Daly chasing Lawrie at Qatar Masters

By Associated PressFebruary 4, 2012, 2:58 pm

DOHA, Qatar – Former British Open Champion Paul Lawrie recovered from a penalty for dropping his ball on a marker to shoot a 5-under 67 Saturday and take a one-shot lead over Nicolas Colsaerts into the final round of the Qatar Masters.

Lawrie took advantage of calmer conditions at the Doha Golf Course to make six birdies for an 8-under total of 136 after two rounds of the wind-affected event, which has been shortened to 54 holes. The 43-year-old Scotsman birdied the 16th to move into a tie with Colsaerts and then added another on 18 to take the outright lead.

The tournament has been disrupted by wind all week, and organizers were forced to call off Friday’s play and reduce the event to three rounds. Dozens of players were forced to stop their rounds after gusts of up to 56 kph (35 mph) moved balls and tossed around signs. Conditions improved Saturday but it remained windy.

“I played very good again, hitting it beautifully tee to green,” said Lawrie, who won the Andalucian Open in 2011 for his first win in nine years. “Anytime you play as solidly as that and hit a few putts in there it’s a fair chance you are going to play well.”

Lawrie’s could have had an even bigger lead, had he not accidentally dropped his ball on his marker at the 10th green. Since it was unclear whether the ball moved, Lawrie was forced to take a one-shot penalty. It was a similar mistake to that made by Ian Poulter during a two-way playoff at the Dubai World Championship in 2010, when his penalty essentially gave the win to Robert Karlsson of Sweden.

“I didn’t see it and no one else saw it so you have to take the penalty and kind of kick on,” Lawrie said. “It’s one of these freak, stupid rules. … It’s like Poulter in Dubai, the same thing. It’s one of those many rules that could do with changing a wee bit.”

Playing in front of Lawrie, Colsaerts also birdied the 18th after a bunker shot that rolled to within a foot of the pin to briefly take the lead. It was one of his six birdies on the day and came after he had one of his two bogeys on the 17th.

“I am playing very well even though I think I could have hit closer to some flags,” the Belgian said. “I managed quite well, kept the ball in play and didn’t do anything stupid.”

Colsaerts, known for his big hitting, won his first victory on the European Tour last year at the Volvo China Open and then finished fourth at the Volvo Golf Champions in January.

Peter Hanson of Sweden (69) and Ricardo Gonzalez of Argentina (67) were two shots off the lead. James Kingston of South Africa (69) and Simon Kahn of England (68) – who eagled his final hole – are three shots back with another 10 players including Jason Day (72), Sergio Garcia (68) and John Daly (73) a further shot back.

Third-ranked Lee Westwood (70) and fourth-ranked Martin Kaymer (70) are at 3 under.

Hanson, who dropped out of contention with a 78 in the final round in Abu Dhabi, did well to remain in the hunt. He endured a stretch where he had a pair bogeys to finish the front nine and then bogeyed two of three holes on the back before closing out with two birdies on final two holes.

“I got off to a great start, 4 under par after seven, and then made some stupid mistakes around the turn, lost a bit of rhythm, and was just trying to hang in there,” Hanson said. “It was nice to finish with those two birdies as well to get to 6 under.”

First-round leader Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (75) couldn’t match his nine-birdie performance on Thursday – ending up with no birdies and three bogies. Daly, the clubhouse leader when play was suspended, started strong with a birdie on the second but had three of his four bogeys on his front nine to drop down the leaderboard.

“I didn’t hit the tee-balls as good as I did Thursday,” Daly said. “But I hung in there. Some of those bogeys I made could have been doubles or triples just as easy.”

Several big names failed to make the cut, led by Hunter Mahan of the United States who finished at 5-over 149 after poor putting led to four bogeys on his back nine. K.J. Choi was just a shot off the lead Thursday but a 78 that included two double bogeys left him at 2 over for the tournament.

Mahan, who made a 17,000-mile detour to play in the Middle East for the first time, struggled in the windy conditions from the start and never recovered from an opening-round 74.

“I played awful today,” Mahan said. “It just didn’t happen today. I’m going to go home and I’ve got three more tournaments coming up and I’ve got to get ready for them.”

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Podcast: Daly takes big pride in 'Little John'

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 5:28 pm

John Daly is a two-time major champion, but the newest trophy in his household belongs to someone else.

That’s because Daly’s son, 14-year-old Little John “LJ” Daly, rallied to capture an IJGT junior golf event over the weekend. The younger Daly birdied the first extra hole to win a five-person playoff at Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

Daly recently sat down for a Golf Channel podcast to describe what it’s like to cheer for his son and PNC Father-Son Challenge partner, share the unique challenge presented by the upcoming Diamond Resorts Invitational and reflect on some of the notable highs of a career that has now spanned more than 25 years.

Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.


Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters


Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.

Nathaniel Crosby at the 1983 Bing Crosby Pro-Am at Pebble Beach. Getty Images

Crosby selected as 2019 U.S. Walker Cup captain

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 3:19 pm

The USGA announced that former U.S. Amateur champ Nathaniel Crosby will serve as the American captain for the 2019 Walker Cup, which will be played at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.

Crosby, 56, is the son of entertainment icon and golf enthusiast Bing Crosby. He won the 1981 U.S. Amateur at The Olympic Club as a teenager and earned low amateur honors at the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He also played in the 1983 Walker Cup, coincidentally held at Royal Liverpool, before embarking on a brief career in professional golf, with his amateur status reinstated in 1994.

"I am thrilled and overwhelmed to be chosen captain of the next USA Walker Cup team," Crosby said in a statement. "Many of my closest friends are former captains who will hopefully take the time to share their approaches in an effort to help me with my new responsibilities."

Crosby takes over the captaincy from John "Spider" Miller, who led the U.S. squad both in 2015 and earlier this year, when the Americans cruised to a 19-7 victory at Los Angeles Country Club.

Crosby is a Florida resident and member at Seminole Golf Club, which will host the 2021 matches. While it remains to be seen if he'll be asked back as captain in 2021, each of the last six American captains have led a team on both home and foreign soil.

Started in 1922, the Walker Cup is a 10-man, amateur match play competition pitting the U.S. against Great Britain and Ireland. The U.S. team holds a 37-9 all-time lead in the biennial matches but has not won in Europe since 2007.

Rose (62) sets blistering pace in Indonesia

By Associated PressDecember 14, 2017, 3:06 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Justin Rose shot a 10-under 62 Thursday to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, starting on the back nine at Royale Jakarta Golf Club, had five birdies to go out in 31, then birdied four of five holes midway through his final nine and another birdie on his last hole in the $750,000 tournament.


Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters


Gunn Charoenkul (64) was in second place and Kim Giwhan and Phachara Khongwatmai (both 65) were tied for third.

Brandt Snedeker shot 72. Ranked 51st in the world, the American is aiming for a strong finish in Jakarta to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.