04 July 06:49
JT Poston became the first wire-to-wire winner at the John Deere Classic in 30 years on Sunday to capture his second career PGA Tour title and book his Open Championship debut.
The 29-year-old American fired a two-under par 69 to finish 72 holes on 21-under 263 at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois.
That delivered Poston a three-stroke triumph over Argentina's Emiliano Grillo and South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout, who joined the American in booking berths at St Andrews when the Open starts on 14 July.
"I can't wait," Poston said. "I've always wanted to play in one of those at any venue. For the first one to be at St Andrews, I can't draw it up any better."
Poston was only the third Deere wire-to-wire winner, the first since South African David Frost in 1992, and just the second PGA wire-to-wire winner this season after Chile's Joaquin Niemann at Riviera.
"It is hard, wire to wire, having the lead for that long," Poston said.
"It's hard not to think about it."
Poston birdied the first three holes, had two bogeys, then parred 10 consecutive holes before a birdie at the par-3 17th and a closing par.
"I got off to a good start, tried to give some back, but I kept my head in it and tried to stay focused," Poston said."I was just trying to breathe. There were a little more nerves than the first three days and I was having to battle through them. It's nice to know I can."
Poston, who matched his PGA career low with a 62 on Thursday, took his only prior PGA victory at the 2019 Wyndham Championship.
"You just never know if you're going to do it again and to do it this week is awesome," Poston said, his voice breaking after 72 holes with a stoic expression.
World number 99 Poston had three prior top-10 efforts this season, including a runner-up finish at last week's Travelers Championship.
Poston, the solo leader since Friday's third hole, led by three when the day began and built his lead to five strokes before it shrank to one over Grillo on the back nine.
But the South American missed a six-foot putt and made bogey at the par-3 12th to stumble two back while Poston hit the flagstick on a 67-foot birdie putt at 12 and tapped in for par to stay two ahead.
Poston found a greenside bunker at the par-4 13th but sank a clutch 10-foot par putt. Moments later, Grillo missed a 10-foot par putt at the 14th for bogey.
Bezuidenhout charged into the hunt late with three birdies in four holes, the last of them a tap-in at the par-5 17th.
But Poston sank a birdie putt at 17 from just outside five feet - his first birdie since the third - to stretch his lead back to three.
"It's nice to get it behind me," Poston said.
"Sitting on a lead that long isn't easy no matter how big it is. It was definitely a grind."
Poston opened with three straight birdies, sinking putts from about three feet at the first and par-5 second holes plus a 23-footer at the par-3 third.
But Poston had back-to-back bogeys at the fifth, where he three-putted, and sixth, where he found a bunker and missed an 11-foot par putt.
Grillo, ranked 151st in the world, couldn't take advantage and missed out on his second PGA title, the first coming in 2015."I knew I needed a solid week," Grillo said. "I just needed to play well and go up the rankings and have a job for next year. That was more important for me than going to the Open. Now I get both, so that's pretty special."
"Leading final-round scores on Sunday at the PGA Tour's John Deere Classic in Silvis, Illinois (USA unless noted, par-71):
263 - JT Poston 62-65-67-69
266 - Christiaan Bezuidenhout (RSA) 69-65-66-66, Emiliano Grillo (ARG) 68-64-65-69
267 - Christopher Gotterup 65-67-69-66, Scott Stallings 67-66-64-70
268 - Callum Tarren (ENG) 68-65-65-70, Denny McCarthy 66-65-66-71
269 - Maverick McNealy 70-63-68-68, Cam Davis (AUS) 68-68-65-68
270 - Patrick Flavin 70-66-68-66, Chesson Hadley 67-69-67-67, Michael Gligic (CAN) 64-69-68-69
271 - Charles Howell 68-67-68-68, Adam Long 70-67-66-68, Mark Hubbard 67-67-68-69
03 July 07:14
J.T. Poston, chasing a wire-to-wire victory, fired a four-under par 67 to hold a three-stroke lead after Saturday's third round of the US PGA John Deere Classic.
The 29-year-old American, who matched his career low with a 62 on Thursday, rolled in an eagle putt from just inside 14 feet at the par-5 17th and closed with a par to finish 54 holes on 19-under 194 at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois.
"It was a little tougher out there," Poston said. "I didn't hit it as well off the tees. I had to earn it a bit more out there. I pulled out a 67. So I'm pretty happy with it."
American Scott Stallings, seeking his first PGA title in eight years, shot 64 to share second on 197 alongside countryman Denny McCarthy and Argentina's Emiliano Grillo, who birdied four of the last five holes to shoot 65 as he chases his first PGA victory since 2015.
194 - J.T. Poston 62-65-67
197 - Scott Stallings 67-66-64, Emiliano Grillo (ARG) 68-64-65, Denny McCarthy 66-65-66
198 - Callum Tarren (ENG) 68-65-65
199 - Bo Hoag 67-69-63, Chris Naegel 66-66-67
200 - Christiaan Bezuidenhout (RSA) 69-65-66, Matthias Schwab (AUT) 67-65-68
01 July 07:18
JT Poston matched his career low round with a nine-under par 62 on Thursday to take a two-shot lead in the first round of the PGA Tour John Deere Classic in Illinois.
Poston, chasing a second PGA Tour title after his 2019 Wyndham Championship win, rattled in a 26-foot eagle putt and capped his round with another 26-footer for a birdie, setting an early target that withstood all afternoon challengers.
"Any time you can have those rounds where you really get it going low and mistake-free, bogey-free is a bonus," said Poston, who also carded a 62 en route to a runner-up finish to Xander Schauffele last week.
"It's why you work at it and why you practice the way we do."
Poston teed off on 10 and after back-to-back birdies at 13 and 14 he strung together three straight birdies from the 17th through first before capping the burst with his eagle at the second.
He holed a 70-foot shot from a greenside bunker for birdie at the fourth and after two clutch par putts at the fifth and sixth rolled in one more birdie putt at the ninth.
"The bunker shot on four - I looked at (caddie Aaron) Flener like, did that really happen?" Poston said.
"I think it was the first green that I missed, and to hole it out and make birdie, you're not really thinking you're going to make it, but when you do, you just realise it could be one of those days."
Poston, who has three top-10 finishes this season, was two strokes in front of Canadian Michael Gligic, who had seven birdies in his seven-under par 64.
Vaughn Taylor and Christopher Gotterup shared third on 65, both carding eight birdies and two bogeys in their six-under rounds.
Ricky Barnes, Denny McCarthy, Monday qualifier Chris Naegel and South African Dylan Frittelli were tied on 66.
Poston said he knew he'd have to keep going low to be in the hunt on Sunday in a tournament in which the highest winning score since 2009 was 18-under.
"I think tomorrow, regardless of where I stand starting the day, I am going to try and go out there and shoot another number like that or shoot another solid five-, six-under," he said.
"Just stay aggressive and not just kind of coast."Gligic said he'd also try to keep the pedal down.
"We all have our game plans, and just going to stick to it and hopefully can keep hitting good shots and giving myself some looks and make some putts," he said.
Gligic was unbothered by windier afternoon conditions, finding 16 of 18 greens in regulation and rolling in a number of long range putts.
His seven birdies included three in a row at seven, eight and nine, with putts of 12, 21 and 19 feet.
"It was fairly stress free," he said. "Just need to find a way to do that the next three days."
Leading first-round scores on Thursday in the US PGA Tour John Deere Classic in Silvis, Illinois (USA unless noted, par-71):
62 - JT Poston
64 - Michael Gligic (CAN)65 - Vaughn Taylor, Christopher Gotterup
66 - Ricky Barnes, Denny McCarthy, Chris Naegel, Dylan Frittelli (RSA)
67 - Taylor Moore, Chesson Hadley, Scott Stallings, Mark Hubbard, Adam Svensson (CAN), Curtis Thompson, Matthias Schwab (AUT), Martin Trainer, Doc Redman, Bo Hoag
27 June 07:18
Tokyo Olympic champion Xander Schauffele birdied the final hole on Sunday to win the Travelers Championship, holding off Sahith Theegala for his sixth career PGA Tour title.
The 28-year-old American fired a two-under par 68 to finish on 19-under 261 after 72 holes at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut.
That was enough to defeat Theegala, who fell from the lead with a closing double bogey, and fellow American JT Poston, who shared second on 263.
It marked the first time Schauffele had converted a 54-hole PGA lead into a triumph, but that happened only after Theegala seized the lead with a birdie at the 17th - and then found a bunker off the 18th tee to set up a nightmare finish.
"It's incredible," Schauffele said. "I was looking at birdie just getting into a playoff. I saw a little hiccup for Sahith and I knew I had to get it into the cup."
World number 15 Schauffele captured his fifth PGA title in April at the pairs event in New Orleans with pal Patrick Cantlay.
Schauffele had not won a solo tour event since the 2019 Tournament of Champions.
US amateur Michael Thorbjornsen fired his second consecutive 66 to finish fourth on 265, the top amateur showing in tournament history.
"It was surreal. It was crazy," he said. "I think it was louder than last week at the US Open. It was special. I felt pretty comfortable out there."World number 120 Theegala settled for his best PGA finish, improving on his share of third from February's Phoenix Open.
Schauffele and Theegala were deadlocked on 18-under with two holes remaining.
Theegala then sank a birdie putt from just inside 11 feet at 17 to seize the lead at 19-under, pumping his fist in celebration while Schauffele watched stoically from the fairway.
While Schauffele two-putted from 25 feet for par at 17, Theegala found a fairway bunker near a high slope at the par-4 18th and tried to blast out.
Instead, Theegala left the ball in the sand at his feet before punching it out into the fairway with his third shot and pitching to 12 feet from the cup.
His bogey putt lipped out off the left edge and he tapped in for double bogey, falling one adrift of Schauffele, who was comfortably in the 18th fairway.
"I knew it was going to be close to the lip, but not that close," said Theegala. "Never in a million years did I think I would allow myself to blade it. All I had to do was chunk it.
"I had room there. I just straight bladed it. And then from there, got to try and make five. I nearly bladed it again."
Schauffele dropped his approach just beyond three feet from the cup and sank the clutch putt for the triumph.
"I know, and all the guys out here know, how hard it is to win and how few opportunities there are," said Theegala.
"That's why something like this is really going to hurt."
Mixed start for Xander
Schauffele made bogey at the second but answered with birdie putts of 15 feet at the par-4 fourth and just inside 11 feet at the par-5 sixth.
He rolled in a 26-foot birdie putt at the par-3 11th but was way left off beyond a cart path at the 12th tee on his way to a bogey.
Theegala, who sank a 10-footer to birdie the first and a 24-footer to birdie the ninth, made a tap-in birdie at the par-5 13th and sank a four-foot birdie putt at the par-4 15th to match Schauffele for the lead.
Leading final round scores on Sunday in the PGA Tour Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands, Cromwell, Connecticut (par-70; US unless stated, a- denotes amateur):
261 - Xander Schauffele 63-63-67-68
263 - JT Poston 62-70-67-64, Sahith Theegala 67-65-64-67
265 - Michael Thorbjornsen-a 68-65-66-66
266 - Chesson Hadley 68-67-67-64
268 - Keith Mitchell 66-68-67-67, Kevin Kisner 67-64-66-71
269 - Scott Stallings 74-64-68-63, Brian Harman 68-69-66-66, Chez Reavie 67-69-66-66, William McGirt 66-70-66-67, Nick Hardy 67-64-68-70
270 - John Huh 67-65-69-69, Tony Finau 68-68-65-69, Scottie Scheffler 68-67-65-70, Webb Simpson 64-69-66-71, Martin Laird (SCO) 63-69-66-72, Patrick Cantlay 64-67-63-76
271 - Luke List 68-68-70-65, Rory McIlroy (NIR) 62-70-72-67, Keegan Bradley 69-69-66-67, Matthew NeSmith 65-67-68-71, Harris English 66-65-69-71, Lee Kyung-Hoon (KOR) 68-64-66-73
26 June 07:01
Xander Schauffele produced a late birdie spree to hold onto a slender lead at the PGA Tour's Travelers Championship Saturday with a three-under-par 67.
Schauffele, who led by five shots after Friday's second round, will take a one-shot advantage into Sunday's final round at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut.
But the 28-year-old from California left it late to ensure he would remain on top of the leaderboard on Saturday with a pair of birdies on the 16th and 17th holes to drop to 17 under for the tournament.
He rolled in a 16-foot birdie putt at the par-three 16th and then drilled an iron from the fairway to a few feet for a further birdie on the 17th.
That ultimately allowed Schauffele to finish the day just in front of red-hot Patrick Cantlay, who had a bogey-free seven-under-par 63 to move to 16 under.
Schauffele is looking forward to a final round duel against close friend and Ryder Cup playing partner Cantlay.
"It will be fun. I've been looking forward to playing with Pat in a final round," he said."We don't get paired together very often in regular tournaments, only in those team ones."
So there's a certain level of comfort we have playing with each other and hopefully that pays off and hopefully we can make a lot of birdies."
Cantlay was similarly enthused by the prospect of a final day shoot-out with his friend.
"We actually haven't played that much together in tournament play, maybe only three times in the last three, four years. So it will be good to go out there again with him," Cantlay said. "It's always nice to be out with him, if he's on my team or if he's not. I'm going to go out there tomorrow and try as hard as I can and let the chips fall where they may."
Sahith Theegala is three off the lead on 14 under after his six-under-par 64.
193 - Xander Schauffele 63-63-67194 - Patrick Cantlay 64-67-63196 - Sahith Theegala 67-65-64197 - Kevin Kisner 67-64-66198 - Martin Laird (SCO) 63-69-66, Lee Kyung-Hoon (KOR) 68-64-66199 - Michael Thorbjornsen-a 68-65-66, Webb Simpson 64-69-66, JT Poston 62-70-67, Nick Hardy 67-64-68
24 June 07:05
Rory McIlroy fired an eight-under-par 62 to grab a share of the lead after the first round of the PGA Tour's Travelers Championship on Thursday.
McIlroy, continuing an impressive run of recent form that included victory at the Canadian Open and a top-five finish at last week's US Open, reeled off eight birdies in a flawless bogey-free round at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut.
Starting on the 10th hole, McIlroy began slowly with three straight pars before picking up birdies on the 13th, 15th and 18th holes to reach the turn at three under.
But his round caught fire down the stretch. He drilled a wedge from the fairway on the par-four first to six feet to set up a birdie before rolling in a 13-foot birdie putt at the third hole to move to five under.
He then reached the green in two on the par-five sixth hole and although he missed his eagle putt, he tapped in for birdie.
McIlroy followed that with a 47-foot monster putt for birdie on the seventh to move to seven under, and another superb chip to two feet set up a birdie on the last.
"Anytime you start with a 62, you're going to take it," a satisfied McIlroy said.
The Northern Ireland star said the forgiving layout at River Highlands came as a welcome relief after the brutal challenge of last week's US Open, the major which bills itself as the toughest test in golf.
"It's like the anti-US Open here," McIlroy said. "It's like US Open rehab coming here. You're like, 'Oh, I can actually make some birdies. This is nice.'"
Poston birdie spree
McIlroy has emerged as one of the most vocal supporters of the PGA Tour in recent weeks as golf grapples with the turmoil caused by the rise of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf tournament.
The 33-year-old four-time major champion insists however that the off-course controversy - and his staunch advocacy for the PGA Tour - is not a distraction.
"I feel fine," McIlroy said. "I get asked questions, I answer questions, and I move on with my life. What the other guys do doesn't affect me."
McIlroy was joined at the top of the leaderboard by JT Poston, who birdied his final hole to complete his own bogey-free eight-under-par 62.
World number 162 Poston had looked poised to overhaul McIlroy at the top of the leaderboard after a blistering opening nine holes, that saw him make six birdies - including five in a row - to reach the turn at six under.
But Poston found birdies harder to come spree dried up down the stretch, making six straight pars after the turn before finally picking up two more birdies in the last three holes.
"It was nice to kind of finally put some good swings together, hit some good shots and make some putts," Poston said.
"I feel like my scores and my results may not have shown that the last few weeks or months, but I felt like I was getting close, and I've been working hard at it. Today was kind of one of those days where it finally clicked a little bit."
McIlroy and Poston are one shot clear of Xander Schauffele and Scotland's Martin Laird who both shot seven-under-par 63s.
A group of three players - Charles Howell III, Webb Simpson and Patrick Cantlay - are a further shot back on six under.
Matthew NeSmith and Australia's Cam Davis are also firmly in the hunt after shooting five-under-par 65s.
Scores from first round of the PGA Tour Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands, Cromwell, Connecticut (par-70; US unless stated):
62 - Rory McIlroy (NIR), JT Poston
63 - Xander Schauffele, Martin Laird
64 - Charles Howell III, Webb Simpson, Patrick Cantlay
65 - Cam Davis (AUS), Matthew NeSmith
66 - William McGirt, Wyndham Clark, Hank Lebioda, Harris English, Keith Mitchell
13 June 06:34
Rory McIlroy fired 10 birdies in an eight-under-par 62 on Sunday to win the PGA Tour Canadian Open by two strokes, defending the title he won in 2019.
The Northern Ireland star survived some tense moments on the back nine, closing with birdies at the 17th and 18th to seal the victory with a 19-under-par total of 261.
American Tony Finau, who started the day tied for lead, carded his sixth birdie of the day at 18 for a six-under 64 that put him alone in second on 263 - one stroke in front of compatriot Justin Thomas.
Thomas was tied for the lead with two to play, but closed with back-to-back bogeys in a 64 for 265.
"This is a day I'll remember for a long, long time," McIlroy said as fans - who poured onto the fairway to surround the final trio on the 18th green - cheerfully chanted his name.
It was his first chance to defend the title he won in 2019 after the Covid pandemic forced cancellation of the event in 2020 and 2021.
"Playing with Tony and JT today - two of the top players in the world, all of us playing the way we did. I think the worst score in the group was what, six-under?"
McIlroy set an early tone with a 26-foot birdie at the first.
He added a four-footer at the fourth, then chipped in at the sixth and made a short birdie at the seventh - then got really hot with birdies at the ninth, 10th, 11th and 12th - where he poured in a 39-footer.
But Thomas wouldn't let him get away. After a birdie at the second the American birdied six in a row from the sixth through the 11th.
His birdie at 14 - after McIlroy bogeyed 13, saw the Northern Ireland star's lead cut to one stroke.
After McIlroy bogeyed 16 they were tied at 17-under - but McIlroy finished with a flourish as Thomas faded and Finau drained a 40-foot putt at the 72nd hole to snatch solo second.
England's Justin Rose provided a curtain-raiser to the final-group fireworks on the par-70 St George's Golf and Country club course in suburban Toronto.
Rose flirted with the 13th sub-60 round in PGA tour history, but a bogey at 18 saw him settle for a tournament record-equalling 10-under par 60.
Rose launched his round in spectacular style with a hole-out for birdie from the fairway at the first. He added a seven-foot birdie at the second, a two-footer at the fifth and a chip-in at the seventh before a bogey at the ninth, where he was in a fairway bunker.
The push continued on the back nine with a 17-foot birdie at the 10th, a 30-foot eagle at the 11th and a two-foot birdie at the 12th after a chip from deep rough.
He rolled in a six-footer at the 14th before his third eagle of the day at 15 moved him to 11-under. But Rose was unable to get up and down from a greenside bunker at 16.
Even so he was back to 11-under after a birdie at the 17th, but after his tee shot trickled just off the fairway at 18 his second shot flew the green and he closed with a bogey.
Rose - who had a real chance not only at 59 but even at Jim Furyk's PGA record of 58 - admitted it was a disappointing finish "because you know what's at stake, for sure.
"I never shot 59 before, so it would have been a lovely footnote on the week," added Rose, who finished tied for fourth with Sam Burns, five shots off the lead.
Leading final-round scores on Sunday at the PGA Tour Canadian Open at St George's in Toronto (USA unless noted, par-70):
261 - Rory McIlroy (NIR) 66-68-65-62
263 - Tony Finau 66-71-62-64
265 - Justin Thomas 69-69-63-64
266 - Justin Rose (ENG) 69-70-67-60, Sam Burns 67-69-65-65
268 - Corey Conners (CAN) 71-69-66-62
270 - Keith Mitchell 67-67-70-66, Chris Kirk 69-69-66-66, Wyndham Clark 63-70-68-69
271 - Danny Lee (NZL) 68-69-69-65, Shane Lowry (IRL) 67-69-69-66, Matt Fitzpatrick (ENG) 64-70-70-67
272 - Kelly Kraft 69-69-70-64, Brendon Todd 69-69-68-66, Aaron Rai (ENG) 69-70-67-66, Harold Varner 65-72-68-67, Austin Cook 71-64-68-69
273 - Patrick Rodgers 67-69-72-65, Scottie Scheffler 69-67-71-66, Doug Ghim 65-71-68-69
- via AFP
12 June 06:12
McIlroy, Finau share PGA Canadian Open lead
Tony Finau closed with a 25-foot birdie putt to share the lead with four-time major winner Rory McIlroy after Saturday's third round of the US PGA Tour's Canadian Open.
World number 18 Finau matched the low round of his PGA career with an eight-under par 62 while eighth-ranked McIlroy fired a 65 to stand on 11-under 199 after 54 holes at St George's Golf and Country Club in suburban Toronto.
"I didn't finish the way I wanted to yesterday," Finau said after two late bogeys Friday.
"I think all it did was light a fire in my belly to get after it today. That's pretty much what I did. I made some birdies and I just played really clean golf."
Finau, whose PGA titles include the 2016 Puerto Rico Open and 2021 Northern Trust, needed only 24 putts in the round.
"It has been trial and error with me and my putter. I've been working hard on it," Finau said.
"It's starting to pay dividends for me. I saw a lot of them go in today. It was nice.
"Northern Ireland's McIlroy - the 2019 winner and defending champion after Covid-19 caused a two-year hiatus - was cheered at every hole.
"All aspects were really good," McIlroy said.
"I drove it a lot better off the tees. My wedge game was a little better and my short game bailed me out a couple of times."McIlroy is chasing his 21st US PGA victory and first since last October's CJ Cup in Las Vegas.
11 June 09:31
Defending champion Rory McIlroy is among a group of five players trailing leader Wyndham Clark by one stroke after the second round of the RBC Canadian Open.
Neither Clark nor closest challenger Matt Fitzpatrick were able to replicate their impressive opening round scores on Friday, each carding an even 70 to retain their spots on the leaderboard.
"Just didn't hole the putts I needed to on the last three," Fitzpatrick said.
"Just pathetic. Yeah, just pathetic finish really with the putter.
"Disappointing finish, but definitely not out of it."
McIlroy followed up Thursday's 66 with a score of two-under 68 to join Fitzpatrick in second place, alongside Alex Smalley, Keith Mitchell and Jim Knous.
The Northern Irishman won the tournament by seven shots in 2019, but the pandemic cancelled the last two years of the event, leaving him unable to defend the title until now.
"Overall it was a good score," McIlroy said.
"I scrambled well when I needed to. I didn't really take advantage of how well I hit it off the tee. But overall I felt a couple under was a fair reflection of how the day went."
England's Matt Wallace and Ireland's Shane Lowry are a further two shots back on four under headed into the weekend.
Last month, Fitzpatrick missed out on his first major title by two strokes in the US PGA Championship at Southern Hills.
133 - Wyndham Clark 63-70
134 - Alex Smalley 67-67, Keith Mitchell 67-67, Rory McIlroy (NIR) 66-68, Matt Fitzpatrick (ENG) 64-70, Jim Knous 67-67
135 - Austin Cook 71-64
136 - Matt Wallace (ENG) 70-66, Sam Burns 67-69, Scottie Scheffler 69-67, Patrick Rodgers 67-69, Lee Hodges 66-70, Charley Hoffman 68-68, Shane Lowry (IRL) 67-69, Doug Ghim 65-71
10 June 07:23
Wyndham Clark takes Canadian Open lead
Wyndham Clark fired a seven-under-par 63 to grab a one-shot lead after the first round of the Canadian Open in Toronto on Thursday.
The 28-year-old American, chasing his first PGA Tour victory five years after turning professional, reeled off seven birdies in a bogey-free round at St George's Golf Course.
That was good enough for a one-shot lead over England's Matt Fitzpatrick, who posted a six-under par 64.
Fitzpatrick was denied a share of the lead after a lone bogey five on the par-4 fourth hole.
"I've made a lot of cuts this year and had a lot of really solid rounds," Clark said afterwards. "I just haven't put them together. So I've been trending in the right direction, and today it all kind of came together.
"I'm really hoping that we keep going this week with that and leading into next week at the US Open and for the rest of the summer. My game feels good."
Americans Doug Ghim and Harold Varner III were two off the lead on five under after carding matching 65s.
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy - winner of the tournament in 2019 and the defending champion because of the two-year pandemic hiatus - heads a cluster of four players on four under after posting a 66 that included six birdies and two bogeys.
"Really solid start," said McIlroy, who finished tied for 18th at last week's Memorial tournament. "Overall, very happy with the start of the week, especially coming off a disappointing weekend at the Memorial last weekend.
It was nice to bounce back with a good score."
Thursday's PGA Tour event teed off against the backdrop of turmoil in the golfing world following the launch of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series outside London.
The PGA Tour said early on Thursday that 17 players signed up
to the LIV series have now been banned from its tournaments.
Leading first-round scores on Thursday in the PGA Tour Canadian Open in Toronto (USA unless noted, par-70):
63 - Wyndham Clark
64 - Matt Fitzpatrick (ENG)
65 - Doug Ghim, Harold Varner III
66 - Mackenzie Hughes (CAN), Rory McIlroy (NIR), Lee Hodges, Tony Finau
67 - Shane Lowry (IRL), Carlos Ortiz (MEX), Jim KnousMark Hubbard, Alex Smalley, Sam Burns, Keith Mitchell, Patrick Rodgers, Jonas Blixt (SWE)
06 June 06:53
Horschel's eagle magic seals Memorial win
Billy Horschel conjured a moment of magic to close out victory at the PGA Tour's Memorial Tournament on Sunday.
The 35-year-old world number 17, who had led by five shots after a dazzling seven-under-par 65 in the third round, endured a nervy final round before battling to a level par 72 to secure victory by four strokes at a sun-baked Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio.
Horschel looked set for a nerve-jangling final three holes after a birdie from playing partner Aaron Wise on the 15th green saw him move to within two shots of the lead.
But Horschel, who had already made crucial putts to save par on the 13th and 14th holes, rolled in a monster 53-foot eagle putt to leap into a four-shot lead with three to play.
That effectively killed off the challenge of Wise and the chasing pack, and although Horschel dropped a shot with a bogey on the 17th, he finished four shots clear with a 72-hole aggregate of 13-under 275, strolling off the 18th green to be congratulated by tournament host and golf icon Jack Nicklaus.
Horschel said afterwards he had taken inspiration from the course management of Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as he attempted to close out the seventh PGA Tour victory of his career.
"Learn from those two and understand that when you have a lead you don't have to do anything special, just have to make sure you don't give any shots back," Horschel said.
"I did give some shots back, which I was upset about. And if I did have to do something special, be ready for it. That eagle on 15 was huge. Aaron had just made birdie so if I didn't at least birdie it was down to two shots -- so to make an eagle to go four up with three to play, that's one you shouldn't cough up, and I didn't."
Wise, meanwhile, closed with a 71 to take sole possession of second place on nine under.
Patrick Cantlay and Chile's Joaquin Niemann tied for third on seven under, six off the lead, after closing 71s.
275 - Billy Horschel 70-68-65-72
279 - Aaron Wise 70-69-69-71
281 - Joaquin Niemann (CHI) 71-69-70-72, Patrik Cantlay 72-69-69-71
282 - Max Homa 69-74-70-69, Will Zalatoris 68-73-71-70, Denny McCarthy 68-69-73-72, Sahith Theegala 68-75-68-71, Daniel Berger 70-72-67-73
05 June 07:09
Billy Horschel fired a brilliant seven-under-par 65 to take a commanding five-shot lead after the third round of the PGA Tour's Memorial tournament at Muirfield Village in Ohio on Saturday.
Horschel's superb short play engineered seven birdies in a flawless bogey-free round that saw the American pull clear at the top of the leaderboard at 13-under 203 after 54 holes.
The 35-year-old world number 17, chasing the seventh PGA Tour victory of his career, set the tone for a spectacular round after chipping in from just off the green on the par-four first hole from 44 feet to claim his opening birdie.
He rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt on the par-five fifth, and then grabbed another on the seventh when his wedge from 114 yards landed within four feet of the cup.
Another birdie followed on the par-3 eighth when Horschel's tee-shot left him with a six-foot putt, and three more birdies after the turn completed a magnificent round.
It marked a stark contrast from Horschel's outing at the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial last week, when he failed to reach the weekend after missing the cut.
"I just don't like missing cuts, simple as that. I don't miss a lot of them and when I do I get ticked off about it," said Horschel, who has posted just one bogey through three rounds this week.
"We just haven't played well, the swing hasn't been good enough, and the putting hasn't been good enough.
"I just said this week, 'Forget it. I'm going to go out there and try and win this thing' and get back to the mindset that I'm one of the top players in the world and I can compete anywhere against anybody," he added.
Aaron Wise and second-round leader Cameron Smith head the chasing pack, five shots off the lead at eight under.
Wise vaulted up the leaderboard with a 69 while Smith recovered from a bogey-bogey start to scramble his way to a 72.
"Golf is a crazy game," Smith said afterwards. "You've got to try and get as much out of it as you can. I feel as though my good is really good, and my bad is getting better.
"There was lots of not-so-good stuff out there today, and I just stuck in there," the Australian added.
"Managed to have a couple of birdies on that back nine, and just nice to get away with level par and keep myself in the tournament."
Daniel Berger jumped 20 places up the leaderboard into a tie for fourth alongside Francesco Molinari and Jhonattan Vegas after a 67.
Berger, Molinari and Vegas are six off the lead at seven under.
Behind them are a cluster of five players at six under that includes Patrick Cantlay, winner at Memorial in 2019 and 2021, Chile's Joaquin Niemann, Luke List, Davis Riley and Denny McCarthy.
203 - Billy Horschell 70-68-65
208 - Cameron Smith (AUS) 67-69-72, Aaron Wise 70-69-69
209 - Jhonattan Vegas (VEN) 69-69-71, Francesco Molinari (ITA) 71-68-70, Daniel Berger 70-72-67
210 - Denny McCarthy 68-69-73, Luke List 67-71-72, Davis Riley 67-71-72, Joaquin Niemann (CHI) 71-69-70, Patrick Cantlay 72-69-69
211 - Cameron Young 67-71-73, Matthew NeSmith 69-72-70, Sahith Theegala 68-75-68
04 June 07:32
Australia's Smith leads PGA Memorial by one
Australia's Cameron Smith fired a three-under-par 69 to take a one-shot lead at the halfway stage of the PGA Tour's Memorial tournament in Ohio on Friday.
The 28-year-old world number three from Queensland, chasing his third win of the year, carded four birdies against one bogey to move to eight under overall for the tournament at Muirfield Village in Dublin.
Smith, who started the day in a six-way tie at the top of the leaderboard after a five-under-par opening round on Thursday, took sole possession of the lead after another solid round in the event hosted by Jack Nicklaus.
The Aussie reeled off four straight pars before his first birdie on the par-five fifth hole, when he left himself with a tap-in after drilling his 102-yard third shot to within three feet.
Although he gave up that shot with a bogey on the sixth, he picked up another birdie on the seventh when another short iron left him with a three-footer for birdie.
Two more birdies followed on the 11th and 12th, with the highlight a clever chip from thick rough off the green on the 12th which rolled 35 feet into the cup.
"Really happy with where my short game's at, I feel like I'm rolling the ball really good," Smith said afterwards.
"I'm just happy with the way I stuck in there."
Smith's impressive season has also included strong showings in the opening two majors of the year, finishing in a tie for third place at the Masters before a joint 13th place finish at the PGA Championship.
"I'm playing some of the best golf of my life," the Australian said.
"I think mentally I'm in a good spot. I've got a few things to tidy up with my longer stuff."
Denny McCarthy and South Korea's Lee Kyoung-hoon lead the chasing pack behind Smith, one off the pace on seven under.McCarthy moved into contention with a three-under-par 69 while Lee, who shared the lead with Smith after the first round, posted a two-under-par 70.
Five players are two off the lead on six under, with the biggest move among them on Friday coming from Billy Horschel, who shot a bogey-free four-under-par 68.
Horschel is tied for fourth alongside Davis Riley, Cameron Young, Luke List and Venezuela's Jhonattan Vegas.
Rory McIlroy heads a group of four players a further shot back on five under.
McIlroy remained in the hunt with a three-under-par 69, while Ryder Cup team-mate Francesco Molinari shot a four-under-par 68.
Keith Mitchell was also on five under, and was left ruing a costly late double-bogey on the 16th which checked his pursuit of the leaders.
Mitchell finished with a three-under-par 69.
McIlroy meanwhile was left frustrated after a second round which veered between brilliance -- an eagle three at the par-five fifth -- before bogeys at the eighth, 11th and 14th.
"I guess it sort of happens around here," McIlroy said.
"It's getting tricky and you're going to make bogeys regardless of where they come.
"Overall, two solid rounds of golf, right in contention into the weekend. Happy with how everything is sort of going." - AFP
03 June 06:46
Australian Cameron Smith, Canadian Mackenzie Hughes and South Korean Lee Kyoung-hoon were among a record six players sharing the lead after Thursday's opening round of the US PGA Memorial tournament.
Americans Luke List, Davis Riley and Cameron Young were also among the co-leaders on five-under par 67 after 18 holes at the Jack Nicklaus-hosted event at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio.
"This is about as easy as this place is going to get," Smith said. "It's going to be a lot of stressful golf and a lot of grinding over the weekend."
Smith, a back-nine starter, opened with three birdies in his first six holes, highlighted by a 34-foot birdie putt at the 13th. Between a 28-foot birdie putt at the first and an 18-footer at the ninth, he sandwiched two birdies and two bogeys.
"A little bit of a grind," Smith said. "It was just good to kind of hang in there, make a few birdies, see a few putts going in."
Lee holed out for eagle from 152 yards at the ninth, then began the back nine with back-to-back bogeys. He answered with consecutive birdies at the par-5 15th and par-3 16th then made clutch pars from 10 and five feet.
"I'm very happy," Lee said. "I tried to just keep momentum well. Great first nine, especially making eagle."
Hughes made nine birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey. He closed with three birdies in the last four holes, ending with a 20-footer at the ninth.
"I hit a few loose ones that I'd like to have back, but I did so many good things that it's easier to forget about those," Hughes said.
Young, a 10th tee starter, sank a 15-foot birdie putt at the par-3 12th, a 23-foot birdie putt at 13 and holed a 15-foot eagle putt at the par-5 15th. He also closed with a 27-foot birdie putt at the ninth.
67 - Cameron Young, Luke List, Cameron Smith (AUS), Lee Kyoung-hoon (KOR), Mackenzie Hughes (CAN), Davis Riley
68 - Will Zalatoris, Denny McCarthy, Sahith Theegala, Wyndham Clark
69 - Jhonattan Vegas (VEN), William McGirt, Abraham Ancer (MEX), Max Homa, Joel Dahmen, Keegan Bradley, Matthew NeSmith, Shane Lowry (IRL), Corey Conners (CAN), Brendan Steele
30 May 07:51
Burns beats Scheffler in playoff to win at Colonial
Sam Burns rolled in a 38-foot birdie putt from off the green at the first playoff hole to beat world number one Scottie Scheffler at the Charles Schwab Challenge on Sunday.
Burns, seven back to start the day, matched the biggest comeback in tournament history at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, a mark set by Zimbabwe's Nick Price in 1994.
Burns polished it off with a playoff win over his good friend Scheffler. Burns shared a house with the Texan at Augusta in April, when Scheffler won his maiden major title at the Masters."Gosh, I don't even know," Burns said of how he made his winning putt, some two hours after he had completed a five-under par 65 final round for a nine-under total of 271.
It matched the low round of the day as fierce winds pushed up scores and a stream of contenders wilted in the Texas afternoon heat.
"I think just with the conditions today, how tough it was playing, just so proud with how we hung in there," Burns said.
Scheffler started the day with a two-shot lead, but the world number one had two bogeys without a birdie in his two-over par 72.
He kept himself in the hunt with some clutch par putts on the back nine, a nine-footer at the 15th, an eight-footer at 17 and a five-foot putt to salvage par from a greenside bunker at the last.
Burns launched his comeback by getting up and down from a greenside bunker for birdie at the first.
He rolled in a 10-foot birdie at the second and an eight-footer at the fourth.
After a bogey at the fifth, he birdied six, seven, nine and 11 to reach 10-under before a miscue at the 12th.
"I played such a good round of golf today. Especially after I hit a foul ball on 12, kind of killed our momentum," Burns said.
"Proud of the way we finished and to make that putt is just icing on the cake."
Burns notched his fourth US PGA Tour victory and his third of the season.
He successfully defended his Valspar Championship title in March.
He was especially pleased to put his name on the trophy at Colonial, where he recalled as a teenager watching his fellow Louisiana native David Toms triumph in 2011.
"I remember that week like it's yesterday," Burns said.
"To have my name on that list is really cool." - AFP
29 May 06:42
Top-ranked Masters champion Scottie Scheffler closed with a 30-foot birdie putt to seize a two-stroke lead after Saturday's wind-whipped third round of the US PGA Charles Schwab Challenge.
The 25-year-old American, chasing his fifth victory of the year, fired a two-under par 68 to stand on 11-under 199 after 54 holes at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.
"The winds were up really high. The greens were actually pretty firm, and so it was challenging," said Scheffler.
"The birdies were not coming easily to anybody out there late in the day." Scheffler, among eight players sharing the 18-hole lead and four co-leaders after 36, had not made a bogey over the first 52 holes before stumbling at the 17th.
But he responded with a dramatic birdie at the 18th to stretch his lead back to two entering Sunday's final round.
"I was glad it was going toward the cup. I hit it a little bit too firm," Scheffler said of his final birdie.
"I struggled a little bit with the speed of the greens today. It's tough when the wind gets blowing that hard.
"Like 18, I'm putting downhill but straight into the wind. That one I was just trying to make sure I got to the hole because putting downhill when the greens get iffy late in the day is very tough... fortunately that one hit the bottom of the cup."
An eagle-birdie start helped American Brendon Todd shoot 65, the day's low round, to share second on 201 with countryman Scott Stallings.
American Harold Varner was in fourth on 202. Patrick Reed, the 2018 Masters champion, was on 203 with fellow Americans John Huh and Chris Kirk and Australian Cam Davis.
Scheffler could become the first world number one to win the event since Australian Adam Scott in 2014. With a victory, Scheffler would join South African Bobby Locke from 1947 and Australian Joe Kirkwood Sr. from 1923 as players winning their first five US PGA Tour titles in the same season.
Locke took six in his debut campaign while Kirkwood won five. After winning his first US PGA title at Phoenix in February, Scheffler won at Bay Hill and captured the WGC Match Play title in March then won his first major title at Augusta National in April to overtake Spain's Jon Rahm as world number one. -
'It's very challenging' - Patience was at a premium on a blustery day for Scheffler, who parred his way through the front nine to remain tied for the lead.
At the 10th, Scheffler found greenside rough but chipped in from 20 feet to seize the solo lead, then landed his approach at the par-5 11th inches from the cup and tapped in to reach 11-under and lead by two.
At 14, Scheffler chipped from 70 feet to inches from the cup for a tap-in par, but his bogey-free run ended with a five-foot par putt miss at the 17th, setting the stage for his dramatic birdie finish.
"This is a golf course you have to be pretty careful around. It's very challenging," Scheffler said.
Todd drove the green in two and sank an eight-foot eagle putt on the par-5 opening hole, then holed out from just over 33 feet at the second. Todd dropped his approach to four feet to set up a birdie at the sixth and rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt at the par-3 eighth, then parred his way to the clubhouse.
Leading third-round scores on Saturday from the US PGA Tour Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas (USA unless noted, par-70):
199 - Scottie Scheffler 66-65-68
201 - Brendon Todd 68-68-65, Scott Stallings 67-64-70
202 - Harold Varner 66-68-68
203 - John Huh 69-66-68, Cam Davis (AUS) 66-68-69, Chris Kirk 66-67-70, Patrick Reed 66-66-71
204 - Mito Pereira (CHI) 70-66-68, Davis Riley 67-67-70, Beau Hossler 66-65-73
205 - Andrew Putnam 73-65-67, Chad Ramey 70-66-69, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (RSA) 68-68-69, Jordan Spieth 69-66-70, Pat Perez 67-66-72
206 - Sam Burns 71-68-67, Sahith Theegala 70-69-67, Tony Finau 71-68-67, Kevin Na 67-71-68, Adam Svensson (CAN) 69-68-69, Russell Knox (SCO) 68-68-70, Kurt Kitayama 71-65-70
207 - Im Sung-jae (KOR) 70-70-67, Alex Smalley 72-66-69, Dylan Frittelli (RSA) 67-70-70, Lucas Glover 70-67-70, Denny McCarthy 68-68-71, Matt Jones (AUS) 70-66-71, Viktor Hovland (NOR) 69-65-73 - AFP
28 May 06:50
Top-ranked Masters champion Scottie Scheffler fired a five-under par 65 to keep a share of the lead after Friday's second round of the US PGA Charles Schwab Challenge.
Scheffler, chasing his fifth victory of the year, stood alongside fellow Americans Beau Hossler and Scott Stallings on nine-under 131 after 36 holes at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. Christiaan Bezuidenhout is the best-ranked South African 5 shots further back.
After winning his first US PGA title at Phoenix in February, Scheffler won at Bay Hill and captured the WGC Match Play title in March then won his first major title at the Masters in April to overtake Spain's Jon Rahm as world number one.
"I've definitely enjoyed the stuff that comes with winning majors and winning the other tournaments that I have," Scheffler said.
"It has been a lot of fun."
Scheffler has not made a bogey in the first two rounds. "I love that stat," Scheffler said. "I kept the stress off myself for the most part." Scheffler missed the cut at last week's PGA Championship, giving him a much-needed break before a hometown event.
"It has been busy," he said. "Definitely a good reset. I came home and did nothing on Saturday and had a relaxing practice on Sunday. It was definitely a good little break."
Hot and windy weather is forecast for the weekend. "I like it when the conditions are really hard and so I'd rather it be very difficult than very easy," Scheffler said. "If you're playing really good golf, you can extend yourself and I'm really excited for the challenge this weekend."
Scheffler opened with back-to-back birdie putts from about four feet and made a par save from just inside 10 feet at the par-4 seventh. He began the back nine with a birdie then holed a 24-foot birdie putt at the 12th and a 14-footer for birdie at the 17th to share the lead again after being among eight co-leaders following the first 18 holes.
"I worked really hard just improving my iron play and creating a lot of different shots for myself," Scheffler said. "This course is a lot about the approaches to the green and it looks like the hard work is paying off out here."
Leading second-round scores on Friday from the US PGA Tour Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas (USA unless noted, par-70):
131 - Scott Stallings 67-64, Beau Hossler 66-65, Scott Scheffler 66-65
132 - Patrick Reed 66-66
133 - Pat Perez 67-66, Chris Kirk 66-67
134 - Max McGreevy 68-66, Davis Riley 67-67, Cam Davis (AUS) 66-68, Viktor Hovland (NOR) 69-65, Harold Varner 66-68
135 - Jordan Spieth 69-66, John Huh 69-66, Webb Simpson 66-69
136 - Denny McCarthy 68-68, Matt Jones (AUS) 70-66, Brendon Todd 68-68, Mito Pereira (CHI) 70-66, Kurt Kitayama 71-65, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (RSA) 68-68, Russell Knox (SCO) 68-68, Chad Ramey 70-66
137 - Danny Lee (NZL) 73-64, Nick Taylor (CAN) 66-71, Lucas Glover 70-67, Adam Svensson (CAN) 69-68, Emiliano Grillo (ARG) 69-68, Dylan Frittelli (RSA) 67-70
27 May 11:44
Scheffler headlines leading bunch at Colonial
World number one Scottie Scheffler bounced back from his missed cut at the PGA Championship to headline a group of eight players sharing the first round lead in the Charles Schwab Challenge on Thursday.
Masters champion Scheffler acknowledged it was frustrating to miss the cut at Southern Hills -- his first missed cut since October.
But he said he didn't let it prey on him, and came back strong at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, with four birdies in his four-under par 66.
"You never want to miss a cut," Scheffler said.
"I hadn't missed a cut in a while up to that point, so I think it makes it even more frustrating just knowing that I was playing really good golf and I just didn't have it that week.
"That stuff happens. If I didn't like bad draws or making crazy mistakes and stuff like that, I would have played a different sport. A lot of weird stuff happens in golf."
66 - Patrick Reed, Webb Simpson, Scottie Scheffler, Harold Varner, Chris Kirk, Nick Taylor (CAN), Cam Davis, Beau Hossler
67 - Dylan Frittelli (RSA), Kevin Na, Davis Riley, Scott Stallings, Pat Perez, Camilo Villegas (COL), Austin Smotherman
68 - Christiaan Bezuidenhout (RSA), Russell Knox (SCO), Adam Long, Denny McCarthy, Max McGreevy, Charley Hoffman, Bill Haas, Martin Trainer, Brendon Todd, Chez Reavie
26 May 14:11