Reed fires another 63 for two-shot lead at Humana

By Associated PressJanuary 17, 2014, 11:52 pm

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Before Patrick Reed earned his PGA Tour card in December 2012, he successfully Monday-qualified for six events and made 12 starts that year.

That experience, with wife Justine at his side as his caddie, has come in handy in the first two rounds of the Humana Challenge.

''For sure,'' Reed said. ''It's a birdie-fest, this tournament is. ... It's pretty easy to get in that Monday-qualifying mindset, due to the fact that you're playing three different courses. So, the first day, it's like, 'All right, well, let's see how we do against the guys in my course there.' And the same thing every day.''

A day after shooting a 9-under 63 at PGA West's Arnold Palmer Private Course to take the lead, Reed had another 9-under 63 down the road Friday at tree-lined La Quinta Country Club to stretch his advantage to two strokes over Brendon Todd.


Humana Challenge: Articles, videos and photos


''It's great to have that feeling that you can go out and shoot 63,'' said Reed, the Wyndham Championship winner in August. ''And to actually do it two times in a row shows that what we have done during the offseason and what we're doing now is working.''

Justine is pregnant with their first child, and her brother, Kessler Karain, is subbing as Reed's caddie. Justine has walked every hole with her 23-year-old husband this year and plans to rejoin him inside the ropes after the baby girl arrives around Memorial Day.



Justine got a good look at his best shot of the day, a high 5-iron approach on the par-5 fifth that landed softly and rolled to 4 feet to set up an eagle. He also had eight birdies and his lone bogey in 36 holes.

''That tee shot on 5's not easy,'' Reed said. ''You have to hit a perfect high cut around that tree and if it goes straight, you're actually through the fairway. You have to hit a hook around those trees. And when I hit a perfect drive like that, had a perfect number for a 5-iron to the left flag. When I hit something three-quarters or 85 percent, it's normally a little draw, so I just aimed it in the middle of the green and hit it up there to 4 feet. That was kind of just perfect for me.''

La Quinta has been that kind of place for the former Baton Rouge, La., high school champion who helped Augusta State win NCAA titles in 2010 and 2011. When Reed earned his PGA Tour card back in 2012, it was at PGA West.

Todd had a 63 on the Palmer course. He's the only player without a bogey.

''Obviously, both days were really solid,'' Todd said. ''Bogey-free was huge. ... Before I knew it, I was at 7- or 8-under with a few to play, feeling like I should birdie every hole. ... The weather's been so good, I'm not surprised to see what Patrick did.''

The temperature climbed into the 80s and it was so calm the ponds looked like glass, the water as still as the plastic swans PGA West uses to scare away geese.

Ryan Palmer was third, three strokes back at 15-under, after a 65 at La Quinta. He also made a short eagle putt on the fifth hole.

''Overall, it was another great day,'' said Palmer, coming off a tie for eighth in the Sony Open in Hawaii. ''Another great finish, hanging in there, staying strong.''

Charley Hoffman, the 2007 winner, was 14-under after a 66 on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Private Course. He had five straight birdies on the front nine.

''There's water, there's trouble if you short-side yourself, but if you're hitting good shots, the greens are good and you can make a bunch of birdies,'' Hoffman said.

Bill Haas and James Driscoll were 13-under. Haas, the 2010 winner, had a 66 on the Nicklaus course, and Driscoll shot 63 at La Quinta.

Charlie Beljan was another stroke back, shooting 64 on the Nicklaus course.

Matt Every and playing partner Will MacKenzie were 11-under in a group that included Kapalua winner Zach Johnson.

Every settled for a 68 on the Palmer course after playing an early five-hole stretch in 6-under with four birdies and an eagle. MacKenzie had a 66.

''I was just striping it,'' Every said. ''I was hitting it close and then the greens, we were first off, so the greens were perfect, and I was rolling them in.''

After a long wait at the turn, he made a double bogey on No. 10.

''We flew around the front,'' Every said. ''Then we got to the back and there was a logjam.''

Johnson had an eagle, six birdies, two bogeys - on his first two holes - and a double bogey in a 68 on the Nicklaus course.

''I would like to start over, but this is a tournament of patience,'' Johnson said.

Playing alongside Johnson, Keegan Bradley had a hole-in-one in a 66 that left him 9-under in his first start of the year. His 176-yard shot on the third hole landed about 10 feet short of the pin and rolled in.

''A little baby 7-iron,'' Bradley said.

Getty Images

Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook played a six-hole stretch in 6 under and shot an 8-under 64 in breezy conditions Saturday to take the lead at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook began the run at La Quinta Country Club with birdies on Nos. 4-5, eagled the sixth and added birdies on No. 7 and 9 to make the turn in 6-under 30.

After a bogey on the 10th, he birdied Nos. 11, 12 and 15 and saved par on the 18th with a 20-footer to take a 19-under 197 total into the final round on PGA West's Stadium Course. The 26-year-old former Arkansas player is making his first start in the event. He won at Sea Island in November for his first PGA Tour title.

Fellow former Razorbacks star Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were a stroke back. Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 on the Stadium Course. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. They are both winless on the PGA Tour.


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


Jon Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium Course to reach 17 under. The top-ranked player in the field at No. 3, Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

Scott Piercy also was two strokes back after a 66 at the Stadium.

Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course, and Harkins shot 68 on the Stadium Course.

Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium Course to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time.

The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. The Southern California recruit had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over for the week.

John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine – and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

Getty Images

Mickelson misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

How rare is his missing the cut there?

The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.

Getty Images

Defending champ Gana co-leads Latin America Amateur

By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 11:20 pm

Toto Gana moved into early position to try to win a return trip to the Masters Saturday by grabbing a share of the first-round lead at the Latin America Amateur Championship.

The defending champ posted a 3-under-par 68 at Prince of Wales Country Club in his native Chile, equaling the rounds of Argentina’s Mark Montenegro and Colombia’s Pablo Torres.

They are one shot ahead of Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz and Mario Carmona, Argentina’s Horacio Carbonetti and Jaime Lopez Rivarola and the Dominican Republic’s Rhadames Pena.

It’s a bunched leaderboard, with 19 players within three shots of each at the top of the board in the 72-hole event.

“I think I have my game under control,” said Gana, 20, a freshman at Lynn University. “I hit the ball very well, and I also putted very well. So, I am confident about tomorrow.”

The LAAC’s champion will get more than a Masters invitation. He also will be exempt into the The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event he is eligible to play this year. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Getty Images

LAAC returning to Casa de Campo in 2019

By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 8:23 pm

The Latin America Amateur Championship will return to Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic in 2019 (Jan. 17-20), event organizers announced Saturday in Chile, where this year’s championship is underway.

The LAAC champion receives an invitation to play the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club every spring.

The champion is also exempt into The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event for which he is eligible to compete. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

The championship got its start in 2015 with Chile’s Matias Dominguez winning at Pilar Golf in Argentina. In 2016, Casa de Campo hosted, with Costa Rica’s Paul Chaplet winning. At 16, he became the first player from Central America to compete in the Masters. In 2017, Chile’s Toto Gana won the title at  Club de Golf de Panama.