Former tennis star Mardy Fish said he was "proud" to be the first person to play on both the ATP Tour and the PGA Tour after swapping his racquet for a bag of clubs.

The 40-year-old won six ATP titles and once ranked as high as seventh in the world in 2011, before retiring from tennis four years later.

However, he has recently been playing amateur golf and was given a special exemption to play in the PGA Tour's 3M Open in Minnesota, his hometown.

Fish was unable to make the cut, finishing 13 over par after his two rounds, with only three players carding higher scores.

He was grateful for the opportunity, though, and took to Twitter on Saturday to reflect on his achievement, posting: "What an incredible experience playing in the 3M Open. Truly a week I will never forget.

"I'm proud to be the first person to play on the ATP Tour and the PGA Tour. Chase your dreams, no matter how ridiculous they may be! Thank you for the incredible support all week Minnesota!"

Although he did not quite perform to the level hoped, Fish did card a respectable 74 in Friday's second round, hitting eight of 14 fairways and seven of 18 greens in regulation.

Golf great Jack Nicklaus has previously labelled Fish the best non-professional golfer he has ever played with.

"We played nine holes, and he drove the ball on every single hole in the middle of the fairway; further than I have seen anybody hit it who is not a professional," Nicklaus said.

"He shot 31 for nine holes. I said, 'Mardy, what are you doing? You have got a talent, and you are young enough to take advantage of it. You need to go play golf.'"

Matt Fitzpatrick heads into the final round of the U.S. Open with a share of the lead and the confidence of a previous win in Brookline.

The 27-year-old, who recorded the best major result of his career last time out with a tie for fifth at the US PGA Championship, shot a 68 on Saturday to join Will Zalatoris on four under for the tournament.

Saturday's third round was a tricky one for most of the rest of the field, with only nine players now under par.

But Fitzpatrick knows exactly how to succeed at this course, having won the U.S. Amateur in Massachusetts in 2013.

He could now follow in the footsteps of the great Jack Nicklaus, who repeated his U.S. Amateur triumph at Pebble Beach in 1961 by winning the U.S. Open at the same course 11 years later.

"I certainly think it gives me an edge over the others," Fitzpatrick said, looking forward to Sunday's action. "I genuinely do believe that.

"It's a real, obviously positive moment in my career. It kind of kick-started me.

"To come back here and play so well again, it just gives me growing confidence round by round."

But Fitzpatrick knows he will not have it easy, with his experience of a tough final day at the US PGA – which he entered in second place – fresh in his mind.

"I think up until Southern Hills, I didn't really appreciate how hard it is actually to win a major," he said. "I've not challenged really up until then.

"I think, myself included, people on the outside maybe think it's easier than it is.

"You just have to look at Tiger [Woods]. He knocked off so many in such a quick span. That's why I think people think, 'oh, it's a piece of cake; it's like a regular Tour event'. But it's not.

"It brings a lot more to the mental aspect of the game than other regular events, and for me, I think it's been a big change from US PGA to come here to a golf course I know so well, and it's given me extra confidence."

Fitzpatrick might not get a better chance to land his first major win, and he accepts: "Would my career be incomplete if I didn't have one? Sure, yeah.

"I would be disappointed if I didn't, yeah. I genuinely would be disappointed if I didn't.

"I feel like certainly now these last two majors, I feel so much more comfortable out here. My game has changed for the better. I've given myself more chances.

"I definitely feel like I have much more of a chance now to win a major than I ever have done in my career, obviously."

Billy Horschel secured victory at the Memorial Tournament on Sunday, shooting an even-par 72 to finish four strokes ahead of Aaron Wise.

Horschel had a healthy buffer at the start of play on Sunday with a five-shot lead and kept it relatively steady, but had to come up with some big shots on the back nine to take the win.

After a bogey on the sixth, the 35-year-old got back to even with a birdie on the par-three 10th.

A bogey on the 12th took him back to one-over, yet a massive put on the par-five 15th for eagle gave Horschel a commanding lead.

It effectively shut the door on Wise, who had also birdied on 15, before he closed out the round with a bogey for a one-under 71.

It was Horschel's seventh tournament win on the PGA Tour, but his first with his family present. Greeted by them and tournament founder Jack Nicklaus after the win, Horschel spoke of the added significance of this triumph.

"It's special, it truly is," Horschel said after his round. "Jack's a legend of the game and to win his event, you've seen the guys who have won this event, just legends in their own right, it's pretty special.

"We joke about it in the family but my wife and my kids have never been to any of my victories. My parents have, and so, having a five-shot lead knowing that this was mine to sort of go out and win or lose, and having them here, I really wanted to win."

Horschel moved into the FedEx Cup's top 10 with the win, just 19 points behind Jon Rahm in ninth.

Excluding the 2021 WGC Match Play, defeating Scottie Scheffler in the final, this win is his first on the PGA Tour in a regular four-round format since the 2018 Zurich Classic.

Coming into Sunday with that five-stroke lead, Horschel was determined to maintain rather than extend that margin.

"I've watched Tiger play enough, and I wasn't around when Jack was playing in his heyday, but you knew he was unbelievable at course management," he said.

"He knew how to plot his way around a golf course and learn from those two, and understand, when you have a lead, you don't have to do anything special. You've just got to make sure you don't give any shots back.

"I did give some back and I was a little upset about it, but we just put the ball on the green, two-putting, trying not to do anything special and if I had to do something special, then I was ready for it. That eagle on 15 was huge."

Jack Nicklaus has revealed he turned down an offer in excess of $100million to be the face of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series.

The breakaway competition will stage its inaugural tournament at Centurion Club near London in June.

Greg Norman is fulfilling the role of chief executive of LIV Golf Investments, but Nicklaus has suggested he was the organisers' initial choice to front the rebel circuit.

"I was offered something in excess of $100m by the Saudis, to do the job probably similar to the one that Greg is doing," he told The Fire Pit Collective. 

"I turned it down. Once verbally, once in writing. I said, 'Guys, I have to stay with the PGA Tour. I helped start the PGA Tour'."

Phil Mickelson is among the players to have requested to play in the first LIV Golf event, which is worth a record $25m.

The six-time major winner has not played since February following the backlash to his controversial comments about the tour and Saudi Arabia's alleged human rights violations.

He was included in the field for this week's US PGA Championship in Oklahoma, but withdrew last week, meaning he will not get the chance to defend the title he won last year.

But Nicklaus, who played a key part in golf's first breakaway 54 years ago when the PGA Tour branched off from the PGA of America, believes there is a route back for Mickelson.

"My advice to Phil would be to be patient," he said.

"The world is a very forgiving place. But he's the one – he has to decide where he wants to play and what he wants to do."

Tom Watson said he was "truly humbled" to make his first appearance as an honorary starter of the Masters on Thursday, as action got under way at Augusta.

After a half-hour delay caused by overnight storms, Watson joined fellow golf greats Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player in hitting the first tee shots of the championship.

The ceremonial role – none of the three are playing in the tournament – is one that only goes to golf's most notable stars from history, with the late Arnold Palmer having long been part of the group.

Watson, in a purple windcheater, hit the third tee shot after Player, in his customary black, and Nicklaus, in yellow sweater and cap, were the first to tee off.

"I would like to say how honoured I am to be with Gary and Jack," said Watson, as he approached the tee.

He spoke of the proud tradition and observing Palmer, Gene Sarazen and Byron Nelson being honorary starters in Masters history.

"To be a part of this thing, I am truly humbled," said 72-year-old Watson.

He then hit the best-looking drive of the three men, who joined together in a huddle after receiving the acclaim of the early-morning crowd.

Watson won the Masters in 1977 and 1981, with the American adding one U.S. Open title and five Open Championship victories.

He played his final Masters, and final major, at Augusta in April 2016.

Player, now a fighting fit 86, won the Masters three times, while 82-year-old Nicklaus is the event's record six-time champion.

Jack Nicklaus, the only man to win more majors than Tiger Woods, was shaken by the news of his fellow American golf great's car crash.

Nicklaus reacted on Tuesday to news coming out of California that Woods had been taken to hospital and then to surgery after suffering serious leg injuries.

The 18-time major winner said he hoped Woods would soon be back to full health.

Emergency services were called to the scene of the single-car crash shortly after 07:00 local time.

Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, said the 45-year-old suffered "multiple" Injuries to his legs. The cause of the crash was not initially clear.

Nicklaus and wife Barbara expressed worry about Woods, who won his 15th major at the 2019 Masters, his first victory of such magnitude in 11 years.

The 81-year-old Nicklaus wrote on Twitter: "Barbara and I just heard about Tiger's accident, and like everyone else, we are deeply concerned.

"We want to offer him our heartfelt support and prayers at this difficult time. Please join us in wishing Tiger a successful surgery and all the best for a full recovery."

Augusta National, home to The Masters, a tournament that Woods has won five times, called the news of his accident and hospitalisation "upsetting".

In a statement posted to Twitter, club chairman Fred Ridley said: "Tiger Woods is part of the Augusta National family, and the news of his accident is upsetting to all of us. We pray for him, for his full recovery and for his family during this difficult time."
 

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