Maritz Mordt share first-round lead at Joburg Open

By Associated PressJanuary 13, 2011, 8:48 pm

2009 European TourJOHANNESBURG – South African duo Martin Maritz and Tyrone Mordt fired bogey-free 9-under rounds of 62 to share the first-round lead at the Joburg Open on Thursday.

Both players had nine birdies to top the leaderboard by one shot at the $1.7 million event, the last – and richest – of the four tournaments in South Africa to open the European Tour’s 2011 Race to Dubai.

Another South African, Branden Grace, was one shot back after six birdies and an eagle for his 63. Thomas Aiken and Frenchman Alexandre Kaleka were tied for fourth on 7 under.

Maritz’s faultless performance on the longer, tougher East Course at Royal Johannesburg was the round of the day.

The 33-year-old Maritz, who gave up full-time tour golf three years ago to become a club pro in the United States, picked up shots at his first two holes and then had four consecutive birdies from No. 13 to top the leaderboard alongside Mordt – who opened on the shorter West Course.

Players alternate courses over the first two days at the Joburg Open, which was co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour, with the final two rounds played on the championship East Course. Both courses are par-71s.

Maritz hit his approach to three feet for a tap-in birdie on the 1st, and then put his tee shot within five inches, nearly a hole in one, on the short par-3 2nd. He ended with a birdie four on 18.

“I’m ecstatic, it’s a magical round for me, I’m over the moon,” the 6-foot-5 Maritz said. “I took a little break over the last three years. It was a great experience but I just missed the game and thought I had to give it one more shot.

“Hopefully this is the start of good things to come.”

Mordt also had birdies on his opening two holes, and then four more from Nos. 12-15 to join Maritz’s late charge after Grace held the clubhouse lead for much of the day.

Also starting on the West Course, which was more than 300 yards shorter than the East, Grace did not drop a shot and capped his round with a 15-foot putt for eagle three on the par-5 9th. He did miss a two-footer for birdie on 17, however, that would have given him a share of the early lead.

“It was just one of those things,” Grace said. “I didn’t really hit any bad shots today. I kept it in play from the tees and I kept hitting the greens which gave me the chances out there. I managed to roll a couple in so it was a good start.”

Aiken threatened to set the pace on the East Course as he raced to 8 under before a par-bogey finish dropped him to a share of fourth with Kaleka.

Dutchman Floris de Vries, Welshman Stuart Manley, and English pair Jamie Elson and Robert Dinwiddie are part of an eight-way tie for sixth on 6-under 65.

Defending champion Charl Schwartzel of South Africa – the highest ranked player in the field at 32nd – began with a 3-under 68 on the East Course.

Only five of the leading 26 scores on Thursday were on the testing 7,590-yard East Course.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.