Golf

Monday, May 21, 2018
Field again lacking many big names . . .

    The PGA Tour remains in Texas this week, moving from the Byron Nelson in Dallas to the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth for the Fort Worth Invitational. Once again, the $7.1 million event is lacking a great deal of star power, with the biggest guns being Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Jon Rahm, Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth and recent runaway winner Webb Simpson. 

    Also in the fold is Ted Potter, who took off last week; Ocala's pride and joy is on the verge of surpassing $1.7 million in earnings for the season. Seminole Brooks Koepka, also in the midst of a solid season, will be on hand, too.

    Ted's money total marks his best year in that category since his first season, 2012, when he won the Greenbrier Open. He collected $1,383,170 that year. His total earnings on the PGA Tour - $4,324,134 - are closing in on the best career total of any player hailing from Ocala. Grant Waite holds that distinction with $4,583,879, so Ted should be able to pass that with some solid play in the upcoming weeks. He's already passed Mike Sullivan and Brendan Pappas. 

    In the Byron Nelson, Aaron Wise pulled away from the field on Sunday, winding up at 23 under and winning by three strokes over early leader Marc Leishman. Among the Gators, Brian Gay was alone in 12th at 14 under and Billy Horschel tied for 21st at 11 under.  

        

Sunday, May 20, 2018
Gator Brian Gay tied for fifth . . .

    Marc Leishman and Aaron Wise have taken advantage of the watered-down PGA field at the AT&T Byron Nelson Invitational, heading into today's finale deadlocked for the lead at 17 under par. They have a four-stroke edge over Matt Jones and Kevin Na, all shooting for the major share of the $7.7 million purse.

    Gator Brian Gay has a shot for a big payday, tied for fifth at 12 under, and Billy Horschel is tied for 29th at seven under. The cut came at 4 under, and Matt Every (72-67) and Brett Stegmaier (71-69) both missed it. Central Floridian Nick Lindheim is tied for 11th at 10 under. 

Friday, May 18, 2018
Resurgent Walker one stroke behind . . .

    Marc Leishman took a substantial lead in the AT&T Byron Nelson in Dallas yesterday, firing a 10-under-par 61 over the Trinity Forest Golf Club. Leishman is three ahead of J. J. Spaun and resurgent Jimmy Walker, and there's a logjam of eight players at 6 under.

    The formerly prestigious event, with a purse of $7.7 million, is devoid of most of the sport's top players and gives a chance to many of the fringe sorts to improve their status. 

    Brian Gay leads the Gators with a 4-under 67 and is tied for 23rd, with Billy Horschel another shot back at 3-under 68. Brett Stegmaier is tied for 104th at even-par 71 and Matt Every has work to do after a 1-over 72. The projected cut after 18 holes is 2 under par.

Monday, May 14, 2018
Neither will play in Texas this week . . .

    Ted Potter will take off this week, electing not to play in the AT&T Byron Nelson in Dallas, along with most of the marquee names on the PGA Tour. When the great Nelson was still alive, greeting players behind the 18th green, the event was a must for the tour's best players. 

    Ted wound up earning another $40,700 at the Tournament Players Championship in Ponte Vedra, tacking on a final-round 70 and finishing at 6 under par; he tied for 41st. He made six birdies and four bogeys Sunday, which gave him 19 birdies, 10 bogeys and one triple over the 72 holes, and picked up 15 FedEx points.

    In 17 events this season, Ted has made seven cuts and earned $1,693,568. He's 34th on the FedEx points list with 679. 

    Despite a double bogey on his 72nd hole, Webb Simpson coasted to a four-stroke victory at Sawgrass to collect just under $2 million. There was a three-way deadlock at 14 under among Charl Schwartzel, Jimmy Walker and Xander Schauffele. Tiger closed with 69 and tied for 11th after he had gotten it to 14 under late in the round and moved into a tie for second. But a bogey on a short par 4 and a ball in the water on No. 17 killed his round. He's 47th on the money list with $1,428,327 in the eight events he's played. 

    Brooks Koepka was in the tie for 11th after a Sunday 63 and Billy Horschel tied for 37th at 7 under.

     Horschel is the defending champ in the Byron Nelson, which also goes without Tiger, Phil, Simpson and many other top players, leaving the door open for many who have been having trouble getting to play this year. Names like Tim Herron, Stuart Appleby, Brett Stegmaier, Ricky Barnes, Chad Campbell, Daniel Chopra, Tommy Gainey and a host of others. 

Sunday, May 13, 2018
Webb has seven-stroke lead at TPC . . .

    There were two heroes in Ponte Vedra yesterday, Webb Simpson and Tiger Woods. Simpson shot a 4-under 68 to move to 19 under par and take a seven-stroke lead into today's finale of the Tournament Players Championship. Tiger opened with eight birdies on his first 12 holes, wound up with a 7-under 65 and soared all the way up to a tie for ninth place. His round included a front-nine 30. 

    Simpson has an almost insurmountable lead, with only Danny Lee at 12 under. Dustin Johnson is at 10 under. 

    Ted Potter was in the midst of a good move on moving day; he was four under after 13 holes with five birdies and one bogey. That moved him to eight under at the time. But he bogeyed the 14th, then fell prey to the infamous No. 17, hitting one in the water and winding up with a triple bogey six. Ted remained at four under, tied for 42nd. 

    Billy Horschel is tied for 33rd at 5 under and fellow Gator Brian Gay dropped out after three rounds, falling into the MDF category (you don't play round 4 but you still receive a check). The Seminoles, Brooks Koepka (-3, tie for 55th) and Daniel Berger (-2, tie for 64th) are still alive.  

    

Saturday, May 12, 2018
Tiger makes cut on the line; Phil's out . . .

     Ted Potter had it to 6 under par on his second nine at Sawgrass yesterday, but bogeys on the fifth and sixth holes dropped him back to 4 under after 36 holes of the Tournament Players Championship. 

    Ted wound up with a pair of 70s and is tied for 34th heading into today's round, in which he tees of at 11 a. m. He's made eight birdies and four bogeys over the two rounds. The cut line came at one under and Tiger Woods made it right on the line with rounds of 72-71 to make it to the weekend. 

    Phil Mickelson's slide continued and he'll sit out today, but both Seminoles made it through, Brooks Koepka with 70-70-140 and Daniel Berger with 74-68-142.

    Webb Simpson made six consecutive birdies and took a five-stroke lead at 15 under, despite a late double bogey on No. 17. He shot a 9-under 63.  

Friday, May 11, 2018
Tiger shoots even par, Phil 79 . . .

    The Tournament Players Championship was touted as having the strongest field of the PGA season, and the results of round 1 bears that out. There's a 6-way tie for the lead at 6 under, which includes Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar, plus a six-way tie at 5 under, a 14-way tie at 4 under, and an 11-way tie at 3 under. After one round, the $11 million event is a wide-open affair. 

    Ted Potter was sailing along at 3 under after 16 holes with three birdies and no bogeys, when the famed Island green jumped up and bit him. Ted's tee shot wound up 57 feet from the hole and he three-putted, settling for a 2-under-par 70, and a deadlock for 39th. That's two strokes better than the early cut line of even par. He tees off at 2:14 today from the 10th tee. 

    Tiger Woods never really got it going, beginning with a pair of early bogeys, and he wound up on the cut line at 72. Playing partner Phil Mickelson was off his game, shooting 7-over 79. They go at 8:27 this morning with Rickie Fowler. 

    Brooks Koepka is at 2 under 70, and Seminole mate Daniel Berger at 2-over 74. Gator Billy Horschel is among those at 4 under, and Brian Gay is at even par.   

Monday, May 7, 2018
Ted earns $52,360 . . .

    Ted Potter had a comparatively short drive to Ponte Vedra after his tie for 27th place Sunday in the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, N. C. Ted will play in the Tournament Players Championship against the strongest field put together for the 2017-18 season, all shooting for the major share of the huge $11 million purse.  

    Ted posted rounds of 72-71-69-71-283, one under par at Quail Hollow, and picked up another good check of $52,360, along with 28 FedEx points. He's 34th on the money list with $1,652,868 in the bank, and 34th on the FedEx list with 664 points. 

    Jason Day won the Wells Fargo at 12 under and collected a juicy $1,386,000, with Nick Watney and Aaron Wise two strokes back. They both banked $677,600. Brooks Koepka (285) tied for 52nd and earned $22,389, and fellow Seminole Daniel Berger was another stroke back (286) and earned $17,479. 

    Tiger never really got it going and wound up at 2 over par, closing with 74. 

    Both Seminoles are playing at TPC as well as Gators Billy Horschel and Brian Gay. 

Sunday, May 6, 2018
Tiger also at 1 under; Phil at minus 5 . . .

    After stumbling badly over the first four holes of the third round of the Wells Fargo Championship, Ted Potter made a strong comeback on the final 14 and wound up shooting a 3-under-par 68. It moved him up the leaderboard into a tie for 31st at 1 under. He plays today at 10:47 with Justin Thomas as his partner.  

    Ted began with a bogey on No. 2 and a double on the par-3 fourth. He didn't take another over-par score the rest of the way, while making birdies at 5, 7, 8 on the front and two more on the back. 

     Tiger Woods also moved up the board thanks to a 3-under 68 and he goes into the finale tied with Ted at 1 under. They're both nine strokes behind the leader, Jason Day, who is 10 under. 

    Phil Mickelson rattled off a 7-under 64 and at 5 under is all alone in fifth. Daniel Berger is at minus 2 and is tied for 25th and Brooks Koepka is 2 over and tied for 60th.   

Saturday, May 5, 2018
Tiger and Phil are both at 2 over . . .

    After missing five cuts in a row following his victory at Pebble Beach, Ted Potter now has made two in a row. Ted added an even-par 71 to his opening-day 72 in the $7.7 million Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, N. C., and is tied for 41st, eight strokes behind leader Peter Malnati. 

    Ted began on the back nine Friday and made two bogeys and one birdie. He turned that around with two birdies and one bogey on the front.

    Tiger Woods shot 71-73-144, 2 over, and made the cut by one stroke. Phil Mickelson shot posted a pair of 72s and is also 2 over. Both Seminoles made the cut, Daniel Berger with 73-69-142 and Brooks Koepka with 72-72-144. Gator Matt Every missed the cut with 79-72. 

 

Friday, May 4, 2018
Tiger putts poorly, shoots even par . . .

    Ted Potter bogeyed his final two holes of the day and sat right on the cut line of plus 1 after the first round of the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte yesterday.  

    Ted began on the front nine at Quail Hollow and made one birdie and one bogey for even-par 35. On the back, he made two birdies and one bogey on the first seven holes and had it to 1-under before the 17th and 18th-hole bogeys derailed him. He wound up the afternoon tied for 60th.

    John Peterson produced the best round of the day, a 6-under 65, and is two strokes ahead of a five-player group at 4 under, which includes Rory McIlroy. 

    Tiger Woods played well, but had a horrible putting day, missing several short ones for par and birdie. He wound up at even-par 71. Phil Mickelson was at 1-over 72, while Brooks Koepka shot 72 and Daniel Berger 73 for the Seminoles. Gator Matt Every knocked himself out with an 8-over 79.  

Monday, April 30, 2018
Wells Fargo worth $7.7 million . . .

    After cashing in for nearly $94,000 at the RBC Heritage Classic and taking off for the next two weeks, Ted Potter returns this week for the rich Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, N. C. Ted will be joined by Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson in the $7.7 million event at the Quail Hollow Club, making it another natural for TV. 

    Ted currently has earnings of more than $1.6 million for the wrap-around season. 

    Gators playing in Charlotte are Matt Every and Camilo Villegas, while Brett Stegmaier is listed as the fourth alternate. Billy Horschel is taking a vacation after winning the Zurich Classic of New Orleans with partner Scott Piercy with its prize of $1,036,800.  

    Both Seminoles - Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger - are competing this week. 

    KO'S LOSING STREAK ENDS:

    At the LPGA's Mediheal Championship in CAlifornia, Lydia Ko broke a long losing streak and won in a playoff over Minjee Lee. Ko collected $225,000 after finishing at 12-under 276. The face who shares the top of this page - Michelle Wie - earned $14,398 after heR 2-under 286. Gator Sandra Gal was at 4-over 292 and took home $5,120. 

Saturday, April 28, 2018
Alternate shots proved to be downfall . . .

    The alternate shot format of round 2 in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans took its toll on many teams, including Gators and Seminoles. Only Billy Horschel made the cut, with partner Scott Piercy, at 8 under. They're tied for 13th behind Michael Kim and Andrew Putnam, who are 13 under. Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown are one stroke back in second. 

    Missing the cut of 5 under were Brian Gay and Aaron Wise (-4); Daniel Berger and Gary Woodland (-3); Brooks Koepka and Marc Turnesa (+1), Matt Every and Sam Saunders (+2) and Brett Stegmaier and Cameron Tringale (+4). 

Thursday, April 26, 2018
Four Gators, two Seminoles shoot for $7.2 million . . .

    The $7.2 million Zurich Classic of New Orleans kicks off today at the TPC Louisiana in Avondale and there's a good nucleus of marquee names attending. Justin Thomas, Bubba Watson, Matt Kuchar, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm, Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, Jason Day and Justin Rose will make this one interesting.

    Gators and Seminoles will be on hand, too, including Matt Every, Billy Horschel, Brett Stegmaier and Brian Gay for Florida and Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger for FSU. Even John Daly has showed up. No Ted Potter, Tiger or Phil, though.

Friday, April 20, 2018
Horschel is one behind . . .

    With most of the marquee players skipping the Valero Texas Open, including Ted Potter, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, the formerly highly-rated event has lost much of its luster. The first-round leader is Grayson Murray, whose 5-under 67 is good for a one-stroke edge over a host of players, one of them Florida Gator Billy Horschel, who appears to have regained his game in recent starts.

    Of the other Gators, Matt Every is at even-par 72 and tied for 35th, but Brian Gay's 2-over 74 is tied for 87th and Brett Stegmaier's 3-over 75 is tied for 107th. Camilo Villegas, originally in the entries, opted out late. 

    

 

Monday, April 16, 2018
Ted picked up $93,991 at Hilton Head . . .

    Ted Potter and caddy John Balmer won't be traveling to San Antonio for the Valero Texas Open this week, after Ted fashioned his best finish since his Pebble Beach victory. A final-round,  one-under-par 70 at the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head Sunday boosted him into a seven-way tie for 16th place and resulted in a juicy check for $93,991.

      It was Ted's first time cashing after he missed five consecutive cuts following his California triumph. It raised his total for the season to $1,600,508, good for 32nd place on the PGA Tour money list. 

    Round 4 was somewhat uneventful for Ted - he made one birdie and one bogey on the front nine, and a lone birdie on the back for nines of 36-34. He now has earned $4,137,082 in PGA money in his career. 

    Satoshi Kodaira won the Heritage after a playoff with So Woo Kim after they deadlocked at 12 under par, one stroke 991 better than Bryson DeChambeau and Luke List. 

    Billy Horschel led the Gator group at 10 under and tied for fifth while Matt Every wound up at even par 284 and tied for 55th. Brian Gay's 2-over 286 tied for 70th.  

    Five Gators are headed for Texas - Horschel, Gay, Every, Brett Stegmaier and Camilo Villegas. 

Sunday, April 15, 2018
Ted is 7 behind Ian Poulter . . .

    Ted Potter put together a pair of one-under nines at the RBC Heritage yesterday, putting him at 6 under par, tied for 20th place behind Ian Poulter.

    Poulter's 13 under par leads the field by one, but there are a slew of players within hailing distance, which ensures there will be a shootout today.

    Ted made two birides and one bogey on the front nine, then made eight pars and one birdie on the back for his 69, and a total of 207 over the par-71 Harbour Town Golf Links.   

    Gator Billy Horchel is one of those in the hunt - he's at 11 under - while Matt Every is tied for 64th and Brian Gay tied for 67th.   

Saturday, April 14, 2018
Ted makes first cut in six weeks . . .

    Ted Potter woke up from a deep slumber on day 2 at Hilton Head, making seven birdies and two bogeys for a 5-under-par 66, and moving up to a tie for 26th in the RBC Heritage at the Harbour Town course. It marked the lowest round Ted has posted since his victory at Pebble Beach, and his first cut since then after missing in five straight events. 

    After a 1-under 35 on the front nine, which put him right on the cut line of even par, Ted birdied 10, 14, 15 and 16 to ensure he would be playing on the weekend. He tees off today at 11:55 in the company of Emiliano Grillo, also at 4 under. 

    Bryson DeChambeau leads the field at 10 under after rounds of 68-64-132. He holds a one-stroke edge over Si Woo Kim and resurgent Ian Poulter. 

    Billy Horschel leads the Gators with 66-69-135, 7 under, and is tied for eighth, while Matt Every rebounded from his opening 73 for a 66 and is tied for 34th. Brian Gay made the cut right on the line with a pair of 71s. Steve Scott missed the cut with 80-73, and Chris Couch withdrew after a 38 on his first nine, following his 79 on Thursday. 

Friday, April 13, 2018
Horschel is one behind leader . . .

    Ted Potter hit the cut line right on the number in the first round of the RBC Heritage yesterday, posting a 1-over-par 72 over the Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head.

    Ted began on the back nine and shot 2-over 37, making bogeys at the 10th and 17th holes. On the front, he had three bogeys, but birdied 2, 5, 6 and 7 for a 1-under 35. He finished the day in a tie for 69th, eight strokes behind leader Rory Sabbatini's 7-under 64. 

    Gator Billy Horschel's 5-under 66 was good for a second-place tie with Matt Kuchar and John Huh. Of the other Gators, Brian Gay, paired with Ted, shot even-par 71 and is tied for 49th, and Matt Every shot 2-over 73 and is tied for 82nd. 

    Long-sidelined Chris Couch began the week as the first alternate, but moved into the entries when fellow Gator Camilo Villegas defected. Chris made the cut in his first event in his return a few weeks ago, but this time shot 8-over 79.

    Another Gator, Steve Scott, always to be remembered as the player who reminded Tiger to replace his ball on the green and then went on to lose because of it in the 1996 U. S. Amateur, was at 9-over 80. Scott won the Carolina PGA's qualifier for the Heritage and is playing in his first PGA Tour event since 2005. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Potter tees off at 1 p. m. . .

    Chris Couch, recently returned from a 5 1/2-year layoff and making the cut in his only start,  has moved into the field from the No. 1 alternate spot in the RBC Heritage. The former Gator will tee off on the 10th hole at 11:50 a. m. tomorrow.

    Ted Potter goes at 1 p. m. from No. 10 with Emiliano Grillo and Gator Brian Gay.