Seeing Red at Sahalee
Four years ago, Vijay Singh won the PGA at 9-under-par. But this time the course is soft, receptive, has an added par-5, and is being abused like the Take-A-Penny dish at 7-11.
Australian Robert Allenby established a new course record Friday, birdieing the last from the tall timbers for an 8-under 63. He shares the 36-hole lead along with Steve Lowery, who matched the previous record at 6-under 65.
The two are tied at 10-under-par 132, one shot clear of overnight co-leader Retief Goosen (68). Justin Rose, making just his second start in the U.S., is two back after a second-straight 67. He closed with a birdie, while Phil Mickelson (69) finished bogey-bogey to fall to minus 7.
This course is so much easier than in 98, said Tiger Woods, who has yet to take advantage of the conditions.
Woods shot 1-under 70 to finish at 4-under. His day included a birdie-bogey-birdie-bogey-birdie stretch on holes 2-6.
I was trying to improve my bounce-back stat, the three-time NEC champion joked.
Woods has made eight birdies and an eagle over the first two rounds, but hes also notched four bogeys and a double.
Just threw away a couple of shots out there today, said Woods, who missed four greens in regulation over his first eight holes. I didnt play as well as I did yesterday. Today, I didnt hit the ball particularly well ' didnt hit it flush today.
Tiger is trying to become the first player since Walter Hagen (1924-27 in the PGA Championship) to win the same event four consecutive years. To do so, hell have to do what others have already done.
You have to shoot low because the guys (in front) are going to continue to shoot low, he said.
'I don't care how long (a course) is or how short it is, with the green soft, guys are going to go low.'
Going low was the cry of the day in round two, and a call Allenby answered.
Starting the day four back, he made the turn in a routine 1-under 35. But after another par at the 10th, he played his final eight holes in 7-under.
Allenbys scoring kick-started at the par-5 11th, where he hit a 3-iron over the trees guarding the green to 10 feet. He made the eagle, and then birdied 13, 14, 15 and 16; none of his birdie putts in that stretch were longer than eight feet.
At the par-5 18th, the four-time PGA Tour winner pulled his 2-iron approach, but hit a bump-and-run sand-wedge to six feet to set a new personal best score on tour.
'The course was set up for scoring,' said Allenby, who is 2-2 in converting a 36-hole lead on tour into victory.
Lowerys round wasnt his best ever, but it could have come close. The 41-year-old, who once shot 60 in the final round of the 1997 Buick Classic, birdied his first three holes Friday, and was 6-under on the day through 10 holes ' this despite missing back-to-back birdie putts inside seven feet at the 6 and 7.
A three-putt from six feet at the 11th led to his first bogey of the day, and was followed by another dropped shot at the 12th. He recovered, however, with birdies on 15 and 16.
Lowery has done everything but win in the last month. He earned back-to-back runner-ups at the John Deere and International. His second-place showing at Castle Pines came despite an explosive finish, which included a holed approach shot for eagle on 15 and the same for double-eagle on 17. He also tied for 10th at the PGA.
'I've been playing pretty well here lately,' said Lowery, who has two tour wins. 'I've just been having a good time.'
Full-field scores from the WGC-NEC Invitational
Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.
Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.
The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.
Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.
Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.
An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.
Playing with the pros
Tiger, DJ and Faxon
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president