Duke Crowns Les Quatre Domaines
The 1999 McDonalds Order of Merit champion carded an 8-under-par 64 and sits at 13-under through two days, one shot in front of Canadian Tour rookie Dave Christensen (Otsego, MN). Michael Kirk (South Africa) is four shots back, while Roger Tambellini (Templeton, Calif.) is five off the pace. Craig Matthew of Ile Bizard, QC is tied for fourth with three others at 7-under.
The mercury climbed into the high 30s C for the ninth consecutive day in Montreal Friday, and the humidity factor pushed it well into the 40s. A swirling breeze made conditions at least bearable, but also played havoc with routine shots on the 7079-yard, par-72 Les Quatre Domaines #2 course.
For the second time in as many days, the 32-year-old Duke mastered the back nine for a 6-under 30 despite the gusting wind.
It seemed just like (Thursday), with a similar wind, and it almost felt like I was playing the exact same round, said Duke, a two-event Tour winner two years ago. I am a low-ball hitter, so the wind didnt affect me as much as it would some of the other guys.
While the wind didnt hinder his performance, Duke conceded the humidity left its mark on the field over the first two days of play, even following heavy rain Thursday night.
On Thursday, I got tired just after making the turn. The wind I can live with, but that humidity made it so tough. The rain cooled things off a bit, but it was still hot out there.
As one of the long-ball hitters on the Canadian Tour, Duke added the Les Quatre Domaines layout may be suited for his game, although the key will be to stay on the fairway.
Sure, it helps to hit it long, but you have to stay straight, he said. With five par-5s out there, a lot of these guys are going to score. Im just going to keep going about my business-some days you have it, some days you dont. Hopefully, I can keep this up on the weekend.
Christensen, 24, who had three second-place finishes in four starts earlier this year as the Canadian Tour kicked off its season in Myrtle Beach, S.C., fired his second straight 66 to get within striking distance of Duke. Still, he is not thinking too far ahead when asked if the time has come to shake the bridemaids tag.
As much as I want to finally win, it is so nice to be close, he said. I learned a lot from those finishes in Myrtle Beach. But its fun to be right in the hunt as opposed just making the cut.
Seventy players shot even par or better to survive the cut and will compete for the $32,000 top prize on the weekend.
Full-field scores from the TELUS Open
CareerBuilder purse payouts: Rahm wins $1.062 million
Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry on the fourth hole of sudden death to win the CareerBuilder Challenger. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out in La Quinta, Calif.:
|T20||Charles Howell III||-14||$57,754|
|T36||Tyrone Van Aswegen||-12||$27,189|
|T69||Billy Hurley III||-6||$11,623|
After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time
Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.
On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...
Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).
Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.
It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard
On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...
There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.
He sure looks like the real deal, though.
His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.
Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner
Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2
With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.
He picked up one more No. 2, too.
The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.
In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.
Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.
“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”
Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.
Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.
He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.
Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title
Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.
Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.
His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.
“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."
Tom Brady, postgame, on wearing the wrap on his hand: “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that. It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament.”— Ryan Lavner (@RyanLavnerGC) January 22, 2018
Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.
Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.