Appleby Back in Mercedes Drivers Seat

By Sports NetworkJanuary 10, 2004, 5:00 pm
04 Mercedes ChampionshipsStuart Appleby fired a 7-under 66 Saturday to reclaim a two-stroke advantage through three rounds of the Mercedes Championships. Appleby finished 54 holes at 20-under-par 199.
Vijay Singh, who held the second-round lead, carded a 4-under 69. He stands alone in second place at 18-under-par 201. Retief Goosen posted the round of the day with a 9-under 64 to climb into third place at 15-under-par 204.
Appleby began the day one stroke behind Singh, but that changed quickly. Appleby birdied the first before Singh dropped a shot at the second on the Plantation Course at the Kapalua Resort. With the change in fortune, Appleby led by one shot.
He maintained that lead when he two-putted for birdie at the par-5 fifth. The Australian then ran home a 55-footer for birdie at the seventh to get to 16 under. Appleby capped a bogey-free front side with a birdie at the ninth.
Appleby moved to 18 under and three strokes clear of the field with a 10-foot birdie on the 13th. However, he stumbled to his lone bogey of the day at the very next hole after a poor chip shot.
The 32-year-old responded in fine fashion as he converted back-to-back birdies from the 15th to get to minus 19. Appleby maintained a two-stroke cushion over Singh as he made a short birdie putt at the last.
'Today was not too dissimilar to the other days,' said Appleby, who last season won the Las Vegas Invitational. 'The course was playing pretty much the same as previous rounds. I've played solid golf through basically all three days.'
Appleby knows the front nine Sunday will be important if he is going to win this event.
'I think you need to get under par comfortably. You don't need to slip through the turn even,' Appleby said. 'I think someone might need to get 3- or 4 under early. I won't be worried about that. I'll be plugging away and literally letting the score unfold. That's what I've been doing the last three days. To get off to a good start, three- or four-under is good.'
Singh, meanwhile, fought a balky putter most of the round. He three-putted for bogey at the second, but managed to erase that mistake with a birdie at the fifth. He matched Appleby's birdies on Nos. 7 and 9 to head to the back side at minus 16.
Around the turn, Singh again three-putted for bogey, this time at No. 11. He rallied down the stretch with consecutive birdies from the 15th. The Fijian got up-and-down for birdie at the last to cap his round.
'I think I made all of my putts on Friday,' Singh said. 'I played quite nicely today though. I made six birdies out there. I'm playing well and hitting the ball well right now. I just need that putter to get hot like it did yesterday.'
Goosen, playing with Tiger Woods, scorched the front nine. He ran off four straight birdies from the third to climb to 10-under. After a par at the seventh, he birdied three of his next four holes to continue his move.
The South African birdied two of his last three holes to close his 64, which matches Singh's second round 64 as the best rounds of the week.
'Overall, I was happy with the round,' said Goosen. 'Obviously, it wasn't blowing as strong as Friday, which made it a little bit easier off the tees as well as iron shots into the greens.'
Darren Clarke posted a 4-under 69, including an eagle on the 17th as he holed out from the fairway. He stands alone in fourth place at 14-under-par 205. Woods fired his best round of the event with an 8-under 65. He is one shot behind Clarke at minus 13.
Scott Hoch and Kirk Triplett share sixth place at 11-under-par 208. U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk is joined in eighth place by Davis Love III. That duo stands at 10-under-par 209.
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  • Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

    By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

    Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

    Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

    What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

    Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

    Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

    Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

    Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

    Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

    The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

    Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

    Lexi Thompson:

    Baking time!!

    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

    Jack Nicklaus:

    GC Tiger Tracker:

    Steve Stricker:

    Golf Channel:

    Frank Nobilo:

    Ian Poulter:

    Tyrone Van Aswegen:

    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.