Langers collapse gives Morgan Jenkins lead

By Associated PressFebruary 14, 2009, 5:00 pm
Champions TourBOCA RATON, Fla. ' Maybe its fitting that in a city filled with retirees, a pair of 60somethings are in the lead entering the final round of the Allianz Championship.
 
Gil Morgan, 62, shot a flawless 7-under 65 on Saturday and is tied with 61-year-old Tom Jenkins after two rounds. Both got to the top of the leaderboard at 10 under after Bernhard Langer ' a mere youngster at 51 ' simply collapsed over the final four holes.
 
Fourteen different Champions Tour players have won after turning 60, with Morgan the last in September 2007. He would become the third to do it multiple times, joining Hale Irwin (three) and Jimmy Powell (two).
 
And Morgan knows, with a new influx of talent joining the 50-and-over series every year, chances like these wont come with regularity.
 
At some point in time, were going to be too old to play. Our games arent going to be good enough to play, Morgan said.
 
Clearly, that time hasnt come yet.
 
Morgan ' once a dominant player on the Champions Tour ' started off with two birdies and kept rolling from there. His only mistake so far on The Old Course at Broken Sound was a double-bogey on the par-4 7th hole Friday. Other than that, 12 birdies, 23 pars.
 
You know youre probably not going to be there as much as you were in the past, Morgan said. So if theres an opportunity, you want to try to take advantage of it if you can.
 
Even as he said that, Langer was leading at 11 under, and Morgan surmised that he would have to do some Langer-chasing on Sunday.
 
He was wrong.
 
In a stupefying three-hole stretch, Langer gave back four shots, two bogeys and a double knocking him from the lead and souring his mood.
 
I should be three ahead, said Langer, who shot 73, nine strokes off his sizzling opening round, and was in a tie for ninth in his adopted hometown ' where about one in every four residents is 65 or older. And Im three behind.
 
All told, 13 players will start Sunday within four shots of the lead.
 
Jenkins shot 67 for the second straight day. If that wasnt newsy enough, he added to the Tiger Woods rumor mill following the round, saying Mark OMeara told him the worlds No. 1 player plans to return at the Accenture Match Play Championship. If Woods doesnt begin his comeback from knee surgery there, Jenkins said, hell be playing the CA Championship at Doral and then Bay Hill.
 
Woods has until Friday to decide whether to enter Match Play.
 
I understand his leg is great and hes stronger than ever, said Jenkins, who, like Woods, recently underwent knee surgery. Im looking forward to seeing it.
 
Jenkins is a seven-time winner on the Champions Tour, the last victory coming in 2006.
 
I feel stronger now than I did at 50, and Im 61, Jenkins said. Im determined to keep going. As long as I can keep touching the ground with my palm, Im going to keep playing.
 
Mike Goodes (68) and Jerry Pate (71) were one shot off the lead, while Dan Forsman (65), Mark James (69), Larry Mize (69) and Fulton Allem (70) all were at 8 under.
 
Morgans was the round of the day, matched by Forsman and Jay Haas, who was runner-up at the Allianz two years ago.
 
Haas figured his even-par 72 on Friday pretty much knocked him out of contention for the win, but will start Sunday alongside Langer, three shots back of the leaders.
 
You cant give Bernhard two a side for two straight days. It just doesnt work, Haas said. Out here, very rarely do you see a guy shoot an even-par round and still have a chance to win.
 
Notes: Morgan would be the third-oldest (62 years, 4 months, 22 days) winner in Champions Tour history. Mike Fetchick (on his 63rd birthday) won the 1985 Hilton Head Seniors Invitational, and Gary Player (62 years, 9 months, 22 days) won the 1998 Northville Long Island Classic. If Jenkins were to win, hed be the eighth-oldest on the 50-and-over tour to do so. Craig Stadler withdrew with back spasms. Loren Roberts started Saturday with four straight birdies, then gave it all back with a quadruple-bogey on the par-5 first, his 10th hole of the day. Andy Bean (69) has nine straight rounds in the 60s, dating to last season. Jeff Sluman (71) shot his 30th straight round of par or better, coming within seven of Roberts Champions Tour record.
 
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    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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    Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

    What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

    Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    “I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

    McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

    He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

    Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

    “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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    Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

    Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

    Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

    Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

    Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

    Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.