Stenson 54-Hole Leader Casey Two Back

By Golf Channel NewsroomApril 22, 2006, 4:00 pm
European TourSHANGHAI, China -- Sweden's Henrik Stenson posted a 1-under 71 on Saturday to remain one shot ahead after three rounds of the BMW Asian Open. He stands at 6-under-par 210 with Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano as his closest competitor at Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club.
 
The Spanish Fernandez-Castano, whose only tour victory came last year at the KLM Dutch Open, shot a 3-under 69 on Saturday. He is at minus-5 and is the only player in the field to post three rounds under par.
 
Peter O'Malley and Paul Casey both carded rounds of 3-under 69 and are tied with Mahal Pearce, who fired 4-under 68 in the third round, at 4-under-par 212.
 
Paul Lawrie, the 1999 British Open champion who was alone in second place after the second round, struggled to a 1-over 73 in round three. He is knotted in sixth place with Markus Brier, who shot a 2-under 70 on Saturday, at minus-3.
 
The second round was completed on Saturday as lightning storms caused the suspension of play on Friday. Stenson missed a 10-foot birdie putt on his final hole Saturday morning, but still took a one-shot lead into the third round.
 
Saturday's third round featured the same blustery winds that wreaked havoc on scoring Friday. The temperatures dipped quite a bit as well, which led to only 10 scores under par of the 73 players who made the cut.
 
Stenson extended his margin with a birdie at the very first hole, but dropped a shot at the third, his second bogey at the hole during the tournament. He bogeyed the sixth hole, which dropped him out of the lead thanks to a strong run by O'Malley.
 
Fernandez-Castano surged up the leaderboard thanks to four birdies in his first 11 holes. That got him to 6 under par and put him into a tie for first with O'Mally after the Australian birdied No. 14.
 
Stenson steadied himself with a birdie at the par-5 ninth to get back to 5 under par. Fernandez-Castano was alone in the lead at minus-6, and himself played solid golf on the back nine. He parred holes 12-17, but a bogey at the par-five closing hole dropped him into a tie atop the leaderboard with Stenson.
 
The Swede reclaimed sole possession of the lead with a birdie at 16. He parred his final two holes and is now one round away from claiming his second victory of the season on the European Tour. Stenson captured the Qatar Masters and a win on Sunday would be his fourth.
 
Fernandez-Castano birdied the second, sixth, ninth and 13th holes, but his untimely bogey at the closing hole dropped him out of a share for the 54-hole lead.
 
Eight-time Order of Merit winner Colin Montgomerie shot a 1-under 71 and is tied for eighth place. Jose-Filipe Lima only managed a 1-over 73 and joined Montgomerie at minus-2.
 
Graeme Storm, Simon Dyson and Jose Manuel Lara all posted identical rounds of even-par 72 on Saturday. The trio is knotted in 10th place at 1-under-par 215.
 
The Golf Channel TV coverage begins each morning at 9 a.m. (ET).
 
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    Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

    Former Web.com Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

    Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

    Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Web.com Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Web.com Tour Player of the Year.

    McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

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    Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

    By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

    Memo to the golf gods:

    If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

    Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

    It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

    With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

    It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

    We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

    We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

    Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.


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    Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

    We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

    In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

    While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

    Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

    Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

    Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

    While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

    Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

    So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

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    McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

    By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

    With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

    The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

    Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

    "I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

    McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

    But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

    "I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

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    What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

    Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

    Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

    Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

    Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

    Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

    Ball: Titleist Pro V1x