TOUR Notes Scott Rose Goosen Debut

By Pga Tour MediaFebruary 12, 2008, 5:00 pm
News and notes from PGA TOUR officials for the PGA, Champions and Nationwide tours.
PGA Tour (75x100) PGA TOUR:
  • Scott Verplank enters this weeks Northern Trust Open with a streak of 23 consecutive rounds of par or better dating back to the final round of last years The Barclays.
  • Rookie Dustin Johnson is 4-for-4 in making cuts with two Top-10 finishes to his credit, including a career-best T7 last week at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Johnson is 16th in the FedExCup points race and leads all rookies.
  • Two other rookies, Jason Day and Y.E. Yang, each had their first career Top-10 finish last week at Pebble Beach. Day, the youngest player on TOUR at age 20, finished solo sixth while Yang finished in a T9.
  • Steve Lowery is 3-0 in playoffs in his career after his win last week over Vijay Singh. No active player has a better record. The only other current players who are 3-0 are Phil Blackmar, Jay Haas and Robert Allenby. One of Allenbys playoff wins came at this weeks stop, the Northern Trust Open.
  • A number of players will be making their first PGA TOUR start of the season this week in Los Angeles, among them Adam Scott (who won the rain-shortened, unofficial 2005 Northern Trust Open), Justin Rose, Retief Goosen and Lee Westwood.
  • The field at this weeks Northern Trust Open features 16 of the Top 20 on the current FedExCup points list and 17 of the Top 20 players in the Official World Golf Ranking.
  • John Mallinger has found the rota at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am to his liking. In his first two seasons on TOUR, Mallinger has finished 3 and T3 in the event.

    Champions Tour CHAMPIONS TOUR:
  • The field at this weeks ACE Group Classic includes 18 players who won major championships while on the PGA TOUR.
  • Jerry Pate has finished 1-T9 in his last two starts at the Turtle Bay Championship and Allianz Championship. Its the first time hes had back-to-back Top-10 finishes since finishing 1-T7 at the 2006 Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am and AT&T Classic.
  • When Bob Gilder tees it up this Friday at the ACE Group Classic, it will be his 97th consecutive event on the Champions Tour. Of course, hes a long way from the record of 264 set by Dana Quigley.

    Nationwide Tour NATIONWIDE TOUR:
  • Steve Lowerys win last week at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am was the 220th by a former Nationwide Tour player on the PGA TOUR.
  • D.H. Lee is the youngest player on the Nationwide Tour as he wont turn 21 until April. He makes his Nationwide Tour debut this week at the HSBC New Zealand PGA Championship.
  • The previous six winners of the HSBC New Zealand PGA Championship have hailed from three different countries, but New Zealand isnt one of them. Previous winners of the event have come from Australia ( Peter OMalley twice and Gavin Coles), the U.S. (Ryan Palmer and Nicholas Thompson) and Canada (Jim Rutledge).
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    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

    Getty Images

    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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    Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

    What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

    Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    “I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

    McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

    He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

    Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

    “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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    Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

    Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

    Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

    Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

    Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

    Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.