Begay Four Back in Portugal

By Sports NetworkMarch 23, 2007, 4:00 pm
European TourMADEIRA, Portugal -- Argentina's Daniel Vancsik fired a 6-under 66 Friday to grab a one-stroke lead at the halfway point of the Madeira Islands Open.
Vancsik completed 36 holes at 10-under-par 134. Christian Cevaer carded a 7-under 65 to move into second at minus-9. Santiago Luna, the 1995 champion, is alone in third at 8-under-par 136 after a 67, while David Frost is one stroke further back at minus-7.
Alexander Noren, Mads Vibe-Hastrup and Notah Begay III share fifth at 6-under-par 138.
Vancsik opened his round with a birdie on the par-5 third, then birdied the par-4 fifth for the second straight day to move to minus-6.
After a pair of pars, Vancsik birdied No. 8 at Santo da Serra Golf Club. Around the turn, Vancsik bogeyed the 10th for the second day in a row.
Vancsik bounced right back with an eagle on the par-5 11th to jump to minus-8. The Argentine parred his next three holes.
'I played well for the first nine holes today, then bogeyed the tenth,' Vancsik stated. 'But I chipped in for eagle at the 11th and that brought my confidence back.'
He converted back-to-back birdie efforts from the 15th to move into the lead at minus-10. Vancsik closed with two pars for the 36-hole lead.
'You need (confidence) to play this course because you have to choose the right clubs in some difficult winds and very small greens,' Vancsik explained. 'I don't know what I will do tomorrow and Sunday, but I would like to play the same round for the next two days.'
Cevaer climbed the leaderboard with three birdies on his opening nine holes, the back nine. He made the turn at minus-5.
The Frenchman ran off three straight birdies from the second to jump to minus-8. Cevaer got within one of the lead thanks to a birdie on the sixth.
Cevaer joined Vancsik in the lead when he birdied the eighth for the second day in a row. However, he tripped to his second bogey in two days at the ninth to end one back.
'I just got on the wrong side of the hole on the last and hit a good putt that was unlucky not to go in, but who hasn't had that,' said Cevaer. 'Overall I am very happy. I managed to take my mind off of everything else and focus on my game.'
Jamie Spence matched Frost and Cevaer for low round of the day with a 7-under 65. That moved Spence from a share of 54th into a tie for eighth at 5-under-par 139. Spence was joined there by Fredrik Andersson, Peter Baker, Euan Little, Sam Little, Simon Nash and Oliver Wilson.
First-round leader Ricardo Santos stumbled to a 2-over 74 Friday to fall into a tie for 16th at minus-4.
The cut line fell at 1-over-par 145 with 67 players moving on to the weekend. Among those missing the cut were Alexandre Rocha (146), Mattias Eliasson (147), Maarten Lafeber (148) and 1999 British Open champion Paul Lawrie (148).
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    Rahm focusing on play, not shot at No. 1

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 9:06 pm

    SAN DIEGO – Jon Rahm’s meteoric rise in the world rankings could end with him reaching No. 1 with a win this week at Torrey Pines.

    After winning last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, his fourth title in 51 weeks, Rahm has closed the gap on Dustin Johnson – less than 1.5 average points separates them.

    With Johnson not playing this week, the 23-year-old Spaniard has a chance to reach the top spot for the first time, but only if he defends his title at the Farmers Insurance Open.

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    “Beating Dustin Johnson is a really, really hard task. It’s no easy task,” he said Tuesday. “We still have four days of golf ahead and we’ll see what happens. But I’ll try to focus more on what’s going on this week rather than what comes with it if I win.

    “I’ll try my best, that’s for sure. Hopefully it happens, but we all know how hard it is to win on Tour.”

    Rahm has already become the fourth-youngest player to reach No. 2 in the world, behind Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy. 

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    Rahm: Playoff wasn't friendly, just 'nervous'

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 8:53 pm

    SAN DIEGO – Too chummy? Jon Rahm says he and Andrew Landry were just expending some nervous energy on the walk up to the fairway during the first playoff hole of the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    “I wouldn’t have been that nervous if it was friendly,” Rahm said with a smile Tuesday. “I think it was something he said because we were talking going out of the first tee.

    “I didn’t know Andrew – I think it was a pretty good time to get to know him. We had at least 10 minutes to ourselves. It’s not like we were supporting each other, right? We were both in it together, we were both nervous together, and I felt like talking about it might have eased the tension out of both of us.”

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    On Sunday, two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange saw the exchange on TV and tweeted: “Walking off the tee talking to each other. Are you kidding me? Talking at all?”

    Strange followed up by saying that, in a head-to-head situation, the last thing he’d want to do was make his opponent comfortable. When his comments went viral, Strange tweeted at Rahm, who won after four holes: “Hopefully no offense taken on my comment yesterday. You guys are terrific. I’m a huge fan of all players today. Made an adverse comment on U guys talking during playoff. Not for me. A fan.”

    Not surprisingly, the gregarious Rahm saw things differently.

    “We only talked going out of the first tee up until the fairway,” he said. “Besides that, all we said was, ‘Good shot, good putt, see you on the next tee.’ That’s what it was reduced to. We didn’t say much.” 

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    Tiger grouped with Reed, Hoffman at Torrey Pines

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 8:35 pm

    SAN DIEGO – Tiger Woods will make his 2018 debut alongside Patrick Reed and Charley Hoffman.

    The threesome will go off Torrey Pines’ South Course at 1:40 p.m. ET Thursday at the Farmers Insurance Open. They begin at 12:30 p.m. Friday on the North Course.

    Woods is an eight-time winner at Torrey Pines, including the 2008 U.S. Open, but he hasn’t broken 70 in his last seven rounds on either course. Last year, he shot rounds of 76-72 to miss the cut.

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    Reed, who has grown close to Woods after being in his pod during the past two international team competitions, is coming off a missed cut last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Hoffman, a San Diego native, has only two top-10s in 20 career starts at Torrey.

    Other featured groups for the first two rounds include:

    • Jon Rahm, Jason Day and Brandt Snedeker: 1:30 p.m. Thursday off South 1, 12:20 p.m. Friday off North 10

    • Rickie Fowler, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele: 12:30 p.m. Thursday off North 10, 1:30 p.m. Friday off South 1

    • Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Hideki Matsuyama: 12:40 p.m. Thursday off North 10, 1:40 p.m. Friday off South 1

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    Singh's lawsuit stalls as judge denies motion

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 23, 2018, 7:54 pm

    Vijay Singh’s attempts to speed up the proceedings in his ongoing lawsuit against the PGA Tour have been stalled, again.

    Singh – who filed the lawsuit in New York Supreme Court in May 2013 claiming the Tour recklessly administered its anti-doping program when he was suspended, a suspension that was later rescinded – sought to have the circuit sanctioned for what his attorneys argued was a frivolous motion, but judge Eileen Bransten denied the motion earlier this month.

    “While the court is of the position it correctly denied the Tour’s motion to argue, the court does not agree that the motion was filed in bad faith nor that it represents a ‘persistent pattern of repetitive or meritless motions,’” Bransten said.

    It also doesn’t appear likely the case will go to trial any time soon, with Bransten declining Singh’s request for a pretrial conference until a pair of appeals that have been sent to the court’s appellate division have been decided.

    “What really should be done is settle this case,” Bransten said during the hearing, before adding that it is, “unlikely a trail will commence prior to 2019.”

    The Tour’s longstanding policy is not to comment on ongoing litigation, but earlier this month commissioner Jay Monahan was asked about the lawsuit.

    “I'll just say that we're going through the process,” Monahan said. “Once you get into a legal process, and you've been into it as long as we have been into it, I think it's fair to assume that we're going to run it until the end.”