Faldo Off to Solid Start at Senior British

By Associated PressJuly 26, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 Senior British OpenGULLANE, Scotland -- Nick Faldo recaptured enough of his famous competitive edge Thursday to shoot a 3-under 68 for a share of the lead in his senior tour debut.
The six-time major champion made six birdies -- including a 3-foot putt at the last -- in the first round of the Senior British Open at Muirfield, where he won two of his three Opens, in 1987 and '92.
Nick Faldo
Nick Faldo grabbed a share of the lead in the first round of the Sr. British Open. (Getty Images)
Joining Faldo at 3 under were 65-year-old Dave Stockton, a regular on the Champions Tour, Nick Job and Gordon J. Brand.
It looked like the Faldo of old at Muirfield. From the tees, he found the fairways with ease, staying away from a deep rough that has been made more difficult by weeks of heavy rain. He hit accurate approach shots to the pins to roll in three close-range birdie putts in a row from the third.
But it was his birdie at the last that gave him the most satisfaction after he hit a 182-yard, 6-iron within 3 feet of the flag.
'I went for the shot. I thought, right, just squeeze one up close -- and I did,' said Faldo, who had his 18-year-old son Matthew carrying his clubs. 'That was very pleasing.'
Faldo's accuracy was all the more remarkable because last week's British Open was the only tournament he had played in for several months. And he missed the cut at Carnoustie.
He went out with Tom Watson (70) and Mark O'Meara (72), a trio with a combined 16 majors.
O'Meara is another newcomer to seniors golf this season. While Faldo's opening tee shot found the rough, O'Meara's ball landed in a fairway bunker. Both bogeyed the first hole while Watson made par.
But Faldo was quick to recover, his accuracy getting him close to the pins and enabling him to hole from 3 feet at the third, 5 feet at the fourth and 4 feet at the fifth.
Two more birdies at No. 7 and No. 9 meant he reached the turn in 4-under 32. Finding the fairways off the tee, Faldo parred the next four holes before bogeying the 14th after taking three to reach the green.
Faldo's accuracy deserted him at the 17th, hitting into the rough both right and left before leaving a 25-foot putt inches short to ultimately bogey.
'You bounce in and out of the emotions,' Faldo said. 'It was great. There were chances on this golf course the way it was playing, and I was very pleasantly surprised I was able to take advantage.
'I've just got to keep going. Hopefully I can settle into a rhythm. That's the whole secret.'
While it was no real surprise to see Faldo atop the leaderboard, Stockton wasn't expecting to be there.
The American has not played Muirfield since 1972, around the time he won two PGA Championships and was runner up in the Masters and U.S. Open.
'I'm 65 now, so my game is rusty,' said Stockton, who only played the championship because his son and caddie, Ronnie, had never been to Scotland. 'I know I've made the course a hell of a lot easier for a lot of players, when they see my name up there, going: 'How the hell is he up there?' I've peaked a little early, which is not good.'
Jon Chaffee, an American who is yet to win a tournament on the Champions Tour, shot a 73 but that included an ace at the 191-yard 13th. Chaffee won a bottle of wine for each yard of the hole as a prize.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    Watch: Birds attack JT during post-round interview

    By Grill Room TeamFebruary 17, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Justin Thomas may have carded five birdies and an eagle on Saturday at the Genesis Open, but it was the two birds he encountered after his round that made for the biggest highlight.

    Fresh off a third-round 67 that put him in the mix at Riviera Country Club through 54 holes, Thomas' post-round interview was interrupted by a couple of birds. Luckily, JT and CBS' Amanda Balionis were able to escape unscathed and with smiles on their faces.

    Thomas will need to do a little worse at dodging birdies in the final round if he wants to catch the leaders on Sunday.

    Getty Images

    Watch: Fathauer dunks one off flagstick for eagle

    By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 17, 2018, 7:45 pm

    The NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest will take place Saturday night in Los Angeles, but Derek Fathauer kicked things off a little early with this eagle in the third round of the Genesis Open.

    Playing his second shot on the par-4 third hole at Riviera Country Club, Fathauer dunked one off the flagstick and into the hole for an eagle-2:

    The shot got the the 32-year-old, in search of his first PGA Tour victory, under par for the round and into the mix early on Moving Day.

    Getty Images

    Luiten in three-way tie at Oman Open

    By Associated PressFebruary 17, 2018, 4:17 pm

    MUSCAT, Oman - Joost Luiten showed a return to form after a mediocre 2017 as he moved into a three-way tie for the lead in the Oman Open on Saturday.

    The Dutchman shot a second straight 6-under 66 - the joint best score of the day - to move to 12-under 204. He was joined at the top by Matthew Southgate (69) and Frenchman Julien Guerrier (66) after the third round at the Greg Norman-designed Al Mouj Golf Club.

    England's Chris Wood (69), another man on the comeback trail, was in fourth place at 11 under, but it could have been a lot better if not for a bogey-bogey finish. Adrian Otaegui (66) was a shot behind Wood while pre-tournament favorite, France's Alexander Levy (67), was at 9 under.

    The 90th-ranked Luiten credited some hot iron play for his success after a cracked driver set him back last year when he had just two top-10 finishes the whole season.

    Full-field scores from the NBO Oman Golf Classic

    ''I cracked my driver in my first tournament of the year in Abu Dhabi and it took me almost six months to get another one that I really liked. Once you are not driving the ball well, it puts pressure on other parts of your game,'' said the 32-year-old Luiten. ''My iron play did not get me into trouble at all today.''

    Southgate was quick off the block with three birdies in his first three holes. But the Englishman then made two bogeys and a double bogey in his next four holes, and a birdie on the ninth saw him make the turn at even-par.

    That forced him to think differently for the back nine and he was rewarded with three birdies.

    ''It was quite funny really,'' Southgate said. ''We birdied the ninth and I walked off and said to my caddie Gary ... 'We've just shot level par, so let's just pretend that we've made nine solid pars and that we haven't holed a putt and haven't made a birdie. Let's just start again on the 10th'.''

    The 32-year-old Guerrier started his round with a monster 48-foot birdie putt and had an eagle, six birdies and two bogeys.

    Getty Images

    J.Y. Ko increases lead; Lydia focuses on positives

    By Associated PressFebruary 17, 2018, 3:33 pm

    ADELAIDE, Australia - Jin Young Ko continued her domination of the Women's Australian Open, shooting a 1-under 71 Saturday to increase her lead to four strokes after three rounds.

    The South Korean, who led after each of the opening two rounds of the LPGA tournament, had a three-round total of 11-under 205 at Kooyonga Golf Club.

    Australian golfer Hannah Green moved into second place after the round of the day, a 66.

    Green, 21, is seeking to become the first Australian to claim her national crown since Karrie Webb won the last of her five titles in 2014. Webb, who is playing a part-time schedule in 2018, missed the cut Friday by one stroke.

    Green birdied her first three holes on Saturday and then added two more on the eighth and ninth. Two more birdies followed on the back nine with her only dropped shot a bogey on the 17th.

    Full-field scores from the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open

    "I was very pleased with my ball striking," Green said. "I have put myself in contention so I'm very happy with how things are panning out.

    "It was a real shame about Karrie missing the cut, but I know she has got different plans."

    South Korea's Hyejin Choi (70), was tied for third, five strokes behind. Australia's top-ranked golfer Minjee Lee was tied for fifth after a 69, six off the lead.

    Former No. 1 Lydia Ko shot a 71 and was eight strokes behind.

    "It's always nice to be able to start the season on a good note, and I've obviously got tomorrow," Lydia Ko said. "Hopefully, I'll be able to finish off on a high note."