Daly shoots 67 in windy conditions, one back in Qatar

By Associated PressFebruary 2, 2012, 4:37 pm

DOHA, Qatar – Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano birdied his last three holes in carding a 6-under 66 at the Qatar Masters, overcoming wind and blowing sand to lead John Daly by a shot after the first round on Thursday.

Daly (67) was followed by K.J. Choi (68) and Jason Day (68). Six players, including 1999 British Open champion Paul Lawrie and Nicolas Colsaerts, were three shots off the pace. Martin Kaymer (71) and Sergio Garcia (72) were in contention, but about two-thirds of the field shot over par, including defending champion Thomas Bjorn (79).

“It just happened,” Fernandez-Castano said with a smile. “It was such a difficult day that you didn’t have any expectation going out there. Every shot was difficult. Every shot, you had to be 100 percent focused. That is probably what kept me in the game.”

Morning Drive: Daly's 67: Fluke or flourish

The Spaniard, winner of five European Tour titles, holed several putts of more than 20 feet on his way to nine birdies to go along with three bogeys. He played his best golf on the back nine, bouncing back from a bogey on 13 to make four birdies on the final five holes.

“I think the key was holing the putt on 16th,” Fernandez-Castano said. “I hit the green with my 3 wood. The first putt was very poor, left it 3 meters (10 feet) short of the hole and managed to hole that one. You never know, maybe I missed that one and your momentum disappears. But I holed that one and hit a lovely shot on the next, holed the putt and then had a lovely drive on the last … I had a tricky bunker shot and holed the last putt.”

Daly benefited from milder conditions in the morning when gusts of up 22 mph died down for several holes. The two-time major winner shot bogey-free golf including five birdies.

Opening his season in Doha, he wants to get back on track after struggling at the end of 2011, the nadir being when he quit the Australian Open in November after hitting seven balls into water.

“It was brutal. I’m pretty shocked myself shooting 5 under,” said Daly, sporting a buzz cut and bright red and black checkered pants.

“It was great start,” he added. “It was one of the best rounds I ever played. I mean that. That is just how hard the golf course is playing.”

Daly, who won the 1995 British Open in wind and rain, said he often thrives in tough conditions like those endured on Thursday, adding that he was helped by consistent driving and the way he “managed the course.”

“I had a lot of chances to at least hit the greens and I can’t say it’s from practicing a lot because I took a lot of time off which I pretty much needed,” Daly said. “I love the way I putted. I’ve always been kind of decent in the wind. I’m a streaky putter so you can sometimes hit some bad putts and get away with it.”

Some players said they have faced windier conditions, especially in England and Scotland. But what made the Doha course so challenging, they said, was the strong winds were kicking up sand from the surrounding desert. Balls were difficult to track off the tee because of lower visibility and sand was getting into their hair, eyes and everything else.

“I know what Wiener Schnitzel feels like, because I’m pan-fried,” Fernandez-Castano joked.

Lee Westwood, who missed the cut last year, said he was just happy to break par.

“71 felt like a good score,” Westwood tweeted. “Left a few out there but have a very smooth completion on the plus side! Sandblasted!”

Several big names fared worse and were in danger of missing the cut, including Ryder Cup player Ross Fisher, who finished with a 9-over 81, Bjorn at 7 over and Robert Karlsson, who shot 78.

Choi (68) said the key to his bogey-free round was the way he and caddie Steve Underwood were able to predict the gusts.

“To play bogey-free golf is fantastic,” said Choi, who tied for 48th in Abu Dhabi last week. “We were comfortable reading the wind together. We had great teamwork today and that set the pace and helped me gain confidence.”

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Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.