Singh Oberholser Share Pebble Lead

By Associated PressFebruary 7, 2004, 5:00 pm
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- The sun-splashed scenery at Pebble Beach was never more spectacular.
Vijay Singh made sure the golf was worth watching, too.
Singh recovered from a rugged start by unleashing five birdies in a six-hole stretch Saturday for a 4-under 68 that gave him a share of the lead with Arron Oberholser in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
'I always enjoy the scenery here, the golf course is great and you cannot ask for a better place to play golf and win a golf tournament,' Singh said. 'I would love to do it if I could tomorrow.'
No one would be surprised.
Singh already has 11 consecutive top-10 finishes, three off the modern-day record set by Jack Nicklaus in 1977.
He will be in the final group Sunday with Oberholser, who had a 67 at Spyglass Hill to join Singh at 13-under 203.
Oberholser, who grew up 90 minutes away in San Mateo, was even more impressive on a far more difficult track, playing bogey-free to get into serious contention for the first time on the PGA Tour.
Phillip Price of Wales had a 69 at Pebble Beach and was at 204.
Phil Mickelson, who played the first three rounds with Singh, had a three-shot lead over the big Fijian at the turn but lost seven shots to him on the back nine. Mickelson wound up with a 71 and was four shots behind.
'I didn't strike it as well as I did the first 45 holes of the tournament,' Mickelson said. 'At Pebble, you really need to hit your irons sharp because the greens are so small. When you give yourself putts at it, you can make some birdies. And you saw that with Vijay.'
During his streak of top 10s, which dates to the World Golf Championships-NEC Invitational in August, Singh has been known to run off several birdies in a row to take the lead or get into contention. This was no different.
'It's maybe because I'm hitting good shots, making the right putts at the right time,' Singh said. 'I can't explain it. It's a good feeling when it's going in, let me tell you that much.'
On a gorgeous day, with waves crashing against the cliffs and seals basking on the rocks below, Singh turned to a winter analogy to describe his hot play.
'It's like a snowball,' he said. 'You just feel like you're going to make birdies.'
It took him a while to get the feeling.
He bogeyed the first two holes, hitting his 3-wood out of bounds on No. 2 and scrambled for a bogey.
Singh held it together with a 5-iron that landed 20 inches right of the pin on No. 5 for birdie, and a lob wedge that spun back to 2 feet on the par-3 seventh.
He was only even par when he made the turn, although still in the thick of it.
It all changed so suddenly.
Starting with an 18-foot birdie putt on No. 11, Singh started hitting fairways and greens, and making just about every putt he had, no matter how far away.
He birdied five of his next six holes, ending the run with a 40-foot putt up the hill on No. 16.
'If I stood there and hit another 10 balls, I would probably never make it,' Singh said.
Mickelson simply couldn't keep up.
He was flawless on the front nine, giving himself a birdie putt on the first eight holes and converting three of them in what appeared to be a methodical journey around Pebble Beach. When his 15-foot putt on the treacherous eighth hole dropped for birdie, he was three shots clear of Singh.
Mickelson dropped a shot on No. 10 when his approach found the bunker, and he never got anything going after that. When he three-putted the 17th from 60 feet for bogey, he dropped four shots behind.
All that did was cost him a spot in the final group for the third consecutive week.
Mickelson is still very much in the picture, especially considering recent history at Pebble Beach. Three of the last four winners started the final round at least four shots behind.
'A few years ago when Davis (Love III) beat me, he got off to a quick start and made up a lot of ground,' Mickelson said. 'I'll have to play a great round. I'll have to be 6, 7, 8 under. It's not easy to do at Pebble Beach, but I think I have a shot at it.'
The only problem is the guy he's trying to chase.
Singh not only is the hottest player in golf, he has been tough from in front. Singh has won the last four times he has had at least a share of the 54-hole lead, dating back to Hilton Head three years ago.
Divots: The cut was at 1 under. Among the casualties were Davis Love III, who finished at 1 over. He is the third straight defending champion to miss the cut, starting with his title defense in '02. ... Jonathan Byrd finished with a triple bogey at Pebble Beach for an 83, his highest score on the PGA Tour. His previous high score was an 80 in the first round of the PGA Championship last year at Oak Hill. ... Craig Stadler and his son, Kevin, both made the cut.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
  • Full Coverage - AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.