Scott up by 4 after third-round 66

By Associated PressNovember 16, 2013, 6:33 am

MELBOURNE, Australia - Defending champion Adam Scott shot a 5-under 66 Saturday to open a four-stroke lead at the Australian Masters and close in on a second consecutive win Down Under.

The Masters champion and winner of last week's Australian PGA has a three-round total of 14-under 199 at Royal Melbourne.

''I'm in a really good position for tomorrow,'' Scott said. ''I put the ball in play and made a couple of putts for the first time this week.''

Vijay Singh shot a 63 and was in a four-way tie for second with Australians Matthew Griffin (69), Nick Cullen (69) and Nathan Holman (70). American Matt Kuchar was sixth after a 67, five strokes behind Scott.

Singh, 50, is looking for his first tournament win since 2008.

This is Scott's first trip back to Australia since winning at Augusta in April. He'll partner Jason Day next week in the World Cup, also at Royal Melbourne, then play the Australian Open at Royal Sydney the week after.

Without mentioning a number, Scott says he could improve on Sunday and win twice in a row.

''A good score is going to be out there,'' he said. ''Not wasting any shots and taking advantage of the good ones. Vijay must have done something like that today.''

Singh bogeyed the par-4 ninth, but had three birdies on the back nine to move into contention. He started the day seven strokes behind Scott.

He credited a recent switch from a long putter to a conventional one for his strong play Saturday.

''The first nine holes were incredible, I thought I could have birdied every hole. I was three under, but the first eight holes I didn't hit anything outside of 10 feet,'' Singh said.

He will play in the final group with Scott, a rare Sunday occurrence for the Fijian veteran who has battled injuries over the past several years.

''After '08 I had a couple of operations on my knee so that kind of got me back two years,'' Singh said. ''And then you start to limp and your whole body kind of reacts differently - I started to have a lot of back aches. But last year it started to get better, and I'm much stronger, healthier and happier.''

Scott said ''it's been awhile'' since he and Singh played together.

''His game is in great shape,'' Scott said. ''This course doesn't favor anybody. With good playing, there's a good score there.''

Jarrod Lyle, continuing his comeback from a 20-month layoff because of leukemia, shot 70 Saturday and was at even par.

Lyle was diagnosed with leukemia in March 2012 when he was a regular on the PGA Tour. Lyle, who had leukemia for the first time when he was 17, has a medical exemption to return to the PGA Tour when he's ready. After making the cut Friday, he said that might not be until late 2014.

 

Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey six on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his Web.com card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

"He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

"I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

"From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

"And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

"There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."

Move over Lydia, a new Ko is coming to LPGA

By Randall MellNovember 22, 2017, 5:11 pm

Another gifted young South Korean will be joining the LPGA ranks next year.

Jin Young Ko, the Korean LPGA Tour star, informed the American-based LPGA on Sunday night that she will be taking up membership next year. Ko earned the right by winning the LPGA’s KEB Hana Bank Championship as a nonmember in South Korea in October.

Ko, 22, no relation to Lydia Ko, first burst on to the international spotlight with her run into contention at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Turnberry two years ago. She led there through 54 holes, with Inbee Park overtaking her in the final round to win.

With 10 KLPGA Tour titles, three in each of the last two seasons, Ko has risen to No. 19 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings.

Ko told GolfChannel.com Sunday afternoon that she was struggling over the decision, with a Monday deadline looming.

“It’s a difficult decision to leave home,” Ko said after the final round of the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, when she was still undecided. “The travelling far away, on my own, the loneliness, that’s what is difficult.”

Ko will be the favorite to win the LPGA’s Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award next year. South Koreans have won that award the last three years. Sung Hyun Park won it this year, In Gee Chun last year and Sei Young Kim in 2015. South Korean-born players have won the last four, with New Zealand’s Lydia Ko winning it in 2014. Ko was born in South Korea and moved to New Zealand when she was 6.

Ko released this statement through the LPGA on Wednesday: 

"It has been my dream since I was young to play on the LPGA Tour and I look forward to testing myself against the best players on a worldwide stage. I know it is going to be tough but making a first win as an LPGA member and winning the Rolex Rookie of the Year award would be two of the biggest goals I would like to achieve next year."