By Melanie Hauser, PGATOUR.COM
BETHESDA, Md. -- Robert Garrigus and Kevin Chappell low Americans?
Who'd have figured that?
Certainly not Garrigus, who couldn't even conceive of someone telling him at the start of the week he'd finish 10 shots off the lead -- let alone tied for third and low American -- and shoot under par everyday day.
"If you had told me I was going to do that,'' he said, "I might have slapped you in the face. I just didn't understand the scores."
What he did understand? Walking off the 18th green.
"It gave me goosebumps for sure,'' he said. "That was one of the things I will never forget. Besides it being Father's Day and to have my son there afterwards and everything, this is a pretty special day. And to make that putt, I get into Augusta, that's probably one of the coolest things I'll ever get to say is I am playing at Augusta next year."
Chappell might agree.
For those of you who don't know, Chappell is a 24-year-old UCLA grad and PGA TOUR rookie. He's the one who closed with a 66 and wasn't sure what this would mean. Garrigus is the 33-year-old who hits it a mile and putts with a tiny -- think junior club -- putter. He closed with a 70.
"Being low American, that's great,'' said Chappell, whose finish, coupled with a tie for second at the Valero Texas Open, ensures him his 2012 TOUR card. "I don't think the state of American golf is where everyone expects it to be, but I think it shows that someone like myself can play out here, and I think it's definitely going to end up going in the right direction here sometime soon.
Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III led the next low All-American group (Heath Slocum, Brandt Snedeker) at 3 under in a tie for 11th. The 47-year-old Love struggled with his putter all week and bristled a bit at the notion that American golf was struggling.
"Really I guess a little bit of an exception with Lee Westwood, but most of them are guys that are over here playing a lot, week in and week out,'' Love said. "Rory (McIlroy) I guess we've seen him a lot in the last year. Everything goes in streaks, you know. We might be talking about how four Americans win the next four.
"We don't look at it that I way, we're just playing the golf course. We don't play nationalities, we're playing golf and trying to win. If it's Kevin Chappell that shoots 17‑under or Rory, it doesn't make any difference to me, I got whipped."
BETHESDA, Md. – Y.E. Yang has just bounced back from his only bogey of the day with a birdie at the 12th hole to return to 5 under for the tournament.
He now trails Rory McIlroy by six strokes with six holes remaining – and EPSN plans to stay with the broadcast until the Korean finishes his round. The telecast was originally scheduled to end at 7 p.m. but ESPN decided on the bonus coverage after Friday’s 42-minute weather delay.
Heath Slocum continues to play well -- he’s 2 under with five holes remaining. And Ryan Palmer has made three straight birdies to get back to 2 under. He’s playing the 18th, his ninth of the day.
BETHESDA, Md. -- With nine holes to go, Y.E. Yang has trimmed two shots off Rory McIlroy's early eight-shot lead.
Yang, the 2009 PGA champ, birdied the seventh and ninth holes to get to 5 under for the tournament. Heath Slocum is also making a move in the afternoon, making the turn at 2 under for the day and the event.
Two members of the Big Three pairing have tucked themselves just inside the cutline, as well.
Lee Westwood is 2 under for the day and in a big group along with Luke Donald at 2 over for the week. Donald, who ranks No. 1 in the FedExCup and the world rankings, is currently 1 under for the day.
Martin Kaymer is struggling, though. He's 1 over for the day and 4 over for the tournament. The projected cut is currently 3 over.
By Melanie Hauser, PGATOUR.COM
BETHESDA, Md. -- Stewart Cink took one last swing at the 10th hole yesterday before he walked off the course.
Normally, he wouldn't. It would be nine holes and out. Back to the hotel. But he wanted one last look at the dastardly 220-yard par 3 over water.
Thursday, he was glad he did.
Cink opened with a birdie at the 10th Thursday -- a full, smooth 5-iron to 3 feet. Not bad. Not bad at all.
"They gave us a little break by moving the tee up,'' said the 2009 British Open champion. "And it was raining when we got to the tee, we had to do a lot of the mathematical calculations. I was over there early to see the group in front of me hit. I saw one ball. Heath Slocum hit a nice shot and it came up in the water. I added a few yards to what I was playing. And hit it in close.''
Seventeen holes later, Cink was in the clubhouse at 1-under-par 70, two shots off the early lead.
"I like being under par,'' Cink said. "I didn't play particularly well today. I scored well. I didn't hit very many greens, but when I did hit the greens, I made putts. It wasn't a U.S. Open style round at all, but I'll take under par."
The early groups, as always, got more receptive greens. What Cink wants to fix is . . . his play.
"I think I've actually got a really good attitude, I think I can do better than I did today,'' he said. "I hit some poor shots that I'm not very happy about. The attitude will be ‑‑ the rest of the day trying to figure out something to go with tomorrow that is a little bit more reliable, and hit a few more targets and come at it tomorrow with a positive attitude. "
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