Furyk Funk Share PGA Championship Lead

By Mercer BaggsAugust 15, 2002, 4:00 pm
Jim Furyk is often left out of the Best Player Never to Have Won a Major debate. And after this week, it could be for a very good reason.
Furyk made a five-foot par putt at the last for a bogey-free 4-under-par 68. He shares the Day 1 lead with Fred Funk in the 84th PGA Championship in Chaska, Minn.
Funk made a late surge, birdieing 15, 16 and 17 to make the most of his first round in a major this season.
'I didn't make Augusta; I didn't make the U.S. Open; and I went over (to Europe) for three weeks to get into the British and didn't qualify for that,' said Funk.
The first round was suspended at 8:19 PM local time, after lightning delayed play for three hours in the morning.
Thirty-nine players will have to complete their opening 18 holes Friday morning.
Australian Peter Lonard was at 4-under, but bogeyed the 18th from a fairway bunker to finish with a round of 69. Justin Rose also ended the day at minus 3.
Two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen shot 70, as did 1997 PGA champion Davis Love III. Love double bogeyed the 16th, but made a long birdie at the last to finish at 2-under.
'It could have been any kind of number, from 66 on up,' said Love, who led after the first round of the Masters, but finished tied for 14th. 'I wanted to get off to a good start and, you know, I can forget all the bad swings and look up at the leaderboard and say I'm in good position for the next three days.'
Jeff Sluman and Mark Calcavecchia narrowly completed their rounds of 70. Greg Norman and Retief Goosen are also at 2-under, through 15 and 14 holes, respectively.
Both Furyk and Funk are seeking their first major titles, and this would be the tournament in which to do so. Eleven of the past 14 winners have made the PGA Championship their first major victory; Tiger Woods (1999 and 2000) and Nick Price (1994) are the only exceptions.
Thursday's marquee threesome of Masters and U.S. Open champion Woods, British Open champion Ernie Els and defending PGA Champion David Toms failed to produce first-round fireworks at the 7,360-yard Hazeltine National Golf Club. Woods shot 1-under 71, Els shot 72, and Toms had a 77.
'To end up at 1-under-par today, with these conditions, I'll take that,' Woods said. 'Anything under par today is going to be a good score.'
Furyk is making just his third start since the birth of his daughter, Caleigh Lynn, on June 24. He missed the cut at the British Open, but tied for 10th in last weeks Buick Open.
Furyk has had major success in the past, with nine top-10 finishes (three in this event), but has missed the cut in all three majors this season.
'It's been a bit of a frustrating year, I've either played really well or really poorly,' said Furyk, who won the Memorial, but has also missed six cuts (the most he's missed since 1995).
Starting at the 10th Thursday, he bogeyed the par-3 13th and birdied the par-4 16th to make the turn in even par. He then played the front side in 4-under 32.
Furyk twice recorded back-to-back birdies on his inward half. He birdied the first and second holes, as well as the sixth and seventh.
Furyk teed off at 7:55 AM local time, but, thanks to the delay, didnt complete his round until 3:30 PM.

Officials sounded the horn at 8:36 AM, just after Woods had hit his opening tee shot. Around 11:30 AM, he finally hit shot No. 2.
There was no rain falling when play was halted, but officials were being very cautious after what happened the last time Hazeltine hosted a major championship.
In the 1991 U.S. Open, spectator Billy Fadell was killed and five other were hospitalized when struck by lightning during the first round.
Upon his return, Woods parred his first hole, the par-4 10th, and then birdied the next two. But after five straight pars, an errant drive at the par-4 18th led to his first bogey of the day. He hit another poor drive at the par-4 first and made 5 to fall to even par for the round.
Tiger split the fairway at the par-4 second, but blew his approach shot into the right greenside bunker. He splashed out to 15 feet and converted the save to avoid a third consecutive bogey.
Els followed his playing partners path. The South African chipped in for birdie at the 10th and rolled in an eight-footer for birdie at 11 to quickly get to 2-under. However, he hit his tee shot into the left water hazard at the signature 16th hole, and then three-putted from 50 feet at the second to give back both strokes.
Likewise, Toms birdied the 11th, but then double bogeyed the 12th and bogeyed 14, 16, 2 and 5. He concluded his day with a double bogey at the par-3 eighth.
'I just had a horrible ball-striking day,' Toms said.
Unlike Toms, though, Woods and Els were able to stay afloat. Els made a 25-footer for birdie at the par-5 third, while Woods matched him with a six-footer at the par-3 fourth.
Woods parred his final five holes; Els bogeyed the ninth.
'It was really hard to pull a club. The wind not only was changing its intensity, but was coming out of different directions, too,' Woods said. 'But overall, I'm very pleased with my round.'
Tiger is trying to become the first player to twice win three majors in the same season. Only Ben Hogan, in 1951, and Woods, in 2000, have done so once.
The world's No. 1, who won the Buick Open, is also trying to become the first player since Lee Trevino in 1971 to win a major championship the week after winning a regular PGA Tour event.
Full-field scores from the 84th PGA Championship
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Pepperell among co-leaders early in Qatar

By Associated PressFebruary 22, 2018, 5:06 pm

DOHA, Qatar – Eddie PepperellGregory Havret, and Aaron Rai made the most of calm early morning conditions at Doha Golf Club to set the pace in the opening round of the Qatar Masters at 7-under-par 65 on Thursday.

Havret went bogey free, Pepperell made one bogey and eight birdies, while fellow English golfer Rai eagled his last hole to add to five birdies.

One shot behind the leaders were four players, including former Ryder Cup player Edoardo Molinari of Italy and former champion Alvaro Quiros of Spain.

Defending champion Jeunghun Wang of South Korea started with a 68, and Race to Dubai leader Shubhankar Sharma of India shot 69 despite a double bogey on the 15th hole.

Full-field scores from the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters

Pepperell, who is fast gaining a reputation on the European Tour for his irreverent tweets and meaningful blogs, showed his clubs can also do an equal amount of talking after missing cuts in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Malaysia.

Pepperell birdied Nos. 10, 11, 14, 16 and 18 with a single blemish on 13 after starting on the back nine. He made three more birdies on his back nine.

He was joined on top of the leaderboard by Havret, who made five birdies in six holes from the sixth, and Rai, who eagled the last.

''I surprised myself, really,'' said Pepperell, who finished third in Portugal and Netherlands last year.

''I've made some changes this week with personnel, so I've been working on a couple of new things and I surprised myself out there with how well I managed to trust it.

''I hit some quality tee shots, that's the area I feel that I've been struggling with a bit lately. We had a good time.

''It's definitely a bigger picture for me this week than tomorrow and indeed the weekend. I'm not overly-fussed about my early season form.”

Molinari, a three-time champion on the tour including last year in Morocco, started with eight straight pars, and then made seven birdies in his last 10 holes, including a chip-in for birdie on the last.

''I hit every green apart from the last one. I hit a lot of fairways, I had a lot of chances for birdie,'' said Edoardo, the older brother of Francesco.

''Last week in Oman, I had a decent week, I had a bad first round and then three very good rounds. It's been the case for the last few weeks so my focus this week was to try and get a good start.''

Oliver Fisher of England was the best among the afternoon groups with a 6-under 66, joining Molinari, Quiros and Germany's Marcel Schneider in a tie for fourth.

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Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 22, 2018, 4:45 pm

Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

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Honda Classic: Tee times, TV schedule, stats

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 22, 2018, 2:15 pm

The PGA Tour heads back east to kick off the Florida Swing at PGA National. Here are the key stats and information for the Honda Classic. Click here for full-field tee times.

How to watch:

Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6PM ET

Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6PM ET

Purse: $6.6 million ($1,188,000 to the winner)

Course: PGA National, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (par-70; 7,140 yards)

Defending champion: Rickie Fowler (-12) won by four, picking off his fourth PGA Tour victory.

Notables in the field:

Tiger Woods

• Making his fourth start at the Honda Classic and his first since withdrawing with back spasms in 2014.

• Shot a Sunday 62 in a T-2 finish in 2012, marking his lowest career final-round score on the PGA Tour.

• Coming off a missed cut at last week's Genesis Open, his 17th in his Tour career.

Rickie Fowler

• The defending champion owns the lowest score to par and has recorded the most birdies and eagles in this event since 2012.

• Fowler's last start was at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where he failed to close a 54-hole lead. Fowler is 1-for-6 with 54-hole leads in his Tour career, with his only successful close coming at last year's Honda.

• On Tour this year, Fowler is first in scrambling from the fringe, second in total scrambling and third in strokes gained around the green. 

Rory McIlroy

• It's been feast or famine for McIlroy at the Honda. He won in 2012, withdrew with a toothache in 2013, finished T-2 in 2014 and missed the cut in 2015 and 2016.

• McIlroy ascended to world No. 1 with his victory at PGA National in 2012, becoming the second youngest player at 22 years old to top the OWGR, behind only Woods. McIlroy was later edged by a slightly younger 22-year-old Jordan Spieth.

• Since the beginning of 2010, only Dustin Johnson (15) has more PGA Tour victories than McIlroy (13). 

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Lexi, J. Korda part of four-way tie in Thailand

By Associated PressFebruary 22, 2018, 1:01 pm

CHONBURI, Thailand – Three-time tour winner Minjee Lee of Australia finished with a superb eagle putt to be among the four leaders after Day 1 of the LPGA Thailand at Siam Country Club on Thursday.

Lee sank a 45-foot putt on the 18th hole to card a 6-under-par 66 to tie for the lead with 2016 champion Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda, and local hope Moriya Jutanugarn.

''I just hit the collar. I didn't know if I was going to have enough. Such a big break there. I'm glad it caught the hole,'' Lee said.

''It's a second-shot golf course. Your approaches are really important, and obviously being in the right spots with the undulation. And if you have a hot putter that's going to help.''

Full-field scores from the Honda LPGA Thailand

Lee won the Vic Open near Melbourne this month and opened her 2018 LPGA tour account last week at the Women's Australian Open, finishing fifth.

Thompson, who won this event in 2016 by six shots with a 20-under total and tied for fourth last year, started her latest round in style with an eagle followed by a birdie only to bogey the third hole. She carded four more birdies.

''It definitely helps to get that kind of start, but I was just trying to keep that momentum and not get ahead of myself,'' Thompson said.

Her compatriot Korda had a roller-coaster round which featured eagles on the first and 17th holes, five birdies, a double bogey on the sixth, and two bogeys.

Jutanugarn was the only player among the four to end the day without a bogey.

''I had a good start today, it was better than I expected,'' said Jutanugarn, who was seventh here last year.

She's trying to become the first Thai winner of the tournament.

Two-time champion Amy Yang and world No. 2 Sung Hyun Park were among six players at 5 under.