Oldcorn Sets Pace in Valencia
The 41-year-old leads by two shots over Frenchman Jean-Francois Remesy and by three over five others, including Darren Clarke, who posted 67s. His score of 64 was but two strokes off the course record of 62 set by Bernhard Langer in 1984.
'It was never going to count with preferred lies, but it still had to be done on a really tough course,' said Oldcorn.
'As soon as I didn't birdie the 15th I knew I couldn't match Bernhard's score, but I seem to do well on demanding courses.
Oldcorns birdie run commenced from holes No. 3 through No. 14, with his last five coming in a row. Should he hold on to the lead for three more days, he will collect his first win on the European Tour since the DHL Jersey Open six years ago.
'This course demands you play well off the tee, so that played right into my hands because it's my strong point.'
Perhaps the only other player in Thursdays opening round who had a more spectacular run of golf over El Saler was Clarke.
The burly Northern Irishman got off to a torrid start, making birdie on each of his first six holes, but then failed to do anything more but bogey his 16th of the day for 67.
Nevertheless, he is in contention for what would be his first win since last seasons Compass Group English Open.
This seasons Open de Espana has brought out plenty of Spains best as well, headlined on Thursday by Carlos Rodiles, who was among Clarkes group at 5-under for the day.
The trio of Sergio Garcia, Jose Maria Olazabal and Diego Borrego also put on solid opening rounds of 3-under 69. This week marks the first European Tour event in which Garcia and Olazabal have attended. They have been spending the majority of their time in the United States, and entering Friday find themselves just five strokes back.
Full-field scores from the Via Digital Open de Espana
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.
Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.
The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.
There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.
Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.
Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.
An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.
Playing with the pros
Tiger, DJ and Faxon
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18