Brooks leads Fowler, among others, at Scottish Open

By Associated PressJuly 11, 2015, 9:35 pm

GULLANE, Scotland – Unheralded Daniel Brooks overcame a dreadful start, an injured wrist and the toughest conditions of the week to keep his unlikely lead at the Scottish Open on Saturday, after a windy third round in which Rickie Fowler surged up the leaderboard.

The 528th-ranked Brooks, who surprisingly took a three-shot lead after the second round, recovered from a double bogey on his first hole to shoot a 1-under 69 for a one-stroke advantage at 12-under 198.

Raphael Jacquelin, a Frenchman ranked No. 335, shot 64 for the lowest round of the day and was alone in second place, ahead of Joost Luiten (66),Tommy Fleetwood (67) and Fowler, who eagled the par-5 16th in a 66.

Justin Rose, the defending champion, was one of the many players to struggle as winds picked up on the Gullane links off the Firth of Forth, shooting 72 to drop from second to a tie for 18th – six shots off fellow Englishman Brooks. The 12th-ranked Jimmy Walker made three double bogeys and a triple-bogey 8 in his front nine on his way to a 78, which left the American in last place.

A first prize of nearly $850,000 – easily the biggest payday of his career – and a spot at next week's British Open at St. Andrews is at stake for Brooks in what would be a life-changing win for the 28-year-old Londoner. He had missed the cut at 13 straight tournaments before finishing tied for 20th at the French Open on Sunday.

''I have struggled all year and I need some money to keep my card,'' Brooks said. ''It's a big day.''

Brooks won the Madeira Islands Open in May 2014, a tournament restricted to 36 holes and marred by the death of a caddie, but he is in uncharted territory this week given the standard of a field looking to gain links practice ahead of the British Open.

A nervy start saw him slice his opening drive into the thick rough and he could only hack at the ball for his second shot, which moved a foot. In doing so, he jarred his wrist and he said he felt twinges throughout his round.

A 6 on the first hole briefly dropped him out of the lead behind Jacquelin, and he needed some clutch putts for pars on Nos. 2-4 before settling down.

''I wasn't feeling the pressure today, which is a nice feeling,'' Brooks said.

Jacquelin has a good record at the Scottish Open with a 2nd place in 2009 and a 3rd in 2010, both on the parkland Loch Lomond course. He also showed he is adept over the links in a bogey-free round where he picked up four shots on the front nine, during which he chipped in from off the green on No. 6, then birdies on Nos. 12-13.

Two Frenchman have won this event in recent years – Thomas Levet in 2004 and Gregory Havret in 2007 – and on both occasions Jacquelin was on hand to spray his compatriots with champagne afterward. It's a French tradition he'd like to see happening again on Sunday, especially given his poor 2015 that has seen go without a top-10 finish.

''I've been struggling getting the ball on the fairway or the greens this year,'' the 41-year-old Jacquelin said. ''Maybe it's a new Raphael coming back.''

Fowler is the biggest name on the leaderboard after following up a 66 and 68 with another solid round that shows he is in good form ahead of his latest attempt at landing a major. The ninth-ranked American is two shots off the pace.

''One of the goals coming in was to get ready for next week but putting myself in contention has got my juices ready,'' Fowler said.

Matt Kuchar of the U.S. is one of three players on 9 under overall after a 67. Phil Mickelson shot a 70 and is nine strokes back.

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Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook played a six-hole stretch in 6 under and shot an 8-under 64 in breezy conditions Saturday to take the lead at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook began the run at La Quinta Country Club with birdies on Nos. 4-5, eagled the sixth and added birdies on No. 7 and 9 to make the turn in 6-under 30.

After a bogey on the 10th, he birdied Nos. 11, 12 and 15 and saved par on the 18th with a 20-footer to take a 19-under 197 total into the final round on PGA West's Stadium Course. The 26-year-old former Arkansas player is making his first start in the event. He won at Sea Island in November for his first PGA Tour title.

Fellow former Razorbacks star Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were a stroke back. Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 on the Stadium Course. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. They are both winless on the PGA Tour.


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Jon Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium Course to reach 17 under. The top-ranked player in the field at No. 3, Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

Scott Piercy also was two strokes back after a 66 at the Stadium.

Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course, and Harkins shot 68 on the Stadium Course.

Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium Course to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time.

The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. The Southern California recruit had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over for the week.

John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine – and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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Mickelson misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

How rare is his missing the cut there?

The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.


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The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.

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Defending champ Gana co-leads Latin America Amateur

By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 11:20 pm

Toto Gana moved into early position to try to win a return trip to the Masters Saturday by grabbing a share of the first-round lead at the Latin America Amateur Championship.

The defending champ posted a 3-under-par 68 at Prince of Wales Country Club in his native Chile, equaling the rounds of Argentina’s Mark Montenegro and Colombia’s Pablo Torres.

They are one shot ahead of Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz and Mario Carmona, Argentina’s Horacio Carbonetti and Jaime Lopez Rivarola and the Dominican Republic’s Rhadames Pena.

It’s a bunched leaderboard, with 19 players within three shots of each at the top of the board in the 72-hole event.

“I think I have my game under control,” said Gana, 20, a freshman at Lynn University. “I hit the ball very well, and I also putted very well. So, I am confident about tomorrow.”

The LAAC’s champion will get more than a Masters invitation. He also will be exempt into the The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event he is eligible to play this year. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

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LAAC returning to Casa de Campo in 2019

By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 8:23 pm

The Latin America Amateur Championship will return to Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic in 2019 (Jan. 17-20), event organizers announced Saturday in Chile, where this year’s championship is underway.

The LAAC champion receives an invitation to play the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club every spring.

The champion is also exempt into The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event for which he is eligible to compete. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

The championship got its start in 2015 with Chile’s Matias Dominguez winning at Pilar Golf in Argentina. In 2016, Casa de Campo hosted, with Costa Rica’s Paul Chaplet winning. At 16, he became the first player from Central America to compete in the Masters. In 2017, Chile’s Toto Gana won the title at  Club de Golf de Panama.