Clark takes the lead but loses shot at 59

By Associated PressAugust 30, 2008, 4:00 pm
DeutscheBank Logo 2007NORTON, Mass. ' Tim Clark matched his best score on the PGA TOUR with a 62. He made two eagles in a span of three holes, nearly driving a par 4. And he wound up with a one-shot lead in the Deutsche Bank Championship.
It still was hard to hide his disappointment.
The South African poured in birdies at such an alarming rate Saturday on the TPC Boston that after making his second eagle, from just over 20 feet on the 298-yard fourth hole, he was 10 under through 13 holes.
Two birdies over his final five holes ' one of them a par 5 ' and he would have a 59.
And after a beautiful sand wedge to 3 feet on the par-5 seventh to reach 11 under for his round, he only needed one birdie over the final two holes to become the fourth player to shoot golfs magic number on the PGA TOUR.
For a while there, there certainly was a chance of 59, he said.
His hopes ended with a 3-iron hybrid right of the 222-yard eighth hole and an 8-foot par putt he failed to convert.
That was end of the dream, he said.
But the second round of the PGA TOUR Playoffs effectively is just beginning.
Clark bogeyed his final two holes and still shot a 9-under 62, giving him a one-shot lead over Mike Weir of Canada going into the final two rounds at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
But a dozen players were separated by four shots, including Barclays winner Vijay Singh.
The group does not include British Open and PGA champion Padraig Harrington. He battled back with a 65, but still missed the cut for the second straight week and now is in jeopardy of missing the TOUR Championship. Masters champion Trevor Immelman made the cut by one shot after a 67, and he might be the only major champion at East Lake.
Weir, who tied the course record Friday with a 61, took a while to warm up until he settled in for a 68. He prefers a stiffer test, but the former Masters champion has won at places like the Bob Hope Classic.
Im going to have to do a little better, Weir said.
Singh, who won The Barclays in a playoff last week to lead the FedExCup standings, picked up three birdies on the final four holes for a 66 and was two shots back at 12-under 130, along with former British Open champion Ben Curtis, who had a 65.
Jim Furyk (65), Sergio Garcia (64) and Ernie Els (65) were in the group at 131 that also included Kevin Streelman, who is turning into this years poster boy of how playing well can pay off big in this points format.
Streelman was No. 102 when the playoffs began, tied for fourth at The Barclays to move up to No. 37, and is continuing a strong run that began after the U.S. Open. The PGA TOUR rookie from Chicago is 78 under par in his last eight tournaments, plus these two rounds.
We all get on streaks where you feel like things are going well, and you try to ride it as long as possible, Streelman said. And I feel like Ive been playing some good golf.
He is assured of making the third round next week in St. Louis for the top 70 in the standings, but that isnt the case for some of those who missed the cut.
That group includes Retief Goosen, Rich Beem, Fred Couples and a couple of Europeans who wasted one last chance to impress Ryder Cup captain Nick Faldo as they try to make the European team.
Ian Poulter (74) and Paul Casey (73) both missed the cut, and Poulter lashed out at the media for causing such a distraction that he wasted energy on the wrong things.
Its a joke, Poulter said. Its not the kind of buzz you want to play golf on, trust me. The kind of nonsense thats been in my head for a whole week is not the right kind of pressure.
Its nonsense, he said. Youve read it. Youve wrote it. Some of you might be guilty or not, I dont know. But boy, what one hell of a week.
Defending champion Phil Mickelson nearly joined them, especially after he found the water on No. 16 for a double bogey. But he answered with a 33 on the front nine for a 70 to make the cut on the number at 3-under 139.
And heres a playoff first: Because more than 78 players made the cut (86), there will be a 54-hole cut on Sunday to the top 70, meaning some players, such as Rocco Mediate, better play hard.
Strangely enough, Clark only cared about making the cut when he began the second round.
He put those fears to rest quickly with birdies of 20 feet and 15 feet on his opening two holes, added an 18-foot birdie on the 14th hole, then turned it on starting with the 17th.
His 7-iron settled 2 feet away for birdie, then came an easy up-and-down from behind the par-5 18th green. Clark hit a 9-iron to 2 feet on No. 1, then a 3-iron hybrid over the hazard to 8 feet for eagle on No. 2.
Golfs magic number didnt cross his mind until a big drive to the front edge of the par-4 fourth, and an eagle putt from just over 20 feet that put him 10 under through 13 holes.
Two more birdies over five holes would have allowed him to sign for a 59.
Although I had 59 in my mind once I made that putt, it certainly didnt affect my golf, Clark said. I hit a couple of bad tee shots coming in, but I certainly felt I could hit a few good shots.
The birdie on No. 7 gve him hope, especially with a front left pin on No. 9 that allowed for birdies.
But No. 8 was always going to be tough, he said. And that proved to be true.
Even so, he had the lead at the Deutsche Bank Championship, giving him another chance to earn his first PGA TOUR victory.
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

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    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.