Captain Morgan Leads Canadian PGA

By Sports NetworkJune 8, 2002, 4:00 pm
ONTARIO, Canada -- Pete Morgan posted a 7-under 64 Saturday to grab a one-shot lead after three rounds of the Canadian PGA Championship. His 12-under-par 201 broke Richard Zokol's 2001 54-hole record for this event by four shots.
'I just kept the momentum that I got yesterday, with my start,' said Morgan, who carded a second-round 65. 'Then when I got up there in the lead, I just said 'let's just keep playing my own game plan.''
Arron Oberholser matched the course record at DiamondBack Golf Club with a third-round, 9-under-par 62. Second-round leader Don Reese set the mark Friday and Oberholser's round moved him into a tie for second with Kelly Gibson and Chad Wright at 11-under par.
'Today was a blast,' said Oberholser. 'It was the most fun I've had since I've been back from my injury.'
Oberholser sat out nearly all of the 2001 campaign with a broken bone in his right hand.
Reese struggled to a 2-over-par 73 Saturday and shares fifth with Stiles Mitchell. The pair stands at minus 10.
Morgan broke into red figures early with three birdies in his first four holes. At the par-5 fifth, Morgan reached the green in two with a 7-iron and ran home the 15-foot putt for eagle.
He parred the next three holes before picking up more birdies around the turn. Morgan drained a 25-foot birdie at nine and followed with a four-footer at No. 10.
Morgan dropped his only shot of the round at 14 when he missed an eight-foot par save but he reclaimed the lost stroke with a 12-foot birdie at the 459-yard 17th.
'It's working out and I crept my way from 94th starting yesterday to leading, so I'll just stay with whatever I'm doing and not worry about anybody else,' said Morgan, who is winless on the Buy.Com Tour. 'It's just me and the golf course and try to keep my patience.'
Oberholser collected four birdies in a row starting at the fifth and kept the hot play going on the back nine. He made a pair of birdies at 11 and 12, from four and 14 feet, respectively.
He holed a six-foot birdie at 14 and two holes later kicked in a three-footer for birdie. Oberholser closed the round with a 20-foot birdie at DiamondBack's par-5 closing hole.
'It was literally one shot at a time,' said Oberholser, who lost a playoff to Cliff Kresge at this year's Virginia Beach Open. 'I wasn't thinking about what I did on the hole before. I wasn't thinking about what was in front of me. I was just thinking about what I was doing right now.'
Full-field scores from the Samsung Canadian PGA Championship
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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.