Faldo One Back Of Karlsson

By September 5, 2002, 4:00 pm
Sweden's Robert Karlsson breezed to a opening day 65 at the Omega European Masters in Switzerland to take a one stroke advantage over a pair of former British Open champions, Nick Faldo and Paul Lawrie.
Karlsson, who has but one top-10 finish this season, got off to a good start with birdies on six of his first nine holes. Another two birdies on the back, along with one bogey, put him on top of the leaderboard.
Faldo, who went out early and held the lead for most of the day, didn't have a bogey on his scorecard. An eagle at the first saw him off to a great start and he added three more birdies to get to 5-under for the day.
'I am just trying to be very disciplined out there, trying to do what I want to do on each shot,' said Faldo, who needs to move into the top 20 on the European Tour Order of Merit to secure a spot in the World Golf Championships- American Express Championship, which will be played in Ireland in two weeks.
'It's good to feel a bit of pressure, because that is how you learn what to do with your golf swing to make it happen, the key things that have to happen to get the good shots when you want them.'
Faldo, who holds six major titles, came into this event No. 21 on the 2002 Order of Merit.
Lawrie, who won recently at the Celtic Manor Resort Open, actually was in sole possesion of the lead after a six-foot birdie on the 15th moved him to 6-under. But a bogey on the finishing hole cost him the lead and left him in a tie for second with Faldo.
Mathias Gronberg also got it to 5-under late in the day after shooting a pair of 33s that included a eagle-3 at the first hole.
Gronberg, who's best finish was a tie for seventh earlier this year in Dubai, is seeking his fifth European title.
Five players are in a group just two back of the lead at 4-under, and include Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez, who tied for 10th at last weeks BMW Open.
A large group of eight players sit four off the pace at 2-under-par 69.
British Open champion Ernie Els, who bogeyed both the ninth and 18th hole, is in the clubhouse at 1-under as is fellow South African Retief Goosen. Goosen posted four birdies but gave most of them back with bogeys on the sixth, 12th, and 16th holes.
The father-son combination of Craig and Kevin Stadler saw the newly turned professional Kevin beat his father by a stroke. Kevin, who actually won in his pro debut last week in the Colorado Open, would due well this week just to match his father's result from 2001 European Masters, where the elder Stalder finished in a tie for third.
Denmark's Thomas Bjorn, winner of last week's BMW Open, could manage only two birdies, though no bogeys, for a 2-under-69.
Full-field scores from the Omega European Masters
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Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Tiger TrackerMarch 17, 2018, 3:00 pm

Tiger Woods teed off at 12:15PM ET alongside Justin Rose for Round 3 of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. We're tracking him at Bay Hill.

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Fowler among 5 to skip WGC-Match Play

By Ryan LavnerMarch 17, 2018, 2:24 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Five of the top 64 players in the world will skip next week’s WGC-Dell Match Play.

Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka and Adam Scott all will miss the second WGC event of the year, held next week at Austin Country Club.

As a result, the last man into the field is world No. 69 Luke List. Kevin Na, Charles Howell III, Joost Luiten and Keegan Bradley also got into the field.

Julian Suri and Bill Haas are the first two alternates, if anyone else withdraws from the round-robin-style match-play event.

This is the second year in a row that Rose, Fowler, Stenson and Scott will not play in Austin. Koepka reached the quarterfinals each of the past two years, but he is still recovering from a wrist injury.

The final seeding for the event will be determined after this week’s tournaments. The bracket show is at 7:30 p.m. Monday, live on Golf Channel.

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Korda happy to finally be free of jaw pain

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 2:43 am

PHOENIX – Jessica Korda isn’t as surprised as everyone else that she is playing so well, so quickly, upon her return from a complex and painful offseason surgery.

She is inspired finally getting to play without recurring headaches.

“I’d been in pain for three years,” she said after posting a 4-under-par 68 Friday to move two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

Korda had her upper jaw broken in three places and her low jaw broken in two places in December in a procedure that fixed the alignment of her jaw.

Korda, 25, said the headaches caused by her overbite even affected her personality.

“Affects your moods,” Korda said. “I think I was pretty snappy back then as well.”

She was pretty pleased Friday to give herself a weekend chance at her sixth LPGA title, her second in her last three starts. She won the Honda LPGA Thailand three weeks ago in her first start after returning from surgery.

“I'm much happier now,” Korda said. “Much calmer.”

Even if she still can’t eat the things she would really like to eat. She’s still recuperating. She said the lower part of her face remains numb, and it’s painful to chew crunchy things.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“Chips are totally out of question,” Korda said.

She can eat most things she likes, but she has to cut them into tiny pieces. She can’t wait to be able to eat a steak.

“They broke my palate, so I can't feel anything, even heat,” Korda said. “So that's a bit difficult, because I can't feel any heat on my lip or palate. I don't know how hot things are going in until they hit my throat.”

Korda has 27 screws in her skull holding the realignment together. She needed her family to feed her, bathe her and dress her while she recovered. The procedure changed the way she looks.

While Korda’s ordeal and all that went into her recovery has helped fans relate to her, she said it’s the desire to move on that motivates her.

“Because I was so drugged up, I don't remember a lot of it,” Korda said. “I try to forget a lot of it. I don't think of it like I went through a lot. I just think of it as I'm pain-free. So, yeah, people are like, `Oh, you're so brave, you overcame this and that.’ For me, I'm just going forward.”

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Finally adapted to short putter, Martin near lead

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:54 am

PHOENIX – Mo Martin loved her long putter.

In fact, she named her “Mona.”

For 10 years, Martin didn’t putt with anything else. She grew up with long putters, from the time she started playing when she was 5.

While Martin won the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2014, about nine months after giving up Mona for a short putter, she said it’s taken until today to feel totally comfortable with one.

And that has her excited about this year.

Well, that and having a healthy back again.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“I've had a feeling that this year was going to be a good one,” Martin said. “My game is in a special place.”

Martin was beaming after a 6-under-par 66 Friday moved her two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

“Just a beautiful day,” Martin said. “I was able to play my game, make my putts.”

Martin hit all 14 fairways in the second round, hit 15 greens in regulation and took just 27 putts. After struggling with nagging back pain last year, she’s pain free again.

She’s happy to “just to get back to a place now where my ball striking is where it has been the last few years.”

Martin, by the way, says Mona remains preserved in a special place, “a shrine” in her home.