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East Lake-bound: Tour Championship qualifiers

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 17, 2017, 10:46 pm

The top 30 players in the FedExCup standings on Sunday following the BMW Championship qualified for the Tour Championship at East Lake, where they will compete for the FedExCup and the $10 million bonus that goes to the winner.

Each of these 30 players, by virtue of their trip to the Tour Championship, are now qualified for the 2018 Masters, U.S. Open and Open Championship.

The top five players on this list are mathemtically guaranteed a FedExCup victory should they win next week's season finale.

Here are the 30 players advancing to East Lake, with points being re-set:

1 1 Jordan Spieth 5,421 2,000
2 2 Justin Thomas 5,081 1,800
3 3 Dustin Johnson 4,730 1,520
4 7 Marc Leishman 4,084 1,296
5 5 Jon Rahm 3,314 1,280
6 6 Rickie Fowler 3,197 1,120
7 4 Hideki Matsuyama 3,058 960
8 17 Justin Rose 2,514 800
9 9 Brooks Koepka 2,170 640
10 8 Paul Casey 2,145 480
11 10 Pat Perez 2,112 384
12 18 Matt Kuchar 1,951 368
13 12 Charley Hoffman 1,844 352
14 11 Daniel Berger 1,815 336
15 28 Jason Day 1,781 314
16 21 Webb Simpson 1,722 293
17 13 Jhonattan Vegas 1,705 272
18 14 Kevin Kisner 1,674 251
19 20 Kevin Chappell 1,664 231
20 15 Brian Harman 1,630 219
21 16 Adam Hadwin 1,626 206
22 19 Kyle Stanley 1,504 194
23 22 Patrick Reed 1,431 182
24 39 Tony Finau 1,411 170
25 34 Sergio Garcia 1,380 161
26 32 Xander Schauffele 1,367 151
27 23 Russell Henley 1,351 142
28 29 Gary Woodland 1,351 133
29 41 Patrick Cantlay 1,347 124
30 25 Jason Dufner 1,322 115
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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.