Anderson Reclaims Lead

By Sports NetworkMay 8, 2004, 4:00 pm
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Chris Anderson carded a 6-under 66 Saturday to climb back into the lead through three rounds of the Chattanooga Classic. Anderson, who held a share of the lead after the first round, stands at 17-under-par 199.
 
Todd Demsey matched the course record of 9-under 63 to climb into second place at 16-under-par 200. Bart Bryant and Tyler Williamson are one stroke further back at minus-15.
 
Anderson stumbled out of the gate with a bogey at the first. He came back with an up-and-down birdie at the par-5 fourth. Anderson two-putted for birdie at the par-5 sixth at the Black Creek Club to get to minus-12.
 
The 33-year-old dropped in back-to-back birdies from the eighth, both from within 4 feet. Around the turn, he stumbled to another bogey at the 12th.
 
Anderson responded from that mistake in fine fashion. He two-putted for birdie at the par-5 15th and came back with another birdie at the very next hole.
 
The Californian made it three in a row when he dropped a sand-wedge within a foot of the cup for birdie on the 16th. Anderson closed his round with a birdie at the par-5 last to claim the overnight lead.
 
'Today was different than the others,' said Anderson. 'It didn't feel solid at all. I just hung in there all day. I knew I needed to step up a little to get back in the game.
 
'Obviously 66 is not horrible, but it wasn't exactly what I wanted it to be. Someone will go low early tomorrow and I'll just try to do one better.'
 
Demsey birdied the second from 8 feet out and two-putted for birdie on the fourth to get to minus-9. He then ran off three straight birdies from the sixth to jump up the leaderboard.
 
On the back side, he picked up his sixth birdie of his round at the 10th from 4 feet. He dropped in back-to-back birdies from the 14th, both within 6 feet, to get to 15 under.
 
Demsey stumbled to his lone bogey of the day at the par-3 17th. He erased that error by draining a 25-foot eagle putt on No. 18 to grab second place.
 
'I've been playing well for a few weeks, but I haven't gotten anything out of it,' said Demsey. 'Today was the first day where I got some good breaks. It is obviously my goal to win, but it is too early to think about that. This is my sixth year and I haven't won. I would have thought I would have won by now.'
 
Justin Bolli, who also carded a 63 to tie the course record first set by Bart Bryant last year and matched in the first round by Michael Long and Anderson, moved into a tie for fifth place at 14-under-par 202. He was joined there by John Connelly, Robin Freeman and Johnson Wagner.
 
Ben Bates, Mathew Goggin and Nick Watney are one stroke further back at minus-13.
 
Nationwide Tour rookie Matthew Jones, who shared the overnight lead with Jason Caron, posted an even-par 72. He stands in a tie for 12th at 12-under-par 204. Caron struggled to a 1-over 73 and is one stroke behind Jones at minus-11.
 
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    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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    Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

    When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

    Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

    "I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"


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    The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

    "It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

    "I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

    "If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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    LPGA lists April date for new LA event

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

    The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

    When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

    The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

    The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.