Trahan Gamez Share Lead at Bob Hope

By Associated PressJanuary 17, 2008, 5:00 pm
2007 Bob Hope Chrysler ClassicPALM DESERT, Calif. -- D.J. Trahan shot an 8-under 64, and Robert Gamez had a 65 Thursday to tie for the lead after two rounds of the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.
 
Trahan began the day with a string of four birdies and had just one bogey to go to 13-under 131 through 36 holes of the 90-hole tournament.
 
Gamez turned in a bogey-free round. The co-leaders played at La Quinta Country Club, one of four courses used for the first four rounds.
 
Wind is often is a factor in the Hope and Trahan was happy to score well despite some gusts.
 
'It was definitely a little bit tough today. The wind was blowing over here. But (I'm) obviously very pleased with the round like that in these conditions.'
 
Trahan's quick start could have been even better -- he missed a short birdie try on his fifth hole.
 
'But I mean, four birdies to start the day, what more could you ask?' he said.
 
The 27-year-old Trahan, beginning his fourth year on the TOUR, is looking for his second title. He got his first win at the Madison, Miss., event in 2006.
 
Gamez described his round as 'just solid golf.'
 
'I had some chance the last couple holes and just didn't capitalize, but overall it was pretty good,' he said.
 
The 39-year-old Gamez, in the Hope on an exemption, is a three-time winner on the TOUR but doesn't have a victory since 2005. He finished last year at 132nd on the money list with $693,464, far below his best season in 2003, when he earned $1.5 million.
 
He said he found out a couple of weeks ago that he would get an exemption for the Hope.
 
'I would have hated missing this tournament,' Gamez said. 'it's in my top five of the year on the tour, and I just love playing it and I love being here.'
 
Justin Leonard, the 2005 champion, had a 64 at La Quinta and was one shot off the pace, with Steve Elkington's 68 at PGA West leaving him another stroke back.
 
Joe Durant, who set the tournament record of 36-under 324 in 2001, began the second round in a five-way tie for the lead, but had a 73 at SilverRock Resort to drop into a tie for 21st.
 
The other four players who held a share of the opening-day lead fell back during the second round. Tim Petrovic had a 70 and was tied for fifth. Omar Uresti (72) Mathew Goggin (73) and Siege Maruyama (76) dropped back into the pack.
 
Petrovic, Goggin and Maruyama played at SilverRock, being used in the Hope for the first time. Uresti played at La Quinta.
 
The first four rounds of the tournament are a pro-am, with pros only playing Sunday's final round at the Classic Club.
 
Notes:
Leonard said he enjoyed his round, when he played with rockers Alice Cooper and Meat Loaf and longtime Hope participant Skeeter Holt. 'It's a nice relaxing atmosphere and it's fun to be here,' Leonard said. ... Defending champion Charley Hoffman had a 72 and was tied for 42nd. ... David Duval, who had a TOUR record-tying 59 on the final day to win the Hope in 1999, was tied at 126th -- next to last -- after the second day this time, with cards of 73-77.
 
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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.

    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

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    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.

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    Mickelson starts fast, fades to 70 at La Quinta

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

    Phil Mickelson got off to a fast start in his first competitive round of 2018 - for six holes, at least.

    The 47-year-old is making his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, and only his third competitive appearance since the BMW Championship in September. Four birdies over his first six holes indicated that a strong opener might be in the cards, but Mickelson played his subsequent holes in 2 over.

    It added up to a 2-under 70 at La Quinta Country Club, typically the easiest of the three courses in rotation this week, and left Mickelson eight shots behind Jon Rahm.

    "It was fun to get back out and be competitive," Mickelson told reporters. "I for some reason am stuck on 70 here at La Quinta, whether I get off to a good start or a bad one, I end up shooting the same score."


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    Mickelson stunted his momentum with a tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 eighth hole, but he managed to save bogey and otherwise drove the ball relatively well. Instead, he pointed to his normally reliable iron play as the culprit for his back-nine backslide on a day when more than 120 players in the 156-man field broke par.

    Mickelson will now head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course with the Stadium Course on tap for Saturday's third round. While there were several low scores Thursday at La Quinta, Mickelson remains bullish about the birdie opportunities that still lie ahead.

    "This isn't the course where I go low on," Mickelson said. "I feel more comfortable on Stadium and Nicklaus. Neither of them are nearly as tight and I tend to score a lot lower on those other two than I do here, historically."

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    Rahm (62) shoots career low round at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 10:33 pm

    After a banner year in 2017, Jon Rahm found a way to add yet another accolade to his growing list of accomplishments during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Rahm got off to a fast start at La Quinta Country Club, playing his first seven holes in 6 under en route to a 10-under 62. The score marked his career low on the PGA Tour by two shots and gave him an early lead in an event that utilizes a three-course rotation.

    La Quinta was the site of Adam Hadwin's 59 during last year's event, and Rahm knew full well that a quick start opened the door to a memorably low score.

    "Any time you have that going for you, you get thoughts come in your head, 60, maybe 59," Rahm told reporters. "I knew that if I kept playing good I was going to have more birdie opportunities, and I tried not to get ahead of myself and I was able to do it."


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    Rahm birdied his first two holes before an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole sparked him to an outward 30. He added four more birdies on the inward half without dropping a shot.

    The Spaniard is the highest-ranked player in the field this week, and while many players opted for a two-week stint in Hawaii he instead came home for some practice after opening the new year with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. That decision appears to have paid some early dividends as Rahm gets set to defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Low scores were plentiful on all three courses during the opening round, and Rahm remained pleased with his effort even though he fell short of matching Hadwin's sub-60 score from a year ago.

    "That's golf. You're not going to make every single putt, you're not going to hit every shot perfect," he said. "Overall, you've got to look at the bigger picture. I birdied the last hole, had a couple of great sand saves coming in, shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for."