Golf

Monday, July 15, 2019
Oldtimers abound in Kentucky . . .

    After bowing out via the third-round cut in the John Deere Classic on Saturday, Ted Potter collected $11,760 while finishing in the MDF category. That boosted his earnings for the season to $715,527, but he dropped six spots on the money list from 124th to 130th. 

    Ted will be back in action Thursday, not in The Open, but in the satellite Barbasol Championship in Nicholasville, Kentucky, just outside of Lexington in the heart of bluegrass country. And with all the big guns across the sea, the $3.5 million event is rich with a familiar bunch of oldies but goodies.

    In the field playing at the Keene Trace Golf Club will be Kenny Perry, at 58 the oldest of the senior group, along with John Daly (53), Steve Flesch (52), David Toms (52) and Omar Uresti (50). In the group rapidly approaching Champions Tour eligibility are Robert Allenby (48), Arjun Atwal (46), Chad Campbell (45), Tim Herron (49), J. J. Henry (44), Rod Pampling (50 in September) and Mike Weir (49). 

    Gator Chris Couch, who is 46, will try again after moving in from the No.1 spot on the alternate list only to bomb out at the John Deere, along with Brian Gay; Billy Horschel is in England. Seminole rookie Hank Lebioda is the only ex-FSU player on board, with Brooks Koepka overseas, too.  

     

Sunday, July 14, 2019
Ted goes 3 over on final 2 holes . . .

    With seven holes to play in the third round yesterday, Ted Potter was 2 under par for the day, 7 under for 47 holes and seemingly in no danger of missing the third-round cut at the John Deere Classic. However, Ted bogeyed No. 12 and No. 17, then double bogeyed 18 and wound up at 3 under. It took 4 under to remain in action for today's finale and Ted missed the cut, although he'll still make a check in the $11,000 to $12,000 range.  

    Needing just a bogey on 18 to make the cut, Ted hit his drive in the rough, had trouble getting out and hit a short second into the rough again. He finally hit the green in 4 and two-putted for a six to complete the disaster. 

    Cameron Tringale and Andrew Landry are tied for the lead at 16 under, one stroke ahead of Bill Haas (64 on Saturday) and Adam Schenk (66). Second-round leader Jhonattan Vegas imploded with a 76 and dropped to a tie for 26th at 9 under. Seminole Daniel Berger is also at that number.  

Saturday, July 13, 2019
Double bogey at 18 hurts . . .

    Ted Potter wasn't as sharp yesterday as he had been in Thursday's opening round of the John Deere Classic, posting an even-par round of 71 to go along with his first-round 66. Remaining at 5 under par, Ted dropped from a tie for 10th into a tie for 41st, making the cut of 3 under easily. He tees off at 9:08 Illinois time partnered with Adam Long at the TPC Deere Run course.

    Ted began on the back nine and after eight holes was 2 under, with three birdies and one bogey. But a bad double bogey on No. 18 dropped him back to even par heading to the front. He started out par-birdie after sinking a 15-footer for the bird at No. 2 and remained at one under until he bogeyed No. 7. Two more pars and he finished even.

    Jhonattan Vegas went berserk in the second round for a 62 and leads after 36 holes at 13 under. He's one stroke ahead of Andrew Landry (65-65-130) and two in front of Lucas Glover, who shot 64 yesterday. Gator Matt Every (69-71-140) missed the cut by one and Chris Couch, who got in as the first alternate, bombed out with 78-76. Seminole rookie Hank Lebioda missed the cut, too, at even par. 

Friday, July 12, 2019
Ted was tied for the lead earlier . . .

    For a brief moment near the end of his round yesterday, Ted Potter was tied for the lead at the John Deere Classic. Ted had just birdied the 14th, 16th and 17th holes to move to 6 under par at the TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois, and he walked to the 18th tee in a deadlock.

    That didn't last long, however, as Adam Long made a birdie to get to 7 under, while at the same time Ted bogeyed the final hole to drop back to 5 under. However, Ted still finished in a tie for 10th, four strokes behind Roberto Diaz, who finished at 9-under 62. Russell Henley (64) and Long were tied for second. 

    Ted wound up the round with seven birdies and two bogeys to take some of the sting off last week, when he didn't come close to making the cut at the 3M Classic. Yesterday's cut came at 2-under 69.

     Gators: Matt Every made it on the line at 69, and Chris Couch, who got in after being the first alternate, had a bad day and shot 7-over 78. Seminoles: Daniel Berger is is tied for 10th with Ted and Hank Lebioda is at even-par 71.   

Monday, July 8, 2019
Ted Potter tries again in $6 million event in Illinois . . .

    Matthew Wolff canned a veritable snake on the 18th hole for an eagle 3 at the TPC Twin Cities yesterday to steal a one-stroke victory in the 3M Open. In so doing, the virtually unknown 20-year-old tore the hearts out of Bryson DeChambeau and Collin Morikawa, who both ended at 20 under par and could only stand by and watch Wolff vault from 19 under to 21 under. 

    The rash of great play in recent weeks and months by the younger set continued and it's anybody's guess if the just-out-of-college group can keep it up and change the face of professional golf. 

    The $6 million John Deere Classic begins this week at the TPC Deer Run in Silvis, Illinois, and Ted Potter will try to put behind him his disaster in the Twin Cities and revert to the form he displayed the week before, when he cashed for more than $234,000 in Detroit. 

    The Deere is devoid of the veterans with name recognition, but many the youngsters who have impressed in recent events will be there, including Wolff, Morikawa, Nate Lashley, Doc Redman, red-hot Viktor Hovland, Zack Sucher, SamBurns, Cameron Champ and defending champ Michael Kim.

    The field includes Gator Matt Every and Seminoles Daniel Berger and Hank Lebioda. Long-time-ago Gator Chris Couch will probably be making a rare appearance - he's the first alternate and the FA almost always gets in, as Every did last week.  

Saturday, July 6, 2019
Ted shoots 72-76-148 . . .

    Ted Potter's streak of making cuts didn't get past one as another checkered round yesterday bounced him from the 3M Open in Minnesota. Ted added a 5-over-par 76 to his opening round of 72 and his 148 total missed the cut of 3 under by 9 strokes. He was in good company - Phil Mickelson missed by 8.

    Ted began with five straight pars on the back nine before it all fell apart. But he took three bogeys and a double on the next four holes and it was all over. He was even par on the front with two birdies and one double. 

    Bryson DeChambeau forged into the lead after a 9-under 62 - he has a two stroke edge over Adam Hadwin at 14 under par. Hadwin (64-66-130) is two strokes better than a group tied at 10 under in third. 

    Gators: Matt Every looked out of it after his Thursday 73, but rebounded for a 7-under-64 and at 5 under is tied for 43rd. Brian Gay (67-72-139) slipped in right on the cut line. Seminoles: Daniel Berger is tied for 11th with 68-66-134; Hank Lebioda continues to impress at 5 under, tied for 43rd.

    Rookie Viktor Hovland makes another cut with 69-66-135. The U. S. Amateur champ is the real deal. 

 

 

Friday, July 5, 2019
Ted needs 68 or better to make cut in 3M Open . . .

    After just seven holes yesterday, Ted Potter appeared to be out of the running in the 3M Open in Blaine, Minnesota. Ted began on the front nine and quickly bogeyed holes 2, 3 and 4 to go 3 over par, then added another bogey on 7 to make it 4 over. He recovered slightly with a birdie on 9 and turned in 3 over 38.

    The birdie on 9 turned it around for Ted, and he added birdies on 13, 14 and 17, sandwiched around a bogey on 16 where he three-putted. He finished with 38-34-72, just 1 over par, and still with a chance of making the cut today. With the early projected cut at 2 under, he'll need to shoot 68 or better to hang around for the final 36 holes. 

    Scott Piercy took the first-round lead with a 9-under 62, two strokes better than Hideki Matsuyama and Adam Hadwin. 

    Gator Brian Gay is in good shape with a 4-under 67, tied for 20th, while Matt Every opened with 2-over 73. Seminole Brooks Koepka posted a 4-under 67, rookie Hank Lebioda a 2-under 69, tied for 49th and Daniel Berger a 3-under 68.  

Tuesday, July 2, 2019
3M Open is in its inaugural year . . .

    After his great success in the Rocket Mortgage Open, Ted Potter's next engagement is the 3M Open in Blaine, Minnesota, just a stone's throw from Minneapolis/St. Paul. It's the first time for the $6.4 million event so there's no defending champ. Ted tees off in Thursday's first round at 1 p. m. (2 p. m. EDT) alongside Chris Stroud and Cody Gribble.

    Certain to draw the biggest galleries in the morning will be the trio of Phil Mickelson, Rocket Mortgage winner Nate Lashley and Tony Finau with a tee time of 7:20, and Corey Connors, Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama 10 minutes later. In the afternoon, the five-star groups will be Brooks Koepka, Kevin Na and Patrick Reed at 12:30, and Charles Howell III, Bryson DeChambeau and Keegan Bradley at 12:40. 

    Others drawing interest will be Tom Lehman, architect of the Trilogy course in Ocala and renovator of the 3M course, Doc Redman, last week's runner-up in his PGA Tour debut, and red-hot rookie Viktor Hovland. Redman and Hovland are the last two U. S. Amateur champs. 

    Gators: Brian Gay and Matt Every. The latter began the week as the first alternate, but the first alternate gets in 99 percent of the time. Seminoles: Koepka, Daniel Berger and Hank Lebioda.  

 

Monday, July 1, 2019
Ted leads field in greens in regulation . . .

    Ted Potter's red-hot play over the first 54 holes of the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit showed no let-up in Sunday's finale. Ted made one bogey, just his second in four days, added five birdies, and finished in a deadlock for fifth place at 17-under-par 271, his best performance since he was 13 under at the Sony Open in January. He heads for the 3M Open in Blaine, Minnesota this week with a few extra bucks in his bank account - $239,075 to be exact - as he boosted his take for the season to $703,767.

   After Ted went 28 holes before making his first bogey on his 11th hole on Friday, he went another 39 without making No. 2 until the 15th hole Sunday, where he missed about a 10-foot putt. In the statistics department, he had one of his best tournaments ever - tied for first with only two bogeys, tied for third with 51 pars, tied for sixth in strokes gained putting, seventh alone in scrambling, and No. 1, by himself, hitting 61 greens in regulation for a percentage of 84.72. 

    Possibly the biggest improvement Ted made in this one compared to the rest of the year came in his driving - the reason he was able to hit so many greens was that he consistently hit the ball on the fairway off the tee. 

     Nate Lashley won the event wire-to-wire and was never really threatened. He went 25 under, defeating rookie Doc Redman by six strokes. Lashley, who was the last player to get in when there was a defection earlier in the week, played with Ted in the first two rounds in a recent event and the good vibes apparently rubbed off on both. He collected a check for $1,314,000.

    As for Redman, the U. S. Amateur champ, he was the No.1 qualifier Monday with a course-record 62 and set himself up for the rest of the season with a check for $788,400. Billy Horschel, lone Gator to make the cut, closed with 64 for 14-under 264 and tied for 17th. 

      

    

      

Sunday, June 30, 2019
Ted posts another 68 for 13 under . . .

    Ted Potter played another rare bogey-free round at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit yesterday, and heads into today's finale tied for ninth at 13 under par, having made just one bogey over 54 holes.

    He has no chance of catching leader Nate Lashley, who has run away from the field at 23 under par, but runner-up J. T. Poston, at 17 under, and third-place Doc Redman, at 16 under, are not out of the realm of possibility considering the way Ted has turned around his game this week.

    After posting a 13-under 267 at the Sony Open in Hawaii back in January, Ted has finished over par in 11 of his next 12 outings. He missed the cut in seven of the 12. In the six events prior to that, he was under par five times, including the Sony.

    That will all end today as Ted plays in the sixth group from the end, teeing off at the Detroit Golf Club at 1:15 next to Hideki Matsuyama. 

    Ted started out slowly in round 3, making par on the first six holes and quickly dropping back on the leader board as the rest of the field was making birdies. On the par-5 seventh, he drove it 291 yards, and had 263 left to the green. He hit his second onto the putting surface, leaving himself 46 feet, 9 inches from the hole. His first putt stopped one foot past the hole, and he had his first birdie, walking to the eighth tee tied for 24th.

    After that, Ted birdied the par-3 eighth with a putt of 6 feet, 7 inches, the par-4 13th with a bomb of 20 feet, 11 inches, and the par-5 14th with a putt of 10 feet, 10 inches. He barely missed another on No. 17 where his putt stopped three inches from the hole. 

    The big difference between Ted's play in Detroit and the previous events is that he's hitting his tee shots long and straight, therefore hitting more greens in regulation. Also, he's been getting it up and down with regularity when his approaches have left him with long putts or chips.

    If Ted can keep it going today, there's a big chunk of cash waiting. Ninth place alone is worth $211,700; fifth is $292,000, and 15th $131,400. It's all in his hands.   

    

 

Saturday, June 29, 2019
Ted birdies 5 of the first 7 holes . . .

    Ted Potter went 29 holes before making his first bogey yesterday at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit. As a result, he stands at 9-under 135 over the par-72 Detroit Golf Club course. There are nine others at that number heading into round 3 today, all chasing Nate Lashley, whose 63-67-130 is 14 under par, one ahead of Cameron Champ (66-65-131) and two ahead of Charles Howell III (65-67-132). 

    Birdies were flying so fast that it took 5 under par to make the cut, and 71 players will be teeing off today. Ted goes off at 12:40 in the company of Doc Redman, the 2017 U. S. Amateur champion who was the No. 1 Monday qualifier. 

    After shooting 4-under-par 68 on Thursday, Ted got off to a magnificent start in round 2, making five birdies on the first seven holes. He sank a putt of 10 feet, 3 inches on No. 1, 13'-9" on No. 2, 2'-10" on No. 3, 5'-9" on No. 6 and 8'-5" on No. 7. At the time, he was 5 under for the day, 9 under overall, and tied for sixth. After that however, he made just the bogey on 11 and a lone birdie on 16, where he hit a 190-yard iron within 8 feet, 8 inches and canned it to get back to 9 under.  He ended up deadlocked for 12th.

    The purse for the city of Detroit's first-ever PGA event is $7.3 million. If Ted holds his position over the final 36 holes, 12th place (alone) is worth $167,900. If he can move up the leader board, the winner will receive $1,314,000, while second place is worth $788,400, and third $496,400.  

    Gator Billy Horschel made the cut right on the line with 69-70-139, but Brian Gay missed the cut by one with 74-66-140. Seminole rookie Hank Lebioda also missed it with 70-71-141, 3 under.  

    Also missing the cut were Dustin Johnson, Gary Woodland, Chez Reavie, Bubba Watson and Zack Sucher. Rookie Viktor Hovland, the 2018 U. S. Amateur champion, made it on the number with 70-69-139.  

Friday, June 28, 2019
Ted plays flawless round with 4 birdies . . .

    With Nate Lashley leading the way with a 9-under-par 63, the "these guys are good" group showed just how good they are yesterday in Detroit in the first round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. The early projected line in the first-ever event at the Detroit Golf Club is 3 under, and there are 74 at that score or better.   

    In his first tournament in several weeks, Ted Potter made a flawless return, posting a slick 4-under-68. Ted began on the back nine early in the a. m. in eye-opening fashion. After a good drive, he left his second, from 157 yards, 49 feet, 11 inches from the hole. With a three-putt green a distinct possibility, Ted miraculously canned it to get off to a great start. He then birdied No. 13 and shot 34 on the nine. 

    On the front, Ted made birdies on 3 and 7 for another 34 that left him tied for 33rd. One of his only stumbles came on a back-nine par 5 when he hit the green in two, again nearly 50 feet from the hole. He left his first putt about 10 feet short, and wound up three-putting for par. With the early cut projected at 3 under, he still has his work cut out for him today when he plays in the afternoon. 

    Ryan Armour and Nick Watney are deadlocked for second behind Lashley with 64s, and there is a seven-way logjam at 7 under that includes red-hot Chez Reavie, Charles Howell III and veteran Stewart Cink.  

    Billy Horschel fared best of the two Gators playing in the $7.3 million event with a 3-under 69, while Brian Gay is in a tie for 142nd at 2-over 74. Seminole rookie Hank Lebioda is tied for 75th at 2-under 70, same as new PGA Tour addition Viktor Hovland. 

Monday, June 24, 2019
$7.3 million up for grabs in Rocket Mortgage Classic . . .

    Ted Potter returns from vacation again this week in time to inaugurate a new venue on the PGA Tour schedule - the Rocket Mortgage Classic, to be played at the Detroit Golf Club with a purse of $7.3 million. 

    The field is light, as such events usually are at this time of year, and the short list of marquee names includes Rickie Fowler, Charles Howell III, Patrick Reed, Hideki Matsuyama, Brandt Snedeker, Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson and Gary Woodland. Also entered are Chez Reavie, yesterday's winner of the Traveler's Championship, and runner-up Zack Sucher.

    There's also a group of the elderly who will be on hand for the Detroit debut, including Stewart Cink, Ernie Els, Mike Weir, Alex Cjeka, Rod Pampling and Hunter Mahan. Add to that Viktor Hovland, the Norwegian who tied for 54th yesterday at 1 under in his first PGA foray, and Gators Brian Gay and Billy Horschel.

    Reavie closed with 1-under 69 for 263 in Connecticut, 17 under par at the TPC River Highlands course. That was four better than Sucher, who closed with 67 for 267 to deadlock with Keegan Bradley, who also posted 67. Seminole rookie Hank Lebioda finished at 2 under, tied for 51st, and Brooks Koepka was a little off his game, winding up tied for 57th at even par 280. 

    These are the events that allow players who are well down the FedEx points list to move up if they can muster up 72 holes of good play. Vaughn Taylor tied for fourth at 12 under and jumped from 84th to 65th. Joaquin Niemann tied for 5th at 11 under and vaulted 36 spots, from 141st to 105th. Brian Harman tied for 8th at 10 under and leaped from 132nd to 109th, all significant moves.  

    The Traveler's had just three players who began the week in the top 10. Koepka, despite his spotty play, moved from third to second. Patrick Cantlay, who tied for 15th at 8 under, moved from seventh to sixth. Paul Casey tied for fifth at 11 under and remained in eighth place. 

    

    

    

Saturday, June 22, 2019
Rookie Hovland makes first cut . . .

    Zack Sucher is all alone atop the leader board at the Traveler's Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut, after adding a 5-under-par 65 to his opening 66. His 11 under par total is two better than Chez Reavie and Keegan Bradley, who shot identical scores of 65-66-131, 9 under. 

    Defending champ Bubba Watson is at 5 under, while Seminole rookie Hank Lebioda continues to impress with 69-65-134, 6 under, and a tie for 13th. Brooks Koepka  rebounded from his opening 71 for a 4-under 66 and is tied for 47th at 3 under.

    Viktor Hovland will savor his first paycheck playing in his first event as a pro. The Norwegian who fared so well in the U. S. Open made the cut of 2 under right on the number with 67-71-138, and is tied for 59th. 

    Gator Brian Gay (68-73-141) and Seminole Daniel Berger (68-74-142) both missed the cut as did Phil Mickelson (67-76) and Jordan Spieth (73-69). 

Friday, June 21, 2019
6 more one stroke behind . . .

    If yesterday's opening round is any indication, the Traveler's Championship in Connecticut will prove to be anything but a runaway. No less than six players shot 6-under-par 64s over the TPC Highlands course in Cromwell - Ryan Armour, Bronson Burgoon, Zack Sucher, Abraham Ancer, Mackenzie Hughes and Kyoung-Hoon Lee. Another six were one stroke behind, including Louis Oosthuizen, Patrick Cantlay and Chez Reavie. There are also a myriad of players at 66, 67, 68, etc. and the projected cut is at 1 under 69.

    Phil Mickelson got off to a good start at 3 under, and Seminole Daniel Berger is at 68, along with Gator Brian Gay. Seminole rookie Hank Lebioda is 1 under, and Brooks Koepka, after a 1-over 71, has some work to do.    

    

Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Miles Albright defeats Daniel Owen on first playoff hole . . .

Golden Ocala - Country Club of Ocala - Ocala Golf Club

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1. *Miles Albright . . . 72-74-67-213; *won on first playoff hole.

2. Daniel Owen . . . 72-70-71-213

3. Hunter Ditty . . . 71-72-72-215

    Drew Ditty . . . 77-72-66-215

    Jimmy Letterly . . . 74-73-68-215

6. Orlando Merced . . . 79-73-66-218

7. Matt Giovannelli . . . 73-75-71-219

    Jeff Hill . . . 75-73-71-219

    Steve Humphrey . . . 75-73- 71-219

10. Jay King . . . 74-72-74-220

      Teddy Lausier . . . 72-77-71-220

12. Cooper George . . . 76-76-70-222

      Scott Kaylor . . . 71-78-73- 222

14. Grant Lovell . . . 76-76-72-224

15. John Morgan Elliott . . . 77-73-75-225

      Chase Fifner . . . 77-77-71-225

      Keith Tippett . . . 77-75-73-225

18. Berger Warner . . . 75-78-73-226

19. Ken Godwin . . . 73-79-75-227

      Travis Wilemon . . . 79-76-72-227

21. Mike Kemp . . . 77-74-77-228

22. Ogen Daniel . . . 79-76-74-229

      Nicholas Wigelsworth . . . 72-84-73-229

24. Bobby Bryant . . . 80-80-70-230

      Bill Wright . . . 83-76-71-230

26. B. J. White . . . 78-78-75-231

27. Daniel Atkins . . . 77-83-72-232

      Eric Casey . . . 78-78-76-232

      Trevor Eatmon . . . 78-80-74-232

30. Lyle Livengood . . . 76-79-78-233

31. Justin Lloyd . . . 79-81-76-236

      Daniel Meadows . . . 84-78-74-236

      Bill Searcy . . . 84-79-73-236

34. Andrew Paul. . .  82-81-74-237

      Seth Wright . . . 82-75-80-237

36. Paul Irvin . . . 81-78-79-238

      John McLeod . . . 81-83-74-238

38. Chris Darley . . . 85-81-74-240

      Jon Houchins . . . 83-77-80-240

      Brandon Hughes . . . 83-82-75-240

41. Randy Briggs . . . 82-79-80-241

42. Ryan Letterly . . . 80-83-79-242

43. Butch Elkins . . . 85-82-76-243

44. Deeter Arnold . . . 86-86-73-245

45. Carney Rob . . . 88-79-81-248

      Kyle Moeder . . . 86-84-78-248

     Tyler Tippett . . . 82-88-78 248

     Denis Monzon . . . 86-81-82-249

50. Zane Bowman . . . 81-84-85-250

      Bo Craig . . . 87-85-78-250

51. David McLeod . . . 83-88-80-251

      Riley . . . 84-92-75-251

53. Steve Hamlet . . . 88-86-78-252

      Rick Stillwell . . . 91-81-80-252

55. Mike Zysek . . . 90-85-78-253

56. Patrick Gulick . . . 83-98-79-260

57. Timothy Guinn . . . 93-92-87-272

58. Johnny Vicars . . . 106-103-90-299

Monday, June 17, 2019
Koepka three strokes behind at Pebble Beach . . .

    Gary Woodland put an exclamation point on his first U. S. Open victory yesterday on the 18th green at Pebble Beach, dunking a long birdie putt to get to 13 under par and a three-stroke victory over defending champ Brooks Koepka. Woodland took home a check for $2,250,000 for his troubles. 

    Koepka, who has become the best Seminole alum to ever play the PGA Tour, finished at 10 under, followed by an august group at 7 under - Xander Schauffele, Jon Rahm, Justin Rose and Chez Reavie. Schauffele turned in the best Sunday round among the leaders, a 4-under-par 67.

    Best rounds in the finale were the 66s posted by Webb Simpson, who tied for 16th at 3 under, and unknown Marcus Kinhult, who finished at even par. 

    Tiger Woods got off to a horrendous start, bogeying four of the first six holes. But he turned it around for his horde of fans, birdieing 7 and 8, then four more holes on the back nine, to finish at 2-under 69. He wound up tied for 21st. 

    Gator Billy Horschel tied for 32nd at even par.

    The Tour heads for Cromwell, Conn., this week for the $7.2 million Traveler's Championship at TPC River Highlands. Ted Potter is taking another week off, but the field includes defending champ Bubba Watson, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Koepka, Francesco Molinari, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Paul Casey, Tony Finau, Bryson DeChambeau and three players from across the sea named Kim.

     Koepka will be joined by fellow Seminoles Daniel Berger and rookie Hank Lebioda. Making his professional debut will be Viktor Hovland, who impressed everybody with his Open performance. He tied for 12th at 4 under, posting a 4-under-67 Sunday. Gator Brian Gay is also on board. 

Sunday, June 16, 2019
Willett's 67 is best of the day . . .

    Strictly from the point of view of overall scoring, yesterday's third round of the U. S. Open was almost unique compared to previous Opens, or any other majors, for that matter.

    First - There was only one round of better than three under par, a 4-under 67 by Danny Willett over the par-71 Pebble Beach Golf Links. Normally, 'moving day' means just that - players are moving on Saturday. But 99 percent of the moving on this Saturday was 1, or 2, or 3 places, up or down. Willett was the only one in the top 15 - he's tied for ninth - who made a major jump, up 23 spots from 32nd. 

    Second - The scores were so similar for the rest of the upper half of the board, that it looked pretty much the same after the third round as it did after the second. Gary Woodland leads at 11 under after a 69, Justin Rose is second at 10 under after a 68, Brooks Koepka, Chez Reavie and Louis Oosterhuis are third at 7 under after rounds of 70, 70 and 68, respectively, and Rory Mcilroy is sixth at 6 under after a 70. 

    In all, there were five rounds of 68, three of 69, 14 of 70 and 13 of even-par 71. After Willett, the biggest move up the board belonged to Byeong Hun An, whose 68 lifted him from 32nd to 14th. Usually, there are several 66s, or 65s, or 64s, and those players make big moves. Not so this time.

    Tiger Woods was disappointing in his quest to climb up the board. He began with bogeys on two of his first three holes, and added three more bogeys and five birdies to wind up at even par for the day and the 54 holes. He missed a great many birdie putts of five to 10 feet that could have given him a chance for a high finish.  

 


Saturday, June 15, 2019
He's at 9 under with a two-stroke lead . . .

    Justin Rose was unable to keep it going in the second round of the U. S. Open yesterday, moving from 6 under to 7 under, and as a result, Gary Woodland took over the lead at Pebble Beach by two strokes. Woodland added a 6 under 65 to his opening round of 68 and is 9 under heading into moving day. Most of the marquee players made the cut, which came at 2 over par.

    Of the top echelon players, Tony Finau, Ian Poulter, Justin Thomas, Alex Noren and Bubba Watson are the most notable who will sit out the weekend.

    Louis Oosthuizen is alone in third place, three strokes behind Woodland, and Rory McIlroy is at 5 under. Matt Kuchar and Brooks Koepka are within range at 4 under. The group at 3 under, far from out of it,  includes Henrik Stenson, Adam Scott, Jon Rahm, Zach Johnson, Graeme McDowell, Sergio Garcia, and Xander Schauffele.

    After his 1-under 70 on Thursday, Tiger Woods was sailing along at 2 under after 16 holes Friday, having made one birdie and 15 pars. Coming to the hole No. 8, his 17th of the day, Tiger didn't have an over-par hole on his card since a double bogey on Thursday, a span of 20 holes. But bogeys on his last two holes, both par 4s, dropped him back to even par. Phil Mickelson had an up and down day and was at 1 under, along with Jordan Spieth. 

    Billy Horschel and Daniel Berger both made the cut at 1 over. 

        

Friday, June 14, 2019
Justin is 6 under par; Tiger's at 1 under . . .

    TV viewers will breath a sigh of relief after today's second round of the U. S. Open after having to sit through an interminable all-day affair from Pebble Beach in yesterday's first round. The first teams teed off before 7 a. m. Pacific time, and the last teams didn't finish until about 9 p. m. Eastern, 6 p. m. Pacific, including one of the marquee groups - Tiger Woods, Justin Rose and Jordan Spieth.

    When the smoke had cleared, Rose was all alone at the top at 6-under-par 65, after sinking what appeared to be a total of 500 feet of putts. The Englishman made them from everywhere, and three birdies at the end gave him a one-up lead over Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele, Louis Oosthuizen and Aaron Wise. To put Rose's round in perspective, he hit only seven fairways, then went on to hit just nine greens in regulation. 

    Among the others, Rory McIlroy is at 3 under, Brooks Koepka at 2 under, Tiger at 1 under and Phil Mickelson at 1 over 72. The 72 shooters are tied for 58th and go all the way down to 76th. There are 21 players tied for 77th.   

    Gator Billy Horschel and Seminole Daniel Berger are both in the group who shot 2-over 73. Rory Sabbatini shot 72 even with an ace on a shot that took two bounces and slammed off the pin and into the hole.  

    The course played easier on the first seven holes, with the players struggling to make birdies and keep from making bogeys and worse over the final 11. In many cases, it didn't work. The smaller greens proved to be trouble for most, with a great many seemingly good shots taking unwelcome bounces and winding up in bunkers or heavy rough around the greens, making it difficult to get it up and down. 

    The players switch early and late starting times today and it promises to be another long afternoon.