Calcavecchia Grabs 36-Hole Lead in Tucson

By Sports NetworkFebruary 25, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 Chrysler Classic at TucsonTUCSON, Ariz. -- Mark Calcavecchia fired a 7-under 65 on Friday to jump into the second-round lead of the Chrysler Classic of Tucson. He stands at 15-under-par 129 and leads by one over first-round co-leader Billy Mayfair.
Mayfair, who is playing this year on his exemption for being on the top-50 on the PGA Tour career money list, shot a 5-under 67. He is at 14-under-par 130.
Billy mayfair
First-round leader Billy Mayfair is just a stroke back heading into the weekend.
Geoff Ogilvy (66), Lucas Glover (67) and Gavin Coles (65) share third place at 13-under-par 131 at Omni Tucson National Golf Resort and Spa.
Calcavecchia opened his second round on the back nine and wasted little time in breaking into red figures. He two-putted from 65 feet for birdie at the par-5 10th, then added his second birdie at the next par-5. At 15, Calcavecchia could not reach the green with his second, but hit his third to 5 feet to set up birdie.
Calcavecchia knocked a pitching wedge to 5 feet for his second birdie in a row at 16. He parred his remaining holes to make the turn at 3-under-par 33.
It was once again a par-5 that moved Calcavecchia up the leaderboard. At the second, he two-putted from 30 feet for his fourth birdie of the round. He tallied another birdie at the fifth when he drained a 23-footer to get within one of Mayfair, who was in the clubhouse at minus-14.
Calcavecchia drove through the fairway at the par-5 eighth, then hit a 3-iron to the middle of the green. He ran home the 37-foot eagle putt to vault past Mayfair into first.
'After getting off to a good start yesterday, I knew I was going to make some birdies,' admitted Calcavecchia. 'Oddly enough, I tried to play smart, which I don't always do. I used my head today and stayed patient. My goal was to do something like that.'
Calcavecchia's strength this week has been his play on the par-5s. The 40-year-old is 8 under par on the longer holes so far and knows their importance.
'Three of them are reachable by pretty much everybody, so you need to birdie the par-fives for sure,' said Calcavecchia, an 11-time winner on the PGA Tour. 'It's just an enjoyable course in that sense. It's not hard. It's pretty defenseless.'
Mayfair played the course from the first and birdied No. 2 when he two-putted from 15 feet. He collected his second birdie in four holes at the fifth when he rolled in a 6-footer from over the flag.
Mayfair got it going again on the back nine. He missed the short grass at the par-5 10th, but hit a cut 4-iron into a greenside bunker. Mayfair blasted out to a foot for the tap-in birdie. He tallied his second in a row at 11 when his lob wedge approach spun back to 5 feet.
At the 13th, Mayfair hit a pitching wedge to 6 feet and converted the birdie putt. He parred out to put himself in position for his first tour win since the 1998 Buick Open.
'I was really happy with the way I played,' said Mayfair, who has yet to post a bogey this week. 'I gave myself a lot of birdie chances. If I could continue to do that, we'll see what happens.'
This tournament is opposite the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, but two former winners of that event crept into contention here. Kevin Sutherland (63) and Steve Stricker (68) were joined in sixth place by Doug Barron (66), Esteban Toledo (67) and Joe Ogilvie (66). That group is knotted at 12-under- par 132.
Mario Tiziani, who shared the opening-round lead with Mayfair, managed an even-par 72 on Friday and is tied for 18th place at minus-9.
The 36-hole cut fell at 5-under-par 139, a tournament record, and 70 players advanced to the weekend. Last year's winner Heath Slocum was not one of them as he finished two rounds at 1-under-par 143.
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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.'"

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    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.