Campbell Continues Good Play Shares Lead

By Sports NetworkJuly 22, 2005, 4:00 pm
European TourHAMBURG, Germany -- Michael Campbell and Henrik Stenson posted matching rounds of 7-under-par 65 in Friday's opening round of the Deutsche Bank Players' Championship of Europe.
The first round was completely washed out on Thursday by rain. That was the first time since April 2004, at the Telecom Italia Open, that a round was completely washed out. The second round will be played on Saturday. The cut will be 50 players and ties, instead of 70 and ties, so that the final 36 holes can be played on Sunday.
Alessandro Tadini posted a 6-under-par 66 in the opening round. He was joined in a tie for third place by Bradley Dredge and Wade Ormsby. K.J. Choi, Marcel Siem, Joakim Backstrom and Pierre Fulke are one stroke further back at minus-5.
Campbell, who won the U.S. Open five weeks ago, started his round on the back nine at Gut Kaden Golf and Land Club. He ran off three straight birdies from the 11th to get his round going.
The 36-year-old moved to minus-4 with a birdie on the 15th. Campbell parred five straight holes around the turn. He moved to 5 under when his birdie putt at the par-5 third found the bottom of the cup.
Campbell came right back with a birdie on four. He moved into a share of the lead thanks to a birdie on the par-4 eighth.
'I had the mindset today and the hole seemed as big as a bucket,' Campbell said. 'I'm focusing pretty much on every shot now. In the past, I've tended to fall asleep for two or three holes.'
Stenson, a two-time winner on tour, got off to a flying start as he holed a wedge shot from 110 yards out for eagle on the par-4 10th. He nearly did the same at the next setting up a kick-in birdie. Stenson moved to 4 under with a birdie on the 13th.
The 29-year-old wrapped bogeys at the 16th and 18th around a birdie on 17. Stenson got back to minus-4 with a birdie on the fourth.
The Swede then birdied the par-5 sixth. Stenson closed with back-to-back birdies from the eighth to join Campbell in the lead.
'I could have started two-two because I had an 8-iron pitching behind the hole and it started to come back, but it stopped 2 feet from the hole,' said Stenson. 'I made some good putts and the surface of the greens is good. I didn't take one drop for casual water all day, which is quite amazing after the amount of rain we had.'
Ian Woosnam, who won here in 1986, opened with a 4-under-par 68. He was joined in a tie for 10th by Niclas Fasth, Lee Slattery, Mark Roe, Richard Finch, Alastair Forsyth, Stephen Gallacher, Fredrik Henge, Simon Hurd, Thomas Levet and Steven O'Hara.
Defending champion Trevor Immelman posted a 1-under-par 71 in the opening round and is tied for 49th.
Related links:
  • TGC Airtimes

  • Full Coverage - Deutsche Bank Players Championship

  • Getty Images

    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

    Getty Images

    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

    Getty Images

    Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

    What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

    Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    “I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

    McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

    He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

    Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

    “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

    Getty Images

    Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

    Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

    Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

    Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

    Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

    Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.