Matsuyama shares lead at crowded Colonial

By Will GrayMay 24, 2014, 10:47 pm

Hideki Matsuyama made a move Saturday at Colonial, but the leaderboard remains crowded down in Fort Worth. Here's how things look after three rounds of the Crowne Plaza Invitational, where Matsuyama shares the lead with three other players:

Leaderboard: Hideki Matsuyama (-7), David Toms (-7), Chad Campbell (-7), Chris Stroud (-7), Jimmy Walker (-6), Chris Kirk (-6), Kevin Chappell (-6), Marc Leishman (-6), Tim Clark (-6), Brian Harman (-6)

What it means: With the overnight leader Brice Garnett faltering, several players took advantage of an opportunity to move up the standings. That group included Matsuyama, Stroud and two players very familiar with golf in the Lone Star State - Campbell, a Texas native, and Toms, who won here in 2011. Overall, though, it remains anyone's game as 24 players will begin the final round within three shots of the lead.

Round of the day: Chappell made the cut on the number but had a 59 watch going during the third round after a chip-in eagle on the par-5 11th took him to 8 under on the day. While a bogey at No. 14 derailed his course-record aspirations, Chappell still turned in a 7-under 63 that moved him up 55 spots in the standings and to within one shot of the lead as he looks to win on the PGA Tour for the first time.

Best of the rest: Matsuyama made it around Colonial without a bogey, carding three birdies on each side. He got off to a hot start, playing his first five holes in 3 under, and grabbed a share of the lead after stuffing his approach to the par-3 16th. The 6-under 64 gave him a share of the lead as he looks to crack the top 10 for the first time since February.

Biggest disappointment: Dustin Johnson held the lead after the first round, but his scores at Colonial have gotten progressively worse each of the first three days. Johnson followed a 65 with a 70 and then carded a 4-over 74 to fall all the way back into a tie for 50th at 1 over. Johnson made only one birdie all day and saw his round derailed by a bogey-bogey-double bogey stretch on Nos. 6-8.

Main storyline heading into Sunday: Things remain bunched at the top, as nearly half the field will tee off Sunday with realistic hopes of leaving town with the trophy. An interesting subplot includes world No. 1 Adam Scott, who sits just two shots off the pace after a third-round 66, as he looks to defend his top ranking against a hard-charging Henrik Stenson, playing this week on the European Tour.

Shot of the day: Russell Knox took an unconventional route to a birdie on the 18th hole. Knox hooked his tee shot into the trees left of the fairway and punched out to the fairway, 111 yards short of the green. From there, the Scot holed his approach for a 3 to cap off a 4-under 66 that moved him to within four shots of the lead.

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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.