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By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
NEW YORK -- U.S. Open champ Justin Rose is in Manhattan for a media blitz Tuesday that includes stops at various talk shows, including the Today Show and the Late Show with David Letterman. PGATOUR.COM's Brian Wacker is along for the ride with Rose and will file reports and photos throughout the day.
6 a.m. ET: Justin Rose and wife Kate emerge from their room at the Intercontinental Hotel in Times Square after only a few hours sleep. Rose played a corporate outing on Monday and had forgotten his golf clubs. "I usually only have two things to remember," he said. "Suitcase and golf bag. I had suitcase and trophy." Kate held the U.S. Open trophy as they arrived at MSNBC's Morning Joe, calling it her "bling" for the day.
Rose on the set of Morning Joe
6:30 a.m.: On the set of MSNBC's Morning Joe, Rose says of the names on the U.S. Open trophy, these are players he's read about and idolized and, "All of a sudden I'm part of that club. It's surreal." He also says of his late father Ken, "He gave up so much for me to be a professional golfer." On the way to NBC for The Today Show, Rose is stopped a few times by passersby. Even in New York it's hard to be inconspicuous carrying the U.S. Open trophy.
7:30 a.m.: During a break for breakfast before appearing on the Today Show, Rose excuses himself for an interview with ESPN's Mike & Mike radio show. Talking about the U.S. Open, Rose says, "You have to not be afraid of failure. You have to expect to win but not be afraid of not doing it." When Rose three-putted No. 16 on Sunday, he thought to himself, "I'm good. I can handle this."
Rose walking down Fifth Avenue
8:30 a.m. ET: Rose just arrived at the Today Show, where just prior to going on the air signed autographs and took pictures with fans, even letting one of them hold and kiss the U.S. Open trophy. It's been a whirlwind morning for Rose this morning. Up next: A visit to the SiriusXM studios.
Rose arriving at the Today Show.
Rose on the Today Show.
Rose signs autographs during the Today Show.
Rose gets ready to be on SiriusXM Radion.
9 a.m.: Rose just arrived at SiriusXM Radio, where he just heard the ESPN Radio call of his U.S. Open win. The first question from Steve Phillips and Evan Cohen: Which Justin would he rather hang out with, Timberlake or Bieber. Rose's answer: Timberlake. With him is of course the trophy, which doesn't yet have his name engraved on it. "I was thinking if taking a pen and scratching my name in it," he joked. How tough was Merion? Said Rose: "Maybe I was the least loser because the golf course was definitely the winner."
9:30 a.m.: At the end of last year, Rose and Adam Scott made a bet that whoever won a major first, half of the winner's check would go to the victory party. Scott of course won the Masters. Rose answered by winning the U.S. Open. So who's on the hook? "I think Scotty's on the hook," Rose said. Or perhaps Albany, the club in the Bahamas where both are members.
A photo of the names of U.S. Open winners engraved on the trophy.
10 a.m.: Rose took a photo of the trophy on way to the New York Stock Exchange. His name isn't yet engraved on it. He gets to keep it for a year then can buy a replica that's about 90 percent the size of the original.
Rose can't stop staring at the trophy. He said the trophy spent the night in the bed with him on Sunday night. He's been taking pictures of the names on the trophy and said it's "surreal" to think his name will be on the trophy, too.
Rose gets ready for yet another interview.
10:30 a.m.: Rose just arrived on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, where he's appearing on CNBC's Squawk on the Street. Rose posed for pictures with several of the traders before going on air -- and to some extent stopped the action on the floor of one of the busiest exchanges in the world because it seems everyone wants to get a glimpse of the newest U.S. Open champ.
11 a.m.: Rose just wrapped up at the New York Stock Exchange and is heading back to the hotel for a little R&R. Rose didn't get more than a few hours of sleep after arriving in New York Monday night. One other tidbit: Rose will apparently have a British Airways flight named after him -- B.A. Flight 281, in honor of his winning score at Merion.
The view from Rose's room at the InterContinental Times Square.
Rose gets ready for another appearance on national television.
2:30 p.m.: Justin Rose emerges from a quick rest at the Hotel InterContinental in Times Square ready for his appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, where he's going full out with his wardrobe -- red pants, blue shirt and shoes, red and blue tie. With a young family, Rose says he's rarely awake when the show is on but he's excited about the appearance. "A day like this I feel a bit like a fish out of water," he says. "But I'm just enjoying the ride."
3 p.m.: Prior to his appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, Justin Rose has a taping with PGA TOUR Entertainment, where he talks about the emotion of winning and what it's like to be a major champion 15 years after a splash at the British Open as a 17-year-old. "People always thought I'd have to win the Open Championship to be remembered, but maybe this is the one I'll be remembered for."
Rose goes over some lines for the top-10 list before meeting David Letterman.
4 p.m.: Rose has arrived at the Late Show with David Letterman and is practicing the top-10 list for his appearance tonight. It's been a whirlwind for Rose, who adds that while it has been a long day he's looking forward to his appearance. "This should be exciting," he said. "Go out with a bang." After hearing the top-10 list, he's right. Rose burst into laughter over it.
5 p.m.: After beginning his day at 6 a.m., Rose's day is finally done, concluding with a reading of the famed top-10 list on Letterman. But the week isn't over. Rose departs for the Travelers Championship, where he's playing this week. Rose has long been committed and says he didn't want to back out of his commitment. His children will be waiting for him when arrives after they were flown up to Connecticut from Orlando.
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
Moscow, Idaho, isn’t known as a place that’s produced plenty of PGA TOUR players, but the small town was the perfect setting for Chris Williams to develop his game. Williams, the world’s No. 1 amateur, is making his pro debut at this week’s Travelers Championship.
He grew up playing the University of Idaho Golf Course, and virtually had free reign of the place when the students departed for the summer. “We really didn't have a driving range,” said Williams, the rare elite player who uses a 10-finger grip. “So for me to practice, I had to go out and practice on the course, and it was great because no one was there. The town is 20,000, and that's with 10,000 students. So nobody plays the golf course. … It's like a ghost town in the summer, so I was able to play and practice on the course as much as I wanted.”
Williams compiled an impressive amateur resume at the University of Washington. He won the 2012 Western Amateur, arguably the second-strongest amateur event in the country, and was a quarterfinalist at the U.S. Amateur. He also won the 2011 Sahalee Players Championship and 2011 Pacific Coast Amateur. Williams represented the United States at the 2011 Walker Cup and 2012 World Amateur Team Championship, where he teamed with Justin Thomas and Steven Fox for the victory. Thomas is playing the Travelers Championship as an amateur.
Williams will be represented by Excel Sports Management and has signed with Nike. This is the second consecutive year that the world’s No. 1 amateur will make his pro debut at the Travelers Championship. Patrick Cantlay did so last year. He missed the cut and is playing this season on the Web.com Tour, where he won the Colombia Championship.
Williams also has received sponsor exemptions to the AT&T National, Reno-Tahoe Open and Wyndham Championship. PGA TOUR non-members can receive as many as seven sponsor exemptions per season.
Williams was exempt into last week’s U.S. Open by virtue of winning the Mark H. McCormack Medal as the world’s No. 1 amateur. He missed the cut by a shot.
“I missed the cut, but I had this to look forward to right around the corner,” he said. “It was a good week, but I was ready to move on and start my professional career, and it was nice to be able to hop on that 45-minute charter and come right up here.”
Harris English is making his first start since winning the FedEx St. Jude Classic. (Lyons/Getty Images)
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
Justin Rose isn’t resting after his victory at last week’s U.S. Open. He’ll be back in competition Thursday at the Travelers Championship. He’s not the only one who is at TPC River Highlands after having success at Merion. Those who played last week will have to switch strategies rather quickly, though. Merion was one of the toughest tests of the year. Players have to go low to win at TPC River Highlands, though. Here are some of the groups PGATOUR.COM is keeping an eye on. Let us know your favorite groups in the Comments section below.
· Justin Rose-Keegan Bradley-Zach Johnson: The game’s newest major champion will play with two fellow major winners. The Travelers Championship also is an opportunity for Bradley to return to his native New England. They tee off of TPC River Highlands’ first tee at 12:50 p.m. Thursday.
· Marc Leishman-Jason Dufner-Bubba Watson: Two Travelers Championship winners are joined with Dufner, who’s coming off a fourth-place finish at the U.S. Open. Leishman won last year’s Travelers Championship, while Watson won in 2010 and was runner-up last year. They tee off at 1:00 p.m. Thursday off TPC River Highland’s first tee.
· Harris English-Rickie Fowler-Hunter Mahan: Two of the game’s young talents are paired with a two-time Travelers winner. English, 23, is making his first appearance since winning the FedEx St. Jude Classic. Fowler, 24, finished 10th at last week’s U.S. Open. Mahan’s first professional victory came at the 2007 Travelers Championship. The 31-year-old finished fourth at the U.S. Open, his best showing in a major championship. They tee off at 7:40 a.m. Thursday off the 10th tee.
· Kevin Streelman-Webb Simpson-Lee Westwood: Streelman, No. 7 in the FedExCup standings, is joined by last year’s U.S. Open champion and the world’s 12th-ranked player. They tee off at 7:50 a.m. Thursday on TPC River Highlands' 10th hole.
Nicolas Colsaerts has maintained a heavy U.S.-based schedule in 2013. (Redington/Getty Images)
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
Nicolas Colsaerts is in his first season as a PGA TOUR member. This week’s Travelers Championship is one of the new stops on his schedule. He arrives at an unfamiliar venue after doing something that’s becoming a more regular occurrence: contending at a major.
Colsaerts finished 10th at the U.S. Open. He also was seventh at last year’s Open Championship and was in fourth place, three shots off the lead, through three rounds at last year’s U.S. Open before fading to 29th.
“Funny enough, like the more difficult the tournament is and the course is the more you're going to get the most out of your game,” Colsaerts said. “The further we were going into the week, the tougher the course was getting, and that really played to my advantage knowing that I was going to be in control of my ball and give myself the off chance here and there.
"Mentally‑wise, it's such a fight that you dig deep and one or two shots can be so important. It's always easy at the end of the week to look back and think I could have been a bit closer. I made a double-bogey and a triple-bogey on Saturday and that got me just a little bit too far to be really threatening over Sunday. But I thought I did really well to fight until the end and get a top-10 in a major tournament again.”
Colsaerts, who moved to No. 109 in the FedExCup, felt like last week’s success could translate to a good showing in his debut at TPC River Highlands.
“It's obviously a little wider than last week, so whoever played last week is going to feel pretty confident with the driver on the holes here,” Colsaerts, 30, said. “But, I think, if one of these courses were guys like me that keep it in play or hit driver most of the time, they'll probably have those shorter irons that turn into a bit of an advantage.”
The U.S. Open was Colsaerts’ third top-10 in 12 starts this season. He also tied for ninth at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship and finished eighth at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Check out the 10 best driveable par-4 holes (excluding majors) regularly played on the PGA TOUR, featuring some of the most exciting risk/reward challenges in golf.
One of those holes, the par-4 15th at TPC River Highlands, will be featured extensively again on our exclusive LIVE@ coverage.
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
The cheers have become more personalized. The attention has increased. Those are some of the benefits that have come from Marc Leishman's first PGA TOUR victory. He’s defending that first title at the Travelers Championship.
“You (start) playing with guys that have won big tournaments, and generally they're guys that I have grown up watching on TV that have been out here a long time,” Leishman, 29, said. “There is a little bit more attention. People know my name now. Like no one ever knew who I was. I'd get here and the crowd was like who is this bloke here? And now it's like, "Go, Leish" or "Go Marc." So I think that's cool. But I don't think it's anything out of the ordinary that I wouldn't have expected. It's good. Hopefully I can be a multiple winner soon.”
Leishman was six shots behind co-leaders Brian Davis and Roland Thatcher entering the final round of last year’s Travelers Championship. He shot 62 to capture his first PGA TOUR title in 96 starts and join Greg Norman as the only Australians to win at TPC River Highlands. Leishman is still waiting for that second victory, but he’s had a strong campaign in 2013, posting top-10s at both the Masters (T-4) and THE PLAYERS Championship (T-9).
He held the 18-hole lead at Augusta National before finishing four shots behind winner Adam Scott and Angel Cabrera. Leishman, who qualified for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola in 2009, is No. 54 in this year’s FedExCup standings. He’s risen to 62nd in the Official World Golf Ranking after starting the year at 87th.
“My swing held up under pressure here, and at The Masters I was in contention all week, and it held up there,” said Leishman, the 2009 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year. “That definitely gave me confidence to know I was good enough to win and to play good under the pump.”
Michael Kim will tee it up next at the Old White TPC next month. (Redington/Getty Images)
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
Michael Kim won’t have to wait long to make his next PGA TOUR start after his impressive performance at the U.S. Open. Kim, the low amateur at Merion Golf Club after finishing T-17, is in the field for the Greenbrier Classic on July 4-7 at the Old White TPC in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va.
Kim, who recently completed his sophomore season at Cal, earned the Greenbrier start by winning the Haskins Award as college golf’s player of the year. He finished in the top 11 in all but one event this season, and was medalist four times. His 70.73 scoring average was a school record.
Kim was tied for seventh with nine holes remaining in last week’s U.S. Open. He was trying to become the first amateur to post a top-10 at the Open since Jim Simons in 1971 at Merion. Kim played his final three holes in 3 over, though, and finished three shots outside the top 10.
Kim joins the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Luke Donald and Graeme McDowell as past Haskins Award winners. Last year’s Haskins Award winner, Justin Thomas, finished 46th at the 2012 Greenbrier Classic.
Our PGA TOUR Insiders fired up their weekly Google+ Hangout on Tuesday to recap the exciting U.S. Open finish at Merion Golf Club, including a look at what Justin Rose has been up to since becoming a major champion. They also previewed this week's Travelers Championship, where Rose will tee it up again and the world's top-ranked amateur Chris Williams, competes for the first time as a pro.
You can watch the Hangout here on the TOUR Report or on the PGA TOUR's Google+ page. For more Hangouts with PGA TOUR players, staff and media, click here.
Get ready for exclusive live video of two featured holes, the drivable par-4 15th and par-3 16th, as well as featured groups during the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn.