Rodgers leads halted OHL Classic at Mayakoba

By Associated PressNovember 11, 2017, 1:15 am

PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico - Patrick Rodgers kept making birdies until his name was atop the leaderboard and it was too dark to play any longer Friday.

Rodgers, a former Jack Nicklaus Award winner as the top player in college, ran off four straight birdies on the back nine and reached 11-under par until the storm-delayed OHL Classic at Mayakoba was suspended by darkness.

Rodgers hit his tee shot on the par-5 seventh hole, one of the three holes he will have to complete Saturday morning.

Rickie Fowler, playing for the first time since the Presidents Cup, was at 10 under with three holes left. The second round was halted for 2 hours, 15 minutes.

Patton Kizzire, the 18-hole leader after a 62, overcame the wind and the rain - at times both - and a double bogey on his 10th hole. He made three straight birdies for a 1-under 70 and finished 36 holes at 10-under 132.

Brian Gay and Brandon Harkins, the 31-year-old rookie from northern California, were at 9-under 133.

Martin Piller was at 8 under and still had nine holes to play.

Rodgers, who was 7 under for his round when play was stopped, is one of the few players from the fabled high school class of 2011 who is still looking for his first PGA Tour victory. He grew up in junior golf with fellow class members Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Daniel Berger, Emiliano Grillo and Xander Schauffele.


OHL Classic at Mayakoba: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the OHL Classic at Mayakoba


Rodgers, who grew up outside Indianapolis and starred at Stanford, has yet to make a bogey at El Camaleon in 33 holes.

For all the attention on the youth movement golf, Harkins is a different kind of rookie. He has toiled on the smaller tours, particularly in Canada on the Mackenzie Tour, to finally earn his card. He began his rookie season with a tie for ninth at the Safeway Open.

He finished up the second round of the OHL Classic with his name on the leaderboard, though it wasn't quite the finish he had in mind. Starting on the 13th hole, Harkins alternated making birdies and bogeys until he drove into a fairway bunker on the 18th, didn't get on the green and failed to get up-and-down.

''Definitely exciting,'' he said of his name on the board. ''But to be honest, I didn't really watch any board. Wasn't quite the finish I was looking for, trading birdies and bogeys like that, but I really can't complain in the wind like this.''

Kizzire also had to lean on patience in the tough weather.

''I had a few hiccups out there, but with the wind and the rain - and with the wind and rain together - it was tough,'' Kizzire said. ''And the stop and start was tough. But I hung in there, made a few birdies there toward the end of my round and then survived that really tough rain that we had there at the end.''

Oscar Frausto had a 66 and at 7-under 135 had the low score among the five Mexican players in the field. Roberto Diaz, who also competed in the World Golf Championship in Mexico City earlier this year, had a 65 and was another shot behind.

Beau Hossler, who had a chance to win last week in Las Vegas, shot 66 to reach 6-under 136.

Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to trumpgolfcount.com has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.

Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''


Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.