Fathauer leads Bohn by 1 at Mayakoba

By Associated PressNovember 14, 2015, 9:59 pm

PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico - Derek Fathauer played bogey-free Saturday on his way to another 5-under 66 that gave him a one-shot lead in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba and a chance to extend an unusual streak on the PGA Tour.

First-time winners have captured all five events at the start of the wraparound season.

Fathauer would love to make it six in a row.

"I've just got to have fun, play golf, play my game, and whatever happens will happen," he said.

Fathauer was at 16-under 197 and led by one shot over Jason Bohn, who missed a 5-foot par putt on the final hole at El Camaleon Golf Club. Bohn took the lead on the par-5 13th hole with a 25-foot eagle putt right before the third round was halted for nearly 90 minutes because of storms in the area. Bohn had to scramble for pars late in his round and couldn't save the last one. He shot a 65.

Russell Knox, coming off his first win last week in Shanghai at the HSBC Champions, also made bogey on the last hole for a 65. He was at 13-under 200, along with Justin Leonard (67), Graeme McDowell (70) and PGA Tour rookie Harold Varner III, who made an 18-foot par putt on the last hole for a 68.

Bohn was the 54-hole leader at Mayakoba a year ago until closing with a 74.


OHL Classic at Mayakoba: Articles, photos and videos


"I don't want to do what I did last year on Sunday," Bohn said. "The only thing I can draw on is how I've been playing. I've got to embrace it, have fun and realize where I am. If I give myself enough chances, I'm going to win one."

He already has come close twice this year. Bohn finished one shot out of a playoff in the season-opening Frys.com Open, courtesy of a flubbed pitch. A week later in Las Vegas, he finished one shot out of the lead.

McDowell was the 36-hole leader, except that didn't last long. He took another double bogey on the par-4 opening hole, and now has played it at 5 over for the week. McDowell followed with a bogey and spent the rest of the round trying to catch up. A 12-foot birdie on the 17th allowed him to salvage a 70.

"I've got to get past that first hole, which is kind of killing me," McDowell said. "The game is in really good shape. Apart from two driver swings, I'm really happy with the general progress."

He also hit a drive well right on the par-5 13th that led to a bogey.

Leonard appeared to be the one most affected by the storm delay. He was tied for the lead at 15 under after a birdie on the par-5 13th. When play resumed, he came up short of the green at the 14th, hit a nice chip-and-run to just outside 4 feet and missed the putt. On the par-3 15th, Leonard went left of the pin and down a slope and failed to save par. He was solid the rest of the way and still has a good chance Sunday.

Leonard hasn't had a top-10 finish in nearly two years and has said he is trimming is schedule this year to spend more time with his wife and four children. He moved to Colorado in August, and the courses closed Nov. 1. So he went to Arizona for a few days of practice and showed up fresh. He said the mental hurdle in cutting back his schedule was to realize "I'm not going to forget how to swing a club, I'm not going to forget how to play the game."

Johnson Wagner had a third straight 67 and was four shots behind. The group at 11-under 202 included Patrick Rodgers (69) and Freddie Jacobson, whose 63 was the low score of the third round. Arizona State senior Jon Rahm of Spain had a 66 and was six shots behind. Rahm tied for fifth in the Phoenix Open last season.

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McIlroy 'happy to be back', can 'empathize' with Tiger

By Associated PressJanuary 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – After a long layoff from golf, Rory McIlroy has some newfound sympathy for Tiger Woods.

The 28-year-old Northern Irishman is making a comeback at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship after ending his season early last year. He has not played a round since the final day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Oct. 8.

McIlroy, a four-time major champion who has slipped to No. 11 in the world rankings, last won the Tour Championship on the PGA Tour in September 2016. He injured a rib in his first outing of 2017 – at the South African Open – and felt its after-effects throughout the year.

McIlroy, who has seven top-five finishes in his last eight starts in Abu Dhabi, said Tuesday he felt mentally low because of his physical issues.

''Honestly, I was excited to be done. I could have shut it down after the PGA Championship very easily and taken the rest of the year off, but I didn't. I played six events after that, played OK and had a chance to win one of them,'' McIlroy said. ''But I was just excited to take that time off and get myself just sort of a re-set.''

Last week, McIlroy also revealed that he has a minor, non-threatening heart condition that needs regular check-ups.

''After that 3-plus months of a re-set, I'm very happy to be back. I felt like I needed it physically and mentally. I just felt like it was a little bit of a sabbatical. I've been out here for 10 years, and I want to get ready for the next 10.''

McIlroy compared his situation to what Woods has been going through.

''I've only been through, maybe, not even 5 percent of what he's had to go through. And you can tell from where he was to where he is now mentally, because of physically where he is ... he's a totally different person,'' McIlroy said. ''Of course, I empathize with him, and I know he was in a dark place there for a while. It's just so great to see him out of that and back and excited to be playing golf again.''

The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will be the first of back-to-back events for McIlroy, who is also playing next week in Dubai.

''I think the next two weeks will be a big learning curve, just to see where I'm at,'' McIlroy said. ''I'm obviously coming into the events trying to play as well as I can and trying to compete and trying to win, but I think there will definitely be things I'll have to work on going into that stretch in the States.''

The tournament, which starts Thursday, has attracted some big names, including top-ranked Dustin Johnson, No. 6 Justin Rose, No. 9 Henrik Stenson, No. 14 Paul Casey and No. 15 Matt Kuchar. No. 18 Tommy Fleetwood is the defending champion.

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Pre-tourney caution be damned: Stenson rides camel

By Grill Room TeamJanuary 16, 2018, 3:29 pm

If you were under the impression Henrik Stenson's days of engaging in pre-tournament hijinks at HSBC-sponsored events were over, then you don't know the Swedish Superman.

Ahead of this week's HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, the 2016 champion golfer of the year decided to have some fun riding (and pretend-spanking) a camel:

If you can't imagine any reason Stenson wouldn't get on a camel, we will point you to the WGC-HSBC Champions back in October, when Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Haotong Li and Hideki Matsuyama took place in this hire-wire act:

Two weeks later, Stenson revealed a rib injury, and a report from the U.K.'s Telegraph stated "that not only was the Shanghai caper to blame, but that Stenson is annoyed about being persuaded to do it in the first place."

Stenson brushed back at that report in this Instagram post, saying that his "comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal."

I’m disappointed to have to pre-emptively withdraw from the Nedbank Golf Challenge Hosted by Gary Player, I was looking forward to this important year-end event on the European Tour. At this point I am back home in Orlando waiting to do a scan on my ribs and get the necessary rest. I am still hoping for a quick recovery and have not ruled out playing in Dubai next week at this point. My comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal. The plan as of now will be to participate in the DP World Championship if my body is back to 100%. H

A post shared by Henrik Stenson (@henrikstenson) on

And it would appear he genuinely meant those comments, at least enough to get on a camel.

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Spieth, McIlroy to support Major Champions Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:25 pm

Nick Faldo announced Tuesday the creation of the Major Champions Invitational.

The event, scheduled for March 12-14, is an extension of the Faldo Series and will feature both male and female junior players at Bella Collina in Montverde, Fla.

Jordan Spieth, Rory Mcllroy, Annika Sorenstam, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Jerry Pate and John Daly have already committed to supporting the event, which is aimed at mentoring and inspiring the next generation of players.  

“I’m incredibly excited about hosting the Major Champions Invitational, and about the players who have committed to support the event,” Faldo said. “This event will allow major champions to give something back to the game that has given them so much, and hopefully, in time, it will become one of the most elite junior golf events in the world.”

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Rosaforte: Woods plays with Obama, gets rave reviews

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:15 pm

Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte reports on Tiger Woods’ recent round at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., alongside President Barack Obama.

Check out the video, as Rosaforte says Woods received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon.