Alfredsson Grabs Lead

By Sports NetworkOctober 4, 2003, 4:00 pm
LINCOLN, Calif. -- Helen Alfredsson fired an 8-under 64 Saturday to tie the course and tournament record and take a one-stroke lead through three rounds of the Longs Drugs Challenge. Alfredsson finished 54 holes at 11-under-par 205.
Pat Hurst, Jung Yeon Lee and Rachel Teske each carded rounds of 6-under 66 in the third round to move into a tie for second place. They are joined at 10-under-par 206 by overnight leader Se Ri Pak, who shot a 1-under 71.
Alfredsson began the day six shots behind Pak, who had set the course record Friday with her 64. The Swede got going with a 15-foot birdie putt at the par-4 third. After a pair of pars, Alfredsson rolled in a short birdie at the sixth.
She came right back with a 15-foot birdie putt on the seventh at Lincoln Hills Club. The 38-year-old made it three in a row when she two-putted for birdie at No. 8.
Around the turn, she converted back-to-back birdies from the 11th to climb to 9-under. Alfredsson birdied the par-3 14th to move to minus-10. She then joined Pak in first place with a five-foot birdie at the last.
'I just made some putts today and got a little lucky,' said Alfredsson, whose last win came at the 1998 Welch's/Circle K Championship. 'It's hard to explain when you're going through the year I have. I guess I just was able to keep focused a little bit better.'
Alfredsson has had just two top-10's all season and ranks just 152nd in putting average.
'I kind of feel like it's my first event of the season,' Alfredsson said. 'For the longest time, the only thing I wanted to do was win.'
Pak, who led by one entering the round, birdied the par-3 fourth to get to 10-under. After a birdie at the eighth, she dropped a shot at No. 9.
On the back side, she birdied the 11th to get to minus-11. However, she stumbled to a bogey at the 13th that dropped her out of the lead. The South Korean birdied the 15th to move back into a share of the lead.
Pak faltered to her third bogey of the round at the 16th as she finished one shot behind Alfredsson.
'I was kind of off today and missed a couple shots early,' said Pak. 'I made some pretty good up-and-downs and was not comfortable with my putting. Today was pretty much a big up and down day, but I hung in there. There's one more day to go and I feel great.'
Teske made just one birdie on the front nine, but blazed to a 5-under 31 on the back nine with three birdies and an eagle.
Hurst carded four birdies and one bogey on both nines en route to her 66.
Lee posted two birdies, an eagle and a bogey over her opening nine holes. On the back nine, she notched four birdies and a bogey to join logjam in second place.
Grace Park carded a five-under 67 to move into sixth place by herself at 9- under-par 207. Sophie Gustafson and Catriona Matthew are one stroke further back at minus-eight.
Defending champion Cristie Kerr is well off the pace at 4-under-par 212.

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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 phoned 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. 

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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm