Toledo holds one-shot lead going into final round in Gwinnett

By Associated PressApril 21, 2013, 1:12 am

DULUTH, Ga. – Esteban Toledo, a rookie looking for his first win on the Champions Tour, says Bernhard Langer is ''one of my idols here.''

Toledo had a one-stroke lead over Langer and three others heading into the final round of the Greater Gwinnett Championship, and said holding off his idol and others in the final round ''is possibly the greatest challenge I've ever had.''

Toledo, from Mexicali, Mexico, completed his first-round 68 early Saturday before shooting a 2-under 70 in the second round. Langer had a 66 that left him in a four-way tie for second.

''I've never played against Bernhard,'' said Toledo, making his seventh career start on the 50-and-over tour. ''I think he's a hell of a player. I see him on TV all the time, the Ryder Cup and this tour. He's one of my idols here on this tour.''

Langer was tied with Roger Chapman, Tom Pernice Jr. and Mark Calcavecchia. Chapman and Pernice shot 68s, and Calcavecchia had a 71.

Toledo's only win as a professional came in 2005 on the Web.com Tour. He tied for sixth at the Champions Tour's Toshiba Classic this year but said he has never led entering the final round.

Toledo said winning on the senior circuit would ''mean everything.''

''I'm not afraid to win,'' he said.

''I grew up in Mexico with nothing,'' he said. ''It would be an unbelievable story for my country.''

Michael Allen took the first-round lead by completing a 67 early Saturday. He lost the lead in the second round when he called a two-stroke penalty on himself for removing embedded pine cones about 6 inches in front of his ball on his second shot on No. 4.

Allen added another double bogey on No. 5. ''That one really (ticked) me off,'' he said. He recovered for a 73 that left him 4 under and two strokes behind the leader.

Allen said he didn't realize the pine cones were partially in the ground until he pushed them aside and saw ''a little bit of a divot in there.''

''I thought I probably shouldn't have done that,'' he said.

Even though the two-stroke penalty matched the deficit he must make up in the final round, Allen said he didn't regret reporting his mistake.

''That's kind of the basis of our game,'' Allen said. ''It's kind of unique. Our game is about integrity, about following the rules. ... There's no reason to cheat, and if I have to cheat to win, I don't want to win.''

Langer applauded Allen's decision.

''It only happens in the game of golf,'' Langer said. ''That's what sets us apart. In no other sport will you hear the player say 'Oh, I kicked the other guy. Give me the yellow card.'''

Gene Sauers shot 68 and was tied with Allen at 4 under.

It was a long day for the 55-year-old Langer. He played 24 holes, including six holes early in the morning to complete his first-round 73 following a four-hour rain delay Friday.

Langer, the tour's points leader, had his streak of 21 straight rounds of par or better end with his 73 in the first round. The streak began at the end of last season and included his first five tournaments this year.

''I don't pay attention to that kind of stuff,'' Langer said. ''I'm here to win tournaments and play the best I can.''

Langer said it was difficult to refocus this week after a disappointing finish in the Masters last week. He was within two strokes of the lead in the final round before a poor finish on the back nine left him with a final-round 76.

''It was tough,'' said Langer, a two-time Masters champion. ''It was a tough finish for me on Sunday and very difficult Sunday night and Monday. You replay the tape and what I did and the breaks I got and all that stuff. I really didn't play all that bad. It was just the breaks were against me.

''It was fun being in contention. I take a lot of good away from that tournament because I played well for 3 1/2 rounds. It was just the last nine I was very aggressive and I just paid the price.''

Langer said his knees also paid the price.

''Right now I'm pretty tired,'' he said. ''My knees are aching because of all these hills. I've been struggling with my knees for about a year and a half and I'm paying the price on these hills. As I said, two weeks in a row on a course like this. I'm looking forward to next week where it's nice and flat.''

Langer's three-week tour of Georgia continues at the Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf in Savannah.

Olin Browne, who was 5 over through 15 holes on Friday, withdrew with a back injury. Gene Jones was disqualified after opening with a 73 but failing to make his tee time for the second round.

Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to trumpgolfcount.com has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.

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.