Sergio's all wet after skirmish with stream
DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) It was a hot, humid day, the temperatures climbing into the 90s. What better way to refresh yourself during a round of golf than a brief splash in the water?
Sergio Garcia got a cooling shower, but not by his choice. He pulled his drive into the trees on the par-5 15th hole during Friday's second round at the Memorial Tournament, the ball clunking off a trunk and ricocheting into a small stream.
Garcia, who shot a 3-under 69 in the first round, was even on the day at the time.
His ball was still tumbling in the current of the creek, so he got a ruling from an official before taking off his shoes and socks, rolling up his pantlegs and stepping into the water. He didn't want to pick up a penalty because the ball was still moving.
When it came to rest in a small hole in the silt, he took a mighty slash at it with a wedge, hitting it back toward the tee while splashing water all over his orange-and-blue ensemble. The ball ended up in deep rough next to the fairway.
From there he punched a shot to the end of the fairway and hit a wedge to the green, two putting for a bogey.
"I just got wet, but it dried up because it's so warm," Garcia said with a grin after finishing off a 73. "In the breeze, it was feeling kind of cool."
MIRACLE SHOT: Nick O'Hern was expecting the worst, yet got the best.
His second shot to the par-4 18th hole in the second round Friday ended up against the lip of the yawning "Azinger" bunker left of the green. He deliberated for several minutes, sizing up shots to try to just advance the ball.
"The worst-case (scenario) was double-bogey and I thought if I go to the front of the green I could still quite easily make double. So what's the point of that?" said O'Hern, who had shared the lead with an opening-round 65. "We might as well have a go at it and hope we get lucky."
O'Hern took a dozen practice swings before finally taking a ferocious cut. The ball came out hard and fast, but was slowed by the steep slope beyond the pin. It rolled all the way to the second cut, then turned and started rolling back downhill toward the hole. It slowly curled into the cup, touching off a loud roar from the gallery.
"When it was about 5 feet short, it just kept rolling and rolling and I thought, 'This can't reach the hole, it can't come all the way back.' But it did," O'Hern said. "My caddie went nuts. He was giving me a bear hug. He just said it's the greatest shot he's ever seen.
"I think I'll go and buy a lottery ticket now."
CAVALIERS FAN: Ben Curtis grew up a Cleveland Cavaliers fan, but even he couldn't stick around to watch the end of their 109-107 double-overtime victory over the Detroit Pistons in the NBA's Eastern Conference finals on Thursday night.
"I turned it off going into overtime," said Curtis, who had a 9:41 a.m. tee time Friday morning. "I figured if I watched two overtimes ... I probably would have been juiced up and wouldn't have slept until 2. So I just turned it off and figured I read the newspaper in the morning."
Curtis, who grew up 10 minutes away from Muirfield Village Golf Club, has the Reebok contract to wear NFL logo shirts and hats. He wore the orange and brown of the Cleveland Browns in the second round.
He said he'd be willing to trade for some Cavaliers clothing.
"Yeah, that'd be good," he said. "They're the hot team right now, so why not?"
EXEMPT AND EXCITED: Kyle Reifers, a Dublin native, received an exemption to play in the Memorial. He missed the cut with rounds of 76 and 75, but he couldn't have been more appreciative of the chance to play in front of his friends and family, just a couple of miles from home, on the course and in the tournament that Jack Nicklaus built.
"It was great. The experience was second to none," he said. "Just being here, playing at Jack's tournament, is a great honor for me."
Reifers said he would most likely relax around his mother's home and wouldn't attend the final two days of the tournament. Besides, he's scheduled to play in a U.S. Open sectional qualifier on Monday at Scioto Country Club and Ohio State Scarlet.
Among the other other pros set to play in the qualifer are: John Cook, Paul Azinger, Jason Gore, Tim Herron, J.B. Holmes, Charles Howell, Jerry Kelly, Tom Lehman, Peter Lonard, Billy Mayfair, Rocco Mediate, Sean O'Hair, Jose Maria Olazabal, Mark O'Meara, Jesper Parnevik, Bob Tway, Scott Verplank and Camilo Villegas.
DIVOTS: Ian Poulter was DQ'd for signing an incorrect scorecard. ... The hardest hole in the second round was the par-4 10th with the field averaging 4.3 shots; the easiest was the par-5 fifth with an average of 4.6. ... Will MacKenzie, at 4-under 140 through 36 holes, has eagled the fifth hole both rounds. ... Chris DiMarco had two eagles but no birdies in a 75 and missed the cut.