With darkness closing in during the last minutes of daylight at the U.S. Open sectional qualifier in Columbus, PGA Tour rookie Luke Guthrie stood over a five-footer for birdie on the third playoff hole — more important, a putt to clinch his place in his first major next week at Merion. And, in it went.
In a playoff that started with eleven other Tour pros who shot eight-under gunning for the seven remaining spots, Guthrie secured the 15th and final one on the third extra hole, the par-4 10th at The Lakes Golf & Country Club.
First of all, if you missed my post last night on the third-round highlights, check it out.
If you’re a regular reader, then you’ve heard me say this many times: Don’t underestimate the underdog. Of course I’m referring to Tiger Woods. Well, kind of. He’s obviously won four times at the Memorial Tournament, but that was before The Scandal. Woods is paired with Rickie Fowler, who snagged his first win at Quail Hollow last month, and ever since, he’s been on cruise control. Heading into the final round, of the two, Fowler was the favorite (this was before he started birdie-bogey-double-bogey-bogey. Weird, huh?
Spencer Levin doesn’t need to hear any lectures on the health risks when it comes to smoking cigarettes — Marlboro Reds, to be precise — and he’s well aware it strays from the squeaky-clean image of the PGA Tour brand. He’s not just a one or two smoke a round kind of guy, either. A pack would be more a closer estimate.
Judge him if you’d like (and I hate to break it to you, but a fair share of players use chewing tobacco — probably roughly 1/4 to 1/3), but as he reminded the media after shooting a three-under 69, matching Rickie Fowler and Vijay Singh for low round on Saturday: It’s legal and there are worse things he could be doing.
Tiger Woods minimized mistakes in the difficult conditions at Muirfield Village, with the temperature dropping to the 50s, combined with the gusting wind, not to mention he was feeling under the weather, which makes his three-under 69 even more commendable. At the halfway point of the Memorial, Tiger, along with Spencer Levin and Scott Stallings, trail Rory Sabbatini by a shot.
Rory Sabbatini and his caddie Mick Doran didn’t exactly get off to an ideal start in the second round at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Before Sabbatini even hit his first tee shot, he was already over par for the day because he received a two-shot penalty for missing his 11:35am tee time at Kapalua by two minutes.
The first tee already was probably going to be a tad awkward with Sabbatini and Sean O’Hair paired together for the first time since their near on-course brawl during the second round of the Zurich Classic last April — the two have mended things, but I doubt they play practice rounds together. (Robert Garrigus had a pretty funny tweet. So did Brian Gay’s caddie Kip Henley. This one made me chuckle, as well.)
What Will Tiger Do? Good question. Who knows, but that’s the foremost matter on everyone’s minds, including his fellow competitors, at Firestone, where the first round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational has kicked off.
Rory Sabbatini has pulled out of next week’s Memorial Tournament. Yep, he’s “withdrawn.” As you may recall, there’s been quite a bit of chatter that Sabbatini was facing a 30-day suspension from the PGA Tour for his inappropriate on-course behavior. And since the PGA Tour does not discuss or announce disciplinary matters, we’d be left to draw our own conclusions when Sabbatini skipped an event.
After shooting 82 at TPC Four Seasons to miss the cut at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, Sabbatini denied speculation of a potential suspension, according to the Fort-Worth Star Telegram.
Despite reports to the contrary, the profanity-laced argument between Sean O’Hair and Rory Sabbatini at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans two weeks ago did not concern slow play.
“I think I wish I would have handled it better,” O’Hair told a group of reporters following the second round of The Players Championship. “I’m not going to go into details, but I was defending myself and it wasn’t about pace of play. We waited on every shot for two days. That was not part of the issue.”