Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper Archives Aug 29 2015, Page 68

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Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) - August 29, 2015, Winnipeg, Manitoba C M Y K PAGE C11 winnipegfreepress. com SPORTS WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, SATURDAY, AUGUST 29, 2015 C 11 MEL EVANS / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ADAM HUNGER / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS It was one of those days for Jordan Spieth: if he wasn’t going way left on No. 8 ( left), it was way right on No. 5. He’s going home for the weekend, and has fallen from the No. 1 spot on the world rankings. E DISON, N. J. — Jordan Spieth lost out on a chance to play the weekend at The Barclays. He also lost his No. 1 ranking. Bubba Watson, momentarily distracted by a rare warning for taking too long to play a shot, recovered with a birdie on the 18th hole at Plainfield Country Club for a 2- under- par 68 and a one- shot lead going into the weekend at the opening FedEx Cup playoff event. On an otherwise sleepy afternoon at a course where no one could get some separation, two peculiar moments stood out — a bad time for Watson, bad golf from Spieth. Trying to rally to make the cut, Spieth hit into a hazard on the 12th hole, and a bogey later became a double bogey when he was penalized one shot for stepping on his ball during the search. He had a 73, the first time since the Tour Championship last year he had consecutive rounds over par. He missed the cut by five shots. That means Rory McIlroy, who isn’t playing this week, returns to No. 1. “ I’ve reached that peak already and I know it’s going to be close enough to where if I just get the job done next week, I’ll be back in that ranking,” Spieth said. “ But again, that ranking, it’s great once you reach it but it’s not something that I’m going to live or die on each week.” McIlroy becomes the 14th player since the world ranking began in 1986 to get to No. 1 without playing that week. Watson is in good shape through 36 holes to claim his own No. 1 ranking — a victory would move him to the top of the FedEx Cup. Much like the world ranking right now, that figures to change by the week. Ultimately, what matters to Watson, Spieth and others is winning the Tour Championship to capture the $ 10 million bonus. Halfway through this event, no telling what else will happen over the next two days. PGA Tour rookie Justin Thomas had a few late bogeys for a 69 and shrugged when asked if he was happy with his score. He was seven shots back. “ This is a course where if you make the cut, you have a chance to win,” Thomas said. Watson was at 7- under 133. British Open champion Zach Johnson made five birdies to go with four par- saving putts from outside eight feet for a 65. He was one shot out of the lead, along with Henrik Stenson ( 66), Tony Finau ( 69) and Jason Dufner ( 68). Canadian David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., is tied for 32nd after shooting a 69. Nick Taylor of Abbotsford, B. C., dropped down the leaderboard with a 3- over 73. He’s tied for 40th. Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, B. C., and Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Sask., missed the cut. Watson typically struggles on courses with blind shots, and Plainfield has plenty of them. But he’s picking out targets, smashing his driver close to the green on the shorter holes and getting by just fine. The bad time came on No. 16 with a difficult pin position, made even tougher by the fact Watson watched Spieth’s shot roll back some 100 feet off the green. Watson took longer than 40 seconds — one minute, two seconds to be exact — and was given the bad time. One more bad time would have led to a one- shot penalty. Watson said he rushed his next shot from the fairway and came up 30 yards short of the green, leading to bogey. Asked about his round, the first thing he brought up was the bad time, which he thought was “ hilarious.” He spoke to the rules official after the round. “ I told them, ‘ I’m not mad at anybody about the bad time.’ I went over the time, which is the right ruling,” he said. “ It’s just on a hole like that, one of the toughest holes we’ve ever played besides 2011 when we played the same pin placement, it’s very difficult. “ But yeah, I’m very happy about my round,” he said. “ I’m excited where I’m at. I made the cut and I’m in the last group. Hopefully, I’m here talking to y’all tomorrow about something else crazy that happened.” Spieth made 10 bogeys and two double bogeys over 36 holes. He had one stretch on the front nine of four bogeys in five holes. The exception was a birdie. But after starting the back nine with back- to- back birdies to get within two shots of the cut line, his long approach on the par- 5 12th found a hazard of thick grass. Spieth said he told his caddie he was going to play the shot if he could see the ball, and take a penalty drop if he could not see it. Instead, he stepped on it. He thought because he announced that he might take a penalty stepping on the ball didn’t matter. Spieth, instead of getting into a long explanation with a rules official on the next hole, waited until after the round and accepted the additional one- shot penalty. Ultimately, it didn’t matter. He still missed the cut for the third time this year. He has a week before he tees it up next week in the TPC Boston, which has a Labour Day finish. And he sounded frustrated when he said, “ I’m definitely searching for answers.” Some players have a month to search by missing the cut, making it impossible to move into the top 100 in the FedEx Cup and advance to the top 100. That group included Tim Clark and DeLaet. Adam Scott also missed the cut and is likely to fall out of the top 100 at the end of the tournament Sunday. — The Associated Press Too many fores, not enough 3’ s Wild Spieth misses cut, Bubba leads By Doug Ferguson EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Each time he puts on his purple jersey and takes the practice field with the Minnesota Vikings, Adrian Peterson moves further past the lost 2014 season that included a child abuse charge against him. He still has two- plus weeks to go before he’ll suit up for a game. Peterson and the Vikings reported to training camp more than a month ago. The extra exhibition game this year at the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the latest possible Labour Day date has pushed the 2015 season openers into mid- September. Peterson likely will take that first hand off from quarterback Teddy Bridgewater Sept. 14 against the San Francisco 49ers, with 372 days between games for the record- setting running back who missed the last 15 games of the 2014 season while his case played out in court and in the NFL’s disciplinary system. Peterson, who hasn’t appeared in a pre- season game since 2011, has been held out of action in August to protect him from injury. “ It’s just about just doing what’s best for myself, the team and the organization,” he said. Plenty of high- profile players have been felled by season- ending injuries this month, reinforcing the decision by the Vikings to keep Peterson safely on the sideline. There have been ruptured Achilles tendons and torn anterior cruciate ligaments, renewing the annual calls to condense the exhibition schedule. “ It’s not basketball. This is football. Guys are being chopped below their knees and guys are running and colliding into each other going 100 miles per hour. So there’s a high level for risk for major injuries,” Peterson said. “ You look at the numbers, and it shows that. I think it’s something they need to take into consideration and maybe turn it into three games in the preseason or something.” If there’s one game this month Peterson would enjoy playing in, it would be today against Dallas. Though he has a home outside of Houston, he grew up in Palestine, about a two- hour drive southeast of AT& T Stadium in Arlington where the Cowboys play. Trips with the Vikings to Texas are always special, even though he’ll be a spectator for the night. “ Any time you go home, it’s a good time. I’m looking forward to some great barbecue down there in Dallas,” Peterson said. Texas is also where Peterson’s felony charge, for badly injuring his fouryear- old son with a wooden switch, was reduced to a misdemeanour in Montgomery County court outside of Houston. He avoided jail time, but he was kept out for 15 of 16 games last season while the NFL assessed his case and ultimately suspended him. Visiting the Cowboys sparks some nostalgia for Vikings coach Mike Zimmer, too. He was an assistant for Dallas for 13 years, winning a Super Bowl after the 1995 season. He still has a home in the area and hunts with Stephen Jones, the Cowboys chief operating officer and executive vicepresident. Vikings offensive co- ordinator Norv Turner was on staff in Dallas, and the Cowboys won Super Bowls in two of his three years. “ I’ve still got tons and tons of people that worked in the building that I’m friends with,” Zimmer said. However, the primary purpose of the trip concerns Zimmer. Facing the Cowboys, a playoff team last season, in the week that keeps the starters on the field the longest of all the exhibition games will be a valuable evaluative tool for Zimmer and his staff. “ It’s great we’re playing a team that’s very, very talented because it gives me a better understanding of our team and where we’re at and guys they’re going against,” Zimmer said. “ You always look at different matchups, anyway, whoever we’re playing. There will be some good matchups this week that we’ll have to contend with.” — The Associated Press Vikings taking zero chances with Peterson By Dave Campbell ADAM HUNGER / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Bubba Watson doesn’t like his tee shot on the fifth hole during the second round Friday. ‘ I’ve reached that peak already and I know it’s going to be close enough to where if I just get the job done next week, I’ll be back in that ranking. But again, that ranking, it’s great once you reach it but it’s not something that I’m going to live or die on each week’ — Jordan Spieth CHARLIE NEIBERGALL / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FILES A. P. missed 15 games last season. C_ 11_ Aug- 29- 15_ FP_ 01. indd C11 8/ 28/ 15 9: 49: 32 PM

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