With his father on the bag, J.J. Killeen won his first Nationwide Tour event
Few things are as great as witnessing two golfers dual during the final round of a tournament for the title of champion. There is something about the increasing tension, the momentum changes from shot to shot and hole to hole that render the remainder of the field an afterthought. And as so often happens it is a matter a few key shots and/or a few inches that determines which golfer triumphs over the other.
As I followed the pairing of J.J. Killeen and Jeff Gove during yesterday’s final round of the Nationwide Tour’s Utah Championship at Willow Creek CC this feeling was again reinforced in me and how golf can be so satisfying to the victor and cruelly punishing to the second place finisher.
Entering the final round of the tournament both Killeen and Gove were tied at 16 under par. And while Killeen birdied the opening hole to take an early lead, it was Gove’s 30 foot eagle putt on the 3rd hole which Continue reading
It could be said that day two of the Nationwide Tour’s Utah Championship was all about the continued excellences of J.J. Killeen who finished 13 under par with a one shot lead (click here for the leaderboard). And after following Killeen during Round 2 this honestly isn’t far from the truth. For the second straight day Killeen was on his game and even when mistakes were made his putter saved the day.
However, there were two big movers that seem poised to threaten the Utah Championship’s leader over the weekend. Jeff Gove (1 shot back) tied Killeen’s 62 from the first round and Darron Stiles shot a bogey free 63 to finish 4 shots off the pace. Gove finished 4th in this tournament last year and Stiles has had a mildly successful year sitting at 20th on the money list, ahead of Killeen who is currently 25th.
As for the groups that I was following yesterday unfortunately Boros, Bixler, and Kim missed the cut, while Flores, Deforest, and, as mentioned, Stiles survived to play this weekend.
The weather looks to be holding strong for Saturday (i.e. minimal chance of thunderstorms), which means warm temperatures and some ideal conditions for continued low scoring.
Here is the photoset from today’s second round. Enjoy! Continue reading
This is Part II of the images from the 2011 Nationwide Tour Utah Championship at Willow Creek CC (click here for Part I. The afternoon group that I mainly followed was the 1:50 pairing of Christopher DeForest (E), Chan Kim (-1), and Zachery Bixler (+1). All three golfers are accomplished collegiate players (now professionals) who made the tournament through the Monday Qualifier at Glen Eagle Golf Course in Syracuse, UT. I actually played with Chan Kim in the qualifier last year when he shot the low score of the day a 62, so I was interested to see how he was fairing in this year’s tournament.
Here is the photoset from the group’s front nine and some additional photos from Day 1 at Willow Creek CC: Continue reading
It was a phenomenal first day at the Nationwide Tour Utah Championship at Willow Creek CC. The course was in great condition, the sun was blazing into the low 90’s, and calm winds lead to some low scoring with over half the field finishing at par or better (click here for leaderboard). During the morning rounds I followed the 7:10 pairing of Martin Flores (-2), Darron Stiles (-1), and one of my favorite character golfers Guy Boros (-2).
Here is the photoset from the group’s second nine as well as some images from Willow Creek CC (I’ll post image’s from the afternoon round Friday morning): Continue reading
Photo By: zrim
There are moments while watching sports when you get the feeling that someone or a team is destine to win. Often times it’s nothing more than a gut feeling with nothing tangible to justify the conclusion. However, while watching the Darren Clarke during the final round of the 140th Open Championship at Royal St. George it wasn’t a gut feeling that Clarke would be lifting the Claret Jug at the end of the day. Rather, as so often happens in golf, it was a few key tangible shots that carried the 42 year old Northern Irishman to a victory that seemed like destiny.
Clarke headed in the final round with a one stroke advantage over his playing partner Dustin Johnson. Through the first six holes neither player seemed to be taking charge, with Clarke failing to capitalize on birdie opportunities and Johnson scrambling to remain competitive.
In the meantime, seemingly out of nowhere, the improbable was happening. Phil Michelson was making a fearless charge up the leader board and his birdie on the 10th hole actually tied Clarke for the lead. Lefty, whose resume lacks Continue reading
The 12th green at Royal St. George's; Photo By: Pet_r
It’s that time of year again…time to set the alarm for an obnoxiously early rise, pre-make the coffee the night before, and groggily enjoy the BBC’s bumbling video coverage of one of golf’s most important/prestigious tournaments…The Open Championship (or I supposed one could simply set their DVR and sleep in). This year, the Royal St. George’s Golf Club in southeastern England plays host to its’ 14th Open Championship (coverage begins Thursday morning at 4am EST on ESPN and on Direct TV’s channel’s 701-705). The course was the was the first to host the Open Championship outside of Scotland in 1894 and last hosted the tournament in 2003 when Ben Curtis, the 396th ranked player in the world at the time, came out of nowhere to win the Claret Jug.
The 2011 version of Royal St. George’s is largely recognizable as the same course players faced in 2003, but there are some notable changes. The 1st fairway, where only 30% of the players Continue reading