Notes Weekend Play Stormy Skies

By Associated PressJune 29, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 U.S. WomenSOUTHERN PINES, N.C. -- Kris Tamulis looks like she'll finally get to stick around for the weekend at the U.S. Women's Open.
 
The 26-year-old missed the cut in both of her previous appearances, but she closed out a first-round 72 to finish the first round Friday morning and followed with a steady 71 to stay close to the leaders.
 
At 1-over 143, she was one stroke behind In-Bee Park, the clubhouse leader after two rounds. Angela Park, who opened with a 3-under 68, didn't even hit a shot because bad weather forced an early end to Friday's play.
 
The top 60 players along with those within 10 strokes of the lead make the cut after 36 holes.
 
'I wasn't always going for the flag,' Tamulis said. 'So I wasn't really shooting to make birdie as much as I was just trying to make pars.'
 
She did plenty of that Friday. She finished the second round with 16 pars, hit 10 of 14 fairways and 13 of 18 greens in regulation.
 
It was an improvement from her past performances at the Open. An all-Atlantic Coast Conference player at Florida State, Tamulis was 18 over par as an amateur in 2002 at Prairie Dunes, and 7 over in 2004 at The Orchards, both times missing the cut.
 
Now the biggest challenge is waiting patiently while other golfers wrap up their second round Saturday before she can tee off again. And with no place to really fulfill her love of shopping in the area, she joked that she's down to eating cookies to relax.
 
'I think U.S. Opens kind of set up good for me because I just hit it down the fairway, and then I hit it in the middle of the green and I make a putt every once in a while ... and try not to make too many big numbers,' Tamulis said.
 
'I'd take par for four days on this golf course and walk away very happy.'
 
STORMY SKIES
This isn't the record the U.S. Women's Open had in mind.
 
Storms have suspended play at Pine Needles every day this week, including three practice rounds. Mike Davis, the USGA's senior director of rules and competition, said there had never been a suspension every day of a championship event. More storms were forecast for Saturday, making another delay possible.
 
'I don't know whether to root for it (bad weather) or not on Sunday for a record, but we may get to it,' Davis said.
 
There has been little if any rain during the two days of delays -- just plenty of dark clouds, thunder and lightning. Considering the spot on the calendar, that might not be a surprise.
 
The previous two Women's Opens at Pine Needles were played a month earlier. Davis said the USGA decided to wait a month this time so that the Bermuda grass could have additional time to grow in the summer heat.
 
'I think coming into it realistically we realized that the chances of bad weather were probably a little greater,' Davis said. 'But having said that, this area has gone for weeks on end without any kind of weather. And bring the USGA to town and it's amazing how we can change weather patterns.'
 
A year ago, fog wiped out the first round Thursday, leading to a 36-hole Sunday, followed by an 18-hole playoff Monday that Annika Sorenstam won over Pat Hurst.
 
The longest Women's Open came 20 years ago in New Jersey, when bad weather pushed the tournament into Tuesday before 72 holes were completed. Just the USGA's luck, there was a tie, so Laura Davies and Joanne Carner returned Wednesday for the playoff, which Davies won for her first major championship.
 
CAVALLERI WITHDRAWS
Silvia Cavalleri withdrew from the Open due to heat exhaustion after playing nine holes Friday.
 
Cavalleri shot a 78 in the first round, then opened with a 44 -- including two bogeys, two double bogeys and a triple bogey on No. 17. She was at 15-over for the championship, her fifth appearance in the Open.
 
Cavalleri's best showing in the Open was finishing tied for 27th in 2000. She missed the cut in 2004 and '05, then finished tied for 57th last year.
 
SLIGHTLY FASTER
Hot weather helped the greens get slightly faster Friday.
 
They measured about 12.5 on the Stimpmeter, the device that measures green speed. The USGA said it was where the greens were for practice rounds and about 3 inches faster than Thursday's first round, which were slowed by rain Wednesday night.
 
By comparison, the greens at the men's Open at Oakmont two weeks ago measured a 13.5.
 
'The golf course is firm,' said Paula Creamer, who is at 4-over for the tournament and was trying to finish No. 18 when play was stopped Friday. 'The greens were a lot firmer (Friday) than they were (Thursday). They're kind of drying out.'
 
Related Links:
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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.