Ha Na Jang leads Marathon; Ko, Park two back

By Associated PressJuly 19, 2015, 12:42 am

SYLVANIA, Ohio - Ha Na Jang parred the last five holes Saturday for a 2-under 69, leaving her a stroke ahead with one round left in the LPGA's rain-plagued Marathon Classic.

The South Korean player had an 11-under 202 total at Highland Meadows. Fighting back pain, she opened with rounds of 66 and 67 and has only two bogeys over the first 54 holes.

Play was delayed for 1 hour, 59 minutes in the afternoon. Delays Friday forced 54 players to complete the second round Saturday morning.

Seeking her first LPGA victory, Jang said her target is to finish at 15 under.

"I don't want to think about any players. Just myself, confidence, concentration and play," Jang said.

South Korea's Q Baek was second. She birdied the final hole for a 68.

"Overall I missed a lot of putts today," Baek said. "But I was just happy with the way I played."

Jang and Baek have played against each other numerous times over 10 years on the Korean tour.

"We have played a lot of events against each other," Baek said through a translator, adding that she and Jang played together on the South Korean national team. "We have a pretty good friendship. I am just one shot behind Ha Na. The main focus is to keep my temper down, and try to stay calm and play as best golf as I can and stay positive."



Defending champion Lydia Ko, ranked No. 2 in the world, was 9 under after a 67 in a group that included top-ranked Inbee Park. Ko also was second, two shots off the lead last year.

"It's great to be back," Ko said. "I don't mind the position I'm in right now. It's great to return to a course where you've played well. There is a little bit of expectation and a lot more people recognize you and you kind of get that support. So there are pluses and minuses."

Ko said the putts started dropping for her in the second and third rounds.

"I've been hitting it pretty solid so I've been trying to give myself plenty of opportunities," Ko said.

Park also had a 67.

"It was a long day," Park said. "But no bogeys today, which is really good. I feel like I have played pretty solid the last couple of days. I still feel I left a few out there. I am satisfied where I am."

Chella Choi, Austin Ernst and Shanshan Feng were tied with Ko and Park.

Choi had a 65, the best round of the day. She started her round with a bogey, but then made seven birdies, including three of the last four holes.

"Actually, my shot is good, but I don't make that [many putts]," Choi said. "So just one birdie Thursday. But yesterday and today my shots really good and made more putts."

Ernst, who had five birdies, finished her second round with a double bogey for a 66, but was able to wipe out that memory and play a solid third round.

"I just said it was one bad swing and then - you know, just made a bad swing and a bad putt," Ernst said about her double bogey. "So really over the last two days that's the only blemish on the card.

"I am hitting it well. I just need to make a few putts."

Feng shot a 68.

Third-ranked Stacy Lewis was tied for 23rd at 5 under after a 69.

Alena Sharp, Jenny Suh and Jaye Marie Green earned spots in the Women's British Open. Sarah Kemp and Dewi Claire Schreefel locked up spots Friday.

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Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

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.


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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.