Campbell Four Back of Strange

By Sports NetworkNovember 30, 2006, 5:00 pm
2006 Blue Chip New Zealand OpenWHANGAPARAOA, New Zealand -- Scott Strange birdied the 18th hole Thursday to shoot 4-under-par 67. He stands one clear of a crowded leaderboard after the first round of the New Zealand Open at Gulf Harbour Country Club.
Jarrod Moseley posted a 3-under-par 68 and is tied for second place with Greg Chalmers and Kim Felton. Chalmers and Felton each bogeyed their final hole to shoot 68. There are nine player one stroke further back.
The players had to battle the elements in the opening round. There was heavy rain and wind early in the day. As the day went on, conditions dried up, but the wind kept blowing and temperatures fell.
Strange, who teed off in the afternoon, opened with a birdie on the first, but parred each of his next nine holes. He moved to minus-2 with a birdie on the par-5 11th.
The Australian grabbed a share of the lead at 3 under with a birdie on the par-3 15th. Strange gave that stroke right back with a bogey on 16.
Strange bounced right back to birdie 17 to regain a share of the lead. He closed by sinking a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 18 to end one clear of the field.
'I had a birdie chance on 17 and had one on 18 and I knocked them in,' Strange said. 'When I had a realistic birdie chance, I holed the putt.'
Moseley started on the back nine and got off the flying start. He eagled the par-5 11th, and followed with birdies on the next two holes to get to minus-4.
The 34-year-old tripped to a bogey on 14 and cruised around the turn with five pars in a row. Moseley got back to minus-4 with a birdie on two. He was the only player to reach 5 under for the round after a birdie on five. Moseley stumbled to a double-bogey at the sixth to slide back to 3 under.
Chalmers traded a birdie for a bogey from the third. He collected birdies on six and eight, but made the turn at 1 under after a bogey on the ninth.
The 33-year-old Chalmers flew up the leaderboard with three birdies in a four-hole span from the 10th. He could not get up and down for par from short of the green at the last to finish one back.
'I'm not a water rat. I don't seem to play well in the rain. I was pleased that I could hang in there and hit some good shots,' admitted Chalmers. 'It's a lot easier to do that in bad weather when the putts are going in.'
Felton parred eight of the first nine hole, with a lone birdie at the fifth. Around the turn, Felton birdied three straight from the 10th to get to minus-4. He tripped to a bogey on 18 though.
'We were coming in and 16, 17 and 18 were all into the wind,' Felton said. 'I held on all day until the last. It would have been a nice bogey-free round, but the last hole got me.'
Craig Parry shot 2-under-par 69. He shares fifth place with Stephen Scahill, Peter Senior, Simon Wakefield, Marcus Fraser, Lee S. James, Nick Dougherty, Michael Long and Mark Purser.
Damien McGrane and David Bransdon are among 15 players one stroke further back at minus-1.
Former U.S. Open champion and New Zealand-native Michael Campbell is part of a large group tie for 29th at even-par 71.
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    McIlroy 'happy to be back', can 'empathize' with Tiger

    By Associated PressJanuary 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – After a long layoff from golf, Rory McIlroy has some newfound sympathy for Tiger Woods.

    The 28-year-old Northern Irishman is making a comeback at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship after ending his season early last year. He has not played a round since the final day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Oct. 8.

    McIlroy, a four-time major champion who has slipped to No. 11 in the world rankings, last won the Tour Championship on the PGA Tour in September 2016. He injured a rib in his first outing of 2017 – at the South African Open – and felt its after-effects throughout the year.

    McIlroy, who has seven top-five finishes in his last eight starts in Abu Dhabi, said Tuesday he felt mentally low because of his physical issues.

    ''Honestly, I was excited to be done. I could have shut it down after the PGA Championship very easily and taken the rest of the year off, but I didn't. I played six events after that, played OK and had a chance to win one of them,'' McIlroy said. ''But I was just excited to take that time off and get myself just sort of a re-set.''

    Last week, McIlroy also revealed that he has a minor, non-threatening heart condition that needs regular check-ups.

    ''After that 3-plus months of a re-set, I'm very happy to be back. I felt like I needed it physically and mentally. I just felt like it was a little bit of a sabbatical. I've been out here for 10 years, and I want to get ready for the next 10.''

    McIlroy compared his situation to what Woods has been going through.

    ''I've only been through, maybe, not even 5 percent of what he's had to go through. And you can tell from where he was to where he is now mentally, because of physically where he is ... he's a totally different person,'' McIlroy said. ''Of course, I empathize with him, and I know he was in a dark place there for a while. It's just so great to see him out of that and back and excited to be playing golf again.''

    The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will be the first of back-to-back events for McIlroy, who is also playing next week in Dubai.

    ''I think the next two weeks will be a big learning curve, just to see where I'm at,'' McIlroy said. ''I'm obviously coming into the events trying to play as well as I can and trying to compete and trying to win, but I think there will definitely be things I'll have to work on going into that stretch in the States.''

    The tournament, which starts Thursday, has attracted some big names, including top-ranked Dustin Johnson, No. 6 Justin Rose, No. 9 Henrik Stenson, No. 14 Paul Casey and No. 15 Matt Kuchar. No. 18 Tommy Fleetwood is the defending champion.

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    Pre-tourney caution be damned: Stenson rides camel

    By Grill Room TeamJanuary 16, 2018, 3:29 pm

    If you were under the impression Henrik Stenson's days of engaging in pre-tournament hijinks at HSBC-sponsored events were over, then you don't know the Swedish Superman.

    Ahead of this week's HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, the 2016 champion golfer of the year decided to have some fun riding (and pretend-spanking) a camel:

    If you can't imagine any reason Stenson wouldn't get on a camel, we will point you to the WGC-HSBC Champions back in October, when Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Haotong Li and Hideki Matsuyama took place in this hire-wire act:

    Two weeks later, Stenson revealed a rib injury, and a report from the U.K.'s Telegraph stated "that not only was the Shanghai caper to blame, but that Stenson is annoyed about being persuaded to do it in the first place."

    Stenson brushed back at that report in this Instagram post, saying that his "comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal."

    I’m disappointed to have to pre-emptively withdraw from the Nedbank Golf Challenge Hosted by Gary Player, I was looking forward to this important year-end event on the European Tour. At this point I am back home in Orlando waiting to do a scan on my ribs and get the necessary rest. I am still hoping for a quick recovery and have not ruled out playing in Dubai next week at this point. My comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal. The plan as of now will be to participate in the DP World Championship if my body is back to 100%. H

    A post shared by Henrik Stenson (@henrikstenson) on

    And it would appear he genuinely meant those comments, at least enough to get on a camel.

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    Spieth, McIlroy to support Major Champions Invitational

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:25 pm

    Nick Faldo announced Tuesday the creation of the Major Champions Invitational.

    The event, scheduled for March 12-14, is an extension of the Faldo Series and will feature both male and female junior players at Bella Collina in Montverde, Fla.

    Jordan Spieth, Rory Mcllroy, Annika Sorenstam, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Jerry Pate and John Daly have already committed to supporting the event, which is aimed at mentoring and inspiring the next generation of players.  

    “I’m incredibly excited about hosting the Major Champions Invitational, and about the players who have committed to support the event,” Faldo said. “This event will allow major champions to give something back to the game that has given them so much, and hopefully, in time, it will become one of the most elite junior golf events in the world.”

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    Rosaforte: Woods plays with Obama, gets rave reviews

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:15 pm

    Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte reports on Tiger Woods’ recent round at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., alongside President Barack Obama.

    Check out the video, as Rosaforte says Woods received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon.