Below is a list of how Canadian golfers fared across the major professional tours the week prior.
Hudson Swafford sank an eight footer for eagle on the par-5 16th to break a tie atop the leaderboard on his way to winning The American Express for the second time in five years. Tom Hoge, looking for his first win in his 201st start, finished two shots back. Francesco Molinari, playing for the first time in two months and tied for the lead with two holes to play, bogeyed the final hole to finish four shots behind. …Roger Sloan notched his first top-15 result since last October. …Since missing the cut in the first event of the new season Adam Hadwin has made six consecutive weekend cuts …Nick Taylor equalled his best result of the new season
NEXT EVENT: Farmers Insurance Open (Jan. 26)
CANADIANS ENTERED: Corey Conners, Michael Gligic, Adam Hadwin, Mackenzie Hughes, Taylor Pendrith, Adam Svensson, Nick Taylor
Danielle Kang shot a final round 68 for a three-shot victory over Brooke Henderson in the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions, the opening event of the LPGA season. Henderson did not make a bogey over the final two rounds but could only manage two birdies in the final round Sunday. It’s the fifth straight time she has started the year with a top-10 result and marked her best finish in four Tournament of Champions appearances. Kang was the lone player to break 70 on the weekend, and the only player to shoot in the 60s all four rounds. Nelly Korda, the 54-hole leader and No. 1 ranked player in the world, closed with a 75 to finish in a tie for fourth.
Miguel Angel Jimenez birdied the final hole to force a playoff, then beat Steven Alker with a par on the second extra hole to win the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship. Alker missed a birdie putt on the first playoff for the win, and then failed to save par from a bunker on the second playoff hole. Stephen Ames finished tied for third, one stroke out of the playoff. Ames started the round tied for first – the fifth time in his Champions Tour career he has led or co-led heading into the final round. …Mike Weir notched his third top-20 result in his last five starts
NEXT EVENT: Chubb Classic (Feb. 18)
CANADIANS ENTERED: TBA
Thomas Pieters had 16 pars for a final round 72 and a one stroke win over Rafa Cabrera Bello and Shubhankar Sharma in the Abu Dhabi Championship. It was his sixth career win on the European Tour. Viktor Hovland, going for his third win in his last four starts, finished two shots back. Rory McIlroy had moved to within two shot of the lead but carded three bogeys over his last five holes to finish in a tie for 12th. There were no Canadians entered in the event.
NEXT EVENT: Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic (Jan. 27)
Joe Durant holds off Bernhard Langer in The Ally Challenge; Weir finishes T10
GRAND BLANC, MI - AUGUST 26: Mike Weir plays his tee shot on the ninth hole prior to The Ally Challenge at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club on August 26, 2021 in Grand Blanc, Michigan. (Photo by Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
GRAND BLANC, Mich. (AP) – Joe Durant made a 5-foot bogey putt on the par-4 18th Sunday for a one-stroke victory over Bernhard Langer in The Ally Challenge.
The 57-year-old Durant closed with a 4-under 68 to finish at 17-under 199 at Warwick Hills. He won for the fourth time on the PGA Tour Champions after winning four times on the PGA Tour.
“I’ve got to give thanks to one of my best friends at home, Steve Fell, who’s a golf coach, my son’s golf coach, and Ray Schuessler and Brad Faxon,” Durant said. “They’ve all been trying to help me with my putting because I’ve been putting so poorly and those three guys have really just made some changes in my mind that helped me a lot this week. I putted beautifully and just fortunate to hang on by one.”
A stroke behind Langer and Doug Barron entering the round, Durant had four birdies in a six-hole stretch on the front nine and added a birdie on the par-5 16th. He drove left on 18 into an adjacent fairway, clipped a branch hitting over the trees, left his third short of the green and chipped past.
“I was very fortunate to be in the other fairway, but still had to get the second shot up over the trees, and I clipped the tree. Actually had the perfect yardage for me, a 60-yard wedge shot is the perfect yardage for me, but that just shows you how nervous I was and I dumped that one. I was somehow fortunate to just wiggle in that second putt.”
Langer parred the 18th, hitting into two bunkers, in a 70. Two days after shooting his age on his 64th birthday, the German star had just one back-nine birdie – matching Durant on the 16th. Langer has 41 Champions victories, four off Hale Irwin’s record.
“It’s been a very memorable week with 64 on my 64th birthday. I’ll never forget that,” Langer said. “And playing really good, solid golf for the most part. Followed up the 64 with a 66 and today was a lot tougher. The wind was up, course played longer with all the rain we had last night, the pins were tough and I just didn’t make a lot of putts today. That’s why I shot 70, but it was still a good score.”
Steven Alker was third at 15 under after a 67.
Barron (72), Steve Flesch (64) and K.J. Choi (66) were 14 under.
Vijay Singh had an albatross on 16 – holing out with a 5-wood – in a 67.
A three-time winner of the PGA Tour’s Buick Open at Warwick Hills, Singh tied for seventh with Stephen Leaney (68) at 13 under.
Defending champion Jim Furyk (70) tied for 10th at 10 under.
Mike Weir of Bright’s Grove, Ont., also finished at 10 under and Calgary’s Stephen Ames sat tied for 30th at 6 under.
Rod Pampling wins Boeing Classic for first Champions title; Ames lands T7
SNOQUALMIE, Wash. (AP) Rod Pampling won the Boeing Classic on Sunday for his first PGA Tour Champions victory when Jim Furyk and Woody Austin failed to get up-and-down for birdie from greenside bunkers on the par-5 18th.
Pampling, playing five groups ahead of Furyk and Austin at Snoqualmie Ridge, shot a 6-under 66 to finish at 12-under 204. The 51-year-old Australian won three times on the PGA Tour, the last in 2017 in Las Vegas, and has two PGA Tour of Australasia wins.
“It’s fantastic,” Pampling said. “You look at all the Hall of Famers are just phenomenal out here. There’s so many and they still play really good golf, which people think they don’t, but I’ll tell you what, they play so good. It’s just not quite as far off the tee anymore, but everything else is still really good. To get a win you’ve got to play good and thankfully I did today.”
Furyk dropped a stroke back with a bogey on the par-3 17th after hitting well short of the green and chipping 8 feet past. He hit left into a greenside bunker on 18, sent his third across the green nearly to the fringe and missed a 20-footer.
“Today on the way in everyone kind of ended up making some bogeys and went the other way,” Furyk said. “It’s just kind of that type of golf course. There’s some holes where there’s just no bail-out, so you fly it at the pin and if you hit a good shot, great. if not, you make bogey. There’s a few of those holes.”
Austin, the second-round leader, took two to get out of a right-side bunker and made a bogey to drop to 10 under.
Stephen Ames shot a 70, finishing the classic inside the top 10 tied for the 7th spot.
Furyk had a 70 to tie for second with Tim Herron (67) and Billy Mayfair (69). Austin’s closing 72 left him tied for fifth with Alex Cejka (66).
Pampling opened eagle-birdie, birdied Nos. 7 and 9, bogeyed the 10th, birdied Nos. 11, 12 and 14 and bogeyed the 16th.
Colin Montgomerie, playing in the final group with Furyk and Austin, shot a 74 to tie for 11th at 7 under. He had a double bogey on 17 after hitting into the water.
Local favorite Fred Couples closed with a 71 to tie for 26th at 4 under.
Woody Austin birdies 18th to take Boeing Classic lead; Ames T9
SNOQUALMIE, WA - AUGUST 20: Steven Ames of Canada putts on the 11th green during the first round of the Boeing Classic at The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge on August 20, 2021 in Snoqualmie, Washington. (Photo by James Gilbert/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)
SNOQUALMIE, Wash. (AP) Woody Austin birdied the par-5 18th on Saturday for a 4-under 68 and a one-stroke lead over Jim Furyk and Colin Montgomerie in the PGA Tour Champions’ Boeing Classic.
The 57-year-old Austin had three straight birdies on Nos. 13-15. He has four senior victories after also winning four PGA Tour titles.
Austin took a 10-under 134 total into the final round at Snoqualmie Ridge.
“It will be fun,” Austin said. “I mean, that’s all you ever ask for is a shot and I give myself a shot and I’ll see how it goes. … I’m always confident. I think I can beat anybody on any given day.”
Furyk and Montgomerie, playing in the same group, each shot 67.
The 51-year-old Furyk won in his first two senior starts last year and took the U.S. Senior Open last month in Nebraska.
The 58-year-old Montgomerie birdied the final two holes. He won the last of his seven senior titles in 2019.
“I enjoyed playing with Jim Furyk, I must admit,” Montgomerie said. “A gentleman and someone I’ve admired for many, many years since we first came across Jim in ’97 at Valderrama at the Ryder Cup. I’ve always admired his game and it’s great to play with him here in America.”
Jerry Kelly (69) was two strokes back at 8 under with Brett Quigley (67), Tim Petrovic (67), Glen Day (68) and Billy Mayfair (70). Kelly won the 2017 tournament.
Ernie Els, tied for first-round lead with Austin and Mayfair, had a 71 to fall into a tie for ninth at 7 under with Stephen Ames (66) and Jesper Parnevik (69).
Brandt Jobe, the 2019 winner in the event that was canceled last year because of the COVID-10 pandemic, was 1 over after a 75.
Two-time Boeing winner Bernhard Langer was 6 under after a 68.
Local favorite Fred Couples shot a 69 to get to 3 under.
“It was a little better,” Couples said. “I hit a few good shots and I made a few putts.”
Barron birdies final three holes to win Shaw Charity Classic; Ames and Weir in top 10
CALGARY, AB - AUGUST 15: Stephen Ames of Canada takes his second shot on the seventh hole during round three of the Shaw Charity Classic at Canyon Meadows Golf & Country Club on August 15, 2021 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)
CALGARY – Doug Barron felt bad for celebrating his second PGA Tour Champions win a bit prematurely.
After lagging his eagle putt to within tap-in range on the par 5 finishing hole of Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club, Barron threw his arms in the air and started to celebrate his victory at the 2021 Shaw Charity Classic.
“I felt kind of bad because I got a little excited,” said Barron, who apologized to playing partner Steve Flesch for his premature celebrations. “He’s my friend. I would never want to disrespect another player. When you win out here, it’s so few and far between.”
Shortly after draining his short birdie putt, Barron chest bumped his caddie Christopher Shepherd and then did a victory lap around the final green while fist bumping many of the fans in attendance.
Although Barron bogeyed his first hole of the day, he went on to record five birdies and an eagle on the par-5 11th hole to card his third straight round of 6-under 64.
His 54-hole score of 18-under 192 gave the 52-year-old golfer from Memphis, Tenn., just his second-ever PGA Tour Champions victory. His last one was at the 2019 Dick’s Sporting Goods Open in Endicott, N.Y.
For his efforts, Barron won US$352,500, which is $30,100 more than he won when he finished third on the PGA Tour at the 2005 EDS Byron Nelson Championship in Texas.
Thanks to three birdies on the front nine and three more in his first four holes on the back side, Flesch of Union, Ky., was in the lead until Barron rallied for the win. Flesch’s round of 5-under 65 was good enough for second as he finished the tournament at 16 under.
“My goal was to make four birdies on the back nine,” said Flesch, who finished in third at the 2019 Shaw Charity Classic. “I made three kind of real quickly and I made a nice par save on 12. I knew I probably needed to make another birdie on one of the last three and I didn’t. And man, all credit to Doug for his finish.”
Billy Andrade and Brandt Jobe ended up in a tie for third place at 13 under, while Billy Mayfair finished one shot back of them alone in fifth.
Canadian Golf Hall of Fame member Stephen Ames of Calgary carded a round of even -par 70 to finish in a tie for sixth at 11 under with David McKenzie.
“Everything about it was great except the fact that we only had 2,000 people watching unfortunately,” Ames said. “I think everybody’s more or less waiting for this COVID thing to get over with and we’ll get back to normal next year, which will be awesome.”
One day after shooting an even-par round of 70, Mike Weir of Brights Grove, Ont., improved that score by two shots on Sunday to finish in a four-way tie for ninth at 9 under.
“It was a nice test of golf,” Weir said. “I found it difficult on the greens, especially on the weekend. I got stuck in neutral the last two days here, but I love the place and Shaw and Suncor did an amazing job, so it was good to be back up north.”
Also in that group with Weir were Matt Gogel, Tim Herron and Ken Duke.
David Morland IV from Aurora, Ont., shot 69 on Sunday to finish in a six-way tie at 7 under.
“I’m playing decent, just need to make a few more putts coming down the stretch,” Morland said. “Overall, I’m tied for 16th, so a decent week, just trending in the right direction. Just keep on trucking.”
Meanwhile Dennis Hendershott of Brantford, Ont., had four birdies and four bogeys on his round to finish both his day and the tournament at even par. That left him well back of the leaders in a three-way tie for 47th.
Doug Barron eagles 18th to take lead in Shaw Charity Classic; Ames T2
CALGARY, AB - AUGUST 14: Stephen Ames of Canada of tees off on the seventh hole during round two of the Shaw Charity Classic at Canyon Meadows Golf & Country Club on August 14, 2021 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) – Doug Barron eagled the par-5 18th for his second straight 6-under 64 and a one-stroke lead Saturday in the PGA Tour Champions’ Shaw Charity Classic.
The 52-year-old Barron also had five birdies and a bogey at Canyon Meadows. He won the 2019 Dick’s Sporting Goods Open for his lone tour title.
“I played really nice today,” Barron said. “I hit the ball solid all day. I did make a bogey, but I still hit a good shot on the hole and I made bogey. I just didn’t get up-and-down. I’m fine where I’m at. I did look at the leaderboard going into 18. I wanted to be in the final group, so I think the only way, my only path to the final group was to make eagle, so I can’t believe I did it, That was pretty cool.”
Calgary resident Stephen Ames, Steve Flesch and first-round leader Billy Mayfair were a stroke back at 11 under. Ames and Flesch birdied the 18th for 65s, and Mayfair followed an opening 62 with a 67.
Brandt Jobe was 9 under after a 66. David McKenzie (64) and Ken Duke (67) were 8 under.
Canadian star Mike Weir, a stroke back after an opening 63, had a 70 to drop into a tie for eighth at 7 under. The 2003 Masters champion won the Insperity Invitational in early May in Texas for his lone senior title. In his last start, he tied for second in the U.S. Senior Open in Nebraska.
Canadians David Morland IV and Dennis Hendershott are tied for 14th and 48th, respectively.
The tournament is the first the PGA Tour Champions or PGA Tour event in Canada since the Shaw Charity Classic in 2019.
Robert Allenby had a his second straight 71. He turned 50 last month and tied for 64th in the Senior British Open in his Champions debut.
Billy Mayfair leads after first round at Shaw Charity Classic; Mike Weir in second
CALGARY, AB - AUGUST 13: Mike Weir of Canada tees off on the eighteenth hole during round one of the Shaw Charity Classic at Canyon Meadows Golf & Country Club on August 13, 2021 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)
CALGARY – Billy Mayfair needed to sink a lengthy putt on his final hole of the Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club on Friday to tie the course record of 61.
He just missed the putt a few centimetres to the right and had to settle for a tap-in par on his way to carding a round of 8-under 62.
Mayfair, 55, started his first round of the PGA Tour Champions event on the back 9. After going 2 under through his first six holes, Mayfair rolled in four straight birdies to move into contention.
“Just about everything went right today,” he said. “Been a long time since I’ve shot this low and I was real happy with it. I moved from Arizona to Oklahoma and was moving boxes and doing all that stuff for three weeks. Maybe it did me some good because I got here and I was refreshed and definitely had a good day today.”
Meanwhile, Canadian fan favourite Mike Weir of Brights Grove, Ont.,made his debut at the Shaw Charity Classic in fine fashion as he carded a tidy round of 7-under 63 on the par 70, 7,086-yard layout to put him alone in second spot.
“You really have to get off to some good starts and today was one of those days that was exceptional,” said 51-year-old Weir, who’s a rookie on the senior circuit for golfers aged 50 and older. “I would have taken 3 or 4 under, so 7’s definitely a bonus.”
The 2003 Masters champion and winner of seven other PGA Tour events was 4 under after his front nine.
“I caught fire in the middle of the round with a birdie and an eagle on 10 and 11, then just kind of stalled a little bit,” said Weir, who finished his round with seven straight pars. “I had a couple good looks at it and didn’t make them. All in all, it was a really good day.”
Although the gallery at this year’s tournament is limited to just 2,000 people a day, Weir said he appreciated the support he received on the opening day of the 54-hole event that wraps up on Sunday.
Canadian Golf Hall of Fame member and former Calgary resident Stephen Ames is in a tie for third spot at 6 under along with Doug Barron and Steve Flesch.
“It’s a good start,” said Ames, who was among a patron group who brought the tournament to Calgary in 2013. “Like Mike has mentioned, the mindset has to change when it’s three rounds of golf. You’ve got to get out of the box really quick and get going, so this obviously is going to help.”
Ken Duke and Brandt Jobe both shot rounds of 65 and are tied for sixth place overall.
The 65-player field also featured two other Canadians.
David Morland IV, who’s originally from Aurora, Ont., and Dennis Hendershott, of Brantford, Ont., both carded rounds of 2-under 68 and are in a logjam of 11 players – including Germany’s Bernhard Langer – who are tied for 21st spot.
“Hopefully that’s the worst round of the week and we can get a little closer to the leaderboard,” said Morland, who shot 64 in his opening round of the 2019 event before falling out of contention with back-to-back rounds of 72. “We miss having super big crowds, but right now we’re just glad to be playing in any circumstance.
“But the guys did a great job here to be able to have the event, so we’re happy with what we’ve got and we look forward to next year having everybody back.”
Weir in Shaw Charity Classic field in Calgary for first time
OMAHA, NEBRASKA - JULY 08: Mike Weir of Canada plays his shot from the 11th tee during the first round of the U.S. Senior Open Championship at the Omaha Country Club on July 08, 2021 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Mike Weir will make his Shaw Charity Classic debut at Canyon Meadows Golf & Country Club in Calgary on Friday.
The 51-year-old from Sarnia, Ont., is in his rookie season on the PGA TOUR Champions and has already notched one win and four runner-up finishes in 20 starts over the course of the 2020-21 season.
Weir’s win at the Insperity Invitational in May was the former Masters winner’s first win since 2007 when he won the Fry’s Electronics Open on the PGA TOUR.
This will be the first time the PGA TOUR Champions is in Canada since the 2019 Shaw Charity Classic.
Canyon Meadows Golf & Country Club has hosted the event since its inaugural year in 2013 and is a par 70, 7,086-yard course.
Weir will be playing in a field alongside fellow Canadians Stephen Ames, David Morland IV, and Dennis Hendershott.
This will be Ames’ seventh appearance at the tournament, his best finish being a tie for fifth in 2015. Ames also has a win on the PGA TOUR Champions this season at the Principal Charity Classic in June where he narrowly beat out Weir by one stroke for the win.
Weir, who’s currently ranked No. 8 on the Charles Schwab Cup, said he feels great being back in Canada.
The event will allow 2,000 spectators each tournament day.
American Wes Short Jr. is the defending champion of the event. He won with a birdie on the final hole to win by one stroke over Scott McCarron, who won the event back-to-back in 2017 and 2018.
Furyk recovers from rough start to win US Senior Open by 3; Weir finishes second with Ames T8
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Jim Furyk put his name alongside some of golf’s greats Sunday once he recovered from a rough start in the final round of the U.S. Senior Open.
Making his debut in the event, Furyk closed with a 1-over 71 to become the eighth player to win both the U.S. Open and Senior Open, joining Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Billy Casper, Gary Player, Hale Irwin and Orville Moody.
Furyk finished at 7-under 273 at Omaha Country Club and held off Retief Goosen and Canadian Mike Weir by three strokes.
He won the U.S. Open in 2003 at Olympia Fields south of Chicago, is a 17-time winner on the PGA Tour and won his first two PGA Tour Champions events upon turning 50 last year. This was the third senior major he’s played. He tied for 16th in the Senior PGA and was sixth in the Senior Players Championship.
It was not the stress-free final round Furyk wanted Sunday. He played the first three holes in 3 over, finding the unforgiving rough three times on the second hole and a tricky lie in the greenside bunker on the third. Suddenly, his four-shot lead was down to one.
Furyk righted himself with a birdie on the par-5 sixth and, after going out in 2-over 37, regained the four-shot lead by the time he made the turn.
It wasn’t until he stuck his 109-yard approach to 3 feet to birdie the par-5 16th that he put away his closest pursuers, major champions Goosen and Weir. That put him three up with two holes to play.
“I felt real good about it, I’ll say that,” he said. “Looking back after making bogey at 15, that was probably the clincher.”
Furyk played his final 15 holes in 2 under and finished at 7-under 273 to win the Francis D. Ouimet Memorial Trophy and $720,000. He was the seventh player to have a lead of four or more strokes entering the final round of the U.S. Senior Open, and six have gone on to win.
Weir of Brights Grove, Ont., tied for lowest round of the day with a 67, and Goosen shot 69.
Furyk looked to be in full control after he followed his 64 on Friday with a 66 on Saturday.
But he bogeyed the par-5 second hole after his layup attempt from the right rough rolled across the fairway and into the left rough, and his next shot found the greenside cabbage.
Then he put his tee shot just below the lip of the left bunker on the par-3 third and needed two swings to get out. He two-putted for a double bogey that dropped him to 5 under for the tournament.
Goosen birdied the first hole and tapped in for another on the sixth to get to 4 under. It looked as if he would stall out with bogeys on two of his next four holes, but he played his last seven in 2 under to hang around.
“Overall, I would say the way I felt early in the week I would have taken second,” Goosen said, “but it would have been nice to have been a little closer coming down the last.”
Weir started the day seven shots off the lead and made three pushes to get within three, the last when he made birdie on the 16th just before Furyk bogeyed the 15th.
Rod Pampling (67) birdied two of the last four holes to finish at 3 under,
Bernhard Langer, who has won a record 11 senior majors, made long birdie puts on Nos. 11 and 12 and tapped in for another on No. 13 to pull within four of the lead. The 63-year-old could get no closer in his bid for his first senior major win since 2017. He had a 68 to tie for fifth at 1 under.
Calgary’s Stephen Ames, paired with Furyk, couldn’t take advantage of his partner’s early struggles.
The first-round co-leader Ames, who won the Principal Charity Classic last month, plugged his tee shot into the face of the left greenside bunker on the third, took an unplayable lie and double bogeyed. He bogeyed the first two holes on the back nine to fall out of contention. His 75 left him 1 over.
Jim Furyk takes 4 shot lead into US Senior Open final round; Ames sits second heading into Sunday
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Jim Furyk overcame a mid-round lull following the second of two weather delays Saturday and moved closer to winning his first senior major title.
The 51-year-old took a four-shot lead into the final round of the U.S. Senior Open after shooting a 4-under 66 on Saturday to get to 8-under 202 at Omaha Country Club.
First-round co-leader Stephen Ames birdied three of the last five holes for a 68, bouncing back from a 73 on Friday, and will be paired with Furyk on Sunday.
Retief Goosen closed with two birdies, shot 66 and was alone at 3 under.
The biggest mover was Steve Flesch. The part-time television analyst shot the best round of the day with a 64 and was at 2 under. Past Masters champions Fred Couples (69) and Mike Weir (68) were in a group with Wes Short Jr. (68) and Kevin Sutherland (69) at 1 under.
Tee times were pushed back three hours after an overnight storm with straight-line wind of 90 mph knocked over camera towers and downed trees.
Furyk birdied the par-4 fourth and par-3 fifth and, as thunder rumbled, tapped in for par on the par-5 sixth before the horn sounded to signal the stoppage of play.
About an inch of rain fell during the three-hour delay, and workers who cleared brush off the course in the morning used squeegees and blowers to get standing water off fairways and greens.
Furyk, who won the U.S. Open in 2003, hit the first six greens in regulation and then went into grinding mode. He hit only two greens while playing the first six holes following the delay in 1-over par.
He closed with birdies on three of the last six holes, hitting his approach to 4 feet on the par-4 18th and making the putt to extend his lead.
Ames bogeyed two of the last three holes on the front nine and then got a hot putter and shot 4-under 32 on the back to put himself in contention again.
All he did to start making putts was stand a bit closer to the ball.
“All of a sudden my eyes felt better, my stroke felt easier and more free, and I started hitting the pace right, which is what I was struggling with,” Ames said. “I hit some real quality putts coming down the end there, so that right there alone is going to make my dinner taste a lot better tonight.”
Goosen, who won U.S. Opens in 2001 and 2004, had five birdies against one bogey. His biggest disappointment was a three-putt for par on the 313-yard 13th after he drove the green.
“My expectations were really low in the beginning of the week,” Goosen said. “I was hitting it so bad the last few weeks, and I was trying everything. I just decided to stick with something, and as the week got on, I started hitting it better and better. My confidence is coming back a little.”
Flesch flirted with missing the cut for a third straight U.S. Senior Open but rallied with a couple late birdies Friday and was among the first to tee off Saturday.
Flesch bogeyed his second hole, the par-3 11th, and then went flag hunting on receptive greens and birdied seven of the next 13.
He said he was proudest of parring the 434-yard ninth, his final hole. He drove into 4-inch-high rough, chopped the ball out and got up and down from 85 yards.
“I haven’t had much luck in U.S. Opens or U.S. Senior Opens, for that matter,” he said. “But it’s fun to contend, and I really have nothing to lose, and that’s kind of how I played today. I imagine I’ll kind of play the same way tomorrow and just enjoy it.”
Flesch said he’s savoring the experience because his college-age son, Griffin, has been carrying his bag while his regular caddie recovers from back surgery.