Branshaw Takes Four-Shot Lead

By Sports NetworkOctober 12, 2002, 4:00 pm
CHANDLER, Ariz. -- David Branshaw vaulted into the lead with a third round 64 Saturday as he paces the Buy.Com Gila River Classic by four strokes. His three round total of 23-under 190 sets a new Buy.Com Tour record for lowest 54-hole score.
Branshaw leads D.A. Points and overnight leader Jason Gore by four shots. Points fired a third round 61, to become the third player in two days to shoot the course-record. Gore and Branshaw had set the mark on Friday.
Branshaw's 23-under score also matches the 72-hole tournament record set by last year's winner Ben Crane. The Buy.Com Tour record of 26-under-par, first set by Chris Smith at the 1997 Omaha Classic and matched by Todd Barranger at last year's Dayton Open, is within reach.
Patrick Sheehan, who had set the old course record of 62 on Thursday, is alone in fourth place at 18-under-par 195. Brad Fabel, James McLean and Barranger are tied for fifth at minus 16.
The leader's round started slowly as he was just 1-under through five holes, thanks to a birdie at the third. Branshaw's round took off with a 30-foot eagle at the par-5 sixth. He then birdied the next two holes to help him make the turn at 5-under.
'That one got me going. It definitely kick-started my round,' said Branshaw of his eagle. 'Anything can happen tomorrow. Four shots could be gone in a couple holes.'
Branshaw's lone mistake was at the 10th, where he bogeyed due to an errant tee ball. He atoned for that mistake at the next. The former Arizona Wildcat later sank a 35-footer for birdie on 15 before a kick-in birdie at the par-5 17th.
'It feels good. I'm just having fun out there,' said Branshaw, who has made just 10 of 23 cuts this season. 'I didn't even know what I was shooting out there. On 17, I tried to figure out what my score might be. I do know I made my first bogey of the tournament. As for tomorrow, you just have to believe in yourself and believe you can hit the shots you need to hit.'
Points, who hasn't carded a bogey since Thursday, got his round going with a birdie at No. 5. He then eagled the par-5 sixth, before his final birdie on the front side at eight.
After making the turn, Points had a birdie explosion. He birdied the 10th, then started a string of three straight birdies on 12. He parred the 15th and 16th, before consecutive birdies starting at 17 to close out the round of 61.
'Not starting out with birdies was tough because those holes are fairly easy, but you have to be patient,' said Points the 2001 Inland Empire Open winner. 'All of a sudden something clicks in your swing and a few putts go in. You get a little confidence and it snowballs on you. I needed to do this just to have a shot at it. I'm going to try and keep it going tomorrow.'
Gore, who has won twice on the Tour this season, had an up-and-down round of 69. He carded three birdies on the front nine, but also had a pair of bogeys. On the back side, he posted three more birdies, but started with a double-bogey at the par-4 10th. It was his playing partners round that most impressed Gore.
'David (Branshaw) played great today,' Gore said. 'If he plays like that tomorrow, he's going to be tough to beat. Four shots isn't a lot out here. I didn't kill myself, but I didn't put myself in prime position either.'
Gore is one of the four two-time winners on the Buy.Com Tour this season. He and Patrick Moore, who is tied for 21st at minus 13, join Cliff Kresge, who is tied for 27th at 12-under, and Arron Oberholser, who missed the cut, as the two-time winners this season.
If one of those were to comeback and win to become a three-time winner, that person would get the automatic Battlefield Promotion to the PGA Tour. Four players have previously gained this promotion -- Smith in 1997 and Heath Slocum, Chad Campbell and Pat Bates in 2001.
Full-field scores from the Gila River Classic
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Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

“I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

“The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

He's making his first start in the event.

''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

How rare is his missing the cut there?

The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.