Veiwers Guide

By Randall MellApril 10, 2009, 4:00 pm
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Pressure ratchets up Saturday at the 73rd Masters as players jockey to get fit for a green jacket.
Heres what to look for in the third round at Augusta National:

  • Straight-shootin Texan gets another chance
    Chad Campbell is in position to live up to all the promise his fellow tour pros saw in him when they voted him most likely to break through and win a major as part of a Sports Illustrated poll.
    That was six years ago.
    As co-leader of the Masters with Kenny Perry, Campbell knows how important Saturdays third round is if hes going to break through.
    Campbell was the 36-hole leader at the 2006 Masters, but he doesnt like to be reminded what happened in back then. He shot 75 in the third round, but he still had a chance to win. Campbells hopes were dashed when he hit his approach into the water at the 15th, which cleared the way for Phil Mickelson to march to his second Masters title.
    Like to forget, Campbell said.
    Campbell had another chance to win a major back at the PGA Championship at Oak Hill in 2003. He got beat on the final hole after Shaun Micheel hit a spectacular 7-iron to within three inches for a tap-in birdie.

  • Perry strives to be oldest major championship winner
    At 48 years and eight months, if Perry goes on to win the Masters, he will become the oldest player to win a major, surpassing Julius Boros, who was 48 years and four months old when he won the PGA Championship at Pecan Valley Country Club in 1948.
    Perry isnt typically at the top of the list in conversations about whos the best player who hasnt won a major, but maybe he should be with 13 PGA Tour titles.
    Perry credits his father with instilling his competitive instincts, saying his dad, Ken, whos 85 now, used to whip him at everything form card games to golf.
    He would just pound on me. Perry said of his youth. He says, `Im going to beat you till I die. He was relentless. He was ruthless. He was a smart man. He knew it was going to make me tough. Thats all he was trying to do was make me tougher.

  • Time for Tiger to Make a Move
    When Tiger Woods wins the Masters, its after a big move in the third round.
    In all four of his Masters victories, Woods made a charge on moving day. His third-round scoring average in his four victories is 66.0.
    Woods, though, is seven shots back and tied for 19th after shooting 72 on Friday.
    Woods has never come from that far back after two rounds to win the Masters. He was first after two rounds in 97, second in 01, fourth in 02 and third in 05.
    Woods has never come from more than six shots back after two rounds to win any major.

  • First-timers Fuzzy-like start
    Anthony Kims record 11 birdies Friday gives him a chance to become the first player to win the Masters in his first appearance since 1979. Kim made his move in the second round as Fuzzy Zoeller played his final Masters' round. Zoeller is the last player to win the Masters in his first appearance. Kims 65 Friday moved him into a tie for sixth, five shots back.

  • Zingers boys making a run
    U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Paul Azinger predicted that the Americans would carry the momentum from their victory last fall into their individual games in the coming year.
    Were seeing that on a Masters leaderboard littered with American players.
    Campbell and Perry, the co-leaders, are among seven U.S. Ryder Cuppers who are tied for 11th or better.
    Anthony Kim and Jim Furyk are among those tied for sixth with Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker and Hunter Mahan among those tied for 11th.

  • The surprising weekend roster
    Past Masters champions Sandy Lyle (T-19) and Larry Mize (T-28) unexpectedly earned the right to play the weekend by making the cut. Some other big names disappointed when they failed to do so. Greg Norman wont be around this weekend, having likely made his final Masters appearance. Ernie Els wont be, either, missing his third consecutive Masters cut. Retief Goosen, Adam Scott, Fred Couples and Zach Johnson also failed to advance to the weekend.

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    Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

    New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

    The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

    "Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

    It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

    Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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    Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

    SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

    Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

    Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.

    The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

    ''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

    Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

    ''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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    13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

    Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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    McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

    It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

    Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

    Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    “I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

    Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

    “Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

    This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.