Duke Leads by One in Quebec

By Marty HenwoodAugust 10, 2002, 4:00 pm
TERREBONNE, Quebec -- Ken Duke of Boca Raton, Fla., will carry a one-shot lead into Sundays final round of the Canadian Tours Telus Quebec Open.
 
The 33-year-old fired a 6'under 66 Saturday for a 54-hole total of 13-under 203, one shot better than Hank Kuehne and Michael Harris. Doug McGuigan of Langley, BC is two shots back while David McKenzie, Parry Parker and Iain Steel are at 10-under 206.
 
Beginning the day two shots behind Kuehne, Duke made a few adjustments to his putting style prior to the round and said it paid off for him.
 
I tinkered a bit with it today and I felt a lot more comfortable over the ball, said Duke. Things just felt a lot better, and I was happy with the way I played. It was a good day for me.
 
This will not be the first time that Duke, the 1999 Order of Merit champion, finds himself near the top of the leaderboard on the weekend. Earlier this year, he led late in final round of the Scottsdale Swing at Eagle Mountain before taking a costly two-stroke penalty with just three holes to play, eventually winding up fifth. And back in June, during the Greater Vancouver Classic, Steel holed out from a greenside bunker on the 18th hole before defeating Duke in a playoff.
 
If Duke needs any more incentive to shake the bridesmaids label, all he has to look back to this event one year ago when Paul Devenport drained an 80-foot eagle putt on the final hole to force a playoff. Once again, Duke wound up second. Sunday, he is looking for a reversal of fortune.
 
I think if I can keep putting myself in this position, eventually Ill get over the top,' Duke said. 'Its really just been a lot of bad luck. Anytime you can get an advantage with these guys, you better take it or theyll steal it away. I figure my luck has got to change sooner or later.
 
Harris eagled holes 1 and 16 on his way to a 6-under 66 to climb right into the hunt. He had a birdie-eagle-birdie-par finish and hopes to carry that over into the final round.
 
I got off to a quick start and made a lot of good up and downs today, and I hope to do much of the same tomorrow, said the 24-year old. Whoever makes the least amount of mistakes is going to win. Ill just go out and try to do the little things right and see where it takes me.
 
Kuehne, who won the Texas Challenge earlier this year and is currently second on the Order of Merit, wasnt overly concerned about losing the lead Saturday and is in a comfortable position with 18 holes to go.
 
Sure I would have liked to have played better, but Im not going to fall too far back shooting 3-under, he said. I think I left a few shots out there, but I like where I am heading into tomorrow.
 
Full-field scores from the Telus Quebec Open
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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 Web.com 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.

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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.

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Mickelson starts fast, fades to 70 at La Quinta

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

Phil Mickelson got off to a fast start in his first competitive round of 2018 - for six holes, at least.

The 47-year-old is making his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, and only his third competitive appearance since the BMW Championship in September. Four birdies over his first six holes indicated that a strong opener might be in the cards, but Mickelson played his subsequent holes in 2 over.

It added up to a 2-under 70 at La Quinta Country Club, typically the easiest of the three courses in rotation this week, and left Mickelson eight shots behind Jon Rahm.

"It was fun to get back out and be competitive," Mickelson told reporters. "I for some reason am stuck on 70 here at La Quinta, whether I get off to a good start or a bad one, I end up shooting the same score."


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Mickelson stunted his momentum with a tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 eighth hole, but he managed to save bogey and otherwise drove the ball relatively well. Instead, he pointed to his normally reliable iron play as the culprit for his back-nine backslide on a day when more than 120 players in the 156-man field broke par.

Mickelson will now head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course with the Stadium Course on tap for Saturday's third round. While there were several low scores Thursday at La Quinta, Mickelson remains bullish about the birdie opportunities that still lie ahead.

"This isn't the course where I go low on," Mickelson said. "I feel more comfortable on Stadium and Nicklaus. Neither of them are nearly as tight and I tend to score a lot lower on those other two than I do here, historically."

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Rahm (62) shoots career low round at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 10:33 pm

After a banner year in 2017, Jon Rahm found a way to add yet another accolade to his growing list of accomplishments during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Rahm got off to a fast start at La Quinta Country Club, playing his first seven holes in 6 under en route to a 10-under 62. The score marked his career low on the PGA Tour by two shots and gave him an early lead in an event that utilizes a three-course rotation.

La Quinta was the site of Adam Hadwin's 59 during last year's event, and Rahm knew full well that a quick start opened the door to a memorably low score.

"Any time you have that going for you, you get thoughts come in your head, 60, maybe 59," Rahm told reporters. "I knew that if I kept playing good I was going to have more birdie opportunities, and I tried not to get ahead of myself and I was able to do it."


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Rahm birdied his first two holes before an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole sparked him to an outward 30. He added four more birdies on the inward half without dropping a shot.

The Spaniard is the highest-ranked player in the field this week, and while many players opted for a two-week stint in Hawaii he instead came home for some practice after opening the new year with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. That decision appears to have paid some early dividends as Rahm gets set to defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

Low scores were plentiful on all three courses during the opening round, and Rahm remained pleased with his effort even though he fell short of matching Hadwin's sub-60 score from a year ago.

"That's golf. You're not going to make every single putt, you're not going to hit every shot perfect," he said. "Overall, you've got to look at the bigger picture. I birdied the last hole, had a couple of great sand saves coming in, shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for."