Aussies Rule the Day at ANZ Championship

By Sports NetworkFebruary 6, 2003, 5:00 pm
SYDNEY, Australia -- Peter Fowler had nine birdies Thursday to take the lead after the first round of the ANZ Championship. Fowler finished with 17 points in the modified Stableford system for a one-point lead over Stuart Appleby.
Peter Lonard had five birdies and an eagle for a 15-point total, one point ahead of Craig Parry, who finished tied for second at this event last year.
The scoring awards eight points for a double-eagle, five points for an eagle, two for a birdie and none for a par. One point is deducted for a bogey and three points are taken away for a double-bogey or worse.
Fowler played the back nine first at New South Wales Golf Club and had three birdies over his first nine holes to pick up six points under perfect conditions. Fowler continued his fine play on the front half with birdies at the first and third holes.
The Australian birdied the par-5 fifth for the first of four consecutive birdies to surge into the lead. Fowler had 18 points but faltered with a bogey at the ninth, his last, to finish with a slim margin after Round 1.
'My game's coming together,' said Fowler. 'I work out six times a week in the gym and I've started the year with a higher base. I feel rejuvenated, I'm feeling good. I feel like a rookie.'
The 43-year-old, who achieved his only victory on the European Tour at the 1993 BMW International Open, has fought hard to maintain his playing privileges, including several trips to qualifying school over the past few years.
'It's hard losing your card and being told that you're not good enough, so I've had to dig deep,' said Fowler. 'I really had to think hard and get help from good people. And it's paid off.'
Appleby had a bogey-free round and managed eight birdies to finish one point off the pace.
'Three more rounds like that and I'd have a winning chance,' said Appleby. 'The course is just awesome. Linksy style and we just don't have enough of these layouts.'
Tobias Dier, Matthew Blackey and Steve Collins finished tied for fifth with 12 points each. Stephen Scahill, David Howell, Stephen Leaney, Robert Karlsson and Steven Conran each had 11 points to finish in a tie for eighth.
David Drysdale, Jean-Francois Remesy, Steve Webster, Terry Price, Brad Kennedy, Nick O'Hern, Henrik Bjornstad, David Carter, Marcus Cain, Peter Senior and Michael Pearson were knotted at 10 points.
This event is co-sanctioned by the European and Australasian Tours.
Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the ANZ Championship
  • Full coverage of the ANZ Championship
  • Getty Images

    Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

    By Tiger TrackerMarch 17, 2018, 3:00 pm

    Tiger Woods teed off at 12:15PM ET alongside Justin Rose for Round 3 of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. We're tracking him at Bay Hill.

    Getty Images

    Fowler among 5 to skip WGC-Match Play

    By Ryan LavnerMarch 17, 2018, 2:24 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. – Five of the top 64 players in the world will skip next week’s WGC-Dell Match Play.

    Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka and Adam Scott all will miss the second WGC event of the year, held next week at Austin Country Club.

    As a result, the last man into the field is world No. 69 Luke List. Kevin Na, Charles Howell III, Joost Luiten and Keegan Bradley also got into the field.

    Julian Suri and Bill Haas are the first two alternates, if anyone else withdraws from the round-robin-style match-play event.

    This is the second year in a row that Rose, Fowler, Stenson and Scott will not play in Austin. Koepka reached the quarterfinals each of the past two years, but he is still recovering from a wrist injury.

    The final seeding for the event will be determined after this week’s tournaments. The bracket show is at 7:30 p.m. Monday, live on Golf Channel.

    Getty Images

    Korda happy to finally be free of jaw pain

    By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 2:43 am

    PHOENIX – Jessica Korda isn’t as surprised as everyone else that she is playing so well, so quickly, upon her return from a complex and painful offseason surgery.

    She is inspired finally getting to play without recurring headaches.

    “I’d been in pain for three years,” she said after posting a 4-under-par 68 Friday to move two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

    Korda had her upper jaw broken in three places and her low jaw broken in two places in December in a procedure that fixed the alignment of her jaw.

    Korda, 25, said the headaches caused by her overbite even affected her personality.

    “Affects your moods,” Korda said. “I think I was pretty snappy back then as well.”

    She was pretty pleased Friday to give herself a weekend chance at her sixth LPGA title, her second in her last three starts. She won the Honda LPGA Thailand three weeks ago in her first start after returning from surgery.

    “I'm much happier now,” Korda said. “Much calmer.”

    Even if she still can’t eat the things she would really like to eat. She’s still recuperating. She said the lower part of her face remains numb, and it’s painful to chew crunchy things.

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    “Chips are totally out of question,” Korda said.

    She can eat most things she likes, but she has to cut them into tiny pieces. She can’t wait to be able to eat a steak.

    “They broke my palate, so I can't feel anything, even heat,” Korda said. “So that's a bit difficult, because I can't feel any heat on my lip or palate. I don't know how hot things are going in until they hit my throat.”

    Korda has 27 screws in her skull holding the realignment together. She needed her family to feed her, bathe her and dress her while she recovered. The procedure changed the way she looks.

    While Korda’s ordeal and all that went into her recovery has helped fans relate to her, she said it’s the desire to move on that motivates her.

    “Because I was so drugged up, I don't remember a lot of it,” Korda said. “I try to forget a lot of it. I don't think of it like I went through a lot. I just think of it as I'm pain-free. So, yeah, people are like, `Oh, you're so brave, you overcame this and that.’ For me, I'm just going forward.”

    Getty Images

    Finally adapted to short putter, Martin near lead

    By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:54 am

    PHOENIX – Mo Martin loved her long putter.

    In fact, she named her “Mona.”

    For 10 years, Martin didn’t putt with anything else. She grew up with long putters, from the time she started playing when she was 5.

    While Martin won the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2014, about nine months after giving up Mona for a short putter, she said it’s taken until today to feel totally comfortable with one.

    And that has her excited about this year.

    Well, that and having a healthy back again.

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    “I've had a feeling that this year was going to be a good one,” Martin said. “My game is in a special place.”

    Martin was beaming after a 6-under-par 66 Friday moved her two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

    “Just a beautiful day,” Martin said. “I was able to play my game, make my putts.”

    Martin hit all 14 fairways in the second round, hit 15 greens in regulation and took just 27 putts. After struggling with nagging back pain last year, she’s pain free again.

    She’s happy to “just to get back to a place now where my ball striking is where it has been the last few years.”

    Martin, by the way, says Mona remains preserved in a special place, “a shrine” in her home.