Rain Reduces Nelson to 36 in 94

By George WhiteMay 12, 2003, 4:00 pm
It was a tournament that had a little bit of everything. Everything except a third and fourth round, that is.
The year was 1994, the tournament was the Byron Nelson Classic between Dallas and Fort Worth, and the weather was ' in a word ' awful. There was enough rain to float Noahs Ark, enough lightning to illuminate the Western hemisphere, even a tornado got into the act.
And that was just Mother Nature. The players? Well, for one thing, six of them made the playoff. They couldnt play the first round during its regularly scheduled time of Thursday. They couldnt play it Friday. By Friday night, not a single shot had been played by the 156-man field.
What to do? Well, the PGA Tour officials frantically huddled Saturday morning. Obviously they couldnt get 156 men around if they didnt have another course to go with the TPC of Los Colinas. So they requisitioned the adjacent Cottonwood Valley course ' a move that was incorporated permanently, incidentally ' and sent out golfers left and right, to Cottonwood and the TPC, to two No. 1 tees and to No. 10 tees.
Storms visited the area again on Saturday evening while many players were still on the two courses. It was, in short, a week much better suited to sailboats than it was to 3-woods.
By Sunday afternoon, harried officials had gotten around the courses through 36 holes. The tournament had been in big trouble since it had begun on Thursday. The tour reluctantly decided to call it official when the tournament was halfway through, at the end of 36.
Trouble was, they still hadnt done much winnowing. Six players were tied for the low score. One-hundred-fifty were excused from further competition, heading for the airport and drier climes.
For Neal Lancaster, David Ogrin, Mark Carnevale, Tom Byrum and Yoshi Mizamaki and David Edwards, it was a soggy journey back to the 18th tee for the start of the playoff. Finally luck prevailed ' it took just one hole to sort out a winner.
That was Lancaster. He lobbed his approach shot to five feet. Carnevale was just outside five feet and putted before Lancaster. The other four missed long birdie tries. Carnevale came close, good enough in horseshoes but not in golf.
Finally, up stepped Lancaster. He stroked the putt dead-center, ending what could have been another hour of play while waiting for the six to whittle down the number of participants.
I was so nervous my hands were shaking on the putter, said Lancaster.
It turned out to be Lancasters lone victory.


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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.