Simpson maintains 4-shot lead in Las Vegas

By Associated PressOctober 19, 2013, 11:59 pm

LAS VEGAS – Webb Simpson was far from comfortable with a four-stroke lead at TPC Summerlin.

''This is a golf course where guys can shoot, as we've seen this week, 8, 9, 10, 11 under,'' Simpson said. ''So, I have to go out with a mindset of attacking and trying to make birdies.''

Simpson maintained his four-shot advantage Saturday in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, birdieing four of the last seven holes for a 4-under 67.

''I think the key tomorrow is to, No. 1, stay patient again in case I do get off to another slow start,'' said Simpson, who missed a playoff – that Jonathan Byrd won with a hole-in-one on the fourth extra hole – by a stroke in 2010 after making a double bogey on the par-3 17th.

Making his first start since helping the U.S. win the Presidents Cup, the 2012 U.S. Open champion was 19 under overall. He opened with rounds of 64 and 63.


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''The conditions were perfect,'' Simpson said. ''I knew guys were shooting low numbers. I felt like I was playing good enough. I just was shooting pretty bad – parred 9, dropped the shot at 11. So, it was frustrating. But my caddie just told me to stay patient and let the birdies come. And that's what happened. I made some putts coming in.''

Chesson Hadley was second after a 67, birdieing the short par-4 15th and following with a hole-out for an eagle on the par-5 16th.

''They waved us up on 15 and I just roasted a driver up there,'' Hadley said. ''I think it hit perfectly into the hill and dribbled up there to about 10 feet. I hit a good putt. It was just a little to the left, so it was a nice tap-in birdie. So that was good.

''Then I drove it right on 16, and I laid up to the perfect number. And my first thought when I hit it was, 'Please go a little.' Then I saw it take the first bounce and it looked like it just one-hopped right in the bottom of the stick. That was huge.''

The Web.com Tour Championship winner last month, Hadley is making his fourth career PGA Tour start. He and Simpson are both from Raleigh, N.C.

''Webb and I grew up playing together,'' Hadley said. ''He's always been more successful earlier than I have been. And you know, he's been such a good role model and just influence for the game as far as his faith is concerned. I'm just looking forward to playing with him tomorrow.''

Jeff Overton was third at 14 under after a 68.

Jason Bohn had a 69 to reach 13 under, and Sean O'Hair shot a 63 to join first-round leader J.J. Henry, defending champion Ryan Moore, William McGirt, Ryo Ishikawa and Russell Knox at 12 under.

O'Hair eagled the 15th.

''I've been playing some nice golf, and it was nice to come out today and get started off quick,'' O'Hair said. ''I was 3 under pretty quickly and turned at 4, and kind of started off slow on the back nine, but that eagle helped on 15. So, it was just all in all a great day.''

O'Hair had to play the four-event Web.com Tour Finals to regain his PGA Tour card.

''I think it was a tough time this year for me, especially late because I was realizing I was going to lose my card,'' O'Hair said. ''I just had to get my mind right going into those Web.com events. I knew I had an opportunity to get my card back, but I had to be in a right spot mentality. It was a disappointing time for me.

''I was able to get my mind right, and I played fairly well. ... I really feel good about my game right now, everything about it, from putting, ball-striking. I really feel like I can play some great golf right now. I think it helped me to kind of go back to basics and simplify my game.''

Henry has shot 71-70 after opening with a course-record 60. McGirt shot 64, Ishikawa had a 68, and Moore and Knox shot 69.

Daniel Summerhays had a 68 to reach 11 under. He eagled the par-5 13th and 16th holes.

Jimmy Walker, the winner of the season-opening Frys.com Open last week in California, was 10 under after a 64.

Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

Leaderboard: Cameron Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Jason Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

What it means: Jordan Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

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 6 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."