Monty leads U.S. Sr. Open by 1; Langer 2 off pace

By Associated PressJuly 12, 2014, 1:20 am

EDMOND, Okla. - Colin Montgomerie thought it would be tough to keep his advantage from the first round at the U.S. Senior Open, and it was.

The Scotsman shot an even-par 71 on Friday and leads Scott Dunlap by one stroke after the second day of the tournament.

Montgomerie opened with a 65 on Thursday, and then held off the field in mid-90s heat and high humidity. He is at 6 under after two rounds.

''It's not easy to repeat a good round as yesterday's was, but this was as good, to be honest,'' he said. ''Seventy-one out there was a good effort. Breezy conditions, windier than it was yesterday, warmer and with the pack coming at you - it's never easy.''

Dunlap had a 69 in the first round and a 68 in the second to get to 5 under. He was at 2 under after starting on the back nine, and then went back to the front nine and birdied Nos. 2, 5 and 7 on his way to a 32.

''I have been particularly good with the putter this week,'' Dunlap said. ''Been tidy. I have made a couple, made all my short ones. You know, those will be big in any tournament, for sure, but especially a major.''

Dunlap has one bogey in 36 holes on a course regarded as one of the most difficult in the United States.

''Take my hat off to that,'' said Bernhard Langer, who is tied for third. ''That's good playing. It's all I can say. It's very difficult not to make bogeys here. You can bogey every single hole. There's no easy hole out here, and that's very good ball striking or incredible scrambling, whatever he does.''

Langer, who leads the Champions Tour with three wins this season, moved into a tie for the lead with a 3-under 32 on the front nine, and then grabbed the advantage with a birdie on 14. He had bogeys on 15 and 16, both on close misses, and then bogeyed 18 to finish at 4 under, tied with Gene Sauers.

''The score was pretty decent, but the round was very up and down,'' Langer said. ''Short game was good, really good. Made some good putts and good saves. Long game wasn't quite up to par. Missed a lot of fairways today, and then you're behind the 8-ball and trying to struggle and scramble.''

Sauers shot 69 each of the first two days, but he was much happier with his Friday score given the heat, wind and firmer fairways. He scored an eagle on No. 7.

''I was pretty bad yesterday,'' he said. ''I got a lot of sleep. Went to Chick-Fil-A and went right to bed. Feel better today. Today went well.''

Marco Dawson shot a 66 on the opening day, good for second place, but had a 76 on Friday and fell to even.

''It was just awful,'' he said. ''You land the ball in the fairway, goes in the rough. Yesterday I hit balls that landed in the rough that ended up in the fairway. So today I was hitting it more where I was looking, but they didn't end up in the right spot. I'm not sure exactly how to play now.''

Lance Ten Broeck took advantage of an early tee time and fired a 69 to go to 3 under. Jeff Sluman also had a 69, including an eagle on the par-5 seventh hole, and is at 2 under. Vijay Singh was at 5 under before shooting a 39 on the back nine to fall to 2 under.

Scott Verplank struggled on his home course and shot a 75 for the second straight day to miss the cut. He said he hasn't played this course so poorly in 25 years.

''My golf game is not very good, and I'm going to have to figure out a way to play if I want to keep playing, because whatever I'm doing isn't working,'' he said.

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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.

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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

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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.


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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."

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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.