Campbell on Target with Opening 63

By Sports NetworkDecember 8, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 Target World ChallengeTHOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Reigning U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell used a birdie tear midway through his opening round Thursday to match the course record with a 9-under-par 63 and go two in front after 18 holes of the Target World Challenge.
 
Campbell equaled Padraig Harrington's record at Sherwood Country Club from 2002. Davis Love III also posted a 63 in 2003 and those performances give Campbell reason to smile. Both Harrington and Love won the tournament the years they shot 63s.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods is nine strokes back in his bid for a third straight Target win.
'Every shot that I hit today was pretty good, and I just felt that I could do it over and over again, repeat it.' admitted Campbell, who was named European Tour Player of the Year this week. 'I just went out there and played great. Every fairway seemed like twice as wide, the hole as big as a bucket.'
 
Darren Clarke held the lead throughout much of Thursday's first round before he was lapped by Campbell. Clarke managed a 7-under-par 65 and is alone in second place.
 
Harrington posted a 4-under-par 68 and has sole possession of third place, while Kenny Perry is a shot behind at minus-3 69. Thomas Bjorn is in fifth place after he carded a 2-under 70.
 
Tiger Woods, the defending champion and two-time winner, overcame a sluggish start with three birdies in a row from the 11th. Unfortunately for the reigning Masters and British Open champion, he played the last five holes in 1 over par and finished with an even-par 72.
 
'When I had opportunities to make putts to get momentum, or keep momentum, I didn't make them,' acknowledged Woods, who is part of a group tied for eighth place. 'I hit some nice ones, but I didn't hit many fairways and I didn't hit many good iron shots.'
 
Woods, as tournament host, spotted Campbell nine shots Thursday.
 
Campbell birdied the par-5 second, then parred his next four holes. The par-4 seventh is where the birdie run began when the New Zealander kicked in a 3-footer.
 
The U.S. Open winner birdied the par-3 eighth, then drained a 25-footer for birdie at the ninth to make the turn at 4-under-par 32.
 
At the 10th, Campbell knocked his approach to 5 feet and converted the birdie putt. He holed an 18-footer for birdie from the fringe at No. 11, then, shockingly, made par at the 12th.
 
Campbell atoned for the 'mistake' at 12 with his second shot to the par-5 13th. His ball landed short of the green and hit a bank in front of a bunker. The ball kicked toward the pin and stopped 8 feet from the hole, where he rolled in the eagle putt. That got him to 8 under par and gave him the lead.
 
Campbell ran home a 15-foot birdie putt at the 14th to get to 9 under par. At the par-5 16th, Campbell missed the green left with his second. He pitched to 3 feet and sank the birdie putt to reach 10 under par, which put him on pace for a new course record.
 
He narrowly missed a 20-foot birdie putt at the 17th, but found the fairway off the tee at 18. Campbell pulled his approach long and left, but hit a solid chip to 5 feet. Campbell's par putt moved right at the last second and it led to a bogey.
 
That missed putt cost him a new course record and only gave him a two-shot lead after round one. Don't think you will hear Campbell complaining.
 
'I sunk everything, my chipping was great and my driving was great,' said Campbell, who posted top-6 finishes at this year's British Open and PGA Championship. 'Everything went my way, so I'm happy with a 63.'
 
Clarke collected two eagles and a birdie in his first five holes. He went bogey-birdie over five and six, then parred his next four. Clarke made a 4-foot birdie putt at the 12th and made it two in a row at 13.
 
Clarke parred his last five holes to secure second.
 
'I putted very solid today,' said Clarke. 'I holed a couple good putts for eagle and made a couple of solid par saves. The putter was basically on today and I made most of them.'
 
Tim Clark and Fred Couples are knotted in sixth place at 1-under-par 71. Woods was joined in eighth by David Howell, Fred Funk, Chris DiMarco and Luke Donald.
 
Jim Furyk and David Toms are tied for 13th place at 1-over-par 73. Colin Montgomerie, who won the Hong Kong Open last week, and Love round out the field at 4-over-par 76.
 
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    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).


    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.” 

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    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.”

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    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 phoned 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. 

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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.