Mickelson wows, but Cabrera leads at Quail Hollow

By Will GrayMay 1, 2014, 10:38 pm

Birdies were plentiful Thursday at the new and improved Quail Hollow Club, where Phil Mickelson finally showed signs of life. Here's how things look after the opening round of the Wells Fargo Championship:

Leaderboard: Angel Cabrera (-6), Phil Mickelson (-5), Martin Flores (-5), Webb Simpson (-4), Jonathan Byrd (-4), Stewart Cink (-4), Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose among nine players at -3

What it means: Cabrera made the most of an early tee time, and by the end of the day he was still the man to beat as he looks to win a non-major on the PGA Tour for the first time. Mickelson briefly drew even with the Argentine, but even though a late bogey dropped him back he still appears to be in good position to record his first top-10 finish this season.

Round of the day: Cabrera has had a forgettable season, with seven missed cuts in nine starts and no top-40 finishes, but he took a big step toward rectifying that with an opening 66 at Quail Hollow. The two-time major champ notched seven birdies against just one bogey, including a stretch of four straight birdies from Nos. 9-13. Cabrera was third here in 2010 and after one round, he’s again in line for another high finish in Charlotte.

Best of the rest: Mickelson got off to a hot start, with six birdies across his first 12 holes to move in front before a bogey on the par-3 13th. He again tied Cabrera after another circle at No. 15, but his short par putt at the 17th caught the edge and lipped out. Despite the hiccup, Mickelson was left with a 5-under 67 that marks his lowest score since an opening 66 at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Biggest disappointment: Bill Haas was born in Charlotte and went to school at nearby Wake Forest, but despite the local ties he struggled to a 3-over 75 in the opening round. Haas was making his first start since a wrist injury forced him to withdraw from the RBC Heritage, and the former FedEx Cup champ made six bogeys on his round, including three straight from Nos. 16-18. While he finished with three birdies across his last five holes, he still faces an uphill battle just to make the cut.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Cabrera's name may currently occupy the top spot, but there are several big names still within striking distance after one round. In addition to Mickelson and Simpson, a Quail Hollow member who opened with a 4-under 68, both McIlroy and reigning U.S. Open champ Justin Rose carded rounds of 3-under 69.

Shot of the day: Martin Kaymer holed a 66-yard pitch for eagle at the par-4 eighth hole, an impressive shot that became even more impressive considering the fact that it followed an eagle at the par-5 seventh. The stretch buoyed Kaymer to a 3-under 69, and he became just the third player this season to record back-to-back eagles on the PGA Tour.

Quote of the day: "I holed some nice putts today, which was good to see. At least it tells me the stuff I'm working on is going in the right direction." - McIlroy

Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''

Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open

Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen: