First Round Washed Out at Castle Pines

By Associated PressAugust 4, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 The INTERNATIONALCASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- As sure as the ball will fly 10 percent farther at altitude, the International will be delayed by rain.
 
For the 20th straight year, weather delayed the PGA Tour's only stop in Colorado. Heavy, persistent rain wiped out play Thursday, meaning the tournament will begin Friday, when the forecast calls for a 30 percent chance of rain.
 
The International
Castle Pines course workers were up to their knees in water Thursday.
Thus the tournament was added to a long list of weather problems on the tour this season. This is the 15th tournament to be disrupted by rain, but the first day to be completely washed out since the BellSouth Classic in April.
 
PGA Tour officials said they would try to get the first round in Friday, then determine the rest of the schedule depending on how things go.
 
The PGA Championship is next week. Most players want to be at that venue to begin practicing Monday, but PGA Tour official Slugger White said the Tour would not make any decisions based on the season's final major.
 
'The International is our main concern and that's what we deal with,' White said. 'If Monday is part of it, then that's where we're going.'
 
As part of it's unique scoring system, the International cuts its field to 36 players for the final round. With the limited field, there's a decent chance of completing the tournament on Sunday even with an entire day lost.
 
But afternoon thunderstorms are the norm in Colorado and there's at least a chance the tournament would finish on a Monday for the first time, which could
force some players to change plans for next week.
 
'My guess would be if a player makes it to the fourth round and it goes to Monday, no one's going to jump ship,' Brad Faxon said. 'That's payday.'
 
When players do tee it up, they'll be on a soggy course, which may ify some of the distance gains they get from playing at 6,300 feet.
 
On Thursday, bunkers filled with water, water pooled on the 18th green and on numerous low spots around the course. Ducks could be seen swimming across a little stream created by the rain on the ninth fairway.
 
Through noon Thursday, Castle Rock had received 2.27 inches over the previous 24 hours.
 
'The guys who hit it high and long will have an advantage, for sure,' David Toms said.
 
The International is the only tournament on tour that uses the modified Stableford scoring system, one that awards five points for eagles, two for birdies, nothing for pars and deducts a point for bogeys. It's a system that rewards aggressiveness, especially on holes like the 498-yard, par-5 17th, where last year's champion, Rod Pampling, made eagle en route to his first PGA Tour win.
 
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    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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    Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

    What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

    Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    “I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

    McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

    He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

    Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

    “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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    Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

    Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

    Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

    Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

    Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

    Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.