Goydos shares Dick's lead; Daly three back

By Associated PressJuly 9, 2016, 8:03 pm

ENDICOTT, N.Y. – John Riegger wasn't sure he'd be able to play the second round of the Dick's Sporting Goods Open because of a lingering case of shingles. The pain subsided long enough for him to show his first round wasn't a fluke.

Riegger followed his opening 66 with a 5-under 67 Saturday and is tied with Paul Goydos (66) for the lead at 11-under 133.

''It's kind of gone away, but the pain is still there and it's just an after-effect of the attacks of the nerves,'' Riegger said after his second straight bogey-free round. ''I think it's just the fact that I've gotten used to it and dealing with it a little bit better. I know that nothing's going to happen to me.''

First-round leader Scott Dunlap (70) was third at 10 under. Wes Short Jr. and Monday qualifier Neal Lancaster also shot 66 and shared fourth, another shot back at En-Joie Golf Club.

John Daly and Stephen Ames shot 68 and were tied for sixth at 8 under with Bart Bryant (70), who is trying to become the first repeat winner of this Champions Tour event since its inception in 2007.

Riegger thrived on the four par-5s on the narrow, tree-lined course. On Saturday, he birdied two of the three on the front side and eagled No. 12, the final par 5.



This will be the first time Riegger has had the lead, or a share of it, entering the final round of a Champions Tour event.

''I'm just trying to hope that I wake up tomorrow and I feel all right and I can play,'' he said.

Goydos had four birdies and two bogeys on the front nine. But after another bogey on the back side he finished with a flourish - birdie at the tough par-4 15th hole that's guarded by an imposing water hazard, eagle at the par-4 16th hole, and birdie at No. 17.

''You go from 7 under to 11 under, I'm still stunned a little bit myself,'' said Goydos, who drove the green at 16 to set up the lone eagle at the hole over two rounds. ''If you had strokes gained with lucky bounces, I would be leading that right now by a large margin.''

Daly, who turned 50 in April, is making his seventh Champions Tour start. It's his first appearance at En-Joie since the 1995 B.C. Open on the PGA Tour. He won there in 1992 and the gallery hasn't forgotten.

''It helps, and it always helps when you're playing good, you feed off of it,'' Daly said. ''A lot of times when things aren't going good, the fans kind of pump me up to keep hanging in there.''

Daly had five birdies and a bogey on the front nine and two birdies and two bogeys on the back.

''I just remember that when I did win here, I felt comfortable off the tees, although it's not showing this week,'' he said. ''I feel like I can hit the fairways, but I'm just not executing a lot of them.''

Short started strong, notching four birdies and an eagle over the first 11 holes before a three-putt par at No. 12. The 52-year-old Texan finished with seven straight pars.

''Anytime you can be close going into the last nine holes, that's what you really want - to have a chance to win it,'' he said.

Jeff Maggert won this tournament last year, beating Goydos by two shots. Nobody will have to worry about Maggert this time. The defending champion was at 1 under and out of contention.

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Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

Former Web.com Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Web.com Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Web.com Tour Player of the Year.

McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

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Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

Memo to the golf gods:

If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.


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Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

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McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

"I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

"I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

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What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x