Hearn, 3 more share Shriners lead; play halted

By Nick MentaOctober 23, 2015, 12:17 am

David Hearn, Michael Thompson and Mark Hubbard are in the clubhouse with 7-under 64s at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin, while one more, Tyler Aldridge, will have to finish his round in the morning. Here’s how things opened up Thursday in Las Vegas, where Round 1 was suspended because of darkness.

Leaderboard: Hearn (-7), Thompson (-7), Hubbard (-7), Aldridge (-7 through 16)

What it means: Of the four tied at the top, only Thompson has previously won a PGA Tour event, taking the 2013 Honda Classic. Hearn, however, has two previous top-10s at TPC Summerlin, including a T-7 last year. Hubbard, who missed the Shirners cut last year as a rookie, is in the field as an alternate. Aldridge is a Web.com graduate playing on Tour for the first time since 2009.

Round of the day: Hearn hit 17 of 18 greens, and made eight birdies against a lone bogey at the par-3 17th, the only putting surface he missed. Thompson carded seven circles and balanced a double bogey at 11 with an eagle at 16. Hubbard got as low as 8 under before making a bogey at 17, his lone dropped shot of the day. All three played in the morning wave. Aldridge, separately, birdied his final hole of the day, the par-4 seventh, to reach 7 under before play was halted.

Best of the rest: Ten players – Patrick Rodgers, Chad Campbell, Ricky Barnes, D.H. Lee, Ryo Ishikawa, Greg Owen, Steve Bertsch, Ryan Palmer, Brendon Todd and Patton Kizzire – are just one back after rounds of 65. Rodgers, a first-year member on Tour after earning special temporary status last year, is coming off a T-6 finish at the Frys.com. One more at minus-6, Henrik Norlander, has two holes to finish tomorrow.

Biggest disappointment: In his first round of the new season, Rickie Fowler turned in 1-over 72. A dip in the water and double bogey at the par-3 17th erased a 2-under-par start, and a 1-over 36 on his second nine left him on the wrong side of par. This was the first time in nine rounds at TPC Summerlin he failed to finish in red numbers.

Shot of the day: Adam Hadwin’s bump into the hill at the 292-yard par-4 15th trundled onto the putting surface and into the bottom of the cup for an eagle-2:

Quote of the day: “The golf course is one of my faves." – Jimmy Walker, who shot 5 under par, and then said “faves”

Storyline to watch Friday: Fowler was one of only 31 players in the 144-man field who failed to shoot par or better. He has some work to do if he wants to avoid leaving Las Vegas early. Other notable names over par on Thursday: Keegan Bradley, Brooks Koepka, and last week's winner Emiliano Grillo.

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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).

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 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.