Bradley maintains lead on Day 2 of Byron Nelson

By Associated PressMay 18, 2013, 12:47 am

IRVING, Texas – Keegan Bradley again bogeyed Nos. 1 and 18 in the second round of the Byron Nelson Championship.

Unlike the first round, Bradley didn't set a course record. But he still finished with a three-stroke lead.

Bradley started and ended his round Friday with those bogeys, part of a 1-under 69 that got him to 11-under 129, the lowest 36-hole total at the Nelson since 2001.

''I'm almost more proud of this round than yesterday because I didn't feel comfortable all day,'' said Bradley, whose opening 60 included his only bogeys at those same holes in the middle of that round. ''I don't know what it was, I can't put my finger on it but, you know, I bogeyed the first hole. I was a little uncomfortable and then I settled in and hit some really good shots.''

Tom Gillis, who shot 63 in the first group of the day off the No. 10 tee, and Sang-Moon Bae (66) were tied for second.


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A stroke further back were 2012 PGA Tour rookie of the year John Huh (64), Ryan Palmer (68) and 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel (70). Schwartzel had an opening 63 and was the closest to Bradley after the first round.

''It was a bit up and down out there,'' said Schwartzel, who had three birdies and three bogeys. ''Bit of a frustrating day, but I suppose it's the mix.''

Bradley, whose first PGA Tour victory came as a rookie at the Nelson two years ago, started his second round with a drive that missed the fairway at the 458-yard first hole, then left his approach short of the green.

''The first hole is probably the easiest hole out here,'' he said. ''I don't know why I keep making bogey on that hole.''

At No. 18, he drove right into rough under the trees again near a cart path. He punched the ball, which rolled and flirted with water to the left before settling into a swale behind the green. He chipped to 6 1/2 feet, but missed the par putt.

''I've got a four-shot lead, so the last thing I wanted to do was plop it in the water. I bailed out,'' said Bradley, who also won the PGA Championship in 2011 and the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational last year. ''I didn't hit that bad of a shot, it just got in the wind. I thought it was going to be way left of where it was, but I'm going to hit good ones Saturday and Sunday.''

In between those bogeys, Bradley had another bogey at No. 6, four birdies and several nice par-saving shots, including a two-putt from 35 feet after driving into the trees at No. 14 and a blast to 4 feet from the hole from a greenside bunker at No. 15.

Guan Tianlang, the 14-year-old amateur from China, missed the cut with rounds of 70 and 77.

After driving into the rough and then hitting into two bunkers for a double-bogey 6 at No. 12, his third hole Friday, Guan had a 19-foot birdie putt on the following par 3. He then had five consecutive bogeys.

Guan last month made the cut at the Masters and then again in New Orleans, becoming the youngest player ever to make the cut on the PGA Tour. He said he ''probably'' would stay in the United States to play more golf, but wasn't specific about where or confirm if he would play in a U.S. Open sectional qualifier June 3.

Defending Nelson champion Jason Dufner, playing with good friend Bradley, had his second consecutive 70 to make the cut of even par.

Gillis got rolling with three consecutive birdies, starting with a 13-foot putt at No. 12 before burying a 32-footer on the 180-yard par 3 right after that. His only bogey came at his closing hole, when he three-putted from 12 1/2 feet at the 427-yard ninth hole.

He had played an afternoon round Thursday, when 13 players shot 66 or better in the morning and the only one in the afternoon was Marc Leishman with a 66.

''It was easier, I think the wind was down and I was hoping that we would get a fair shot like they had (Thursday) morning just to see what it would be like,'' Gillis said. ''Definitely, I thought it played better than in the afternoon.''

After 1 1/2 inches of rain fell on the course Wednesday night, players were allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls hit in fairways and other short-cut areas. That rule remained in place Friday, even though the grounds were dry and the greens were firming up with more breezy conditions.

Two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton matched Gillis for the best round Friday, his 63 a nine-stroke improvement from the opening round to put him in a tie for 13th.

Gillis had missed his last five cuts with 12 straight rounds without breaking 70 before his opening 1-under 69 even while bogeys on three of his last four holes.

Asked about what was different this week, Gillis said he was more relaxed after reuniting with his coach.

''I stepped with a way for a couple of months and tried to do some things on my own and kind of got lost,'' Gillis said before explaining their separation. ''We had disagreements on some things. ... You talk things out, work things out. People change. I think he was right all along, to be honest with you.''

Bae, the 26-year-old South Korean who has 11 international victories but none on the PGA Tour, had six birdies and in his second 66 in a row.

''That was a little weird, I thought this course was very windy, but (Thursday) morning was really good weather,'' Bae said. ''So yeah, different, but I shoot same score as (Thursday), so I'm happy.''


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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.