Golf Buzz

June 25, 2014 - 2:59pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Steve Schneiter
PGA of America
After three missed cuts in three years at the National Championship, 1995 winner Steve Schneiter has earned a berth in his 12th PGA Championship.

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- When it comes to the PGA Professional National Championship, it had become pretty standard to see 1995 champ Steve Schneiter among the top 20 headed to the PGA Championship each year.

The 50-year-old co-owner of family-owned Schneiter's Pebble Brook in Sandy, Utah, has been to a whopping 11 PGA Championships.

The last three years, however, have been an aberration for Schneiter with three straight missed cuts.

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Schneiter put an end to that unfortunate streak on Wednesday at the Dunes Golf & Beach Club with a final-round 3-under 69. He finished at 3-over 291 to punch his ticket to a 12th PGA Championship this August as he finished the National Championship alone in 11th place.

"I don't know what it is, but I've done well in this tournament for some reason," he said. "Aside from the last few years where I missed the cut -- I hate to say that word -- I've done OK in this tournament. I was injured last year, but this has been a good tournament to me. I seem to get really focused and play well when I come out for this."

Schneiter finished the final round in style, too. After a fantastic up-and-down par save at the eighth hole -- his 17th of the day -- he made birdie on his final hole to cap off the 69.

"I was going along just fine and then hit a couple of stupid shots at the end, but I had a couple of good up and downs to keep me in it with a chance to make it to the PGA Championship and that last birdie really helped," he said.

Schneiter is especially excited about his upcoming trip to Valhalla.

"The goal every year is to make it to the PGA," he said. "And, it'll be nice to go back to Valhalla. I played there in the 1996 PGA Championship and I also played there in the National Championship several years ago. I know the course and I'm excited about that." 

June 25, 2014 - 10:38am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Walter Hagen Cup
PGA of America
The Walter Hagen Cup is just one of many things up for grabs Wednesday in the final round of the 47th PGA Professional National Championship.

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- The PGA Professional National Championship is the ultimate tournament within a tournament.

During today's final round, there's a lot to play for. For a lucky few, a chance to hoist the coveted Walter Hagen Cup as National Champion hangs in the balance.

- The winner automatically earns a spot on the 2015 U.S. PGA Cup Team.

- The winner also earns six exemptions into PGA Tour events over the next 12 months.

- The winner takes home a check for $75,000.

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But for others who may not exactly have a chance to win, there's still very much something left to play for.

- Players who made the cut will earn points toward qualification for the 2015 U.S. PGA Cup team.

- The top-20 finishers and ties will qualify for the 2015 PGA Professional National Championship at The Cricket Club in Philadelphia next June.

- The top-20 finishers -- 20 on the number, no ties -- earn a berth in the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky., this August.

To clarify that last point, if there is a tie for the 20th position at the conclusion of 72 holes, all those players tied -- no matter the number -- will immediately go back out on the course to determine the final spots for the 2014 PGA Championship.

For example, in the 2013 PGA Professional National Championship, six players tied for 18th at the end of 72 holes with a total of 23 players at 1-over 288 or better. The six players tied for 18th went right back out for a six-way playoff to determine the final three PGA Championship berths.

June 25, 2014 - 7:00am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Jason Day
USA Today Images
Jason Day has got a nice little record at Congressional, which is why he's a key player to watch this week in the Quicken Loans National.

The PGA Tour is in Bethesda, Md., this week for the Quicken Loans National, where Tiger Woods is making his first start since returning from back surgery.

The field is loaded with stars as you'd expect at Congressional Country Club, the course that hosted the 2011 U.S. Open.

RELATED: Quicken Loans National tee times | Top equipment photos

Here are five players not named Tiger Woods that you should keep an eye on this week.

5. Keegan Bradley
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
Runner up at the Arnold Palmer Invitational
Reason to watch: Keegan Bradley has made no bones about it. For him, the goal now is to make the U.S. Ryder Cup team. In order to do that, he needs to play well and collect points. With a tie for fourth in the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2, Bradley got back in the conversation. Playing the Quicken Loans National this week at Congressional -- another U.S. Open course -- I like Bradley's chances.

4. Justin Rose
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
T4 at the Players Championship
Reason to watch: Rose won this event in 2010. Outside of a missed cut at the Memorial, Rose's worst finish in his last six starts is a tie for 14th. He's also coming off a tie for 12th at the U.S. Open -- not a bad finish for a defending champion. With five top-10 finishes in 12 starts this season, it feels like Rose is due for a victory soon.

3. Jason Dufner
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
Playoff loss at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial
Reason to watch: The 2013 PGA Champion has been a mixed bag this season. It hasn't been great, but it's never been all that bad either. His missed cut in the U.S. Open was just his second missed cut of the season. Much like Bradley, Dufner has his sights set on another U.S. Ryder Cup team. If points closed today, he'd be in at No. 8. Since they don't close today, Dufner is looking for more of them.

2. Bill Haas
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
T6 at Humana Challenge and WGC-Cadillac Championship
Reason to watch: The defending champ at Congressional, Haas has been pretty good in 2014 with three top-10 finishes in 18 starts. This week at Congressional should bring back some good vibes. One thing he's been is consistent -- not a single missed cut this season. Consistency and not making big mistakes will serve him well at Congressional.

1. Jason Day
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
Won the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship
Reason to watch: After his win at the Match Play, I really felt this was going to be a special season for Day. It still can be, but unfortunately he's been nagged by a thumb injury. Luckily, Day is finally able to string some events together, which helps with momentum. This week will mark his third consecutive start after a T4 at the U.S. Open and a T18 at the Travelers Championship. He also has a decent track record at Congressional -- he was runner up in the 2011 U.S. Open and finished T8 in the 2012 AT&T National. 

Presidents Cup teams at White House
Presidents Cup via Twitter
PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem addressed the audience as the 2013 President Cup teams assembled at the White House.

President Barack Obama and his most famous golf partner, Tiger Woods, got together again Tuesday, but at the White House instead of on the course. 

Obama honored a team of American golfers who last year defeated an international team to win their fifth straight Presidents Cup, a victory that Woods clinched. 

"Last year was the second time I've been honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup. The United States won both times. I'm just saying," Obama quipped during the East Room ceremony as he stood in front of three rows of golfers from both teams, including Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els. All were unusually dressed in suits and ties. 

"I'm not used to seeing these guys in suits," Obama cracked. 

Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner also were on stage with Obama, who introduced them as "two of my favorite golf partners" though he rarely shares his foursomes with either one. 

Obama said he was extraordinarily proud of the Presidents Cup team, including for its contributions to charity. He said he hoped the team's good fortune would somehow help another sports team whose fate has transfixed America. The U.S. soccer team faces possible elimination in its next World Cup match later this week. 

"We hope our World Cup team takes a page out of their playbook when they take on Germany this Thursday," Obama said. 

The Presidents Cup is held every two years between the U.S. and an international team. The 2015 tournament is scheduled for Seoul, South Korea. 

Woods, who is recovering from back surgery, was in the Washington area to host his charitable golf tournament in Bethesda, Maryland, later this week. He was accompanied at the White House by his girlfriend, U.S. skiing star Lindsey Vonn. 

Obama and Woods played golf together last year in Palm City, Fla. The president is an avid golfer who can be found on the golf course most weekends.

 

 

 

June 24, 2014 - 5:59pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Matt Dobyns
PGA of America
Matt Dobyns, 2012 National Champion, withdrew on Tuesday morning to return home for the early birth of his son.

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- The third round of the 47th PGA Professional National Championship was short one player on Tuesday.

Matt Dobyns, the 2012 National Champion who was recently the only PGA Professional to qualify for the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2, was forced to withdraw due to a family emergency.

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Dobyns made it home to New York just in time to be with his wife, Laurie, as she gave birth to the couple's second child, a boy, Michael Parker Dobyns.

Laurie was only 27 1/2 weeks along in her pregnancy. 

Dobyns posted this message via his Facebook account:

"I made it back to NY just in time for the early birth of our son Michael Parker Dobyns. He arrived pretty early and light (2lbs 8oz) and has a long road to go home but the doctors are cautiously optimistic at this point. Laurie Trogus Dobyns did amazing and is in recovery now." 

June 24, 2014 - 5:29pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Karen Paolozzi
PGA of America
One day after becoming the second woman professional to make the 36-hole cut in the National Championship, Karen Paolozzi shot a 6-over 78 on Tuesday.

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- Karen Paolozzi became just the second woman professional to make the 36-hole cut in the PGA Professional National Championship on Monday.

But the job wasn't done. For the first time in National Championship history, there's a 54-hole cut that reduces the final-round field to the low 70 scores and ties.

Despite shooting a 6-over 78 on the Dunes Golf & Beach Club, it looks like Paolozzi is going to sneak into that top 70 at 8-over 224.

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"The fairways were very soft after the morning rain," the 31-year-old Paolozzi said, "so you had to be careful for some possible mud-balls out there. The greens were really still firm, so they weren't any easier in my opinion. They had some really tough pins out there. This is a tough golf course."

For the second straight day at the Dunes, Paolozzi went out with a 3-over 39. She had a far more colorful back nine with three bogeys, a double bogey and two birdies.

"The 54-hole cut was definitely on my mind today," she admitted. "I didn't really hit the ball all that well. I was really grinding and trying to hold on as hard as I could. It was really nice to get that birdie on No. 17 and know I was still in the tournament. I hit a nice shot in there. It felt good to know that I can still do it under pressure."

Paolozzi said her No. 1 goal this week was to make the 36-hole cut. Now, unless something crazy happens with the cut line, she will finish the tournament.

"It sounds like I'm in for the final round," she said. "I'd like to hear the official word, but it sounds like I'm in and all is good. I'm thrilled to still be here. I hope I can put a good round together tomorrow. My golf swing is a little tired. I'm not used to all this golf, so I need to get some rest and take it easy this evening."