Campbell Stumbles Still on Top

By Sports NetworkDecember 9, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 Target World ChallengeTHOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Reigning U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell struggled down the stretch Friday, but still grabbed a three-shot lead after two rounds of the Target World Challenge.
One day after matching the course record at Sherwood Country Club with a 9- under 63, Campbell only managed an even-par 72 on Friday. He stands at 9-under-par 135.
Tiger Woods
Defending champion Tiger Woods is still nine back after a 72.
Darren Clarke posted a 1-over 73 and is tied for second place with Padraig Harrington, the 2002 champion and runner-up last year. The Irishman carded a 2-under 70 and joined Clarke at minus-6.
Fred Couples (68) and Kenny Perry (70) are knotted in fourth place at 5-under-par 139.
Tournament host and defending champion Tiger Woods continued to struggle on Friday. He shot his second consecutive even-par 72 and is 14th in the 16-man field.
'I just had a hard time finding my lines, a hard time seeing the putts,' said Woods, who also captured this title in 2001. 'I'm having a hard time feeling the slopes in my feet, in my hands, my body. I'm just having a hard time with it.'
Campbell was even on his round through his first six holes, but the man who collected his first major championship in June at Pinehurst looked poised for a huge lead.
He rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt at the seventh to move past Clarke into the lead at minus-10. Campbell parred the next two holes, but went on a birdie run that gave him a nice cushion.
At the par-4 10th, Campbell drained a 5-foot birdie putt to move three ahead of the field. He ran home a 10-footer for birdie at 11, then made it three in a row with a 10-footer at No. 13. Campbell was now five clear of his closest competitors, but Sherwood toughened up later in the round.
The par-3 15th proved to be the first challenge for Campbell. His tee ball flew over the green and the New Zealander chipped 12 feet past the hole. Campbell's par putt never touched the hole and he converted a 3-footer for bogey.
Campbell struggled at the next par-3, the 17th. His 8-iron moved well right of the flag, but Campbell nearly holed the improbable birdie try. Campbell missed another 3-footer and was forced to make a bogey putt that was longer than his par effort.
The worst was yet to come for Campbell. An errant drive and a poor approach that landed in the hazard at the finishing hole led to a double bogey.
Luckily, none of his challengers played any better over the closing holes so Campbell still takes a fairly healthy lead into the weekend.
'I hit some quality shots and some crap and some average shots,' acknowledged Campbell. 'I had it going quite nicely after 12 holes, I was 4 under, and then the wheels came off. And the wheels came off very, very quickly.'
Campbell, who was named European Tour Golfer of the Year last week, had quite a different round on Friday compared to his record-tying day on Thursday. The U.S. Open champion struggled with the putter in round two, but took some solace in his play.
'I'm going to stand on the tee tomorrow three shots ahead, I've actually increased my lead by one shot,' said Campbell. 'You just go out there and play, and your mind just keeps on ticking along, and all of a sudden you get a wake up call and you start panicking.'
Chris DiMarco, Luke Donald and David Howell all posted rounds of 4-under-par 68 and are tied for sixth place at minus-4. Thomas Bjorn (71), Tim Clark (70) and Jim Furyk (68) share ninth at minus-3.
Davis Love III, a two-time winner of this event, fired a 5-under 67 on Friday and is knotted in 12th place with David Toms, who shot a 70 in round two. The pair are tied at 1-under-par 143.
Woods is next at even-par 144, followed by Fred Funk (73) at plus-1, and Colin Montgomerie (70) at 2-over-par 146.
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    Ortiz takes Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

    Former Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

    Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

    Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Tour Player of the Year.

    McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

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    Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

    By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

    Memo to the golf gods:

    If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

    Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

    It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

    With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

    It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

    We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

    We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

    Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.

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    Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

    We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

    In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

    While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

    Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

    Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

    Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

    While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

    Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

    So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

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    McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

    By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

    With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

    The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

    Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

    "I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

    McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

    But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

    "I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

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    What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

    Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

    Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

    Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

    Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

    Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

    Ball: Titleist Pro V1x