Spieth leads McIlroy by 1 heading into weekend

By Will GrayApril 8, 2016, 10:58 pm

A major showdown is in store this weekend at Augusta National. Here's how things look at the halfway point of the Masters, where defending champ Jordan Spieth holds a one-shot lead over Rory McIlroy:

Leaderboard: Jordan Spieth (-4), Rory McIlroy (-3), Danny Lee (-2), Scott Piercy (-2), Brandt Snedeker (-1), Hideki Matsuyama (-1), Soren Kjeldsen (-1), Sergio Garcia (Even), Bryson DeChambeau (a) (Even)

What it means: Spieth began the day with a two-shot lead, and after a quick start he grew that advantage to five shots. But the course bit nearly the entire field amid swirling winds Friday, and Spieth was not immune. The defending champ had a four-putt on No. 5 and played his final three holes 2 over for a 2-over 74. It was his first over-par score in 10 rounds at the Masters. Spieth will be joined by McIlroy in Saturday's final pairing.

Round of the day: This marked the first time since 2007 that no one broke 70 at Augusta National, and it meant that McIlroy's 1-under 71 was one of the day's best. McIlroy was 2 over on his round through 12 holes but birdied three of six coming home to get within one of Spieth as he looks to close out the final leg of the career Grand Slam.

Jordan Spieth's round in under three minutes:



Best of the rest: After a 1-under 71, Dustin Johnson is once again in contention at a major. Johnson finished T-6 here a year ago and made four birdies against three bogeys during the second round. At even-par 144, he's only four shots back heading into the weekend, chasing the man who edged him at Chambers Bay last summer.

Biggest disappointment: Phil Mickelson was in red figures and very much in contention midway through his round - and then the wheels fell off. Mickelson made double bogeys on Nos. 7, 15 and 16 en route to a 7-over 79, his highest ever score at Augusta National. It also left him one shot outside the cut line, meaning he'll sit out the weekend for just the third time in 24 Masters starts.

Main storyline heading into Saturday: Spieth and McIlroy in the final pairing. What more needs to be said? Spieth has tied a tournament record by leading after six straight rounds, but he'll now have to fend off a potent challenge from the Ulsterman, who desperately covets a green jacket. It's the first time the two have been paired on the weekend at a major, and it should create plenty of fireworks.

Shot of the day: After finding the bunker with his approach to No. 18, Spieth splashed out to about 15 feet. The subsequent par putt found the bottom of the hole, ensuring that he would remain the outright leader for the second straight day.

Quote of the day: "I'd rather play with someone less threatening, to be honest." - Spieth on his afternoon pairing with McIlroy

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm