In The Rough -June

The Greenbrier Classic - Overton leads after bogey-free round

Jeff Overton shoots a season best 8-under 62 to lead by four strokes over Boo Weekley heading into the weekend at the 2010 Greenbrier Classic

Weekley hit 17 greens in regulation and had seven birdies during a bogey-free morning round for a two-day total of 10-under.

"I'm excited to play again," Weekley said. "Feels like I can actually come out and compete and don't have to take a bunch of [pain relievers] or nothing where I can play."

The Greenbrier's policy of jackets required for its finer restaurants and $80 million underground casino might not suit Weekley's folksy lifestyle, but the Southerner admits feeling at home among the local fans, who consider him one of their own.

Weekley remembers fans rallying behind him when he played in several Nationwide Tour events in Bridgeport about three hours to the north, although he feels West Virginia owes him one after he lost in a playoff in 2006.

"It would be nice if my stars line up," he said.

The avid fisherman and hunter no longer packs the tackle box along with his clubs. Trout-stocked Howard's Creek runs throughout The Greenbrier, including in front of the first and 18th tees, but Weekley isn't giving in to the temptation.

"I put all my stuff up when I come to tournaments now," Weekley said. "I just mostly focus on golf and do my job and be done with it."

Weekley couldn't focus much after tearing a labrum in his left shoulder last year at the TPC Sawgrass. He stopped playing for more than a month and was left with a limited range of motion.

"It's been kind of aggravated like a thorn in me," he said. "Just feel like you can't take it back some days and some days don't feel like I can come through the ball."

Weekley was a member of the U.S. Ryder Cup team that beat Europe in 2008 but was ranked No. 172 in the world this week with only three top 10s in the last two years. His only two tour wins were at the 2007 and 2008 Heritage.

Shot of the Day - Jason Bohn chips in for an eagle at the Par-5 17th hole at TPC Deere Run. Courtesy of AP, ESPN, and PlayonGolf.com
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Round 4: Louis Oosthuizen Captures British Opens

To win an Open championship is special," Oosthuizen said. "But to win it at St. Andrews ... it's something you dream about."

The timing could not have been better -- one week after South Africa concluded a wildly popular World Cup, and the day Nelson Mandela celebrated his 92nd birthday.

"It felt a bit special, really," he said. "When I walked down 18, I was thinking about his birthday."

Shot of the Day - Jason Bohn chips in for an eagle at the Par-5 17th hole at TPC Deere Run. Courtesy of AP, ESPN, and PlayonGolf.com
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Matt Bettencourt wins at the 2010 Reno-Tahoe Open

Shot of the Day - Jason Bohn chips in for an eagle at the Par-5 17th hole at TPC Deere Run. Courtesy of AP, ESPN, and PlayonGolf.com
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Round 3: British Open

Louis Oosthuizen didn't budge Saturday, shooting a 69 to lead by four at St. Andrews.

Oosthuizen opened with a nervous bogey, then settled down quickly on another windswept afternoon for a 3-under 69 that gave him a four-shot lead over Casey and a chance to become the first player in 46 years to win his first major at the home of golf.

"I don't think anyone was thinking I was going to be up there," Oosthuizen said. "You've heard yourself, no one can actually say my surname, so they don't even know who I am out there. It's great being up there. I just want to enjoy everything about it. I loved it out there. It was great fun for me. And hopefully, tomorrow will be the same."

"The Open at St. Andrews would be something special," Oosthuizen said. "It's one of those things you dream of."

Americans have won six of the last eight Opens at St. Andrews. Dustin Johnson birdied his last two holes for a 69 and was nine shots behind.

Tiger Woods, who won the last two times at St. Andrews by a combined 13 shots, has never been within four shots of the lead all week, and he wasn't even close Saturday. He had four long eagle putts -- only one of them on a par 5 -- and three-putted for par on three of them to shoot 73. He was 12 shots behind, sure to match his longest start to the season without a victory in his seventh tournament.

"I'm playing better than my position," said Woods, who was tied for 18th. "I certainly have had a lot more putts on the greens that I ever have, and that's something that has basically kept me out of being in the final few groups."

Phil Mickelson, who had a chance at the start of the week to go to No. 1 in the world, was another shot behind. Whatever momentum he had was lost with a 5-iron that he hooked out-of-bounds for a double bogey on No. 16 for a 70.

Paul Casey ran off three birdies in a four-hole stretch early in his round, and he got as close as one-shot with a two-putt birdie on the ninth. But he had to settle for nothing better than par on the back nine, missing a 5-foot birdie on the 18th.

"I'm loving the fact I'm playing absolutely great golf and I'm four shots being Louis," Casey said.

"I'm having a great time, and I'm going to go out there tomorrow and enjoy myself and have a good attitude," Casey said. "I know what this golf course can do. It can give you some great moments, and it can give you some horrible ones."

Shot of the Day - Jason Bohn chips in for an eagle at the Par-5 17th hole at TPC Deere Run. Courtesy of AP, ESPN, and PlayonGolf.com
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2010 Tournament Winners and Rankings

Official World Golf Ranking

Tiger Woods (1)
Phil Mickelson (2)
Lee Westwood (3)
Steve Stricker (4)
Jim Furyk (5)
Ernie Els (6)
Luke Donald (7)
Ian Poulter (8)
Rory McIlroy (9)
Paul Casey (10)

Player Event(s) won Tournament
Geoff Ogilvy 1 SBS Championship
Ryan Palmer 1 Sony Open in Hawaii
Bill Haas 1 Bob Hope Classic
Ben Crane 1 Farmers Insurance Open
Steve Stricker 1 Northern Trust Openv Dustin Johnson 1 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
Ian Poulter 1 World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship
Hunter Mahan 1 Waste Management Phoenix Open
Camilo Villegas 1 The Honda Classic
Ernie Els 2 World Golf Championships-CA Championship, Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard
Jim Furyk 2 Transitions Championship, Verizon Heritage
Phil Mickelson 1 Masters Tournament
Jason Bohn 1 Zurich Classic of New Orleans
Rory McIlory 1 Quail Hollow Championship
Tim Clark 1 THE PLAYERS Championship
Adam Scott 1 Valero Texas Open
Jason Day 1 HP Byron Nelson Championship
Zach Johnson 1 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial
Justin Rose 2 the Memorial Tournament presented by Morgan Stanley, AT&T National
Lee Westwood 1 St. Jude Classic presented by Smith & Nephew
Graeme McDowell 1 U.S. Open Championship
Bubba Watson 1 Travelers Championship
Steve Stricker 1 John Deere Classic

Shot of the Day - Jason Bohn chips in for an eagle at the Par-5 17th hole at TPC Deere Run. Courtesy of AP, ESPN, and PlayonGolf.com
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New Putter For Tiger

Tiger Woods has a new putter in his bag, for the first time since the 1999 GTE Byron Nelson Championship.

Woods said he made the decision because he struggles on slower greens like the relatively flat putting surfaces at St. Andrews. The greens are large, too, so lag putting will be key and having a comfort zone with the speed is essential.

"It's one of those things where I've always struggled on slower greens," Woods said. "I've always putted well on faster greens. This putter does come off faster with the new groove technology. It rolls the ball better and rolls it faster.

"So these greens, I've had to make very little adjustment in how hard I'm hitting it compared to if I had my older putter. That's something Stevie (Williams) and I have been talking about over the years together, is what can I do on slower greens? I always seem to struggle on them and can't wait to get to the fastest greens that we play on TOUR."

Woods stands 45th in putting average and 96th in putts per round on TOUR this year. He ranks 141st in putts of 25 feet and over, 180th on putts from 15-25 feet and 116th on putts from 5-15 feet.

"I've always been tempted to change my putter on slower greens, and ... I've always struggled when greens are really slow," Woods said. "Even from when I was a junior golfer, I always feel more comfortable when the greens get quick.

"Some of my best putting rounds were when the greens were running at 14 or something like that on the Stimp like at Memorial. I feel so comfortable on those type of greens."

Shot of the Day - Jason Bohn chips in for an eagle at the Par-5 17th hole at TPC Deere Run. Courtesy of AP, ESPN, and PlayonGolf.com
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RD 3 TPC JOHN DEERE CLASSIC

Steve Stricker started his final day with a six-shot lead and quickly jumped to seven with a 7-foot birdie putt on the first hole.

Stricker led by seven strokes with 17 holes to play. With five holes to go, the lead was down to just two. But he maintained that margin the rest of the way Sunday and won the tournament for the second straight year, closing with a 1-under par 70 that was just enough to beat Paul Goydos.

"It's a position you want to be in, with a big lead, but you know you have everything to lose," Stricker said. "This is the exactly the same way I felt at Northern Trust. It was difficult. It's a hard round to play."

"You don't want to give shots away and then you end up playing a little safer than you normally do and it leads to tougher birdie putts," Stricker said. "Then they creep in closer because they were playing some good golf."

Paul Goydos, who dazzled the golf world with his 59 in the opening round, shot a solid 66 but still fell short of dethroning Stricker, who won for the ninth time in his career.

Driving into the trees right of the fairway for the second straight day, Stricker punched out to 91 yards, to sand wedge a six footer

"I told myself you can make this and you need to make this," he said. "I look back at some of the big putts that I've made and there's nothing to be scared of and I rolled it in. So that was a big putt. To go into the last hole with two shots instead of one was huge." Paul Goydos birdied 17 to stay two behind, but his last hope ended when he hit into the water on 18. Stricker bogeyed the hole after laying up and hitting into the left rough, but it didn't matter -- he was a champion again.

Jason Bohn chips in for an eagle at the Par-5 17th hole at TPC Deere Run.

"Strick was hard to catch," Goydos said. "I tried and kept pushing and chipping and grinding and biting at him and doing what I could. But in the end, the putt he made on 17 was a world-class putt. That's what top five players do, that's what Ryder Cup players do."

Shot of the Day - Jason Bohn chips in for an eagle at the Par-5 17th hole at TPC Deere Run. Courtesy of AP, ESPN, and PlayonGolf.com
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RD 3 TPC JOHN DEERE CLASSIC

Steve Stricker pulling away from the field with a 9-under 62 for six-shot lead heading into the final round.

27 Birdies, 25 pars... "If I knew, I would bottle this," Stricker said. "I don't know what's going on. It's never easy going out there," Stricker said. "It wasn't easy to start the round today. Coming to the course I felt like I'd never been in this position. I was nervous. I didn't feel like doing anything. I just wanted to get out there and starting playing."

Stricker's mastery of the TPC Deere Run course left at 25-under 188 for the tournament, the best 54-hole score in PGA TOUR history. With a 65 Sunday, he'd break the 72-hole record of 254. Stricker broke the 54-hole record of 189.

So dominant was Stricker that Jeff Maggert shot a 63 and lost ground. Paul Goydos, golf's latest Mr. 59 after a magical round on Thursday, played well enough to keep pace in most tournaments, just not this one.

"These three rounds are probably my best three rounds put together anywhere, for sure," said Stricker, who's No. 4 in the world rankings. "But that said, the last five years have been good. I don't believe that it's happened at times, but then again, I always felt like I had something in me that I could perform at a high level."

he and Goydos matched each other shot-for-shot through nine -- three birdies and five pars. A tense duel of accurate shot-making and crisp putting was going to come down to who faltered first.

It turned out to be Goydos, who missed an 8-foot birdie putt on No. 10. Stricker then birdied four of the next five holes, including a 31-footer on No. 12, to distance himself.

Former PGA Champion Shaun Micheel also shot a 63 -- and found himself 10 strokes off the lead. Rocco Mediate made a hole-in-one and an eagle en route to a 64 but trailed by 14. Matt Jones wriggled into fourth place with a 66 that left him 16 under.

"Stricker's nine in front of me, so you'd have to have something miraculous happened to him," Jones said. "That's not going to happen the way he's playing, so my goal now is to play for second.

Stricker remained wary. He had a six-stroke lead on the final day of the Northern Trust Open earlier this year and ended up winning by two.

"This course yields low scores, so you gotta be cautious that somebody can come from behind and post a low one and catch you," he said. "So that's going to be my mindset -- play my own game and try to make as many birdies as I can."

"They would hold anything you threw in there," Ken Perry said of the greens. "It's definitely a birdie fest out there right now."

On 18, Stricker drove into a stand of trees and punched out into the fairway, his ball landing in a divot, 100 yards from the pin. He had left the course with a sour feeling Friday after a missing a 2-foot par putt on 18 and was staring at another disappointing finish.

His wedge stopped 7 inches from the hole,he tapped-in for par.

"You never want to end with a bogey," he said. "After I hit my poor drive, I played the hole smart. I just wanted to give myself 10 feet or under and get a putt at it. It was a good way to finish." Courtesy of AP, ESPN, and PlayonGolf.com
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RD 1 TPC JOHN DEERE CLASSIC

Paul Goydos shot a 59.

"Standing over that last putt, I was probably as nervous as I've ever been over a putt in my life," he said. "The putt would have gone in a thimble. Don't know why. That's just the way it went today."

"I think that is a goal in your career, to break 60," he said. "When I look back and I'm not playing anymore ... I've got 10 holes-in-one. I've got three double-eagles. Fifty-nine is one of those things I'm going to look at and say, 'That's pretty cool.'"

Steve Stricker defending champ shots 60.

You're 12 back before you even step on the first tee. That's tough to swallow," Stricker said. "That's why you've got to get into a little different thought process and get in your own little world and chip away."

"The course is ripe for scoring," he added.

"Today was a nuclear bomb," Goydos said. "I don't know where it came from. If I knew that, I wouldn't be able to touch it."

Perhaps just as amazing, Goydos held only a one-stroke lead Thursday after an incredible opening round at the John Deere Classic.

Defending champion Steve Stricker shot a 60, making for the two lowest scores ever in a single round at a PGA TOUR event. And he just missed tying Goydos on the last hole.

Michael Letzig, Matt Jones, Aaron Baddeley and James Nitties all finished at 7-under 64. Jay Williamson, Daniel Chopra, Scott McCarron and Charley Hoffman had 65s.

Goydos has missed almost has many cuts (seven) as he's made this year (10). He hasn't had a top-40 finish since early May. He led the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in February by a stroke with five holes to play, only to tumble out of contention with an quadruple-bogey 9 on No. 14.

"I've been very good at playing poorly now for the last 10 tournaments or so," Goydos said.

Goydos birdied every hole on the back nine except for No. 15, where he holed a six-foot par putt to keep a sub-60 in sight. He finished off with three birdies, the last one from seven feet to join the most exclusive club in golf.

Goydos raised his putter to a roar from the crowd when his 59th shot fell into the cup and he high-fived his way to the clubhouse.

"It's almost a mythical number in our game," Goydos said. "I've gone from clubbing a ball in the backyard all the way to the moon, and missed all the steps in between."

The 59 was the first on the TOUR since David Duval's memorable final round helped him win the 1999 Bob Hope Classic.

"It's almost a mythical number in our game," Goydos said. "I've gone from clubbing a ball in the backyard all the way to the moon, and missed all the steps in between." At No. 137 in the Official World Golf Ranking, he missed his last two cuts and had not broken par in his last six rounds.

Courtesy of AP, ESPN, and PlayonGolf.com
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Rd 4 Rose Wins at AT & T National

Justin Rose tapped in a short par putt to clinch the victory on the final hole at Aronimink Golf Club. "I knew having not closed out last week, it was important for me, just for myself, to do it today," Rose confided. "I felt like I really did put into play the lessons I learned at Hartford. I played much slower, and I really felt calm. I didn't feel like the nerves got the better of me at all the whole weekend. So [I] was much better at that."

It was the type of confident self-commendation more often enjoyed by the greats of the game than by a player who has just earned his second career PGA Tour title, but Rose is on the precipice of such accolades, if not there already.

"I don't know if it's going to change anything," Rose's wife, Kate, said minutes after the AT&T victory, their 16-month-old toddler, Leo, nipping at her heels. "Maybe I'll have a more confident husband on Sundays, and that's always a good thing. But no, as a family, at home, it won't change anything."

Consider it ironic that a game largely devoid of parity over the past decade because of the prominence of Tiger Woods is being strapped with that delineation once again, with Rose prevailing at the event where the world's No. 1-ranked player once served as host.

"Playing under this sort of pressure when you're playing well is exciting. It's butterflies and it's a buzz. It's something you've really [got] to embrace and enjoy. … But it does seem like a lifetime ago now, I've got to tell you. I feel like I've had two or three careers. I feel like I'm two or three different people, I really do. You know, the young kid, and then the journeyman, and then the working my way back to being the player I wanted to be in the first place."

While the 71-time champion looked utterly human once again at the AT&T National, Rose posted rounds of 69-64-67-70 to claim his second win in the past month and continue his current reign as the game's hottest golfer.

"I think it's a fact," Rose said of that characterization. "I mean, I don't look at it any other way. I played great. It's nice to know it's possible."

Tiger Woods was never a factor as the defending champion of the AT&T National, playing so early that the leaders were just teeing off about the time Woods finished both rounds on the weekend. Even so, Woods didn't hesitate when asked if he made progress.

"I did," he said. "I drove it pretty good this week. That was fun. It's not too often that Stevie is talking me out of hitting driver. I was driving it so good, I just wanted to hit driver every hole. It hasn't been like that in an extremely long time."

Including the majors, it was the first time Woods failed to break par in any round since the 2007 Masters. At Augusta National that year, he went 73-74-72-72 and tied for second.

Courtesy of AP, ESPN, and PlayonGolf.com
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Rd 3 Rose by Four, Tiger 3 Over Par AT & T National

Justin Rose has a four-shot lead entering the final round of the AT&T National, but Aronimink has proven to be major championship-worthy with practically every player in the field saying as much. Carl Pettersson (65) and Charlie Wi (70) going into the final round at tough Aronimink Golf Club. Tiger Woods (+3) 13 back.

Jeff Overton, who also has three straight rounds in the 60s, birdied the 18th hole for a 69 and was at 5-under 205. Ryan Moore (69) and Jason Day of Australia (72) were another shot behind.

"If you're sitting at the top of the leaderboard, it seems like it's yours to lose," Rose said. "That's why a golf tournament is 72 holes. The lead really doesn't mean much until you close it out. I just know that tomorrow I have a great opportunity again, but I'm more excited about the opportunity of putting into play the lessons I've learned in Hartford than actually going out and winning the golf tournament."

"I didn't come into this week thinking, you've just blown a win," Rose said. "I'm just coming into each week seeing it as a new challenge and starting from hole one of the tournament."

"The tougher the golf course, the bigger swing that can be made," said Ryan Moore, who is in a tie for fifth six shots back and one of those chasing Rose. "There are Justin showed yesterday there are some low scores out here. You can shoot 4, 5, 6 under. It is possible."

Rose is playing well with only two bogeys all week, one of which came on the 14th hole Saturday.

"I probably hit the wrong club there and I was in a wicked lie, long left," Rose said. "I tried to actually play safe to get it on the green, couldn't even hit the green and then got an even a worse lie. I managed to chop it to four feet and made the putt. That was probably the only little bit of emotion I showed all day with a fist pump."

"I think it's just about not brushing stuff under the carpet, facing up to it, what did I do well, what did I do badly, how can I do something better going forward?" Rose said. "It's not rocket science. I'm not asking myself Einstein type questions."

Charlie Wi is right there with Pettersson and another shot back at 5 under for the week is Jeff Overton, who is one of only two players to shoot in the 60s all three rounds.

"This is course is not like last week where you have to make tons of birdies," Wi said. "You could be 1 or 2 over, or you could be 2 or 3 under. That changes the momentum, so we'll see how it goes tomorrow. I know 1 or 2 under sounds really easy, but this golf course is definitely not easy."

In his final tournament before the British Open, Tiger Woods again is out of the mix on Sunday. Woods recovered from an atrocious start with an even-par 70, putting him 13 shots behind.

"I got off to just an awful start," Woods said. "I mean, it was probably the worst start you could possible get off to. I kept making mistake after mistake."

"But I turned it around there starting at 8, hit a nice shot in there. From then on I hit some really good shots."

"I actually thought every putt I hit coming it, I hit on my line with the right pace," he said. "That's something I hadn't done yet this week."

"The more tournaments I play this year, I'm getting better," he said. "The feel is getting better. I feel more comfortable with what I'm working on. It's so much more comfortable than it was at the beginning of the year."

Courtesy of AP, ESPN, and PlayonGolf.com
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Rose by One, Tiger Makes Cut - AT & T National

Dried-out greens will make it tough for the field to break par on Saturday at Aronimink. ButJustin Rose played bogey-free Friday and wound up with the best score of the tournament, a 6-under 64, to build a one-shot lead over Jason Day and Charlie Wi. going into the weekend at demanding Aronimink Golf Club.

Tiger Woods, who won this tournament last year at Congressional, hit the ball well for the second straight day. He again got nothing out of it, however, and missed a 30-inch putt late in the round that brought him back to a 70. He was at 3-over 143, which made the cut on the number, although he was never in serious danger of going home early.

"I'm driving it on a string right now, and that's fun," Woods said. "But if you don't make putts, no matter how good you hit the golf ball, you're not going to shoot good scores."

In his first tournament since winning the Memorial by closing with a 66, Rose had a three-shot lead at the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Conn., when it all fell apart. He shot 39 on the back nine for a 75 and tied for ninth.

"I turned up here Monday morning feeling like I was a better player than I was on Sunday, because you learn," he said. "My game doesn't go away overnight. You have an experience like that, and if you ask yourself the right questions and if you deal with it in the right way, you become better."

Courtesy of AP, ESPN, and http://www.majorschampionships.com

Atwal, Ogilvie, Watney, Day lead - AT and T National

Arjun Atwal made seven birdies in his round of 4-under 66 and was in a four-way tie for the lead at Aronimink Golf Club. Tiger Woods threw away five shots over the last five holes and opened with a 3-over 73, making it a challenge Friday just to make the cut.

"It was a very frustrating day on the greens, especially how good I was driving it," Woods said. "I was driving it on a string all day."

Atwal is atop the leaderboard with Nick Watney, Joe Ogilvie and Byron Nelson winner Jason Day on a tough day at Aronimink, where the pin locations made it difficult to attack the flags.

"Four under, I think, is a great score for me or anybody on this golf course," Atwal said. "I'll take it every day."

Tiger Woods, who won the AT&T National last year at Congressional, had his best round of the year off the tee. He hit driver on all but three holes on the tree-lined course with rough nearly as thick as it was in the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He just didn't give himself that many birdie chances, and when he did, he couldn't make any.

His only two birdies were from four feet on the opening hole and a 60-foot putt from the back of the green on the par-3 fifth.

Woods was at 1-under and poised to join the crowd toward the top of the leaderboard. Then came a three-putt from 50 feet on the 14th to bring him back to even par. Then, he really unraveled.

"I keep hitting it like this, I'll be fine," Woods said. "The putts will start going in. It felt good to drive it on a string again."

After laying up perfectly from the rough on the par-5 16th, he had 82 yards to a front pin. His swing was so bad that Woods flung the wedge toward his bag and started walking as it flared to the right and into the bunker. He made bogey on the easiest hole on the course.

Courtesy of AP, ESPN, and http://www.majorschampionships.com

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