Frost Leads British Open Qualifier

By Golf Channel NewsroomJanuary 13, 2005, 5:00 pm
Veteran David Frost set a new course record of 65, 7-under par, at Atlantic Beach, Cape Town, to take the halfway lead at the African leg of International Final Qualifying for The 2005 Open Championship.
Frost took advantage of unexpectedly benign seaside conditions for seven birdies without a dropped shot to finish one shot ahead of Louis Oosthuizen and Switzerland's Andre Bossert.
The top three players at the end of Friday's second round will gain automatic entry into the 134th Open Championship at St. Andrews.
Titch Moore and Omar Sandys shared fourth place at 4 under, with Scotland's Doug McGuigan. Zimbabwean Mike Lamb, Fulton Allem and Tjaart van der Walt tied for sixth one shot further back.
Last year's winner James Kingston and Grant Muller, who beat Bruce Vaughan in a playoff for the fourth and last spot a year ago, were both 1 under par with Tim Clark.
The 45-year-old Frost picked up where he left off at Leopard Creek in December last year, where he finished tied for sixth at the dunhill championship, though he had little reason to believe his form had stayed with him during a relaxing festive season.
'I played some social rounds and at the beginning of this week, I started hitting a few balls,' said the 1999 South African Open winner. 'I played a couple practice rounds here this week and that was my first look at the course.'
Oosthuizen, 24 years Frost's junior, knows the course only slightly better, having qualified successfully for the 2004 Open at Troon almost exactly 12 months ago.
'It was a little bit easier this time,' said Oosthuizen, who had nine birdies in his round. 'I had a little more confidence today than I did last year, it wasn't as nerve-wracking. It was a day to make low scores, but tomorrow it will probably be tough out there. I'll probably have to change my game plan.'
Frost, who finished tied for seventh place at the 1999 Open at Carnoustie, last played in The Open Championship at St. Andrews in 2000, but while in prime position to book a return to the home of golf tomorrow afternoon, he's taking nothing for granted.
'The course gave us a little bit today and the wind didn't blow as hard as it did in the practice rounds,' Frost said. 'If it works out that way, I'll be very pleased. I'm just going to try my hardest and take it one shot at a time and see what happens. I'd love to get in though, sure.'
Rd. 1 Scores
David Frost, Stellenbosch 65
Andre Bossert, Switzerland 66
Louis Oosthuizen, Pinnacle Point 66
Titch Moore, Walmer 68
Omar Sandys, Oppenheimer Park 68
Douglas McGuigan, Scotland 69
Michael Lamb, Zimbabwe 69
Fulton Allem, Orkney 69
Tjaart Van Der Walt, Durban 69
Mark Mouland, Wales 70
Grant Muller, Glenvista 71
Timothy Clark, Umkomaas 71
James Kingston, Rustenburg 71
Warrick Druian, Houghton 72
Jean Hugo, Unattached 72
Alan Michell, Clovelly 72
Andre Cruse, Johannesburg CC 72
Mark Murless, Blue Valley 73
David Ryan, Greytown 73
Tyrol Auret, Pollak Park 73
Andrew McLardy, Randpark 74
Michael Kirk, Royal Johannesburg 74
Henk Alberts, Pretoria 74
Barry Painting, Zimbabwe 74
Shaun Norris, Silver Lakes 75
Wayne Bradley, Modderfontein 76
Alan McLean, Atlantic Beach 76
David Faught, Zwartkop 76
Ian Hutchings, Glendower 78
Ryan Reid, Port Elizabeth 78
Bradford Vaughan, Macauvlei 79
Joakim Backstrom, Sweden 81
Thomas Aiken, Wanderers 82
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Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

“I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”

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After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.

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Landry stays hot, leads desert shootout at CareerBuilder

By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 12:35 am

LA QUINTA, Calif. – 

Andrew Landry topped the crowded CareerBuilder Challenge leaderboard after another low-scoring day in the sunny Coachella Valley.

Landry shot a 7-under 65 on Thursday on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course to reach 16 under. He opened with a 63 on Thursday at La Quinta Country Club.

''Wind was down again,'' Landry said. ''It's like a dome out here.''

Jon Rahm, the first-round leader after a 62 at La Quinta, was a stroke back. He had two early bogeys in a 67 on the Nicklaus layout.

''It's tough to come back because I feel like I expected myself to go to the range and keep just flushing everything like I did yesterday,'' Rahm said. ''Everything was just a little bit off.''

Jason Kokrak was 14 under after a 67 at Nicklaus. Two-time major champion Zach Johnson was 13 under along with Michael Kim and Martin Piller. Johnson had a 64 at Nicklaus.

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Landry, Rahm, Kokrak and Johnson will finish the rotation Saturday at PGA West's Stadium Course, also the site of the final round.

''You need to hit it a lot more accurate off the tee because being in the fairway is a lot more important,'' Rahm said about the Pete Dye-designed Stadium Course, a layout the former Arizona State player likened to the Dye-designed Karsten course on the school's campus. ''With the small greens, you have water in play. You need to be more precise. Clearly the hardest golf course.''

Landry pointed to the Saturday forecast.

''I think the wind's supposed to be up like 10 to 20 mph or something, so I know that golf course can get a little mean,'' Landry said. ''Especially, those last three or four holes.''

The 30-year-old former Arkansas player had five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine. After winning his second Tour title last year, he had two top-10 finishes in October and November at the start the PGA Tour season.

''We're in a good spot right now,'' Landry said. ''I played two good rounds of golf, bogey-free both times, and it's just nice to be able to hit a lot of good quality shots and get rewarded when you're making good putts.''

Rahm had four birdies and the two bogeys on his first six holes. He short-sided himself in the left bunker on the par-3 12th for his first bogey of the week and three-putted the par-4 14th – pulling a 3-footer and loudly asking ''What?'' – to drop another stroke.

''A couple of those bad swings cost me,'' Rahm said.

The top-ranked player in the field at No. 3 in the world, Rahm made his first par of the day on the par-4 16th and followed with five more before birdieing the par-5 fourth. The 23-year-old Spaniard also birdied the par-5 seventh and par-3 eighth.

''I had close birdie putts over the last four holes and made two of them, so I think that kind of clicked,'' said Rahm, set to defend his title next week at Torrey Pines.

He has played the par 5s in 9 under with an eagle and seven birdies.

Johnson has taken a relaxed approach to the week, cutting his practice to two nine-hole rounds on the Stadium Course.

''I'm not saying that's why I'm playing well, but I took it really chill and the golf courses haven't changed,'' Johnson said. ''La Quinta's still really pure, right out in front of you, as is the Nicklaus.''

Playing partner Phil Mickelson followed his opening 70 at La Quinta with a 68 at Nicklaus to get to 6 under. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer is playing his first tournament of since late October.

''The scores obviously aren't what I want, but it's pretty close and I feel good about my game,'' Mickelson said. ''I feel like this is a great place to start the year and build a foundation for my game. It's easy to identify the strengths and weaknesses. My iron play has been poor relative to the standards that I have. My driving has been above average.''

Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on a sponsor exemption, had a 70 at Nicklaus to match Mickelson at 6 under. The Southern California recruit is playing his first PGA Tour event. He tied for 65th in the Australian Open in November in his first start in a professional tournament.

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Mickelson 'displeased' with iron play; 10 back

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:18 am

All of Phil Mickelson’s offseason work on his driver has paid off through two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge.

His iron play? Not as sharp, and it’s the reason why he heads into the weekend 10 shots off the lead.

“I’ve been pretty pleased, overall, with the way I’ve been driving the ball, and very displeased with the way my iron game has been,” said Mickelson, who shot 68 Friday on PGA West’s Nicklaus course. He has hit only 21 of 36 greens so far this week. “Usually my iron play is a lot better than what it’s been. So I’ll go work on it and hopefully improve each round in this tournament and build a solid foundation for the upcoming West Coast events.

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“I feel like if I continue to drive the ball the way I am, and if I got my iron play back to my normal standard, I should have the results that I’ve been expecting.”

Mickelson, of course, is always bullish this time of year, but he has been able to find 10 of 14 fairways each of the past two rounds, including at narrower La Quinta Country Club, which doesn’t always fit his eye.

“This is actually the best I’ve driven it in a lot of years,” he said.

Currently in a tie for 67th, Mickelson will need a solid round on the more difficult Stadium course Saturday to ensure that he makes the 54-hole cut. He hasn’t missed a cut in his first West Coast event of the new year since 2009.