Pilkington and Karlsson Set Records in Qatar
The mark bests the old record at Doha of 64, which was set by Andrew Sherborne and David Carter in the 1998 edition of this event.
Karlsson and Pilkington lead by two shots over Frenchman Olivier Edmond and by three over a group of five who shot 6-under 66, including Roger Wessels and Angel Cabrera.
They managed to do so in the calm, early morning conditions of Qatar, when hardly a breath of the annual Shamal (sandstorm) winds were blowing. Pilkington's round consisted of an eagle three at his opening hole - the par-5 10th. He would go on to record seven other birdies. Karlsson's day, which also began on the back nine, was on pace to be even better, as entering the par-5 9th - his 18th of the day - he had already recorded 10 birdies against no bogies.
But a pulled tee shot at the last, which was deemed unplayable and resulted in a penalty stroke, resulted in a bogey six to drop his score to 9-under 63.
Following the round, Karlsson claimed that it wasn't his only bad swing of the day with the big stick, but the rest of his game was good enough to amend: 'Funnily enough, I struggled a bit with my driver all day but otherwise it was good out there. I hit really, really good iron shots and when I hit it in to 10 or 12 feet, I tended to make my chances.'
Likewise, Pilkington tended to make most of his chances. And it started right off the bat with the 20-footer for eagle at his first.
'The putt was a nice way to settle myself down, but really all three shots on the opening hole were pretty good,' the 22-year-old Welshman stated. 'Of course, we had the best part of the day. There was precious little wind and it was a lot cooler at that time of the morning.'
The conditions would, in fact, become progressively more difficult as the day went on. Yet, they never became overly-bearing, and several other players who managed a good day of it were ANZ Players Championship winner Peter Lonard, veteran Eammon Darcy and last week's big victor in the Dubai Desert Classic, Thomas Bjorn.
They all came in with rounds of 3-under-par 69, and reside amongst a large group of 13 others on the mark.
The day was not quite so easy for Welshman Phillip Price, however. The 34-year-old, who played so solidly all year during the 2000 season (including a second-place showing at the WGC NEC Invitational), made two bogies, two doubles and a triple for a score of 78.
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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?
Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.
Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”
Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.
Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.
The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. 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.
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 Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.
The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. 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. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.