Rose, Warren tied at Scottish Open through 54

By Associated PressJuly 12, 2014, 7:13 pm

ABERDEEN, Scotland - Justin Rose set up a chance to capture back-to-back titles by shooting a 5-under 66 at the Scottish Open on Saturday to move into a share of the lead with home hopeful Marc Warren after three rounds.

Rose and Warren (67) are on 10 under par overall at the warm-up tournament for the British Open, one shot clear of Kristoffer Broberg of Sweden (68).

Nearly three weeks after winning the Quicken Loans National at Congressional to end a yearlong drought, Rose has kept up his strong form despite struggling with hay fever and, more recently, sinus pains.

His round was the joint lowest of the day and he had the best back nine of the field, a 31 containing five birdies that was some effort considering it was into the wind off the North Sea.

''Probably my second round at Congressional and this round are two of the best I've played all year,'' said Rose, whose last victory before Congressional was the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion. ''I felt like I got it close to the hole many times out there, which on a links course is hard to do.

''I'm on a nice little run right now. To keep it going would be fantastic.''

Warren, who held a three-shot lead midway through the third round, is looking to avenge a final-round collapse at his home Scottish Open in 2012. He also had near misses from good positions at the Spanish Open and the BMW PGA Championship in 2013.

Warren will have the support of the majority of the crowd in what will be an England vs. Scotland contest on Sunday.


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''For a Scottish guy, it doesn't get much better than this. It's our fifth major,'' said Warren, whose two victories on the European Tour came in 2006 and '07. ''Playing with Justin Rose will just add to the occasion as well.''

Conditions were much more benign compared to Friday, but Rory McIlroy (68) and defending champion Phil Mickelson (70) were unable to mount considerable challenges to the leaders and are seven and eight shots off the lead, respectively.

Both, however, are happy with their links game ahead of the British Open at Hoylake.

''I have shot a 64 and a 68 on this golf course, two really good scores,'' said McIlroy, who followed up his course-record score in the first round with a 78 on Friday. ''It would be nice to shoot another one good tomorrow ... but I feel good with my game and I see enough positives in there to give me confidence going in.''

Tyrrell Hatton of England is alone in fourth on 7 under after a 66.

While Warren has picked up a reputation of cracking under pressure, the No. 6-ranked Rose is increasingly becoming known as a winner over tough courses.

His resume includes victories at Merion, Doral, Valderrama, Muirfield Village and most recently Congressional - and that makes him the favorite going into Sunday.

''This would hold its own among the courses I have won on,'' Rose said. ''They've all been on pretty stout tests. I'll take pride on winning on a links course, that is for sure.''

Rose has been struggling with hay fever since returning from the United States two weeks ago, and he wore sunglasses during his third round despite it being foggy. He said Saturday was the worst he'd felt all week.

''I felt a little bit achy, a little bit of a headache and sinus pain,'' Rose said. ''I need to get on top of it before next week.''

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Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

"Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.



The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

“An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”



Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


“I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

“Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.