Stenson takes 2-shot lead at Bay Hill

By Doug FergusonMarch 21, 2015, 10:09 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Henrik Stenson of Sweden finished with another flourish at Bay Hill on Saturday and seized control of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

It was the second straight day that Stenson played the final four holes in 4 under par. Two shots behind, he made a 12-foot birdie on the 15th hole, a 20-foot eagle putt on the par-5 16th and finished with a pitching wedge that plopped down 2 feet from the 18th hole for a 6-under 66.

That gave Stenson a two-shot lead over Morgan Hoffmann, who stumbled on the front nine, recovered with three birdies in four holes and then stalled at the end for a 71.

Stenson, the No. 3 player in the world, was at 16-under 200.

"It's a new day tomorrow, so whatever has happened these first three days has put me in a nice position," Stenson said. "But it's got to be done all over tomorrow."


Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, videos and photos


Six players are separated by three shots going into Sunday's final round, a group that includes defending champion Matt Every.

Rory McIlroy looked as though he would be among them. The world's No. 1 player pulled to within one shot of the lead with his fourth birdie of the round on the 13th hole. But he ran off three straight bogeys, missing a par putt from just inside 3 feet on No. 15 and chopping up the par-5 16th hole. McIlroy effectively gave up two shots to the field on the 16th, where only one other player failed to make par or better.

McIlroy missed the cut in the Honda Classic and finished eight shots behind at Doral. Asked if Bay Hill counted as being in contention, he replied, "Not anymore."

"I guess if I can get off to the fast start tomorrow ... maybe I will have a chance," he said. "It would have been nicer to be a little closer to the lead going into tomorrow."

A two-shot lead can disappear quickly, especially on the back nine. Even so, Stenson has been steady during his three stops on the Florida swing. He tied for fourth at Doral, and missed the three-man playoff at Innisbrook by one shot last week.

Hoffmann regained the lead with back-to-back birdies early on the back nine, but his tee shot rolled up to the lip of a bunker on par-5 16th and he was one of only two players in the third round who had to lay up short of the creek. Hoffmann had to settle for pars, though he was still in the final group with Stenson.

Every had a 69 and was in the group at 13-under 203 that included Jason Kokrak (65), Matt Jones (67) and Las Vegas winner Ben Martin (68). Jones birdied his last four holes, including a 75-foot putt across the green at the par-3 17th.

Hoffmann had a chance to limit the number of contenders if he had posted a better score. The scoring average was low again because of slow, receptive greens this week. But he kept getting funny lies in the fairway, mud on his ball and a few breaks that didn't go his way.

But he still has a chance, as do so many others, especially considering the most recent trend on the PGA Tour. In the last eight tournaments (including the Puerto Rico Open), the winner came from behind in the final round.

Sean O'Hair, who was in the playoff at Innisbrook last week, had a 68 and was five shots behind. The group six shots back included Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand, who matched the low score of the third round with a 65. Harris English, No. 52 in the world as he tries to get into the Masters, hit two balls in the water on the front nine and battled back with four birdies over his last four holes for a 72.

Daniel Berger made the first albatross at Bay Hill, hitting 4-iron from 237 yards into the hole for a 2 on the par-5 sixth hole.

And still on the fringe of contention was Sam Saunders, the 27-year-old grandson of Palmer, who shot 67 to join the group at 8-under 208.

DIVOTS: Ernie Els made seven birdies in his round of 72. The Big Easy also had four bogeys and a triple-bogey 8 on the sixth hole. ... Stenson is among four players who have shot in the 60s each round this week. ... Only three players are over par for the tournament going into the final round. That includes Davis Love III and Vijay Singh, both over 50.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


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President at the Presidents Cup


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Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

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Cart on the green


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Finances


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Reportedly fake TIME covers


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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm