Tseng survives delays, wins Founders Cup

By Associated PressMarch 19, 2012, 2:52 am

PHOENIX – Yani Tseng two-putted for par from 40 feet in fading light to hold off Ai Miyazato and Na Yeon Choi by a stroke Sunday and win the LPGA Founders Cup.

The top-ranked Taiwanese star won her 14th LPGA Tour title and second in four events this year. She closed with a 4-under 68 to finish at 18 under.

The second-ranked Choi also shot 68, and Miyazato had a 69.

Because of lightning near the Wildfire Golf Club, play was delayed three times for a total of three hours. Tseng holed her winning 2-foot putt at 6:45 p.m. – 8 hours, 4 minutes after the leaders teed off and seven minutes after sunset.

After temperatures in the mid-80s Thursday and Friday and high 70s Saturday, it plunged into the low 40s Sunday morning and only got up to the mid-50s.

Following overnight rain, play began at 8:30 a.m. It was still in the mid-40s, spitting rain and windy when the leaders teed off at 10:41. Soon after, hail fell briefly on parts of the course.

Three strokes behind Miyazato at the turn, Tseng birdied five of the first six holes on the back nine and closed with three pars. On Thursday in the first round, she played a seven-hole stretch on the back nine in 7 under with an eagle and five birdies.

Tseng successfully defended her LPGA Thailand title in February. She led the tour last season with seven victories – including major victories in the LPGA Championship and Women’s British Open – and finished the year with 12 worldwide titles.

Tseng, tied for the third-round lead with Miyazato at 14 under, bogeyed the seventh and eighth holes to fall three strokes behind the Japanese player.

After the second delay, with the sun poking through the clouds, Tseng returned to hole a 25-foot birdie putt on the par-4 10th.

She followed with a 6-footer on the par-5 11th to pull within a stroke, then made a 16-foot putt from the fringe on the par-4 13th to tie for the lead at 16 under.

Following the last delay, Tseng pulled ahead with a birdie on the par-3 14th. Choi also birdied the hole to tie Miyazato for second.

Tseng opened a two-stroke lead with a birdie on the par-5 15th. Miyazato and Choi rallied with birdies on the par-4 16th to pull within a stroke, but could only match Tseng’s pars on the final two holes as they raced to avoid a Monday finish.

Jennifer Song closed with a 66 to finish fourth at 14 under.

So Yeon Ryu was another stroke back after a 68.

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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.  

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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.” 

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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.”

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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.