Day, Bae tied for the lead at The Barclays

By Nick MentaAugust 29, 2015, 10:03 pm

Playing together on Saturday, Jason Day and Sangmoon Bae posted matching rounds of 7-under 63 to tie for the lead at The Barclays through 54 holes. Here’s how things look heading into Sunday at Plainfield Country Club.

Leaderboard: Day (-11), Bae (-11), Bubba Watson (-10), Ryan Palmer (-9), Zach Johnson (-9), Henrik Stenson (-9)

What it means: Day, the reigning PGA champion, is looking to join Jordan Spieth as the only two men to win four times this season. A victory Sunday would give Day wins in back-to-back starts and in three of his last four events. This is his fourth 54-hole lead in his last six outings. As for Bae, he’s facing two years of mandatory military conscription in his native South Korea following the end of this season. Bae won this season’s first event, the, and would join Spieth, Day, Watson, Rory McIlroy and Jimmy Walker in the group of players to win multiple times this season. A win Sunday would also put Bae in the mix for a spot on the International team in this year’s Presidents Cup played in South Korea.

Round of the day: After playing his first 36 holes 1 over, reigning Tour player of the year Carlos Ortiz posted the round of the day and week, a bogey-free 8-under 62. It marked the lowest round of the rookie’s PGA Tour career.

Best of the rest: Day, Bae, and Justin Rose all turned in rounds of 7-under 63. Rose was bogey-free, Bae made nine birdies and two bogeys, while Day made six birdies, an eagle and a bogey. Following an opening-round 77, Rose has played the last two days in 12 under.

Biggest disappointment: With a 71, Tony Finau, who started the day one off the pace, is only player in the top 25 through 54 holes who shot over par in Round 3.

Shot of the day: He didn’t totally pull it off, but he gets credit for the effort. Check out Phil Mickelson’s backwards, over-the-head attempt at the par-4 18th.

Quote of the day: “I really want to play in the Presidents Cup in Korea. That is my county. I hope to play good tomorrow, and [have] Mr. Nick Price pick me up.” – Bae on his upcoming military stint in South Korea and the potential of playing this year’s Presidents Cup in his home country.

Storylines to watch heading into Sunday: Bae and Palmer have the two most compelling stories, with Bae about to put his golf career on hold, and with Palmer making his first start since the death of his father in a car accident on Aug. 18. 

Getty Images

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).

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

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.” 

Getty Images

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.”

Getty Images

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. 

Getty Images

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.