Clarke Starts Four Back in Indonesia

By Sports NetworkFebruary 14, 2008, 5:00 pm
European TourJAKARTA, Indonesia -- Joost Luiten and David Bransdon both fired rounds of 6-under-par 64 on Thursday to share the opening-round lead of the suspended Indonesia Open.
 
There was a 50-minute weather delay early in Thursday's first round, but afternoon storms were so severe that play at Cengkareng Golf Club had to be halted for the day.
 
The remaining players that need to complete their first rounds will do so at 6:45 a.m. local time Friday (6:45 p.m. ET Thursday night).
 
Juan Abbate, Felipe Aguilar, Philip Golding, Prayad Marksaeng, Jeev Milkha Singh, Kyron Sullivan and Wen-Chong Liang are knotted in third place at 5-under 65.
 
Scott Hend, Martin Wiegele and James Kamte are 5 under par in their opening rounds, but will need to finish on Friday.
 
Luiten began on the back nine Thursday and birdied his first two holes. He dropped shots at the 14th and 16th holes, but closed with a pair of birdies to make the turn at 2-under 32.
 
On his second nine, Luiten birdied the second hole, but was not near the top of the leaderboard at 3 under par. It was his play late on the second nine that earned him his share of first.
 
The 22-year old birdied three of his last four holes and Luiten found himself tied for the lead.
 
The brash youngster used a simple philosophy for his success on Thursday.
 
'If I have a good chance, I go for it,' acknowledge Luiten. 'That's the way I play. I want to win tournaments so you have to go for the pins. That's what I did today and it paid off with a lot of birdies. That's what you need to do out there.'
 
Bransdon played the course the traditional way and got off to a poor start. He bogeyed No. 1, but reclaimed the lost stroke quickly with a birdie at the second hole.
 
Bransdon rattled off four straight birdies from the fourth to get to minus-4.
 
'I had a great run of birdies from the second - four in a row which got me going and put me right up there which is always nice on the first day,' he said.
 
Bransdon birdied the 11th to get to 5 under par, one off Luiten's lead. A birdie at the last matched Bransdon with Luiten atop the leaderboard.
 
Bransdon could use a strong finish considering he lost his European Tour card last year.
 
'Winning here would be a great way to change everything, but we will see what happens,' said Bransdon. 'I putted really well and drove the ball well today so it was a pretty satisfying start.'
 
Defending champion Mikko Ilonen is in good shape after round one. He shot a 4-under 66 on Thursday and is part of a group tied for 13th place.
 
Ryder Cuppers Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley posted 68s on Thursday and are tied for 38th.
 
Related Links:
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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.

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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