Appleby Maintains Lead in Houston

By Associated PressApril 22, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Shell Houston OpenHUMBLE, Texas -- Stuart Appleby says the new Tournament Course at Redstone is easy. Or maybe he's just playing well enough to make it that way.
 
Appleby had a one-stroke lead over Greg Owen after two rounds at the Shell Houston Open. Appleby had five birdies through 16 holes Friday before the rain-delayed second round was suspended by darkness. He made two pars Saturday morning to finish with a 67.
 
Trevor Immelman
Trevor Immelman is in search of his first career PGA TOUR win.
Appleby hit 11 of 14 fairways and 17 of 18 greens in regulation in his second round.
 
'You put it in the fairway, the game becomes a lot easier,' said Appleby, who won in Houston in 1999. 'I drove it well, putted pretty good. Nothing fancy. Just good, solid golf.'
 
Appleby was one of 44 players who returned to the course early Saturday to finish their second rounds. A predawn storm on Friday dumped five-eighths of an inch of rain, delaying the start of the second round 2 1/2 hours.
 
Owen teed off late in the afternoon and birdied five of his last seven holes for a 65, the lowest score of the tournament. A month ago, a three-putt from 3 feet cost Owen a chance to win at Bay Hill. Owen talked to noted sports psychologist Bob Rotella shortly after the gaffe.
 
Rotella's advice?
 
'Concentrate on everything you did right,' Owen said. 'The majority of the things were all positive.'
 
The 34-year-old Englishman had plenty of those on Friday, too. He made a 3-foot birdie putt on 13, holed a bunker shot on the par-3 14th and finished the round with a bending 20-footer on the difficult 18th.
 
'I'm just trying to have a good time and I'm playing pretty well, which helps,' Owen said. 'Just trying to see the good shots more than the bad shots.'
 
Owen said the mistake at Bay Hill was a simple 'mental error' and hasn't lingered long in his mind. He saw no reason to make any major adjustments to his game.
 
'Some things happen in other weeks and you finish 20th,' he said, 'and (then) you feel like you're doing the same thing and you go and win a tournament. It just doesn't make sense. Not a lot in golf does, does it?'
 
South Africa's Trevor Immelman was 8 under after a 67.
 
The 26-year-old Immelman has missed the cut in his last four starts, but said his results don't reflect how well he's played.
 
'I would say frustration sums the whole thing up because I really felt like the whole year I've hit the ball quite well,' he said.
 
Tour rookie Charley Hoffman finished with a 67 on Saturday morning to join Jerry Smith and Mathias Gronberg at 7 under.
 
Gronberg shot a 69 on Friday, after a 68 in blustery conditions on Thursday. He was disappointed he didn't go lower in the second round.
 
'I'm amazed no one really shot lower than 5 under in the morning,' Gronberg said. 'It was really there to shoot a low score today. We had perfect conditions.'
 
Gronberg was flawless with his irons, hitting all 18 greens in regulation.
 
Australian Aaron Baddeley, who earned his first tour win at Hilton Head last week, was alone at 6 under.
 
Two-time defending champion Vijay Singh was 4 under after a 71 that included a double bogey.
 
Andrew Magee missed the cut at 2 over, but was happy just to play. Magee was competing for the first time since getting a 'golf ball-size' tumor and part of his kidney removed at the Cleveland Clinic in February.
 
'Except for making bogeys, everything feels pretty good,' Magee said.
 
The 43-year-old Magee will have an MRI in August to determine if he's cancer-free. So far, doctors have given him a clean bill of health and told him chemotherapy and radiation treatment weren't necessary.
 
'Most of the time, you hear about friends who go through a situation like that and they have a couple years left to live,' Magee said. 'This is a happy story.'
 
Divots:
Crowd favorite John Daly shot 31 on the front nine and a 41 on the back for a 72. Daly is 3 under for the tournament. ... Kevin Na and Ben Curtis withdrew. No reasons were given. ... Former PGA champion Rich Beem was in a hurry to leave the course after shooting a 69. He was rushing to pick up his new car, a silver convertible Mini Cooper with a souped-up engine. 'The thing is a rocket,' Beem said. 'It's a silver bullet.'
 
Related Links:
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    Pepperell among co-leaders early in Qatar

    By Associated PressFebruary 22, 2018, 5:06 pm

    DOHA, Qatar – Eddie PepperellGregory Havret, and Aaron Rai made the most of calm early morning conditions at Doha Golf Club to set the pace in the opening round of the Qatar Masters at 7-under-par 65 on Thursday.

    Havret went bogey free, Pepperell made one bogey and eight birdies, while fellow English golfer Rai eagled his last hole to add to five birdies.

    One shot behind the leaders were four players, including former Ryder Cup player Edoardo Molinari of Italy and former champion Alvaro Quiros of Spain.

    Defending champion Jeunghun Wang of South Korea started with a 68, and Race to Dubai leader Shubhankar Sharma of India shot 69 despite a double bogey on the 15th hole.


    Full-field scores from the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters


    Pepperell, who is fast gaining a reputation on the European Tour for his irreverent tweets and meaningful blogs, showed his clubs can also do an equal amount of talking after missing cuts in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Malaysia.

    Pepperell birdied Nos. 10, 11, 14, 16 and 18 with a single blemish on 13 after starting on the back nine. He made three more birdies on his back nine.

    He was joined on top of the leaderboard by Havret, who made five birdies in six holes from the sixth, and Rai, who eagled the last.

    ''I surprised myself, really,'' said Pepperell, who finished third in Portugal and Netherlands last year.

    ''I've made some changes this week with personnel, so I've been working on a couple of new things and I surprised myself out there with how well I managed to trust it.

    ''I hit some quality tee shots, that's the area I feel that I've been struggling with a bit lately. We had a good time.

    ''It's definitely a bigger picture for me this week than tomorrow and indeed the weekend. I'm not overly-fussed about my early season form.”

    Molinari, a three-time champion on the tour including last year in Morocco, started with eight straight pars, and then made seven birdies in his last 10 holes, including a chip-in for birdie on the last.

    ''I hit every green apart from the last one. I hit a lot of fairways, I had a lot of chances for birdie,'' said Edoardo, the older brother of Francesco.

    ''Last week in Oman, I had a decent week, I had a bad first round and then three very good rounds. It's been the case for the last few weeks so my focus this week was to try and get a good start.''

    Oliver Fisher of England was the best among the afternoon groups with a 6-under 66, joining Molinari, Quiros and Germany's Marcel Schneider in a tie for fourth.

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    Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

    By Tiger TrackerFebruary 22, 2018, 4:45 pm

    Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.


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    Honda Classic: Tee times, TV schedule, stats

    By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 22, 2018, 2:15 pm

    The PGA Tour heads back east to kick off the Florida Swing at PGA National. Here are the key stats and information for the Honda Classic. Click here for full-field tee times.

    How to watch:

    Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

    Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

    Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6PM ET

    Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6PM ET


    Purse: $6.6 million ($1,188,000 to the winner)

    Course: PGA National, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (par-70; 7,140 yards)

    Defending champion: Rickie Fowler (-12) won by four, picking off his fourth PGA Tour victory.


    Notables in the field:

    Tiger Woods

    • Making his fourth start at the Honda Classic and his first since withdrawing with back spasms in 2014.

    • Shot a Sunday 62 in a T-2 finish in 2012, marking his lowest career final-round score on the PGA Tour.

    • Coming off a missed cut at last week's Genesis Open, his 17th in his Tour career.


    Rickie Fowler

    • The defending champion owns the lowest score to par and has recorded the most birdies and eagles in this event since 2012.

    • Fowler's last start was at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where he failed to close a 54-hole lead. Fowler is 1-for-6 with 54-hole leads in his Tour career, with his only successful close coming at last year's Honda.

    • On Tour this year, Fowler is first in scrambling from the fringe, second in total scrambling and third in strokes gained around the green. 


    Rory McIlroy

    • It's been feast or famine for McIlroy at the Honda. He won in 2012, withdrew with a toothache in 2013, finished T-2 in 2014 and missed the cut in 2015 and 2016.

    • McIlroy ascended to world No. 1 with his victory at PGA National in 2012, becoming the second youngest player at 22 years old to top the OWGR, behind only Woods. McIlroy was later edged by a slightly younger 22-year-old Jordan Spieth.

    • Since the beginning of 2010, only Dustin Johnson (15) has more PGA Tour victories than McIlroy (13). 

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    Lexi, J. Korda part of four-way tie in Thailand

    By Associated PressFebruary 22, 2018, 1:01 pm

    CHONBURI, Thailand – Three-time tour winner Minjee Lee of Australia finished with a superb eagle putt to be among the four leaders after Day 1 of the LPGA Thailand at Siam Country Club on Thursday.

    Lee sank a 45-foot putt on the 18th hole to card a 6-under-par 66 to tie for the lead with 2016 champion Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda, and local hope Moriya Jutanugarn.

    ''I just hit the collar. I didn't know if I was going to have enough. Such a big break there. I'm glad it caught the hole,'' Lee said.

    ''It's a second-shot golf course. Your approaches are really important, and obviously being in the right spots with the undulation. And if you have a hot putter that's going to help.''


    Full-field scores from the Honda LPGA Thailand


    Lee won the Vic Open near Melbourne this month and opened her 2018 LPGA tour account last week at the Women's Australian Open, finishing fifth.

    Thompson, who won this event in 2016 by six shots with a 20-under total and tied for fourth last year, started her latest round in style with an eagle followed by a birdie only to bogey the third hole. She carded four more birdies.

    ''It definitely helps to get that kind of start, but I was just trying to keep that momentum and not get ahead of myself,'' Thompson said.

    Her compatriot Korda had a roller-coaster round which featured eagles on the first and 17th holes, five birdies, a double bogey on the sixth, and two bogeys.

    Jutanugarn was the only player among the four to end the day without a bogey.

    ''I had a good start today, it was better than I expected,'' said Jutanugarn, who was seventh here last year.

    She's trying to become the first Thai winner of the tournament.

    Two-time champion Amy Yang and world No. 2 Sung Hyun Park were among six players at 5 under.