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August 2018
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Archive for August 26th, 2018

Jim Knous joins Streb in 54 hole lead at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship



COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 3rd round was interrupted by a weather delay, where fans, golfers and media retreated to the clubhouse for cover and safety, Jim Knous and Robert Streb stayed one stroke clear of the field with matching scores of 12-under 201 heading into Sunday’s final round at the Tour’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship.

Knous tied the low round of the day with a 6-under 65, while Streb maintained his 36-hole lead with a 3-under 68. Joseph Bramlett and Denny McCarthy each sit two shots back at 10-under 203.

Making his career debut in the Tour Finals, Knous was on fire from the start, making birdie on the first five holes to jump to the top of the leaderboard. The string of birdies matched the longest streak of his Tour career after a similar stretch in the first round at the 2017 LECOM Health Challenge.

“Five birdies in a row obviously is a dream come true,” said Knous. “But, I mean, I was just hitting shots good, hitting shots close to the hole. There really weren’t that many long putts. The putt on No. 5 was a downhill trickler, about 20 feet, so that was kind of a bonus there.”

Jim Knous proud of his alma mater even if people aren't familiar with it ( photo)

Knous had a less eventful back nine, carding six consecutive pars before making birdie on the par-4 16th. Two more pars locked up the 54-hole lead, Knous’ second this season.

Knous is in the midst of a breakout season on Tour, with two top-five finishes already under his belt, including last week at the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft-Heinz. He finished the Regular Season at No. 52 on the money list, and a win on Sunday would earn him his first PGA TOUR card.

The Colorado School of the Mines alumnus entered last week in need of a strong finish to end the Regular Season inside the top 75 on the money list to secure a Tour Finals berth.

“I mean, (last week) being on the bubble like that, (No.) 74, and knowing I needed a good finish to make the Finals and then doing it and playing well and finishing in the top 5 was huge. I was just so excited,” said Knous.

Most people have not heard of his college, Colorado School of the Mines.

Established in 1874, the college, located in Golden, Colorado, is devoted to engineering and applied science with special expertise. It is constantly listed in The U.S. News and World Report listings for Top Colleges and Universities. In the 2016–17 QS World University Rankings by subject, the university was ranked as the top institution in the world for mineral and mining engineering. The school has an enrollment of 6,117 and competes in NCAA Division II with their athletic teams being called the Orediggers.

Blaster the Burro, mascot of Colorado School of the Mines (courtesy CSM)

While Knous is looking to reach the PGA TOUR for the first time, Streb is trying to regain status after competing on the PGA TOUR during the 2017-18 season.

Competing in 29 TOUR events this season, the Oklahoma native made 10 cuts, picking up a top-10 finish at the Barbasol Championship (T10), where he held a share of the 54-hole lead. The 31-year-old is a former PGA TOUR champion (The RSM Classic in fall 2014).


Kansas State product Robert Streb takes 36-hole lead at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship



COLUMBUS, Ohio –The rain stayed away but it was very windy Friday in for the 12th playing of the Tour’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, but not even the wind gusts could stop former PGA TOUR winner Robert Streb from posting a second-round 3-under 68 to move to 9-under 133 heading into the Saturday and Sunday.

2017 Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada Player of the Year Kramer Hickok sits one back of Streb, followed by a host of players tied at 7-under 135.

“(It feels) a little different,” Streb said of holding the 36-hole lead. “I haven’t done too much of it this year, but it’s nice to be playing well, putting well.  Hopefully, I can keep getting some chances this weekend and see how we do.”

Robert Streb pleased with his week so far ( photo)

Streb, who entered Friday one stroke back of the lead, ran into trouble early at the always tough Ohio State University Golf Club’s Scarlet Course. After picking up a bogey on his opening hole Thursday, Streb ran into the same fate on Friday, carding a five on the par-4 10th (his first hole of the day).

“I hit it way left,” he said when asked what led to the error. “I got a pretty good break and just basically guessed poorly on the green firmness.  I got through the green (on my approach shot), had a tough chip, and then hit a good one.”

The mistake ended up being the only one of the day for Streb, who kept his scorecard clean for the remainder of the round. Birdies on Nos. 12 and 18 allowed him to make the turn at 1-under 34 and join a collection of players who had become bunched atop the leaderboard.

After making par on the first three holes of his second nine, the father-of-three needed something big to build momentum and break away from the rest of the pack.

That something big came for Streb in the form of an eagle at the par-5 fourth.

“That was nice,” Streb remarked after the round. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to cover the bunker or not.  It covered, I had a pretty good number, and luckily, it landed soft on the green and I had a good putt at it.”

The 2012 Mylan Classic champion and Kansas State University alum would go on to par his remaining five holes, ending the day at 68.


Norlander shots 7-under to lead 1st round of Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship




Henrik Norlander chatting with the media on Thursday ( photo)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – For some, the four-event Tour Finals series represents a chance to earn their first PGA TOUR card. For others, it’s a route to return to the TOUR and personal redemption for a season that might not have been to their liking. For Sweden native Henrik Norlander, it’s a mix of both.

The 31-year-old has spent the past two seasons playing on the Tour after losing his PGA TOUR card following a rough 2016.

With his sights set on a TOUR return, Norlander wasted no time taking advantage of the opportunity, opening with a 7-under 64 at The Ohio State University Golf Club’s Scarlet Course, good for a one-stroke lead over fellow past Tour winner Robert Streb.

Norlander was dialed in from the get-go in Columbus, carding a birdie on three of his first four holes. Despite stumbling at the par-5 sixth and walking away with bogey, the Augusta University alum still put together a strong round, following up pars on Nos. 7-9 with a string of birdies on five of the first six holes on his back nine (Nos. 10-12 and 14-15).

“I hit a lot of fairways, obviously,” Norlander said of the stretch, “and then I hit a lot of iron shots. I had 200 yards into No. 11, hit it to a foot. Two-putted No. 12, and then hit it to 7 feet maybe on No. 14, which is a hard hole. I was able to make that…  I mean it’s cliché, but I just tried to stay in the present. I felt like I did a really good job of that today.”

The Atlanta resident would go on to challenge the tournament record of 8-under 63 after his back-to-back birdies on Nos. 14 and 15, but a par-bogey-birdie finish would leave him one stroke shy.

“I got greedy on No. 17 and tried to go for the flag,” he remarked. “I came out of it in the bunker and I was actually shocked by how easy that bunker shot was because I was on the upslope. Almost sort of took me out of my focus. I thought I was going to have a really tough shot and I got up there and it was sort of easy. I hit a pretty bad bunker shot, hit a decent putt. It was nice to bounce back and finish with a birdie.”

In 20 Regular-Season starts this year, Norlander picked up seven top-25 finishes, including a runner-up at the Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae. The performance was enough to earn him a Tour Finals berth for the sixth-straight year, but at No. 32 on the money list, it wasn’t enough for a return to the PGA TOUR. Norlander isn’t letting that stop him; instead, he feels freer than ever in his chase.

“I didn’t get in the top 25 (on the money list),” Norlander commented after his round, “which was the goal obviously for the season. So, I tried to regroup and had three goals the next four events: try to take it a little slower, have fun and just trust everything I’m doing. I only have an upside to play these four events. I have full status on the Tour next year, which obviously is not my ultimate goal, but there’s only upside playing these four events. I’m just trying to have fun.”