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PGA Golf

PGA News Wire
  • Report: Woods adds BMW Championship to playoff schedule
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, August 14, 2018

    Another sign that Tiger Woods is the healthiest he has been in several years: He keeps committing to playing more future tournaments.

    • The latest addition to the schedule of the 14-time major champion is the BMW Championship, Woods' agent confirmed to GolfChannel.com on Tuesday.

      The tournament will take place Sept. 6-9 at Aronimink in Newton Square, Pa., in the third leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Woods had already announced his plans to play in the first two playoff events -- the Northern Trust and the Dell Technologies Championship.

      Woods has not competed at the BMW since tying for 11th in 2013 when the event was held at Conway Farms in Lake Forest, Ill. The course had played host to the Quicken Loans National in 2010 and 2011.

      Woods' striking revival this year -- including his second-place finish in last weekend's PGA Championship -- has lifted him to 20th in the FedEx Cup standings, automatically qualifying him for each of the first three playoff tournaments. If Woods remains in the top 30 of the rankings after playing the BMW, he would also clinch a spot in the penultimate Tour Championship.

      Aronimink plays host to BMW Championship for the first time, and if the 42-year-old Woods competes in the event, it would add to an increasingly busy schedule for the former world No. 1 golfer who returned to the PGA Tour in 2018 after recovering from his fourth back surgery.

      Playing the BMW would mean Woods would play five tournaments in a six-week stretch, with additional possibilities later next month including the Tour Championship from Sept. 19-23 and a Ryder Cup appearance -- if he gets chosen as a captain's pick -- from Sept. 28-30 at Le Golf National outside Paris.

      --Field Level Media

  • McIlroy may skip first leg of FedExCup Playoffs
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, August 14, 2018

    Rory McIlroy is considering skipping the first leg of the FedExCup Playoffs next week to rest and find his form ahead of the remainder of the playoff events and the Ryder Cup.

    • McIlroy is ranked seventh in the world after finishing 14 strokes behind winner Brooks Koepka at the PGA Championship last week. He said he doesn't traditionally play particularly well at The Northern Trust, which will be held in Paramus, N.J. next week, and may use the time to work on his game.

      "I will do some practice this week and see if I feel ready to go there (New Jersey) and play five out of six weeks leading up to the Ryder Cup," the 29-year-old Northern Irishman said, via the BBC.

      The Ryder Cup will take place in France from Sept. 28-30, with the four-event FedExCup Playoffs concluding the Sunday before.

      McIlroy won the FedExCup in 2016 and is currently 21st in the 2017-18 standings. The top 125 players in the rankings qualify for The Northern Trust, with the top 100 earning a spot in the Deutsche Bank Championship the following week.

      The field is cut to the top 70 players and ties for the BMW Championship and then to the top 30 for the season-ending Tour Championship at Eastlake in Atlanta.

      "The best thing might be to take that first FedExCup week off and come back hopefully in a better place," he said. "Historically the first FedEx playoff event hasn't been my best of the four."

      --Field Level Media

  • Golf Glance
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, August 14, 2018

    PGA TOUR

    • LAST WEEK: PGA Championship (Brooks Koepka)

      THIS WEEK: Wyndham Championship, Aug. 16-19

      Sedgefield Country Club, Greensboro, N.C. (Par 72, 7,127 yards)

      Purse: $6 million (Winner: $1.08 million)

      Defending Champion: Henrik Stenson

      Television: Thursday-Friday: 3-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday 1-2:45 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3-6 p.m. (CBS)

      This is the final tournament before the start of the FedExCup Playoffs, with the top 125 players in the standings qualifying for the first event. All of the players ranked between Nos. 122-135 are in the 156-player field other than Lucas Glover (No. 133). ... Sergio Garcia (No. 131) is playing for the fifth consecutive week as he attempts to qualify for the playoffs. The Spaniard missed the cut at all four majors in 2018 and has failed to reach the weekend in seven of his past 11 worldwide starts. Garcia has dropped to a season-low 25th in the world rankings. Garcia and Bill Haas (No. 150) are among 13 players to have qualified for the playoffs in each season. ... Four players qualified for the playoffs at the Wyndham in 2017: Martin Flores, Rory Sabbatini, Harold Varner III and J.J. Henry. ... Stenson set the tournament scoring record at 258 last year. He is skipping the Nordea Masters in his home country of Sweden to defend his title. ... The late Jarrod Lyle, who passed away last week after a lengthy battle with leukemia, last competed on Tour at the Wyndham.

      NEXT WEEK: The Northern Trust, Paramus, N.J.

      LPGA TOUR

      LAST WEEK: OFF.

      THIS WEEK: Indy Women in Tech Championship, Aug. 16-19

      Brickyard Crossing Golf Club, Indianapolis (Par 72, 6,456 yards)

      Purse: $2 million (Winner: $300,000)

      Defending Champion: Lexi Thompson

      TV: Thursday-Friday: 12-2:30 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday: 5-7 p.m. (Golf Channel)

      The inaugural event in 2017 was a 54-hole tournament. It has been extended to 72 holes this year. ... Thompson, who did not play in the Women's British Open two weeks ago due to personal reasons, led or shared the lead after all three rounds in 2017. ... Top-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn is in the field. She leads the LPGA Tour in money earned in 2018 ($2.16 million), scoring average (69.44), top-10 finishes (12), birdies (327) and is also leading the Rolex Player of the Year and the Race to the CME Globe standings. ... Thompson leads the Tour with 12 eagles. ... The average age of the winners on Tour this season is 24.45.

      NEXT WEEK: CP Women's Open, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

      Champions Tour

      LAST WEEK: OFF.

      THIS WEEK: DICK's Sporting Goods Open, Aug. 17-19

      En-Joie Golf Club, Endicott, N.Y. (Par 72, 6,974 yards)

      Purse: $2.05 million (Winner: $307,500)

      Defending Champion: Scott McCarron

      TV: Friday: 6-8 p.m. ET (Golf Channel -- tape delay); Saturday-Sunday: 3-5 p.m. (Golf Channel)

      McCarron birdied the final three holes to earn a one-shot victory over Kevin Sutherland last year. ... Sutherland's 59 in the second round of the 2014 event remains the only sub-60 round in Champions history. ... McCarron has four top-five finishes in major tournaments this year and is one of six players in the top 10 of the Charles Schwab Cup in this week's field. ... Miguel Angel Jimenez makes his first start since winning The Senior Open Championship, while Kenny Perry is coming off his victory at the 3M Championship. ... The defending champion of the DICK's Sporting Goods Open, which began in 2008, has never finished in the top 10 the following year. The best finish was Bart Bryant's T14 in 2015. ... Gibby Gilbert (77) and Gibby Gilbert III (52) will become the first father-son tandem to play in the same Champions event. ... Two-time PGA Tour event winner Dudley Hart will make his Champions debut after turning 50 on Aug. 4. Jimenez (2014 Mitsubishi Electric Classic) is the last player to win in his Champions debut.

      NEXT WEEK: Boeing Classic, Sammamish, Wash.

      --Field Level Media

  • Woods' PGA success leads to big ratings for CBS
    By Field Level Media / Monday, August 13, 2018

    Tiger Woods' scintillating 64 on Sunday at the PGA Championship propelled him to a second-place finish in the tournament, but it also sent TV ratings to numbers that haven't been seen in years.

    • CBS Sports announced Monday that the final round captured a 69 percent increase in market share over 2017.

      In television parlance, the round drew an average household metered market rating/share of 6.1/14, according to the network. These were the highest ratings posted since the final round of the 2009 tournament, which saw Y.E. Yang come from behind to beat Woods, according to reports. That is Yang's only victory in a major championship and just one of two on the PGA Tour.

      Woods, 42, finished second in the PGA to Brooks Koepka, who won his third major championship in the last two years.

      Woods finished in sixth place in The Open Championship in July, but his strong turnout also brought increased ratings. NBC said its ratings for The Open were up 38 percent over last year.

      --Field Level Media

  • Furyk won't commit to Tiger making Ryder Cup team ... yet
    By Field Level Media / Monday, August 13, 2018

    Jim Furyk tried to keep the focus Monday on the eight automatic qualifiers for the United States Ryder Cup team following the PGA Championship, but even the captain acknowledged that Tiger Woods "is a story."

    • Brooks Koepka vaulted into first place in the standings with his third major title, and will be joined by Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Webb Simpson at next month's event at Le Golf National in Paris.

      What remains is for Furyk to determine his four captain's picks. He will announce the first three on Sept. 3 after the Dell Technologies Championship, and will fill the last spot on the team on Sept. 9 following the BMW Championship.

      "I'm excited, and I know these eight players are excited as well," Furyk said at Monday's press conference officially announcing the top eight spots. "I've been waiting 18 months to get a touch, to get a feel, for who our eight qualifiers would be, who the eight players would be. That 18 months has flown by in some respects, and it feels like it has taken forever in others.

      "I wanted guys who really enjoy that atmosphere, and these eight guys, when I look at them, they're guys that enjoy that challenge. This eight is exciting for any captain, and I love having this group. They bring a lot to the table."

      As much as Furyk wanted to focus on the top eight, the attention quickly turned to the final four spots. Bryson DeChambeau sits in ninth, followed by Phil Mickelson, who missed the cut at the PGA, and Woods, who climbed nine spots to No. 11 with his second-place finish in St. Louis.

      Prevailing wisdom says Woods has done enough to make the team, although Furyk would not commit to that decision Monday.

      "That's a good question," Furyk said. "He's playing very well. I think there are a lot of folks out there who probably think that he can help us. Really what we wanted to talk about today was the top eight players. I realize Tiger is a story, I realize that he's playing very well and I'm excited to see that."

      Woods, who will be at Le Golf National as a vice captain, has a 13-17-3 record in seven previous Ryder Cup appearances as a player, and is 4-1-2 in singles.

      "I'm not sure that numbers are always that important when I look down the list," Furyk said when asked if Woods' chances of making the team are far greater at No. 11 in the rankings rather than the 20th he was last week. "What is important is how well Tiger has played. Sixth place at the Open Championship, second at the PGA... his game, I think the word he used was 'trending?' His game is trending, so it's great to see him playing well."

      Furyk said there is no defined number of players vying for the captain's picks and that the door is open for players currently not on the radar to put themselves in position during the FedExCup Playoffs, which begin with next week's The Northern Trust in Paramus, N.J.

      "The reason we put this system in place was to identify hot players, identify the players who are playing well right now," Furyk said. "If a guy gets hot and starts playing well, he'll definitely catch the team's eye, he'll definitely catch the vice captain's eye and mine. I would say the door is open in a lot of respects, but we're still looking at this year and a body of work as well."

      Furyk said he was going to give the top eight a few days to "decompress" following the final maje not only who is playing well, but who is a good fit for the team and in pairings for group play.

      Furyk has toured Le Golf National significantly over the past year, and believes it's a course that suits a certain style of player - although he declined to specify what type of player that is. He also straddled the fence when asked whether he will be looking for more veteran presences like Woods, Mickelson and Matt Kuchar, who is currently 13th in the standings, or more youth to cultivate with Thomas being the only Ryder Cup rookie currently on the squad.

      Not far behind DeChambeau, who missed the cut at the PGA, is reigning Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele (12th) and Tony Finau (15th). Both played the first two rounds of the PGA with Furyk, and rallied to make the cut after poor starts.

      "We are investing in the future and we are looking ahead. But we're trying to identify the four players that fit with these eight," Furyk said. "So when I look at my captain's picks, I'll be looking at guys that have had a great body of work this year, guys that are playing well and maybe hot players at the time.

      "I'm looking at pairings, who fits in well with these eight players. I'm also looking at the golf course. Le Golf National is a great golf course in my opinion, but it suits a certain style of player. It's my job, I think, to round this team out the best possible way."

      The eight European automatic Ryder Cup qualifiers won't be known until Sept. 2. England's Ian Poulter jumped from 12th place to eighth place in the standings Sunday after tying for 31st in the PGA. England's Paul Casey, who missed the cut in the PGA, dropped to ninth place on the Euro points list.

      The U.S. team won the most recent Ryder Cup series 17-11 in 2016 at Hazeltine in Chaska, Minn.

      A look at the eight automatic qualifiers to the U.S. Ryder Cup team, the previous Ryder Cups in which they have appeared and their match record in the competition (wins-losses-halves):

      1. Brooks Koepka: 2016; 3-1-0

      2. Dustin Johnson: 2010, 2012, 2016; 6-5-0

      3. Justin Thomas: no previous Ryder Cup experience

      4. Patrick Reed: 2014, 2016; 6-1-2

      5. Bubba Watson: 2010, 2012, 2014; 3-8-0

      6. Jordan Spieth: 2014, 2016; 4-3-2

      7. Rickie Fowler: 2010, 2014, 2016; 2-4-5

      8. Webb Simpson: 2012, 2014: 2-2-1

      --Field Level Media

  • Koepka rises to No. 2 in world; Tiger 26th
    By Field Level Media / Monday, August 13, 2018

    Brooks Koepka rose two spots to No. 2 in the official world golf rankings on Monday, a day after claiming his third career major title at the 100th PGA Championship.

    • Koepka vaulted past Justin Thomas and England's Justin Rose and now sits behind only Dustin Johnson. Tiger Woods climbed 25 spots with his solo second-place finish to No. 26 in the world. He has moved up 630 spots since the beginning of 2018.

      Spain's Jon Rahm also climbed one spot to No. 5, followed by Italy's Francesco Molinari, Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, Americans Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler and Australia's Jason Day in the Top 10.

      Fellow Australian Adam Scott jumped 31 places to No. 45. He needed a special exemption to get into the PGA and extend his streak to 70 consecutive starts in majors, and was in contention until a bogey on the final hole dropped him into third place. It was Scott's first top-five finish in a PGA Tour event since 2016.

      --Field Level Media

  • Koepka leads U.S. Ryder Cup automatic qualifiers
    By Field Level Media / Monday, August 13, 2018

    Brooks Koepka, fresh off his PGA Championship victory, heads the list of eight golfers who earned automatic qualification for the United States' Ryder Cup team on Sunday.

    • Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Webb Simpson also will be part of the American team that will take on the European squad at Le Golf National outside Paris from Sept. 28-30.

      Tiger Woods greatly enhanced his chances of being one of U.S. captain Jim Furyk's additions to the team by finishing as the PGA Championship runner-up, leaving him 11th in the point standings. He started the weekend in 20th place on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list.

      The others who just missed out on automatic qualification were No. 9 Bryson DeChambeau, No. 10 Phil Mickelson and No. 12 Xander Schauffele. DeChambeau and Mickelson both squandered a chance of moving up in the standings by missing the cut Sunday at Bellerive in St. Louis.

      Furyk will announce his first three captain's picks on Sept. 3 after the Dell Technologies Championship. He will fill the last spot on the team on Sept. 9 following the BMW Championship.

      Woods, designated as one of Furyk's vice captains, said Sunday of the Ryder Cup, "I do want to be on the team -- as a player. I'm going to be there either way. Our captain has some decisions to make after the first couple playoff events. We'll all sit down and give him our input of what we think and who should be on the team and who can contribute to the team. And, you know, hopefully my name will be part of that process."

      Koepka, 28, added the PGA to his recent major-trophy haul that already included the 2017 and 2018 U.S. Open titles.

      Johnson, 34, is ranked No. 1 in the world after posting three victories this year. His lone major title came at the 2016 U.S. Open.

      Thomas, 25, won the PGA Championship last year, and his two titles this year include the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

      Reed, 28, captured the Masters in April for his first career major crown.

      Watson, 39, won the Masters in 2012 and 2014, and he has three victories this year, including the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

      Spieth, 25, added the 2017 Open Championship to his two 2015 major wins, the Masters and the Open Championship.

      Fowler, 29, is still looking for his first major crown. The most recent of his four PGA Tour wins was the 2017 Honda Classic.

      Simpson, 33, was the 2012 U.S. Open champion, and he won the Players Championship in May.

      Woods, 42, won the most recent of his 14 major titles at the 2008 U.S. Open, but he roused his legion of fans by staying in contention to the end Sunday. He owns a career 13-17-3 Ryder Cup record, most recently competing in 2012.

      The eight European automatic Ryder Cup qualifiers won't be known until Sept. 2. England's Ian Poulter jumped from 12th place to eighth place in the standings Sunday after tying for 31st in the PGA. England's Paul Casey, who missed the cut in the PGA, dropped to ninth place on the Euro points list.

      The U.S. team won the most recent Ryder Cup series 17-11 in 2016 at Hazeltine in Chaska, Minn.

      A look at the eight automatic qualifiers to the U.S. Ryder Cup team, the previous Ryder Cups in which they have appeared and their match record in the competition (wins-losses-halves):

      1. Brooks Koepka: 2016; 3-1-0

      2. Dustin Johnson: 2010, 2012, 2016; 6-5-0

      3. Justin Thomas: no previous Ryder Cup experience

      4. Patrick Reed: 2014, 2016; 6-1-2

      5. Bubba Watson: 2010, 2012, 2014; 3-8-0

      6. Jordan Spieth: 2014, 2016; 4-3-2

      7. Rickie Fowler: 2010, 2014, 2016; 2-4-5

      8. Webb Simpson: 2012, 2014: 2-2-1

      --Field Level Media

  • Woods fires stirring 64 to finish second at PGA
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, August 12, 2018

    Tiger Woods did not win that elusive 15th major tournament, but there is no doubt that the golf icon is playing the best he has in years.

    • Although Woods failed to win the PGA Championship on Sunday, he was no failure. Woods fired a 64 in the final round at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis to finish in second place, two strokes behind the victorious Brooks Koepka.

      It was an impressive final 18 holes for Woods, who birdied the 18th hole to finish with 64 -- tying for the best round of the day along with Rafa Cabrera Bello and Tyrrell Hatton. It marked the best round for Woods in the final round of any major tournament in his career.

      "I played hard," Woods told CBS Sports as Koepka was playing the 18th hole. "Bit of a struggle with my game today. I was hanging in there, just grinding it out and trying to make as many birdies as possible. This golf course was giving it up, and I made a little bit of a run."

      For the tournament, Woods shot a 14 under for a four-day score of 266. It was nothing to be ashamed of, to say the least. It took Koepka delivering a PGA Championship 72-hole scoring record of 264 to defeat Woods.

      It took elite golf to prevent Woods, 42, from the Wanamaker Trophy, as the champion and runner-up were the only players with scores of 66 or better in each of the last three rounds.

      Koepka still may not have earned his fourth PGA Tour victory if not for Woods' struggles on the front nine Sunday, where the four-time PGA Championship winner missed all seven fairways on the first nine holes, which helped limit him to just one birdie on his first five par-4 holes on the round.

      "I had a hard time just with my warmup," Woods said afterward. "I was hitting it left, I was hitting it right, and I just had to pick a side. Did I want to miss it way right or did I want to miss it way left?

      "It was a struggle until I found a little bit of something on the back nine. I was just hanging in there with my mind, basically. It kinda got me through."

      What seemed to give him, and the raucous gallery, a spark was Woods' round-turning rescue shot on the ninth hole. After hooking his initial iron shot off the tee, Woods took a drop from a cart path but still found a way to smack a beautiful shot to the middle of the green. When he knocked down the putt for a thrilling birdie to move to 11 under, the crowd exploded.

      The fans in attendance were riveted -- and loud in support of Woods for the remainder of the day.

      "These fans were so positive all week," Woods said after his round. "I can't thank them enough for what they were saying out there, what it meant to me as a player. Just coming back and trying to win a major championship again. I was in contention the last two major championships, and I would have never foreseen that a year ago. I'm just so thankful to be here."

      The birdie on the ninth gave him a 32 on the front nine, which include four birdies and one bogey (on the par-3 sixth hole). Woods carried the momentum and matched his front-nine performance on the back, adding four more birdies and another bogey (on the par-4 14th). His excellent play kept him in contention, and he played the entire back nine within one shot of the lead.

      Only a shoved tee shot right on the par-5 17th hole into a hazard, though Woods ended up parring the hole, essentially removed his last shot at catching Koepka.

      Still, the round was vintage Tiger Woods, who returned to the PGA Tour in 2018 after recovering from his fourth back surgery. It was the second straight major that he finished in the top 10. He tied for sixth at The Open Championship last month.

      Which begs the question: Will the recharged Woods be chosen for the Ryder Cup team that competes next month?

      "I do want to be on the team -- as a player," Woods said. "I'm going to be there either way. Our captain has some decisions to make after the first couple playoff events. We'll all sit down and give him our input of what we think and who should be on the team and who can contribute to the team.

      "And, you know, hopefully my name will be part of that process."

      Woods is not yet in the top eight automatic qualifiers who secured Ryder Cup spots on Sunday, but he can be selected by U.S. captain Jim Furyk and his assistants.

      --Field Level Media

  • Woods takes Moving Day to heart, climbs PGA Championship leaderboard
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, August 11, 2018

    When play was halted at the PGA Championship because of weather on Friday, Tiger Woods was among the contenders with the most holes still remaining in his second round.

    • On Saturday, he took advantage of his extra opportunities.

      Woods birdied his first hole of the day at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, the par-5 eighth, played the rest of the round at even par, then shot a 4-under 66 in Round 3 to end his day at 8-under par through 54 holes, four strokes behind leader Brooks Koepka.

      Koepka, who shot a third-round 66, is two strokes ahead of Australian Adam Scott and three clear of Spaniard Jon Rahm and Americans Rickie Fowler and Gary Woodland.

      Woods is in a group of six golfers at 8 under, along with playing partner Stewart Cink, Australian Jason Day, defending PGA champ Justin Thomas, Ireland's Shane Lowry and South African Charl Schwartzel.

      In all, Woods shot 5-under par over 29 holes on the day.

      "I'm tired," Woods told CBS Sports. "I just need to obviously eat some proper meals tonight. I felt my hydration was good all day. ... I just takes a lot out of you. I played 29 holes in the heat today. It was a lot on not just the body but more so the mind, having to grind it out that hard for that long. ... It's been a long day."

      Woods will tee off Sunday with plenty of work to do, but he certainly took Moving Day to heart with his climb up the leaderboard. Perhaps the most surprising part of Woods' day was the difference in the way he played following each turn.

      The birdie on 8 and subsequent par on 9 gave Woods a 4-under 31 (four birdies, five pars) on the front 9 in Round 2. On the back 9, he also had five pars -- but a pair of bogeys to go with a pair of birdies gave him a 4-under 66 on the round.

      After the field was cut and the golfers went back out on the course, Woods took aim at the 7,300-plus yard course, recording birdies on 1 and 2. After back-to-back pars and a bogey on the par-4 fifth, Woods strung together three more birdies before parring the ninth and hitting the turn at 4-under 31.

      But unlike the up-and-down back 9 in Round 2, Woods was the definition of steady -- nine pars.

      "I hit it good on the back nine today. I just didn't make any (putts)," Woods said of his final nine holes on the day. "I struggled with hitting the putts hard enough on the back nine as the greens were starting to slow up a little bit."

      While Woods certainly will be in contention Sunday for the second straight time in a major, he also knows that he missed opportunities to be even closer to the lead. And no par frustrated Woods more than the one he registered on the par-5 17th, where he went from putting for eagle to a 3-putt par.

      "The adjustment over at 17, I want to make sure I get it to the hole, and I blow it by 4 feet and then miss (the birdie putt coming back)," said Woods, who finished tied for sixth last month at The Open Championship in Scotland. "I've just got to ... make the adjustments better than I did today."

      Ultimately, though, Woods is still in the hunt. And that's what he's focused on.

      "I could have been a little bit closer, but I've got a shot going into tomorrow."

      --Field Level Media

  • Warriors' Curry falls apart on 2nd day of Web.com Tour, finishes last
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, August 11, 2018

    Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry couldn't carry his golfing momentum over to a second day at the Web.com Tour's Ellie Mae Classic, slipping to a 16-over-par 86 and finishing last at 17-over 157 on Friday at TPC Stonebrae in Hayward, Calif.

    • The second-to-last finishers ended at 7 over.

      "As always, it's an amazing opportunity," Curry said after his round, "to be out here to test my game under the ultimate pressure, stressful situations. Today was interesting all the way around. I knew sort of what I had to shoot [to make the cut]. I played the first holes OK and then the wheels fell off on the third hole.

      "I couldn't hit a driver to save my life today, so that's how golf goes. One day you have it, or at least in the amateur world, one day you have it and one day you completely lose it and you have no idea what you're doing over the top of the ball."

      Curry, who made his Web.com Tour debut at this tournament a year ago, shooting 74 in each of his first two rounds and missing the cut at 8 over, missed the cut this year by 21 shots. He opened the tourney with a 71 on Thursday.

      Curry, who maintained his amateur status, finished the front nine with two bogeys and one each of a double bogey (par-4 8th), triple bogey (par-4 7th) and quadruple bogey (par-5 3rd). Curry had birdied all three of those holes in his first round.

      He fared better on the back nine, getting two birdies among two bogeys, a double bogey (par-3 16th) and a triple bogey (par-4 11th).

      "For me particularly, I'm really proud of the first three rounds that I've had in this tournament and I will have a short memory on this if I come back next year," Curry said. "But it's all about continuing to raise awareness for the guys out here on the Web.com Tour, the game of golf in general and take advantage of that opportunity."

      --Field Level Media

  • Play suspended to Saturday at PGA Championship; threesomes for Round 3
    By Field Level Media / Friday, August 10, 2018

    Mother Nature has done what Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis could not on Friday: slow down Tiger Woods.

    • Round 2 of the PGA Championship was suspended due to inclement weather at 3:35 p.m. local time (4:35 p.m. ET). Two hours later, the event announced play was done for the day.

      Another tweet stated players "must be in position and ready to play at 7:00a.m. CDT." When Round 3 tees off Saturday, players will be in threesomes and groups will start on both the first and 10th tees in an effort to make up for the time lost in the delay.

      When the horn sounded suspending play, Woods was the only golfer on the course at 3-under par or better still on the front nine. He is 3 under through seven holes, putting him at 3 under for the tournament, good for a tie for 23rd.

      American Gary Woodland sits alone in first at 10-under 130 through two rounds. Kevin Kisner is one shot back while Brooks Koepka -- who shot a 63 Friday -- is another shot back. South Africa's Charl Schwartzel, who also shot a 63, is tied with Dustin Johnson, Belgian Thomas Pieters and Rickie Fowler at 7 under. Fowler is the only player in the top eight still on the course, playing No. 11 when the horn sounded.

      --Field Level Media

  • Koepka, Schwartzel tie PGA Championship record with 63
    By Field Level Media / Friday, August 10, 2018

    Brooks Koepka and South African Charl Schwartzel tied the PGA Championship record round with 63s on Friday at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis.

    • Koepka's 63, coupled with a first-round 69, put him two shots back of second-round leader Gary Woodland as the morning wave wrapped up in Missouri.

      The 28-year-old missed a 19-foot putt on his 18th hole of the second round that would have given him a round of 62. Only one major round of 62 has ever been recorded.

      "I didn't know. I just was trying to make the thing and I really thought I made it," Koepka said. "I didn't even think of it. I've been so in the zone you don't know where you are or where you're at."

      For only the second time in major championship history, there were a pair of 63s posted on Friday.

      Koepka became the 34th player to card 63 in a major championship, and Schwartzel increased that number with his own 63. Schwartzel was 7-under with two holes to play and also narrowly missed the record 62. After 36 holes, Schwartzel was one shot back of Koepka.

      "In the practice rounds, I thought you've got a good chance of shooting a low score," Schwartzel said. "I was hitting a lot of drivers. If you're hitting it down in the fairway with the way the greens are designed, you can get the ball to about 15 feet on almost every hole. If you do that well, and, obviously, in there you're going to make those putts. But you just feel like you can have lots of chances around here."

      Earlier this year, Tommy Fleetwood posted a 63 in the final round of the 2018 U.S. Open.

      Tom Weiskopf and Jack Nicklaus tied after the first round of the 1980 U.S. Open with scores of 63.

      Koepka was 3-under par playing the back nine to begin Friday. He birdied the first three holes on his back nine in succession and finished with seven birdies in a bogey-free round.

      Koepka required only 25 putts on the round and hit 14 of 18 fairways.

      Schwartzel, 33, recorded eight birdies and one bogey in his round.

      "It's great," he said. "I'm looking forward to playing on the weekend and competing in a major. It doesn't get better than that."

      --Field Level Media

  • Warriors' Curry cards opening-round 71 at Ellie Mae Classic
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, August 9, 2018

    Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry carded a 1-over-par 71 in the opening round of the Web.com Tour's Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae in Hayward, Calif., on Thursday.

    • Curry is tied for 106th in the 156-player field. Adam Long, Seth Reeves and Spaniard Samuel Del Val are tied for the lead at 7 under.

      Curry made his Web.com Tour debut at last year's edition of the Ellie Mae Classic. He shot 74 in each of his first two rounds then on his way to missing the cut at 8 over.

      This year, Curry posted better results, overcoming three bogeys in starting on the back nine with three birdies on his last six holes. Curry also bogeyed the par-3 second.

      "This time, it took me until hole No. 8 or 9 to really just get comfortable, especially on the greens. Again, you can't simulate that pressure standing over 10-foot putts, 5-foot putts, knowing they count, and how many of them for me were for pars early," said Curry. "That was a hard part to adjust to, but once you get in a groove, good things happen."

      Curry's birdies came on 3, 7 and 8, with his best shot of the day coming No. 8, where a 9-iron from 148 yards landed 5 feet short of the hole after ricocheting off the pin.

      "Yeah, there's one of those off the face, hit it flush and it was on line. Then I hear [caddie Jonnie West] in the back whispering under his breath, like, 'Be as good as you look,' " said Curry. "I see it hit -- or I hear the pin rattle and that was a cool moment. I didn't know how close it landed. When I walked up there, literally was an inch away from dunking it. Out here, I don't get many dunks."

      Curry just missed finishing at even par when he failed to convert a putt from 5 feet out for birdie on the ninth to finish his round. Only two former professional athletes, MLB's Ralph Terry and the NHL's Grant Fuhr, have broken par in a round on the Tour.

      "It was fun to be able to hit some decent shots early, and from there turn it into actual scoring, which was good," Curry said.

      Curry was part of a three-man group alongside Web.com Tour winners Martin Trainer (first-round 69) and Cameron Champ (68), who were impressed with his play.

      "His game as a whole was really impressive. It really surprised me. Obviously, he's not as sharp because I don't think he plays as much as we do," Trainer said. "... But he definitely has the talent and the touch, and I was very impressed several times today. He got off to a bad start and he came all the way back and ended up having a pretty good round."

      Said Champ, "It was definitely a good experience, obviously all the fans shouting his name and whatnot. Yeah, it was good just to see his game, too. I was very impressed."

      The trio will begin their second round at 2:26 p.m. local time on Friday.

      --Field Level Media

  • Merritt fights through blood clot to shoot 71 at PGA Championship
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, August 9, 2018

    Troy Merritt's painful finish in the first round of the PGA Championship doesn't even equate on his personal hardship meter.

    • Not when you factor in that the 32-year-old underwent emergency surgery to remove a blood clot from his left arm on Friday.

      Merritt was determined to play in the tournament despite his circumstances, and he shot 1-over-par 71 on Thursday in his first complete look at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis. He is tied for 62nd, seven shots behind leader Gary Woodland.

      Merritt was two strokes under par through 12 holes before some struggles ensued. He bogeyed three of the final six holes as he dealt with the persistent soreness in his arm.

      But carding a 1-over round in a major just six days after his left arm turned purple and was twice the size as his right was a pretty solid achievement.

      Especially considering he was only cleared to play on Wednesday after hitting about 50 balls on the driving range.

      "I'd like to think my career has been based on resiliency," Merritt told Golfweek after the round. "I haven't always been in a position to lock up my card each and every year, and I've always had to play a lot of golf. The one thing that I pride myself on is never quitting or giving up."

      Merritt had been experiencing soreness in the arm for about a month prior to the discoloration, and the pain was getting more intense while hanging around his home in Meridian, Idaho.

      Playing in the PGA Championship appeared to be a long shot when Merritt's wife, Courtney, became concerned last Friday and convinced her husband to go see a doctor.

      An ultrasound displayed there was a foot-long blood clot in Merritt's arm, from the upper portion near his chest and running down into his left bicep. He was rushed into surgery for two hours at a hospital in nearby Boise.

      As soon as Merritt was released from the hospital, he was thinking about playing in the PGA. Despite having to inject blood-thinning medication into himself as part of the recovery, he flew from Boise to St. Louis on Sunday.

      Merritt tried putting on Monday and chipped balls on Tuesday before his brief fling of hitting on the range on Wednesday.

      He showed up Thursday wearing a compression sleeve on his left arm and without having played a practice round. He made birdies on holes 8 and 12, but a bogey on 13 started a shaky finish, and he also bogeyed 15 and 17.

      "The thing that you have to do when you haven't seen the course is focus on where you need to hit it," Merritt said afterward. "I don't know the bad spots around the course. I only know where you're supposed to be. I had that to my advantage today."

      Merritt says he could face another surgery down the line, but his focus remains on the tourney. Next task: Making the cut on Friday.

      --Field Level Media

  • Tiger rallies to finish even at PGA Championship
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, August 9, 2018

    Tiger Woods' final major tournament of 2018 began like so many of his events this year -- a wayward driver leading to big early numbers and then a mad scramble to the finish line.

    • When all was said and done, Woods was standing at even par, tied for 48th, following an opening round of 70 at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis on Thursday.

      "It kept me in the golf tournament," Woods said of his first-round rally, which left him six shots behind leader Gary Woodland. "I could have easily gone the other way, being 3 over through two. A lot of things could happen. Not a lot of them were positive, but I hung in there and turned it around. This afternoon the guys are going to face a little more wind than we did this morning. Just happy to be within five right now."

      That seemed unlikely after Woods began his round on the back nine with a bogey out of the right rough on No. 10 and a double after going left off the tee on No. 11 and hitting his approach into the water. He rebounded with a birdie on No. 12, but may have salvaged his round on the 15th hole, which he managed to par despite being deep into the trees left off the tee and having to punch out.

      Woods flared his iron off the par-3 16th hole well over -- and left -- of the green to again drop to 3 over. But he would begin to chip away at the deficit with a birdie on No. 18 to make his turn in 2-over 37.

      "You know, just grind my way around this place and stay as patient as possible," Woods told TNT when asked about his mindset when he was at 3 over.

      He then birdied No. 1 and got back to even par with another birdie on the par-5 eighth hole.

      "Got off to a terrible start and just tried to hang in there and just kind of eat away at it and see if I could somehow get to the turn at maybe 1-over par or something like that," Woods said. "I made the turn at 2 (over), but got a couple on the back nine and just hung in there."

      A lot is at stake this week for Woods, who entered the PGA Championship No. 51 in the world rankings. Of more pressing importance is his No. 20 standing in the United States Ryder Cup team points race. He would have to win this week to claim one of the eight automatic spots, but knows captain Jim Furyk is keenly watching the next few events to gauge the form of the handful of players vying for one of the four captain's picks.

      Woods has shown some improving -- albeit inconsistent -- form this summer. He opened with rounds of 66 and 68 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational last week, but questions about his stamina began to surface after he posted a pair of 73s over the weekend.

      Woods has also committed to the first two legs of the FedExCup playoffs that will begin in two weeks, giving him four tournaments over a five-week stretch.

      "I feel fine," Woods said. "Today was, if I didn't get off to such a bad start, I played well enough to put myself under par. There are not a lot of guys that are going to run away with this thing today. If you can make a few birdies here and there, you're doing well."

      --Field Level Media

  • Lyle on players' minds - and clothes - at PGA Championship
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, August 9, 2018

    The tributes to Jarrod Lyle were evident across the grounds at Bellerive Country Club as the 100th PGA Championship got underway Thursday.

    • The popular Australian golfer known a the "big fella" passed away Wednesday night at only 36 years old following a lengthy battle with leukemia.

      Rickie Fowler was "scripted" to wear dark blue during the first round, but switched to a yellow shirt in honor of Lyle, whose yellow bucket hat became his calling card. And numerous players attached yellow ribbons to their hats.

      "He's front and center," said Fowler. "It's definitely tough. Especially talking with some of the guys who knew Jarrod better than most out here. You also think about it as far as Jarrod wouldn't want us out here feeling sorry for him or feeling bad or anything. He'd probably come out here and kick us in the butt and tell us to man up and go have some fun.

      "It's a little bit bittersweet. You're trying to go out there and keep living life like he did, but it's unfortunate that he's not here with us."

      Tiger Woods' foundation was one of many who have made contributions to Lyle's family.

      "It's just sad because he's part of us. He's one of us, he's a player," Woods told TNT. "It's always tough when you see one of us struggle like that, and what his family has to endure now. His kids, without a dad ... it's tough.

      "He was such a nice guy. Talk to all the Aussies, and they loved the guy. It's going to be a tough loss for all of us."

      Fowler held the lead at 5-under par following the morning wave and was asked about harnessing the emotions of Lyle's death while on the course.

      "It can help you, I feel like," said Fowler. "It takes your mind off of golf and trying to hit the shots. But being able to focus on the shot or what's at hand there, and then in between being able to think about Jarrod and the family and everything they're dealing with. And the impact he's had on everyone out here, and then go back and focus on golf and try to do the best you can do there.

      "It can work as a benefit if you go about it the right way."

      Lyle died Wednesday night in his native Australia.

      "It breaks my heart to tell everyone that Jarrod is no longer with us," Lyle's wife, Briony, said in a statement. "He passed away peacefully at 8.20 p.m. last night, having spent his final week in Torquay among his family and close friends."

      She also passed along a message from her husband, who recently chose to end his leukemia treatments and begin palliative care after three different fights with the cancer. The message reads:

      "Thanks for your support, it meant the world. My time was short, but if I've helped people think and act on behalf of those families who suffer through cancer, hopefully it wasn't wasted."

      Briony Lyle announced last week that her husband was ending his treatments, saying, "He has given everything that he's got to give and his poor body cannot take any more. We'll be taking him closer to home in the next couple of days so he can finally leave the hospital."

      The family is requesting donations to Challenge, an organization Jarrod Lyle started that supports kids with cancer, in lieu of gifts or flowers.

      Bryson DeChambeau said earlier Wednesday that he would donate the winnings -- a gold money clip and $25,000 -- from Tuesday's PGA Championship long-drive contest to the Lyle family.

      "I just felt that what Jarrod has battled through is valiant and it's a tough battle, obviously, and not everybody wins," DeChambeau told reporters. "Hearing his story, three times, I believe those kids deserve a chance at a better life and they need that, so that's why I decided to do that."

      Lyle, who last played on the PGA Tour in 2015-16, was first diagnosed with leukemia in 1999 and again in 2012 before a third diagnosis last year. He underwent a bone marrow transplant in December.

      He is survived by his wife and daughters Lusi, 6, and Jemma, 2.

      "Lusi, Jemma and I are filled with grief and now must confront our lives without the greatest husband and father we could ever have wished for," Briony Lyle said. "At the same time, we have been blessed and overwhelmed with the messages and actions of support from around the world and feel comforted that Jarrod was able to happily impact so many people throughout his life. Our humble thanks to you all."

      --Field Level Media

  • Wrong Tommy Fleetwood received Open winnings
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, August 9, 2018

    Florida golf instructor Tommy Fleetwood received $154,480 for a 12th-place finish at The Open Championship, the amount actually earned at Carnoustie by the English golfer by the same name.

    • The European Tour issued an apology to the rightful Fleetwood and restored the payment of £119,971.

      The story came to light when the Florida man posted a screenshot of his mobile banking transactions. The credit of $154,480 came in just after a $14 transaction at Wal-Mart. He informed his bank of the error.

      The "other" Tommy Fleetwood, in St. Louis this week beginning the 100th PGA Championship, said he didn't hold any ill toward the European Tour and was able to smile about the story.

      "I honestly didn't know anything about it," Fleetwood told the Guardian. "I wouldn't even know if I'd been paid or not because I don't really look. It looks pretty genuine and they are looking into it and I'm sure they'll feel pretty bad about it. It's a funny story."

      --Field Level Media

  • Pro golfer Jarrod Lyle dies at 36 after leukemia battle
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, August 8, 2018

    Professional golfer Jarrod Lyle died Wednesday night in his native Australia after a long battle with leukemia. He was 36.

    • "It breaks my heart to tell everyone that Jarrod is no longer with us," Lyle's wife, Briony, said in a statement. "He passed away peacefully at 8.20 p.m. last night, having spent his final week in Torquay among his family and close friends."

      She also passed along a message from her husband, who recently chose to end his leukemia treatments and begin palliative care after three different fights with the cancer. The message reads:

      "Thanks for your support, it meant the world. My time was short, but if I've helped people think and act on behalf of those families who suffer through cancer, hopefully it wasn't wasted."

      Briony Lyle announced last week that her husband was ending his treatments, saying, "He has given everything that he's got to give and his poor body cannot take any more. We'll be taking him closer to home in the next couple of days so he can finally leave the hospital."

      The family is requesting donations to Challenge, an organization Jarrod Lyle started that supports kids with cancer, in lieu of gifts or flowers.

      Bryson DeChambeau said earlier Wednesday that he would donate the winnings -- a gold money clip and $25,000 -- from Tuesday's PGA Championship long-drive contest to the Lyle family.

      "I just felt that what Jarrod has battled through is valiant and it's a tough battle, obviously, and not everybody wins," DeChambeau told reporters. "Hearing his story, three times, I believe those kids deserve a chance at a better life and they need that, so that's why I decided to do that."

      Lyle, who last played on the PGA Tour in 2015-16, was first diagnosed with leukemia in 1999 and again in 2012 before a third diagnosis last year. He underwent a bone marrow transplant in December.

      He is survived by his wife and daughters Lusi, 6, and Jemma, 2.

      "Lusi, Jemma and I are filled with grief and now must confront our lives without the greatest husband and father we could ever have wished for," Briony Lyle said. "At the same time, we have been blessed and overwhelmed with the messages and actions of support from around the world and feel comforted that Jarrod was able to happily impact so many people throughout his life. Our humble thanks to you all."

      --Field Level Media

  • DeChambeau donating long-drive winnings to Lyle's family
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, August 8, 2018

    Bryson DeChambeau decided to make a gracious gesture for the family of golfer Jarrod Lyle, who later died Wednesday after his long battle against leukemia.

    • The 24-year-old DeChambeau won the PGA Championship's long drive contest on Tuesday and was presented with a gold money clip and $25,000 to give to a charity of his choice on Wednesday. He said he would donate the winnings to the family of Lyle.

      "There are a lot of people struggling in the world right now," DeChambeau told reporters, "but I just felt that what Jarrod has battled through is valiant and it's a tough battle, obviously, and not everybody wins. Hearing his story, three times, I believe those kids deserve a chance at a better life and they need that, so that's why I decided to do that."

      Hours later, Lyle's wife, Briony, announced her husband's passing.

      "It breaks my heart to tell everyone that Jarrod is no longer with us," Briony Lyle said in a statement. "He passed away peacefully at 8.20 p.m. last night, having spent his final week in Torquay among his family and close friends."

      Jarrod Lyle, who died at age 36, had recently ended his leukemia treatments, according to Briony. The Australian golfer had his first cancer diagnosis in 1999 and again in 2012 before his latest battle began last year.

      The family is requesting donations to Challenge, an organization Jarrod Lyle started that supports kids with cancer, in lieu of gifts or flowers.

      DeChambeau's winning drive was 331 yards at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis.

      --Field Level Media

  • Take 5: Who has the most at stake at PGA Championship?
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, August 8, 2018

    With the PGA Championship moving to May next year, this week's 100th playing of the event at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis is chock full of dramatic story lines that golf's "fourth" major rarely enjoys.

    • Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk alluded to the "tournament within the tournament" as players jockey for the final four automatic spots up for grabs, and others try to show good form ahead of the four captain's picks. But there are numerous other stressful factors at play -- from big names trying to qualify for the start of the FedExCup playoffs in two weeks, to others pushing to make a statement in the year's final major.

      The top five players with the most on the line this week:

      5. Bryson DeChambeau: The 24-year-old enters the week with a career-high world ranking of No. 22. He has a victory (the Memorial) and four other top-5 finishes in 2018 and made the cut at each of the year's first three majors. However, outside of his solid form on the course, DeChambeau isn't doing himself any favors.

      Already known for having a quirky personality befitting his irregular golf swing, DeChambeau incurred heavy criticism for failing to shake the hand of his playing partner, Richard McEvoy, after crumbling in the final round of the Porsche European Open last month. He was also caught on camera having a meltdown on the driving range at The Open Championship.

      DeChambeau enters the PGA Championship ninth in the U.S. Ryder Cup team standings. With several marquee names and rising young players giving Furyk a bevy of options, DeChambeau may need to secure one of those eight automatic spots to make the squad.

      4. Xander Schauffele/Tony Finau: Two of the players nipping at DeChambeau's heels are Schauffele (No. 11) and Finau (13). Both will have prime opportunity to show Furyk strong form this week as the three will be paired together for the first two rounds. Furyk acknowledged it creates a stressful situation for the two youngsters, but hardly as stressful as grinding over a 5-footer with a match on the line for your country on foreign soil next month.

      Schauffele is the reigning Rookie of the Year who made a charge at The Open last month. Finau is the likable monster hitter who would provide Furyk with some interesting pairing options. A strong week by either with their captain watching would go a long way toward being on the short list of candidates.

      3. Sergio Garcia: Garcia will have a spot on Team Europe next month, but how much he will play between now and then could ride on how he plays Thursday and Friday. Garcia has slipped to No. 23 in the world during a highly inconsistent 2018. He has six missed cuts in his past 10 worldwide events, including all three majors.

      Sitting outside the top 125 to qualify for the FedExCup, Garcia added the Canadian Open to his schedule -- but promptly missed the cut there two weeks ago. He managed a T39 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational last week, but enters the PGA Championship at No. 131 in the FedExCup standings.

      Garcia doesn't need to qualify for the playoffs to salvage his reputation by any means. But getting himself into high-pressure tournaments leading up to the Ryder Cup would certainly be beneficial considering his poor play this summer.

      2. Rickie Fowler: The moniker of "best player yet to win a major" will haunt Fowler into his 30s if he isn't able to shake that monkey off his back this week. Fowler has been in contention plenty this year, but rarely has truly contended on Sunday outside of a late charge at the Masters.

      He sits seventh in the U.S. standings, and while Fowler will almost certainly make the team one way or another, Furyk would like to see one of his young guns step up and make a bold statement. And Fowler securing an automatic spot would prevent Furyk from having to use one of his coveted captain's picks on him.

      1. Tiger Woods: Prevailing wisdom is Tiger will be playing in addition to serving as a vice-captain at Le Golf National next month. He sits 20th in the standings, but has enough top-10 finishes and consistent results to warrant a captain's pick. It's unrealistic to expect Tiger to vault into the top eight -- he would have to win his first major in 10 years to do so. However, a strong performance at Bellerive would help to quiet critics who see a lot of young talent standing between Woods and those automatic spots.

      Woods has played in 16 tournaments in 2018. He has missed only one cut -- the U.S. Open -- since mid-February and has four top-10s over his past 10 events. Watch his driving and putting this week, because Furyk will be. Woods has often been on the first page of the leaderboard on Sunday, only to watch his wayward driver and balky putting cost him several shots at that elusive first victory since 2013.

      Furyk wants Woods to play well and make the decision easy. A top-10 finish this week would go a long way as Woods prepares for a handful of important opportunities heading into the playoffs. He's likely in as of right now, but Woods can't afford to have the wheels come off at the long -- and soggy -- Bellerive track.

      --Derek Harper, Field Level Media

  • Furyk says final Ryder Cup push will be 'stressful' for some
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, August 8, 2018

    Just days from the cutoff to qualify for the U.S. Ryder Cup team, captain Jim Furyk weighed in on the prospect of Tiger Woods making the team and what to expect heading into the PGA Championship.

    • One question facing Furyk is whether Woods -- a vice captain -- must recuse himself from discussing himself as a potential pick?

      Furyk says he went through that very thing when David Love was captain.

      "I did have to recuse myself when he and Tom Lehman and the other vice-captains were discussing," said Furyk. "There was a time where the three of us were sitting in a conference room and I went to the bathroom and came back 10 minutes later to give them an opportunity to speak. It's an awkward situation."

      "I've known Tiger for a long time, and we're friends. I respect him -- it's not going to be a difficult process as far as him recusing himself. We'll work through those situations and issues much like Davis and I did in the past."

      And speaking of Woods potentially being a captain's pick ...

      "As far as the captain's pick part of it, it has been fun watching him play this summer. We had a conversation back in January about being a vice-captain. I wanted to name him in that position. We talked about him possibly playing. He knew then that he was on the mend, that he was starting to feel better. That was probably a sign that I should have picked up a lot quicker on. I know that Tiger always wanted to compete, but I saw that his game was in a lot better shape and his health was in a lot better shape. And so he's been challenging this year in moving up the points list, which has been fun to watch."

      "As far as where we sit right now, the good news is that I'm excited about looking at these top eight. I'm excited about seeing what we have at the end of this week. From that point on, I have three or four weeks before I have to make those picks. Trying to interpret whether he has done enough or not done enough is really ... I'm anxious. I guess he would have to win this week I believe to make the team on his own. And if he doesn't, we still get to see weeks ahead in big tournaments. But surely, it's fun to see him put himself in the mix."

      The 42nd Ryder Cup will be held at Le Golf National in Paris this September.

      As Furyk mentioned, the U.S. roster has four spots determined and four more will be finalized after the PGA Championship. The other four will be captain's picks made in the following weeks.

      "I like the players we have, but we'll be looking to fill that in," said Furyk. "I'm looking for 12 guys that will accept the challenge ahead of us, because it's been 25 years. They've had a lot of success, not only in the Ryder Cup, but at home. And we'll be looking to try and break that."

      "There's really not a number (of potential picks he's choosing from)," Furyk said. "Has it narrowed down some? It has. We've had a whole season to watch these guys play. You want guys that are in good form, say from the summer time on. You want guys that have had a good, solid season. You want the very best players that you can trust in as well. I think the list has been narrowed, but it's still open."

      "It's stressful" for players on the bubble with two weeks to go, Furyk acknowledged.

      "You're already on edge going into a major championship. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves as players and then it's like there's two scoreboards. One for playing, and then maybe you're checking out the guys around you."

      "It definitely becomes that tournament within the tournament. You really just need to go out there and do your job."

      Furyk is playing the first two rounds of the PGA Championship with Tony Finau and Xander Schaufelle, two guys who could be in the mix as captain's picks, but Furyk says that wasn't by his design.

      "I did not ask for that, I never asked to be paired with anyone on Tour this year," Furky said. "I think it's a great pairing for me. It probably isn't the best pairing for them. I know what they're going through - I hope it doesn't phase them, I hope it doesn't bother them. I want them to enjoy the PGA Championship and worry about winning a major championship.

      "I guess I'm thankful for it."

      Furyk expects a rousing battle when the teams face off in September.

      "I think you've got a battle of two giants," Furyk said. "You look at the world rankings right now, you look at the top 20 players - they're dominated by Europeans and Americans. So you've got two very, very solid teams.

      "They're going to have a really strong team. In theory, possibly the strongest team that Europe has ever fielded. We have our hands full. A partisan crowd. A golf course that they know and love very well. They have the home-course advantage. We have our hands full."

      Justin Thomas moved into third place in the United States team points race and clinched his Ryder Cup spot on Monday, the day after winning the World Golf Championships - Bridgestone Invitational by four shots in Akron, Ohio.

      The victory also moved Thomas past England's Justin Rose to No. 2 in the official world golf rankings. Dustin Johnson remained in the No. 1 spot.

      Thomas vaulted past Masters champion Patrick Reed in the Ryder Cup standings. However, Reed also has secured his spot on the U.S. team along with the top-ranked Johnson and No. 2 Brooks Koepka. The other four automatic spots currently would go to Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Webb Simpson.

      Bryson DeChambeau, who carded three rounds in the 60s after opening with a 75 in Akron, is at No. 9, followed by Phil Mickelson, Schauffele, Matt Kuchar and Finau. Woods remained at No. 20 following his tie for 31st. He's 63 points behind Zach Johnson and also dropped one spot to No. 51 in the world.

      After the four automatic spots are earned this week, three additional spots will be named by Furyk following the Dell Technologies Championship, scheduled to finish on Sept. 3, with the final spot set to be announced after the BMW Championship the following week.

      The four majors in 2018 are weighted heavily in the U.S. Ryder Cup team points race, with winners receiving two points per $1,000 earned at the Masters, U.S. Open, Open Championship and PGA Championship, and all other players receiving 1.5 points per $1,000 earned. That's compared to one point per every $1,000 earned in regular PGA Tour events in 2018 leading up to the Aug. 12 cutoff.

      --Field Level Media

  • European Ryder Cup captain Bjorn bows out of PGA Championship
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, August 8, 2018

    Thomas Bjorn, the European Ryder Cup captain, won't be in the field when the PGA Championship at Bellerive begins Thursday.

    • Bjorn announced Wednesday morning he was forced to withdraw with a recurrence of back spasms.

      Bjorn, 47, posted the news via Twitter: "Unfortunately having to WD from @PGAChampionship due to reoccurrence of my old back not holding up!! Thank you to @PGA for having me this week and good luck everyone playing this week. Looking forward to watching it all unfold!"

      Kevin Streelman replaced Bjorn in the field for the 100th PGA Championship.

      --Field Level Media

  • Warriors' Curry back for more golf on Web.com Tour
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, August 7, 2018

    Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry expects to be draining putts instead of 3-pointers this weekend in his return appearance to the Web.com Tour's Ellie Mae Classic in the Bay Area.

    • Emboldened by his performance last year, when he shot 8-over-par 148 while missing the cut by 11 strokes in his Web.com Tour debut, the 30-year-old Curry, who will keep his amateur status, says this year he is intent on playing through the weekend. No offense intended, professionals.

      "These guys are really good," Curry said prior to Tuesday's practice round at TPC Stonebrae in Hayward, Calif. "I know that was a tagline back in the day, but they're amazing talents. They grind every single week, every single day just to have a shot at winning tournaments and taking the next step up and making it to the PGA Tour.

      "I was like, all right, where could those 11 shots have come from, where could I shave them off this year. Stay away from doubles, I think I had two of those last year. I think I had a penalty shot on one of the par 5s. Little stuff like that as a true golf nut I think about. ... But that's my goal, try to execute the game plan."

      Though Curry wouldn't come right and say so, at least at first, he shot a 67 at TPC Stonebrae a few months ago. He did finally acknowledge that all parts of his game were working that day, that he was in a "groove," not unlike when he's on the court.

      "Kind of like when you're shooting," he said. "Obviously you don't really think about much, you're just shooting. Same thing out here. You don't really think about much when you're playing well, you're just swinging and things happen. You have days like that, it's always fun. That's what keeps you coming back."

      Not that he's sure he can do it again this weekend.

      "Every golfer hopes you can repeat your best round on whatever course you play or kind of repeat those swings when you're in a groove. Obviously, you never know," Curry said. "So I'm going to use the next 48 hours to get right, get as many swings in as I can and come with high expectations on Thursday and see what happens."

      When the talk turned to basketball, Curry said big offseason moves like LeBron James coming to the Los Angeles Lakers are just part of the yearly mix.

      "There's been blockbuster moves and trades every year, or most years, I should say. Every team is trying to beat the champ," said Curry, whose Warriors have won the past two NBA championships and three of the past four. "Nothing really surprising. You just kind of sit back and understand, survey the league, survey what's going on, how we can get back on top this coming year and three-peat. ... We'll be a better team this year."

      The Warriors signed free agent center DeMarcus Cousins and forward Jonas Jerebko last month while also re-signing forward Kevin Durant.

      --Field Level Media

  • Woods has sights on fifth PGA Championship victory
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, August 7, 2018

    Tiger Woods hasn't won a major in 10-plus years and last prevailed at the PGA Championship in 2007.

    • But he certainly is presenting an opportunistic vibe as he seeks his fifth career PGA Championship this week at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis.

      The way Woods sees it, he has put his recent back injury woes in the rearview mirror and can now concentrate on playing golf when he hits the course on Thursday in the 100th installment of the event.

      "Well, just the fact that I'm playing the TOUR again, it's been -- just for me to be able to have this opportunity again is -- it's a dream come true," Woods said during a press conference on Tuesday. "I said this many times this year, I didn't know if I could do this again, and lo and behold, here I am. So just coming back and being able to play at this level and compete -- I've had my share of chances to win this year as well, and hopefully I'll get it done this week."

      Woods has played in 14 tournaments this season and has posted five top-10 finishes. His best finish was second at the Valspar Championship in March when he lost to winner Paul Casey by one stroke.

      On the other hand, he has missed two cuts -- one being the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills in mid-June.

      Last week, Woods finished in a tie for 31st at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitation, starting off with a 66 and 68 before finishing with back-to-back 73s. The even-par 280 was 15 strokes behind winner Justin Thomas.

      His practice time on Tuesday was limited to five holes as heavy rains and thunderstorms ended his time on the course. But he wasn't distressed because he physically needed a break. Woods said he was dealing with heavy soreness on Monday.

      "I needed that day off," Woods said. "Yesterday, I spent (three) times in the ice bath just trying to get some inflammation down and just trying to get ready for the rest of the week. And a lot of stretching. Did a leg lift yesterday as well and was ready to go for today."

      Woods declined to reveal where he was sore, but he touched on the differences of being back on Tour after the injuries as opposed to when he was dominating the PGA Tour in his 20s and early 30s.

      "It's just there's going to be certain days that I'm just not going to have the speed and the flexibility and the movement that I once did," Woods said. "I'm 42 now, and I've had four back surgeries. So things are going to be different from day-to-day, and it's just about managing it. Before, and as I was alluding to earlier, I didn't really have any of those issues when I was early in my career because I didn't have a fixed point in my back.

      "My knee used to hurt a lot, but I could play around that. Playing around my spine's a little bit different."

      Woods has never played a tournament at Bellerive but was preparing to do so in 2001 when the event -- the American Express Championship -- was canceled after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

      So he doesn't have much familiarity to go on as he attempts to end his drought at major tourneys.

      "Today we only got in five holes and didn't really get a chance to see a whole lot, but I only remember a couple of the holes, but I didn't really remember the first five that I played today," Woods said. "And so I'll have to do some more homework tomorrow and get a good feel for what's going on for the rest of the week."

      --Field Level Media

  • Golf Glance
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, August 7, 2018

    PGA TOUR

    • LAST WEEK: World Golf Championships -- Bridgestone Invitational (Justin Thomas); Barracuda Championship (Andrew Putnam)

      THIS WEEK: PGA Championship, Aug. 9-12

      Bellerive Country Club, St. Louis, (Par 72, 7,547 yards)

      Purse: $10.5 million (Winner: $1.89 million)

      Defending champion: Justin Thomas

      Television: Thursday-Friday, 2-8 p.m. ET (TNT); Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. (TNT), 2-7 p.m. (CBS).

      Thomas is attempting to join Tiger Woods (2007) and Rory McIlroy (2014) as the only players to win the PGA Championship after winning the WGC-Bridgestone. He is also attempting to become the 20th player with multiple PGA Championship titles. He has only one other top-10 in a major (T9, 2017 U.S. Open). McIlroy, Thomas and Woods will be paired together for the first two rounds. ... Patrick Reed (Masters), Brooks Koepka (U.S. Open) and Francesco Molinari (The Open Championship) are in the traditional group featuring the winners of the year's first three majors. ... The event moves to May next year, between the Masters and the U.S. Open on the major schedule. ... The last PGA Tour event held at Bellerive was the 2008 BMW Championship won by Camilo Villegas. ... Woods will be playing in his first PGA Championship since missing the cut at Whistling Straits in 2015. He has played in 27 majors events since his last major title at the 2008 U.S. Open. ... Jordan Spieth is attempting to become the sixth player to win the career grand slam. None of the previous five completed the feat at the PGA. ... There are two Zach Johnsons in the field. One is the two-time major champion from Iowa City, Iowa, the other a club pro from Utah. ... The top eight players in the team standings after this week will earn automatic spots on the United States Ryder Cup team. ... Only two events remain before the start of the FedExCup playoffs, with the top 125 players in the standings qualifying. ... All 50 of the top 50 players in the world golf rankings are in the field. ... David Toms (15-under-par 265 in 2001) holds the tournament scoring record. ... The 2019 PGA Championship will be held at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, N.Y.

      NEXT WEEK: Wyndham Championship, Greensboro, N.C.

      LPGA TOUR

      LAST WEEK: Women's British Open (Georgia Hall)

      THIS WEEK: OFF.

      NEXT WEEK: Indy Women in Tech Championship, Indianapolis.

      Champions Tour

      LAST WEEK: 3M Championship (Kenny Perry)

      THIS WEEK: OFF.

      NEXT WEEK: Dick's Sporting Goods Open, Endicott, N.Y.

      --Field Level Media