Heffernan on Top of CanTour Leaderboard

By Marty HenwoodAugust 5, 2006, 4:00 pm
Canadian Tour-LargeMONTREAL, Que. -- One had to think American Brock Mackenzie was due for a slip at the Casino de Montreal Open for the Players Championship. When it came, Calgarys Wes Heffernan was ready to pounce.

With the overnight leader having his hands full with Quatre Domaines GC for the first time this week, Heffernan took advantage with a 3-under 69 during Saturdays third round. He will take the outright lead into the final day for the first time with an 18-under 198 total, one shot better than American Brian Guetz (69).

Travis Johnson fired a 64 to leap into a tie for third with Canadians Darren Griff (69), Chris Baryla (67) as well as three-time Tour winner Rob Johnson (70).

Looking to build on rounds of 61-67, Mackenzie, a former amateur standout at the University of Washington, ran into a wall Saturday with a 4-over 40 on his front nine, eight shots worse than Heffernan, being the catalyst for a 74.

Saturday marked the first time this week that the lift, clean and place rule was not in effect. Heavy storms early in the week left Quatre Domaines waterlogged and tournament officials decided to play it down after the second round, suspended by darkness Friday night, wrapped up early in the morning. Brisk winds in the afternoon also prevented any of the leaders from running away from the pack.

A total of 64 players were 5-under 139 or better to play on the weekend, making it the lowest cut number relative to par in Canadian Tour history.

Guetz held a one-shot lead playing the par-4 ninth but gave that one back with a bogey. Playing in the next group, Heffernan knocked it within 20 feet on nine and made birdie to take over top spot on the leaderboard.

Heffernan stayed one up on the back until Griff converted back-to-back birdies on 15 and 16 to pull even. Facing a 93-yard third shot on the par-5 closing hole, Heffernan tape-measured it to two feet to set up a tap-in for the outright lead.

At the start of the day, I didnt think 69 would hold up, Heffernan admitted. I hit the ball great but hardly made anything. We (the leaders) stalled a little bit but it worked out.

Heffernan and Griff have enjoyed an almost carbon-copy run through Canada this summer. In his last four starts, Griff has been inside the top ten three times including a second-place showing to Josh Habig two weeks ago at the MTS Classic. Dating back to the Diablo Grande California Classic in April, Heffernan has four top eight showings in five events.

Griff continued his solid play Saturday and managed a bogey-free round until the par-3 17th. It was his first bogey since his second hole Thursday. On 18, he just missed a 12-footer that would have seen him in the house with a share of the lead.

Not playing lift, clean and place sure made this a different golf course, said Griff, referring to the low scores through the opening two days. I really didnt do anything special. I made some solid par putts to put myself in position again. But it is what it is. Its golf. We should have a lot of fun tomorrow.

Guetz will be looking for his second win of the season in Montreal and knows the $32,000 winners cheque would likely him from fourth into the top two on the Rolex money list. Quatre Domaines is biting back for the first time this week, which should make for a wild finish.

Not playing ball in hand is like two shots for every player, he said. The course is starting to get hard and the greens are firming up. I think you will see a whole different course tomorrow.

Its shaping up to be a great finish. Hopefully we can have some fun and give them a show.

Johnson made the biggest charge on moving day with an 8-under 64 despite not making it to the course until 20 minutes before his tee time.

I didnt know Montreal was this much fun, laughed the 25-year-old. We stayed up a little too late last night, but it worked out well, didnt it?

One year ago Peter Tomasulo, Johnsons friend and fellow Long Beach, Calif. native, won this event and followed that up with a triumph at the Nationwide Tours Alberta Classic.

Johnson would like nothing better than a little Golden State karma.

I wouldnt mind following Peters little stretch, he added. Ill try to catch that draft from my buddy from Long Beach and see where I end up.

There will also be a little extra incentive for Heffernan and the three other Canadians inside the top ten heading into Sunday. Since Matt McQuillan won the Telus Edmonton Open last summer, American-born players have swept the next 13 events through the MTS Classic.

The Maple Leaf is flying high in LaBelle Province and Heffernan wants nothing more than to grab his first Tour win to snap the U.S. run.

Its always great to see Canadians win, especially up here in Canada, he added. Ill go out there and do the same things I have done the last three days. You have to make birdies when you have the chance. Ive been playing well most of the year and I think Im ready.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Casino de Montreal 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 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.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    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.