Pettersson takes lead with record round

By Associated PressAugust 15, 2008, 4:00 pm
Wydham ChampionshipGREENSBORO, N.C. ' Carl Pettersson supported moving the Wyndham Championship to Sedgefield Country Club. After a performance like this, its easy to see why.
 
The local favorite produced the latest record-breaking round at Sedgefield, shooting a tournament-record 61 on Friday to match the PGA TOUR's 36-hole mark at 15-under 125.
 
Carl Pettersson
Carl Pettersson reacts after making a putt in Round 2. (Getty Images)
He had a three-stroke lead over Garrett Willis (64). Scott McCarron (64) was four strokes back, and Kevin Streelman (64) was another shot behind. Jerry Kelly (65), Bob Sowards (66) and Tim Clark (67) were 9 under.
 
But clearly, the day belonged to Pettersson, a Swede who went to high school in Greensboro, played collegiately at North Carolina State and serves on the tournaments board of directors.
 
This is like his retirement fund, defending champion Brandt Snedeker said. He plays good here every year.
 
A year ago, while speaking at the Wyndhams previous home, Pettersson voiced his support for the then-rumored switch to Sedgefield. He played the Donald Ross course for the first time in November, shortly before the move was made official.
 
Then, he began this years tournament with a 64 and admitted afterward that he was a bit edgy starting out because this is a home game for me.
 
This time around, those jitters were long gone.
 
The courses (on the PGA TOUR) have been set up hard, so its a nice change to be really aggressive, and (Sedgefield) kind of suits my style, Pettersson said. I try to play really aggressive all the time, and so far its paid off great.
 
In matching the lowest single-round score on the PGA TOUR this year, he shot a 30 through his opening nine holes. Six of his 11 birdies came on the front nine, and he set the tone with birdies on first three holes.
 
As soon as I did that, my mind kind of set in and played nice all day, Pettersson said.
 
By the time Pettersson reached the par-5 15th, he confessed to catching himself daydreaming about shooting a 59 ' and then promptly bogeyed the easiest hole on the course, sending his third shot into a greenside bunker.
 
He quickly recovered, sinking a 40-foot putt on the 16th for the first of two straight birdies. He had a chance to make it three in a row on the courses most difficult hole ' the 507-yard, par-4 18th ' but rolled his birdie putt a foot to the right of the hole, tapped in for par and tipped his visor to the vocal hometown crowd.
 
I was glad Carl ran out of holes, Willis said. Every time I made a birdie, it seemed like he made one, too.
 
That remarkable round put him in position to contend for his third career PGA TOUR victory and first since the 2006 Memorial.
 
He eclipsed the Wyndhams previous low of 62 ' a mark shared by four players, most recently Charles Warren in 2005 ' and shattered the course record of 63 that was matched a day earlier by first-round leaders Bob Heintz and Martin Laird.
 
This course, you can make a lot of birdies, but its quite easy to have a few bogeys in there, too, Pettersson said. I kind of knew at the beginning of the week, I thought it was going to be a low-scoring week, just because you have a lot of wedges, 8-irons, 9-irons into par 4s.
 
Petterssons two-round score equaled the tour record shared by Tiger Woods, Mark Calcavecchia, Tom Lehman and Corey Pavin, and his 18-hole score matched the 61 recorded six months ago by Roland Thatcher during the third round of the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Cancun.
 
The first-round leaders, facing the hard, dried-out greens that accompanied their afternoon tee times, quickly fell off the pace. Heintz wound up 10 strokes off the lead after his 72, and Laird was two strokes behind him after his 74 dropped him to the cut line of 137.
 
Among the players who entered on the FedExCup bubble but ultimately wound up missing the cut were No. 140 Tag Ridings (138), No. 141 Todd Hamilton (141), No. 143 Brett Rumford (143) and No. 146 Craig Kanada (144).
 
Vijay Singh ' who at No. 5 in the world was the highest-ranked player in the field ' bogeyed three of the final six holes of his 72 to finish at 141 and miss the cut for the second straight week, just the fifth time in his career that has happened. John Daly, who was at 137, made his first cut since February.
 
Play was delayed late in the day for 1 hour, 11 minutes because of rain.
 
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    Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

    Former Web.com Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

    Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

    Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Web.com Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Web.com Tour Player of the Year.

    McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

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    Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

    By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

    Memo to the golf gods:

    If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

    Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

    It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

    With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

    It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

    We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

    We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

    Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

    We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

    In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

    While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

    Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

    Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

    Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

    While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

    Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

    So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

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    McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

    By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

    With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

    The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

    Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

    "I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

    McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

    But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

    "I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

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    What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

    Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

    Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

    Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

    Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

    Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

    Ball: Titleist Pro V1x