Photos of the Week

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 21, 2010, 11:42 pm


POULTER'S PRICKLY POSITION: Ian Poulter of England walks on the seventh hole during the Accenture Match Play Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Marana, Arizona.  (Photo by Darren Carroll/Getty Images)

Tiger Woods

WORLDWIDE WONDER: 
People watch television monitors at an ESPN restaurant in Times Square in New York City as Tiger Woods makes his first public statement from PGA Tour headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Stewart Cink

CRYING UNCLE: Stewart Cink lays on the ground in submission after losing his match against Paul Casey of England during Round 4 of the Accenture Match Play Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Marana, Arizona.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Tim Clark

WHAT, ARE YA YELLA?: Tim Clark's new yellow Srixon ball in play at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Marana, Arizona.. (Getty Images)

WGC-Accenture Match Play

DREAM BENEATH A DESERT SKY: A scenic view of the course of the Accenture Match Play Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Marana, Arizona. (Photo by Darren Carroll/Getty Images)

Steve Stricker

THE LOOK OF (NO.) ONE AND DONE: No. 1 seed Steve Stricker reacts after losing his Round 1 match at the Accenture Match Play Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Marana, Arizona. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Tiger Woods

BEEN A WHILE: Tiger Woods is seen teeing it up near his Orlando home Thursday afternoon. (Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy

GREENER PASTURES:
Rory McIlroy hits an approach shot during the second round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. (Getty Images)WGC-Accenture Match Play

SUN KISSED: A flagstick at the WGC- Accenture Match Play Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Marana, Arizona. (Getty Images)Camilo Villegas

CACTIPHOBIA: Camilo Villegas of Columbia reacts to an approach shot during the Accenture Match Play Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Marana, Arizona. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Suzann Pettersen

ONE LADY'S PAIN...:
Suzann Pettersen of Norway during the final round of the Honda PTT LPGA Thailand at Siam Country Club in Chon Buri, Thailand. (Photo by Victor Fraile/Getty Images)Ai Miyazato

...IS ONE LADY'S GAIN: Ai Miyazato of Japan poses with the trophy after winning the final round of the Honda PTT LPGA Thailand at Siam Country Club in Chon Buri, Thailand. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images)

Paul Casey and Ian Poulter 

ALL-ENGLAND CLUB: Paul Casey and Ian Poulter of England pose by the Walter Hagen Cup on the first tee during the final round of the Accenture Match Play Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Marana, Arizona. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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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).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


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 contacted 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.