Na leads Colonial by 2; triple derails Spieth

By Associated PressMay 23, 2015, 12:23 am

FORT WORTH, Texas - Kevin Na had gone 26 holes without a bogey at Colonial before his last tee shot Friday was swept away by flowing water after going into a rain-swollen drainage culvert.

Not even that could dampen Na's second round that gave him the lead halfway through the soggy tournament.

Na took the penalty drop near the 17th fairway, and hit a blind approach shot over bleachers to the back side of the 18th green. His two-putt from 20 feet wrapped up a 4-under 66.

"A good bogey," Na said.

At 10-under 130, Na was two strokes ahead of Ian Poulter (67) and three up on 2013 Colonial winner Boo Weekley (69).

Na also made some long birdie putts. His 30-footer off the fringe at No. 14 came right after rolling in a 22-footer at the 13th, where he broke into a dance for the rowdy fans surrounding the par 3 situated on the edge of Hogan's Alley.

"I want to call it the Big Bird dance. ... It just came out. I wasn't really thinking about it," the 31-year-old Na said. "You know, the crowd has been very supportive. I felt like I was from Texas."


Crowne Plaza Invitational: Articles, videos and photos


Masters champion Jordan Spieth, a real Texan, was alone in the lead without a bogey before losing four strokes in a two-hole span.

Spieth finished with a 73, nine strokes worse than his opening round 64 that had him in a four-way tie on top. He dropped seven strokes back at 3 under, in a crowded tie for 15th place.

"I had a goal in mind, and it was a higher score than [Thursday] given the conditions," said Spieth, the 21-year-old Dallas player playing consecutive weeks at home in North Texas. "I wanted to have no blemishes, and then we held that late through 12 holes."

There were periods of steady rain for the morning groups, but no delays. That was after Thursday's first round started three hours late after more than an inch of rain fell overnight.

With more inclement weather expected Saturday, including the possibility of severe storms in the afternoon, players in the third round will be grouped in threesomes instead of the normal twosomes and go off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees.

The lead group of Na, Poulter and Weekley was scheduled to tee off around 9 a.m. Saturday, more than 3 1/2 hours earlier than usual for the leaders' group at Colonial.

Heavy rain also was in the forecast Sunday.

Poulter, playing his first Colonial since 2010, had bogeys on his first and last holes Friday. His only bogey Thursday came on his last hole, costing him a share of the first-round lead.

A half-inch adjustment in his putting grip has paid off at Colonial, with only 25 putts in each of the first two rounds.

When going through boxes of pictures to find some to put on the wall in a new guest house he is building, Poulter came across one when he noticed the forefinger of his left hand was in a different spot. He first adjusted during the pro-am round Wednesday. 

"It felt pretty good, and obviously it was pretty good [Thursday] and it's continued," he said. "It's angled further down toward the shaft. So it's almost more parallel to the shaft. ... It's probably only a position of half an inch difference to what it was, but sometimes half an inch makes a big difference on a feel."

About the same time that Poulter rolled in a 14-foot birdie putt at No. 6 to get to 8 under, Spieth was making a bogey two holes back after he missed the green at the challenging par-3 fourth and didn't make a 6-foot par-saver to drop to 7 under.

Spieth followed with a triple bogey at No. 5, taking a drop in the rough after hitting his tee shot way right into a hazard adjacent to the Trinity River. His approach rattled around in the upper branches of a tree before dropping about 75 yards short of the green.

With a steady rain falling, Spieth then missed a 4-foot birdie try at No. 6 and bogeyed the par-3 eighth from a greenside bunker.

"That's kind of unlike me. It's not something I do, compound mistakes," he said. "I had chances to bounce back there, and wasn't able to do it."

Getty Images

Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.


Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

Getty Images

Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

“I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

“The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

Getty Images

Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

He's making his first start in the event.

''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

Getty Images

Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

How rare is his missing the cut there?

The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.