Ernst leads suspended Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic

By Associated PressAugust 30, 2015, 1:24 am

PRATTVILLE, Ala. - Austin Ernst endured a long weather delay before grabbing the lead at the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic. Now, she faces a marathon final day to claim her second career title.

Ernst took the lead at 10 under Saturday before darkness forced the suspension of third-round play in the weather-delayed event.

Ernest was 1 under through four holes after waiting out a five-hour delay for rain and lightning on the links-style Senator Course. She passed second-round leader Yani Tseng, who had a bogey on the fourth hole to drop to 9 under, and has 31-plus holes to go.

''It's going to be a marathon,'' said Ernst, who will return to an 8-foot birdie putt on No. 5. ''There's a lot of golf left. It will basically just be get as many birdies as I can. I know the scores are still going to be low. It's just going to be more continuous golf than usual.'

Players are expected to stay in the same groups for early morning starts Sunday, trying to complete the 72-hole tournament.

Lexi Thompson, the 2011 winner, was 8 under along with Sei Young Kim, Tiffany Joh, Sydnee Michaels and Julieta Granada. Thompson completed four holes, Kim seven, and Joh, Michaels and Granada five.

A number of players had to complete the second round Saturday after a 90-minute delay a day earlier. None completed more than 14 holes in the third round.



Ernst, a 23-year-old former LSU player, had a birdie on the second hole. She won the Portland Classic last year.

Tseng had hoped to ride momentum from her finish on Friday. She had closed an 8-under 64 with an eagle and a birdie to move to 10 under.

The 26-year-old Taiwanese player, ranked No. 1 for 109 weeks early in her career, is trying to snap an 85-event winless streak dating to the 2012 Kia Classic.

Tseng won seven times in 2011, becoming the youngest player to win consecutive Rolex Player of the Year awards and earning just shy of $3 million. The 15-time tour winner's only top-10 finish of the year came when she tied for second in March in the LPGA Thailand.

Kim was 3 under through seven and birdied her final two holes.

Players and fans were sent scurrying to shelter with lightning in the area about 45 minutes before the leaders were scheduled to tee off. Rain and more lightning followed through much of the afternoon in suburban Montgomery.

Sadena Parks, at 7 under through seven holes, said the course held up well and that the players didn't get rained on much during their round.

''The course drained very well, so the greens were still rolling out just as much,'' Parks said. ''And the fairways, the ball was reacting the same as if it was dry.''

Ernst waited out the delay visiting with two aunts, her mom and a couple of family friends.

''I was glad we did get a few holes in,'' she said. ''That way we should be able to finish (Sunday) so that will be good.''

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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 Web.com 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.

@tommyfleetwood_1

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.