ON THE LINKS | Thursday’s golf news
WEB.COM TOUR FINALS
Keith Mitchell took the lead in the Web.com Tour Finals-opening Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship on Thursday, four days after missing a PGA Tour card by a stroke in the Web.com Tour’s regular-season finale. Mitchell had a 6-under 65 on Ohio State’s Scarlet Course for a one-stroke lead over Abraham Ancer of Mexico. Sam Saunders, Arnold Palmer’s grandson, was another stroke back with Alex Cejka. The four-event series features the top 75 players from the Web.com regular-season money list, Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings and non-members with enough PGA Tour money to have placed in the top 200 in the FedEx Cup had they been eligible.Ancer and the other top-25 finishers — Mitchell was 26th — on the Web.com regular-season money list have earned PGA Tour cards. They are competing against each other for tour priority, with regular-season earnings counting in their totals. The other players are fighting for 25 cards based on series earnings.Hunter Mahan birdied the final two holes for a 68. The six-time PGA Tour winner was 182nd in the FedEx Cup standings. Five-time PGA Tour winner Ben Crane had a 69, and nine-time PGA Tour winner Stuart Appleby shot 75.
U.S. SENIOR AMATEUR
Sean Knapp won the U.S. Senior Amateur without making a birdie in a 2-and-1 victory over Paul Simson. Knapp pulled ahead for good on the 14th hole at The Minikahda Club when Simson missed the fairway and failed to convert a 15-footer for par. He went 2 up when Simson left a shot in the rough and took four shots to reach the 16th green, conceding Knapp’s par putt. Knapp, a 55-year-old from Oakmont, Pa,, closed out the match with a 20-foot par putt on the 17th hole. He became the first U.S. Senior Amateur champion since Mike Bell in 2006 to win the title match without making a birdie. Simson, a 66-year-old from Raleigh, North Carolina, was trying to win the U.S. Senior Amateur for the third time.
The latest image of Tiger Woods looked more familiar. The 14-time major champion had a golf club in his hand. Woods tweeted a short video on Thursday showing him hitting a chip shot with a message that said, “Dr. gave me the ok to start pitching.” He had a fourth surgery on his back to fuse disks in April. Woods last played a tournament in early February when he shot 77 and withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic. He most recently made news from a DUI arrest on Memorial Day that included a mug shot from the Florida jail where he was briefly held. Woods said it was a mix of painkillers, and a toxicology report issued earlier this month showed he had the active ingredient for marijuana, two painkillers and two sleep drugs in his system. Woods went to a drug treatment center in June.