Day edges Watson, Hearn to win Canadian Open

By Nick MentaJuly 26, 2015, 9:56 pm

Jason Day birdied his last three holes to shoot a 4-under 68, edge Bubba Watson and David Hearn, and win the RBC Canadian Open. Here’s how things played out in the final round at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Ontario.

Leaderboard: Day (-17), Watson (-16), Hearn (-15), Jim Furyk (-14), Stewart Cink (-13), Tom Hoge (-13)

What it means: This is the fourth victory of Day’s PGA Tour career and his second this year, following a playoff win at Torrey Pines back in February. He turned in 1 over par and made six straight pars to open the back nine before closing birdie-birdie-birdie on Nos. 16-18. Day is the third Australian to win the Canadian Open, joining Greg Norman (1984, 1992) and Nathan Green (2009). This is the first multi-win season of his PGA Tour career. He joins Watson, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Jimmy Walker in this season's group of multi-time victors. Currently ninth in the Official World Golf Ranking – and about to move up – Day has finished in the top 10 in seven of 14 starts on Tour this season.

Best of the rest: Watson made a late run after sputtering through his first 10 holes with five bogeys and three birdies. He finished just one shot back, with a 3-under 69, after playing his final six holes in 5 under par.

Biggest disappointment: David Hearn entered the final round with a two-shot lead and held a share of that lead with just two holes to play, but he couldn’t keep pace with Day. The Brantford, Ontario native made three birdies against three bogeys and made par on each of his last five holes to card an even-par 72 and settle for third place, two back. No Canadian has won his national open since Pat Fletcher in 1954.

Round of the day: Long-driving Tony Finau made nine birdies en route a 7-under 65 and a T-22 finish at 9 under for the championship. The PGA Tour rookie has finished inside the top 25 in eight of his last nine events.

Shot of the day:

Quote of the day: “I got the ball to the hole this time.” – Day, who birdied the 72nd hole six days after leaving a final birdie try short at St. Andrews and finishing one shot out of a playoff.

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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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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).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 

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.” 

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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 contacted 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.