Barber Takes Honors in Emotional TELUS Open

By Marty HenwoodJuly 1, 2001, 4:00 pm
On what was likely the most emotional day in Canadian Tour history, Aaron Barber of Orlando, Fla. didnt need to say a lot Sunday following his victory at the TELUS Edmonton Open.
The look in his eyes spoke volumes.
Barber carded a 6-under'par 65 Sunday for a four-day total of 264 and a two shot win over Casey Brown (Ft. Smith, Ariz.). Mark Slawter (Raleigh, N.C.) finished three shots off the pace, while Jason Bohn (Atlanta, Ga.), playing with Barber and Brown in the final grouping of the day, finished tied for fourth with top Canadian Doug McGuigan (Langley, BC).
Teeing it up for the final round just hours after the sudden death of Zimbabwes Lewis Chitengwa, Barber capped off his second win of the season by draining a 20-foot putt on the final hole.
Chitengwa, a budding star who joined the Tour in February, died at the University of Alberta Hospital Saturday of an unknown illness. An autopsy is expected to be conducted Tuesday.
With a message reading Godspeed Lewis posted on all the leaderboards throughout the course, Barber, tears welling in his eyes following the win, admitted that seeing the words put things into perspective.
You look at the top if the leaderboard and see your name, and then you see Lewis beside it, and it doesnt really matter where you finish,' admitted Barber, who increased his lead on the McDonalds Order of Merit, with $66,119 in winnings this year. It was just golf today, nothing more.
After building up a seemingly insurmountable three shot lead with just two holes to play, Barber struggled to a bogey on the par-4 17th, while Brown birdied to pull to within one. But Barber, who also captured the Barefoot Classic in Myrtle Beach, SC earlier this year, left no doubt as to the outcome when he nailed his second shot on the par-4 final hole to within 20 feet before sinking the winning putt.
I had it going all week long, and I started to get myself in a little trouble there near the end, he said. But sinking that putt was a good thing for my career. Now I know I can make it with a tournament on the line.
A brief tribute was held Sunday following the tournament, where the TELUS Edmonton Open trophy was officially renamed in Chitengwas memory. Alan Rae, a long-time friend and who co-sponsored the three-time Zimbabwe amateur champion along with Nick Price, choked back tears as he spoke about his protg.
Lewis loved the Canadian Tour and had nothing but good things to say about playing here. He was a fine Christian young man with all the right values, and he cherished the opportunity the Canadian Tour gave him.
Plans are underway to set up a memorial fund in Chitengwas memory.
Full-field scores from the TELUS Edmonton Open
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Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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Rahm (62) fires career low round

By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

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Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.