Rain Wipes Out Play Yet Again

By Associated PressApril 8, 2005, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Stormy weather wreaked another day of havoc at the Masters, halting the second round shortly after the first was finally completed. When Friday's play was suspended about 12:40 p.m. EDT, three players - David Howell, Chris DiMarco and Luke Donald - shared the top spot on the leaderboard at 5 under par.
 
Defending champion Phil Mickelson and top-ranked Vijay Singh were also in contention, while Tiger Woods and Ernie Els struggled.
 
Luke Donald
Luke Donald would love to add a green jacket to go along with his green pants.
More than any player, though, weather was the overriding story, just as it has been most of the year on the PGA Tour.
 
The start of the season's first major was delayed nearly 5 1/2 hours by heavy rain, forcing a two-tee start. Even so, only 24 of the 92 players got through the first round, the rest coming back Friday morning to finish.
 
Not long after everyone had played their first 18 holes, another line of storms made a mess of Augusta National.
 
The well-worn areas in front of the clubhouse were gooey instead of green. Rae's Creek resembled chocolate milk as it lapped against the 12th green. Workers used squeegees to push away a small creek that formed across the 18th fairway.
 
The rain cleared out, the grounds crew worked furiously to get the course back in shape, and mud-splattered fans began to reclaim position along the ropes.
 
But play never resumed. Around 4 p.m., tournament officials called off play for the day with more storms moving in.
 
Everyone will try again at 8:30 a.m. Saturday.
 
'It looks very good for the weekend,' said Will Nicholson, chairman of the competition committee. 'But this has been a crazy year.'
 
Indeed. Bad weather has interrupted play on the PGA Tour for the ninth time in 15 tournaments, and the fourth week in a row. Or course, this is nothing new at Augusta, interrupted by storms for the fourth straight year.
 
No matter what, the tournament will be played in full - even if stretches into next week. The last Monday finish was in 1983.
 
'Under any circumstances,' Nicholson said, 'the winner will play 72 holes.'
 
While waiting around, Howell had lunch with his girlfriend and napped for about an hour in the clubhouse.
 
'I was right next to Padraig Harrington,' Howell said with a smile. 'He did better than me. He was snoring when I woke up.'
 
Woods, a three-time Augusta champion, probably welcomed the break.
 
He knocked a putt in the creek the first day, then had another adventure Friday at No. 8. Woods stuck a shot in the pine trees along the right side, then caught a limb trying to get out. The ball deflected the wrong way but at least settled in the fairway. He wound up with a bogey on the par-5 hole.
 
Woods finished at 74 and hasn't eclipsed par in the opening round since 2002, when he won the green jacket for the second year in a row and third time overall. He started with a 76 in 2003 and 75 last year.
 
DiMarco was back in a familiar position - leading the Masters.
 
He started Friday with a brilliant tee shot at No. 6, a par-3 where he scored a hole-in-one last year. He nearly holed out again, leaving himself a short putt that gave him a stretch of four birdies in six holes on the front nine - albeit over two days.
 
DiMarco was the clubhouse leader with a 5-under 67, the fourth time he has led a round at Augusta. He likes his chances of being on top when it counts.
 
'Absolutely,' he said. 'I'm feeling really comfortable and I'm putting well.'
 
Last year, DiMarco took a lead to the final round before fading with a 76 on Sunday. At least he had a hand in the outcome, providing the line for Mickelson's winning putt at the 18th.
 
'All I can do is try to put myself into position Sunday and use what I learned last year,' DiMarco said.
 
Howell, a surprising Ryder Cup star in Europe's dominating win over the Americans last fall, started with a 72. Then, while DiMarco and others were finishing up the first round, he birdied five of his first seven holes in the second to pull even with DiMarco.
 
'I played lovely,' Howell said.
 
Donald moved to 5 under with an early birdie in the second round after opening with a 68.
 
Singh also was one stroke behind DiMarco after the first round, squandering a chance to take the lead at the par-5 15th. He had a 35-footer for eagle, but the putt curled left of the cup. The birdie attempt failed to find the cup again - bitten twice by Augusta's wet but still treacherous greens.
 
Singh never made it back out for the second round. DiMarco played only five holes all day.
 
Mickelson was off to a strong start in defense of his title. His first shot Friday dropped 5 feet from the flag at the par-3 12th, leading to a cherished birdie in the heart of Amen Corner. He finished with a 70, just three strokes behind DiMarco.
 
Els, a perennial Augusta contender, had a steep hill to climb after posting a 75. Of course, he opened with a 79 two years ago and managed to fight back to finish in a tie for sixth.
 
Donald's 68 included a 20-foot birdie at No. 6. He had a downhill 5-footer to tie for the lead on his final hole, but the ball slid by the cup.
 
'It's a great start, nothing more than that,' he said. 'There's a long way to go.
 
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.