Articles filed under Golf

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  • Golf encompasses Triplett and his son Jun 21, 2014 10:54 PM
    Kirk Triplett wasn’t excited about his Saturday round in the Encompass Championship at North Shore Country Club in Glenview, even though it was a good one. Triplett, an early starter, posted his second straight 5-under-par 67 and his 10-under 134 is three strokes behind leader Tom Lehman entering Sunday’s final round.

  • Langer believes Kaymer could really go on a tear Jun 21, 2014 10:16 PM
    Bernhard Langer is still pretty good at this golf thing, but today he is considered the world’s foremost expert on Martin Kaymer, and there’s really nowhere he can go now without being asked about his fellow German.

  • Lehman rushes to top before storm at Encompass Jun 21, 2014 10:50 PM
    As tournament leader Tom Lehman walked to the 18th tee late Saturday afternoon with some darker than dark clouds closing in from the west, he couldn’t help but think back to a year ago at this very same Encompass Championship. “It was at the end of the first round and we had a big storm and they suspended play,” Lehman recalled. “Then we had to come out the next morning and finish up. I’m not sure what time it was ... but I know it was a bummer.

  • Wie sets a standard in Women’s Open at Pinehurst Jun 20, 2014 5:10 PM
    Michelle Wie delivered the best comparison of all between the men and women at Pinehurst No. 2. She was threatening to turn this major into a runaway. Wie made two big pars and closed with two birdies for a second straight 2-under 68, giving her a four-shot lead among those who played early Friday.

  • Renovations coming for Buffalo Grove golf dome Jun 19, 2014 4:20 PM
    The Buffalo Grove Park District’s golf dome is due for a makeover, including a new heating system and replacement of the exterior dome material. To allow that to happen, Buffalo Grove village board members said this week they would draft an ordinance extending the site’s special use permit. Trustees stopped short, however, of granting the park district’s request to grant the dome permanent status.

  • Spellman’s Scorecard: Never a shortage of Bears news Jun 19, 2014 10:52 PM
    If you want random, well, you’ve come to the right place - Spellman's Scorecard. Some musings on Bears OTA's, Cubs pitchers and why Mike is still mad at Steve Coburn.

  • These guys can (still) play Jun 18, 2014 6:44 PM
    Starting Friday, 81 pros will fight for a share of the $1.8 million purse for the Encompass Championship starting at North Shore Country Club in Glenview. Len Ziehm offers a look at 5 players to watch as the Champions Tour's best contend for the $270,000 first-place check.

  • Montgomerie heads impressive Encompass field Jun 17, 2014 4:35 PM
    This week’s second Encompass Championship at North Shore Country Club has two major differences from the first staging as far as the 81-player field is concerned. Fred Couples, last year’s runner-up, won’t be here when play begins on Friday at the Glenview course, but Colin Montgomerie will. Though Couples is one of the most popular players on the Champions Tour, the tradeoff seems a fair one, as Len Ziehm explains in this week's golf column.

  • The Germanator: Kaymer was the star of this US Open Jun 16, 2014 5:59 PM
    Two days into the U.S. Open, it didn’t look like one. No one ever began the toughest test in golf with consecutive rounds of 65. Martin Kaymer set the 36-hole scoring record at 130 amid complaints that a restored, rustic Pinehurst No. 2 without traditional rough was making it too easy. Or maybe Kaymer was simply that good. One question that came up Saturday morning is worth asking again after the “Germanator” produced the second-lowest score in U.S. Open history (271) with an eight-shot victory in which he led by at least four shots over the last 48 holes. If this had been Tiger Woods, would anyone be talking so much about the golf course? “I can remember we got some criticism in 2000 because Tiger shot 12 under at Pebble Beach,” USGA executive director Mike Davis said Sunday evening, referring to what still stands as the greatest performance in the majors. “And I kind of scratched my head thinking, ‘OK, the best score for the other 155 players was 3 over.”’ This is the other side of a double standard that applies to Woods, through no fault of his own. When he wins big — and he has done that a lot in his career — it’s all about the player. Anyone else and something was wrong with the golf course. Pinehurst No. 2 was a worthy test. Take the 29-year-old German out of the equation and there would have been a playoff Monday between Rickie Fowler and Erik Compton, who won the B Flight at this U.S. Open. They were the only other players to finish under par. Isn’t that typical of a U.S. Open? The USGA keeps data known as “cost of rough,” a peculiar term after touting Pinehurst No. 2 as having no rough. The cost of missing the fairway this week was .286 shots, compared with .303 when the U.S. Open first came to Pinehurst in 1999 (Payne Stewart won at 1-under 279), and .368 in 2005 when Michael Campbell won at even par. Pay attention to the game, not the name. “I think we all were playing for second,” Compton said. “Martin was playing his own tournament,” Fowler said. These are similar to the sentiments shared after Woods destroyed the field at Pebble Beach, and Rory McIlroy did the same at Congressional in 2011. McIlroy set the U.S. Open scoring record on a rain-softened course at 16-under 268 to win by eight shots. Twenty players finished under par that week. Perhaps that’s why McIlroy said he considered Kaymer’s performance at Pinehurst No. 2 to be more impressive. Kaymer had been a forgotten star the last two years as he worked to build a complete game. McIlroy helped made golf fans forget about Kaymer, too. He is younger than Kaymer (by just over four years), and rose to stardom by winning two majors by eight shots in consecutive years. Kaymer won his first major at Whistling Straits in 2010 at a PGA Championship remembered for Dustin Johnson’s blunder in the bunker. Overlooked in the final hour of chaos was the clutch tee shot by Kaymer on the 223-yard 17th hole along Lake Michigan, and a 15-foot birdie putt that tied Bubba Watson going into the last hole of the playoff. He won a World Golf Championship in Shanghai at the end of 2011 with nine birdies over the last 12 holes to close with 63. During his U.S. Open romp on Sunday, NBC showed a highlight of one moment that shows how strong Kaymer is between the ears. It was from the Ryder Cup last year at Medinah. He was playing so badly that no one in Europe — Kaymer included — wanted him to make the team. Kaymer played only one match going into Sunday. And just his luck, he stood over a 6-foot putt on the 18th hole that effectively would decide the Ryder Cup. He poured it into the heart of the cup, a show of will and incredible mental strength. Davis walked the last two rounds with Kaymer this weekend, and as much as he was paying attention to how the course played, even more impressive was watching Kaymer. “We should celebrate what Martin Kaymer did this week,” Davis said. “He executed beautifully. He thought beautifully. ... To watch his course management and his execution was just brilliant. To me, I like a course setup where if you do all the right things you get rewarded.” That’s how it was for Woods, whose win at Pebble Beach was historic. That’s how it was for McIlroy, whose victory at Congressional was hailed as the arrival of golf’s next star. Kaymer’s win shouldn’t be viewed much differently.

  • Kaymer goes wire-to-wire at U.S. Open Jun 15, 2014 7:00 PM
    Martin Kaymer completed an eight-stroke victory Sunday at golf’s U.S. Open for his second major championship title, becoming the seventh player in the tournament’s 114-year history to lead after all four rounds. The 29-year-old German, who also won the 2010 PGA Championship, shot a 1-under-par 69 at Pinehurst Resort’s No. 2 course in North Carolina for a 9 under total of 271. Americans Rickie Fowler and Erik Compton tied for second place at 1 under, the only other players to finish below par. Kaymer led by a record-tying six shots through two rounds after starting the tournament with back-to-back 65s, and carried a five-stroke lead into the final round. He joins Walter Hagen (1914), James Barnes (1921), Ben Hogan (1953), Tony Jacklin (1970), Tiger Woods (2000 and 2002) and Rory McIlroy (2011) as the only wire-to-wire U.S. Open winners. The eight-stroke margin of victory is the fourth-largest in U.S. Open history and equals the biggest since McIlroy won by eight at Congressional Country Club three years ago. Woods won by a record 15 shots at Pebble Beach in 2000. Kaymer’s victory comes a month after he won the Players Championship over a field that featured 66 of the top 70 in the Official World Golf Ranking. He joins Woods, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott as the only golfers to win a major, a World Golf Championships event and the Players Championship. Kaymer, who was ranked No. 1 in the world for two months in 2011 and entered this week at No. 28, receives $1.62 million from the $9 million tournament purse. Kaymer was in control throughout at the third U.S. Open held at Pinehurst No. 2 and the first since the course underwent a $2.5 million renovation to remove more than 40 acres of Bermuda grass, reducing maintenance costs and returning the 107- year-old Donald Ross design to its original rustic playing conditions. The U.S. Golf Association, which is staging the men’s and women’s Opens at the venue in consecutive weeks, termed the grounds off the fairways as “natural areas,” with sandy expanses, tufts of scrub and wiry grasses. Kaymer had 11 birdies and one bogey over the first two rounds, as he became the first player with consecutive rounds of 65 or better at one of the sport’s four major championships. His 36-hole score of 10-under par 130 was the lowest in U.S. Open history and made him the sixth player to reach double digits under par at the championship. Kaymer shot a 72 during the third round, yet still carried a five-shot lead over the 25-year-old Fowler and Compton, a two- time heart transplant recipient, into the final day. While only six of the previous 21 major winners were able to ride a 54-hole lead to victory, Kaymer was never seriously challenged during the final round. While his lead was briefly cut to four strokes, he extended it to eight with consecutive birdies on the 13th and 14th holes. Kaymer, who in 2010 joined Bernhard Langer as the only German golfers to win a men’s major, is the eighth non-American to win the U.S. Open in the past 11 years. Kaymer is the fourth player to win multiple titles on the U.S. PGA Tour this season, joining Jimmy Walker, Bubba Watson and Patrick Reed. Phil Mickelson, a six-time U.S. Open runner-up who was seeking the career Grand Slam, finished 7-over par after failing to shoot below par in any round. He finished with back-to-back rounds of 72 over the weekend. “I didn’t have it all firing this week, but there will be other chances,” said Mickelson, 43, who had the first of his U.S. Open second-place finishes at Pinehurst in 1999, when he lost to Payne Stewart. “I believe in the next five years I’m going to have three or four really good chances, and I do believe I will get it. I’m not upset or disappointed.” McIlroy, who entered the tournament as the oddsmakers’ favorite without Woods in the field, finished 6 over par. Woods, four wins shy of Jack Nicklaus’s record 18 major titles, skipped the U.S. Open as he continues to rehabilitate his lower back following surgery in March on a pinched nerve. Scott, No. 1 in the world rankings, finished 2 over after a final-round 69. The last top-ranked player to win a major championship was Woods at the 2008 U.S. Open. The next major is the British Open, scheduled for July 17-20 at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.

  • Mundelein’s Parola fulfills legacy of all-around excellence Jun 14, 2014 4:57 PM
    Mundelein three-sport athlete Derek Parola, the Daily Herald's Lake County male athlete of the year, shared much of his distinguished career with his father Todd, who coached him in golf and baseball.

  • Kaymer holds 5-shot lead at U.S. Open Jun 14, 2014 8:58 PM
    Martin Kaymer finally made some bogeys. He had plenty of company. After two days of lower-than-expected scores, Pinehurst No. 2 showed its bite at the U.S. Open on Saturday. Kaymer, who made only one bogey the first two days, bogeyed three of the first six holes in the third round. But a brilliant save at the fourth, after he took an unplayable lie, and an eagle at the par-5 fifth kept the 29-year-old Germany comfortably ahead at 9 under as he made the turn.

  • Martin Kaymer sets U.S. Open record at Pinehurst Jun 13, 2014 6:29 PM
    Martin Kaymer set the 36-hole scoring record at the U.S. Open on Friday with another 5-under 65 — this one without a single bogey — to build an early eight-shot lead and leave the rest of the field wondering if the 29-year-old German was playing a different course, or even a different tournament.

  • Golfer DQs himself from U.S. Open to clear conscience Jun 11, 2014 5:40 PM
    Jason Millard packed his bags, tossed his clubs in the car, and headed off to Pinehurst No. 2 to play in his first major championship. It should’ve been the thrill of a lifetime. Instead, he turned the car around.

  • Family-man Streelman looks to get his game on track Jun 10, 2014 4:25 PM
    Winfield’s Kevin Streelman remains one of golf’s most promising up-and-coming players, but he’s not going into this week’s U.S. Open with any momentum. Chicago’s only homegrown PGA Tour player missed the cut in his last three tournaments. “It’s been a strange year golf-wise,” Streelman told golf columnist Len Ziehm, “but it’s been a wonderful year off the course thanks to Sophia (his daughter). The former Duke golfer talks with Ziehm about his family and the U.S. Open, which begins Thursday on the famed No. 2 course at Pinehurst, N.C.

  • Gun charge dropped against retired cop Jun 10, 2014 12:58 PM
    Lake County officials on Tuesday dropped the gun charage filed against a retired Indiana police officer who was accused of trying to carry a concealed weapon into the BMW Championship golf tournament in Lake Forest last year.

  • U.S. Open a reunion for 2 players, 1 caddie Jun 10, 2014 7:51 PM
    Michael Greller never imagined that a simple act of kindness eight years ago could lead to a moment like this at the U.S. Open. Greller, the caddie for Jordan Spieth, stood on the 18th tee at Pinehurst No. 2 on Tuesday and conferred with his 20-year-old boss on an important tee shot in a match they didn’t want to lose against Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler. Moments later, Greller was sharing a laugh with Spieth’s partner, 21-year-old Justin Thomas, who is playing in his first U.S. Open. It was an amazing reunion among two players and one caddie — not because they were together, but the peculiar path that brought them here.

  • Impatient Spieth wants major now Jun 9, 2014 10:20 PM
    Talk about the impatience of youth. For 20-year-old Jordan Spieth, it’s no longer good enough to be in contention for a major championship. He’s ready to win one.

  • Renovations won’t eliminate charm of Mt. Prospect golf course, officials say Jun 5, 2014 5:41 PM
    Brett Barcel, director of golf operations for the Mount Prospect Park District, believes the upcoming renovation of the district's golf course will hit the right balance of new and old. "We didn't want to turn it into a 'modern' course," he said. The course will close June 16 for about a year while the work is done. The project is expected to cost a little more than $8 million.

  • College stars coming out for John Deere Classic Jun 4, 2014 10:11 PM
    Illinois’ only PGA Tour event of 2014 has thrived by appealing to young players, and director Clair Peterson saw no reason to change that approach when he announced his sponsor exemptions for the John Deere Classic this week. Peterson invited four of the best college stars to battle the PGA Tour players in the 44th staging of the $4.7 million tournament, which runs July 7-13 at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, IL, near the Quad Cities. Len Ziehm has more in his weekly golf column.

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