Colsaerts Leads in Rainy Ireland

By Sports NetworkMay 19, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Nissan Irish OpenMAYNOOTH, Ireland -- Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium posted a 5-under 67 on Friday to lead during the second round of the Nissan Irish Open. He stands at 4-under-par 140 and is one ahead as play was suspended at The Montgomerie Course at Carton House Golf Club.
The first round was completed Friday morning after a six-hour wind delay pushed the tournament back. A little more than half of the field finished the second round, but the remaining golfers will be back on the course at 2:30 a.m. EDT. The 36-hole cut will be made and the third round will begin shortly after the cut is made.
Christian Cevaer (71), Ian Poulter (70) and Anthony Wall (68) are tied for second place at 3-under-par 141. Peter Hedblom (70), Robert Karlsson (68), Jarrod Lyle (70) and Tom Whitehouse (69) are knotted in fifth place at minus-2.
Colsaerts polished off a 1-over 73 on Friday morning, then began his second round on the back nine. He wasted little time in breaking into red figures as he knocked a wedge to 6 feet at the 10th to set up birdie.
He parred his next two holes, then reached the green with his drive at the 338-yard, par-4 13th. Colsaerts two-putted for birdie, and made it two in a row with a tap-in 2-footer at the 14th.
At the par-5 18th, Colsaerts, who is 147th on the current European Tour Order of Merit, found the green with a 3-iron for his second shot. He two-putted for a birdie to make the turn at 4-under 32.
The Belgian parred his first five holes on the second nine, then collected his first back-nine birdie at the sixth. Colsaerts hit a wedge to 6 feet to set up his fifth birdie of the round.
Colsaerts found some trouble at the par-5 eighth. He landed in a bunker and eventually left himself with 5 feet for par. Colsaerts two-putted for his lone bogey of the round.
At the par-4 ninth, Colsaerts pulled a 3-wood out of the bag and the decision paid off for the 23-year-old. He left himself with a gap-wedge into the green and hit it to 5 feet. Colsaerts converted the birdie try to grab the lead by himself.
'It feels really good because I played really well,' said Colsaerts, who has yet to visit the winner's circle on the European Tour. 'I actually felt like I left a couple out there, so it could have been a truly excellent round. Sixty-seven is pretty good because the course is not easy, though it played a little easier than yesterday.'
Colsaerts has handled the stoppages and long days pretty well, considering he has the lead in the middle of the second round.
'I don't think it is that bad a deal for me because I played well this morning when I came back so it wasn't hard for me to carry on and play as many holes as I could,' said Colsaerts. 'The weather was nice today. It was still blowing a little bit but, it is a lot nicer than yesterday.'
Angel Cabrera (68), Paul Casey (70), Ricardo Gonzalez (72), Raphael Jacquelin (70), Steven Jeppesen (71), Peter Lawrie (68) and 1999 British Open champion Paul Lawrie (68) are in the clubhouse tied for ninth at 1-under-par 143.
David Dixon and Iain Pyman are 1 under par for the championship through 16 holes of round two.
Thomas Bjorn matched the course record on Friday with a second-round, 6-under-par 66. He is tied for 18th place at even-par 144.
Darren Clarke (70) and reigning U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell (73) are part of a group tied for 27th at plus-1.
'It's been tough with all the waiting around and bad weather, but I'm far better than this time last year when I missed the cut,' said Campbell.
Defending champion Stephen Dodd (74) and course designer Colin Montgomerie (72) are part of a group currently one shot outside the cut line at 5-over-par 149.
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    Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

    New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

    The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

    "Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

    It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

    Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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    Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

    SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

    Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

    Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.

    The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

    ''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

    Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

    ''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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    13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

    Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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    McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

    It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

    Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

    Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    “I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

    Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

    “Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

    This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.