Kim attacks Augusta National with perspective

By Associated PressApril 10, 2009, 4:00 pm
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AUGUSTA, Ga. ' After his first Masters round, Anthony Kim wondered if hed even be around for the weekend.
Not to worry.
If Kim keeps playing the way he did Friday, he might have to clear a spot in his closet for a green jacket.
Attacking the course with reckless abandon ' and the proper perspective ' Kim blistered Augusta National for a record 11 birdies in the second round, proving again why hes considered the best of this latest generation of Tiger Woods wannabes.
With a 7-under-par 65, Kim surged into contention for his first major title heading into the weekend, five strokes behind co-leaders and Ryder Cup teammates Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell.
The brash, 23-year-old Californian posted 10 strokes better than an abysmal 75 on Thursday, when the conditions were perfect for scoring but Kim looked overwhelmed in his first Masters appearance.
Even though the wind picked up and the greens firmed up, Kim managed to break a more than two-decades-old record for most birdies in a round. Nick Price had 10 of them on his way to a record-setting 63 at the 1986 Masters.
I havent been making 11 birdies in two days, Kim said, breaking into a big smile. So to make 11 in one day is pretty special. And, obviously, to do it at Augusta is amazing. Hopefully, I can build off that. If I can keep the putter hot, I like my chances here.
Kim rolled in five putts of at least 15 feet, looking like a veteran on Augustas slick, baffling greens.
I just said, Stay steady, he recalled. The first goal is to make the cut, and then make a run on Saturday and Sunday. The putts kept falling, so I just kept walking them in and going to the next hole.
Reading about the death of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart helped Kim shake off his poor round Thursday, and allowed him to cope with the frustration of making a bogey at No. 9, then double-bogey on the next hole.
Instead of feeling sorry for himself, Kim said he thought about Adenhart, 22, who died early Thursday shortly after pitching six scoreless innings when the car carrying him and three friends was broadsided, allegedly by a drunken driver.
I got refocused on the 11th tee and said, Lets make some good swings. No matter what I shoot, I want to put this tournament round in perspective, Kim recalled. Look, its been a dream of mine to be at the Masters my whole life, and theres no reason to pout about a bogey or a three-putt, but enjoy being out here and enjoy all of the hard work that was put in by myself and my parents. Go out there and have some fun.
I think thats what made the 11 birdies a lot easier.
While no one expects to make that many birdies, Kims rise up the leaderboard was hardly unexpected. Hes been touted as a potential rival to Woods ever since he stepped on the PGA Tour, and two wins last year seemed to justify the hype. When he helped lead the Americans to a Ryder Cup victory at Valhalla, firing up the team with his emotional play, it seemed nothing could halt his march to stardom.
Kim tied for second in his first event of 2009, but nagging injuries marred his performance in the weeks leading up to Augusta. He proclaimed himself fully recovered, which made his ragged showing in the first round even harder to understand.
There was a sense of urgency (Thursday) night when I was leaving the golf course, Kim said. I knew I had to get off to a good start, and the wind was picking up. I didnt know what the score would be.
At one point, Kim looked up to see Campbell at 11 under and all hope fading away.
I knew I needed to get to even par, or maybe 1 under, to make the cut, Kim said. Once I got there, I started moving along.
Kim ripped off four straight birdies on the front side. A 20-footer at No. 5 dropped in. So did a 15-footer at No. 6. He stuck a 9-iron to 3 feet at No. 7. Finally, he rolled in a 10-footer at the par-5 eighth.
After shaking off those two poor holes on each side of the turn, Kim started another run of four straight birdies. He knocked at 8-iron to 15 feet at the picturesque 12th hole in Amen Corner. He chipped to 15 feet at 13 and made that putt, too. A pitching wedge stopped just 8 inches from the hole at 14. Capping it off, a two-putt birdie at the par-5 15th.
Prices record fell at the final hole, where a monstrous drive left Kim with only an 8-iron to the flag. He knocked it to about 12 feet and, of course, made the putt.

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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

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    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

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    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.

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    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

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    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.