AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — After thunderstorms rumbled through Augusta National, the treacherous greens suddenly got a lot more inviting.
Only one player really took advantage of the soggy turn in the weather Saturday.
While Japan's Hideki Matsuyama surged to a four-stroke lead in the third round of the Masters, a bunch of other expected challengers got stuck in neutral or fell by the wayside.
Justin Rose probably should have stayed in bed. The Englishman ended Day 2 at the Masters in the same place he began — atop the leaderboard — only to discover the objects in his mirror were suddenly a lot closer than they appeared.
“For sure,” Rose said, “I didn’t quite appreciate the scoring was going to be quite so good today.”
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — The Latest on the Masters (all times local):
Englishman Justin Rose is clinging to the lead at 7-under 137 heading into the final two rounds at the Masters — but just barely.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the Dell Technologies Match Play (all times CDT):
Top seed Dustin Johnson closed out a long day at the Dell Technologies Match Play by outlasting Adam Long in 18 holes.
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Lee Westwood’s streak of runner-up finishes is longer than some might realize.
He was second to Bryson DeChambeau at Bay Hill two weeks ago, then was second to Justin Thomas at The Players Championship last week. And on Tuesday, he played alongside 19-year-old son Sam at Augusta National while finishing two days of prepping for next month’s Masters.
“I set him a target of 83 and he chipped in on the last for birdie for 82,” Westwood said. “So, he won the money.”
HONOLULU (AP) — Ralph Lauren Corp. said Friday it is ending its sponsorship with Justin Thomas after he was heard muttering a homophobic slur to himself after missing a putt last week in Hawaii.
Thomas has worn the company's clothing since he turned pro. He has reached No. 1 in the world briefly on two occasions, won a major at age 24 and captured the FedEx Cup in 2017.
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — The Latest on the Masters, the final golf major of the year (all times EST):
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — The buzz was back Friday at Augusta National, loud as ever.
It wasn't from any of the patrons because they're not allowed in this most usual Masters in November. It came from the constant humming of motors of the sub-air system beneath the soft turf in an attempt to make the course a little firmer, a lot more like a typical Masters in April.
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — The Latest on the Masters, the final golf major of the year (all times EST):
Considering all the things they do control, it’s comforting to know the weather remains beyond the reach of the green jackets at Augusta National.
Already short on daylight after the pandemic pushed the Masters back from April to November, they looked on helplessly as early thunderstorms stole three precious hours and turned Round 1 into something resembling one-half.
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Take away a few white scoreboards in their usual places behind the greens, and the green television stands behind the 12th tee and a few other strategic locations, and this is what Augusta National looks like in November.
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Justin Thomas went from a fast finish one day to a fast start the next, and it carried him to a 7-under 65 on Friday and a one-shot lead in the Zozo Championship at Sherwood.
Thomas wasn't particularly thrilled, except for his position, mainly because the final stretch of holes was still fresh on his mind and he closed with six consecutive pars on a day when the field made birdie or better just over 33% of the time.
Making a hole-in-one on an empty golf course deprived Patrick Reed of the cheers that typically accompany any great shot.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Justin Thomas wants to make his second stint as No. 1 in the world last longer than the first time around.
“I hope so,” Thomas said Sunday after winning the FedEx St. Jude Invitational to take the No. 1 spot for the first time since June 2018. “I feel like I’m a better player, and I feel like I’m more complete of a golfer now than I was then.”
DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) — Justin Thomas never looked to be in a hurry.
Not when he stepped to the first tee Friday trailing by 13 shots. Not when he was simply trying to keep up with Collin Morikawa on Saturday in the Workday Charity Open.
And after turning a three-shot deficit into a two-shot lead with another clean card, he certainly didn't see any need to sprint to the finish at Muirfield Village as he goes after his third victory this season.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — The PGA Tour spent two months learning about the COVID-19 pandemic and trying to develop a safe plan to return, followed by another month hoping for the best.
Commissioner Jay Monahan said his confidence in the plan came with a dose of uncertainty.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — The PGA Tour went three months without playing. It took three days to show fans what they were missing, even if all they could do was watch on TV.
Eight players had at least a share of the lead at some point Saturday in the Charles Schwab Challenge. When the third round at Colonial ended, 14 players were separated by three shots.
On the fence about the Olympics at the start of the year, Dustin Johnson decided he won't be going.
Johnson's manager said in a text message Monday that the FedEx Cup playoffs hold as much importance to Johnson as chasing a gold medal in Tokyo this summer.
“I feel certain he would choose otherwise if the timing were different, but feels he is making the best decision under the circumstances,” said David Winkle of Hambric Sports Management.
HONOLULU (AP) — Two weeks in Hawaii brought rain, unusually strong wind, playoffs and two players who thought victory was out of reach until the winner's lei was draped around their necks.
Cameron Smith was the latest Sunday at the Sony Open.
He might have been even more surprised than Justin Thomas, who got a second chance when he won a playoff at Kapalua.
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The International team has the lead going into the final day of the Presidents Cup for the first time in 16 years, and it has a trio of rookies to thank for that.
Marc Leishman and unbeaten rookie Abraham Ancer staged a remarkable rally Saturday afternoon in foursomes, going from 5 down with eight holes to play to earn a most unlikely halve against Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler.
ATLANTA (AP) — Justin Thomas has a two-shot lead, and the Tour Championship hasn't even started.
If that seems difficult to fathom, consider that someone could win this week without having the lowest 72-hole score.
And remember, such a radical change was to make the FedEx Cup finale easier to follow.
PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland (AP) — Players who are exempt and expected to compete in the 148th British Open at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland on July 18-21. Players listed only in the first category for which they are eligible:
BRITISH OPEN CHAMPIONS: Francesco Molinari, Jordan Spieth, Henrik Stenson, Zach Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Darren Clarke, Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink, Padraig Harrington, Tiger Woods, David Duval, Paul Lawrie, Tom Lehman.
SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France (AP) — Rory McIlroy stared at his ball buried deep in the French sand and held out his arms. His body language said: What am I meant to do with that?
The finish line, in the shape of the 18th green at Le Golf National, was just up ahead, so close he could see its fluttering flag and the thousands of expectant spectators surrounding it, waiting, praying for the four-time major winner to do something special to edge Europe closer to winning the Ryder Cup.
SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France (AP) — The American team at the Ryder Cup is one of the strongest ever.
It features nine players who have combined to win 31 major championships, nearly half of those by Tiger Woods, who signaled his return last week by winning the Tour Championship. It has Dustin Johnson, who is back at No. 1 in the world. One of only three Ryder Cup rookies on the team is Justin Thomas, who already has won a major and reached No. 1 in the world.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Dustin Johnson is back in his spot as the world's top-ranked golfer thanks to a dominant victory capped by an absolutely amazing hole-out for eagle.
"What a cool way to end the day," Johnson said.
Tiger Woods will play the opening two rounds of the U.S. Open with Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson, which feels like a grouping of Nos. 1-2-3 in the world ranking.
Except that Woods is No. 80.
The USGA released its tee times Thursday for the U.S. Open next week at Shinnecock Hills, and it offered two stacked groups for the morning and afternoon.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The son and grandson of golf professionals, Justin Thomas couldn't think of a better major to win than the PGA Championship.
SOUTHPORT, England (AP) — Players who have qualified for the 146th British Open, which starts Thursday at Royal Birkdale (players listed only in the first category for which they are eligible):
ERIN, Wis. (AP) — Rickie Fowler was hoping to wipe away the past. Justin Thomas was hoping to relive it.
Neither got what they were looking for Sunday at the U.S. Open.
The buddies who shared a house near Erin Hills also shared the misery during a wind-swept final round in which they never got themselves into the mix.
ERIN, Wis. (AP) — Justin Thomas managed to stand out in a U.S. Open where par is going out of style.
All it took was a 9-under 63, the lowest round to par in a major long known as the toughest test in golf. Thomas capped off his record day on the 667-yard 18th hole at Erin Hills with the prettiest 3-wood he ever hit, stopping 8 feet away on a green where some players struggled to land a wedge.
He made the eagle to get his name in the record book Saturday.