Golf

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
He's needed to inject some life in the tour . . .

    There will be a segment of the golf community that won't admit it, but the news that Tiger is free from pain and practicing again is the biggest boost for the game in several years.

    The start of the new PGA Tour season has been boring, to say the least, with most of the game's stars sitting on the sidelines for both of the first two events . This week's CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in South Korea features Jason Day, Paul Casey and up-and-coming Tony Finau, but there are also four players named Lee, only one of them named Danny.

    Pat Perez, who romped in last week's CIMB Classic at 24 under, is back to try for a double, along with runner-up Keegan Bradley. Xander Schauffele, who has proven to be a formidable entity of late, is also on board. Ocala's pride, Ted Potter, is absent again, as are all the Gators and Seminoles except for Camilo Villegas and Daniel Berger. Camilo had a good week in Malaysia, posting rounds of 72-68-70-67-277, 11 under, and deadlocking for 17th. 

    Back to Tiger. The videos showing him hitting driver are promising, but not convincing. However, just the thought that he may return to the tour full-time will pump some much-needed energy into the game.  

Friday, October 13, 2017
Ted Potter doesn't make the trip . . .

    Most of the PGA Tour players, including Ted Potter, opted to stay home despite the $7 million purse in the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur. After 36 holes, Pat Perez holds a one-stroke edge over Xander Schauffele, who is three strokes ahead of a group in third. Perez shot 66-65-131, 13 under par.

    Oldster Davis Love III is tied for 23rd at 4 under, same score as Camilo Villegas, lone Gator in the group. Justin Thomas (70-71-141), biggest name in the field along with Hideki Matsuyama, is at 3 under.

Monday, October 9, 2017
Steele wins Safeway Open for 2nd straight year . . .

    On a day when the weather limited scoring - only seven players broke 70 - Ted Potter shot a 2-over-par 74 and finished at 6 under in the Safeway Open, the first event in the PGA Tour's 2017-2018 season. Ted's 72-71-65-74-282 was good for a deadlock for 28th place, nine strokes behind winner Brendan Steele, who made it two straight victories at the Silverado Resort & Spa in Napa, California.

    Steele's victory was worth $1,116,000, while Ted collected $44,950, a good start to his first full season on Tour since he broke his ankle at the Canadian Open in 2015. Tony Finau finished second, two strokes behind, and earned a check for $669,000. Phil Mickelson began the final round at 10 under but took two early bogeys to drop out of contention.  He managed four birdies after that and finished at 12 under, tied for third with Chesson Hadley, and each collected $359,600. 

    Gator Brett Stegmaier finished at 3 under and earned $18,476, while Camilo Villegas was 6 over, earning $12,028. The other two Gators, Matt Every and Brian Gay, missed the cut. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017
Ted moves up to tie for 17th . . .

    Ted Potter headed into the weekend 12 strokes off the pace in the Safeway Open and with just a thought of moving up the leaderboard to enhance the size of his paycheck. However, after shooting a 7-under-par 65 Saturday, lowest round of the day, he moved up the board 49 places and at 8 under is just six strokes behind leader Tyler Duncan.

    Ted began on the back nine and promptly birdied the first three holes to get it to 4 under. He added birdies on 14 and 16 and turned in 5-under 31. On the front, Ted birdied No. 1 and No. 6 and closed with 31-34-65. Another round like it today and he can begin the season with a a good chunk of the 6.2 million purse in the bank. 

    Duncan holds a one-stroke edge over Chesson Hadley, who is 13 under, and Phil Mickelson is lurking  in the wings at 10 under after yesterday's 68. Gator Brett Stegmaier is at 4 under and tied for 46th, while Camilo Villegas dropped to 75th after a 5-over 77. 

   

Saturday, October 7, 2017
Ted hits cut line of 1 under . . .

        A late birdie by Ted Potter propelled him into the weekend at the Safeway Open in Napa, California, as he finished right on the cut line of 1 under par. Ted tacked on a 1-under 71 to his opening round of 72 at the Silverado Resort & Spa North course and he's tied for 66th. 

    Tyler Duncan holds a one-stroke edge heading into today's third round after rounds of 65-66-131, 13 under par. Brendan Steele is second by himself, one stroke ahead of Chesson Hadley, who flirted with history before winding up with an 11-under 61. Phil Mickelson posted a pair of 69s for 138, 6 under, and is tied for 15th.

    Tow Gators made the cut, Brett Stegmaier with 70-70-140, 4 under, and Camilo Villegas with 73-69-142, 2 under.  


Friday, October 6, 2017
Ted is on the cut line . . .

    Ted Potter opened the 2017-2018 PGA Tour season with a ho-hum round of even-par 72 at the $6.2 million Safeway Open in Napa, California. Ted began on the back nine at the Silverado Resort & Spa and made one birdie and one bogey, then took nine straight pars on the front. He's tied for 61st, right on the early cut line.

    Brendan Steele, Tyler Duncan and Tom Hoge are tied for the lead at 7 under in the field devoid of most of the tour's stars. Phil Mickelson opened with 3-under-par 69, while Brett Stegmaier led the Gator contingent with 2-under 70 and is tied for 24th. Matt Every checked in with 72, Camilo Villegas is one stroke off the cut line at 73 and Brian Gay has some work to do after a 3-over 75. 

    John Daly is at 2-over 74, Nick Lindheim at 3-over 75 and Rob Oppenheim at 5-over 77. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017
Safeway Open's purse is $6.2 million . . .

    With the Web.com's final event not coming to a conclusion until Monday, it took a few extra days to get a complete list of competitors for today's opening of the PGA Tour's wraparound season - the $6.2 million Safeway Open in Napa, California. And, it turns out, Ted Potter will make his full-time return to the tour, even though he wasn't included on the list earlier in the week.

    Ted tees off at the Silverado Resort & Spa (North) at 8:10 California time in the company of Scott Piercy and Carl Petterson. 

    The field is devoid of most of the tour's marquee names, those who played in the Presidents Cup, but a few will be there, including Phil Mickelson. John Daly is also on board, along with Tony Finau, Adam Hadwin, Emiliano Grillo and Sam Saunders, who shot 59 at the Web.com's Tour Championship. 

    Four Gators will try to get off to a quick start - Brett Stegmaier, Camilo Villegas, Brian Gay and Matt Every. Gator Billy Horschel and Seminoles Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger will sit this one out.  

 

Monday, October 2, 2017
Safeway Open begins Thursday in California . . .

    With the Web.com Tour Championship carrying over until today at the Atlantic Beach Country Club, an official list of the entries for Thursday's PGA Tour's kickoff - the Safeway Open - is on hold, we assume until this evening. The only players names that have been announced in advance for the event are Phil Mickelson, Webb Simpson, Tony Finau, Adam Hadwin, Emiliano Grillo, Sangmoon Bae and Sam Saunders.   

    Traditionally, all the Web.com players who have earned their tour cards as top 25s in the regular season or the finals, will head for the Silverado Resort & Spa in the Napa Valley. The course plays to 7,166 yards and is a par 72. 

Saturday, September 30, 2017
Takes second-round 76 for 147 . . .

    While Sam Saunders followed up his sensational opening-round 59 with a 5-under 66 at the Web.com's Tour Championship yesterday, Ted Potter made an early exit after posting a 5-over-par 76 in round two. Ted's 71-76-147 was 10 strokes behind the cut line of minus 5.

    Ted was unable to solve the Atlantic Beach Country Club layout - Saunders' home course - for the second straight day, taking four bogeys and a double, negated by just one birdie. 

    Nick Lindheim of Satellite Beach is still very much alive after a pair of 65s (12 under), and Rob Oppenheim of Orlando (67-64-131) is another stroke back at 11 under. Gator Brett Stegmaier made the cut right on the line at 5 under with rounds of 67-70-137.  

Friday, September 29, 2017
U. S. takes Presidents Cup lead . . .

    While Sam Saunders was blistering the Atlantic Beach Country Club course for a 12-under-par 59, Ted Potter left himself in a precarious position in the first round of the Web.com Tour Championship, 12 strokes behind the leader. Ted made three birdies and three bogeys for an even-par 71, and with the projected early cut at 2-under, he has a lot of work to do today in the final event before he returns to the PGA Tour full-time.

    Saunders, grandson of the late Arnold Palmer, posted 13 birdies and one bogey over the course that has become his home, and leads by three strokes over Matt Atkins and Steve Wheatcroft. Atkins is already assured of returning to the PGA Tour and Wheatcroft can do likewise with a high finish this weekend. Nick Lindheim of Satellite Beach is tied for 11th at 6 under, while Gator Brett Stegmaier and Rob Oppenheim of Orlando are tied for 34th at 4 under. 

    Ted is tied for 96th after making bogeys at 11 and 14 - he had been 2 under par with eight holes to play. He hit 11 of 13 fairways but just 13 of 18 greens. 

    AMERICANS LEAD - The U. S., as expected, took a 3 1/2-1 1/2 lead in the Presidents Cup in Jersey City. Two of the opening-round matches were routs, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler ripping Charl Schwartzel and Hideki Matsuyama, 6 & 4, and Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth whipping Emiliano Grillo and Si Woo Kim, 5 & 4. 

    The Seminoles, Daniel Berger and Brooks Koepka, got off to a good start but wound up losing to Branden Grace and Louis Oosthuizen, 3 & 1. Koepka will be paired with Dustin Johnson today while Berger takes a seat. 

 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Berger and Koepka could be surprise . . .

    The President's Cup takes center stage this week beginning Thursday at the Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City. The U. S. team looks very formidable, with a bunch of youngsters performing under the calming influence of two veterans, captain's pick Phil Mickelson and Matt Kuchar. 

    Among the 20-somethings are Seminoles Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger, who could prove to be one of the strongest pairings in the competition. The others are Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, Kevin Chappell, Kevin Kisner, Charley Hoffman and Justin Thomas.  

    XANDER PREVAILS - The Tour Championship was won by Xander Schauffele, who finished at 12 under in Atlanta. Justin Thomas was one stroke behind and Russell Henley and Kisner tied for third at 10 under. 

    Thomas wound up as the FedEx points leader and collected the $10 million that goes with it. Koepka was 8 under and finished sixth; he earned $5.6 million during the season. Berger tied for 15th at 4 under and was 13th on the money list with $4.2 million. 

    

     

Monday, September 25, 2017
Potter falls to tie for 33rd . . .

    Nick Lindheim won the DAP Championship with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff yesterday and took $180,000 home to Satellite Beach along with his entry onto the PGA Tour next month. Nick finished in a three-way tie with Chesson Hadley and Rob Oppenheim of Orlando at 8-under 272 over the tough Canterbury Golf Club course in Beachwood, Ohio. Hadley and Oppenheim each earned $88,000 and both are headed back to the tour, too.

    Ted Potter began the day just four strokes off the pace at 5 under, but a pair of double bogeys derailed him and he wound up shooting 75 and finishing in a tie for 33rd, collecting $5,475. Ted is sixth on the combined Web.com regular season - finals money list with $319,593 in the bank. 

    All of the  above are now headed for the $1 million Web.com Tour Championship at the Atlantic Beach Country Club in Atlantic Beach beginning Thursday.  

    The PGA Tour season kicks off on Oct. 5 - the $6.2 million Safeway Open at Silverado Resort & Spa North in Napa, California. It's a chance for all the Web.com graduates to get off to a great start to the season since a great percentage of the tour's elite won't be there. 

Sunday, September 24, 2017
     Ted Potter is still very much alive with 18 holes to play in the $1 million...

     Ted Potter is still very much alive with 18 holes to play in the $1 million DAP Championship in Beachwood, Ohio. Ted made an eagle three on the ninth hole which was neutralized by a double bogey on the 13th, but he still was able to knock out a 3-under-par 67 over the par-70 Hillcrest Country Club course. With scores of 70-68-67-205, 5 under par, Ted is tied for ninth just four strokes behind Nick Lindheim of Satellite Beach and Matt Atkins, who are deadlocked for the lead at 9 under. First prize is worth $180,000, with $108,000 for second.  

    Rob Oppenheim of Orlando is tied with Ted at 5 under and the two are paired in today's finale, teeing off at 11:25.  After vieing for the lead for 36 holes, Gator Brett Stegmaier soared to a 74 Saturday and dropped into a tie for 25th at 2 under.  

    CASEY AT THE BAT - Paul Casey takes a two-stroke lead into the final round of the Tour Championship in Atlanta. Casey is 12 under par, with Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele at 10 under. It's another three back to Seminole Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed and Justin Thomas. Seminole Daniel Berger fell out of contention with a 2-over-par 72 and is at 2 under.

     

    

Saturday, September 23, 2017
Ted Potter is tied for 26th . . .

    Players with ties to Central Florida are all in a good spot at the halfway point of the $1 million DAP Championship in Beachwood, Ohio, final Web.com event prior to the season-ending Tour championship next week.

    Ted Potter tacked a 2-under-par 68 onto his opening round 70 and is tied for 26th behind Matt Atkins, who sits on top after rounds of 64-68-132, 8 under. Ted began on the back nine and made two birdies and one bogey, then eagled the par-4 second hole to get to 3 under before taking a bogey near the end. 

    Nick Lindheim of Satellite Beach (64-69-133), a many-time winner on the Florida Professional Golf Tour, is squarely in the hunt at 7 under, tied for second with Carlos Ortiz, and Gator Brett Stegmaier (65-69-134) is tied for fourth at 6 under. Orlando's Rob Oppenheim's 68-69-137 puts him in a tie for 20th.   

Friday, September 22, 2017
Ted is tied for 41st at even par . . .

    Ted Potter was unable to retain his good form of last week going in the first round of the $1 million DAP Championship yesterday in Beachwood, Ohio. Ted put together a round of even-par 35-35-70, making five birdies, three bogeys and another costly double bogey on a par 3. He's tied for 41st place, and is one stroke better than the projected cut line of plus 1. 

    Central Floridian Nick Lindheim is tied for the lead with Matt Atkins at 6 under par and Gator Brett Stegmaier is one stroke behind in a deadlock for third. Central Floridian Rob Oppenheim is tied for 22nd at 2 under. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Berger and Koepka still alive in $1.8 million event . . .

    Marc Leishman buried the field in the BMW Championship and heads into the season finale, the Tour Championship in Atlanta, in fourth place on the FedEx Cup points list with another $1,575,000 in the bank. Leishman's 23-under par set a tournament scoring record and left Rickie Fowler and Justin Rose ($770,000 each) in the dust five strokes behind. 

    The remaining top 30 on the points list will be playing for $8,750,000 at the East Lake Golf Club and such as Louis Oosthuizen (31st), Henrik Stenson (32nd) and Phil Mickelson (34th) will be on the outside looking in. Oosthuizen, in particular, will spend some time reflecting on his performance in the BMW, where his even-par 284 left him with 1,321 points and he lost the 30th spot to Jason Dufner's 1,322.

    Seminoles Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger both made it to Atlanta but Gator Billy Horschel finished in 42nd place and can begin an early vacation. Rory McIlroy, who won the event last year, will also be absent, but Sergio Garcia, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Leishman, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Paul Casey, Hideki Matsuyama, Rose, Matt Kuchar, Jason Day and Patrick Reed can more than hold the spectators' interest.  

Monday, September 18, 2017
Posts 15-under 269 . . .

    Ted Potter rallied on the last three holes at the Web.com Tour's Albertsons Boise Open yesterday, posting a 4-under-par 67 and finishing tied for second, just one stroke behind winner Chesson Hadley.

    Hadley also came from behind late, making birdies on the 15th, 16th and 17th holes to finish at 16-under 268 over the par-71 Hillcrest Country Club course. Then he waited anxiously for the final three groups to finish before he was certified as the winner. Hadley moved up five places on the Web.com combined money list into first place with $471,350 in the bank. Yesterday's victory was worth $180,000.  

    Ted stalked the leaders all day from two or three strokes behind, then made a clutch birdie on the par-5 16th via a deadly chip shot from about 15 yards off the green almost to gimme range. He closed it out with a 12-foot birdie putt on 18 to move to 15 under and was all alone in second place at the time. When Jonathan Randolph birdied the hole moments later, he tied Ted for second and cost him $20,000. Second place alone was worth $108,000, but Randolph forcing the tie meant each received $88,000.  

    Ted is now in sixth place on the Web.com combined money list with $207,368 earned in the regular season and $106,750 earned from the first two events in the finals. He has six top 10s this season - two top 2s, a top 3, a 5, a 6 and a 10. The 269 was his lowest total of the season and the 15 under his best performance vs. par. He had finished 13 under twice, at the Lincoln Land Charity Championship, where he tied for fifth, and the El Bosque Mexico Championship, where he tied for third. His other second-place finish came at the Rust-Oleum Championship when he was 12 under.  

    The tour heads for Beachwood, Ohio this week for the $1 million DAP Championship, which will be followed by the season-ender, the $1 million Web.com Tour Championship in Atlantic Beach, north of Ocala.  

 

  

Sunday, September 17, 2017
Ted is tied for fourth at 1 under . . .

    Too many pars after the seventh hole hurt Ted Potter's chances of making a dent on the lead in the third round of the Albertsons Boise Open yesterday.

    Ted began the day at 10 under par, two strokes behind Tyler Duncan, and moved to 12 under and squarely in thick of the battle with birdies at the second and seventh holes on the Hillcrest Country Club course. But his charge stalled when he made par on the next 10 holes, many of them after he missed birdie putts by a matter of inches. Ted still had a chance to challenge with a birdie at the short 18th, but his nine-iron second dribbled off the back of the green and he was unable to get it up and down, taking his first bogey of the day and winding up at 11 under.

    He is tied for fourth with playing partner Taylor Moore, four behind Duncan, who added a 3-under 68 yesterday to get it to 15 under, two better than surging Jonathan Randolph. Alex Cejka, despite taking a one-stroke penalty for double-hitting a chip shot from under trees and bushes late in the round, is alone in third at 12 under.

    Ted will receive much more TV time today when he tees off at 3:40 EST (1:40 Boise time) in the company of Conrad Shindler. The duo should enjoy about 12 or 13 holes of air time.  

    BMW RUNAWAY - Marc Leishman is running away with the BMW Championship in Lake Forest, Illinois, taking a huge lead into today's finale. Leishman's 62-64-68-194 is 19 under par, five strokes better than Rickie Fowler and Jason Day and seven better than Justin Rose. There's a seven-way tie for fifth at 11 under, including Jon Rahm, Charley Hoffman and Matt Kuchar. Phil Mickelson is at 9-under 204 and Jordan Spieth at 7-under 206.  

    GAL TIED FOR 15TH IN FRANCE - Moriya Jutanugarn is nine under par and takes a one-stroke edge into the final round of the LPGA Evian Championship in Evian-Les-Bains, France. Ayako Uehara is second and Katherine Kirk third at 7 under. Gator Sandra Gal (70-69-139) is tied for 15th at 3 under.  

 

Saturday, September 16, 2017
Ted is 10 under, two behind Duncan . . .

    As has been the trend so often on the Web.com Tour this season, an impressive first-round leader couldn't take the heat in round two and took a major plunge down the leaderboard in the Albertsons Boise Open. Peter Uihlein, after ripping the Hillcrest Country Club course for a 9-under-par 62 on Thursday, came back with a 3-over-par 74 yesterday and let everybody back in the fray.

    Ted Potter, after his opening 64 left him in a tie for third at 7 under, tacked on a 3-under-par 68 yesterday and is all alone in fourth place at 10 under. Tyler Duncan (66-64-130) took over the top spot at 12 under, one stroke better than Alex Cejka and Taylor Moore. 

    Ted began on the first hole and birdied 2, 3 and 6 to get it to 10 under before taking a bogey on No. 9. After a par on 10, the TV cameras came on and followed him the rest of the way. Ted responded with a long birdie putt on No. 11, then parred holes 12-16 to remain at 10 under. On the par-3 17th, he hit his tee shot into a greenside bunker, blasted out to about 15 feet, then barely missed the putt. But he regained that stroke when his second shot on 18 wound up 10 feet from the hole and he made it for his fifth birdie of the day. 

    The cut came at 2 under par and making it were Central Floridians Rob Oppenheim (9 under and tied for fifth) and Nick Lindheim (4 under). Gator Brett Stegmaier (71-69-140) made it right on the cut line. Nine players who have already secured their PGA Tour privileges for 2017-2018 by finishing in "the 25" during the regular season, missed the cut.

    Ted tees off today in the next-to-last pairing with Moore at 2 p. m. Boise time, which is 4 p. m. EST. Duncan and Cejka follow at 2:10. Golf Channel's coverage begins at 5 p. m., so we should get to see Ted for about 13 or 14 holes.    

 

 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Ted is already assured of returning to the PGA Tour . . .

    Ted Potter swings back into action tomorrow in the $1 million Albertsons Boise Open, second event in the Web.com Tour's Playoffs, which offer another 25 players the opportunity to get back to the PGA Tour for the upcoming season. Ted is already assured of returning to the tour based on his 14th-place finish during the regular season and he tees off at 1:01 at the Hillcrest Country Club in Boise, Idaho, in the company of Seamus Power and veteran Hunter Mahan.

    There are a slew of former PGA players entered, all looking to return to the tour, among them Jason Gore, Casey Wittenberg, Stuart Appleby, Gator Brett Stegmaier, Jonathan Byrd, Alex Cejka, Ricky Barnes, Tag Ridings, Ken Duke, Ben Crane, Dicky Pride and Colt Knost. 

    FEDEX WINDING DOWN - The FedEx Cup playoffs are down to the BMW Championship in Lake Forest, Illinois, and 70 players remain in the hunt. Seminoles Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger are still alive for the $10 million bonanza at the end of the rainbow, as is Gator Billy Horschel. 

    The big guns getting ready for the first round at the Conway Farms Golf Club are Sergio Garcia, Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson, Paul Casey, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Bill Haas, Hideki Matsuyama Jon Rahm and Rickie Fowler. There are 22 threesomes and two twosomes set to tee off.