Back-to-back 64s give Colsaerts 4-shot lead

By Associated PressNovember 3, 2017, 4:13 pm

ANTALYA, Turkey – Nicolas Colsaerts shot a second straight 7-under 64 to take a four-stroke lead after the second round of the Turkish Airlines Open on Friday, leaving the big-hitting Belgian in a strong position to end a five-year wait for victory.

Colsaerts picked up shots on four of the first six holes and continued to give himself good birdie chances with his impressive iron play. He then birdied Nos. 11, 12 and 15 in a bogey-free round to get to 14-under 128.

His last European Tour title came in the Volvo World Match Play Championship in 2012, the year he played a key role in Europe's comeback win at the Ryder Cup in the ''Miracle at Medinah.'' Since then, he has slipped to as low as No. 266 in April 2016.

''It's just little things that have to click together,'' said the 135th-ranked Colsaerts, one of the longest hitters on tour. ''We all know there are a lot of guys that can win four or five times a year and don't for a couple of years.


Turkish Airlines Open: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the Turkish Airlines Open


''As long as I keep my head straight and put myself in a good position, I'd like to think I can land a few more wins.''

Eddie Pepperell was Colsaerts' nearest challenger at 10 under overall, after back-to-back rounds of 66.

This time last year, Pepperell was battling to retain his card at the European Tour's qualifying school after missing 16 cuts in 21 events following a tie for eighth in the Irish Open. The 26-year-old Englishman slumped from a career-high of No. 80 to outside the top 500, but is ranked No. 161 after six top-10 finishes this season.

''I'm well aware that it's Q-School this week and next week,'' said Pepperell, who birdied the last two holes. ''And 12 months on, to not be there and to be here is a nice change. I would say I've got a pretty good stranglehold on the key areas of the game and the scoring is reflecting that.''

Kiradech Aphibarnrat is five shots off the pace after shooting 67, with Shane Lowry (66), Stephen Gallacher (65), Matt Fitzpatrick (65) and Matthew Southgate(65) a further stroke back.

Race to Dubai leader Tommy Fleetwood shot 70 and is at 1 under, four strokes behind Justin Rose (68), who is third in the Race to Dubai standings.

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.