Curtis Opens Up Five Stroke Lead

By Sports NetworkJune 24, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Booz Allen ClassicPOTOMAC, Md. -- Three years after winning the British Open, Ben Curtis is still looking for his second PGA TOUR victory. On Sunday, he will have a five-shot head start.
Curtis carded a 4-under 67 in the third round of the Booz Allen Classic on Saturday and stands at 19-under-par 194 -- a 54-hole tournament record.
Ben Curtis
Ben Curtis is primed for his first victory since the 2003 British Open.
A week after players struggled to find red numbers at the U.S. Open, Curtis has made just one bogey through three rounds on the TPC at Avenel, where the generous layout has been a welcome relief for those players who hacked their way around Winged Foot.
'It's really nice out there,' said Curtis, 'other than being really hot.'
There were 12 players at 10 under par or better after the third round, but just one within five shots of Curtis.
Brett Quigley followed up his second-round 63 with a 4-under 67 on Saturday to get to 14-under-par 199. He stands alone in second place, one shot ahead of second-round U.S. Open leader and 1996 Booz Allen champion Steve Stricker (66) and Sweden's Daniel Chopra (67).
With bad weather expected on Sunday, players will start the final round in threesomes off split tees beginning at 7:00 a.m. local time.
Tee times Saturday also began at 7 a.m. on split tees. The rain held off, although players were still allowed to lift, clean and place their balls.
Curtis opened on the front nine with three straight pars, then reached 18 under with three consecutive birdies from the fourth hole, the last coming when he two-putted for a four at the par-5 fifth.
After a string of six pars, Curtis picked up his final birdie at the par-5 13th, where he found his only bogey of the tournament in the second round.
Saturday, he knocked his second shot 52 feet from the hole, then rolled it within 2 feet to set up the birdie.
Curtis hit all 18 greens in regulation during the third round. Considering that, he was disappointed with only being 4 under on the day.
'It's just a matter of making a couple of putts,' Curtis said. 'It could have been a really good score, but overall I'm very pleased.'
Curtis' 194 bested the old tournament record of 195, established by Hal Sutton in 1991 and matched by Adam Scott when he won in 2004.
Since his 2003 win at Royal St. George's -- he was the first player ever to win in his first start at a major -- Curtis has only held one 54-hole lead. That came at last year's Western Open, where he finished third.
'I would love to go out there (on Sunday) and birdie the first two or three holes,' said Curtis. 'You never know. If I don't hit the fairways, then it becomes tough. I'm not going to protect [my lead], by any means.'
Quigley began the day in a tie for fourth place, five shots behind Curtis. He collected three birdies on the front nine -- on 10-foot putts at the second and fifth, and a 5-footer at the sixth.
On the back nine, Quigley added birdies at the 10th and 15th, but also found a bogey at the 14th, where he three-putted from 18 feet.
'Playing with Ben will be good,' said Quigley. 'I know I need to shoot 5-, 6-, 7-, 8-, 9 under -- who knows what the number is. I'm going to see if I can do it.'
Nick O'Hern fired a 64 on Saturday to climb from a tie for 35th place overnight into a tie for fifth place. He was joined at 11-under-par 202 by Robert Allenby (66), Bart Bryant (66), J.B. Holmes (69) and Jeff Gove (71).
Jose Coceres, who began the day in second place, struggled to a 7-over 78 and tumbled into a tie for 26th place at minus-7.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Booz Allen Classic
  • Full Coverage - Booz Allen Classic
  • Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

    Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

    President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

    Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.

    Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

    By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

    Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

    ''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''

    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open

    Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

    Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

    ''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

    Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

    Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

    ''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''

    Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

    By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

    Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

    Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

    What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

    Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

    Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

    Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

    Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

    Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.