Donald Moves into Share of Lead in Germany

By Sports NetworkAugust 26, 2005, 4:00 pm
European TourNORD-EICHENRIED, Germany -- Luke Donald surged into a share of the second-round lead at the BMW International Open with a bogey-free, 7-under 65 on Friday.
Donald and co-overnight leader Brett Rumford, who shot a 5-under 67, are tied for first place at 12-under-par 132 heading into the weekend.
Angel Cabrera and Simon Khan are one stroke further back in third place at 11- under-par 133, but both made late mistakes that cost them at least a share of the lead.
Cabrera, who shared the overnight lead with Rumford and Robert-Jan Derksen, stumbled to a double bogey at the 16th and settled for a 68. Khan bogeyed the 18th to finish with a 65 after shooting a 30 on the front nine.
Derksen shot a 3-under 69 and leads a group of four players tied for fifth place at minus-10. The others are Bradley Dredge (67), Ricardo Gonzalez (67) and David Howell (68).
Donald started the round tied for 13th place at minus-5, but he quickly began climbing the leaderboard after teeing off in one of the last groups off the first tee. Outside of a 10-footer at No. 3, he never had more than a tap-in for par.
'It was one of those days where I felt like I saw a shot, hit a shot and it turned out how I wanted to play the shot,' said Donald, who is looking for his first victory of the season.
Donald collected the first of his seven birdies at the par-3 second to move to 6 under. Back-to-back pars were followed by consecutive birdies at the fifth and sixth, and the Englishman made the turn at 9 under after another birdie at No. 9.
He then strung together five straight pars to begin the back nine before posting birdies at the 15th and 16th -- both par-4s -- to reach minus-11. Donald finished off his round in style with a birdie at the par-5 last to join Rumford in the lead.
'It was one of those fun days to play golf,' said Donald.
Rumford began his round on the front nine nearly six hours before Donald, and the Australian played his first nine holes at minus-4 after birdies at the third, fourth, sixth and ninth.
That put Rumford at minus-11, and he picked up another stroke with a birdie at the par-5 11th. His only bogey of the day came at No. 13, a 371-yard par-4, but Rumford got that stroke back with a birdie at the last.
Like Donald, Rumford is also looking for his first victory of the year. But unlike Donald, who finished sixth at the NEC Invitational last weekend and fifth at the Barclays Scottish Open last month, Rumford has not been posting strong finishes.
In fact, he has not finished higher than a tie for 85th since the Smurfit European Open almost two months ago, when he tied for 19th.
'I have tried to put the problems of the last few weeks in the past and tried to concentrate on this week,' said Rumford. 'That is all I am concerned with. I am leading a golf tournament and that is all I should be focusing on at the moment. This week and this week only.'
Along with Donald and Khan, David Carter was the third player to shoot the day's low round of 65. He is tied for ninth place at minus-9 with Martin Erlandsson (67), Stephen Gallacher (66), Jonathan Lomas (66) and Ian Poulter (69).
Padraig Harrington, who is the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 11, leads a group of seven golfers knotted one stroke further back in 14th place.
Defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez recovered from an opening-round 74 to make the cut. Jimenez shot a 6-under 66 to end on the cut line at minus-4.
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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.'"

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    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.