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Fowler among leaders at weather-affected Mayakoba

By Associated PressNovember 11, 2017, 11:41 pm

PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico - Rickie Fowler woke up at 5 a.m. Saturday and played three holes in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba. It was enough to get him a three-way share of the 36-hole lead going into a marathon finish in Mexico.

Fowler and Patrick Rodgers had to wait out a five-hour rain delay just to resume their second round Saturday. Fowler saved par from a bunker on the 18th hole for a 4-under 67. Rodgers finally make his first bogey of the tournament on his 17th hole had to settle for a 65.

They shared the lead at 10-under 132 along with Patton Kizzire, who hasn't hit a shot since his 70 on Friday.

The last three groups didn't have enough light at El Camaleon Golf Club to even start the third round, leaving them a 36-hole finish on Sunday. But that's only if the weather at this rain-plagued event allows. More thunderstorms, with heavy downpours, were in the forecast for the next two days.

''We deal with weather every once in a while on the PGA Tour, around the world, really,'' said Fowler, at No. 10 the highest-ranked player at Mayakoba. ''You kind of just learn to play when you get to play, relax when you get to relax. Rest when you can, tee it up when you can.''

Fowler had three tough finishing holes Saturday morning, and they were even more challenging after another storm moved through. There was mud on the golf balls, and it didn't help when Fowler twice wound up in bunkers. Both shots came out a little hot, but we managed to escape with pars.

Rodgers finally dropped a shot when he missed the green on the par-3 eighth and failed to get up-and-down. But he saved par from right of the ninth green to at least keep in a share of the lead going into the final day. With the forecast, there was no guarantee of getting in 72 holes.


OHL Classic at Mayakoba: Articles, photos and videos


Players will be allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls through the green for Sunday.

John Oda, playing the PGA Tour for the first time as a pro, shot a 65 and was one shot behind along with 31-year-old rookie Brandon Harkins and Brian Gay, neither of whom hit a shot Saturday because they were already done with their second rounds.

Charles Howell III already was 4 under through six holes of the third round when darkness halted play. Howell was at 8-under par.

Seventy-nine players made the cut at 1-under 141, but there will not be a 54-hole cut because the groups will stay the same over the final two rounds. Patrick Reed bogeyed three of his last four holes to miss the cut by one.

Fowler hasn't played since Oct. 1 at the Presidents Cup except for a few casual rounds. He is playing at Mayakoba for the first time under the tour's ''strength of field'' policy that requires players to go to a tournament they haven't been to in the last four years.

So far, he has no regrets, and not much rust.

''I'm very happy, coming from basically five weeks of very little golf played,'' Fowler said. ''There were only two rounds last week when I was playing at home that were consecutive. All the other ones were spread out. It was never far off, so I was looking forward to getting down here. Hard not to enjoy yourself when you're at a place like this where you can go hang at the beach and really throw your feet up and relax.''

Rodgers is trying not to press.

He won the Jack Nicklaus Award as the nation's top college golfer when he was at Stanford, and it has been frustrating to see friends from his high school class of 2011 already have PGA Tour titles - in the case of Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, plenty of them.

Rodgers and Thomas once were roommates in south Florida when they turned pro.

''To be honest, at times it's been really hard because I feel like I have the game that everyone else has and I feel like I work as hard as everyone else does, but everyone has a different process and I have to be patient with that,'' Rodgers said. ''But I've always felt that I have the game to win a lot out here and I'm looking forward to a good chance this weekend.''

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Kelly leads Monty, Couples, Langer in Hawaii

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.


CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


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.