Quinney Fires Course Record To Grab Lead In Scottsdale
The 2000 U.S. Amateur champion, who was born in Oregon but now calls Scottsdale home, carded a McCormick Ranch course record 9'under 63 and holds a one shot lead over James Driscoll (Brookline, Mass.). It was Driscoll who lost that U.S. Amateur final two years ago to Quinney.
Patrick Moore is three shots back of Quinney, while Hank Kuehne, who won the Texas Challenge two weeks ago, and Doug LaBelle are four off the pace. Jim Rutledge of Victoria, B.C. is the top Canadian at 4-under.
Being at the top of the leaderboard at a recent Tour event is familiar territory for Quinney. At the Tours season-opening Texas Classic in Houston earlier this month, the 23-year-old led after each of the opening three rounds before eventually finishing second to Floridian Steve Scott.
Its funny to see all the amateur guys doing well - Hank is always up there, Steve (runner-up in 1996) and now James, said Quinney. But its still early in the week, and there are too many good players on this Tour. Just look at some of the numbers being put up so far this year.
As has been his trademark through the first two events of the year, Quinney was consistent again Thursday. After a 4-under 32 on his front nine, he went on a birdie-birdie-eagle run just after making the turn on his way to a bogey-free round. He was helped along the way with a chip-in for eagle and another for birdie.
There is a lot of birdies out there, and youre going to have to take it low to win, he added. This course is in great shape, and give credit to the people who got it this way. You have to pick your spots.
Driscoll missed the cut in the season-opening Texas Classic, but bounced back with an eighth-place showing at the Texas Challenge. He had two bogeys Thursday, but made up for it by adding an eagle and eight birdies.
I havent had a round like that in a while, so it feels pretty good right now, admitted Driscoll, a teammate of Quinneys on the 2001 U.S. Walker Cup squad. But my swing didnt feel right at all. I guess it was the wrong direction with the swing, but the right direction with the score.
After struggling with his putting in the early stages of this year, Moore abandoned his old putter and went to a different model two days ago, choosing the cross-grip over his traditional grip. The move seemed to have paid off Thursday. The 31-year-old, who also holds conditional status on the Buy.Com Tour, drained back-to-back 30-footers on the third and fourth holes and added another from 20 feet on the fifth to set the tone for his day.
I didnt shoot for a lot of pins today, I played rather conservatively, he said. But I got off to a good start and made a couple of bombs early. That putter will stay in the bag for a while.
Scoring conditions were perfect for most of Thursday, although winds picked up in the afternoon. The day also featured a hole-in-one when Chris Wollmann aced the 203-yard, par-3 fourth.
Rutledge, himself an exempt member for the upcoming Buy.Com season, is playing in this event before the Louisiana Open in two weeks.
I struggled a little bit on the front, but got it together on the back, Rutledge said of his 35-33 split. Ive been working on a lot of things, and my putting is coming around. Today, the conditions were pretty much ideal, but the weather is going to dictate things. If it gets windy, this will be a totally different course.
Full-field scores from the Scottsdale Swing at McCormick Ranch
Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas
Former Web.com Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.
Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.
Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Web.com Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Web.com Tour Player of the Year.
McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.
Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?
Memo to the golf gods:
If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?
Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?
It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.
With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.
It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.
We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.
We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.
Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.
Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line. Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.
We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors.
In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.
While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.
Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.
Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.
Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.
While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.
Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.
So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?
McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever
With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.
The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.
Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.
"I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."
McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.
But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.
"I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."
What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire
Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.
Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft
Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft
Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft
Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts
Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts
Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x