Tiger Tumbles Oberholser Now Leads

By Associated PressMay 8, 2004, 4:00 pm
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The view from the top looks much better to Arron Oberholser.
 
With a 20-foot eagle to jump-start his back nine, Oberholser surged past a pack of contenders and left struggling Tiger Woods far behind by posting a 4-under 68, giving him a one-shot lead in the Wachovia Championship and another chance to win his first PGA Tour event.
 
Despite a three-putt bogey on the 18th hole, Oberholser survived a crazy afternoon at Quail Hollow and finished at 11-under 205, the second time this year he has gone into the final round with a chance to win.
 
The other occasion was at Pebble Beach, only the circumstances were much different. He was tied with Vijay Singh, the hottest player in golf, and struggled to a 76.
 
This time, the 29-year-old Oberholser has the lead to himself and will play in the final group with Geoff Ogilvy of Australia, who matched the best round of the steamy afternoon with a 6-under 66 and was at 206.
 
Notah Begay, coming off two years of injuries and four missed cuts, reversed his fortunes with four birdies and two great pars over the final six holes for a 69 and also was only one shot behind.
 
'One thing I learned playing with Vijay is you can hit bad shots and still be under par,' Oberholser said. 'I'm just going to play the golf course. If someone comes out of the pack and grabs me, so be it. Once you start playing the man, you're a dead man.'
 
In this case, it would be men.
 
There were 20 players within six shots of the lead, and Saturday showed anything can happen if players are not on top of their game at Quail Hollow. No one suffered quite like Woods, who hit two balls in the water, five tee shots into the trees and was lucky to escape with a 75, leaving him five shots back.
 
'I fought my rear-end off just to make pars,' Woods said.
 
Oberholser still might have to deal with Singh.
 
The leaderboard was so scattered that Singh was eight shots behind with two holes to play. He birdied them both to salvage a 71, and wound up four shots behind as he tries to become the first player in nearly five years to win three straight weeks.
 
'If the leaders don't do any more, I think I've got a chance tomorrow because I'm playing really good,' Singh said.
 
Oberholser poured it on about the time he was ready to pass out.
 
With temperatures pushing 90 degrees, the Bay Area native started feeling dizzy. He proceeded to carve a 3-wood around a tree and into 20 feet for eagle on No. 10, hit a wedge into 3 feet for birdie on No. 14 and then pitch over the bunker to 6 feet for a birdie on the next hole.
 
Ogilvy also is trying to win for the first time, and he gave himself a chance with a bogey-free 66.
 
'The position is perfect,' he said. 'Around this course, you can make up a lot ground very quick, and you can drop back pretty quick. It's a pretty tough course.'
 
No need telling that to Woods.
 
Starting the third round with a two-shot lead, it was gone by the time he got to the fourth tee. By the end of the day, Woods was so clueless as to where his ball was going that he resorted to hitting safe slices off the tee just to keep the ball somewhere in North Carolina.
 
His best two shots were the last two of a bad day, leading to a 4-foot birdie for a 3-over 75 that left him five shots behind. Woods has only rallied from five shots down once in his PGA Tour career.
 
'I didn't have it at all,' Woods said, who headed straight for the range. Singh was already there, of course, and Woods headed to the farthest corner.
 
Begay also got into the hunt with a great back nine, especially with his putter. After three straight birdies, he two-putted for par from about 90 feet on the 16th, and saved par from the bunker on the 18th.
 
Jeff Maggert (67) was at 9-under 207, while the group at 208 included Carlos Franco (69) and Kirk Triplett (71). All three were in the lead at various times Saturday.
 
Phil Mickelson took four shots from 35 feet behind the green on the par-5 15th to take bogey, and he three-putted the 18th from 40 feet to finish with a 72. He was seven shots behind.
 
Still, the wild day was made possible by Woods.
 
The best closer in golf - 18 straight victories with at least a share of the 36-hole lead - hardly looked the part on a steamy afternoon with swirling breezes. Twice in the three holes, Woods tried to save par from off the green and failed both times, losing his two-shot lead within 30 minutes of teeing off.
 
By then, it was wide open at Quail Hollow, and Woods was all over the place.
 
He had to make a 30-footer for par on No. 9 after hitting into the trees twice down the left side. On No. 10, where most players reached in two, Woods had 190 yards in the rough for his third shot. He had to carve a shot out of the right trees on No. 11, the left trees on No. 12.
 
Starting on No. 9, Woods didn't hit a single fairway until the 18th hole - the only exception was No. 14, where he hit driver some 320 yards to the green for a two-putt birdie.
 
Oberholser played in the group ahead of Woods, and never had to worry about anything but fairways and greens.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Wachovia Championship
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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 Web.com 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.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    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.