Golf

Monday, March 18, 2019
Rory edges Furyk by one stroke . . .

    Ted Potter will attempt to get  back in gear this week at the Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor after another missed cut at TPC. There's $6.7 million on the line at the famed Copperhead course at Innisbrook.

    Paul Casey is the defending champ and he'll be joined by Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, Jim Furyk, Jon Rahm, Brandt Snedeker and Bubba Watson. No Rory, no Tiger, no Phil.

    Rory won at the TPC with a score of 16 under, one better than the amazing Furyk, who's not far off from joining the Champions Tour. Rory put it all together at the right time despite a guarded 70 on Sunday, collecting a monster check of $2,250,000. Furyk closed with 67 and took home $1,350,000, an amount usually reserved for the winner in most events. Eddie Pepperell (66) and Jhonattan Vegas (66) deadlocked for third and banked $725,000 each.

    Rahm couldn't close on Sunday, posting a 76 and dropping into a tie for 12th, earning $253,125. Tiger Woods made a great many birdies but added too many bogeys and wound up at 6 under, good for $77,625.

    Gators: Billy Horschel (281, -7, tie for 26th), $94,375; Brian Gay (286, -2, tie for 56th), $27,250. Seminoles: Brooks Koepka (286, -2, tie for 56th), $27,250; Daniel Berger (289, +1, tie for 67th), $25,500. 

Saturday, March 16, 2019
Ted shoots a pair of 74s . . .

    Ted Potter made just one birdie at the Stadium course at TPC yesterday, posting a second-round 74 and bowing out of the important event after 36 holes. Ted's 74-74-148, 4 over par, missed the cut by five strokes. He got off to a good start with a birdie at No. 2, but was unable to keep it going, adding five bogeys along the way.

    Tommy Fleetwood (65-67-132) and Rory McIlroy (67-65-132) are tied for the lead at 12 under, and it's three strokes back to a quartet consisting of Jim Furyk, who shot 64 yesterday, Ian Poulter, Brian Harman and Abraham Ancer. 

    Tiger Woods made a big early move and was 5 under for the day after 16 holes, without taking a bogey.  But two balls dumped in the water on the TPC's signature 17th hole killed his round. He wound up with 70-71-141, 11 strokes behind. 

    Gators: Billy Horschel, 5 under, tied for 20th; Brian Gay, 1 under, tied for 67th. Seminoles: Daniel Berger, 1 under, tied for 67th; Brooks Koepka, 1 under, all three right on cutline.  

 

Friday, March 15, 2019
Ted shoots 2-over 74 . . .

    Ted Potter needed a par on the ninth hole to complete an even-par round of 72 at the TPC yesterday, but he dumped one in the water and took a double-bogey seven to boost his round to 74. That left him nine strokes off the leaders and three short of the early projected cut line of 1 under par. 

    Ted turned in 1 under par after making two birdies and one par on the back nine. He came to No. 9 at even par after making one more birdie and two bogeys, before the ninth hole derailed him.

    Keegan Bradley and Tommy Fleetwood went into round 2 at 7 under, one stroke ahead of four players tied at 6 under. 

    Tiger Woods finished at 2 under, tied for 35th, after making a late double. Gator Billy Horschel shot 3-under 69, same as Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Matt Kuchar. Seminole Brooks Koepka was at even-par 72 and Daniel Berger posted a 3 over 75.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Strong field set for Sawgrass . . .

    Ted Potter drew an early post time for the Tournament Players Championship at Sawgrass, teeing off at 8:11 from No. 10 in round one; he'll be playing in the company of Patton Kizzire and Brendan Steele. Ted will be looking to turn it around after missing the cut at the Waste Management Open, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and Arnold Palmer Invitational, and a tie for 64th at the Genesis Open.  

    Here are the starting times for the big guns:

    8:43 - (from No. 10) - Bryson DeChambeau, Bubba Watson, Billy Horschel.

    8:53 (from No. 10) - Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Jon Rahm.

    9:04 - (from No. 10) - Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Rory McIlroy.

    1:27 - (from No. 1) - Tiger Woods, Webb Simpson, Patrick Reed. 

Monday, March 11, 2019
TPC is worth $12,500,000 . . .

    All eyes shift to TPC Sawgrass this week as everybody on every leading list contests the Tournament Players Championship with its huge purse of $12,500,000. Ted Potter will attempt to rebound from a poor performance at Bay Hill, and he'll be joined by Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, defending champ Webb Simpson and Arnold Palmer Invitational winner Francesco Molinari.

    Molinari won by daylight at 12 under par, two strokes better than Matthew Fitzpatrick, and took home a fat check for $1,638,000. There was a three-way deadlock for third at 9 under. Rory McIlroy, right on Molinari's heels at 8 under heading into Sunday's finale, could only muster up an even-par 72 and fell into a tie for sixth.

    Gator Billy Horschel soared to 77 Sunday and dropped into a tie for 50th at one over, earning $22,704. Horschel is in the TPC field, along with fellow Gator Brian Gay and Seminoles Daniel Berger and Brooks Koepka. 

    

 

Sunday, March 10, 2019
Horschel drops to tie for 17th . . .

    Matthew Fitzpatrick's 5-under-par 67 vaulted him into the lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, but he'll have to look Rory McIlroy square in the eye for 18 holes today to take home the winner's check at Bay Hill. Fitzpatrick leads the field at 9 under par, but Rory is just one stroke behind after his Saturday 66. 

    Aaron Baddeley, Matt Wallace and Kevin Kisner are another stroke behind, tied for third. 

    Gator Billy Horschel slipped to 73 Saturday and dropped into a tie for 17th at 4 under.  

Saturday, March 9, 2019
Ted shoots 81-70 at Bay Hill . . .

    Tommy Fleetwood posted rounds of 69-66-135, 9 under par, at the halfway point of the Arnold Palmer Invitational and is tied for the lead with Keegan Bradley (67-68), four strokes ahead of the nearest challengers. The group tied for third at 5 under includes Billy Horschel, the only Gator or Seminole to make the cut as Bay Hill's conditions proved to be quite difficult, with the cut coming at 1 over par.

    Ted Potter was never in it after making three double bogeys on Thursday and winding up with a 9-over-par 81. Ted also had six bogeys and just three birdies and for a while in the opener was in last place in the 123-player field that was reduced by one when Jason Day withdrew before playing nine holes. 

    Ted rebounded somewhat on Friday with a 2-under 70 after getting past 13 holes in 4 under, but bogeys on the fifth and sixth holes on the front nine killed the round. He made six birdies in all during the round.

    Among the former Florida collegians, two-time champ Matt Every was never in it, shooting rounds of 83-73, and Brian Gay missed the cut with 74-73. Seminoles Daniel Berger (77-72) and Brooks Koepka (74-73) also went home for the weekend as did crowd favorite Phil Mickelson, who soared to a 78 after his opening 68.       

Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Ted plays with Molinari and Garnett . . .

Here are the hot threesomes for round 1 of the Arnold Palmer Invitational:

 7:31 AM - 1st tee: Ted Potter, Francesco Molinari, Brice Garnett.

 7:43 - 10th tee: Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker, Henrik Stenson.

 7:54 - 10th tee: Rickie Fowler, Jason Day, Ian Poulter.

 12:33 PM - 1st tee: Patrick Reed, Marc Leishman, Rory McIlroy.

12:44 - 1st tee: Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka.

Monday, March 4, 2019
Shoots final-round 67 . . .

    Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler made it close on behalf of the handful of marquee players, but they were unable to catch unknown Keith Mitchell Sunday at the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens. Koepka shot 66 in the finale and Fowler was one stroke higher, but Mitchell's 67 held them both at bay, winning by a stroke at 9-under-par 271. 

    Ryan Palmer made a huge move with a 7-under 63 that brought him to 7 under and he tied for fourth, finishing three hours before the leaders and having to wait around to see how he fared.

    Senior Vijay Singh was best of the older set, winding up at 6-under 274 and tieing for sixth. Defending champ Justin Thomas never got it going and tied for 30th at even par.

   Gators: Billy Horschel tied for 16th at 2-under 278, closing with 67; Brian Gay tied for 20th at 1-under 279 after a Sunday 68. Other Seminoles: Daniel Berger tied for 36th at 1-over 281; rookie Hank Lebioda finished 70th with 7-over 287.    

Saturday, March 2, 2019
Star power lacking again . . .

      Another field lacking in substantial star power has the Honda Classic in position for low weekend TV ratings - again. The 36-hole leader board points that out in spades - Sungjae Im and Keith Mitchell tied at the top at 6 under, Luca Glover next at 5 under, and nine others deadlocked for fourth at 4 under with Brooks Koepka (67-69-136) the only marquee player. 

    Sergio Garcia is tied for 13th at 3 under, but that's just about it near the top. Defending champ Justin Thomas fell off to a 74 after an opening 68 and barely made it through to the weekend at 2 over par, the cut line. First-round leader Jhonattan Vegas also fell by the wayside with 64-73-137, 3 under. 

    The Honda comes after two weeks in Hawaii and six more in Mexico and out west, and maybe the logistics of travel, and the purse of $6.8 million, have something to do with it. Next week's Arnold Palmer Invitational gives players a greater chance to recover from jet lag, and has a purse of $9.1 million. Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jason Day, Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson, Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama et al are returning for the tournament in Windermere. And, Ted Potter.  

    Back at Palm Beach Gardens, Gator Billy Horschel is tied for 22nd at 2 under with 67-71-138, and Brian Gay is 1 over at 141 (71-70). Seminole Daniel Berger is tied for 32nd (72-67-139) and rookie Hank Lebioda continues to impress. He's at 1 over (67-74-141).     

       

Monday, February 25, 2019
Tiger finishes tied for 10th . . .

    There was very little suspense at any time during Sunday's finale of the WGC-Mexico Championship. Dustin Johnson's 66 put a stamp on his 20th career PGA victory, and gave him at least one victory in each of the last 12 years. Rory McIlroy closed with a 67 and remained in second, five strokes behind Dustin.

    It was five more strokes back to the third-place finishers, Paul Casey (65), Ian Poulter (68) and Kiradech Aphibarnrat (68). The biggest move on closing day was achieved by Justin Thomas, who began the day at even par and posted a 9-under 62. He jumped 28 spots into a tie for ninth. 

    Tiger Woods began the day with two quick birdies, but only made one more the rest of the way, along with one bogey, and he finished with a 2-under 69. He tied for 10th at 8 under. Phil Mickelson shot 68 Sunday and finished at even par 284. 

    Seminole Brooks Koepka tied for 27th at 3 under and Gator Billy Horschel tied for 45th at 1 over.  

Sunday, February 24, 2019
Rory McIlroy is the only threat . . .

    Dustin Johnson appears to be home free in the WGC-Mexico Open after winding up 54 holes at 16 under par. Rory McIlroy is alone in second at 12 under, and there's a deadlock for third at 9 under among Patrick Reed, Patrick Cantlay, Sergio Garcia and Cameron Smith, but they will have to go really low to have any chance of even getting near Dustin, who's at the top of his game

    Tiger Woods is tied for ninth at 6 under after a 1-under 70, but he would have been much closer if not for a four-putter and three-putter back-to-back. Matt Kuchar, squarely in contention after round 2, imploded Saturday with an 8-over-par 79. Phil Mickelson is tied for 51st at 3 over. 

    Brooks Koepka is tied for 31st at 1 under and Billy Horschel is tied for 41st at 1 over. 

     

Saturday, February 23, 2019
Tiger shoots 66, Phil 65 . . .

    Dustin Johnson added a 4-under-par 67 to his opening-round 64 and is all alone atop the board in the WGC-Mexico Championship at 11-under-par 131. He enjoys a two-stroke edge over Rory McIlroy (63-70-133) and Matt Kuchar (66-67-133).

    Tiger Woods came out of the doldrums after his Thursday 71 and posted a 5-under 66 to move up to a tie for eighth at 5 under. He made six birdies and one bogey.

    Brooks Koepka's 73-70-143, 1 over, is tied for 35th, while Billy Horschel dropped into a tie for 39th with 68-76-144, 2 over. Phil Mickelson also rebounded with a 6-under 65 after his disastrous opening 79 and is tied for 39th at 2 over. 

Friday, February 22, 2019
Rory leads by one . . .

    Rory McIlroy returned to top form yesterday in the first round of the $10.25 million WGC-Mexico Championship, posting an 8-under-par 63 to take a one-stroke lead over Dustin Johnson. Justin Thomas and Matt Kuchar are tied for third at 5-under 66. 

    Tiger Woods was sailing along at 2 under after playing the back nine, but he double bogeyed the first hole, a par 4, to drop back to even. He then played the rest of the nine in 2 under to wind up at even-par 71, tied for 25th in the elite field of 72. 

    Gator Billy Horschel is tied for seventh after posting a 3-under 68, while Seminole Brooks Koepka, the 2018 Player of the Year, is at 2-over 73. 

    PUERTO RICO OPEN - Andres Romero took the early lead with a 6-under 66, one better than Sepp Straka in the $3 million satellite event. Gator Chris Couch is tied for 20th after an opening 2-under 70, and he's tied with Seminole Daniel Berger. Gator Matt Every shot even par-72, as did Seminole rookie Hank  Lebioda.  

    Among the slew of old-timers entered, Ken Duke, Frank Lickliter and Omar Uresti are leading the way with 1-under-par 71s, tied for 36th. 

Monday, February 18, 2019
Ted falters to 64th on weekend . . .

    Weather problems made it difficult to follow the Genesis Open all weekend, with players having to handle double rounds every day, not to mention the cold. 

    J. B. Holmes passed Justin Thomas along the way and won it by one stroke with a 14-under-par 270. Thomas held on for second, one ahead of Si Woo Kim. 

    Ted Potter was all over the place, winding up with 70-69-77-73--289, 5 over par, leaving him in a tie for 64th. He earned his first check - $15,318 - since the Sony Open in January. That lifted his total for the season to $403,175. He will not play this week in the WGC-Mexico Championship or the satellite event in Puerto Rico. Ted made enough birdies (16) over the 72 holes to be competitive, but 17 bogeys and one double crushed his chances for a major paycheck.  

    Tiger Woods will play in Mexico, as will Phil Mickelson, Gator Billy Horschel and Seminole Brooks Koepka. 

    The field in Puerto Rico is intriguing; it includes Seminoles Daniel Berger and rookie Hank Lebioda, and Gators Matt Every, Dudley Hart and Chris Couch, the latter making another return to the wars. 

    Aside from Hart, the older set is well-represented by an interesting group - Jay Don Blake, Olin Browne, Angel Cabrera, Ken Duke, David Duval, Retief Goosen, Neal Lancaster, Dicky Pride, Omar Uresti and Mike Weir.  

Saturday, February 16, 2019
Ted is 4 under with 7 to play . . .

    It's difficult to sort out who's who and where they stand after the incomplete second round of the weather-plagued Genesis Open in Pacific Palisades, California.

    At the top of the leader board at Riviera Country Club, Justin Thomas and Adam Scott are deadlocked at 10 under par, Thomas after 12 holes of play in round 2 and Scott after 11. J. B. Holmes is at 9 under with nine to play after his opening-round 63 had him in the lead. But a slew of players are close with a varying number of holes remaining, and there's another group who haven't started round 2. 

    Ted Potter shot a 1-under-par 70 in round 1, making five birdies and four bogeys, and he was right on the early projected cut line. But he picked it up late Friday, making four birdies and a lone bogey after 11 holes and he's sitting in a tie for 14th at 4 under. 

    Tiger Woods also shot 1-under 70 in the opener and he's even par for the day in round 2 with six holes to play. He made four straight birdies from hole 8 through 11 in round 1 to go from plus 2 to minus 2 for the day at the time, but he couldn't keep it going. Tiger has made one eagle and seven birdies but eight bogeys have left him in a precarious position as far as making the cut.

    Phil Mickelson shot 1-over 72 in round 1 and Gator Brian Gay was at even par. 

    

Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Ted tees of 21 minutes after Tiger . . .

Thursday's significant tee times at the Genesis Open in Pacific Palisades, CA.

 7:22 a. m. - 10th  tee: Phil Mickelson, Hander Schauffle, Jordan Spieth.

 12:22 p. m. - 1st tee: Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy.

 12:43 p . m. - 10th tee: Ted Potter, Aaron Wise, Grayson Murray. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Casey holds on for 2nd . . .
    Phil Mickelson birdied the 18th hole to put a stamp on his Pebble Beach Pro-Am victory after he and Paul Casey had to finish Monday morning due to darkness halting play late Sunday afternoon. Mickelson wound up at 19 under, good for a three-stroke victory over Casey, who moved one stroke ahead of Scott Stallings with a birdie of his own on No. 18. 
Monday, February 11, 2019
Potter, Tiger head for Riviera . . .

    There was hail (true story) in Southern California yesterday and as a result, they will be finishing up at Pebble Beach this morning. When play was halted, just two players were still on the course, Phil Mickelson and Paul Casey.

    Mickelson was 6 under for the day after 16 holes and 18 under all told. Casey didn't fire for 15 holes and was at even par for the day and 15 under all told, tied for second with Scott Stallings. When play ended, Casey had a 3-footer left for par on No. 16. Tee-off time is 11 a. m. EST for the final two holes.

   Gators: Brian Gay finished tied for seventh at 11 under after a Sunday 71, and reborn Matt Every tied for 14th at 9 under after a Sunday 73. Seminole Hank Lebioda tied for 38th at 5 under. 

    Next up is the $7.4 million Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades. Ted Potter is playing again, as is Tiger Woods. Gay will be there, along with Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Freddie Couples, Sergio Garcia and Justin Thomas.  

Sunday, February 10, 2019
Mickelson is 2nd; Potter bows out . . .

    Ted Potter made a significant comeback from his Thursday 82 with rounds of 74 and 71, but his 12 under par total wasn't nearly enough to survive the cut at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Ted beat just four players in the $7.6 million event that he won last year, and bowed out 27 strokes behind leader Paul Casey, who goes into today's finale at 15-under-par 200.

    Casey holds a three-stroke lead over Phil Mickelson, which ensures a massive gallery for the final round late this afternoon. Mickelson is one stroke ahead of Scott Piercy and Lucas Glover.

    The two Gators in the field, Brian Gay (64-72-69-205) and Matt Every (65-71-69-205), are squarely in the hunt today, both at 10 under par. Every made it into the field after sitting in the third alternate spot Monday morning. Seminole rookie Hank Lebioda (71-69-71-211) also made the 54-hole cut at 4 under. The cut came at minus  2.