A. Jutanugarn leads by 1 in search of 2nd straight win

By Associated PressMay 22, 2016, 12:32 am

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - Ariya Jutanugarn moved into position for her second straight LPGA victory Saturday, shooting a bogey-free 6-under 65 to take the third-round lead in the rain-soaked Kingsmill Championship.

The 20-year-old had three birdies in a four-hole stretch on the front nine on the soggy River Course and birdied three of the last six. She's coming off a victory two weeks ago in Alabama that made her the first Thai winner in LPGA history.

''Normally, if I'm tied for the lead or one shot behind, I get a little bit excited,'' Jutanugarn said. ''But today I'm not. I just keep playing my game and have fun and enjoy it with every shot.''

Jutanugarn had a 10-under 203 total.

''I think tomorrow is going to be so much fun because rain, play with the weather, and tough conditions,'' Jutanugarn said. ''Just have fun, enjoy, because I just want to do my best. Like whatever happens, I really want to have fun because right now, everything is good for me."

Second-round leader So Yeon Ryu bogeyed the final hole for a 69 to drop a stroke back along with fellow South Korean player In Gee Chun and Thailand's Pornanong Phatlum.

''I was almost going to play a bogey-free round and I made a bogey at the last hole,'' said Ryu, ranked 11th in the world but sixth in the race for the four spots on South Korea's Olympic team. ''I was pretty disappointed. But yeah, I hit a bad tee shot. The left side is really, really stiff. ... But the rest of the day my playing was pretty great. I'm happy with that.

Chun birdied her final five holes for a 62 to tie the course record set by Jiyai Shin in 2012. The U.S. Women's Open champion is eighth in the world and fourth in the South Korean Olympic race.

''Well, I didn't know I made five straight birdies,'' Chun said. ''I just focused on my shots. I did not feel well this morning. Because the weather and because I have allergies. It's really bad. I did not feel good. And it was a lot of windy today, so I did not play with high expectations.''

Phatlum shot a 65.

''This week I tried to like focus on my swing and concentrate on putting,'' Phatlum said. ''So, make me more confident and don't think about the result, just play my game.''

Defending champion Minjee Lee was 8 under after a 68. The 19-year-old Australian won last year at Kingsmill in a Monday finish and added her second tour title last month in Hawaii.

Laetitia Beck (66) and sixth-ranked Amy Yang (69) also were 8 under. Beck is the first Israeli player to qualify for the LPGA.

Fourth-ranked Stacy Lewis, a stroke behind Ryu after a second-round 66, had a 70 to fall into a tie for eighth at 8 under. Lewis tied for second two weeks ago in Alabama for her 10th runner-up finish in a 49-event drought. The 11-time tour winner has 23 career second-place finishes.

Third-ranked Lexi Thompson had a 67 to move into a tie for 18th at 5 under. She's coming off a victory two weeks ago on the Japan LPGA.

Top-ranked Lydia Ko was tied for 24th at 4 under after a 68. The 19-year-old New Zealander won the Kia Classic and major ANA Inspiration in consecutive weeks in Southern California.

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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.