TOUR Notes Tiger Reigns Supreme in Florida

By Golf Channel NewsroomMarch 20, 2007, 4:00 pm
News and notes from PGA TOUR officials for the PGA, Champions and Nationwide tours.
PGA Tour (75x100) PGA TOUR:
  • Tiger Woods has won nine tournaments in the state of Florida, the most of any active player. Hes also won five World Golf Championships-CA Championship titles, including the last two and has won the last two TOUR stops at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa.
  • Vijay Singhs victory last week was his 19th since turning 40. Thats the most of any player in history. If you simply took his victories since turning 40, he would still rank 37th on the all-time victory list. Hes now tied with Englands Harry Cooper for the most wins by a non-American player in TOUR history (31).
  • More on Vijay: He regained the FedExCup points lead with his victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and has a chance to stretch that lead even further this week as the CA Championship will offer 26,250 points instead of the usual 25,000.
  • With a strong crop of international players competing this week at the CA Championship, dont be surprised to see one of them win at Doral. While no international players won at the old TOUR stop at Doral from 1962 through 1989, eight of the last 17 winners there hailed from outside the U.S.
  • Hes flown a little under the radar, but John Rollins is having a very strong 2007 season. Hes fourth on the FedExCup points list after finishing in the top 25 in seven of his nine starts. He also leads the TOUR in rounds in the 60s with 17.
    The top five players on the FedExCup points list have averaged just over eight starts in the seasons first 11 weeks.
  • Whos 3-putted the least this season? Both David Duval and Zach Johnson have 3-putted less than 1% of the time (.98%). Johnson has the current longest streak without a 3-putt at 197 consecutive holes.

    Champions Tour CHAMPIONS TOUR:
  • Loren Roberts set a new Champions Tour record for consecutive par-or-better rounds last week, stretching his current streak to 35 in a row. During that span of time hes 115 under par.
  • Last weeks four-hole playoff between Roberts and Tom Purtzer was the longest on the Champions Tour since Hubert Green edged Hale Irwin in a seven-hole playoff at the 2002 Lightpath Long Island Classic.
  • Dale Douglass had a first-round 70 to beat his age by one stroke at last weeks AT&T Champions Classic. Its the fifth time hes shot his age or better on the Champions Tour.

    Nationwide Tour NATIONWIDE TOUR:
  • Theres a strong field assembled this week at the Chitimacha Louisiana Open as the Nationwide Tour opens the domestic portion of its schedule. There are 17 former PGA TOUR winners in the field, including two former major championship winners. There are also three former Nationwide Tour Players of the Year, four former U.S. Amateur and four former U.S. Public Links champs entered, as well as four former Ryder Cup team members and one former President Cup team competitor.
  • If Steve Jones and Larry Mize tee it up as scheduled, they will become the eighth and ninth former major championship winners to compete on the Nationwide Tour.
  • The best players from around the world are finding the Nationwide Tour an attractive place to play. There will be competitors from 17 different countries teeing it up this week in Louisiana.
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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.  

    Getty Images

    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.” 

    Getty Images

    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.”

    Getty Images

    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.