Hull Wins ALPG Championship in Australia

By Martin ParkFebruary 20, 2005, 5:00 pm
Local favourite Katherine Hull from Sunrise Beach delighted the gallery with a final round 2-under-par 70 to win the Titanium Enterprises ALPG Championship at the Greg Norman designed Club Pelican GC.
The powerful 22-year-old carded rounds of 69, 69 and 70 in her own back yard to post 8 under par in the breezy conditions on the Sunshine Coast to finish three shots clear of Frenchwomen Gwladys Nocera (72) and Karine Icher (70) and Lynnette Brooky of New Zealand (68).
A shot further back were Lora Fairclough from England (70) Iben Tinning from Denmark (69), Cecilia Ekelundh from Sweden (72) and Sara Beautell from Spain, who had the best of the day 5-under 67.
Anne-Marie Knight, who led after each round and forged a one shot lead heading into the final round, was disappointed with a final round 76 and finished at 3 under par alongside compatriots Sarah-Jane Kenyon and Nadina Taylor and Englands Kirsty S. Taylor.
Hull, who won twice on the U.S. Futures Tour and now plays on the LPGA Tour, has a promising career ahead of her. Already she has posted five top 20s on the LPGA Tour in her rookie season last year and begins this season with a huge confidence boost after winning the first prize in a strong field ahead of next weeks ANZ Ladies Masters down the coast at Royal Pines.
Her 70 consisted of birdies at the second, seventh and 15th with her only dropped shot coming at the difficult fifth hole. But Hull sensed it might be her day when she saved par at the ninth hole after smothering her approach shot out of the thick rough.
I really scrambled well today, said Hull, who plans on playing a whopping 29 events on the LPGA Tour this season.
I wasnt as consistent as the last two days, but my short game was the key today and made up for it. The greens were much firmer and faster than the last two days, so it was tricky out there.
I holed a six foot par putt on the ninth and that was a clutch putt which got me into a good attitude for the back nine and I played the back nine well this week.
Its a very special victory for me. I dont know how many Australian events Ive played in and Ive never won yet and after coming second last week, that was bitter-sweet, but this week, its very sweet, especially in front of my family and friends who came out to support me.
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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.  

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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.” 

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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.”

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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.