The Greenbrier Classic 2015
Round 4 - Danny Lee claims win after four man playoff
July 5, 2015
Danny Lee was overcome with nerves after qualifying for a four-man playoff at The Greenbrier Classic.
By the time he walked to the first playoff tee, he was ready.
Lee earned his first PGA Tour victory when he parred the second hole of Sunday's sudden-death playoff, eliminating David Hearn after Kevin Kisner and Robert Streb faltered on the first playoff hole.
''All I can say is wow,'' Lee said. ''I finally did it.''
Lee, Hearn, Kisner and Streb were tied at 13 under after four rounds on the Old White TPC course. And Lee wasn't in a good place mentally heading into the playoff.
''I was so nervous,'' he said. ''My head was blank, and I was just trying to breathe.''
For good measure, Lee said his caddie, Kurt Kowaluk, put the piece of paper indicating his playoff starting position into a mock wishing well on the par-3 18th tee.
''He put it in there so I can win it,'' Lee said.
By then, Lee had his focus back.
''I felt ready,'' he said. ''I felt like I could really win this thing.''
The South Korean-born New Zealander earned $1.2 million and became the ninth first-time winner on the tour this season.
The former U.S. Amateur champion was competing in his 27th event this season, including his eighth in nine weeks. He is trying to qualify for the international team for the Presidents Cup in October in South Korea. He was 47th in the standings heading into The Greenbrier Classic.
''I never get tired of playing golf,'' Lee said. ''I mean, it's my job, and I just love doing it, and I'm just happy to be out here every week.''
Kisner shot a 6-under 64 to get to the clubhouse at 13 under.
Hearn (67) and Lee (67) birdied No. 17 to join the playoff. Both missed birdie putts for the lead on the final hole in regulation.
Streb shot a 5-under 65 in the final round by making five birdie putts on the back nine with a 56-degree wedge after breaking his putter on the ninth hole. The putter broke when Streb tossed it at his bag next to the green.
''It hit the bottom of the bag and the (putter) head went flying,'' Streb said. ''It was not my intent, but that was what happened. And so I said, well, let's see what we can do with a wedge.''
He three-putted No. 17 for bogey, but got in the playoff with a 6-foot birdie at No. 18.
Streb was allowed a replacement putter for the playoff, but he never got to use it after missing the green.
Lee and Hearn made birdie putts on the first playoff hole, also eliminating Kisner, who lost in a playoff for the third time this season.
On the second playoff hole, Hearn drove behind a tree on the par-5 17th and made bogey.
''That was probably the only bad tee shot I hit all day,'' said Hearn, who is still looking for his first PGA Tour win in 164 events. ''I've just got to keep giving myself chances like this, and it's going to happen soon.''
Lee also missed the fairway, but reached the green in three shots and two-putted from across the green for par.
It marked the third playoff in the tournament's six-year history.
Tiger Woods started the day seven shots behind the leaders, shot a bogey-free 67 and said he made some ''nice strides'' heading into next week's British Open.
''Best I've hit it in a long, long, long time,'' Woods said. ''I had full control over all clubs. This could have been one of those special rounds.''
Woods broke a streak of 55 consecutive rounds with at least one bogey. It was his first time under par in a final round since the 2013 Tour Championship.
Lee, Hearn, James Hahn and Greg Owen earned spots at St. Andrews. There also were four spots handed out a week ago at the Travelers Championship and one more is available this week at the John Deere Classic.
Russell Henley shot 63 and finished fifth at 12 under. Seven others were at 11 under, including Chad Collins (69), who was tied for the lead before bogeying the final two holes.
Round 3 - Jason Bohn vaults up leaderboard with a 61
July 5, 2015
Jason Bohn's main goal after barely making the cut at The Greenbrier Classic was to get some extra rest before the final round.
Sweet dreams. And try not to think about being the co-leader heading into Sunday.
Bohn shot a 9-under 61 Saturday and was at 11-under 199, tied with Sean O'Hair, Sung Joon Park and Bryce Molder on the Old White TPC course. O'Hair and Park both shot 66. Molder had a 67.
Bohn started strong with six birdies on the first 10 holes. After a bogey at No. 11, he regrouped with four more birdies over the final five holes
It's setting up to be another close finish at the tournament, which debuted in 2010. Two were decided in playoffs and the largest margin was two shots twice.
A crowded leaderboard has 27 players within four shots of the lead. Tiger Woods wasn't among them.
Woods struggled on the back nine, shot 71 and was seven strokes back.
Bohn's round was his best on the PGA Tour and included 14 one-putt greens. He shot 58 in a 2001 Canadian Tour event, the Bayer Championship.
A two-time winner on the PGA Tour, Bohn has two runner-up finishes this season. On Saturday, he was just hoping to play well enough to avoid an early tee time in the final round.
''I just wanted to sleep in to be honest, so now I don't have to get up early in the morning,'' Bohn said.
Bohn had birdied the final hole in the second round Friday to make the cut on the number at 2 under. He said he'll need a similar round on Sunday to have a chance at winning.
''You've just got to play very aggressive and play smart when you're out of position - and aggressive when you're in position,'' Bohn said.
O'Hair lost to Jordan Spieth in a playoff at the Valspar Championship in March, but had missed cuts in four of his last five events.
Seeking his fifth PGA Tour win and first since 2011, O'Hair had four back-nine birdies Saturday.
''I don't feel any pressure,'' O'Hair said. ''I actually feel like a weight's been lifted off a little bit. I'm just happy to be in this situation again. This definitely beats struggling, I can promise you.''
Molder reached 11 under with a birdie at No. 9 before stringing together nine straight pars.
''Somewhere midway through the back nine I just kind of lost rhythm,'' Molder said. ''But my short game hung in there and kept me in it.''
Molder's lone tour win came in a playoff at the 2011 Frys.com Open.
Park scattered four birdies in his bogey-free round. The South Korean has a runner-up finish at the Humana Challenge in his rookie season.
He doesn't expect to be nervous Sunday as he seeks his first tour victory.
''I've been in this situation before,'' Park said. ''It's going to be the same - another round for me.''
Justin Thomas (66), David Hearn (68), Danny Lee (68) and Chad Collins (68) were at 10 under.
Woods hasn't been the same since shooting 66 in the first round, his lowest score of the season and matching his best in relation to par.
Woods was within four shots of the lead at the start of Saturday's round and kept pace with two front-nine birdies.
Then all parts of his game came unraveled. He surpassed 30 putts for the second straight day.
Woods drove out-of-bounds on the par-4 11th and made double bogey. He three-putted the par-4 13th from 30 feet for bogey.
On the par-5 17th, where he had driven into water to the right in the first two rounds, his drive went 190 yards far to the left of the fairway and he made another bogey.
''I started pressing at the end trying to make some birdies and really got aggressive,'' Woods said. ''I hit a lot of shots close. I just need to convert on those and get some kind of string going in a positive way.''
Third round co-leaders Jhonattan Vegas (76) and Scott Langley (74) both shot 2 over on the front nine and were far back in the field.
Round 2 - Jhonattan Vegas & Scott Langley share lead
July 4, 2015
Jhonattan Vegas hasn't had much success since winning his second PGA Tour event as a rookie in 2011. The Greenbrier Classic could give him that needed boost.
Vegas shot a 5-under-par 65 to tie Scott Langley for the lead after the second round Friday. They were at 9-under 131 on the Old White TPC course in West Virginia.
Twenty-three golfers were within three shots of the lead, including seven at 8 under.
Vegas doesn't have a top 10 finish this season, but he's looking to change that. He made five birdies during a bogey-free round Friday, including two of his final three holes.
''I feel like I'm playing great, I just haven't been able to put it all together,'' the Venezuelan said. ''But I'm staying patient and working really hard to make it happen, and it's coming together.''
Langley didn't have the same birdie explosion as he enjoyed in the first round, when he shot 62 to take the lead.
Starting his round on the back nine, Langley made back-to-back birdies on Nos. 6 and 7 and shot 69.
''Following up a round of 62 is never super easy,'' Langley said. ''I left a lot of putts within 6 inches of the hole, just right in the heart. I need to be a little more assertive (Saturday) on the greens.''
Langley and Vegas had a chance to make noise last week at the Travelers Championship. Langley was four strokes behind eventual winner Bubba Watson entering weekend play, while Vegas was six shots back.
Both faded in the final two rounds.
The top four finishers at The Greenbrier not previously eligible for the British Open will earn spots next week at St. Andrews, provided they are among the top 12 and ties.
''That's one of the goals for the week,'' Vegas said. ''So we're going to try to go get it.''
Tiger Woods made little progress after a solid first round but avoided missing consecutive cuts for the first time as a pro. Woods shot 69 Friday and was at 5 under, four shots back.
Woods had more trouble reaching fairways on Friday. He found the water to the right on the par-5 17th for the second straight day, hit his golf bag with his driver in disgust, then nearly holed his 97-yard fourth shot and made par.
He salvaged his under-par round with a short birdie putt on the par-3 18th. He declined interviews afterward.
Langley is looking to become the third person to become a first-time PGA Tour winner by winning The Greenbrier in the tournament's six-year history.
So, too, is David Hearn, who was among those in the group at 8 under. The Canadian is still looking for his first PGA Tour win in his 164th event. His best finish was second at the 2013 John Deere Classic.
''This would be a great place for me to win one, but I've got 36 holes of golf (left),'' Hearn said. ''I'm playing great right now and I look forward to the weekend.''
Hearn birdied six of his first eight holes and shot 64. He and Jonathan Byrd were tied for the lead on the back nine before late bogeys slowed their momentum. Byrd shot 69 and also was at 8 under.
Sixty-seven golfers made the cut at 2 under. Michael Putnam had an eagle and four birdies on the back nine to make the cut on the number.
Steve Stricker missed only his third cut since 2010.
Heavy rains stopped play for 18 minutes in the morning. Occasional thunderstorms are forecast through the weekend.
Round 1- Tiger Woods bounces back with a 66
July 3, 2015
For a change, Tiger Woods got off to a good start.
Woods rebounded from a dismal U.S. Open with a 4-under-par 66 in Thursday's opening round of The Greenbrier Classic, four shots behind leader Scott Langley.
Helped by a morning rain that softened the Old White TPC course in West Virginia, Woods posted his lowest score of the season and matched his best in relation to par.
It was only the fourth time he shot in the 60s in 21 rounds. None on the first day of a tournament.
''Overall I can't really say I hit any great shots, but I hit a lot of good ones,'' Woods said. ''I hit the ball better than what my score indicates.''
Two weeks ago at the U.S. Open, Woods had the highest 36-hole score of his pro career - 156.
Woods came to Greenbrier ranked No. 220 in the world and faced with the prospect of missing cuts in consecutive tournaments for the first time since 1994, when he had not yet turned pro.
For one round, at least, his solid game returned.
''Overall, if you drive the ball well here, you're going to probably have at least seven shots with 9-iron or below into the greens, and you're going to have to capitalize on that,'' Woods said. ''So far I'm one of those guys who did.''
Woods started on the back nine Thursday and birdied three of his first seven holes. He made bogey on the par-5 17th after his drive went into a hazard to the right, and a double bogey from a greenside bunker on the sixth hole left him at 1 under on his round.
Woods said he adjusted his aim later in the round after noticing that playing partners Steve Stricker and David Lingmerth were missing putts on the high side of the hole.
''I lowered my line just a touch, maybe half a ball here and there, and it seemed to pay off,'' he said.
Woods finished with three straight birdies, making bending putts of 18 and 19 feet on the final two holes.
''Just trying to get back to 3 (under), and we just happened to pull off a hat trick coming home,'' he said.
Jonathan Byrd and Danny Lee were a stroke behind Langley after 7-under 63s. Brian Davis and Ryo Ishikawa were at 64.
Friends Langley and Byrd both said they fed off each other during their morning round. They were tied at 7 under before Langley surged ahead with a short birdie putt at the par-4 16th.
Neither has a top 10 finish this season and both need some solid results to be among the 125 qualifiers for the FedEx Cup playoffs starting in late August.
''I got a little down on myself earlier in the year because the results weren't really there,'' Langley said. ''I kind of looked at myself in the mirror and said, you know, at the end of the day, I need to be the most positive guy in the field week in and week out.''
Langley, seeking his first win on the PGA Tour, finished 25th at the Travelers Championship a week ago. He hit 17 greens in regulation in his bogey-free round Thursday.
Byrd is in the tournament on a sponsor's exemption.
''I'm very thankful just to be in the field this week,'' he said.
Fans were certainly glad to see George McNeill and Justin Thomas.
Both made holes-in-one on the par-3 18th, triggering advertised tournament payouts of $100 to fans at the hole for McNeill's ace and $500 for Thomas' feat, or a total of about $192,000. The next hole-in-one at any point in the tournament on the 18th would net fans $1,000 apiece.
The tournament also gave McNeill $25,000 and Thomas $50,000 for the charities of their choice.
Danny Lee -13 (63-69-68-67=267) -3(67) F
Failed to qualify
John Daly -1 (68-71=139) +1(71) F