Duval moves into contention at Ginn sur Mer

By Associated PressOctober 31, 2008, 4:00 pm
Ginn sur Mer ClassicPALM COAST, Fla. ' David Duval hasnt played in the windy, wet conditions since the British Open this summer. Just like then, he managed to work himself into contention at the Ginn sur Merr Classic on Friday.
 
Winless in seven years, laboring at No. 233 on the money list and playing his final PGA Tour event of the year, Duval put together a strong round of 3-under 69 at the Ginn Ocean Hammock Resort that left him only two shots behind Ryan Palmer going into the weekend.
 
Palmer missed only one green on the back nine for a 71, putting him at 6-under 138.
 
Robert Allenby, at No. 30 the highest-ranked player at this Fall Series event, had a 71 and was one shot out of the lead along with Peter Lonard (69), rookie Michael Letzig (74) and Ken Duke (69).
 
Duval, who has made only four cuts in his 19 starts on the PGA Tour this year, had three birdies and an eagle during a six-hole stretch on the front nine, which he capped off by chipping in on the par-5 ninth. He recovered from a bogey on the 11th with a birdie at No. 14, and finished with his seventh round in the 60s in his last 10 rounds on Tour.
 
His best finish this year was a tie for 22nd at the Viking Classic, but he really showed glimpses of form at Royal Birkdale. Duval was three shots out of the lead, until a rough start sent him to an 83 in the third round.
 
Maybe thats why hes not reading too much into his 36-hole start.
 
Im not thinking (about contending), not at this point, Duval said. And I wont tomorrow. Those feelings come back when you get to the back nine Sunday and you have a chance.
 
He loves this kind of weather, though. It was blustery when he captured the British Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in 2001, and it was the same at The Players Championship and the Mercedes Championship at Kapalua, two of his victories in 1999.
 
Ive always enjoyed that kind of stuff, Duval said. What it does is makes you pay attention to hitting the golf ball solidly and thats whats most important.
 
Even if he doesnt win, Duval can play next year through an exemption for career money.
 
Palmer is not that fortunate. He is 143rd on the money list, and only the top 125 keep their cards. The final tour event is next week at Disney, where Palmer earned his lone PGA Tour victory.
 
Im trying not to get ahead of myself and trying to stay calm, Palmer said. Hopefully, karma keeps going that way. If I keep my card, unbelievable awesome. Whats keeping me calm and relaxed this week is that Im not thinking about the money list.
 
Lonard and Allenby know something about windy weather from their roots in Australia, and that helped guide them through a day in which the scoring average was more than one shot higher than the opening round.
 
This course is long, firm and bouncy, and any time you put Australians on courses that are firm and bouncy usually the Australians play well, Lonard said. Windy conditions and bouncy conditions are right up our alley.
 
Allenby, who overcame a four-putt at the 18th green and a three-putt when he made the turn to the first green, said the course has turned out to be more difficult than the other five Fall Series venues that so far have yielded an average winning score of 18 under par.
 
The exception was Turning Stone, where Allenby finished one shot behind.
 
There are a lot of difficult holes out there and with the wind blowing the way it is, its going to dry up and get even tougher, he said.
 
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    Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

    Former Web.com Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

    Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

    Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Web.com Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Web.com Tour Player of the Year.

    McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

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    Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

    By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

    Memo to the golf gods:

    If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

    Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

    It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

    With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

    It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

    We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

    We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

    Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.


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    Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

    We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

    In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

    While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

    Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

    Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

    Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

    While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

    Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

    So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

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    McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

    By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

    With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

    The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

    Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

    "I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

    McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

    But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

    "I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

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    What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

    Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

    Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

    Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

    Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

    Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

    Ball: Titleist Pro V1x