Poulter takes lead at Dubai World Championship

By Associated PressNovember 27, 2010, 5:13 pm

2009 European TourDUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Ian Poulter broke free from a crowded leaderboard on Saturday to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Dubai World Championship.

The Englishman is at 12 under overall, two shots ahead of Ross Fisher of England, Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee and Francesco Molinari of Italy who are all at 10 under.

Poulter, who won last week’s Hong Kong Open, started Saturday in a tie for the lead with Fisher and the two were even for much of the day. Poulter made his move on the back nine with two birdies while Fisher three-putted the 15th hole and went in the water on the 18th which forced him to settle for a bogey.

“You know, I think it was important today to go out there and play solid, bank a few birdies,” Poulter said. “I felt I dropped two silly, silly bogeys on holes that I really feel I should have taken advantage of. That was the only frustration of the day.”

Fisher was left to rue what could have been a solid round and a chance to at least tie for the lead several times on the back nine. His best chance came on the 15th when he hit his drive to the green on the 371-yard, par 4 hole. His first putt for eagle rolled past the hole and he missed what should been an easy putt for birdie.

“I made it harder, I didn’t play as well as yesterday,” Fisher said. “I missed a couple of putts at key times … Hit a great drive on 15 onto the green and unfortunately didn’t capitalize there.”

Jaidee and Molinari charged up the leaderboard, with the Thai shooting a 3-under 69 while the Italian had a 4-under 68 to put themselves in contention. No. 1-ranked Lee Westwood was also in the mix, shooting a 1-under 71 to remain three shots off the pace.

Westwood won the tournament last year, shooting a course record 64 on the final Sunday on his way to an easy victory.

“(I) kept giving myself a lot of chances at birdies and nothing would go in,” Westwood said. “I had to hit some good shots coming in just to make a couple of birdies in the last five holes, which has kept me in the tournament probably.”

Meanwhile, Graeme McDowell’s hopes of winning the European money title took another hit after he finished four shots behind money-leader Martin Kaymer and far down the leaderboard in a tie for 30th.

Kaymer, the PGA champion, will claim the money title and a $1.5 million bonus by finishing higher than McDowell, who can only overtake the German in the Order of Merit by winning the tournament or ending up alone in second as long as Kaymer finishes no higher than a tie for third. If McDowell is tied for second, Kaymer could afford to finish as low as sixth.

“Barring the impossible, I think Europe’s No. 1 is probably not a reality for me any more,” McDowell said. “Unless I shoot 55 tomorrow, which unless one of you boys comes and putts for me tomorrow, I don’t think will happen.

“You know he (Kaymer) is going to win the Race to Dubai tomorrow and he’s the best. He’s been one of the best players in the world this year and certainly deserves everything he has achieved.”

After failing to break par in the first two days, McDowell made three birdies on the back nine to reach 2 under for the tournament.

Kaymer effectively ended the two-man battle for the Order of Merit on Thursday, surging to a five-shot lead over McDowell after shooting a 67. The lead ballooned to eight shots Friday, when Kaymer hit a 70 for a share of fourth place.

McDowell’s putting woes have plagued him all week.

“The big issue this week is really that I can’t hole putts and, without the putter working, it’s very difficult to get on top of the golf course,” he said. “Like I said yesterday, I feel like every time I miss a green I feel like I’m making bogeys because I’m not holing the 6- and 8-footers.”

McDowell’s fellow Northern Irelander, Rory McIlroy, shot a 6-under 66 – the lowest round of the day – to climb back into contention at 7 under. He made seven birdies, including three in a row after the turn.

“My iron play improved, I gave myself a lot of chances,” McIlory said. “I was hitting a lot of greens but just not getting it close enough, and today, I birdied a few of the par 3s and played really well. “

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.