Byrd Beats the Crowd to Win BC Open

By Sports NetworkJuly 18, 2004, 4:00 pm
ENDICOTT, N.Y. -- Jonathan Byrd collected two birdies late in his round Sunday to break out of a crowded leaderboard and win the B.C. Open. He shot a 4-under 68 to finish the tournament at 20-under-par 268, which was good for a one-shot victory over Ted Purdy.
Purdy, one behind Byrd, hit a spectacular approach to the 18th hole at En-Joie Golf Club that stopped 5 feet from the hole. Byrd played his second 20 feet short of the hole and figured he would have to make that to win the tournament outright.
Byrd gave his birdie try and good roll and burned the edge of the cup. He tapped in for par then watched the unbelievable happen. Purdy pulled the short birdie putt, giving Byrd the win.
'This feels great,' said Byrd, who pocketed $540,000 for the win. 'I thought I poured that one right in the center. Ted played so good today. I thought for sure he would make that one.'
Byrd earned his first title of 2004 and his second on tour. He captured the 2002 Buick Challenge, but this win is significant since he underwent hip surgery in February.
'This has been a long year for me,' said Byrd. 'Everybody has helped me to get me where I am -- back. Today is a stepping stone for me.'
Purdy also carded a 68 on Sunday and was dealt his second blow of disappointment this season. He took the lead into Sunday's final round at the Heritage, but lost in a five-hole playoff.
Todd Fischer (65), Robin Freeman, Hidemichi Tanaka (65) and Notah Begay III (69) shared third place at 18-under-par 270.
Heavy rain forced play to be suspended for over six hours on Sunday. As Purdy missed his birdie putt, it had gotten quite dark at En-Joie and there would have been the chance of a Monday playoff finish.
But the tournament was completed in regulation, although a playoff looked certain during the round. At one point on the back nine, eight players were tied for the lead at 18 under par.
Byrd ran home a 3-foot birdie putt at the 11th to go to 19 under and take a one-shot lead. He ran into trouble at the par-5 12th. He missed the green short and right and Byrd did his best to carry a greenside bunker, leaving his shot on the fringe. Byrd bogeyed the hole, tying him atop the leaderboard with Begay, Purdy, Fischer, Tanaka, Freeman, Robert Gamez and Camilo Villegas.
Byrd was the first to break out of the logjam. At the 15th, Byrd rolled home a 15-foot birdie putt to get to 19 under par, which was good for a one-stroke lead. He tallied another birdie at the 16th to go two ahead, but Purdy was not done.
Purdy sank a 12-foot birdie putt at the 17th to close the gap to one. Byrd missed the green, but was able to save par and keep his one-shot lead with one to play.
When the putt did not fall, Purdy held his head in his hands in disbelief and Byrd walked over the shake his hand.
'I played the par-5s even par today, which is just sinful for me,' said Byrd. 'I hit a great shot at 15 and 16 was an awesome up-and-down. Just keep trying to get better.'
Villegas carded a 3-under 69 and tied for seventh place with Vaughn Taylor (66) and Neal Lancaster (68). That trio came in at 17-under-par 271.
Gamez bogeyed 15 and 17 en route to a 1-under 71. He shared 10th place with Neal Lancaster and Jim Gallagher, Jr., who posted matching rounds of 4-under 68. They finished at minus-16.
Craig Stadler, the winner in 2003, shot a 4-under 68 on Sunday and he tied for 21st place at 13-under-par 275. His son Kevin, a two-time winner on the Nationwide Tour, only managed an even-par 72 in the final round and was part of a group in 40th at minus-10.
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.