Yellow Jackets Storm into Lead

By Golf Channel NewsroomOctober 20, 2003, 4:00 pm
Courtesy of Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
College CentralTAMPA, Fla. - Georgia Tech junior golfer Nicholas Thompson carded a pair of rounds in the 60s to lead a trio of Yellow Jackets in the top six as Tech stormed to a 12-shot lead after two rounds of play at the Gary Koch/Cleveland Golf Intercollegiate in Tampa, Fla. The 54-hole event is being contested at the par-72, 7,036-yard Old Memorial Golf Club.
'The team has worked real hard all fall and they've learned some things about how to hang in there,' said Tech coach Bruce Heppler. 'I think today showed what we're capable of, so I was real happy with the way we played.'
Paced by a pair of opening-round scores of 5-under-par 67 by Thompson and freshman Kevin Larsen, the Jackets matched the third-lowest single-round score in school history with a 16-under-par 272 to begin the day. Tech followed that with a 5-under-par 283 in the afternoon to stand at 21-under-par 555 after 36 holes. That total is 12 shots better than Arkansas, which is in second place at 9-under-par 567 and top-ranked Florida, which is in third place at 8-under-par 568.

Thompson was stellar on the day, as he finished with his opening-round 67 and a second-round total of 3-under-par 69 to stand at 8-under-par 136. He is tied with one other player in second place, just one shot off the lead of John Assey of the College of Charleston (67-68-135).
Larsen was equally solid on the first day of play, carding a pair of sub-par rounds, including a second-round total of 2-under-par 70 to stand at 7-under-par 137 through two rounds. That score ties him with one other player for fourth place in the individual standings. One shot behind Larsen is fellow rookie Roberto Castro, who is tied for sixth place following a 36-hole score of 6-under-par 138.
The final two members of the Yellow Jacket contingent in the field are sophomore Thomas Jordan, who is tied for 32nd place at 2-over-par 146 and junior Chan Wongluekiet, who is tied for 37th place at 70-77-147.
The Gary Koch/Cleveland Golf Intercollegiate will conclude on Tuesday with the final round of play.

1 Georgia Tech 272-283=555
2 Arkansas 282-285=567
3 Florida 276-292=568
4 LSU283-287=570
6 Georgia State289-285=574
7 Kentucky285-291=576
8 NC State293-289=582
9 Florida State 292-291=583
10 So. Florida296-290=586
11 Coll. Of Charleston 283-304=587
12 UCF 294-294=588
13 Mississippi 295-297=592
North Florida 299-293=592
15 Alabama 295-298=593

1 John Assey Charleston 67-68=135
2 Fernando Mechereffe NC State 69-67=136
Nicholas Thompson Ga. Tech67-69=136
4 Kevin Larsen Ga. Tech67-70=137
Adam Meyer TCU 68-69=137
6 Seth Murphy Arkansas 71-67=138
Roberto Castro Ga. Tech 68-70=138
8 Matt Every Florida 69-70=139
9 Heath West LSU 68-72=140
Colby Beckstrom TCU 66-74=140

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McIlroy 'happy to be back', can 'empathize' with Tiger

By Associated PressJanuary 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – After a long layoff from golf, Rory McIlroy has some newfound sympathy for Tiger Woods.

The 28-year-old Northern Irishman is making a comeback at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship after ending his season early last year. He has not played a round since the final day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Oct. 8.

McIlroy, a four-time major champion who has slipped to No. 11 in the world rankings, last won the Tour Championship on the PGA Tour in September 2016. He injured a rib in his first outing of 2017 – at the South African Open – and felt its after-effects throughout the year.

McIlroy, who has seven top-five finishes in his last eight starts in Abu Dhabi, said Tuesday he felt mentally low because of his physical issues.

''Honestly, I was excited to be done. I could have shut it down after the PGA Championship very easily and taken the rest of the year off, but I didn't. I played six events after that, played OK and had a chance to win one of them,'' McIlroy said. ''But I was just excited to take that time off and get myself just sort of a re-set.''

Last week, McIlroy also revealed that he has a minor, non-threatening heart condition that needs regular check-ups.

''After that 3-plus months of a re-set, I'm very happy to be back. I felt like I needed it physically and mentally. I just felt like it was a little bit of a sabbatical. I've been out here for 10 years, and I want to get ready for the next 10.''

McIlroy compared his situation to what Woods has been going through.

''I've only been through, maybe, not even 5 percent of what he's had to go through. And you can tell from where he was to where he is now mentally, because of physically where he is ... he's a totally different person,'' McIlroy said. ''Of course, I empathize with him, and I know he was in a dark place there for a while. It's just so great to see him out of that and back and excited to be playing golf again.''

The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will be the first of back-to-back events for McIlroy, who is also playing next week in Dubai.

''I think the next two weeks will be a big learning curve, just to see where I'm at,'' McIlroy said. ''I'm obviously coming into the events trying to play as well as I can and trying to compete and trying to win, but I think there will definitely be things I'll have to work on going into that stretch in the States.''

The tournament, which starts Thursday, has attracted some big names, including top-ranked Dustin Johnson, No. 6 Justin Rose, No. 9 Henrik Stenson, No. 14 Paul Casey and No. 15 Matt Kuchar. No. 18 Tommy Fleetwood is the defending champion.

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Pre-tourney caution be damned: Stenson rides camel

By Grill Room TeamJanuary 16, 2018, 3:29 pm

If you were under the impression Henrik Stenson's days of engaging in pre-tournament hijinks at HSBC-sponsored events were over, then you don't know the Swedish Superman.

Ahead of this week's HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, the 2016 champion golfer of the year decided to have some fun riding (and pretend-spanking) a camel:

If you can't imagine any reason Stenson wouldn't get on a camel, we will point you to the WGC-HSBC Champions back in October, when Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Haotong Li and Hideki Matsuyama took place in this hire-wire act:

Two weeks later, Stenson revealed a rib injury, and a report from the U.K.'s Telegraph stated "that not only was the Shanghai caper to blame, but that Stenson is annoyed about being persuaded to do it in the first place."

Stenson brushed back at that report in this Instagram post, saying that his "comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal."

I’m disappointed to have to pre-emptively withdraw from the Nedbank Golf Challenge Hosted by Gary Player, I was looking forward to this important year-end event on the European Tour. At this point I am back home in Orlando waiting to do a scan on my ribs and get the necessary rest. I am still hoping for a quick recovery and have not ruled out playing in Dubai next week at this point. My comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal. The plan as of now will be to participate in the DP World Championship if my body is back to 100%. H

A post shared by Henrik Stenson (@henrikstenson) on

And it would appear he genuinely meant those comments, at least enough to get on a camel.

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Spieth, McIlroy to support Major Champions Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:25 pm

Nick Faldo announced Tuesday the creation of the Major Champions Invitational.

The event, scheduled for March 12-14, is an extension of the Faldo Series and will feature both male and female junior players at Bella Collina in Montverde, Fla.

Jordan Spieth, Rory Mcllroy, Annika Sorenstam, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Jerry Pate and John Daly have already committed to supporting the event, which is aimed at mentoring and inspiring the next generation of players.  

“I’m incredibly excited about hosting the Major Champions Invitational, and about the players who have committed to support the event,” Faldo said. “This event will allow major champions to give something back to the game that has given them so much, and hopefully, in time, it will become one of the most elite junior golf events in the world.”

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Rosaforte: Woods plays with Obama, gets rave reviews

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:15 pm

Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte reports on Tiger Woods’ recent round at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., alongside President Barack Obama.

Check out the video, as Rosaforte says Woods received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon.