Langer leads Regions Tradition by 4; Daly 5 back

By Associated PressMay 21, 2016, 11:35 pm

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Bernhard Langer avoided the troubles of several other Regions Tradition contenders on a day when swirling wind became a factor.

The result was a four-shot lead. A stroke behind leader Kenny Perry entering play Saturday, Langer shot a 3-under 69 to move to 12-under 204 in the first PGA Tour Champions major of the year - while Perry and others stumbled at Greystone.

''It was a tough day,'' Langer said. ''It was windy, it was swirly, never consistent. The wind, it was all over the place. Played pretty solid, drove the ball fantastic today, really drove it phenomenally, long and straight. Just a couple of short putts that hurt.''

The 58-year-old Langer, the Chubb Classic winner in February for his 26th victory on the 50-and-over tour, did miss a 4-foot birdie putt on the final hole.

Perry held the lead after each of the first two rounds but had a double bogey on the opening hole on his way to a 74. He and Scott McCarron, who shot a 72, were tied for second place going into the final round.

John Daly was among five players at 7 under after a 69. Playing in his second PGA Tour Champions event, the two-time major winner had a double bogey, two bogeys, an eagle and five birdies.

Daly eagled the par-15 13 and was 4-under over the final six holes. He's had a double or triple bogey in all three rounds but also has a pair of eagles.

He finished strong again with a birdie on 18 for the second straight day.

''It's been get it going, then lose it, get it going and then lose it,'' Daly said. ''Just hanging in there. But the last four holes so far have been really good to me in this tournament. Finishing strong. It's that third hole or somewhere in the middle, I just seem to keep goofing up.''

Langer got his first of four birdies on the second hole, where he's 3 under for the tournament. His only misstep was a bogey on No. 5, a par 5.

McCarron, meanwhile, struggled on the greens after a second-round 66. He said he missed three five-footers and several from 10 feet.

''I wasted a lot of shots out there,'' he said. ''A little disappointing. The greens were a little tougher today, I don't know if they're a little grainier or what from the rains that we had (Friday), but I didn't make anything.''

Also at 7 under with Daly were Colin Montgomerie (70), Mark Calcavecchia (71) and Gary Hallberg (68), who doesn't have a full exemption and is playing only his fourth 50-and-over event of the year.

Hallberg is trying to avoid thoughts of what winning a major would mean to his career.

''Your mind starts going there and you have to stop it in its tracks and think of something else, and that's the challenge,'' he said.

Billy Andrade opened the day tied with Langer but wound up six strokes back with a 75.

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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

Getty Images

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.


CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


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."

Getty Images

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.