Stiles eagle maintains share of Nwide lead

By Associated PressNovember 7, 2008, 5:00 pm
Nationwide Tour Championship McKINNEY, Texas ' Darron Stiles made a tap-in eagle on the final hole for a 4-under 67 and a share of the second-round lead Friday with Garrett Osborn in the season-ending Nationwide Tour Championship.
 
In sunny, calm conditions at TPC Craig Ranch, Stiles 5-wood shot from 242 yards hit the pin on the par-5 18th to set up the short eagle try. Seventh on the money list with $303,427, hes already guaranteed a PGA Tour spot next year.
 
Osborn, 40th on the money list with only the final top 25 earning 2009 PGA Tour cards, had a 65 to match Stiles at 11-under 141.
 
Colt Knost, the 2007 U.S. Amateur champion from SMU, was 9 under after a 66.
 
I havent been nervous in a long time, but I was nervous on the first tee the last two days, but I want to do well in front of these people so badly, Knost said.
 
Fort Worth native Hunter Haas, 26th on the money list, shot a 66 to join Bryce Molder (67), Marc Leishman (67) and Jeff Klauk (69) at 8 under.
 
Im very happy with where I am right now, but when you lose focus and start looking at what others are doing, thats when you start to fold, Haas said.
 
Casey Wittenberg shot a 64, the best round of the day, to top a group at 7 under.
 
Stiles eagle turned an average round into a very good one. After shooting 4-under 32 on the front nine, he had a double bogey on the 12th hole and a bogey out of the bunker on par-4 16th. But after picking up two shots on the final hole, he finished where he started the day, on top of the leaderboard.
 
Thats two days in a row, Ive made my best swings on the 18th hole, Stiles said.
 
Osborn has missed more cuts this year (11) than hes had top-25 finishes (9) and came into this week having missed four cuts in his last six tournaments.
 
I got real lucky several times and had some good breaks, Osborn said.
 
One of those came on the par-4 eighth where his second shot was headed for the greenside rough, but hit a womens ankle and bounced back toward the green.
 
I gave her ball on that hole. She deserves all the credit for that par, he said.
 

Related Links:
  • Full Coverage ' Nationwide Tour Championship
  • Golf Channel Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

    <
    Getty Images

    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

    Getty Images

    Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

    What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

    Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    “I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

    McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

    He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

    Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

    “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

    Getty Images

    Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

    Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

    Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

    Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

    Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

    Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.