Three Tied at the Top
Second-year pros Cortney Reno of Grosse Ile, Mich., and Nicole Perrot of Vina del Mar, Chile, both played their way into the lead today with rounds of 65 and 66, respectively at Cleveland Heights Golf Course.
These young players have no fear, said Wood, 33, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. They just go out and rip it.
Indeed, they do. Reno, 23, picked the second round to fire her career low of 65 that included eight birdies and one bogey. She drained a 25-foot putt on the 12th hole and had only one other putt outside 15 feet. The former University of Michigan player used 25 putts and hit 13 greens for her seven-under-par performance on the 6,230-yard, par-72 course.
I think the wind made me more decisive hitting my shots today and I tried to be specific with my targets, said Reno. I want to be in this position so I can learn from it.
Perrot, 20, used her experience playing in a mens professional event last week in South America to gut out her 6-under-par 66 when most of the leaders backed up in the afternoon wind. Perrot was 2-over par in Santiago last week and missed the mens cut by one shot. Back with the FUTURES Tour today, she was right on target with 27 putts, eight birdies and two bogeys.
I didnt play college golf, so for me, all these years are like college, said Perrot, a non-exempt LPGA Tour member in 2003 who won the 2001 U.S. Girls Junior Championship and was runner-up at the 2001 U.S. Womens Amateur Championship. Im starting to feel more comfortable out here. For me, its all a mental transition.
Canadian Kimberly Adams of Tide Head, New Brunswick, fired a 67 to knot fourth-year pro Lisa (Strom) Fernandes of Huntersville, N.C., at 138 (-6) for second place. Fernandes carded her own 68 in an effort to earn her first professional title.
Ive had plenty of experience and this is where I need to be, said Fernandes, who posted six birdies, three bogeys and an eagle-3 on the par-five eighth hole with a chip-in from 40 feet.
Liz Earley of St. Catharines, Ontario, also eagled the eighth hole. The Canadian hit a driver and 11-wood 206 yards into the wind to set up a five-footer for her eagle-3. Earley posted a 1-over 73 and stands at 143 (-1) after 36 holes.
Naree Song of Seoul, Korea ' in her much-awaited pro debut ' shot a 2-under-par 70 in todays second round for a five-way tie at 145 (+1) heading into the final round. High School amateur Brittany Lincicome of Seminole, Fla., continued her steady play, posting rounds of 70-71 for a share of fifth at 3-under-par 141.
And Wood, hoping to regain her LPGA exempt status this season, held her ground as the Saturday moving day shuffled the leader board more than once. She didnt get ruffled when she double-bogeyed her second hole and was three-over par after five holes. Instead, she used her veteran patience and birdied holes 7, 8 and 9 all from within seven feet. A final birdie on the 11th with pars for the remaining holes kept Wood in the hunt.
Youve just got to grind it out and stay steady, she said. Anybody can come from six to seven shots back here. The greens are just in great shape.
Seventy-four players made the 36-hole cut at 150 (+6).
Sundays final round will begin at 8 AM from the first and tenth tees, with the leaders going off the first tee at 10 a.m. An awards ceremony is scheduled for approximately 2:30 Pm.
Watch: Fleetwood gets emotional with family after Race to Dubai win
Tommy Fleetwood took home the season-long Race to Dubai title on Sunday after a T-21 finish at the DP World Tour Championship.
He was, understandably, emotional after learning his fate while sitting with his wife and baby following a career year in which he won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open and finished fourth at the U.S. Open.
Luckily for us, cameras were rolling:
Matsuyama after Koepka rout: 'Huge gap between us'
Hideki Matsuyama offered a blunt assessment after finishing 10 shots behind Brooks Koepka at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix event.
Koepka waxed the field en route to successfully defending his title in Japan, shooting a 20-under par total that left him nine shots clear of a runner-up group that included PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. Koepka's score was one shot off the tournament record, and his margin for victory eclipsed Tiger Woods' eight-shot romp in 2004.
Matsuyama appeared set to make a final-round charge after a birdie on No. 2 was followed by an ace on the par-3 third hole. But he played the next eight holes in 3 over and eventually finished alone in fifth place following a 2-under 69. Afterwards, he stacked his game up against that of Koepka in a telling comment to the Japan Times.
"I feel there's a huge gap between us," Matsuyama said.
The Japanese phenom entered the week ranked No. 4 in the world, though he will be passed in the next rankings by Jon Rahm following the Spaniard's win in Dubai. Matsuyama won twice this year on the PGA Tour, including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he has largely struggled since missing out on a maiden major title at the PGA Championship, where he tied for fifth.
Matsuyama was a runner-up to Koepka at the U.S. Open earlier this summer, and the 25-year-old seems headed back to the drawing board before defending his title at the Hero World Challenge in two weeks.
"I don't know whether it's a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well," Matsuyama said. "It seems there are many issues to address."
McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open
When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.
Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.
Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.
While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.
Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.
Rahm wins finale, Fleetwood takes Race to Dubai
Jon Rahm captured the final tournament on the European Tour calendar, a result that helped Tommy Fleetwood take home the season-long Race to Dubai title.
Rahm shot a final-round 67 to finish two shots clear of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry at the DP World Tour Championship. It's the second European Tour win of the year for the Spaniard, who also captured the Irish Open and won on the PGA Tour in January at the Farmers Insurance Open.
"I could not be more proud of what I've done this week," Rahm told reporters. "Having the weekend that I've had, actually shooting 12 under on the last 36 holes, bogey-free round today, it's really special."
But the key finish came from Justin Rose, who held the 54-hole lead in Dubai but dropped back into a tie for fourth after closing with a 70. Rose entered the week as one of only three players who could win the Race to Dubai, along with Sergio Garcia and Fleetwood, who started with a lead of around 250,000 Euros.
With Fleetwood in the middle of the tournament pack, ultimately tying for 21st after a final-round 74, the door was open for Rose to capture the title thanks to a late charge despite playing in half the events that Fleetwood did. Rose captured both the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open, and was one round away from a two-trophy photo shoot in Dubai.
Instead, his T-4 finish meant he came up just short, as Fleetwood won the season-long race by 58,821 Euros.
The title caps a remarkable season for Fleetwood, who won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship as well as the French Open to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes and a fourth-place showing at the U.S. Open.
"I find it amazing, the season starts in November, December and you get to here and you're watching the last shot of the season to decide who wins the Race to Dubai," Fleetwood said at the trophy ceremony. "But yeah, very special and something we didn't really aim for at the start of the year, but it's happened."