Davies Mallon Share Lead

By Sports NetworkNovember 21, 2003, 5:00 pm
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Laura Davies fired a 3-under 69 Friday to climb into a share of the lead at the halfway point of the ADT Championship. Davies is joined atop the leaderboard at 2-under-par 142 by Meg Mallon, who posted a 1-under 71 in the second round.
Rosie Jones posted the round of the day at 5-under 67. She climbed into a share of third place at 1-under-par 143. Jones was joined there by Cristie Kerr (69) and Se Ri Pak (70). Defending champion Annika Sorenstam shot a second-round 70 to move into a share of sixth with Lorie Kane (74) and Michele Redman (72) at even-par 144.
Davies finished her opening round at 1 over par after posting a 4-over 40 on the back nine at Trump International Golf Club. Friday, she bogeyed three of her first six holes to fall to plus-4.
The Englishwoman turned the switch from there and exploded up the leaderboard. She birdied No. 7 from 12 feet out to begin a stretch of three straight birdies that helped her climb back to 1 over.
Around the turn, Davies birdied the 10th for her fourth consecutive birdie. She then drained back-to-back birdies from the 12th to move to minus-2 and tie Mallon for the lead.
Davies, who had been six strokes behind Mallon through six holes, stumbled to a bogey at the 14th when she missed the green, falling a shot behind Mallon.
Davies came right back at the par-5 15th with a two-putt birdie to rejoin the lead. She parred in to remain tied atop the leaderboard.
'It was very different day than Thursday, a very up-and-down day,' said Davies. 'This golf course, I keep saying, you can play identical shots and walk off with a birdie one day and a hit a similar shot on another day and end up with a bogey. It's a hard test of golf.'
Mallon, who trailed by two strokes entering the round, jumped out of the gate with a 25-foot birdie at the second to move to minus-2. The rest of her front nine was a roller coaster, though.
The 14-time winner on the LPGA bogeyed the fifth after missing the green, but responded with a five-foot birdie at the very next hole.
Mallon faltered to another bogey at the seventh when she was unable to get up- and-down, but again rebounded quickly. She rolled in a birdie on the eighth to move back to 2 under.
Around the turn, Mallon three-putted for a bogey on No. 10, then birdied the 11th after dropping a 6-iron within a foot of the cup to erase the mistake. She rolled off six straight pars to head to the last tied for the lead.
On No. 18, Mallon's tee shot barely cleared the water and ended in the right rough. She managed to hack her shot out and knocked it pin-high, but in the greenside rough. She chipped her third shot that lipped out before tapping-in for par to remain tied for the lead.
'I actually felt like I hit the ball a little bit better today,' Mallon said. 'Actually my touch was a lot better today except for that three-putt that I had on No. 10.
'I am playing too good to make the little mistakes, the three-putts, and missing the three-, four- and five-footers that you need to make to win.'
Overnight leader Laura Diaz struggled to a 5-over 77 on Friday. She fell to 2-over-par 146 and is tied there in ninth place by Becky Morgan. Beth Daniel and Patricia Meunier-Lebouc are tied one stroke further back at plus-3.
Hee-Won Han and Karrie Webb are tied at 4-over-par 148, while Mi Hyun Kim and Angela Stanford are at plus-5.
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    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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    Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

    When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

    Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

    "I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

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    The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

    "It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

    "I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

    "If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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    LPGA lists April date for new LA event

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

    The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

    When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

    The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

    The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.