Germany To Cure Open Hangovers

By Golf Channel NewsroomJuly 18, 2005, 4:00 pm
European TourFresh off the biggest event of the year at the Open Championship in Scotland, the European Tour heads to Germany for the Deutsche Bank Players Championship of Europe.
The good news/bad news story for players this week is that there will be no Tiger Woods to deal with, as he has left the proverbial building, crossing back over the Atlantic for some alone time with the Claret Jug. That's the good news.
The bad news is that due to its proximity to the Open Championship, a tough, strong field has stuck around and thus with have to battle each other for the $664,000 first-place check.
Take Tiger off the leaderboard in St. Andrews and what you would see is quite an impressive European Tour presence, with the likes of Retief Goosen, Jose Maria Olazabal, Colin Montgomerie, current U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell and Germany's own Bernhard Langer all hovering around the top.
More good news is that the players will welcome Ireland's Padraig Harrington back into the fold after he sat out of the Open due to the death of his father from cancer. Hopefully for Harrington, his fine play in this event over the past several years will go along way in his effort to bounce back from such an emotional past week.
The Irishman took home the title in 2003 after nipping Thomas Bjorn in a playoff and then last year finished runner-up after a back-nine duel with Trevor Immelman.
Immelman himself will be back to defend his title, which was his fourth career Euro title. After winning two events in each of the past two seasons, the young South African has yet to reach the winner's circle thus far in 2005, though he has registered a handful of top-10s.
But the big headliner is obviously Germany's favorite golfing son, Langer. A two-time winner of this event - his first win all the way back in 1983 and then a second coming in 1995 - Langer is coming off a pleasing fifth-place effort at the Open.
Although Langer plays predominately on the U.S. PGA Tour, he still has strong ties when it comes to golf in Germany. Besides his two wins in this event, the 48-year-old Langer also has four Linde German Masters to his credit, an event that he co-promotes with his brother Erwin.
Joining Langer and the rest of the big names in Germany are England's Ian Poulter, American John Daly, and Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez.
Played at Gut Kaden Golf und Land Club, the Hamburg venue has hosted six of the last ten editions of the Deutsche Bank.
The Golf Channel will broadcast all four rounds live beginning Thursday at 8:30 a.m. (ET).
Related links:
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  • Full Coverage - Deutsche Bank Players Championship

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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.