OMeara Takes First Lead on Champions

By Associated PressOctober 19, 2007, 4:00 pm
Champions TourSAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Champions Tour rookie Mark O'Meara made a successful return to the site of one of his PGA TOUR victories, shooting an 8-under 63 on Friday to take the first-round lead in the AT&T Championship.
 
O'Meara had an eagle, eight birdies and two bogeys at Oak Hills Country Club, the A.W. Tillinghast-designed course where he closed with a 63 to win the 1990 Texas Open.
 
'I was always counting on coming here,' O'Meara said. 'Winning in '90 was a great victory. I think it's a cool golf course.'
 
He made a 13-foot eagle putt on the 523-yard, par-5 15th and chipped in for birdie on the par-3 18th after pulling his tee shot by a grandstand.
 
'That was a big bonus,' O'Meara said.
 
The Texas Open moved to LaCantera Golf Club in 1995, but the Champions Tour came to Oak Hills in 2002.
 
John Cook, making his second Champions Tour start, and Wayne Levi were two strokes back after bogey-free 65s. Defending champion Fred Funk, Tom Kite, Tom Purtzer and 2003 champion Craig Stadler opened with 66s, and Mark James, Gil Morgan, Lonnie Nielsen, Scott Simpson and D.A. Weibring shot 67s.
 
There were 17 players within six shots of the lead with two rounds remaining, and 36 in the field of 78 players broke par. The sunny weather is expected to continue with temperatures in the 80s and light wind.
 
'With this weather and the conditions of the greens, everybody's going to make birdies,' Funk said.
 
O'Meara has three second-place finishes in his first season on the Champions Tour, including last week when he was eight strokes behind Bernhard Langer at the Administaff Small Business Classic in Spring.
 
Langer, the winner last week with a Champions Tour-record 54-hole score, had two double bogeys Friday en route to a 5-over 76.
 
R.W. Eaks, a two-time winner this year, bogeyed three of his first five holes before withdrawing because of a knee injury. He also withdrew last week.
 
Cook, an 11-time winner on the PGA TOUR, had two sub-70 rounds last week at the Administaff Small Business Classic in Spring, and finished in a tie for 36th.
 
'Last week, I was really anxious to play -- overanxious -- and I wasn't very comfortable for a couple of days,' he said. 'I came out this week this week and said, 'Just relax and go play.''
 
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    Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

    Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

    Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

    In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

    Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

    After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

    Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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    Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

    Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

    “I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”


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    After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

    Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

    The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.

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    Landry stays hot, leads desert shootout at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 12:35 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Andrew Landry topped the crowded CareerBuilder Challenge leaderboard after another low-scoring day in the sunny Coachella Valley.

    Landry shot a 7-under 65 on Thursday on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course to reach 16 under. He opened with a 63 on Thursday at La Quinta Country Club.

    Jon Rahm, the first-round leader after a 62 at La Quinta, was a stroke back. He had two early bogeys in a 67 on the Nicklaus layout.


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    Jason Kokrak was 14 under after a 67 at Nicklaus. Two-time major champion Zach Johnson was 13 under along with Michael Kim and Martin Piller. Johnson had a 64 at Nicklaus.

    Landry, Rahm, Kokrak and Johnson will finish the rotation Saturday at PGA West's Stadium Course, also the site of the final round.

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    Mickelson 'displeased' with iron play; 10 back

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:18 am

    All of Phil Mickelson’s offseason work on his driver has paid off through two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    His iron play? Not as sharp, and it’s the reason why he heads into the weekend 10 shots off the lead.

    “I’ve been pretty pleased, overall, with the way I’ve been driving the ball, and very displeased with the way my iron game has been,” said Mickelson, who shot 68 Friday on PGA West’s Nicklaus course. He has hit only 21 of 36 greens so far this week. “Usually my iron play is a lot better than what it’s been. So I’ll go work on it and hopefully improve each round in this tournament and build a solid foundation for the upcoming West Coast events.


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    “I feel like if I continue to drive the ball the way I am, and if I got my iron play back to my normal standard, I should have the results that I’ve been expecting.”

    Mickelson, of course, is always bullish this time of year, but he has been able to find 10 of 14 fairways each of the past two rounds, including at narrower La Quinta Country Club, which doesn’t always fit his eye.

    “This is actually the best I’ve driven it in a lot of years,” he said.

    Currently in a tie for 67th, Mickelson will need a solid round on the more difficult Stadium course Saturday to ensure that he makes the 54-hole cut. He hasn’t missed a cut in his first West Coast event of the new year since 2009.