Day 54-hole leader at Byron Nelson

By Sports NetworkMay 23, 2010, 2:44 am

HP Byron Nelson ChampionshipIRVING, Texas – Australian Jason Day posted a 3-under 67 on Saturday to move atop the leaderboard after the third round of the Byron Nelson Championship.

Day finished at 12-under 198 and is two strokes clear at the TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas.

Second-round co-leader Blake Adams had an even-par 70 on Saturday and is alone in second place at 10-under 200.

Jeff Overton carded a 1-under 69 and is third at minus-9. Kenny Perry (66), Tom Pernice, Jr. (66) and Mark Hensby (64) share fourth place at 7-under 203.

Jordan Spieth, the 16-year-old amateur who became the sixth-youngest player to make the cut in a PGA Tour event, had a 3-under 67 on Saturday and moved into a group tied for seventh at 6-under 204.

Jason Day swings golf club'I'm getting a little jumpy in between shots, I'm walking really fast, and I realize that,' said Spieth, the reigning U.S. Junior Amateur champion. 'I just can't help it.'

If the youngster can throw a number on the board Sunday afternoon, he could become the first amateur to win a PGA Tour event since Phil Mickelson at the 1991 Northern Telecom Open.

To do that, Spieth will have to get past another relative youngster in Day.

The 22-year-old Australian was a stroke behind at the start of the third round and immediately bogeyed the first hole. The second-round co-leaders came back to the pack so when Day made a nine-foot birdie putt at the par-3 fifth, he was tied for the lead at 9-under par.

Steve Elkington holed out from a bunker for an eagle and when Day made another nine-foot birdie putt, this time at No. 7, he was once again tied atop the leaderboard.

Day remained tied for the lead after three straight pars around the turn. At the short par-4 11th, Day knocked his drive up near the green and made birdie. He was alone in first at 11-under par, then saved some spectacular pars.

At the par-4 14th, Day drove into the right rough and didn't get to the green with his second. He hit an average third shot that stopped 20 feet from the hole, but he stepped up and sank the par save to stay atop the leaderboard.

Day kicked in a short birdie putt at the par-4 16th hole. That got him to 12-under par and gave him a two-shot advantage, and it looked like he would need it at the par-4 closing hole.

Day pulled his tee shot into water on the left side. He took a penalty drop and knocked his third shot to 18 feet. Day rolled in the tough par save to stay two clear.

'My chipping and my putting saved me a lot of mistakes out there,' said Day.

Day is winless on the PGA Tour, but this is the second time in two years he's held a piece of the 54-hole lead on tour. He shared top honors after three rounds of last year's Puerto Rico Open but missed a seven-foot birdie putt on the last hole to miss out on a possible playoff.

The shared second in Puerto Rico was his best finish on the PGA Tour, but he has won in a PGA Tour sanctioned event. Day captured the 2007 Legend Financial Group Classic on the Nationwide Tour.

Spieth was joined in a tie for seventh place by American Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin (69), Arjun Atwal (64), Heath Slocum (65), Sean O'Hair (69) and D.A. Points (70).

NOTES: In honor of the 16-year-old Spieth's performance this week, officials announced that anyone 16 or under will be allowed into the tournament for free on Sunday...Defending champion Rory Sabbatini struggled to a 3-over 73 on Saturday and fell into a tie for 29th at 2-under par.

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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.