Interviews will be streamed live on PGATOUR.COM (all times eastern).
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
12:30 p.m. Marc Leishman
1:30 p.m. Nicolas Colsaerts
2 p.m. Chris Williams
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
After Morning Pro-Am Hunter Mahan
TBD Rickie Fowler
TBD Justin Rose
TBD Keegan Bradley
Tim Clark has missed his last two cuts, but is playing well overall. (Lecka/Getty Images)
Each week, PGATOUR.COM's Fantasy Insider Rob Bolton offers his Power Rankings for the weekly TOUR event as well as his Sleeper picks. But what about the players who don't make the Power Rankings but who can't really be considered Sleepers? Bolton will make one "wild card" selection from the large group of players who fall into that middle range but might rise up to claim the title. This week's pick is ...
After a six-year hiatus preceded by an 0-for-3 slate at TPC River Highlands, he returned in 2012 and finished with a share of fourth place. For the week, he ranked T10 in greens in regulation, first in proximity to the hole, second in scrambling, T7 in par-3 scoring and T2 in par-4 scoring. Arrives having missed his last two cuts, but both opportunities were undone by second-round 79s. Three top 10s and another two top 25s on the season. He's 45th in adjusted scoring and 42nd in FedExCup points.
Power Rankings: Click here to see Bolton's top 15 for TPC River Highlands.
Justin Rose held the 54-hole lead the last time he played the Travelers Championship. (Cohen/Getty Images)
By PGATOUR.COM staff
Justin Rose isn’t resting after his U.S. Open victory. He’s scheduled to be on the tee Thursday at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn., for the Travelers Championship. Rose can be commended for holding to his commitment after a grueling week at Merion that saw him win his first major championship.
Travelers Championship tournament director Nathan Grube told the Associated Press that Rose's wife, Kate, called shortly after Rose won at Merion title to confirm they would play the Travelers.
"She called last night at about 9:30 and I looked down at the phone and said, 'This is either going to be a really good call or a really bad call,' " Grube told the AP. "She said, `We're coming, we're just trying to rearrange our schedule a little bit because of all the media (commitments).' "
Rose finished ninth in his last Travelers start, in 2010. That showing was sandwiched between Rose’s first two PGA TOUR victories, at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance and AT&T National. Rose held a three-shot lead after three rounds at the 2010 Travelers, but a final-round 75 kept him from a second consecutive victory.
“I felt like I was a better player Monday after Hartford than going into Sunday because I felt like I learned a couple things,” Rose said at the following week’s AT&T National.
This is the second consecutive year that the U.S. Open champion has played the Travelers Championship. Webb Simpson finished 29th after winning on the nation’s opposite coast, at Olympic Club near San Francisco.
Several players who chased Rose at the U.S. Open also are in the Travelers Championship field, including Jason Dufner, who finished fourth at the U.S. Open for the second consecutive season. Hunter Mahan, whose first PGA TOUR victory came at the 2007 Travelers Championship, also is playing at TPC River Highlands after finishing fourth at Merion.
Phil Mickelson double-bogeyed the long par-3 third hole on Sunday at Merion. (Hallowell/Getty Images)
By PGATOUR.COM staff
At the start of last week, the concern was that the 6.996-yard Merion Golf Club was too short to host a U.S. Open.
Interesting that in Sunday’s final round, the concern was that one of its holes was too long.
Phil Mickelson, the Open's 54-hole leader, was frustrated with the setup of the par-3 third hole, where he made double-bogey en route to his sixth runner-up finish at the U.S. Open. The hole was listed at 266 yards in the final round, and played into an unexpected breeze. It's all carry to the green, which is fronted by deep rough and a bunker that protects the front-right of the green,
“That's terrible. 274 (yards)? We can't even reach it," Mickelson said to USGA executive director Mike Davis as they walked off the fourth tee.
The hole was stretched almost to its maximum length, with tees being placed on the back teeing ground and the hole location two-thirds of the way on the back-right of the green. A slope left of the hole would funnel tee shots toward the hole, but players struggled to take advantage of that assistance. They struggled just to reach the green because of the breeze. Fairway woods were the common club selection for the hole, which played to a 3.32 stroke average on Sunday.
It played as the course's eighth-toughest hole Sunday, yielding only five birdies in the final round. In spite of the extreme length, the third hole played about as difficult as it had all week. It was the eighth-toughest hole of the week, playing to a 3.33 scoring average for the four rounds.
"We set the golf course up today for a south wind," Davis said Sunday night. "When we got to the third hole, we were really getting a westerly, even a northwest, wind, so it played long. It played longer than we would have -- but having said that, it was a back hole location that was the most receptive on the green. We felt that it could handle 3-wood shots, if need be. (Mickelson) mentioned that he thought it was too long. That's fine. We wouldn't have put the tee markers back where we did had we known we were going to get that wind."
Mickelson, who did not carry a driver at Merion, hit fairway wood from the tee. "The third hole was ... very tough, in fact, 274 into a 20-(mph) wind," Mickelson said after his round. "I didn't really have the shot to get back there. I needed a driver. And I could have gotten a 3-wood on the first half, the front left, which is where I went for it, and it ended up in a very awkward spot. But I should have been able to two-putt and make bogey."
Justin Rose is known as a terrific ballstriker, especially with his long irons. (Hallowell/Getty Images)
By Travis Fulton, Director of Instruction, PGA TOUR Academy
The similarities between Ben Hogan’s famous 1-iron and Justin Rose’s 4-iron on the 72nd hole of yesterday’s U.S. Open are striking. Both players needed to make par on the very difficult 18th hole at Merion — Hogan to force a playoff in the 1950 U.S. Open, which he’d go on to win, and Rose to hold onto a slim one-shot advantage.
And both players faced long approach shots — Hogan from 213 yards, and Rose from 229. Neither player flinched, as Hogan hit his approach to 40 feet and two-putted for his par, while Rose threw a dart at the flag that ran through the green and left him with a fairly simple up-and-down for his first major championship title.
Hogan was considered the best ballstriker of his time. He was fond of finding it in the dirt. And Rose is earning quite a reputation as a ballstriker as well. When he absolutely needed to find the short grass on No. 18 yesterday, he split the middle of the fairway. Then, under tremendous pressure, he delivered the shot of his life into the 18th green. Not a single player made birdie on the 18th hole this weekend at Merion, and Rose’s third shot came within inches of dropping in the hole for a 3.
For the week, Rose tied for first in par-4 birdies (10), was second in fairways hit (75 percent), and tied for seventh in greens in regulation (69.44 percent). It should probably come as no surprise that Rose hit those two clutch shots on 18, since he leads the PGA TOUR in both total driving and GIR percentage from 200+ yards (60.42 percent) this season. He’s also sixth in GIR (69.81 percent) and third in ball striking, a combination of GIR and total driving.
What makes Rose such an exceptional ball-striker, especially with his longer irons, is his ability to differentiate his upper and lower body at impact. He’s able to shift his weight into his lead foot, which moves the low point of his swing forward, to the ball, and he maintains his side tilt away from the ball. This is essential to hitting green-hugging long irons because it allows you to stay behind the ball and utilize the true loft on the clubface, so the ball launches higher and lands softer.
The most common mistake that amateurs make with their longer clubs is that when they shift their weight left on the downswing, their upper body goes with it. There’s no differentiation between the upper and lower body, and they typically come over-the-top of the ball and hit it to the right, or mishit it off the toe, which shoots it low and to the left.
On the flip side, if they try to stay behind the ball with their upper body, their weight stays on their back foot and they hit behind it. With no differentiation, they may still hit their short irons okay (because of the loft), but they’ll launch their longer irons, hybrids, and fairway woods too low. Here are two drills to help you create this differentiation and improve your ball striking.
DRILL 1: PRE-SET IMPACT
Take your setup with a 5-iron or hybrid and, from there, assume a good impact position. Move your weight into your lead foot and open your hips, but keep your spine tilted to the right, behind the ball, as it was at address. You should feel a good stretch between your upper and lower body, and your shoulders should be closed relative to your hips. Hold this position for a second or two, and then return to your address position and swing, trying to recreate the differentiation you felt between your upper and lower body at impact.
DRILL 2: USE THE GROUND
Place a towel or sponge (something that offers a little resistance) under your lead foot, and as you swing down, feel as if you’re applying pressure from the left foot into the ground, through that towel. This drill will teach you to shift your weight forward, so that the clubhead doesn’t bottom out too soon and you hit the ball solidly, with the club’s full loft. If you watch Rose’s practice swings, you can see him rehearsing this move.
He swings the club to the top, and then very deliberately transfers his weight forward, applying pressure into the ground with his left foot. From there he uses his left foot as leverage to turns through and complete his swing. Copy this move and your ballstriking should improve as well.
Travis Fulton is the Director of Instruction at the TOUR Academies at TPC Sawgrass and the World Golf Village. For more information on the TOUR Academy, click here.
Justin Rose conquered Merion on Sunday in the Philadelphia suburbs. Now he's taking the Big Apple by storm. Rose will do the U.S. Open champion's media tour Tuesday in New York City. He'll make stops at MSNBC's "Morning Joe," SiriusXM Radio, CNBC's "Squak on the Stree," and will cap the trip by reading the Top Ten List on the Late Show with David Letterman on Tuesday, June 18 at 11:35 p.m. on CBS.
Rose, 32, won his first major title on Sunday at Merion and will be making the New York media rounds before heading to Hartford for this week's Travelers Championship.
Justin Rose and his wife, Kate, pose with the U.S. Open trophy and a number of newspapers recapping Rose's first major championship title. Got a Justin Rose headline of your own or a caption for this image? Leave it in our comments below and, as always, keep it clean.
Justin Rose's upbeat attitude helped him at Merion Golf Club. (Redington/Getty Images)
By Dr. Gregg Steinberg, Special to PGATOUR.COM
It was not lost on Justin Rose that the final round of the U.S. Open was played on Father’s Day. Rose was 21 when his father passed away. Rose said poignantly, “A lot of us come from great men and we have that responsibility to our children to show what a great man can be”. Furthermore, Rose stated that his goal was to carry himself proudly regardless of what happened during the final round. Acting with pride and a deep sense of responsibility helped Rose to be confident and stay mentally focused to win the U.S. Open.
Our actions can greatly affect our emotions. According to Self-Perception Theory, we infer our emotions from our actions. Our brain gets the message how to feel. When we smile, we infer that we are happy because we are smiling. Even faking a smile will make us happier. When we act prideful, we will feel proud about confident about ourselves and our golf game.
This same principle can have a huge impact on your confidence level. One of the best ways to become more confident is by simply acting confident. Walking off the green with shoulders slumped and head down after missing an easy putt makes a golfer feel less confident during subsequent holes. On the other hand, a golfer fresh off a double bogey can maintain his confidence by keeping his chip up, literally.
If you want to feel more proud about your game, then act with pride like Rose did at Merion. If you want more confidence, strut your stuff all the time, no matter what. If you want to have more fun, just keep smiling!
Dr. Gregg Steinberg is a regular guest every Tuesday on “Talk of the TOUR” heard on the Sirius/XM PGA TOUR radio. He is a tenured professor of sports psychology and has been the mental game coach for many PGA TOUR players as well as top collegiate and junior golfer. Dr. Gregg is the author of the best selling golf psychology book, MentalRules for Golf, and you can get your autographed copy at drgreggsteinberg.com.
Ernie Els fired a Sunday 69 to finish tied for fourth at Merion. (Cannon/Getty Images)
Editor’s note: Ernie Els is writing a blog for PGATOUR.COM in 2013 and this is his latest installment. For more information on the World Golf Hall of Famer, visit www.ernieels.com
Any time you have an opportunity to win a major championship and don’t manage to pull it off there is inevitably a sense of disappointment, but at the same time you have to try to balance it out with the obvious positives. To play well and to compete on a tough, tough track such as Merion, your game has to be in good shape. So that’s what I’ll take away from this year’s U.S. Open. My game is now right where it needs to be in order to win tournaments.
Like a lot of players, I loved the idea of the U.S. Open coming to Merion, such a wonderful and historic venue. Even though we had a lot of rain at the start of the week, it was always going to be a tough test in a U.S. Open style set-up. The fact that no one finished under par for the week pretty much says everything.
I got off to a decent start, but we’d had a delayed finish and when I came back the next morning it was really blowing out there, probably a two-club wind. It was also raining. At that moment it felt more like the Open Championship! You throw in deep rough and the length of some of those holes on the back nine…it was tough. To come in with a 71 was a decent result and a 72 in round two was okay, too. By then it was obvious no one was going to run away with this thing.
The weekend was a real battle for everyone. The rough was as penal as any of us has probably ever seen in the U.S. Open, so if you missed a fairway or a green you were penalized in a big way, and the greens were tricky. And this is the U.S. Open – that’s going to get the nerves going. We checked last night and there were only a dozen scores in the 60s out of 146 rounds of golf.
One of them was the 69 that I shot in the final round on Sunday, which got me in the clubhouse at 5-over par. To be honest, that always looked like it might be two or three shots too many. When you get that close you can’t help but maybe look at a few moments, the odd shot here or there, where it could have been better. But reflecting now on the week as a whole, I have to be satisfied with my game. It was close to being a very special week, but as it is it’s just a good, solid week and another major top-10 to add to the career tally.
Justin did a great job, though, and was very solid down that tough closing stretch. He’s a good guy and he deserves this win. I’m pleased for him.
We flew out of Philadelphia on Sunday night, arrived in London on Monday, and then fly to Munich on Tuesday for this week’s BMW International Open. This is the 25-year anniversary of this event – I’ve played it a handful of times, with a couple of top-10s – and they have assembled a strong field for the occasion. I send my congratulations to everyone involved.
BMW has been a great supporter of the game of golf and they always run a great tournament. I’ve played in more BMW events than I can remember (and owned plenty of its cars!) and I have many happy memories, not only in Germany but also in BMW tournaments all around the world.
Actually, we have BMW to thank for the biggest winning margin of my career – 13 shots – in the BMW Asian Open in Shanghai in 2005. It would be nice to repeat that again some time, but I’ll be satisfied if I can follow-on from last week’s U.S. Open and play some good golf. It’s not always easy straight after the physical and mental exertions of a major championship, especially on such a demanding golf course like Merion, but I’ll be giving it my best shot.
That’s it for now. Don’t forget you can now follow me on Twitter @thebig_easy