Bears Storm From 15 Back to Win

By Golf Channel NewsroomOctober 14, 2003, 4:00 pm
Courtesy of California Golden Bears

College CentralFAIRFAX, Calif. -- California finished the 54-hole Mackenzie Invitational in first place after a miraculous comeback. The Bears exorcised their opening day demons yet again, when they posted four scores under par.
They headed into the final round 14 strokes behind day one leader Northwestern. After its final round of 273 (-11), Cal finished with a score of 833 (-19), two shots ahead of the Wildcats' 835 (-17). Northwestern had a commanding lead in first place with a score of 546 (-22) but faltered on the final day with a 289 (+5).
This was the second week in a row in which Cal made a substantial final round charge. Last week in Glenview, Ill., at Northwestern's home tournament Cal posted an early 277 (-11) over the final round to climb eight places in the standings and finish in a tie for second.
The momentum began to build for Cal when senior Peter Tomasulo was among the first players in the club house with a 69 (-2). When Michael Wilson followed shortly after with a 68 (-3), the Golden Bear faithful here at the Meadow club could sense a repeat of last Tuesday. Freshman Brandon Beck obliged when he carded a 69 (-2). Cal still needed one more big score to complete the charge.
Thankfully, it saved its best for last. Senior Scott Carlyle was last in. After a five-foot birdie on 18 to the delight of the crowd, Carlyle had finished with his second 67 (-4) of the tournament.
Carlyle placed in a tie for second in the individual tournament with a score of 206 (-7).
'This is how the playboys play,' an ecstatic Carlyle joked in front of his teammates. 'I didn't know everyone was playing well today. I was putting well on the front nine so I just kept it going. We thought Northwestern was out of reach so we just wanted to pass as many teams as we could.'
UCLA's Scott Conway won the individual crown after a final round 68 on Tuesday. His 200 (-13) broke the tournament record established last year.
Conditions were ideal in the morning at the Meadow Club with little wind and temperatures rising to the low 80s and Cal capitalized. Despite the courses straightforward setup, many players commented on how difficult these old greens were to read. The Meadow Club was founded in 1927 and as a course on the short side (6583-yards); its difficulty lies in the size of the greens. Finding the green in regulation does not necessarily translate into birdie opportunities because of the length of putts and severe amounts of break.
Now the Bears can finally relax after three tournaments in three weeks and prepare for the spring season.
Alister MacKenzie Invitational
Meadow Club Fairfax, CA
Dates: 10/13 - 10/14 Par: 71
Yardage: 6583

Top Five Teams
1. California 277, 283, 273= 833 (-19)
2. Northwestern 272, 274, 289= 835 (-17)
UCLA 280, 274, 281= 835 (-17)
4. Oregon State 279, 279, 287= 845 (-7)
5. San Jose State 276, 283, 288= 847 (-5)

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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.