Clarke One Back of Leading Trio

By Sports NetworkSeptember 25, 2003, 4:00 pm
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- Soren Hansen shot a 6-under-par 66 on Thursday to grab a share of the lead at the dunhill links championship (Fri., 8:30 AM ET on TGC). Hansen was joined by Gary Murphy and Simon Yates in a tie for first after the opening round.
Darren Clarke, David Howell, Peter Lawrie and Jamie Donaldson finished one shot back at 5-under-par 67.
This event features a rotation of the Old Course at St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns with all players competing on each course over the first three days. After Saturday, the top 60 professionals and ties compete for the championship on the Old Course.
Hansen played the back nine of the Old Course first and tallied two birdies over his first two holes. Hansen then added back-to-back birdies from the 14th to move to 4 under par.
The Dane found trouble with a bogey at the first but Hansen managed to recover with a birdie at the third.
At the par-3 eighth, Hansen landed his tee shot within three feet of the cup for a birdie. He followed that up with a birdie at the par-4 ninth after his approach stopped six feet from the hole.
'I started really well and finished well,' said Hansen. 'I am very happy with my score. I think that's the first time I've broken par on the Old Course and that was nice. It's a learning process and maybe I am getting there at last.'
Yates also played the Old Course and had six birdies in a bogey-free round.
'I think I might have been slightly lucky with the wind when I started off,' said Yates. 'I think we had a little bit of an advantage there.'
Murphy took on Carnoustie with seven birdies and a bogey for his share of first.
'It is a fabulous golf course,' said Murphy. 'It is tricky and you could shoot anything out there if the wind got up.'
Clarke was also at Carnoustie on Thursday and collected three birdies and a bogey on the front nine to make the turn at minus-2.
The Ulsterman picked up a birdie at the par-5 12th and another at the par-5 14th before dropping his tee shot inside three feet at the par-3 16th.
Clarke ran home the short birdie putt to finish one shot off the lead.
'I was very pleased but we got very fortunate with the weather here, the wind didn't blow that hard for us early on and to get Carnoustie out of the way on the rota in very good conditions is a big boost,' said Clarke.
Simon Dyson and Maarten Lafeber had the best rounds at Kingsbarns with matching 68s. They were joined by Nick Price, Simon Dyson, Phillip Price, Costantino Rocca, Henrik Bjornstad and Michael Campbell in a tie for eighth.
Defending champion Padraig Harrington managed four birdies and four bogeys at Carnoustie to finish in a group at even-par 72 that featured Ernie Els and Vijay Singh.
'It was a good day for golf and I got off to a good start but it was not a great score at all,' said Harrington. 'Not on a golf course when it is like this. I am just not making it happen at the moment.'
Reigning PGA champion Shaun Micheel was one shot further back in a group at 1-over-par 73.
'There were a couple of pretty low scores out there but this being only my fourth round on a links style golf course, it was okay,' said Micheel.
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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.

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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 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.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    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.


    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.