Goggin leads as organizers want Daly back

By Associated PressDecember 6, 2008, 5:00 pm
COOLUM, Australia ' Australias Mathew Goggin birdied the final hole for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead Saturday after the third round of the Australian PGA.
Goggin had a 12-under 204 total. Australians Geoff Ogilvy (67) and Rod Pampling (68) were tied for second. Pampling won the Australian Masters last week.
Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open champion, holed a 50-foot birdie on the 18th hole, his third birdie in his last six holes.
Jarrod Lyle, the Australian who equaled the course record with a 63 on Friday and led for much of Saturday, went the other way. Lyle bogeyed three of his final six for a 71 to drop into a tie with countryman Peter OMalley (67) at 10 under.
Australias Chris Gaunt (68) and New Zealand left-hander Tim Wilkinson (69), the first-round leader, were tied for sixth, three shots back.
Tim Clark of South Africa (69) was nine back at 3 under.
Goggin, the second round co-leader with Lyle, said he had an inconsistent day on the greens.
It was nice to finish the way that I did after a couple of three-putts earlier in the round, Goggin said. I gave some shots away early, so to finish with three birdies on my last four holes was great.
Goggin hit a 6-iron to 2 feet on the 18th, setting up a near tap-in birdie. But hes not getting too excited about a one-shot lead.
It is kind of irrelevant, he said. You are playing with good players, so you just have to go out and shoot the best score of the day. You cant leave anything on the ground.
Ogilvy also had a difficult day with the putter, making the chip on 18 all the more special.
It was a relatively simple chip-and-run that I was trying to get close, Ogilvy said. It was a big bonus to go in. Maybe it was good karma for all the putts I missed today.
Lyle moved two strokes ahead of the field with an 8-foot birdie putt on the par-3 11th, but an errant tee shot on 13 cost him his first bogey of the day, reducing the lead to one.
The 27-year-old Lyle, who survived leukemia as a teenager, birdied the par-5 15th just as Ogilvy birdied 18. But Lyles bogey on 16 when his approach flew past the pin and off the green created a brief four-way tie before Goggins late birdie.
With thunderstorms forecast for later in the day, organizers put the third-round groups off both tees and with earlier start times.
Due to a backlog from a thunderstorm suspension Thursday, six groups had to finish their second rounds Saturday morning, when the cut was made at even-par 144. That meant defending champion Peter Lonard, at 1 over after a 75 Friday, did not qualify for the weekend.
John Daly wasnt around either, having missed the cut by four shots following a second-round 77 and after being plagued by putting problems. But tournament organizers said they would be happy to have him back.
Daly was making his first appearance here since throwing his ball and putter into a pond off the 18th green in 2002. He was also disqualified then for failing to sign for a 78 on his scorecard, but would have missed the cut anyway.
Were disappointed to lose him but I am extremely disappointed more for John because I think tee to green, hes played particularly well on a course that doesnt really suit him, PGA of Australia chief executive Max Garske said. Unfortunately for him the short stick hasnt worked.
Garske said he wouldnt rule out attempting to lure Daly back next year.
If he is prepared to come back we will always have him, Garske said.
Daly only decided a few weeks ago to play here, but the move by organizers to secure him paid dividends ' attendance for the first two days was up nearly 5,000 from last year.
He also missed the cut last week at the Australian Masters at Melbourne. Daly will play next week in the Australian Open at Royal Sydney.
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    Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

    New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

    The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

    "Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

    It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

    Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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    Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

    SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

    Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

    Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.

    The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

    ''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

    Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

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

    Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

    ''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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    13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

    Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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    McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

    It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

    Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

    Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    “I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

    Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

    “Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

    This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.