By Ward Clayton, PGATOUR.COM
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Peter Hanson said he has “always dreamed” of participating in THE PLAYERS Championship. He relocated his family to Orlando and even passed on the defense of the Iberdrola Open in Spain on the European Tour this week in deference to his first trip to TPC Sawgrass.
The 33-year-old Swede proved his passion late Friday, early Saturday and then again late Saturday as he moved into contention at 7-under par.
Hanson was in jeopardy of missing a fifth consecutive cut on the PGA TOUR as he was completing his second round early Friday afternoon. Finishing on the front nine, he hit a 3-iron to 15 feet to set up a birdie on the difficult par-3 eighth hole then hit 3-wood, 3-wood within easy up-and-down range on the par-5 ninth for another birdie to finish at even par and make the cut on the number.
He came out early Saturday and made seven birdies, including three in a row on the front nine (Nos. 3, 4 and 5). He had just birdied the 16th hole and was walking to 17 when the sky darkened considerably. Hanson and playing partner Ben Curtis took their time as the winds began to swirl. The horn to suspend play blew at 1:02 p.m.
“My caddie (Mark Sherwood) joked we should have played because he had the wind figured out,” Hanson said.
For the next 4½ hours, Hanson had the yardage -- 125 to the front pin -- on his mind as he relaxed in the clubhouse. He would be the first to play 17 when play resumed at 5:30 p.m. The dangerous front hole position, in softened conditions, was susceptible to a ball spinning back in the water.
Hanson hit a wedge, which spun back to the front fringe, 38 feet from hole. He two-putted for par. On 18, he drove right behind trees, pitched out short of the green, played to 8 feet and missed it left for his first bogey in 19 holes. But he had a 6-under-par 66, the first time he has broken par in a round since late March, a period of 11 rounds.
“If you would have 17 and 18 as hole No. 1 and 2, I wouldn’t play golf,” Hanson said.
The low round and completion of the third round will allow him to sleep in on Sunday and prepare for an early afternoon final round start.
By Ward Clayton, PGATOUR.COM
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Peter Hanson is making up for lost time on Saturday in the third round of THE PLAYERS Championship.
The 33-year-old Swede, who had to birdie his last two holes just to make the cut, is 7-under for the day and the tournament to vault into contention on a stormy Saturday. He went out at 9:25 a.m. and made seven birdies, including three in a row on the front nine (3, 4 and 5). He was on the 17th tee when play was suspended and stood only three strokes behind leader David Toms.
Hanson has struggled so far this season. He has missed four consecutive cuts on the PGA TOUR and hasn’t broken par in a round since the Transitions Championship in late March. That’s 11 consecutive rounds at par or above, including consecutive 72s to start THE PLAYERS. He performed much better on the European Tour earlier this season, with a tie for second at the Volvo Golf Champions and a ninth at the Dubai Desert Classic.
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The first two players finishing the third round of THE PLAYERS Championship had widely varying levels of success.
Matt Jones polished off a round of 69 that included six birdies while his playing partner, Kevin Chappell, struggled to an 80. Chappell had made the field for his first PLAYERS Championship when Jeff Maggert withdrew and shot even par in his first two rounds.
There are several other early starters who are putting up low numbers.
Peter Hanson, who birdied his last two holes on Friday to make the cut on the number. is making the most of his opportunity on the weekend. He has yet to make a bogey and is 6 under through14 holes – for the day and the tournament.
Angel Cabrera also turned in 32 and has played his first 15 holes in 5 under to make another big jump up the leaderboard.
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- While putting out on the 18th hole Tuesday on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, Henrik Stenson playfully batted his ball back and forth on the green, smiling.
The 2009 PLAYERS Champion missed the cut last week at Augusta, shooting 83-74 to finish last among all competitors. The rest of the season hasn’t been much better, with a first-round loss in the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship and only two rounds in the 60s in three stroke-play events. He’s T151 in FedExCup points.
But TPC Sawgrass is a comfort zone, and Tuesday the Swede made six birdies while playing with countryman Peter Hanson (making his first PLAYERS appearance next month) and a friend.
“I've been struggling with my game for quite some time, but I hope I’ve turned the corner and it starts heading in the right direction,” Stenson said. “When you come back to a course you really enjoy playing and where you've won before, you get a lot of good memories and you can kind of build on that. I see myself doing well here again.” --John Schwarb
Everyone knows the short game is key at Augusta National. And according to the folks at Titleist, this is the time players start seeking out Bob Vokey and his staff of wedge technicians so they'll be ready.
The pros will generally get a new set and practice with them for several weeks so the transition from their worn wedges with be seamless. They want to make sure they are comfortable with the new wedges before putting them in play.
Rick Nelson, Titleist's director of wedge development, was on site at TPC Blue Monster for the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship. Here are some of the players he worked with there.
* S.S.P. Chowrasia had a new wide sole 60-6 "TK" wedge made up for this week.
* Peter Hanson got new 54- and 60-degree wedges in preparation for Augusta.
* Y.E. Yang has two new backup lob wedges to start breaking in. as well.
* Adam Scott, Charley Hoffman, Robert Karlsson, Seung Yul Noh and Nick Watney – who won the Cadillac Championship, also ordered fresh grooves.
ORLANDO, Fla. – The Tavistock Cup, which since 2004 has been an interclub match between Isleworth’s and Lake Nona’s golf professional members, will have a different look this week.
For the first time, four clubs will compete for the Tavistock Cup, with 24 players involved in the competition. The first round of the two-day tournament at Isleworth Golf & Country Club begins in less than an hour (10:50 a.m. ET).
Monday’s format will consist of six matches of four-ball ( see schedule below). Tuesday’s competition will be singles matches.
Isleworth and Lake Nona will be two of the clubs in the competition, along with Albany and Queenwood. Albany is a new luxury resort community in The Bahamas and Queenwood is an exclusive private members’ club in the Surrey countryside near London.
Tiger Woods, fresh off his final-round 66 that bumped him up to 10th place at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship on Sunday, will compete for Team Albany. Reigning U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell leads Team Lake Nona ( team rosters below).
Tavistock Cup contestants play for prize money, team hole-in-one prizes and the title of World Golf And Country Club Champion.
The two-tournament will be broadcast live on the Golf Channel starting at Noon ET.
|TEAM ALBANY||TEAM ISLEWORTH||TEAM LAKE NONA||TEAM QUEENWOOD|
|Arjun Atwal||Robert Allenby||Ross Fisher||Thomas Bjorn|
|Ernie Els||Stuart Appleby||Retief Goosen||Darren Clarke|
|Trevor Immelman||Brian Davis||Peter Hanson||David Howell|
|Ian Poulter||J.B. Holmes||Graeme McDowell||Soren Kjeldsen|
|Justin Rose||Sean O’Hair||Henrik Stenson||Paul McGinley|
|Tiger Woods||Lee Janzen||Oliver Wilson||Adam Scott|
MONDAY’S FOUR-BALL MATCHES
|1||Arjun Atwal-Tiger Woods (Albany)||Thomas Bjorn-Adam Scott (Queenwood)|
|2||Robert Allenby-Stuart Appleby (Isleworth)||Peter Hanson-Henrik Stenson (Lake Nona)|
|3||Ian Poulter-Justin Rose (Albany)||Retief Goosen-Graeme McDowell (Lake Nona)|
|4||Brian Davis-J.B. Holmes (Isleworth)||Soren Kjeldsen-Paul McGinley (Queenwood)|
|5||Lee Janzen-Sean O’Hair (Isleworth)||Ross Fisher-Oliver Wilson (Lake Nona)|
|6||Ernie Els-Trevor Immelman (Albany)||Darren Clarke-David Howell (Queenwood)|
When he finished off his round of 66 early Friday afternoon, Retief Goosen was setting the pace at 7 under and eagerly anticipating the final two rounds.
“I don't think I'm going to be too far off the lead by the end of the day, and we'll see what I can do around here on the weekend,” the South African said.
Actually, Goosen’s advantage held up – although Phil Mickelson joined Justin Leonard at 6 under when the lefthander shot 68 in the afternoon. First-round leader Bubba Watson gave up a little ground with his 71 but he’s well within range at 5 under, too, and tied with Peter Hanson and Bo Van Pelt.
“I just didn’t make the putts today,” Watson said. “The greens speeds were a little slower and I couldn’t get used to it. After yesterday being lightning fast and today a little bit slower, probably a foot slower, I just couldn’t get used to it. I never made the putts that I made (Thursday).”
On the opposite end of the spectrum, World No. 1 Tiger Woods and his playing partner Lee Westwood, who is ranked No. 3, struggled again – for different reasons.
Westwood ended up withdrawing after his 76 due to that ruptured muscle in his right calf while Woods couldn’t find fairways again, hitting just three, and shooting a 72 that left him 6 over. Westwood will not play in the PGA Championship, either. – Helen Ross
* In round two, Dustin Johnson recorded the lowest round of his short World Golf Championships career (six starts, including this week) with a 65 (-5). His previous low was a 66 during the second round of the 2009 CA Championship. His best World Golf Championships finish is a T22 at the 2009 Bridgestone Invitational.
* Sweden’s Peter Hanson, 68-66 (-6), moved into contention by posting two consecutive rounds in the 60s for the first time in his World Golf Championships career (five starts, including this week). Hanson earned a spot in the field as a player, no otherwise qualified, who was top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking as of July 26. Hanson is currently 15 th in European Ryder Cup Points List.
* The second-round leader/co-leader has gone on to win just 12 of 32 stroke-play events on the PGA TOUR in 2010, most recently Matt Bettencourt at the Reno-Tahoe Open.
* The second-round leader/co-leader has gone on win 6 of 11 times at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, most recently Tiger Woods in 2009.