Friday's golf: Retief Goosen uses 'flying start' to take Senior Players lead

Associated Press
Retief Goosen

Akron, Ohio — Retief Goosen shot an 8-under 62 on Friday to take a three-stroke lead in the Bridgestone Senior Players Championship, the fourth of the PGA Tour Champions’ five major tournaments.

After returning in the morning to birdie the 18th for a 69 in the rain-delayed first round, Goosen made an 8-foot eagle putt on the par-5 second hole in the second round and added six birdies in the bogey-free round at Firestone Country Club.

“I got it off to a nice flying start on my 18th hole at 7 this morning," Goosen said. "I birdied 18 this morning, then went back to the hotel, had an hour and a half sleep again. Came back out and continued the great play after that.”


The 50-year-old South African is winless in 11 starts in his first season on the senior tour, losing a playoff to Jerry Kelly last month in the American Family Insurance Championship. Goosen won seven times on the PGA Tour, taking major titles at the U.S. Open in 2001 and 2004.

Playing partner Steve Stricker, the first-round leader after a 64 that he completed with a birdie in the morning, had a 70 to drop into a tie for second with Brandt Jobe.

“Steve got off to great start yesterday and you feel like you’re falling way behind,” Goosen said. “I managed to finish OK this morning only being five behind and suddenly I went on a roll and his game went dead. So it’s funny how it works.”

Stricker is coming off a victory two weeks ago in the U.S. Senior Open at Notre Dame, and also won the major Regions Tradition in May.

“Never really got anything going at all,” Stricker said. “Drove it in the rough quite a few times, missed quite a few greens, and just when I did hit it on the green, it really wasn’t that close to have legitimate birdie putts at it. It’s just a good golf course. And if you’re a little off off the tee, you pay the price.”

Firestone is a longtime PGA Tour venue, hosting the World Golf Championships event and previously the World Series of Golf.

“It’s a golf course that I’ve had some good rounds and I’ve also had lots of bad rounds,” Goosen said. “It’s that kind of course. If you’re a little bit off your game you could be on the fairway behind a tree. So, it’s a course that can get the best of you very quickly and not really playing all that bad.”

Jobe shot 69-65.

“It’s a hard golf course. No let-up,” Jobe said. “I played almost 28 holes. I’m tired. On this golf course, with it being wet and long, it was a long day.”

Jay Haas (68), Kent Jones (67) and Tommy Tolles (67) were tied for fourth at 3 under.

Defending champion Vijay Singh was even par after his second 70. Bernhard Langer was tied for 50th at 8 over after rounds of 76 and 72. He won the event three straight times from 2014 through 2016.

Lake Orion's Tom Gillis was tied for 55th at 9 over after following up his 74 with a 75.


In Silvis, Ill., Jhonattan Vegas shot a 9-under 62 in the John Deere Classic to take a one-stroke lead into the weekend.

Vegas, the three-time PGA tour winner from Venezuela, had a 13-under 129 total at TPC Deere Run.

Andrew Landry was second after his second 65.

Lucas Glover had an albatross on the par-5 10th in a 64 that got him to 11 under. He holed out from 254 yards after a 318-yard drive.

Harold Varner III (65), Russell Henley (68), Daniel Berger (66), Cameron Tringale (66) and Adam Schenk (65) were 10 under.

Petoskey’s Joey Garber was 3 under, and for the third consecutive week, the PGA Tour rookie made the cut on the number, while Jackson's Brian Stuard missed it at 2 over.


In North Berwick, Scotland, Bernd Wiesberger carded a 10-under 61 at the Scottish Open to move into a three-way tie for the lead after the second round.

The lowest round of Wiesberger’s career on the European Tour lifted him alongside England’s Lee Slattery and South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen, who shot consecutive 64s to be at 14 under.

They were two strokes ahead of Henrik Stenson and Nino Bertasio of Italy. Stenson remained bogey-free after a second 65, while Bertasio dropped a shot on his last hole.


In Stateline, Nev., defending champ Tony Romo birdied six of his final 11 holes to take the first-round lead Friday in the American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.

The former Cowboys quarterback turned NFL analyst shot a 2-under 70 and scored 26 points in the celebrity tournament that uses the modified Stableford scoring system.

Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson was two points back, and former major-league pitcher Derek Lowe from Dearborn was another point behind. Hall-of-Fame pitcher John Smoltz, from Lansing, was fourth at 22, and actor Jack Wagner, a two-time winner in the event, had 21.

GAM juniors

At Forest Akers East in East Lansing, Cheboygan’s PJ Maybank III and Caledonia’s Elise Fennell won the Golf Association of Michigan Junior Stroke Play Championship.

Maybank, 14, shot rounds of 65 and 67 to win by five, while Fennell, 13, shot a pair of 71s for a three-stroke win.