Sutherland, Day share Champions lead in Japan

By Associated PressSeptember 8, 2017, 12:31 pm

CHIBA, Japan – Kevin Sutherland and Glen Day shot 7-under 65 on Friday to share the first-round lead in the Japan Airlines Championship, the first PGA Tour Champions event in Japan.

''The greens are fabulous,'' Sutherland said. ''It's not even just good shape, it's in great shape. So as a result of that, it lends itself to some good scoring.''

Winless on the 50-and-over tour, Sutherland has had at least a share of the first-round lead in three of the last four events. He ended up losing to childhood rival Scott McCarron - a stroke back Friday - the previous two times, finishing second three weeks ago in the Dick's Sporting Goods Open in upstate New York and tying for third last week in the Shaw Charity Classic in Calgary, Alberta.

Sutherland closed with a bogey, three-putting the par-4 ninth at Narita Golf Club.

''Early in the round I hit the ball really, really well,'' Sutherland said. ''I drove the ball very well. On the back side, I made a bunch of long putts and unfortunately I three-putted the last hole. But I left myself a lot of long putts and that's going to happen eventually. If I drive the ball a little bit better tomorrow, I'm going to like my chances.''

He's making his first trip to Japan.

''It's been fabulous,'' Sutherland said. ''I've never been to Tokyo before. It's an amazing city. I've had just a great time. The people can't be nicer. It makes you want to come back.''


Full-field scores from the Japan Airlines Championship


The only player to shoot 59 in tour history, the 53-year-old Sutherland has five straight top-10 finishes. His lone PGA Tour victory came in 2002 at La Costa in the Accenture Match Play Championship, when he beat fellow Sacramento, California, player McCarron 1 up in the 36-hole final.

The 51-year-old Day also bogeyed his last hole - the par-4 18th.

''I didn't play great, but I scored great,'' said Day, also winless on the senior tour after winning one PGA Tour title. ''I'm not hitting the ball on the button by any means. I missed the 18th fairway by 50 yards. But I putted great and so, hey, they don't draw pictures.''

McCarron has won three of the last six events to tie Bernhard Langer for the tour victory lead with four.

''I had a nice round today,'' said McCarron, also visiting Japan for the first time. ''I missed some putts I should have made and I made some putts I shouldn't have made. So today was kind of a Jerry Seinfeld day, even steven. Just one of those things. I missed a couple of short ones and some easy birdie putts and all of a sudden I make putts that break 8 feet.''

Japan's Massy Kuramoto was two strokes back at 67 along with Paul Goydos, Billy Mayfair, Carlos Franco, Wes Short Jr., Gene Sauers and Steve Flesch. Kuramoto has seven victories on the Japan Senior Golf Tour after winning 34 times on the Japan Golf Tour. Goydos, the 3M Championship winner last month in Minnesota, parred the final 10 holes after playing the first eight in 5 under.

Fan favorite John Daly, playing alongside McCarron, opened with a 69.

Tom Watson, at 68 years old, shot a 70.

Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''


Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen: