Dufner leading Zurich Classic; Els, Stricker 2 back

By Associated PressApril 27, 2012, 9:12 pm

AVONDALE, La. – Jason Dufner is in familiar territory atop the leaderboard after 36 holes.

It's the weekends that have given him fits.

Dufner moved into position for another bid to win his first PGA Tour title, shooting a 7-under 65 on Friday to take the second-round lead in the Zurich Classic.

The former Auburn player has had at least a share of the 36-hole lead in two of his last four tournaments, including the Masters, where he closed with consecutive 75s. He's second on the Tour in pre-cut scoring, but 98th in third rounds and 108th in final rounds.

''It's been a difficult weekend for me the last month and a half or so,'' Dufner said. ''I haven't quite played as well as I would have liked, but I know that my game is still pretty good.

''I've been trying to think about what I can do better mentally, what I can do better emotionally out there and learn from some things that I maybe struggled with. Obviously, there's a lot of different things that go into winning besides hitting the golf ball.''

Dufner lost playoffs last year to Mark Wilson in the Phoenix Open and Keegan Bradley in the PGA Championship for two of his three runner-up finishes in 163 starts on the PGA Tour.

On Friday, he capped his bogey-free round with a 30-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th to reach 12 under.

''I had a couple of easy birdies,'' Dufner said. ''I don't think I missed a fairway or a green. Just had some tough reads. The greens are kind of tough to read. Sometimes you get competing grains, competing slopes, so you get a putt that might break to the right, but the grain is going left. That can be kind of difficult to judge. Then 18, I had just a really good number for my 5-wood to get somewhere on that green and had a putt that was down grain and breaking to the left with the grain, so that was a nice way to finish the day.''

PGA Tour rookie Russell Knox, John Rollins and first-round co-leader Ken Duke were tied for second. Knox shot a career-best 64, Rollins 66 and Duke 68.

Greg Chalmers holed out for an eagle on the par-4 first and also finished with a 64 to join Steve Stricker and Ernie Els at 10 under. Stricker and Els shot 68.

Knox and Chalmers matched the course record.

Defending champion Bubba Watson had his second consecutive 71 to make the cut on the number at 2 under in his first tournament since his playoff victory in the Masters.

Second-ranked Luke Donald rebounded from an opening 73 with a 65 to reach 6 under.

Knox, a Nationwide Tour graduate playing in his ninth tournament, had seven birdies and an eagle – on No. 18 – along with one bogey.

''You never plan on shooting a 64, it kind of happens and I'm happy it did,'' Knox said. ''I haven't played well this year so far, but it's been the best year of my life.''

Stricker had four consecutive birdies beginning on the seventh to move into a tie with Dufner, then missed a 2-foot birdie putt on the 11th that would have given him sole possession of the lead. Stricker stumbled home with bogeys on the 12th and 15th.

''I played really solid all the way through 11 and then missed that putt and kind of lost my thought process there for a little bit,'' Stricker said. ''Felt like I let a really good one slip away today.''

Donald also holed out from the fairway on the first hole, marking the first two eagles on the hole since the tournament was first played at the course in 2005.

Watson, away from his wife and recently adopted son after taking a two-week break following the Masters, eagled the seventh and birdied the eighth, but bogeyed the 10th when he missed the green from 47 yards on his approach. He also three-putted the 12th for another bogey, moving him to 1 under, one above the cut line.

''Mentally, I've lost focus just about every shot, so I'm trying to figure it out,'' Watson said. ''I want to be home with my son and wife. I know it sounds like a cop-out but I'm not playing very good because I'm just really not into it.''

Watson also struck a fan in the head with a hooked drive.

Watson's tee shot on the second hole at the TPC Louisiana drew blood from the back of Radd Leonard's head.

Leonard, who was reached quickly by medics, said he was fine and found it incredible that he was hit in the head by the very player he came to see. The 52-year-old motorcycle shop owner from Baton Rouge also was glad he was able to help Watson back into the fairway, where the ball landed after striking him.

''I saw it coming and it looked like it was hooking right at me. I wanted to see that big hook, you know, and I got to see it. I turned and ducked and it still hit me,'' Leonard said. ''It gave him a good bounce, anyway.''

Watson walked over toward Leonard, put on a new golf glove, signed it, then took it off and gave it to Leonard and shook his hand. Watson's caddie, Ted Scott, drew laughter when he instructively pointed farther down the fairway and said, ''We're glad you're all right, but if you could just angle your head a little differently ...''

John Daly, playing on a sponsor's exemption, missed the cut. He followed his opening 73 with an 80.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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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

Vandalism

Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

Finances


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

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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