Is a Win Really a Win

By Brian HewittFebruary 22, 2005, 5:00 pm
NEWS: Adam Scotts victory at the Nissan Open is officially unofficial.
 
VIEWS: The big loser here is probably the Nissan Open itself. The 2005 PGA Tour season arrived at Riviera red-hot. It was a major let-down that the event had to end on a Monday after Scott had played a total of 37 holes all week.
 
And how about the good folks at the Mercedes Championships? Kapalua golf boss Gary Planos was keeping a stiff upper lip late Monday when reminded that the commercially-attractive Scotts unofficial win didnt qualify him for the 2006 Mercedes. Ill still bet the over that Adam wins before the season is over, Planos said. But, yes, we were pulling big-time for Nissan to become a 54-hole event. If the players had managed to complete 54 holes, everything about the tournament would have been deemed official.
 
NEWS: Scott Draper, one half of the reigning tennis mixed doubles championship team at the Australian Open, shoots 79-72 and misses the cut at last weeks Jacobs Creek Open Championship.
 
VIEWS: All of a sudden everybody wants to be good at golf. This week in Eustis, Fl. Marc Savard is attempting to earn his playing privileges for the Canadian Tour. Savard is center for the NHLs Atlanta Thrashers and.well.he doesnt have much to do these days now that the NHL season has been canceled.
 
Savard has been playing golf for six years and has pared his handicap to one. Hes a regular practice partner in Atlanta of PGA star Stewart Cink and says Cinks biggest piece of advice for Canadian Q-School is dont throw shots away. The 28-year-old Savard boasts a career-low round of six-under for 18 holes but doesnt expect to make a career of golf. Im a hockey player, he told me Monday.
 
In Tuesday's first round Savard struggled shooting a 6-over 78.
 
NEWS: Bracketologists scrutinize early picks for WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.
 
VIEWS: One of the most interesting and overlooked first round pairings is Fredrik Jacobson vs. Chad Campbell. Most people forget that Campbell destroyed Jacobson 6 and 5 in the HSBC World Match Play in 2003. Few people have forgotten that Campbell finished second to Scott in Mondays sudden death playoff at the rain-shortened Nissan Open. Campbell has jumped back up to No. 15 in the Official World Golf Rankings. And he is starting to putt well again.
 
Sharpie, the company that bought the space on Campbells golf hat, couldnt be happier. And Campbells people tell me hes continuing to test clubs, with the field of final candidates having been narrowed to two major clubmakers. The longer Campbell continues to play well, the larger the numbers will be when he finally signs on the dotted line.
 
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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).

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 phoned 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. 

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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.