Love Leads Western by 3 Tiger by 8
Making just his fourth start in three months due to a bulging disc, Love shot a 5-under 67 to take the lead into the weekend in the Advil Western Open.
Love stands at 11-under-par 133, three shots clear of Brandel Chamblee, who shot an early 67 on Friday.
Scott Hoch is in third place at 7-under following a round of 68.
Love started his day with a bogey at the 1st, but birdied the 2nd and eagled the par-5 5th. Leading the event at 8-under, Love birdied the par-4 8th and holed his bunker shot at the par-4 13th for another red number.
This years Pebble Beach champion closed his round by birdieing the par-4 18th, which has ranked as the hardest hole of the tournament, thus far.
Tiger Woods jumped from the cutline into contention by shooting a 4-under 68.
Woods, who opened in 73, carded five birdies and one bogey on Cog Hills Dubsdread Course to finish 36 holes at 3-under-par 141.
Im trying to get back in the tournament, at least give myself a chance going into the weekend, Woods said.
I played terrible yesterday, but today I hit the ball pretty good. If I can just get a few more putts to fall and get some positive momentum going, I might have a good weekend.
Overnight leader Mark Wiebe followed a Thursday 65 with a day-two 74. A bogey-free first round turned into a birdie-free second round. He now stands six off the lead at 5-under-par 139.
Phil Mickelson, who was one off the 18-hole lead, saw a lackluster second round end in disaster. Even par for the day, the lefty hit his second shot into the water left of the green at the par-4 18th. He carded a double-bogey 6 for a 74. Last weeks winner is 4-under-par heading into the weekend in Lemont, Ill.
Today just wasnt a good day for me, Mickelson said. I just couldnt seem to get the ball in the hole. Ill see if I can come back tomorrow with a low round.
Woods fell victim to the home hole Thursday, as he, too, made double.
Friday, Tiger successfully navigated the 18th to the tune of par. The two-time Western champion birdied two of his first three holes and made the turn in 3-under.
Woods dropped a shot at the par-4 4th, his 13th hole of the day, but rebounded with a pair of birdies on the par-5 5th and par-5 9th holes.
Chamblee took advantage of the par-5s in round two, as well. He birdied three of the four long holes. Overall, he recorded seven birdies and two bogeys.
The winner of the 1998 Greater Vancouver Open, Chamblee missed his first four cuts in 2001 before losing in a six-way playoff at the Nissan Open.
Aside from seeking his first victory in three years, the 39-year-old is also trying to qualify for the British Open in two weeks.
The top eight finishers at the Western who arent already exempt for the Open Championship will earn a trip to Royal Lytham.
I spent a summer in Europe in 1982/1983 and I played Royal Lytham and I love it, Chamblee said. Id love to be there. Im not in the British Open at this point, but certainly I would relish the chance to play there.
Full-field scores from the Advil Western Open
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia
This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.
The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.
Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.
The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.
A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.
And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.
Green jacket tour
Man of the people
Ace at 17th at Sawgrass
Departure from TaylorMade
Squashed beef with Paddy
Victory at Valderrama
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates:
No. 4: Dec. 13
No. 3: Dec. 14
No. 2: Dec. 15
No. 1: Dec. 18
Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf
Well, this is a one new one.
According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:
“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”
Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.
“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.
The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.
“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”
The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.
Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.
Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.
PGA Tour suspends Hensby for anti-doping violation
Mark Hensby has been suspended for one year by the PGA Tour for violating the Tour’s anti-doping policy by failing to provide a sample after notification.
The Tour made the announcement Monday, reporting that Hensby will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.
The statement reads:
The PGA Tour announced today that Mark Hensby has violated the Tour Anti-Doping Policy for failing to provide a drug testing sample after notification and has been suspended for a period of one year. He will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.
Hensby, 46, won the John Deere Classic in 2004. He played the Web.com Tour this past year, playing just 14 events. He finished 142nd on the money list. He once ranked among the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking but ranks No. 1,623 today.
The Sunshine Tour recently suspended player Etienne Bond for one year for failing a drug test. Players previously suspended by the PGA Tour for violating the anti-doping policy include Scott Stallings and Doug Barron.
The PGA Tour implemented revisions to its anti-doping program with the start of the 2017-18 season. The revisions include blood testing and the supplementation of the Tour’s prohibited list to include all of the substances and methods on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list. As part of this season’s revisions, the Tour announced it would also begin reporting suspensions due to recreational drug use.
The Tour said it would not issue further comment on Hensby's suspension.