19-Year-Old Leads Suspended Nwide Event

By Sports NetworkMay 31, 2007, 4:00 pm
GLENVIEW, Ill. -- B.J. Staten and 19-year-old Jason Day each posted rounds of 6-under-par 66 on Thursday to share the lead during the suspended first round of the LaSalle Bank Open at the Glen Club.
There was a weather delay that lasted close to an hour and play was suspended due to darkness. The first round will resume at 8:30 a.m. (ET) Friday morning with 11 players who did not finish on Thursday.
Brad Elder, Jaco Van Zyl, Greg Chalmers and Keoke Cotner are tied for third place at 5-under-par 67. Kris Blanks is 5-under par, but only played 15 holes on Thursday.
The two co-leaders got quite a look at each other's games since they were paired together on Thursday.
Staten wasted little time in breaking into red figures with a 15-foot birdie putt at the first. He hit a 7-iron to 10 feet to set up another birdie at the third.
He parred his next four holes then went on a birdie tear around the turn. Staten hit his rescue club off the tee at eight, then played a 9-iron to 20 feet for his third birdie of the round.
Staten made it back-to-back birdies thanks to a 30-footer at the ninth. He polished off three in a row with another long birdie putt, this time from 40 feet to reach 5-under par for the championship.
'It's been a long time since I've holed that many feet of putts,' joked Staten.
The putter turned balky on 13 when he three-putted for a bogey. Staten atoned for the error one hole later thanks to a two-putt birdie at the par-5 14th.
Staten holed one more long birdie putt, a 25-footer at 16 to grab his share of the lead.
'Today was a lot of fun,' said Staten, who has played four PGA TOUR events this season. 'It was just one of those days. It hasn't happened too often for me this year.'
Day, an Australian with two top-six finishes this season, birdied the first then sank a 6-footer for a birdie at two. It all came undone at three when his ball plugged and he two-putted from 12 feet. Day walked off with a double-bogey to move back to even-par.
He drained a 5-foot birdie putt at the sixth and added another from 10 feet at No. 8. Day ran home a pair of birdie putts in the 18-foot range at 11 and 12.
Day closed out his round in strong fashion. He converted a 12-foot birdie putt at the 15th and a five-footer at the 207-yard, par-three 17th to join Staten in the lead.
'It was a good day with the putter,' said Day, who has not made a cut in his last two starts. 'I was just trying to keep it cool...don't let the emotions run you over.'
Dustin Bray, who was the final member of the playing group that featured the co-leaders, shot a 4-under 68 and is tied for eighth place with Rich Barcelo, Esteban Toledo, Matthew Jones, Tim Wilkinson and No. 2 on the money list, Nicholas Thompson.
A busy GOLF CHANNEL will have coverage of all four rounds.
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    McIlroy 'happy to be back', can 'empathize' with Tiger

    By Associated PressJanuary 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – After a long layoff from golf, Rory McIlroy has some newfound sympathy for Tiger Woods.

    The 28-year-old Northern Irishman is making a comeback at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship after ending his season early last year. He has not played a round since the final day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Oct. 8.

    McIlroy, a four-time major champion who has slipped to No. 11 in the world rankings, last won the Tour Championship on the PGA Tour in September 2016. He injured a rib in his first outing of 2017 – at the South African Open – and felt its after-effects throughout the year.

    McIlroy, who has seven top-five finishes in his last eight starts in Abu Dhabi, said Tuesday he felt mentally low because of his physical issues.

    ''Honestly, I was excited to be done. I could have shut it down after the PGA Championship very easily and taken the rest of the year off, but I didn't. I played six events after that, played OK and had a chance to win one of them,'' McIlroy said. ''But I was just excited to take that time off and get myself just sort of a re-set.''

    Last week, McIlroy also revealed that he has a minor, non-threatening heart condition that needs regular check-ups.

    ''After that 3-plus months of a re-set, I'm very happy to be back. I felt like I needed it physically and mentally. I just felt like it was a little bit of a sabbatical. I've been out here for 10 years, and I want to get ready for the next 10.''

    McIlroy compared his situation to what Woods has been going through.

    ''I've only been through, maybe, not even 5 percent of what he's had to go through. And you can tell from where he was to where he is now mentally, because of physically where he is ... he's a totally different person,'' McIlroy said. ''Of course, I empathize with him, and I know he was in a dark place there for a while. It's just so great to see him out of that and back and excited to be playing golf again.''

    The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will be the first of back-to-back events for McIlroy, who is also playing next week in Dubai.

    ''I think the next two weeks will be a big learning curve, just to see where I'm at,'' McIlroy said. ''I'm obviously coming into the events trying to play as well as I can and trying to compete and trying to win, but I think there will definitely be things I'll have to work on going into that stretch in the States.''

    The tournament, which starts Thursday, has attracted some big names, including top-ranked Dustin Johnson, No. 6 Justin Rose, No. 9 Henrik Stenson, No. 14 Paul Casey and No. 15 Matt Kuchar. No. 18 Tommy Fleetwood is the defending champion.

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    Pre-tourney caution be damned: Stenson rides camel

    By Grill Room TeamJanuary 16, 2018, 3:29 pm

    If you were under the impression Henrik Stenson's days of engaging in pre-tournament hijinks at HSBC-sponsored events were over, then you don't know the Swedish Superman.

    Ahead of this week's HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, the 2016 champion golfer of the year decided to have some fun riding (and pretend-spanking) a camel:

    If you can't imagine any reason Stenson wouldn't get on a camel, we will point you to the WGC-HSBC Champions back in October, when Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Haotong Li and Hideki Matsuyama took place in this hire-wire act:

    Two weeks later, Stenson revealed a rib injury, and a report from the U.K.'s Telegraph stated "that not only was the Shanghai caper to blame, but that Stenson is annoyed about being persuaded to do it in the first place."

    Stenson brushed back at that report in this Instagram post, saying that his "comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal."

    I’m disappointed to have to pre-emptively withdraw from the Nedbank Golf Challenge Hosted by Gary Player, I was looking forward to this important year-end event on the European Tour. At this point I am back home in Orlando waiting to do a scan on my ribs and get the necessary rest. I am still hoping for a quick recovery and have not ruled out playing in Dubai next week at this point. My comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal. The plan as of now will be to participate in the DP World Championship if my body is back to 100%. H

    A post shared by Henrik Stenson (@henrikstenson) on

    And it would appear he genuinely meant those comments, at least enough to get on a camel.

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    Spieth, McIlroy to support Major Champions Invitational

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:25 pm

    Nick Faldo announced Tuesday the creation of the Major Champions Invitational.

    The event, scheduled for March 12-14, is an extension of the Faldo Series and will feature both male and female junior players at Bella Collina in Montverde, Fla.

    Jordan Spieth, Rory Mcllroy, Annika Sorenstam, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Jerry Pate and John Daly have already committed to supporting the event, which is aimed at mentoring and inspiring the next generation of players.  

    “I’m incredibly excited about hosting the Major Champions Invitational, and about the players who have committed to support the event,” Faldo said. “This event will allow major champions to give something back to the game that has given them so much, and hopefully, in time, it will become one of the most elite junior golf events in the world.”

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    Rosaforte: Woods plays with Obama, gets rave reviews

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:15 pm

    Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte reports on Tiger Woods’ recent round at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., alongside President Barack Obama.

    Check out the video, as Rosaforte says Woods received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon.