Zach Johnson holds early lead at Travelers Championship

CROMWELL, Conn. (AP) — Zach Johnson has shot a first-round 63 to take an early lead at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut. The former Masters and British Open champion birdied six straight holes on the back nine and finished 7 under par, one shot ahead of American Peter Malnati. Brooks Koepka followed his U.S. Open championship with a 2-under 68 on the TPC River Highland’s course, putting him five shots off the pace. The Travelers was selected by the PGA last year as its ”Tournament of the Year” and the…

England’s Fitzpatrick takes temporary US PGA membership

Washington (AFP) – Britain’s Matthew Fitzpatrick has accepted a US PGA Tour special temporary membership with an eye to winning enough money to claim a full-season spot for the 2018-19 campaign. The 23-year-old Englishman is a four-time winner on the European Tour, his most recent triumph coming in last September’s European Masters, and ranks 39th in the world. Fitzpatrick shared 12th at last week’s US Open at Shinnecock, his performance lifting him beyond the points threshold needed for membership for the remainder of the season. The membership allows Fitzpatrick unlimited…

Park leads top field in tuneup for women’s golf major

Top-ranked Park In-bee of South Korea leads the world’s top nine players into the LPGA’s Northwest Arkansas Championship, final tuneup for next week’s Women’s PGA Championship. Park, a seven-time major winner whose most recent major win came at the 2015 Women’s British Open, shared 13th last week in the Korea Women’s Open and returns for her first LPGA event since finishing ninth at the US Women’s Open. It was only last month that Park won her first Korean LPGA title, capturing the Match Play Championship and silencing so many who…

Hubert Green, Who Won Golf’s U.S. Open Under Threat, Dies at 71

Green earned his first professional win, at the 1971 Houston Champions International, in a playoff against Don January. Afterward, he recalled his emotions as he walked to the first sudden-death hole, where he sealed his victory. “Well, hell,” he said, “I’m walking down No. 1 fairway and I sure can’t finish worse than second.” He won twice in 1973, four times in 1974 and once in 1975. In a scintillating streak in March 1976, he won three consecutive tournaments. Green had a third major victory in his sights when he…

Spieth says Fleetwood is big threat at British Open

By Martyn Herman LONDON (Reuters) – Reigning champion Jordan Spieth believes Tommy Fleetwood could be the biggest threat at next month’s British Open after a sensational second place at Shinnecock Hills last week. Spieth was a mere spectator as Englishman Fleetwood fired a magnificent final-round 63 to match the lowest round in U.S. Open history and almost snatch victory. Fleetwood had to be content with runners-up spot, one stroke behind American Brooks Koepka, but Spieth said he could carry that momentum into Carnoustie when it starts on July 20. “A…

Spieth says Fleetwood is big threat at Open

By Martyn Herman LONDON (Reuters) – Reigning champion Jordan Spieth believes Tommy Fleetwood could be the biggest threat at next month’s British Open after a sensational second place at Shinnecock Hills last week. Spieth was a mere spectator as Englishman Fleetwood fired a magnificent final-round 63 to match the lowest round in U.S. Open history and almost snatch victory. Fleetwood had to be content with runners-up spot, one stroke behind American Brooks Koepka, but Spieth said he could carry that momentum into Carnoustie when it starts on July 20. “A…

Spieth praises U.S. Open champion Koepka

Jordan Spieth believes Brooks Koepka has not been given enough credit for winning back-to-back U.S. Open titles. Like several other top players, world number five Spieth missed the cut at Shinnecock Hills, where Koepka defended his title. Spieth has been struggling for consistency throughout 2018, but preferred to praise Koepka rather than discuss other factors at play during the major. “I think it’s a bit of a shame that the main focus hasn’t been on Brooks Koepka winning back-to-back U.S. Open titles, at least from what I’ve seen and heard,” he…

Ryan Vermeer from Happy Hollow Club wins the club pros’ major, is headed to PGA Championship at Bellerive

Ryan Vermeer, who won the PGA Professional Championship on Wednesday, shown here at the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images) Stuart Franklin More The PGA Professional Championship is not a major as most would see it, but don’t try telling that to the emotional winner, Ryan Vermeer. This is a major for the club professionals across the country and it is not inconsequential. For his two-stroke victory on the Bayonet Course in Seaside, Calif., near Pebble Beach, Vermeer earned $55,000 and a start in…

Omaha club pro Ryan Vermeer wins PGA Professional

AP Published 9:40 p.m. ET June 20, 2018 | Updated 11:59 p.m. ET June 20, 2018 SEASIDE, Calif. (AP) — Ryan Vermeer won the PGA Professional Championship on Wednesday, overcoming front-nine problems to top the 20 qualifiers for the PGA Championship. The 40-year-old Vermeer, the director of instruction at Happy Hollow Club in Omaha, Nebraska, closed with a 1-over 73 on the Bayonet Course for a two-stroke victory over Sean McCarty and Bob Sowards. The PGA Championship is in August at Bellerive in St. Louis. Three strokes ahead entering the…