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Sports >  Area sports

Clutch chip, putt carry Daniel Campbell to Rosauers Open Invitational title

UPDATED: Sun., July 17, 2022

Campbell hit a world-class chip at No. 17, cleverly pitching the ball into the rough behind the green and a couple of soft bounces off the sidehill took off some of the speed. His ball trickled onto the green and he buried a speedy 8-foot birdie putt while Erdmann was making par after a nifty up-and-down of his own. Campbell kept the throttle down on the par-5 No. 18 with a two-putt birdie to polish off a bogey-free 6-under 65 Sunday and a two-stroke victory over Erdmann and Tyler Carlson, assistant pro at Quail Ridge in Clarkston.
Sports >  Golf

Cameron Smith surges past Rory McIlroy to win the 150th British Open at St. Andrews

UPDATED: Sun., July 17, 2022

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — Cameron Smith, the Australian golfer who has emerged as one of the game’s most skilled craftsmen on the greens, used a back-nine run of birdies Sunday to storm up the British Open leaderboard and, after two dozen disappointments, win his first major championship.Smith shot a sparkling 64 and finished at 20-under for the tournament.Smith’s success, a stirring final-round effort that still only gradually dawned on the spectators along the Old Course at St. Andrews, came with a steady assault on the four-shot lead that Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland opened the day guarding.Beginning on No. 10, Smith, who began the day at 12 under par, birdied five consecutive holes, while McIlroy’s birdie putts too often fell short, his advantage slimming and then disappearing. In turn, one month after he missed the cut at the U.S. Open, Smith, the world No. 6, found his way to history on the claret jug.Smith, 28, won the Players Championship in March, his second PGA Tour victory this season. The next month, he tied for third at the Masters Tournament.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.
Sports >  Golf

An eagle from a bunker and a roar for Rory create a defining moment at British Open

UPDATED: Sat., July 16, 2022

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- The drive behaved properly along its 334-yard trip until the ancient course decided it'd had just about enough of getting bludgeoned by absurdly good players and ultramodern equipment. It got all sore. It let the thing roll a bit and then used one of its 112 bunkers to swallow it.That gnarly little bunker, to the front right of the green at No. 10, the par-4 titled "Bobby Jones," became the first bunker Rory McIlroy had visited in his 46 holes to that point all week. The ball went on in and heckled from the middle of the trap, not such a bad lie given some of the harrowing bunker walls around here.At that moment, nobody much figured there would come the shot people might end up remembering from this exalted 150th British Open at the Old Course. At that moment, nobody figured there would come a roar that didn't blare across Scotland and across the Irish Sea to Northern Ireland, but maybe got close. At that moment, Scottie Scheffler and Dustin Johnson waited at the No. 11 tee nearby. "We saw his ball roll into the bunker," said Scheffler, the world's No. 1 player, "so we were wondering what part of the bunker it ended up in."It was just past 6 p.m. on Saturday, and the leader board quaked with highbrow talent and highfalutin rankings. Top-10 player Viktor Hovland led the field at 14 under par after making a bushel of birdies right in front of McIlroy, his playing partner, while McIlroy stood at 13 under par, as would morning leader Cameron Smith, who birdied No. 9 just behind. McIlroy went on down there in the little hazard, 27 yards from the cup, to attempt another of the many recoveries in a golfer's life.So he hit the shot. It made a nice pretty arc. It smacked down on the green. It took a second bounce. It took maybe a third little stutter-bounce. It rolled some. It slowed down. It plunked into the cup for eagle. "I couldn't really see," Scheffler said. "The cameras were in the way."Then: "It was really loud there for a minute or so, which was pretty funny."Immediately McIlroy, his day altered, his score brought to 15 under par and first place up from third and three shots back at the beginning, had to remember his manners as he does pretty much always. "I tried not to be too animated," he said, "because D.J. and Scottie were trying to hit their tee shots on 11. I didn't want to rile the crowd up too much because they obviously wanted to hit their tee shots."He popped up from the sand to the earth's surface in his green shirt and shared a high handshake with caddie Harry Diamond, then waved to a crowd that wouldn't have minded if he had initiated a protracted line dance. He tried to keep it just subdued enough to offset his face, which could not contain rapture."Yeah, that hole was sort of perched up on a little crown there," he said. "And I was just trying to get it somewhat close. Anything inside 10 feet I felt was going to be a really good shot. It just came out perfectly. I think it was the first bunker I put in this week. And it was a nice result." He called it "skill to get it somewhere close, but it was luck that it went in the hole."It turned things because he had been watching Hovland, the 24-year-old Norwegian wonder, make a 38-foot birdie on No. 3, a 42-foot birdie on No. 4, a two-foot birdie after driving the green in two on par-5 No. 5, and a 19-foot birdie on No. 6. At such moments must playing partners resist the urge to try keeping up or to just go ahead and flee the course."Watching Viktor hole a couple of long ones early on," McIlroy said while recapping. "But stayed really patient . . . And I feel like my patience was rewarded around the turn with a couple of birdies and that hole-out on 10."Hovland, who still had a hole to finish, joined in the congratulations. "Rory is a good guy," he would say later, "so I don't mind saying, 'Good shot,' to him. I mean, like the bunker shot he hit on No. 10, like, disregarding the situation you're in, that's just a filthy bunker shot. So you just kind of have to go, 'Hey, that was a sick shot.' Yeah, I mean, it's just part of the game."Hovland then sank a 14-foot birdie putt, which couldn't have been easy even if only he and maybe next of kin might remember.
Sports >  Golf

Golf’s birthplace faces a risky future on a warming planet

UPDATED: Sat., July 16, 2022

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — It is the rare golfer who does not fret over weather that could wash out a round or starve shots of distance.But along the North Sea on a blustery edge of Scotland, heralded for centuries as golf’s birthplace, this era’s greenskeepers fear a far more damning forecast. In that nightmare, what they call a perfect storm, striking at high tide and packing an easterly wind, would hit, likely speeding coastal erosion.“Year on year, we’re just apprehensive,” said David Brown, general manager at the 460-year-old Montrose Golf Links.“You’re kind of fighting the unknown, really,” he said. “We could go for the next 10 years not having that perfect storm, and then quite easily in one winter, we could have that perfect storm three times. And then how much land do we lose?”Montrose, which the government estimates has lost dozens of yards of coastline over the past several decades, is thought to be among the most imperiled of Scotland’s roughly 600 courses, more than 1 in 6 of which are coastal. In a sign, though, of how global prestige can offer only so much in the way of safety, researchers believe that St. Andrews, home to the world’s oldest course and the host of the 150th British Open, faces a greater threat of flooding within 30 years.Scientists do not think that the Old Course will be permanently underwater that soon, with the Road Hole forever swallowed into the sea. But golf has had little choice but to start weighing its own role in climate change — most notably through the vast, lush and thirsty courses that sometimes take the place of trees and then require fertilizer and mowing — while puzzling over how to preserve fairways and greens around the world.(BEGIN OPTIONAL TRIM.)Scientists have spent years warning how a warmer planet, which can lead to more severe storms and to more sea-level rise, could change sports.Citing climate change, the International Olympic Committee’s president has said that Games organizers “may have to have a look into the overall calendar and whether there must be a shift.” Winter sports are facing a future of events on artificial snow, and activities like dogsledding and fishing are being transformed in the Arctic.Golf will not be an exception.“Some of our most historic, famous and revered golf courses are at risk, and it is something every coastal course needs to think hard about,” said Tim Lobb, president of the European Institute of Golf Course Architects, who predicted an acceleration of the kind of turf-reduction efforts that have already started at some courses.(END OPTIONAL TRIM.)Scotland’s long embrace of golf as a cultural and economic juggernaut lends the issue particular urgency in this region, where the Open is scheduled to conclude Sunday. At St. Andrews Links alone, six public courses, including the Old Course, together host some 230,000 rounds a year close to the West Sands, a quick stroll from some of the most revered holes in the world. (A seventh St. Andrews Links course, which opened in 2008, is elsewhere in the area.)Courses in Scotland’s east, which has low-lying sediment that can be easily eroded, are generally believed to face more imminent jeopardy than ones along the west coast, where the geology is less vulnerable to climate change’s consequences.But responses are becoming widespread.Royal Dornoch, a beloved course in the north of Scotland, has been trying to revive marsh that had eroded and threatened a fairway. Lundin, about a half-hour’s drive from St. Andrews, added 100,000 pounds in fencing to guard against erosion, and the R&A, the Open’s organizer, has earmarked hundreds of thousands of pounds for grants to “develop solutions.”There may be limits to what courses can do, though, their options sometimes narrowed by money, location, the severity of the threat or the rippling consequences of action in one area. Some people worry that resources that might be made available to a place like the Old Course, which is rich with history and international import, might be not be as accessible elsewhere.“There are fears about golf courses, but we will help to protect golf courses if we do the right things to protect the environment and mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change,” Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, said in a seaside interview Friday. “There’s a huge amount of work that we’re doing in Scotland to do that. It’s about more than protecting golf courses, but there is no doubt in places like this that that is a key part of it as well.”She added: “The climate is changing, but we are really focusing in Scotland on making sure that we protect what matters most to us as we face these challenges. And it’s very obvious during this week of the year, in particular, how much golf matters to Scotland.”Some experts, including professor Bill Austin of the University of St. Andrews, expect a rising number of engineering fixes to take hold over the years, balanced with more natural solutions that might involve allowing the sea to creep inward in a managed way.One of the persistent questions, though, is whether those efforts will materialize fast enough.At Montrose, Brown runs a course that has lately been in the stopgap business, voluntarily and not: Tees have been lost, holes have been shortened and redirected and fairways have been overseeded. There is only so much money to go around, though, and climate-related modifications are consuming roughly one-third of the course’s greens budget.“Without government protection, we could see 50 years of golf played comfortably — or the perfect storm two or three times in one winter, 10 years,” he said.The worries around St. Andrews are not yet as dire, but they are mounting. In an especially grim possibility outlined last year in a report from a Scottish government project, part of the West Sands could draw about 820 yards into the links by 2100 if there are high emissions and a “do nothing” approach to managing the coast.(BEGIN OPTIONAL TRIM.)And Climate Central, a research group based in Princeton, New Jersey, has forecast that the Old Course and the surrounding area will become more susceptible to temporary, if drenching, floodwaters by 2050.Austin, based in the School of Geography and Sustainable Development at St. Andrews, also expects flooding to threaten the Old Course and said that breaches “may be inevitable.” Further enhancements to the dunes, especially around the estuary end, might offer greater protection for the course, he said, building on years of work that St. Andrews Links has already done.(END OPTIONAL TRIM.)The government report also suggested beach nourishment efforts and the possibility of redesigning courses “to ensure golf can sustainably be played at St. Andrews beyond 2100.”How long, exactly, is unclear.“I’m sure there will be a 200th Open played on something that looks very similar to the present-day Old Course, but there may be some engineering behind the scenes,” Austin, who has received some research funding from the R&A, said at a coffeehouse in St. Andrews on a rainy morning this past week.Beyond that, though, his prognostication is more foreboding.“If you asked me about 300, then I’d say the Old Course will have moved,” he said, “but there will still be something in St. Andrews that has the feel and, I think, the legacy of the Old Course.”This article originally appeared in The New York Times.
Sports >  Golf

Tiger Woods waves goodbye to St. Andrews, maybe for the last time

UPDATED: Fri., July 15, 2022

SAINT ANDREWS, Scotland - They're often esteemed as the world's best golf fans, rich in knowledge and empathy and respect, so they made great droves in the sunshine along the closing holes Friday, to fete a guy at 7 over par. They saw his chip on No. 16 trickle villainously backward into a green-front bunker toward another double bogey, and they reeled out loud. They saw him knock in an 8-foot par at No. 17, and they made a good boomlet. They saw him walk toward No. 18 against a backdrop almost too pretty to be reality, and soon they'd outdo themselves.Their ovation for Tiger Woods poured in from two grandstands and one road and achieved a status that ovations seldom do: sustained."It got to me," Woods would say.
Sports >  Area sports

Blake Snyder takes first-round lead at Rosauers Open Invitational with 8-under 63

UPDATED: Fri., July 15, 2022

Blake Snyder arrived at the tee box on No. 18 in a tie for fourth place and left the green alone in first after Friday’s opening round of the 35th Rosauers Open Invitational. Snyder, from the Pacific Northwest Golf Academy in Issaquah, Washington, eagled the par-5 18th to cap an 8-under 63 at Indian Canyon and move past a trio of players – 2019 Rosauers champion Scott Erdmann, Craig Crandall and Ben Nelson – at 7 under.
Sports >  Golf

Tiger Woods trying to stay optimistic after crushing first round at British Open

UPDATED: Thu., July 14, 2022

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — Tiger Woods loves the Old Course. It doesn't always love him back. Thursday was one of those difficult days — far more tumultuous than the mild weather — as Woods caught a bad break right away then struggled to find his touch on the surprisingly sluggish greens, shooting a six-over-par 78 that puts him in peril of missing the cut at the British Open. "Well, probably ...
Sports >  Area sports

Inglis faces tough task trying to defend Rosauers Open Invitational title

UPDATED: Tue., July 12, 2022

Colin Inglis has something to shoot for this week at the 35th Rosauers Open Invitational. It’s been 27 years since Greg Whisman became the only player in tournament history to win consecutive championships in 1994-95. Corey Prugh, Jeff Coston, Derek Bayley, Michael Combs and Chris Mitchell own multiple Rosauers titles, but not in back-to-back years.
Sports >  Area sports

Commentary: Lilac City Invitational sidelined as Fairways prepares to switch from 18 holes to 9

UPDATED: Sat., July 9, 2022

What the Fairways didn’t have this year was the Lilac City Invitational, the course’s annual tournament/funfest/party that has been on golf calendars nearly every year since it was founded by then Downriver pro Joe Durgan in 1960. The 57th edition of the Lilac was staged last June. By late fall, word started getting out there wouldn’t be a 58th version with course ownership planning to build a housing development on the first seven holes.
Sports >  Area sports

Clarkston native Joel Dahmen takes numerous positives from top-10 finish at U.S. Open

UPDATED: Sun., June 19, 2022

After four days of residing on the U.S. Open leaderboard, Joel Dahmen learned a ton about his game and dealing with the intense pressure of contending at a major championship. The Clarkston native liked what he saw, for the most part. Perhaps even more importantly, he goes forward with added confidence, recharged batteries and a clear understanding of what it might take to reach the winner’s circle.
Sports >  Area sports

Clarkston native Joel Dahmen, Collin Morikawa share lead midway through U.S. Open

UPDATED: Fri., June 17, 2022

It was an eventful 18 holes Friday for Clarkston native Joel Dahmen, but the good easily outweighed the bad. Dahmen wasn’t quite as precise with his ball-striking as Thursday, but he still managed a 2-under 68 at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, to share the U.S. Open lead with two-time Major winner Collin Morikawa. The two are 5 under through 36 holes.

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