News for Thursday, June 17, 2010

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Lack of birdies by Woods, Mickelson is historic

Even if they didn’t know which end of the rifle to hold, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson probably would bag more birds hunting quail or pheasant than they did Thursday at Pebble Beach.

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Casey among leaders on tough day at Pebble

The scenery at Pebble Beach was as spectacular as ever. The U.S. Open was as tough as ever.

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Hoffmann, Swafford spoil round on final hole

Making a 10-foot putt on the 18th hole is usually a nice way to end the first round at U.S. Open, but Morgan Hoffmann could only raise his arms in mock celebration, then toss his ball into Stillwater Cove, after holing out Thursday afternoon.

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Observations from Round 1 of the U.S. Open

With the Monterey Peninsula enveloped in a sun-splashed, though crispy-cool day, it occurs to first-round observers of the U.S. Open that the folks in Japan might be able to see Ryo Ishikawa from their 10th-floor windows.

Daly in contention at Fort Smith Classic

John Daly is holding up his end of the bargain.

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Pappas played better than score reflects

Deane Pappas, 42, is playing in his first U.S. Open. The experience was a bit overwhelming for the Australian journeyman as he shot a 10-over 81, but if you listened to Pappas talk, he really didn’t play that badly.

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Meet golf’s lesser-known Cabrera: Rafael

Once the gun goes off at the U.S. Open, this much is a given: Once play commences, there won’t be a whole lot of smiling going on.

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Commentary: Poulter finds peace of mind at Pebble Beach

Ian Poulter has the game and the right frame of mind to make a statement at Pebble Beach – and not just with his wardrobe. As Dan Mirocha writes, Poulter may be poised for a major breakthrough.

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Commentary: Mickelson goes birdieless on Day 1 at Pebble

Phil Mickelson failed to record a birdie and dumped two shots in the Pacific during his opening-round 75 at Pebble Beach. As Jeff Babineau writes, Lefty is now hoping his U.S. Open chances aren’t out to sea, too.

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Choi, Yang watch World Cup, tee off early

Boys will be boys. It was 4:30 a.m. PST when the Argentina vs. South Korea World Cup match kicked off. It also was the time when Y.E. Yang got up to watch his countrymen get beaten, 4-1.

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Glover puts up a fight for opening 73

Normally, 2-over par rounds don’t leave PGA Tour players smiling, but they do when they come at the U.S. Open and are capped off by one of the greatest pars Lucas Glover will ever make.

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Leon, Curran own weirdest shots of the day

Jon Curran stood patiently in the fairway at the 18th hole, pondering a shot that would unfortunately have to be put on hold.

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Surprises abound on Day 1 of U.S. Open

A moment ago, the top three lines of the leaderboard read:

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U.S. Open at Pebble Beach is all business

OK, here’s the latest evidence that we’re at a U.S. Open at Pebble Beach instead of just a PGA Tour event sponsored by a telephone company.

McCarthy leads by 2 at FootJoy Invitational

With a steady hand down the stretch, Denny McCarthy moved into position for his first AJGA invitational title.

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At ShopRite, Americans coming off LPGA win

For one week, Michelle Wie, Cristie Kerr and the rest of the U.S. players on the LPGA Tour don’t have to answer one question: When is an American going to win this year?

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Choi continues comeback season at U.S. Open

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised about K.J. Choi’s comeback from a bogey-double bogey start at the U.S. Open.

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Feng rallies to win Rolex Girls by four

Yueer Cindy Feng quickly is becoming one of the hottest players in junior golf. The 14-year-old claimed her second consecutive invitational title Thursday – the fourth of her career – at the Rolex Girls Junior Championship.

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First group off struggles mightily at Pebble

Figuratively speaking, I followed players who were roughed, shanked, beached and clocked in Thursday’s opening round of the U.S. Open.

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Lengthening Pebble’s 15th came at a price

One of the best spectator viewpoints on one of the best holes at Pebble Beach Golf Links has been eliminated.

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USGA should ditch 10th-tee starts at Open

I detest the 10th-tee start that was implemented by the USGA at the 2002 U.S. Open and is used every year in the national championship.

The man behind the USGA’s course selections

The rising star within the USGA hierarchy is Tom O’Toole Jr., 53, of St. Louis.

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Micheel among three tied for U.S. Open lead

Mike Weir popped the ball out of the tangled rough, watched it hit the green and fall in the hole for a birdie on No. 16 and sole possession of the U.S. Open lead.

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Daly an entertainer on and off the course

John Daly is a big hit on and off the course, with golf fans and non-golf fans alike.

Moriarty, Wiegele tied at Saint-Omer Open

Colm Moriarty of Ireland and Martin Wiegele of Austria each shot a 5-under 66 to share a two-shot lead after the opening round of the Saint-Omer Open on Thursday.

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Georgia’s Henley wins Haskins Award

University of Georgia rising senior Russell Henley is the recipient of the 2010 Haskins Award, which for 39 years has honored the nation’s most outstanding collegiate golfer.

Curran’s wayward drive may have shaken Lefty

As Phil Mickelson was making a mess of the 16th hole, Jon Curran was playing the third. Curran hit his drive onto the 16th green, and Mickelson marked it so he could play the hole.

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Enoch, Nixon united by tragedy at British Am

Rhys Enoch and Matthew Nixon have life in perspective. Losing loved ones does that for you.

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Kjeldsen latest no-name to top leaderboard

It’s not the first morning at a major Open without a temporary “Who’s He?” leaderboard and a Soren or a Hanson or both at or near the top.

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Starting on No. 10 no easy task at Pebble

File this one under the heading of “no kidding,” but starting your first round at the 10th tee is no easy assignment.

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Fashion secrets from a national champion

One would think that winning a national championship for the first time would call for some celebration. That was not the case for Purdue’s Maude-Aimee LeBlanc.

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Alternates play waiting game at U.S. Open

When Robert Allenby made his way to the first tee a short while ago, it wasn’t the best of news for alternate Jarrod Lyle. Allenby, a good friend of Lyle’s and a fellow Aussie who is nursing a sore, taped left wrist, was a doubtful starter, and one of the main players on Lyle’s “watch” list as he wonders if he will get a shot today to play in the 110th U.S. Open.

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USGA uses corrective hand-watering on greens

Mike Davis, the U.S. Golf Association senior director of rules and competition, has put a little water on the golf course last night and again this morning.

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Amateur diary: Adventures in Australia

As far as I’ve traveled and as long as I’ve journeyed, I still believe it’s hard to beat the smell of Australian country on a fresh winter’s day.

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Three Scots benefit from college golf in States

James Byrne, Jordan Findlay and Michael Stewart have benefited from playing college golf. If young Scottish golfers had any sense, then, they would follow this trio into the U.S. college ranks.