Five Players Tied For the Lead in Scottsdale

By Associated PressFebruary 1, 2008, 5:00 pm
2007 FBR OpenSCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- There's frost on the cactus in north Scottsdale, and it's playing havoc with the FBR Open.
After a frost delay for the third day in a row -- this one lasting 58 minutes -- golfers finally finished the second round on Saturday, with a logjam of five in the lead.
Camilo Villegas, Jonathan Byrd and Kenny Perry completed their rounds to join J.B. Holmes and Doug LaBelle II at 9-under 133 halfway through the tournament, which drew a record crowd of 120,891 on Friday. Holmes and LaBelle made it through the second round Friday before play was suspended by darkness with 45 golfers still on the course.
First round co-leader Charles Warren and Frank Lickliter III finished second-round play Saturday at 8-under 134, one shot back. Nick O'Hern and Pat Perez also were at 8-under after completing their round on Friday.
In all, 24 players were within three shots of the lead. Seven were two back at 135. Phil Mickelson added a birdie to his second round on Saturday and was in a group of eight at 6-under 136.
Villegas briefly went to 10-under on Saturday before a bogey on his next-to-last hole dropped him into a tie for the lead. Byrd completed his round of 7-under 64 with a birdie.
Among those missing the cut was defending champion Aaron Baddeley, who wound up even-par 142 on the par-71, 7,216-yard TPC Scottsdale course. Seventy golfers made the cut of 2-under.
'You'd prefer not teeing off at oh-dot-30 and getting out there when it's just a little colder,' said Ben Crane, among those at 7-under. 'But all in all, it's still golf, and the ball might fly maybe 5 percent shorter, but that's about it. '
Mickelson had five birdies, but three-putted from 7 feet for a double bogey on the par-4, 464-yard ninth. He came back to sink a short birdie putt on the par-5 13th and chip in for birdie on the par-4 14th.
'Getting those last two birdies was nice because of the way I gave it away on 9,' he said before Saturday's play. 'But if I can just get a couple birdies coming in here, I should be in good position for the final two rounds.'
With the temperature 31 degrees at sunrise Friday, a 90-minute frost delay postponed completion of the first round by the 24 golfers still on the course when play was suspended by darkness on Thursday.
That made it impossible for the second round to be completed before dark.
'It was freezing, but we got to miss most of that with the delay,' said Kevin Stadler, who shot a 64 and was in a group at 6-under 136. 'It was cold probably the first hour, hour and a half. Other than that it's been a beautiful afternoon. I mean, it's there for the taking today.'
Holmes won the FBR as a rookie in 2006, just his fourth tournament on the tour. It remains his lone PGA TOUR triumph.
'It happened so quickly, and not saying I did it with ease, but I won by several shots,' he said, 'and I was saying `Well, maybe just keep it going' and I just kind of fell into a little bit of a slump.'
His 6-under 65 marked the seventh time he has shot in the 60s in eight rounds at the FBR.
'You always have more confidence when you get on a course that you really, really like,' Holmes said.
LaBelle is off to a good start to the season, finishing tied for 10th at the Sony Open in Hawaii and tied for 19th at the Buick Invitational. He lives in Scottsdale and had a large group of friends and family members cheering for him when he shot a 7-under 64 on Friday.
'It means a lot to be playing in front of a lot of family and friends,' LaBelle said. 'More importantly, aside from all that, just to play some good golf. That's the best part about it.'
Will MacKenzie had a hole-in-one on the par-3, 195-yard 12th hole Friday but was 5 over through 14 holes.
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    Fleetwood rallies to defend Abu Dhabi title

    By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 pm

    The 2018 European Tour season has begun just as the 2017 one ended: with Tommy Fleetwood's name atop the standings.

    Facing the most difficult conditions of the week, Fleetwood charged down the stretch to shoot a 7-under 65 in the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, good enough for a two-shot win and a successful title defense.

    Abu Dhabi was the start of Fleetwood's resurgence a year ago, the first of two European Tour victories en route to the season-long Race to Dubai title. This time around the Englishman started the final round two shots off the lead but rallied with six birdies over his final nine holes to reclaim the trophy.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Fleetwood was five shots behind countryman Ross Fisher when he made the turn, but he birdied the par-5 10th and then added four birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 12-16. The decisive shot came on the final hole, when his pitch from the left rough nestled within a few feet of the hole for a closing birdie.

    Fleetwood's 22-under total left him two shots ahead of Fisher and four shots clear of Rory McIlroy and Matthew Fitzpatrick. After entering the week ranked No. 18, Fleetwood is expected to move to at least No. 12 in the world when the new rankings are published.

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    Garcia cruises to five-shot win in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:10 pm

    SINGAPORE - Sergio Garcia played 27 holes on the last day without dropping a shot to win the Singapore Open by five strokes Sunday in an ominous display of his newfound self-belief as he prepares to defend his Masters title.

    Still brimming with confidence after claiming his first major title at Augusta National last year, Garcia started his new season with a runaway victory at the Sentosa Golf Club, finishing at 14-under 270.

    Returning to the course just after dawn to complete his third round after play was suspended on Saturday because of lightning strikes, Garcia finished his last nine holes in 4 under for a round of 66 to take a one-shot lead into the final round.

    With organizers desperate to avert the constant threat of more bad weather and finish the tournament on time, Garcia promptly returned to the first tee shortly after and fired a flawless 3-under 68, cruising to victory with 10 straight pars as his rivals floundered in the stifling humidity.

    ''It may have looked easy, but it wasn't easy. You still have to hit a lot of good shots out there,'' Garcia said. ''It's always great to start with a win, to do it here at this golf course against a good field in Asia on conditions that weren't easy. Hopefully I can ride on this momentum.''

    Garcia's closest rivals at the end were Japan's Satoshi Kodaira (71) and South African Shaun Norris (70). Both birdied the last hole to share second spot but neither was ever close enough on the last day to challenge the leader.

    Full-field scores from the Singapore Open

    ''I could not reach Sergio. I was thinking, 12 or 13 under for the win, but he went beyond that,'' Kodaira said.

    Jazz Janewattananond (71) and his fellow Thai Danthai Bonnma (73) finished equal fourth at 8 under, earning themselves a spot in this year's British Open, while American Sean Crocker, who was given an invitation to the event after turning pro late last year, also won a place at Carnoustie by finishing in a tie for sixth.

    Garcia made just three bogeys in 72 holes and his victory provided the 38-year-old with the 33rd title of his professional career and his sixth on the Asian Tour.

    He has also won three titles in the last 12 months, including the Masters, and his game looks to be in better shape now than it was a year ago.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for Augusta National because of the steamy conditions and the testing stop-start nature of the tournament, which is regularly stopped because of inclement weather.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore a year ago, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    "I'm extremely happy with how the week went. It was a tough day and a tough week, with the stopping and going. Fortunately, the weather held on. Still, it was hard to play 27 holes under this heat and I can't wait to get a cold shower,'' Garcia said. ''I came with some good confidence and wishing that I will play well. I hit the ball solid the whole week and didn't miss many shots.''

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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.