Masson two clear of Tseng heading into final round of Women's British

By Associated PressJuly 30, 2011, 7:35 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Caroline Masson of Germany shot a 4-under 68 to double her lead to two strokes after the third round at the Women’s British Open on Saturday. 

The 22-year-old Masson made three birdies on the front nine and three on the back to hold off a late charge from Yani Tseng. The top-ranked Taiwenese player closed within a shot at one stage after picking up five strokes in as many holes, including an eagle.

“I was quite nervous at the start,” said Masson, who stands at 15-under 201. “I hit a poor tee shot at the first and then three-putted from 40 feet, but I settled down with a birdie at the next when I hit my 5-iron to 7 feet and holed it.

“I hit some really good shot out there today and really enjoyed it. The wind was a bit stronger and there were some tough pin positions.”

Masson birdied No. 5 with a lay-up to 10 feet and the long No. 6 with an approach to 30 feet and two putts. At No. 11, she holed a putt from 7 feet, then got up and down from a greenside bunker at the long 14th for another birdie.

Her last was at No. 17, but she dropped a shot at the next after hitting into another greenside bunker.

Masson will play the final round Sunday with Tseng, the 22-year-old prodigy who already has won four majors.

“It should be really enjoyable. Yani seems very nice and I’m sure I’ll learn a lot playing alongside her,” Masson said.

For Tseng it also will be a new experience.

“I have never seen her play,” she said.

Catriona Matthew of Scotland leads the home challenge, but she is six shots off the pace after shooting 68. Inbee Park of South Korea is also at 207 for a share of third place.

Another Korean, Na Yeon Choi, is alone in fifth with a 208 total after a 72. Brittany Lang, Sophie Gustafson and Se Re Pak share sixth place a shot further back.

The American challenge never materialized. Lang (69) rose from a share of 18th place but is one stroke worse off than at the start of the day. Paula Creamer (71) is at 6 under, and Brittany Lincicome (76) is 13 back after only being five behind overnight.

First-round leader Meena Lee, tied for second overnight, fell out of contention with an 80 to sit at 2 under.

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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.