Posts

Bryson DeChambeau wins Memorial

Bryson DeChambeau wins Memorial with birdie on second extra hole

DUBLIN, Ohio — For the fourth straight year, Bryson DeChambeau leaves Ohio feeling like a winner.

This time he had a trophy to show for it, and a handshake with Jack Nicklaus to remember.

DeChambeau finally made it easy on himself the third time playing the 18th hole at the Muirfield Village on Sunday, rolling in a 12-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole to beat Byeong Hun An and win the Memorial.

“I can’t believe I did it,” said DeChambeau, a winner for the second time on the PGA Tour.

He had played the Memorial only once before, though the 24-year-old Californian has been a regular in central Ohio. He has made it through the 36-hole U.S. Open qualifier each of the last three years, all in the Columbus area.

This was far more rewarding.

DeChambeau watched his putt disappear and raised both arms, pumping them seven times as he yelled above the cheers of fans. Many of them lingered at the 18th green in expectation that this might be the day Tiger Woods returned to winning.

It wasn’t.

Woods was never a serious factor, especially after missing a three-foot par putt on the 10th hole and hitting another tee shot into someone’s backyard on the 13th hole. One of his best weeks hitting the ball ended with an even-par 72 and a six-way tie for 23rd.

The finish was no less entertaining.

DeChambeau went from a two-shot deficit at the turn to a one-shot lead after No. 12, and he kept the lead the rest of the way until a three-putt bogey on the 18th hole from about 55 feet for a 1-under 71. That tied with An, who had closed with a 69 in the group ahead and was the first to reach 15-under 273.

Kyle Stanley joined them in the playoff. He hit into the water on the par-3 12th to fall five shots behind with six holes to play, only to run off four straight birdies, capping the big run with a 30-foot putt on the 17th to tie DeChambeau.

Just his luck, Stanley hit a tree on the right elbow of the dogleg at No. 18, and it shot the ball across the fairway and nearly into a creek, except the ankle-deep rough was thick enough to slow it. Even so, he could only advance the ball 100 yards and made bogey for a 70.

In the playoff, his tee shot was enough to the right that the ball was well above his feet in thick grass. Stanley choked up and took a swing, but the ball squirted out about 30 yards to the right, leading to another bogey, and he was quickly eliminated.

“A couple bad breaks on 18,” Stanley said. “I mean, in the playoff, if I knock that ball 2-3 feet right of where it was, I would have had a shot. But after Hole 12 my chances were looking pretty slim, so to come back and make some birdies coming in … it’s a bit of a sour finish, but proud of the way I hung in there.”

An took some of the pressure off DeChambeau on the second playoff hole, also on No. 18, when he yanked his approach into the gallery. He played a marvelous flop shot out of deep rough to a couple of feet for a certain par, only for DeChambeau to hit his approach 12 feet behind the hole and make the birdie.

“I finally got it right the third time,” DeChambeau said. “It took me a little bit.”

Patrick Cantlay also had a chance Sunday, leading by two shots going to the back nine. But he didn’t make a birdie over his last 10 holes, and he fell back when he went bunker-to-bunker on the 17th and made bogey to fall two strokes behind. Cantlay narrowly missed a 25-foot birdie putt on the final hole, shot 71 and finished fourth. Peter Uihlein (66) was alone in fifth.

Joaquin Niemann, the 19-year-old from Chile, birdied the 18th hole to tie for sixth. That was enough for him to earn special temporary membership on the PGA Tour, meaning he can get unlimited sponsor exemptions.

Justin Thomas shot 68 and tied for eighth in his debut at No. 1 in the world. He will keep that ranking going into the U.S. Open.

Woods started five shots behind. He pulled to within three shots with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 fifth hole, but he didn’t make another birdie until he had fallen seven shots behind and only had eight holes in front of him.

Woods was second to last in the key putting statistic among the 73 players who went all four rounds.

“If I just putt normally, I probably would be right there with those guys and up there in the last couple of groups,” Woods said. “If I just keep building on this, with how I’m hitting it right now, I’m in good shape for two weeks from now.”

The next stop for Woods is the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills.

DeChambeau will be there, too, his confidence higher than ever. He first played the Memorial in 2016 and was coming off four straight missed cuts. He tied for 38th that week, a small victory, but realized his game wasn’t good enough.

Now, he has PGA Tour titles in consecutive seasons. And his victory moved him to No. 8 in the Ryder Cup standings.

SOURCE: ESPN

Joaquin Niemann, Kyle Stanley tied for Memorial lead after Round 2

DUBLIN, Ohio — Joaquin Niemann could figure out where Tiger Woods was on the golf course from the mass of people following him a few groups ahead, and he had a pretty good idea what he was doing from all the noise, at least before Woods put a putter in his hands.

“There was so many people,” Niemann said.

The few who stuck behind for the 19-year-old Chilean saw another good show at the Memorial Tournament.

In his fifth start as a pro, Niemann finished with two birdies over his last three holes for a 4-under 68 and a share of the lead with Kyle Stanley, who had a 66. He finished with an 8-foot birdie on the 18th hole.

Woods shot a 67 and was six shots behind with nearly two dozen players in front of him.

Stanley, who won the Quicken Loans National last summer, was atop the leaderboard for much of the day and was starting to pull away until a poor tee shot at No. 6 led to bogey. He finished with a par save from just off the ninth green and reached 11-under 133.

On the other side of the course was Niemann, the No. 1 amateur in the world and Latin American Amateur champion who wanted to play the Masters before turning pro. He looks his age when his braces shine every time he smiles. He plays beyond his years.

Already with a pair of top-10s on the PGA Tour, Niemann now finds himself in the last group going into the weekend at the tournament Jack Nicklaus founded, and he doesn’t appear to be the least bit nervous about being there.

“It feels really nice to be on top of the leaderboard,” he said. “It does feel really nice for tomorrow.”

Byeong Hun An had a 67 and was two shots behind.

Among those three off the lead were Hideki Matsuyama (71), who earned his first PGA Tour title at the Memorial three years ago, and Jason Day, a former world No. 1 who is a member at Muirfield Village and has never come close to winning. Perhaps this is the year. Day had never been within five shots of the lead going into the weekend at the Memorial, and he’s not sure why.

“I think I just [stunk] on it for a long time,” Day said. “I don’t think there was anything, any reason why. I just didn’t really play well. But I’m hopeful I can change that because I feel different this year.

“I want to play well in front of my family,” he said. “Family and friends come out and I want them to be yelling in the crowd when I’m in contention.”

Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose each had a 66 and were in the group at 7-under 137, while Dustin Johnson was among those at 138, even though he has played the par 5s in just 1 under for the week.

Johnson and Rose each have a chance to get to No. 1 in the world. Justin Thomas, in his debut at No. 1, overcame a pair of early bogeys for a 69 and was at 3 under.

Rory McIlroy made bogeys on both par 5s on the front nine as he tried to finish strong. He had to settle for a 70 and made the cut on the number. That was still better than Jordan Spieth, who finished bogey-bogey for a 72 and missed the cut by three shots.

Since his closing 64 at the Masters, Spieth has finished at least 12 shots behind the winner in his three tournaments and missed the cut in his final event before heading to Shinnecock Hills for the U.S. Open.

SOURCE: ESPN

Jason Dufner Erases 4-Stroke Deficit, Wins At Memorial

Jason Dufner erases 4-stroke deficit, wins at Memorial

DUBLIN, Ohio — Jason Dufner never lost sight of the big picture even after losing a big lead. It paid off when he made a 30-foot par putt on the final hole that wrapped up his victory in the Memorial.

Dufner lost a five-shot lead Saturday. He started Sunday four shots behind. And then he kept his composure through two rain delays and closed with a 4-under 68 to get that handshake with host Jack Nicklaus.

Four players had at least a share of the lead in a final round in which seven players were in the hunt. Dufner saved his best golf for the back nine. Not only did he hit every green until the 18th, all but one of his birdie chances were from 12 feet or in.

SOURCE: ESPN

 

Summerhays Takes Advantage Of Dufner Collapse At Memorial

Summerhays takes advantage of Dufner collapse at Memorial

 

Dufner missed the second green to the left from the rough and made bogey. He missed a 6-foot par putt on the third, then hit into the right bunker on the par-3 4th and made another bogey. And then he three-putted the par-5 fifth for a fourth straight bogey.

Dufner was still tied for the lead when his wedge on the par-5 11th spun back down the green and into the water, leading to double bogey. It was a three-shot swing when Summerhays made birdie, and Dufner never caught up.

He had said his breathing exercises over putting didn’t mean he would always have good days, and this was a bad one. Dufner had a pair of three-putts, and he twice missed birdie putts from 6 feet. He capped off his day by pulling his tee shot into the water and making another bogey.

“The tournament is not over,” Dufner said. “It will be over tomorrow.”

“Today was pretty pathetic on all accounts, so have to play better tomorrow,” he said.

 At least he was still in the game, along with plenty of company.

Summerhays was at 13-under 203. Matt Kuchar, who won the Memorial four years ago, ran off three straight birdies on the back nine and shot a 67. That put him in the final group with Summerhays as Kuchar tries to end three years and 82 starts without a victory on the PGA Tour.

“I’m excited to have another chance here,” Kuchar said. “It looked like after 36 holes that none of us were going to have a chance at it.”

Bubba Watson overcame a heckler on the 18th hole with one last birdie for a 68. He was four shots behind along with Justin Thomas (69) and Dufner. Rickie Fowler (72) salvaged an up-and-down day and was five behind.

Watson turned and acknowledged the heckled after his birdie putt.

“Obviously, not a Bubba Watson fan,” he said. “It started about 50 yards short of the green. He kept going. I’m taking a guess, he wasn’t drinking water like I was all day. But it’s one of those things.”

This is a rare chance for Watson, the two-time Masters champion who hasn’t been a factor all year. He has gone 14 months without finishing in the top 10 at a PGA Tour event with a full field.

But even for Watson, it all started with Dufner’s bad day.

Dufner missed the second green to the left from the rough and made bogey. He missed a 6-foot par putt on the third, then hit into the right bunker on the par-3 4th and made another bogey. And then he three-putted the par-5 fifth for a fourth straight bogey.

Dufner was still tied for the lead when his wedge on the par-5 11th spun back down the green and into the water, leading to double bogey. It was a three-shot swing when Summerhays made birdie, and Dufner never caught up.

He had said his breathing exercises over putting didn’t mean he would always have good days, and this was a bad one. Dufner had a pair of three-putts, and he twice missed birdie putts from 6 feet. He capped off his day by pulling his tee shot into the water and making another bogey.

“The tournament is not over,” Dufner said. “It will be over tomorrow.”

Summerhays wasn’t thinking about cutting into the lead when he started. He wasn’t thinking much about anything except the shot at hand, and he kept hitting good ones in the midst of Dufner’s streak of bogeys.

“A train wreck can happen at any moment,” Summerhays said. “And that’s why it’s such a great golf course because it does test everything. Legitimately from the first hole to the 18th hole, there’s a double bogey somewhere in there.”

Jordan Spieth knows the feeling. He was right in the mix until catching a downhill like in the bunker left of the par-3 eighth. He tried to play a perfect shot and barely got it out, then chipped down to 5 feet and missed the putt, making double bogey. Spieth started the back nine with two straight birdies only to follow with two straight bogeys. It added to a 71, and he was six shots behind.

The biggest surprise this week at Muirfield Village has been the weather — sunshine for three straight days, which has made the course fast and opened up more possibilities of little mistakes turning into big numbers.

Storms have been in the forecast for Sunday, though not early enough for the PGA Tour to move up the tee times. Another dry day, and anything can happen.

The last three winners of the Memorial had never won on the PGA Tour, and Summerhays fits that mold. The 33-year-old from Utah is in his seventh year.

“I really don’t have any goals tomorrow besides give all my efforts into each shot,” Summerhays said. “And I feel like I did that today.”

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

SOURCE: AP

 

 

 

Jason Dufner Has Another 65, Opens Big Lead At Memorial

Spieth’s Strong Finish Puts Him In The Mix At Memorial