Posts tagged with Golf

Gary Woodland second-round leader of OHL Classic

Former University of Kansas golfer Gary Woodland is the leader in the clubhouse after firing a 65 in Friday's second round of the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, to move to 13-under par.

Webb Simpson shot 65-65 to head into the third round in second place, one stroke behind Woodland.

Golf Channel announcers playing up Woodland's recent putting session with instructor Butch Harmon in Las Vegas seems to working for him.

Woodland tees off Saturday at 11:10 a.m. with Simpson and Scott Piercy, who is two strokes off the pace at 11-under.

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Gary Woodland scratches from PGA Championship; Chris Thompson off to good start in Web.com event

Today was a mixed bag on the former Kansas University golfer front.

The day started with bad news, when Gary Woodland scratched from the PGA Championship field at 5:30 a.m. because of a neck injury, three hours before he was scheduled to tee off with Francesco Molinari of Italy and Marc Warren of Scotland. First-alternate Carl Pettersson of Sweden took Woodland’s place in the tournament being played at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.

Elsewhere, former KU All-American Chris Thompson continued his hot week with a strong opening round in the Web.com tournament for which he qualified Monday.

Thompson shot a five-under par 67 in the Price Cutter Charity Championship at Highland Springs Country Club in Springfield, Mo. He finished his round by sinking a 15-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th hole. He earned his spot in the field by firing a 64 in Monday’s qualifier.

Thompson’s consistent ball-striking today enabled him to average 291.5 yards off the tee without a drive of longer than 295 yards.

Thompson, who tees off Friday at 2:25, carded 14 pars, three birdies and an eagle. Thompson is in a 20-way tie for 16th, five strokes behind leader Chase Wright. The winner of the event with a total purse of $675,000 will earn $121,500.

Woodland’s chance to compete for the $1.8-million first-place prize and a career-changing victory died when his neck forced him to withdraw in the morning.

Heading into the week, Woodland ranked 27th on the PGA tour money list with $2,448,415, 31st in the FedEx Cup standings and 37th in the World Golf Rankings.

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Gary Woodland aces makeshift hole at Byron Nelson

Course knowledge, evidently, can be overrated.

For example, former Kansas golfer Gary Woodland never had played the 100-yard No. 14 hole at TPC Four Seasons Resort until today. That's because the hole didn't exist until today. Heavy rains flooded the fairway so badly that tournament officials shortened the par 4 from 400-plus yards to a 100-yard par 3.

Woodland landed his tee shot just to the right of the cup, inches shy distance-wise. The ball rolled behind the pin and sucked back right into the hole.

Woodland was done in Thursday in the opening round by a triple bogey and a double bogey and was in 90th place heading into the day after a 2-over 72. He carded a 6-under 63 today.

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Gary Woodland, on hot streak as golfer, a hot dog in hoops video

I knew that he was a good enough basketball player to earn a scholarship to Div. II Washburn University, but until browsing Youtube for golf videos, I never actually had seen former Kansas golfer Gary Woodland play basketball.

The video of his highlights playing for Shawnee Heights High revealed Woodland as a vocal leader, flashy ballhandler, strong finisher, sharp shooter and a bit of a hot dog.

Still, Woodland obviously made the right decision to transfer to Kansas to play golf after a basketball season that started with him making 1 of 7 shots and scoring three points in a 101-66 loss to Kansas in an exhibition game in Allen Fieldhouse in November, 2002. Woodland was matched up against Kirk Hinrich.

Nearly 13 years later, Woodland was matched up against Rory McIlroy in the final of the Match Play Championship, losing 4&2. Woodland played seven matches in five days and made some incredible shots along the way.

Woodland missed the cut in The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, then bounced back this past weekend by finishing tied for fourth in the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte. He tied with wedge-magician Phil Mickelson and former Kansas State golfer Robert Streb, another of my favorite golfers to watch. Streb's father, Dave Streb, and I were teammates in Little League and on the freshman basketball team at Bishop Kearney High in Rochester, N.Y.

Anyway, Woodland's recent hot streak has vaulted him all the way to 13th on the PGA tour money list ($2,290,497.50), 17th in the Fed Ex Cup standings and 24th in the World Golf Rankings.

A native of Chickasha, Oklahoma, Streb ranks 10th in the Fed Ex Cup standings, 17th on the money list, 73rd in World Golf Rankings and is third with six top 10 finishes, behind Jordan Spieth with eight and Hideki Matsuyama with seven.)

It's nice to see two golfers from the two Big 12 universities in Kansas doing so well. One of these days, that might even translate to more TV coverage of them during tournaments.

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In progress: Rory McIlroy, KU’s Gary Woodland battling for $1.5 million Match Play Championship purse on NBC

Tune your television sets to NBC right now if you want to see a former Kansas University golfer take his shot at bringing down the No. 1-ranked golfer in the world and earning $1.5 million in the process.

Gary Woodland, seeded 52nd in a field of 64 in The Match Play Championship, reached the final by defeating Jimmy Walker in 19 holes in the first round and won his next three matches before reaching the 18th hole. Woodland defeated Danny Willett, three and two, Sunday morning to advance to the final against the world's No. 1-ranked golfer, Rory McIlroy. Woodland trailed McIlroy by four holes at the nine-hole turn.

The event is taking place at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, a course he had said he thought would bring out the best in him.

"It sets up the treeline, just sets up well to my eye," Woodland said earlier this week. "That's the key. It's long, too. The fairways are pretty receptive as well. It widens the fairways for me. If I get driver down there far enough, I can get wedge on the green from about anywhere. I like the setup. The format allows me to play aggressive, which for me is key."

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Another strong day for Gary Woodland and Chris Thompson at Byron Nelson Championship

The Kansas golf program is headed for a weekend of a rare level of exposure, thanks to Gary Woodland and Chris Thompson playing so well in the first two rounds of the Byron Nelson Championship at TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas golf course in Irving, Texas.

Gary Woodland, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour and ranked 19th on this season’s money list, finished his Friday morning round at 3-under par 67, giving him a two-day total of 5-under, which as of early afternoon put him one stroke off the lead shared by five players.

Woodland, 29, carded four birdies and one bogey.

Thompson, playing in a PGA Tour event for the first time at the age of 37, shot 1-under 69 for the second day in a row, putting him at 2-under, which will be good enough for him to make the cut. For most of the day, the projected cut line has shifted between 1-over and even.

Thompson played a bogey-free front side and birdied No. 3, a par 4, by dropping a 24-foot putt. His back nine included a pair of bogeys (Nos. 1) and 16) and a pair of birdies (Nos. 11 and 16). His back-side birdie putts were 16 and 10 feet in length.

Making the cut guarantees Thompson a paycheck, but the key numbers for him won’t be the ones on the check as much as on the leader board. In order to automatically qualify for the next PGA Tour event, Thompson must finish in the top 10.

At the time of his finish, with most players still on the course, Thompson was tied for 22nd.

I can't handle the stress of watching the results on the computer, so I'm hopping in a car and driving to Dallas to catch the final two rounds live.

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Former KU golfer Chris Thompson qualifies PGA Tour event for first time

Former Kansas University golfer Chris Thompson recently had a chance to chip in for a 59 at Lawrence Country Club. His shot barely missed and two putts later he settled for tying his course record of 61.

A 59 would have been quite a thrill, but he accomplished something far more meaningful Tuesday when he qualified for a PGA tour event for the first time.

Thompson completed his round of 69 and birdied the third playoff hole at The Lakes at Castle Hills to become one of four “Monday qualifiers” for the Byron Nelson Championship to be played Thursday through Sunday at TPC Four Seasons Resort in Irving, Texas. Play was suspended at 2:50 p.m. Monday because of bad weather and resumed Tuesday at 8 a.m.

Will Strickler of Dallas led the four qualifiers with a four-under 68 on the 7,356-yard, par-72 course. Thompson and three others shot a 69 and had a playoff for the final three spots. Thompson was the second of three golfers to earn a spot. He did so by carding a birdie on the third playoff hole, after consecutive pars.

Eighty-five golfers made it to the Monday qualifier to compete for the four spots. Thompson is one of two KU alumni and Lawrence Country Club members in the Byron Nelson field. Gary Woodland ranks 19th on the PGA Tour money list with $1,821,386 in earnings this season.

A two-time All-American (1998, 1999) at KU, Thompson has earned a living playing in mini-tour events and in 2007 qualified for the Nationwide Tour, the next step below the PGA Tour and now known as the Web.com Tour. He shot an opening-round 60 in one event but didn’t make enough money to stay on the tour the following season.

“Dog-gone it, that’s great,” Thompson’s college coach, Ross Randall, said early Monday afternoon when he learned the qualifying news. “He’s been so close the last four or five years, just a heartbreak away, just a lipped-out putt from qualifying.”

Known for his accuracy off the tee and reliable short game, Thompson, 37, has been receiving instruction the past few years from Greg LaBelle of the Butch Harmon School of Golf in Las Vegas.

“I hope he plays well,” Randall said. “Actually, I just hope he plays like he can play and the rest will take care of itself.”

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Former KU golfer Chris Thompson qualifies PGA Tour event for first time

Former Kansas University golfer Chris Thompson recently had a chance to chip in for a 59 at Lawrence Country Club. His shot barely missed and two putts later he settled for tying his course record of 61.

A 59 would have been quite a thrill, but he accomplished something far more meaningful Tuesday when he qualified for a PGA tour event for the first time.

Thompson completed his round of 69 and birdied the third playoff hole at The Lakes at Castle Hills to become one of four “Monday qualifiers” for the Byron Nelson Championship to be played Thursday through Sunday at TPC Four Seasons Resort in Irving, Texas. Play was suspended at 2:50 p.m. Monday because of bad weather and resumed Tuesday at 8 a.m.

Will Strickler of Dallas led the four qualifiers with a four-under 68 on the 7,356-yard, par-72 course. Thompson and three others shot a 69 and had a playoff for the final three spots. Thompson was the second of three golfers to earn a spot. He did so by carding a birdie on the third playoff hole, after consecutive pars.

Eighty-five golfers made it to the Monday qualifier to compete for the four spots. Thompson is one of two KU alumni and Lawrence Country Club members in the Byron Nelson field. Gary Woodland ranks 19th on the PGA Tour money list with $1,821,386 in earnings this season.

A two-time All-American (1998, 1999) at KU, Thompson has earned a living playing in mini-tour events and in 2007 qualified for the Nationwide Tour, the next step below the PGA Tour and now known as the Web.com Tour. He shot an opening-round 60 in one event but didn’t make enough money to stay on the tour the following season.

“Dog-gone it, that’s great,” Thompson’s college coach, Ross Randall, said early Monday afternoon when he learned the qualifying news. “He’s been so close the last four or five years, just a heartbreak away, just a lipped-out putt from qualifying.”

Known for his accuracy off the tee and reliable short game, Thompson, 37, has been receiving instruction the past few years from Greg LaBelle of the Butch Harmon School of Golf in Las Vegas.

“I hope he plays well,” Randall said. “Actually, I just hope he plays like he can play and the rest will take care of itself.”

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Gary Woodland starts strong in Masters

Gary Woodland, Kansas University’s only two-time PGA tour winner, came out of the blocks in impressive fashion Thursday at Augusta National, where he’s playing in his third Masters. Woodland carded 14 pars, three birdies and one bogey for a two-under 70.

At 5 p.m., with 24 of the 97 golfers in the field still on the course, Woodland was tied for fifth with seven other golfers, two strokes behind Bill Haas, the leader in the clubhouse, and one stroke behind defending Masters champion Adam Scott, 2012 Masters champ Bubba Watson and 2010 British Open champ Louis Oosthuizen.

Woodland played with Ian Poulter, who shot a 76, and 2009 Masters champion Angel Cabrera, who carded a 78.

Woodland birdied No. 2, a par 5, made bogey on No. 4, a par 3, for a 36 on the front and birdied both par 5 holes on the back side, Nos. 13 and 15.

Talk about avoiding big numbers. Woodland had one 5 and every other hole was a 3 or a 4. He has so much talent all he needs to do to stay near the top of the leader board for four days in any tournament is to remain solid, steady, consistent and he was all that for openers Thursday.

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Gary Woodland’s sudden-death playoff airs at 6:30 p.m.

Tune your television to the Golf Channel at 6:30 p.m. Central time today and you can see the future. Sort of.

Former Kansas University golfer Gary Woodland and Ryan Moore are scheduled to tee off then, which is 7:30 a.m. Monday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. They tied for the lead at 14-under in the CIMB Classic after multiple rain delays. Darkness caused a delay for the sudden-death playoff.

Woodland missed a 10-foot, right-to-left birde putt on the low side on No. 18, the same hole where the playoff will occur. The 580-yard, par-5 hole makes the playoff particularly interesting. Woodland is one of the few players on tour who could reach the hole in two, provided he slams a long tee shot into the fairway. Moore, noted for his excellent wedge play, does not have that sort of length, so a great deal rides on Woodland’s tee shot.

Woodland finished the 2013 strong. The 2014 season already has started because tournaments at this time of year that didn’t used to count in the PGA tour money standings now count toward the next season.

Woodland switched caddies for the new season and how has veteran Tony Navarro, who used to be on Greg Norman’s bag, looping for him.

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