Azinger Sauers Lead Suspended HP

By Sports NetworkApril 29, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 HP Classic of New OrleansNEW ORLEANS -- Paul Azinger and Gene Sauers posted matching rounds of 6-under-par 66 Thursday to take the clubhouse lead in the first round of the HP Classic of New Orleans suspended due to darkness.
Azinger and Sauers are joined atop the leaderboard at minus-6 by Robert Damron, who has played 17 holes and Chris DiMarco, who is through 14 holes at English Turn Golf and Country Club.
Play was suspended due to darkness at 8:30 p.m. ET after a three-plus hour weather delay earlier in the day. First-round action will resume Friday at 8:00 a.m. with the second round commencing at 9:15 a.m., an hour later than originally scheduled.
A group of 12 players are one stroke behind the leaders. Ricky Barnes and Mathias Gronberg, as well as K.J. Choi, Joe Durant and Justin Rose all carded rounds of 5-under-par 67. They are joined there by David Sutherland (17 holes), Patrick Sheehan (16), Scott Verplank (16), Charles Howell III (15), defending champion Steve Flesch (14), Dennis Paulson (13) and Danny Ellis (9).
Azinger began his round on the 10th tee at English Turn and started by converting back-to-back birdies. He dropped in another birdie putt at the 14th to move to minus-3.
The 1993 PGA Championship winner cruised around the turn as he ran off nine consecutive pars. Azinger caught fire down the stretch, converting a birdie try at the par-5 sixth.
He made it two straight with a birdie at the seventh and capped a run of three birdies in a row when he dropped in a birdie attempt at the eighth.
'The last couple of years I played awful. My swing was a disaster. My body was hurt, and my back was a disaster too,' said Azinger. 'I changed coaches and I'm trying to get the club to go more around me. So far it's been paying off. My driving accuracy has been bad, but I'm on the mend. The great thing is, my lower back doesn't hurt anymore.'
Sauers started with a bogey at the first, but came right back to birdie No. 2. After four straight pars, he dropped in his second birdie at the seventh and moved to minus-2 with a birdie at the ninth.
On the back side, Sauers birdied the 10th and 11th to make it three in a row. He moved to minus-5 with a birdie at the 13th and joined Azinger atop the leaderboard with a birdie at the 16th.
'I hit the ball well after the first hole,' said Sauers, whose last win was at the 2002 Air Canada Championship. 'I just kind of was in a hurry this morning. I kind of rushed myself to the range and wouldn't settle down. Now I can concentrate on golf.'
Damron spread four birdies over his opening nine holes on the back nine. On the front side, he dropped in a birdie at the par-5 second and tied the leaders with a birdie at the eighth. Play was halted due to darkness with Damron needing to play one more hole.
DiMarco birdied the second and fifth to get his round going. He then reeled off three consecutive birdies from the seventh to make the turn at minus-5. He birdied the par-5 11th, then posted three straight pars from the 12th before play was halted.
The leaderboard remains crowded behind the players at 5 under. Dan Olsen, Ryan Palmer, Blaine McCallister, Kelly Gibson and John Rollins all completed rounds of 4-under-par 68.
Eleven more players stand at minus-4, including Masters champion Phil Mickelson, who is playing for the first time since winning his first major. Those 11 players make it 29 golfers within two strokes of the leaders.
Related Links:
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  • Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

    Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

    ''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''

    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open

    Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

    ''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

    Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

    ''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

    Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.

    Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

    Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

    Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

    Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

    SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

    Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

    ''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

    But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

    In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

    ''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

    Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

    The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

    ''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

    NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.