Former US Amateur Stars Continue To Leave Mark In Texas
The 2000 U.S. Amateur champion carded 3-under 69 for a 36-hole total of 133, one shot better than Steve Scott and Roger Tambellini. Bryn Parry of Vancouver is the top Canadian at 8-under, leaving him tied for fourth spot with defending Order Of Merit winner Aaron Barber (Orlando, Fla.) and 1998 U.S. Amateur champion Hank Kuehne.
After starting the day eight shots off the lead, Kuehne carded an 8-under 64 Friday to climb to within striking distance.
The Tours first official event of the season features a $150,000 total purse.
Less than 24 hours after setting a new Kingwood Country Club Forest Course record with an opening-round 64, Quinney saw the mark bettered by one on Friday by Scott. The 24-year-old Scott, the runner up-to Tiger Woods in the 1996 U.S. Amateur final, set the new benchmark despite battling a stomach virus all day, a condition that kept him awake most of Thursday night.
That is a heck of a score on this track, and it looks like he took advantage of the morning draw, said Quinney of Scotts round. I didnt hit the ball as well as I did Thursday, but anytime you shoot low you need a couple of breaks. Hank got off to a great start today and he got a couple of bounces when he needed them.
Quinney was paired with Kuehne and reigning U.S. Amateur champion Bubba Dickerson Friday. The third round will see him teamed with Tambellini and Scott, but Quinney refuses to look too far ahead.
I dont pay any attention to the leaderboard, it really doesnt matter what anyone else is doing. My job is to go out, make birdies and try to go as low as I can. Its going to be a real dogfight this weekend.
For the second time in as many days, golfers teeing it up in the morning draw took full advantage of the calm winds before strong gusts began to swirl throughout Kingwood in the early afternoon.
A weary Scott arrived at Kingwood just after daybreak Friday and birdied four of his first six holes out of the gate.
To tell you the truth, I felt worse today then I did (Thursday) night, said the two-time U.S. Walker Cup Team member, adding wife/caddy Kristi was up with him most of the night. I have no idea how I pulled that off today - but you know what they say, beware of the sick man.
Widely regarded as one of the top putters on Tour, Scott used that strength to his advantage in the second round, needing just 25 putts all day.
Im feeling good about my overall play right now, but putting is everything in this game. Everything feeds off how many you can get to drop.
Tambellini, scheduled to leave to play the Buy.Com Tour after next weeks Texas Challenge in Austin, is pleased to be heading into the weekend after two solid rounds (66,68).
I hit a couple of tentative shots coming home (Friday) that may have hurt me a bit, admitted Tambellini, who was also one of the six involved in the Vancouver playoff last June. But I think I am playing well. As long as I stay aggressive, I should be fine on the weekend.
Now into his second year on the Canadian Tour, Parry, whose best finish was a tie for 10th at last years CanAm Days Championship in South Carolina, is gaining confidence with each start. The 30-year-old spent the off-season working with coach Doug Morgan and also teamed up with a sports psychologist in Vancouver.
I have a lot of trust in Doug, and its worked out very well for me, he said. I started feeling a lot more comfortable about halfway through last year, and now I seem to be playing more to my expectations. Playing in some better groups has helped me with my confidence to play at that level.
Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ
Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.
President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
After Turkey call I will be heading over to Trump National Golf Club, Jupiter, to play golf (quickly) with Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson. Then back to Mar-a-Lago for talks on bringing even more jobs and companies back to the USA!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2017
Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to trumpgolfcount.com has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.
Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong
HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.
Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.
''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''
Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.
Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.
''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''
Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.
Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).
''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''
Day (68) just one back at Australian Open
Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.
Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)
What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.
Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.
Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.
Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.
Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.
Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball
Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.
In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.
"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’
Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.
“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.
“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’
Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.