Stricker goes low again for U.S. Senior Open 36-hole mark


Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — The boys from Madison are making it look easy at Notre Dame in the U.S. Senior Open.

For the second straight day, Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly, friends and competitors since their junior years in Madison, Wisconsin, took apart the rain-softened Warren Golf Course, each carding bogey-free rounds of 6-under 64 in the second round Friday morning.

Stricker broke the tournament 36-hole record at 14-under 126, a day after shooting an event-record 62 for a share of the first-round lead with defending champion David Toms. Kelly, a playoff winner over Stricker and Retief Goosen last week in the Madison event that Stricker hosts, was two strokes back.

“I’ve known Jerry from a young age when we were playing amateur events and junior events across Wisconsin,” said the 52-year-old Stricker, the Regions Tradition winner last month for his first major title. “It’s good to see him playing well. I knew this course would set up well for him. He’s doing everything well as it shows from winning last week.”

Stricker has plenty of motivation from his loss Sunday when he missed a birdie putt on the final hole of regulation and bogeyed the first playoff hole.

“It stings a little bit,” Stricker said. “I feel good going around this course. It fits my eye well. It’s a treat to go around here and play, and I like what I’ve been doing so far.”

The 53-year-old Kelly, who admits his personality is the polar opposite of Stricker’s quiet nature, says they have helped each other during their low moments on both tours.

“It’s competition and support and friendship,” Kelly said. “I appreciate everything [Stricker’s] done for my game. I hope he knows I’ve been there for him.”

The victory last week was Kelly’s fourth on the 50-and-over tour. He won three PGA Tour titles.

“Definitely a continuation of last week,” he said. “[I’ve] got a great feel the last five weeks. It’s low every week [on the PGA Tour Champions]. So it teaches you to keep going, keep going.”

Toms was third at 11 under after a 67.

“I had some ups and downs,” Toms said. “Not quite as solid as yesterday but not many days are.”

Goosen had a 65 to get to 9 under, and Bob Estes (65), Chris DiMarco (66) and Kirk Triplett (68) followed at 8 under.

Chris DiMarco and Bob Estes were 8 under. DiMarco had his second straight 66, and Estes shot 65.

Tom Watson matched his age with 69 on Thursday, then beat it Friday with a 68.

Gary Nicklaus, a son of 18-time major winner Jack Nicklaus, birdied his final hole for a 71 with his father and mother watching. That left him at 1-under 139, safely under the expected cut line of 142.

Lashley shoots 67 to keep Rocket Mortgage Classic lead

DETROIT (AP) — Nate Lashley shot a 5-under 67 on Friday to top the Rocket Mortgage Classic leaderboard for the second straight day.

Lashley had a 14-under 130 total at Detroit Golf Club.

Cameron Champ was a stroke back after a 65. He played the front nine in 8-under 28, matching the lowest nine-hole score on the PGA Tour this season. Champ was under par for six holes, matching a mark this season on the tour, after opening with a par. He cooled off on a steamy day at Detroit Golf Club with a 1-over 37 on the back nine.

Charles Howell III (67) was two shots back. J.T. Poston (63) and Ryan Armour (69) were another stroke back.

Dustin Johnson, the world’s second-ranked player, and U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland finished at 2 under to miss the cut by two strokes. Chez Reavie, who won the Travelers Championship last week, and Bubba Watson also failed to make it to the weekend.

Reavie was tied for fourth entering the day and was 6 under on his 13th hole of the second round. He closed with a bogey, double bogey and triple bogey to plummet to 1-under 143. Watson shot a 75 to tie with Reavie toward the bottom of the 156-player field.

The 36-year-old Lashley slipped into the tournament as an alternate Wednesday and has taken full advantage. He’s ranked No. 353 in the world and his only top-10 finish during his two-year PGA Tour career was in February, when he tied for eighth at the Puerto Rico Open.

By Kerry Minor

Leave a Reply