Charles Schwab Challenge golf tournament after a playoff round at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, June 14, 2020. Berger saved par from behind the 17th green on the first playoff hole and won when Collin Morikawa missed a 3-foot par putt. Berger closed with a 4-under 66, his 28th consecutive round at par or better dating to Oct. 11 at the Houston Open. And then his 3-foot par putt on the 17th hole dipped in one side of the hole and spun out of the other. His 25-foot birdie putt to join the playoff came up just short and he shot 69.
Schauffele leads Colonial over host of stars in tour return
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)FORT WORTH, Texas The quiet of Colonial made Xander Schauffele feel as though he were back home in San Diego playing with his friends. Colonial is the first of five tournaments in the return to golf that doesn't allow spectators. He was one off the lead, and his tie for second is his best 54-hole position since the Colonial last year. He shot 72 in the final round and tied for eighth. Harold Varner III, still looking for his first PGA Tour victory, started with a one-shot lead and birdied the opening hole.
Steele takes 1-shot lead at midpoint of The Honda Classic
Steele shot a 3-under 67 on Friday, getting to 5 under for the week and putting himself a shot clear of J.T. This is Steele’s ninth time playing the Honda and the first time he’s ended any round at PGA National with the lead. I don't feel like it's a course you can just jump out your first time and have it nailed. ... Michael Thompson’s record streak of Honda rounds without a ball in the water on the Bear Trap is over. Thompson put his tee ball on the par-3 15th in the water, his first such mistake in 30 Honda rounds at PGA National.
Koepka ready to get back to work after nearly 3 months off
During his short offseason, Koepka had stem cell treatment on his left knee because the patella tendon was partially torn. As Li Haotong of China was making his debut at the Presidents Cup, Guan Tianlang was preparing to qualify for the PGA Tour Series-China. Ishikawa showed signs of getting back to form last year when he won three times on the Japan Golf Tour, his first titles since 2016 and his biggest year in Japan since 2010. Otherwise, the Japan Golf Tour season doesn't start until a week after the Masters. The last seven rounds on the PGA Tour in Hawaii were played under lift, clean and place rules.