DiMarco Finishes First Round with Lead

By Sports NetworkApril 8, 2005, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Chris DiMarco solidified his place atop the leaderboard at the 69th Masters Tournament as the first round was completed Friday at Augusta National.
 
DiMarco returned to the course after play was suspended Thursday following a 5 1/2 hour weather delay and tallied a birdie at the par-3 sixth for a round of 5-under-par 67. DiMarco also held the first-round lead at the Masters in his debut in 2001 and ultimately tied for 10th.
 
World No. 1 Vijay Singh shares second place at 4-under-par 68 with England's Luke Donald, who is making his first appearance at Augusta. Australians Mark Hensby and Stuart Appleby followed at 3-under-par 69.
 
Defending champion Phil Mickelson was left on the course as darkness set in on Thursday. He birdied the par-3 12th Friday morning, but gave a shot back with a bogey at the par-four 14th. Mickelson then parred his way in to join Ryan Palmer at 2-under-par 70.
 
DiMarco has come close in the past at the majors. He held the lead at Augusta in 2001 and shared the top spot with Mickelson heading into the final round last year. He lost in a playoff at last year's PGA Championship, but 2005 has given him another opportunity.
 
He started on the 10th on Thursday and bogeyed his first hole of the round. DiMarco responded with a birdie at the par-5 13th and collected a birdie at the par-5 15th to make the turn at 1 under.
 
DiMarco caught fire on the front side and drained a long birdie putt at the par-4 first. He then birdied the par-5 second and hit a wedge to 7 feet for a birdie at the par-4 third to claim the top spot at 4 under.
 
DiMarco then parred the fourth and was playing the par-4 fifth as darkness was quickly setting in. The horn sounded when DiMarco was in the fairway, but he had the option of finishing his hole. He played his second into a front bunker and knocked his third out to 8 feet.
 
The choice to finish his hole proved to be a good one and DiMarco rolled in the par-saving putt. He continued his fine play Friday morning and collected a birdie at the sixth to secure the opening-round lead.
 
Three-time Masters champion Tiger Woods had some bad breaks on Thursday, including a bogey at the par-5 13th after a lengthy eagle putt rolled off the green and into the water. Woods also bogeyed the par-4 first after his approach hit the flag. After play was called on Thursday, Woods nearly suffered a penalty at the 14th for standing in line with his putt when he tapped in for par. It was determined that Woods was not at fault, however.
 
Woods came back to Augusta National Friday morning and picked up a birdie at the fifth. He then bogeyed the sixth, but got that shot back with a birdie at the seventh. The roller coaster finish continued with a bogey at the eighth and Woods parred the ninth for a round of 2-over-par 74.
 
Ernie Els was one shot further back in a group at 3-over-par 75.
 
Reigning U.S. Amateur Ryan Moore is tied with Retief Goosen, Adam Scott, Thomas Bjorn, Chris Riley and Thomas Levet at 1-under-par 71.
 
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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


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    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.

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    Mickelson starts fast, fades to 70 at La Quinta

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

    Phil Mickelson got off to a fast start in his first competitive round of 2018 - for six holes, at least.

    The 47-year-old is making his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, and only his third competitive appearance since the BMW Championship in September. Four birdies over his first six holes indicated that a strong opener might be in the cards, but Mickelson played his subsequent holes in 2 over.

    It added up to a 2-under 70 at La Quinta Country Club, typically the easiest of the three courses in rotation this week, and left Mickelson eight shots behind Jon Rahm.

    "It was fun to get back out and be competitive," Mickelson told reporters. "I for some reason am stuck on 70 here at La Quinta, whether I get off to a good start or a bad one, I end up shooting the same score."


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Mickelson stunted his momentum with a tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 eighth hole, but he managed to save bogey and otherwise drove the ball relatively well. Instead, he pointed to his normally reliable iron play as the culprit for his back-nine backslide on a day when more than 120 players in the 156-man field broke par.

    Mickelson will now head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course with the Stadium Course on tap for Saturday's third round. While there were several low scores Thursday at La Quinta, Mickelson remains bullish about the birdie opportunities that still lie ahead.

    "This isn't the course where I go low on," Mickelson said. "I feel more comfortable on Stadium and Nicklaus. Neither of them are nearly as tight and I tend to score a lot lower on those other two than I do here, historically."