Burns on Fire at Henrico County

By Sports NetworkMay 19, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Henrico County OpenGLEN ALLEN, Va. -- Jeff Burns fired an 8-under 64 Friday to grab a three-stroke lead after two rounds of the Henrico County Open. Burns stands at 13-under-par 131 after 36 holes.
First-round leader Peter Tomasulo managed a 2-under 70 to drop into second place at 9-under-par 135. Paul Claxton, whose lone tour win came at the 2001 Louisiana Open, carded a 68 to take third place at minus-7.
Steve Wheatcroft and Matt Kuchar each posted rounds of 5-under 67 to share fourth place at 6-under-par 138. Omar Uresti notched a 7-under 65 to climb into a tie for sixth place at minus-5 with Erik Compton (67).
Burns opened with three straight pars. He then birdied the par-5 fourth to get to 6 under. Burns made it two straight as he dropped in a 15-foot birdie try on the fifth at The Dominion Club.
The 31-year-old made it three straight as he birdied No. 6 from 18 feet out. Burns got to 9 under thanks to a birdie at the par-4 eighth after he dropped his approach within 5 feet.
Burns, whose best tour finish was a tie for 17th last year at the Northeast Pennsylvania Classic, drained a 20-footer for birdie at 11. He moved to 11 under with a 6-foot birdie putt on the 15th.
'I hit the ball great today. I put the ball in position off the tee, hit a lot of fairways and gave myself a lot of good chances,' Burns stated. 'If you are hitting a lot of fairways, it's going to make a big difference.'
Burns knocked his second shot to the par-5 18th within a foot of the cup and tapped in for eagle.
'I hit a 3-iron from 235 yards out and it was one of the best 3-irons I've hit in a long time,' said Burns of his approach at the last. 'It felt great when I hit it, but I didn't know if it would be long or short because the wind was gusting so much.'
Tomasulo, who won the Alberta Classic last year, got his round going with a 25-foot eagle putt at No. 4. He nearly holed his approach at the next as his second shot stopped within inches of the cup.
After kicking in that birdie, Tomasulo stuck his 8-iron second shot 2 feet from the cup at the sixth and made that birdie to get to 11 under. However, he faltered to three straight bogeys to tumble back to minus-8.
Tomasulo two-putted for birdie at the 12th. He moved back to 10 under with an up-and-down birdie on the short par-4 15th. Tomasulo gave that stroke right back as he bogeyed the 16th after finding the rough off the tee. He nearly bogeyed the last, but managed to get up and down for par.
'It was kind of a crazy day and a crazy way to finish,' admitted Tomasulo. 'That was kind of a fluke thing going over the green into the water on 18, but I was able to save it. It was really an up-and-down day for me.'
Eric Axley, Stephen Collins, Joe Daley and Steve Larick share eighth place at 4-under-par 140. Dicky Pride, Michael Putnam, Brandt Snedeker, Bryce Molder, Charlie Wi, Tyler Williamson and David Hearn are one stroke further back at minus-3.
Defending champion Chad Collins is part of a group of players tied for 19th at 2-under-par 142.
The cut line fell at 1-over-par 145 with 60 players moving on to the final two rounds.
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    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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    Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

    When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

    Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

    "I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

    "It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

    "I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

    "If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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    LPGA lists April date for new LA event

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

    The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

    When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

    The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

    The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.