Quiros, Dyson share lead at China Open

By Associated PressApril 24, 2014, 12:11 pm

SHENZHEN, China – Alvaro Quiros and Simon Dyson each shot a 5-under 67 to share the lead after the first round of the China Open on Thursday.

The pair were a stroke ahead of a group of six golfers that included defending champion Brett Rumford of Australia and Alexander Levy of France, who briefly moved into a tie with Quiros and Dyson in the growing darkness on his back nine but bogeyed the par-3 8th hole before play was suspended. He has one hole remaining to play.

England's Ian Poulter was in a group of 12 golfers just behind at 3 under on a crowded leaderboard.

Henrik Stenson, who has a chance to take over the top ranking from Tiger Woods with a win here, had a 71. The Swede, currently ranked third, has been battling the flu this week and didn't get in any practice time on the course at Genzon Golf Club before the opening round.



''I'm not throwing up but I'm not too keen on eating, and my energy levels aren't the best,'' he said. ''It's not easy to play a golf course blind, and it definitely costs a couple of shots when you haven't seen it, or haven't played it.''

China's Guan Tianlang, 15, who became the youngest player to make the cut at the Masters last year, was level with Stenson at 71.

''I think today I played pretty consistently. My putting feels good, but needs a couple changes so if tomorrow I got more birdies, will keep me going,'' he said.

Quiros has six wins on the European Tour, but hasn't had a top-3 finish in the past three seasons. The Spaniard said he's worked on improving his putting this year and the results are starting to come - he finished tied for fifth at the Joburg Open in February and then joint 13th last week at the Malaysian Open.

''You can't see it yet on the rankings, but I have been playing better,'' said the Spaniard, ranked a lowly 240th in the world.

Dyson, who also has six wins on tour but none since 2011, said he played some of his best golf in a long time during his round, sinking six birdies to go with one bogey.

''I really didn't miss a shot. I missed two fairways, and didn't miss a green so gave myself a lot chances, which is always nice,'' he said.

Stenson is coming off a banner year that saw him become the first golfer to win the European Tour's Race to Dubai and the U.S. PGA Tour's FedEx Cup in the same season. He's gotten off to a slow start this season, however, with his best finish a tie for 14th at the Masters.

According to the European Tour, Stenson can nudge Woods out of the top spot in the rankings this week only if wins the tournament and there are no withdrawals in the field to affect the maximum number of points he'd receive.

The Swede had back-to-back birdies on his first two holes, but then struggled to find the fairway and greens down the stretch, making four bogeys. He blamed the state of the rough for some ''horrific lies.''

''I took a six on 13 by just being off the green - you can't even get the ball hardly on the green to save par. I think it's a course that when the rough gets that silly in certain areas, it kind of takes away a lot of skill,'' he said.

Poulter is also looking for a boost, which he typically gets in Asia. He's won three titles here, including the 2012 HSBC Champions at Mission Hills in Shenzhen.

He had four birdies and narrowly missed a couple others, including a 6-footer on the 9th that would have moved him into a share of the lead.

''Coming from Augusta National, where (the greens) are quite quick, you come here and the greens are very slow,'' he said. ''Even the putts that look downhill, down grain, are just not very quick and it takes some adjusting to.''

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Singh's lawsuit stalls as judge denies motion

By Rex HoggardJanuary 23, 2018, 7:54 pm

Vijay Singh’s attempts to speed up the proceedings in his ongoing lawsuit against the PGA Tour have been stalled, again.

Singh – who filed the lawsuit in New York Supreme Court in May 2013 claiming the Tour recklessly administered its anti-doping program when he was suspended, a suspension that was later rescinded – sought to have the circuit sanctioned for what his attorneys argued was a frivolous motion, but judge Eileen Bransten denied the motion earlier this month.

“While the court is of the position it correctly denied the Tour’s motion to argue, the court does not agree that the motion was filed in bad faith nor that it represents a ‘persistent pattern of repetitive or meritless motions,’” Bransten said.

It also doesn’t appear likely the case will go to trial any time soon, with Bransten declining Singh’s request for a pretrial conference until a pair of appeals that have been sent to the court’s appellate division have been decided.

“What really should be done is settle this case,” Bransten said during the hearing, before adding that it is, “unlikely a trail will commence prior to 2019.”

The Tour’s longstanding policy is not to comment on ongoing litigation, but earlier this month commissioner Jay Monahan was asked about the lawsuit.

“I'll just say that we're going through the process,” Monahan said. “Once you get into a legal process, and you've been into it as long as we have been into it, I think it's fair to assume that we're going to run it until the end.”

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Videos and images from Tiger's Tuesday at Torrey

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 23, 2018, 7:45 pm

Tiger Woods played a nine-hole practice round Tuesday at Torrey Pines South, site of this week's Farmers Insurance Open. Woods is making his first PGA Tour start since missing the cut in this event last year. Here's a look at some images and videos of Tiger, via social media:







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Power Rankings: 2018 Farmers Insurance Open

By Will GrayJanuary 23, 2018, 6:59 pm

The PGA Tour remains in California this week for the Farmers Insurance Open. A field of 156 players will tackle the North and South Courses at Torrey Pines, with weekend play exclusively on the South Course.

Be sure to join the all-new Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge - including a new One & Done game offering - to compete for prizes and form your own leagues, and log on to www.playfantasygolf.com to submit your picks for this week's event.

Jon Rahm won this event last year by three shots over Charles Howell III and C.T. Pan. Here are 10 names to watch in La Jolla:

1. Jon Rahm: No need to overthink it at the top. Rahm enters as a defending champ for the first time, fresh off a playoff win at the CareerBuilder Challenge that itself was preceded by a runner-up showing at Kapalua. Rahm is perhaps the hottest player in the field, and with a chance to become world No. 1 should be set for another big week.

2. Jason Day: The Aussie has missed the cut here the last two years, and he hasn't played competitively since November. But he ended a disappointing 2017 on a slight uptick, and his Torrey Pines record includes three straight top-10s from 2013-15 that ended with his victory three years ago.

3. Justin Rose: Rose ended last year on a tear, with three victories over his final six starts including two in a row in Turkey and China. The former U.S. Open winner has the patience to deal with a brutal layout like the South Course, as evidenced by his fourth-place showing at this event a year ago.

4. Rickie Fowler: This tournament has become somewhat feast-or-famine for Fowler, who is making his ninth straight start at Torrey Pines. The first four in that run all netted top-20 finishes, including two top-10s, while the last four have led to three missed cuts and a T-61. After a win in the Bahamas and T-4 at Kapalua, it's likely his mini-slump comes to an end.

5. Brandt Snedeker: Snedeker has become somewhat of a course specialist at Torrey Pines in recent years, with six top-10 finishes over the last eight years including wins in both 2012 and 2016. While he missed much of the second half of 2017 recovering from injury and missed the cut last week, Snedeker is always a threat to contend at this particular event.

6. Hideki Matsuyama: Matsuyama struggled to find his footing after a near-miss at the PGA Championship, but he appears to be returning to form. The Japanese phenom finished T-4 at Kapalua and has put up solid results in two of his four prior trips to San Diego, including a T-16 finish in his 2014 tournament debut. Matsuyama deserves a look at any event that puts a strong emphasis on ball-striking.

7. Tony Finau: Finau has the length to handle the difficult demands of the South Course, and his results have gotten progressively better each time around: T-24 in 2015, T-18 in 2016 and T-4 last year. Finau is coming off the best season of his career, one that included a trip to the Tour Championship, and he put together four solid rounds at the Sony Open earlier this month.

8. Charles Howell III: Howell is no stranger to West Coast golf, and his record at this event since 2013 includes three top-10 finishes highlighted by last year's runner-up showing. Howell chased a T-32 finish in Hawaii with a T-20 finish last week in Palm Springs, his fourth top-20 finish this season.

9. Marc Leishman: Leishman was twice a runner-up at this event, first in 2010 and again in 2014, and he finished T-20 last year. The Aussie is coming off a season that included two wins, and he has amassed five top-10s in his last eight worldwide starts dating back to the Dell Technologies Championship in September.

10. Gary Woodland: Woodland played in the final group at this event in 2014 before tying for 10th, and he was one shot off the lead entering the final round in 2016 before Mother Nature blew the entire field sideways. Still, the veteran has three top-20s in his last four trips to San Diego and finished T-7 two weeks ago in Honolulu.

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Davis on distance: Not 'necessarily good for the game'

By Will GrayJanuary 23, 2018, 6:28 pm

It's a new year, but USGA executive Mike Davis hasn't changed his views on the growing debate over distance.

Speaking with Matt Adams on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio, Davis didn't mince words regarding his perception that increased distance has had a negative impact on the game of golf, and he reiterated that it's a topic that the USGA and R&A plan to jointly address.

"The issue is complex. It's important, and it's one that we need to, and we will, face straight on," Davis said. "I think on the topic of distance, we've been steadfast to say that we do not think increased distance is necessarily good for the game."

Davis' comments echoed his thoughts in November, when he stated that the impact of increased distance has been "horrible" for the game. Those comments drew a strong rebuke from Titleist CEO Wally Uihlein, who claimed there was "no evidence" to support Davis' argument.

That argument, again reiterated Tuesday, centers on the rising costs associated with both acquiring and maintaining increased footprints for courses. Davis claimed that 1 in 4 courses in the U.S. is currently "not making money," and noted that while U.S. Open venues were 6,800-6,900 yards at the start of his USGA tenure, the norm is now closer to 7,400-7,500 yards.

"You ask yourself, 'What has this done for the game? How has that made the game better?'" Davis said. "I think if we look at it, and as we look to the future, we're asking ourselves, saying, 'We want the game of golf to be fun.' We want it to continue to be challenging and really let your skills dictate what scores you should shoot versus necessarily the equipment.

"But at the same time, we know there are pressures on golf courses. We know those pressures are going to become more acute."