Cejka Leads in Home Country

By Sports NetworkMay 21, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Deutsche Bank-SAP OpenHEIDELBERG, Germany -- Germany's Alex Cejka matched his own course record Friday with an 8-under 64 and took the lead midway through the Deutsche Bank-SAP Open TPC of Europe. He stands at 11-under-par 133 and leads by three over first-round co-leaders Gregory Havret and David Howell.
Cejka set the original mark at Golf Club St Leon-Rot in the first round of the 2002 event. Mark Pilkington and three-time champion Tiger Woods equaled the feat the same year.
'I'm very delighted today,' said Cejka, who splits time between the European Tour and the PGA Tour. 'We had an early tee time and it was still pretty calm. The first nine holes I had a great start again, but towards the end, the wind got up, it was a little bit challenging. It's nice to be on the leader board again.'
Havret and Howell each posted matching rounds of 1-under 71 to share second at 8-under-par 136.
Trevor Immelman, who also held a piece of the first-round lead, shot an even-par 72 and is tied for fourth place with Darren Clarke (67), Louis Oosthuizen (68) and Stephen Scahill (69). That group is knotted at minus-7.
Cejka started on the back nine Friday and broke into red figures in an impressive fashion. At the par-5 12th, Cejka knocked a 5-wood on to the green in two and rolled home the 20-footer for eagle.
The German tallied back-to-back birdies at the 12th and 13th holes then found more success at the next par-5. At No. 17, Cejka reached the green with a 3-wood and drained his 20-footer for his second eagle of the round.
'The first nine holes I had a great start again,' said Cejka, whose best finish this season on the European Tour was a tie for 14th last week at the Asian Open. 'I had two eagles - it always helps.'
Cejka continued his fine form on the front side with a 10-foot birdie putt at the first. He added another at the par-5 third when he two-putted from close to 30 feet.
Cejka bogeyed the par-4 seventh hole for the second consecutive round but he reached 11 under par at the ninth hole. He hit his approach to 4 feet and converted the short birdie putt.
The 33-year-old was fortunate even to compete this week. On Sunday, Cejka injured his leg and when he arrived at St Leon, he immediately received treatment but his leg did not respond.
'I would say if we would not be here in Germany, I don't think I would have played on Thursday,' admitted Cejka. 'But, I'm a fighter and I was trying to forget the pain and just try as hard as I can.'
Havret flew out of the gate on Friday with four consecutive birdies. He dropped a shot at the fifth, then bogeyed the par-3 12th when his 9-footer for par missed the cup.
He joined Cejka in a share of first with birdies at 15 and 17 but trouble loomed at No. 18. Havret drove into the water at the 18th and ultimately three-putted for a triple-bogey-7.
'It's quite hard for me because I lost three shots on that one hole,' said Havret, who won the Italian Open in 2001. 'I tried hard all day and did some good things but, right now, I am disappointed because of the finish. Still, golf is like that.'
Howell mixed three birdies and a bogey in his round of 71.
Defending champion Padraig Harrington shot a 4-under 68 and is tied for eighth place with Klas Eriksson (69), Anders Hansen (70), Alan McLean (72), Eduardo Romero (69) and German Marcel Siem (72). That group is knotted at 6-under-par 138.
Ernie Els was cruising toward the top of the leaderboard until he drove into heavy rough at the 17th. He advanced his ball but it stayed in heavy rough and the No. 3 player in the world left with a double-bogey-7.
'I kept it together until the 17th,' said the current No. 1 on the Order of Merit. 'That was a disaster. The wind kept getting stronger and stronger and it was a pity about the finish.'
Els posted an even-par 72 and is tied for 14th at minus-5.
The 36-hole cut fell at 2-over-par 146 and among the notable players who will miss the weekend are: Nick Faldo and Angel Cabrera (152), Colin Montgomerie (153) and Open de Sevilla winner Ricardo Gonzalez (157).
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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

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    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.

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    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

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    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.

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    Defending champ Gana co-leads Latin America Amateur

    By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 11:20 pm

    Toto Gana moved into early position to try to win a return trip to the Masters Saturday by grabbing a share of the first-round lead at the Latin America Amateur Championship.

    The defending champ posted a 3-under-par 68 at Prince of Wales Country Club in his native Chile, equaling the rounds of Argentina’s Mark Montenegro and Colombia’s Pablo Torres.

    They are one shot ahead of Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz and Mario Carmona, Argentina’s Horacio Carbonetti and Jaime Lopez Rivarola and the Dominican Republic’s Rhadames Pena.

    It’s a bunched leaderboard, with 19 players within three shots of each at the top of the board in the 72-hole event.

    “I think I have my game under control,” said Gana, 20, a freshman at Lynn University. “I hit the ball very well, and I also putted very well. So, I am confident about tomorrow.”

    The LAAC’s champion will get more than a Masters invitation. He also will be exempt into the The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event he is eligible to play this year. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

    The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.