Davis Love III said Wednesday at the John Deere Classic that his duties as 2012 Ryder Cup Captain won't lead to a dip in his performance on the course.
"There's nothing to take you away from playing golf tournaments and working on your golf game," Love said. "I'm not going to back off on my golf. I signed a deal with Bridgestone that said I was going to play 20 tournaments, and I always play 23 or 24 or 25. And you know, I'm here to play this week, and you know, next year I'm going to be here to play again."
Love has played in six Ryder Cups -- his last in 2004. He said he's not focused on who he will pick for the 2012 Ryder Cup team, but actually on qualifying for the team himself. He's also hoping to qualify for Fred Couples' Presidents Cup team this year, although he admitted that he will have to win a few events to do so.
"Sure (as a captain) you gotta watch guys play," Love said. "The best way to do that is go play with them, you know. And I've had a great time playing with, you know, Bo Van Pelts, and Mark Wilsons and Jeff Overtons and Rickie Fowlers, guys that I haven't gotten most captains wouldn't have gotten a chance to play for two or three years with."
Love said he's often asked about Tiger Woods' health or how he will handle Rory McIlroy, questions he called irrelevant at this time.
"We're trying to prepare for the tournament," he said. "You can't predict now who's going to make the team on either side."
By Chris Dunham, PGATOUR.COM
With just seven weeks remaining before the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup get under way, Nick Watney became the season's sixth points leader. Watney, who won last week’s AT&T National to move atop the FedExCup standings, needs to watch just one player this week to see if his lead will be safe. Only Mark Wilson, who led for 12 weeks earlier this year, can catch Watney at the John Deere Classic. It would take nothing short of a victory for Wilson to jump from No. 5 to No. 1 just like Watney did last week. In eight starts at the John Deere Classic, however, Wison has made just four cuts and has a best finish of T39.
WHAT ABOUT STRICKER? Two-time reigning John Deere Classic champion, and 2011 Memorial champion, Steve Stricker checks in this week at No. 12 in the standings. A third consecutive victory at TPC Deere Run would move him to No. 2, just ahead of PLAYERS champion K.J. Choi, but still 125 points behind Watney. David Toms could also move to No. 2 with a win or solo second, but cannot catch Watney this week.
WHO’S UP, WHO’S DOWN: Some familiar faces were moving up and down the ranks at the AT&T National. Adam Scott moved from 60th to 45th and Jeff Overton from 78th to 54th after both tied for third at Aronimink. Six 2010 PGA TOUR winners were moving the opposite direction, however, as Ernie Els, Anthony Kim, Heath Slocum, Camilo Villegas, Stuart Appleby and Ian Poulter each dropped between seven and nine spots.
Making the biggest move was Chris Stroud, who tied for sixth at the AT&T National. With that finish, Stroud moved inside the all-important top 125 in the FedExCup standings, jumping from 132nd to 103rd, with just seven weeks remaining before the Playoffs. Ben Curtis is the new bubble boy, after missing the cut last week and falling to No. 125 in the standings.
MORE ON LAST WEEK’S WINNER: For the first time in his career, Watney finds himself atop the FedExCup standings. The former Fresno State Bulldog has twice been No. 2 in the standings, but only reached the pinnacle after winning last week’s AT&T National. In 14 starts this year, the 30-year-old has made 12 cuts with eight top 10s and his pair of victories. Last week’s victory was the first of Watney’s four to come after the month of April.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
The final pairing at the AT&T National on Sunday had a distinct Presidents Cup flavor.
Two players who are expected to play prominent roles on opposite sides in the biennial competition at Royal Melbourne in November -- America's Nick Watney and K.J. Choi of South Korea -- did battle down the stretch at Aronomink COuntry Club.
Watney ended up winning for the second time this season, beating Choi by two strokes in a spirited duel. Watney moved from fifth to third in the U.S. Team standings while Choi maintained his hold on No. 3 on the International side.
The Presidents Cup, where he will play for Fred Couples, will be the first international team competition for Watney, who now has four PGA TOUR victories. For his efforts on Sunday, the lanky Californian was also rewarded with the lead in the FedExCup standings.
Choi, who set the Aronomink course record in the second round only to see Watney eclipse it a day later, was bidding for the ninth win of his TOUR career. He beat another U.S. Team hopeful, eighth-ranked David Toms, in a playoff at TPC Sawgrass in May to win THE PLAYERS Championship.
The third member of the final draw at Aronomink, Rickie Fowler, couldn't keep pace with his two playing partners on Sunday. The exciting youngster from Oklahoma State ended up in a tie for 13th but still managed to move two spots to No. 21 as he tries to make his first U.S. Presidents Cup Team.
Two of the biggest movers on Sunday were Charles Howell III and fellow American Jeff Overton, who tied for third with Australian Adam Scott. Howell moved from 35th to 29th in the standings while Overton jumped four spots to No. 20.
Scott ranks a solid fourth in the International Team standings. He's an International mainstay after being a member of the last four times, and he'll be looking forward to competing for his childhood hero, Norman, for the second time, and the first before a home crowd.
Another Aussie veteran, Robert Allenby, inched his way closer to being one of the 10 automatic qualifiers when he tied for sixth at Aronomink. Allenby, who has played in five previous Presidents Cups, now ranks 11th.
Once the 10 automatic qualifiers are finalized at the end of the BMW Championship, which is the third event in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup, each captain will complete his team with two picks. Those picks will be made on Monday, Sept. 26.
The Presidents Cup will be played Nov. 14-20 at Royal Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia. Australian Jason Day and American Matt Kuchar lead their respective standings.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. -- The eighth and 10th holes at Aronimink resembled a traffic jam at times on Sunday with players getting backed up there. Among them was Jeff Overton, who played with Bryce Molder and Charlie Wi.
As a result, the group was put on the clock on No. 12.
“It kind of messes with your round a little bit,” Overton said of the backup. “Then we all kind of struggled after the wait on 9 and 10 and 11.”
Well, Overton birdied Nos. 11 and 12 for his fourth and fifth birdies of the day as he got within one of the lead, but he gave them back with back-to-back bogeys on 14 and 15. He finished with a 67.
”It was unfortunate, but it happens, and that's the nature of the game,” Overton said of being put on the clock. “You've got to be tougher than that, and I just wasn't able to stay in rhythm.”
Still, Overton was relatively pleased with his performance as he tied for third. He also ranked second in the field in putting.
“I can't remember [the last time I putted this well],” Overton said. “It seems like I missed everything I looked at from outside 5 to 15 feet over the course of the last year, and today and all week it seemed like I played really well, so it was a lot of fun.”
NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. -- There’s a player looking for his first career win this week who’s within a shot of the lead at the moment. It’s just not the player who began the day tied for the lead.
Jeff Overton has five birdies over his first 12 holes, including on each of his last two, and is 11 under and within one of leader Nick Watney.
Overton is rolling it well here in the final round with just 16 putts over those dozen holes -- and that’s after h itting 75 percent of his greens in regulation. It’s helped that Overton, who can get wild off the tee, is driving it straight, too, with 70 percent of his fairways hit.
K.J. Choi, meanwhile, is alone in third at the moment at 9 under.
Rickie Fowler? His slide continues with a bogey on No. 10, where he had to pitch back to the fairway after a wayward tee shot and then missed a 7-footer for par. That drops Fowler to 4 over on the day and all the way back to 5 under for the week.
BETHESDA, Md. – A man who has never played the weekend at a U.S. Open is setting the pace midway through the morning half of the draw.
Ryan Palmer, who missed the cut at the U.S. Open in 1998 and 2007, has yet to make a bogey in the first round. The Texan started on the front, as have the majority of the players at the top of the leaderboard, and has completed 11 holes in 3 under.
Giving chase are several major champions, including Graeme McDowell, who is defending the title he won a year ago at Pebble Beach. He’s tied at 1 under along with 2009 British Open champ Stewart Cink, 2009 PGA champ Y.E. Yang and Davis Love III, who won the 1997 PGA.
Also at 1 under are Chez Reavie, who is playing his 18th hole; J.J. Henry and Jason Day. The group at even par includes three-time major champion Padraig Harrington and Louis Oosthuizen, who will defend his British Open title next month at Royal St. George’s.
Phil Mickelson, who has finished second at the U.S. Open five times, is among the afternoon starters. The birthday boy – Mickelson turns 41 today -- tees off No. 10 in the day’s Featured Group with Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson.
BETHESDA, Md. -- Ryan Palmer just made a 4-footer at the difficult par-3 10th hole to take sole possession of the lead at 3 under.
The Texan is the only player in the current top-10 on the leaderboard who hasn't made a bogey on Thursday. He birdied the first hole and added another at No. 8.
Palmer has a one-stroke lead over Chez Reavie, who has two holes remaining; Johan Edfors, who is through 11, and Jeff Overton, who is playing with the leader.
Palmer has yet to make a cut in two previous starts at the U.S. Open in 1998 and 2007.
Just how difficult has the scoring been on a hot, windy day outside Dallas? Well, the overnight leaders have gone backwards and one of them, Ryan Palmer, still leads.
Palmer is 1 over through nine holes and leads by one over Sergio Garcia, who made the turn in 2 over to fall to 6 under.
After that there’s a little separation with three players, including Jeff Overton, at 4 under.
The lowest round in the clubhouse so far? A 67 by Arjun Atwal, who is also 3 under for the tournament.
In all, just 19 players are under par for the week at the moment.
Take away the second round and Jeff Overton would be 9 under. Of course you can’t do that, but Overton has nonetheless found a way to recover from his 74.
Through his first nine holes on Saturday, Overton is 3 under and as a result has moved back into contention just two shots back.
The two players Overton is chasing? Ryan Palmer and Sergio Garcia, both of whom are 1 over through six holes.
As for Jordan Spieth, the 17-year-old high school senior who began the day five shots back? He raced out of the tee box with birdies on each of his first two holes, but he gave those back on the fourth hole with a double bogey. Spieth then made another bogey on the par-4 ninth to make the turn in 1 over on the day.
The good news for Spieth, of course, is that the leaders have gone backwards as well and he’s still just five shots back.
As good as Jeff Overton was in his opening round, especially on the back nine at TPC Four Seasons, he’s been equally bad here in the second round.
Through his first 10 holes, Overton is 3 over with four bogeys and just one birdies. Conversely, he had six birdies, including four on the back nine, and no bogeys in the opening round.
So what’s been the difference? Well, Overton can get wild and that’s hurting him today with just four of eight fairways hit and four of 10 greens in regulation. In the first round, it was the complete opposite with the Indiana product hitting 11 of 14 fairways and 16 greens in regulation.
It’s now wonder Overton trails by six at the moment.