Charles 68 Shares Kinkos Lead

By Sports NetworkMay 8, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 FedEx KinkoAUSTIN, Texas -- Sixty-eight-year-old Bob Charles carded a 2-under 70 Saturday to climb into a share of the lead after two rounds of the FedEx Kinko's Classic. Charles stands at 5-under-par 139 alongside Wayne Levi (69) and Mark McNulty (71).
 
That trio is one stroke clear of first round co-leader Raymond Floyd (73), Morris Hatalsky (69) and Isao Aoki (71). Bruce Lietzke, Craig Stadler, Tom Watson and Jose Maria Canizares share seventh place at 3-under-par 141.
 
Charles began his day two strokes behind Floyd and co-leader Sam Torrance. The New Zealand native quickly climbed to 5 under as he birdied each of the first two holes at The Hills Country Club.
 
The 23-time winner on the Champions Tour ran off four straight pars before stumbling to a bogey at the seventh. Charles tripped to another bogey at the ninth to slide back to 3 under.
 
After a pair of pars, Charles dropped in his third birdie at the par-4 12th. He posted four straight pars before grabbing a share of lead with a birdie at the par-4 17th.
 
Charles is trying to become oldest winner on the Champions Tour. Mike Fetchick currently holds that mark having won the 1985 Hilton Head Seniors Invitational at the age of 63. Charles is also trying to win a professional event for the sixth straight decade.
 
'This is the type of course I feel comfortable on, but I'm trying not to think about winning,' said Charles. 'That will just put pressure on myself. I can't believe no one got the better of the golf course today.'
 
Levi picked up his first birdie at the par-4 fourth. He later eagled the par-5 eighth to move to 5 under. He stumbled to bogeys at the ninth and 12th. The 2003 3M Championship winner bounced back with birdies at the 14th and 18th to share first place.
 
'You have to commit to your shot in winds like this, but that's been the strength of my game,' Levi said. 'I hit the ball really solid today. I haven't had as many high finishes because I haven't made many putts.'
 
McNulty, who won the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am earlier this year, began the day at minus-4. He climbed out in front with birdies at the second and fourth.
 
He moved to minus-8 with an eagle at the eighth. However, things went down hill from there. The Zimbabwe native faltered to a double bogey at the very next hole. He fell back into a share of the lead with a bogey at the par-3 16th.
 
'I was just late on my swing and that's what happens,' said McNulty of his double bogey. 'I came back nicely, but it was a disappointment. I think any score under par today guys have to be pleased with.'
 
Larry Nelson carded a 3-under 69 to move to 2-under-par 142. He is joined there by D.A. Weibring and Tom Kite, who both shot 73s Saturday.
 
Torrance stumbled to a 4-over 76. He stands at 1-under-par 143 where he is joined by Ed Fiori, John Harris, Joe Inman, Graham Marsh, Dana Quigley and Bobby Wadkins.
 
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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


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    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.

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    Mickelson starts fast, fades to 70 at La Quinta

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

    Phil Mickelson got off to a fast start in his first competitive round of 2018 - for six holes, at least.

    The 47-year-old is making his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, and only his third competitive appearance since the BMW Championship in September. Four birdies over his first six holes indicated that a strong opener might be in the cards, but Mickelson played his subsequent holes in 2 over.

    It added up to a 2-under 70 at La Quinta Country Club, typically the easiest of the three courses in rotation this week, and left Mickelson eight shots behind Jon Rahm.

    "It was fun to get back out and be competitive," Mickelson told reporters. "I for some reason am stuck on 70 here at La Quinta, whether I get off to a good start or a bad one, I end up shooting the same score."


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Mickelson stunted his momentum with a tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 eighth hole, but he managed to save bogey and otherwise drove the ball relatively well. Instead, he pointed to his normally reliable iron play as the culprit for his back-nine backslide on a day when more than 120 players in the 156-man field broke par.

    Mickelson will now head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course with the Stadium Course on tap for Saturday's third round. While there were several low scores Thursday at La Quinta, Mickelson remains bullish about the birdie opportunities that still lie ahead.

    "This isn't the course where I go low on," Mickelson said. "I feel more comfortable on Stadium and Nicklaus. Neither of them are nearly as tight and I tend to score a lot lower on those other two than I do here, historically."