Singh Shoots 28 at Bell Canadian

By Associated PressSeptember 10, 2004, 4:00 pm
OAKVILLE, Ontario -- With an awesome display of shots that brought him to No. 1 in the world, Vijay Singh put himself in the record books Friday morning with a 28 on the front nine at Glen Abbey to surge into contention at the rain-delayed Canadian Open.
 
Twelve shots better than his back nine, Singh finished with a 68 and was two shots behind Joey Sindelar, who finished his 66 late Thursday.
 
Singh, among half the field who failed to finish the first round because of a five-hour rain delay, hit his approach into the water and took bogey on the 18th to shoot 40 on his opening nine. He was in jeopardy of missing the cut in his first event since replacing Tiger Woods at No. 1 in the world ranking.
 
All that changed on the front nine, played under gorgeous sunshine and little wind.
 
Starting with a 3-foot birdie on the second hole, Singh played the next seven holes in 7 under par. He made five birdies inside 6 feet, and holed a 40-foot eagle putt on the fifth.
 
His 28 broke by one shot the Canadian Open record for nine holes, previously held by Mike McCullough in 1984 and Andy Bean in 1983, both times at the Abbey.
 
Singh had a 25-foot birdie putt on his final hole that would have tied the PGA Tour record of 27.
 
It was an even better performance by the last No. 1 player at Glen Abbey. Four years ago, Woods was close to the cut line in the second round when he finished birdie-eagle-birdie-eagle to shoot 65, and he went on to win.
 
Just as suddenly, Singh again looks like the man to beat.
 
He declined comment after his record-setting nine holes - 'Not now,' he said to a Royal Canadian Golf Association media official - and headed back out to start his second round.
 
Billy Andrade, who won a dramatic playoff in 1998 at the Abbey, also turned around his fortunes by playing his final 10 holes in 6 under par for a 67, leaving him one shot behind along with Craig Barlow.
 
The biggest star, former Masters champion Mike Weir of Canada, recovered from a double bogey on the eighth hole to shoot a 68, his lowest round at Glen Abbey and the second time he has shot in the 60s on the Jack Nicklaus design that has never been one of his favorites.
 
Singh and the other players who had late starts Thursday and didn't finish the round caught a huge break. They returned Friday morning to pristine conditions that replaced 30 mph gusts, allowing for only a dozen scores under par.
 
Sindelar, who won earlier this year at Wachovia to end a 14-year drought, did not tee off until 4:25 p.m.
 
He had every reason to lose his patience Thursday.
 
The Canadian Open is his sixth consecutive tournament, and he hasn't played any of them particularly well. Then, he had to wait through five hours of rain delays before he could tee it up, turning a morning round into an afternoon round with vicious gusts.
 
Ultimately, it turned out to be a lovely day.
 
Sindelar made the Abbey look like a breeze with his 5-under 66, giving him a two-shot lead over Pat Perez among half the field that finished the first round.
 
'Through this five weeks, I haven't done well,' Sindelar said. 'But my swing feels very, very good. I'm hitting a lot of shots right at it, which tells me my swing plane is OK. I drove the ball well, stayed out of trouble, hit a lot of greens. Everything went as I hoped it would.'
 
David Duval took another step emerging from his slump - not because he shot an even-par 71, but because he was upset about it.
 
'That's a good place to be - not happy about an even par on a day like this,' Duval said. 'That's a lot of progress from where I was a couple of months ago.'
 
On the other side was Perez, who managed to keep his cool despite being known for his hot temper. Perez had food poisoning Wednesday and almost withdrew, so the rain delay helped him - and so did five birdies after starting the tournament with a three-putt bogey.
 
'Old me would have gone to the car,' Perez said. 'I didn't get mad today. I've been working on not getting as mad and frustrated, just waiting for it all to come together.'
 
Sindelar made three straight birdies around the turn - one of those a two-putt from 4 feet after reaching the par-5 18th with a 6-iron. He missed the green long on No. 2 for a bogey and was headed for another one on the par-5 fifth until he rolled in a 50-footer from the fringe for birdie.
 
Masters champion Phil Mickelson started and finished his round with a birdie, but made a mess of it in between in his debut with a new golf ball, driver and fairway metals after signing with Callaway this week. He took a double bogey on No. 8, made five other bogeys and shot 75, matching his highest score of the year.
 
'I knew I was rusty,' said Mickelson, coming off a two-week break.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Bell Canadian Open
  • Full Coverage - Bell Canadian Open

    Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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.''

    Getty Images

    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. 

    Getty Images

    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.