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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Surprising Performances A-Plenty

With so much golf going on and it being a holiday weekend and all, it's just possible that you missed something interesting. Let me give you a quick update of the primary newsmakers on Saturday.

First of all, Sergio Garcia gashed his way to the top of the leaderboard with a 64 to back up Friday's 65. He's at -13, and both Roberto Castro and Henrik Stenson are just a shot behind. Stenson posted a 63, the best round of his career. Oh yeah, Henrik's back!

Tiger, Adam, and Phil put on a bit of a show Saturday. Tiger (-7) got himself back into the tournament with some steady play, Adam (-3) made sure he made the cut... and Phil (-8) was Phil. After shooting -2 on the front 9, Phil lost control of his driver and went +4 in 7 holes, only to regain control and go -2 on the last 2 holes for an even par round. Phil said he was proud of the way he hung in there. For the rest of us, it was a short game clinic. Here's a link to Saturday's Golf Central; you've GOT to see Phil's wedge recovery shot on 11 (at the 1:45 mark). Even Phil was at a loss for words to explain it.

You can read PGATOUR.com's wrap-up of the round here.

Over on the Web.com Tour the big news is that Patrick Cantlay is not only on top but has a 3 stroke lead. Cantlay has been sidelined most of the season with injuries, but you wouldn't know it to watch him play this week!

PGA Tour pro Arron Oberholser also makes my "big news" list. Oberholser has played only 4 times in the last 2 years because of all his injuries and surgeries. He's been doing commentary for GC and got into the playoff series quite by accident. He didn't know he was qualified until his wife convinced him to check. As I understand it, he's playing on an 11-tournament medical exemption. He's at -14 (T3) just 5 off the lead.

And we have a Yani Tseng sighting on the LPGA Tour! After a year of virtual invisibility, Yani has shot 67-68-63 (-18) for a 3 stroke lead at the Safeway Classic. The 63 is the second lowest round of her career, and it included 11 birdies and 2 bogeys. Yani is currently 15th in the Rolex Rankings -- after being #1 less than a year ago -- and seems to finally be back on track. She even has her former caddie back on her bag (the one who was with her during her run to #1) after firing him during her bad stretch. But there's a bunch of big names right behind her, including Suzann Pettersen at -15.

At the Euro Tour's ISPS Handa Wales Open (at Celtic Manor, a former Ryder Cup site), Peter Uihlein is 3 shots ahead of his nearest competitor. This is Uihlein's rookie year but he's already won once and locked up his card. At the rate he's going, Uihlein will probably be on Tom Watson's Ryder Cup radar next year. The question is... is Freddie watching?

And on the Champions Tour, Rocko Mediate set a personal scoring record of 127 for 36 holes (63-64) at the Shaw Charity Classic. He shot 29 on the back nine both days! And he's still only got a 2-shot lead on Bobby Clampett.

So the question becomes... who are YOU gonna watch today? It's hard to make a bad choice this week.

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