Na Joins Kim Atop Leaderboard

By Associated PressMay 25, 2007, 4:00 pm
Crowne Plaza Invitational at ColonialFORT WORTH, Texas -- Kevin Na didn't let a 17 1/2 -hour delay break his momentum.
Na birdied his first full hole when he resumed a rain-delayed first round Friday morning, and went on to finish at 7-under 63 and share the first-round lead with Anthony Kim at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.
When play was suspended Thursday afternoon, Na was on the ninth green at 4-under. He started Friday by making a 3-footer to save par, then hit his approach shot inside 5 feet at the tenth and made birdie.
'I'm very pleased with my round. I got off to a really good start and was able to clean up my par at nine,' Na said during a 30-minute break before starting his second round. 'I birdied 10 and it kind of snowballed from there.'
Ted Purdy, Jeff Maggert, Ben Curtis and Arron Oberholser were a stroke back at 6-under.
Frank Lickliter, who played in the same group as Na, joined Jim Furyk in a group of six players at 5-under. The others were Nathan Green, Jeff Quinney, Peter Lonard and Tim Clark.
Lickliter, who had six birdies and a bogey in eight completed holes Thursday, made a 13-foot birdie putt to begin Friday and get to 6-under. He had the lead alone at 8-under before a double bogey at the par-4 15th, where he went into the trees and didn't get on the green until his fourth shot.
'I hit the wrong spot,' Lickliter said.
Na and Lickliter were among 57 players -- half of the 114-player field -- who had to finish their first rounds Friday morning. With light rain falling, the second round began before everybody had completed their first round.
With more rain in the forecast Friday afternoon and the last group not scheduled to tee off until 4:59 p.m. local time, the second round won't be completed before nightfall.
Kim finished his round Thursday with birdies on the last six holes -- the longest birdie streak on Tour this season -- for his best-scoring round since turning pro late last year.
The flurry of birdies came after a bogey at the 417-yard 12th, when he missed the fairway, came up short of the green on his approach and pushed his par save past the hole. That led to a self-scolding session walking to the 13th tee.
'I gave myself quite a talking to, probably stuff I shouldn't be saying,' Kim said.
Kim hit his tee shot at the 171-yard 13th inside 4 feet and his birdie putt at the next was even shorter before weather suspended play. After a delay of 1 hour, 22 minutes, Kim finished his round with four more birdies -- all ranging from 9 to 17 feet.
'There really wasn't one thing. Usually when something turns around during a round you can tell. I don't know what it was,' he said. 'Maybe it was taking the head cover off finally and putting it, or opening my eyes. Something changed, and I don't really know what it was.'
While the PGA Tour rookie looked within, Purdy was inspired by an 'American Idol.'
Two days after casting at least 100 votes for Jordin Sparks, the teenage daughter of one of his golfing buddies, Purdy overcome an opening three-putt bogey in a round of 64 before play was suspended for good Thursday.
'Her family is just a real positive family. I'm trying to bring that to my golf game,' Purdy said. 'She inspired me (Thursday). ... I know her dad real well.'
Sparks' father is retired NFL player Phillippi Sparks, a board member with Purdy at the same Phoenix country club.
After bogeying the 407-yard 10th, Purdy recovered with five birdies in a seven-hole stretch. He got to 7-under before a bogey on his 16th hole, the 432-yard seventh.
Brian Gay made a hole-in-one Friday at the 194-yard eighth hole with a 7-iron. ... There have been 13 players this season with five straight birdies. ... Patrick Sheehan's 62 in 2005 is the best opening round at Colonial.
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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 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.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    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.


    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.