McIlroy shares top spot at European Masters

By Associated PressSeptember 5, 2008, 4:00 pm
Omega European Masters 2007 LogoCRANS-SUR-SIERRE, Switzerland ' Rory McIlroy shot an even-par 71 Friday for a share of the lead with defending champion Brett Rumford after the second round of the European Masters, where American teen Tadd Fujikawa missed the cut.
 
Fujikawa had a poor start for the second straight day with bogeys at his first three holes en route to a 72 and a 3-over 145 total, three strokes above the cut.
 
Small mistakes cost me the cut. You cant do that on any tour, the 17-year-old Fujikawa said. I had a lot of chances but I couldnt make anything.
 
Fujikawa has struggled since turning pro last summer. He made history as a 16-year-old at the Sony Open in January 2007, when he became the youngest player in 50 years to make the cut on the PGA Tour.
 
Meanwhile, Fujikawas father was charged with trafficking methamphetamine and awaits trial next month in Hawaii. Derrick Fujikawa was named in an indictment returned July 31 by a Honolulu grand jury, according to a document released Thursday by the city prosecutors office. It said he distributed one-eighth of an ounce or more of meth Sept. 24 and Oct. 4. If convicted, he could face up to 40 years in prison.
 
McIlroy, a 19-year-old Northern Irishman, could not reproduce his opening 63, and Rumford caught him with a second straight 67 to finish the day at 8-under 134.
 
They were a stroke ahead of Juan Abbate (67), Jean-Francois Lucquin (67), and Alejandro Canizares (68). Peter Lawrie (69) was two strokes behind along with Fredrik Andersson Hed (67) and Simon Dyson (67).
 
Miguel Angel Jimenez (69), the only member of Europes Ryder Cup team in the field, was a further stroke behind, level with eight others.
 
The sun returned to Crans-sur-Sierre on Friday after Thursdays intermittent rain.
 
It was more like Wednesdays pro-am, Rumford said.
 
Even so, there was still a stiff wind and some tough pin positions.
 
Some of the pins were extremely tricky and it was difficult to get to them, McIlroy said. On those holes you just had to take your par and go to the next. It really tests your patience.
 
My iron play was not quite as good yesterday, but I holed a lot of good par putts to keep myself going, McIlroy added.
 
One of them was at the 236-yard, par-3 16th, where he made a 12-footer to save par. He sank a 15-footer at the next and a 10-footer at the last after getting a free drop when his second shot ended up against the base of the grandstand.
 
Rumford played steady golf on a course he described as being unlike anywhere else.
 
This is a very unique place and golf course, he said.
 
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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.