Kent State Bags Big Red Classic
OCALA, Fla. -- The Kent State University mens golf team won the rain-shortened Big Red Classic at the Lake Diamond Golf Course in Ocala, Fla., by nine strokes Sunday.
The Golden Flashes shot rounds of 290-271 for a 561 total during Saturdays action. The second round is the lowest round ever for the Golden Flashes, breaking the 273 shot at the 2000 Central Regional in McKinney, Texas. Kent States second round was 11 strokes better than Miami University for the best round of the day. This is the first tournament win for the Golden Flashes since the 2001 NCAA Central Regional and the first outright win since the 2001 FirstEnergy Collegiate.
Freshman Ryan Yip (Calgary, Alberta/Bishop Carroll) continued his hot spring season, tying for second place after two rounds with scores of 71-68=139. Yip finished five shots behind Korey Mahoney of Eastern Michigan University, but established a career low with his second round 68. Sophomore Steve Lohmeyer (Dayton, Ohio/Oakwood) tied for 15th place with rounds of 79-65=144. Lohmeyers 65 tied the all-time low score for Kent State.
Sophomore Peter Laws (Misssisauga, Ontario/Our Lady of Mount Carmel) tied for 18th place with rounds of 76-69=145. Senior Scott Vallina (Langeloth, Pa./Burgesttown) tied for 22nd place with scores of 77-69=146. Rounding out the scoring was sophomore Joe Hurtuk (Bedford, Ohio/St. Peter Chanel) and junior Sean Howell (Erie, Pa./Mercyhurst) who had matching 148 scores. Hurtuk had rounds of 73-75 while Howell had scores of 70-78.
Kent State will look for a Florida sweep at the El Diablo Intercollegiate March 15-16 at the El Diablo Country Club in Citrus Springs, Fla.
1. KENT STATE 290-271=561
2. Austin Peay 283-287=570
3. Miami 289-282=571
4. Xavier 289-284=573
5. UNC-Greensboro 292-284=576
6. Indiana 295-287=582
7. Eastern Michigan 290-293=583
8. Notre Dame 300-284=584
9. Michigan State 291-294=585
10. James Madison 295-294=589
William and Mary 297-292=589
12. Ball State 300-292=592
13. IUPUI 301-293=594
14. Bowling Green 302-296=598
15. Akron 301-300=601
16. Wright State 308-295=603
17. Northern Illinois 306-300=606
18. Ohio 307-303=610
1. Korey Mahoney (EMU) 64-70=134
t-2. Ryan Yip 71-68=139
t-15. Steve Lohmeyer 79-65=144
t-18. Peter Laws 76-69=145
t-22. Scott Vallina 77-69=146
t-35. Joe Hurtuk 73-75=148
t-35. Sean Howell 70-78=148
Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix
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.
Rahm (62) fires career low round
The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:
Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)
What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.
Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.
Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.
Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.
Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.
Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.
Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm
Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder
Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.
Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.
"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."
Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.
Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.
"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."
Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn
There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.
Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.
Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.
Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.
The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.