Colsaerts Takes Over In Scotland

By Sports NetworkAugust 6, 2005, 4:00 pm
European TourGLENEAGLES, Scotland -- Nicolas Colsaerts fired a 5-under 67 Saturday to take the lead after three rounds of the Johnnie Walker Championship. Colsaerts stands at 8-under-par 208 and is leading going into the final round for the first time in his European Tour career.
Richard Bland and Emanuele Canonica are two strokes off the pace at 6-under- par 210 after rounds of 68 and 69, respectively. Bradley Dredge and Damien McGrane share fourth place one stroke further back, while co-overnight leader Steve Webster is tied with a group in sixth place at 4-under-par 212.
Mark Foster, who shared the overnight lead with Webster, fell into a tie for 19th place at 1-under-par 215 after a disappointing 5-over 77 in his round.
Colsaerts, who collected six birdies to go along with one bogey, was in the lead for much of the round and is in good position to claim his maiden European Tour victory.
'I went fine because I was just playing well,' said Colsaerts of the emotions involved in leading the field. 'The shots were just coming off and I really never thought about it at all.'
Colsaerts' best finish so far this season was a tie for 21st at the Jazztel Open de Espaa en Andaluca. He's not having a particularly good year, but likes his chances at The Gleneagles Hotel's PGA Centenary Course.
'I kind of always liked this place. It's a really pure track and if you hit good shots you are rewarded,' said Colsaerts, who then joked that the cool and rainy weather 'so far has been really good for Scotland.'
Colsaerts, who entered the round in a sixth-place tie at 3 under, got off to a scorching start with birdies on three of his first five holes, including the 516-yard par-5 second.
That moved the 22-year-old Belgian to 6 under par, where he would remain around the turn and until a birdie at the par-5 12th gave him a score of minus-7.
Colsaerts dropped a shot with a bogey at No. 15, but then rebounded with a birdie at the 16th and another at the 18th to finish off his round. He has only hit 22-of-39 fairways so far in the tournament, but a good approach game and a little luck has him in the lead.
'I got a lot of good lies, so that always helps,' Colsaerts said. 'I got quite lucky in the rough, actually.'
Bland, who is also seeking his first European Tour victory, opened his round by three-putting from 4 feet for a bogey at the first. But the Briton recovered with five birdies and an eagle at the par-5 12th and finished with a 4-under round.
Italian Canonica also opened his round with a bogey at No. 1, but that was his only misstep in a minus-3 round.
Dredge and McGrane both shot 69s to stay close, while Wade Ormsby and Barry Lane had the rounds of the day with 6-under 66s. Ormsby shares sixth place with Webster and Ian Garbutt. Lane is tied with three others one stroke further back.
Related Links:
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.