Drysdale Takes Over Top Spot in Italy

By Sports NetworkMay 5, 2006, 4:00 pm
MILAN, Italy -- David Drysdale matched his career-low round with an 8-under 64 on Friday to take the lead midway through the Italian Open.
 
Drysdale also nearly equaled Padraig Harrington's record for low-putting round since the European Tour began keeping statistics in 1995, needing just 20 on Friday to fall one short of Harrington's mark of 19 set at the 1997 Heineken Classic.
 
'It's just such a strange feeling when you are on the green and you just know that they are going to go in,' said Drysdale, who stands at 13-under-par 131 to lead a group of four players by two shots.
 
Drysdale breezed through his round at Tolcinasco Golf and Country Club, cing nine birdies with just one dropped shot to match the personal best score he established during the second round of the French Open in 2002.
 
'It feels weird,' Drysdale said. 'I haven't struck the ball particularly well today, but every time I got within 15 feet it seemed to go in.'
 
Francesco Molinari is the top Italian through two rounds after his 7-under 65 put him at 11-under-par 133. He is tied for second place with Philip Archer (67), Benn Barham (68) and first-round leader Soren Kjeldsen (70).
 
Leif Westerberg also shot a 65 and is tied for sixth place with Andrew Butterfield (68), Gregory Havret (68) and Alexandre Rocha (66) at 10 under. That group leads seven others knotted one stroke further back in 10th place.
 
Drysdale was tied for 10th place overt, but began making strides after teeing off on the back nine. He missed an 8-foot birdie putt on his first hole, the par-4 10th, before collecting five birdies over the next seven holes on putts ranging from two feet to 20 feet.
 
At the par-4 18th, Drysdale pitched in for par to remain at minus-10 around the turn. He then tapped in for birdie at the first, rolled in a 25-foot putt for par at the third, and made 15-footers for birdie at the fourth and sixth holes to get as low as 14 under.
 
Drysdale stumbled to his only bogey at the par-3 eighth, but it could have been worse. He knocked his tee shot at the 224-yard hole into the water, pitched within 25 feet and made the long putt for his four before finishing off his round with a birdie at the ninth.y putting is usually just so hot an second-round lead for only the second time on the European Tour. 'I three-putted from 12 feet on the 18th last weekend to miss the cut by a stroke and if that had been this week it would have gone in.'
 
Anthony Wall and Sven Struver fired matching 7-under 65s to reach 9-under-par 135. They are tied for 10th place with Sebastien Fernandez (67), Peter Fowler (67), Jonathan Lomas (68), Louis Oosthuizen (68) and Mark Roe (66).
 
The cut line fell at 4-under-par 140, with 66 players moving on to the weekend. Among those who failed to make the cut were Angel Cabrera (1-over) and defending champion Steve Webster, who stumbled to a 3-over 75 to end at plus-2.
 
Related Links:
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    Spieth, McIlroy to support Major Champions Invitational

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:25 pm

    Nick Faldo announced Tuesday the creation of the Major Champions Invitational.

    The event, scheduled for March 12-14, is an extension of the Faldo Series and will feature both male and female junior players at Bella Collina in Montverde, Fla.

    Jordan Spieth, Rory Mcllroy, Annika Sorenstam, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Jerry Pate and John Daly have already committed to supporting the event, which is aimed at mentoring and inspiring the next generation of players.  

    “I’m incredibly excited about hosting the Major Champions Invitational, and about the players who have committed to support the event,” Faldo said. “This event will allow major champions to give something back to the game that has given them so much, and hopefully, in time, it will become one of the most elite junior golf events in the world.”

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    Rosaforte: Woods plays with Obama, gets rave reviews

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:15 pm

    Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte reports on Tiger Woods’ recent round at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., alongside President Barack Obama.

    Check out the video, as Rosaforte says Woods received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon. 

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    Stock Watch: Spieth searching for putting form

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 16, 2018, 1:50 pm

    Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.

    RISING

    Patton Kizzire (+8%): By today’s accelerated standards, he’s a late bloomer, having reached the Tour at age 29. Well, he seems right at home now, with two wins in his last four starts.

    Rory (+7%): Coming off the longest break of his career, McIlroy should have no excuses this year. He’s healthy. Focused. Motivated. It’s go time.

    Chris Paisley (+5%): The best part about his breakthrough European Tour title that netted him $192,000? With his wife, Keri, on the bag, he doesn’t have to cut 10 percent to his caddie – she gets the whole thing.

    Brooke Henderson (+3%): A seventh-place finish at the Diamond Resorts Invitational doesn’t sound like much for a five-time winner, but this came against the men – on a cold, wet, windy, 6,700-yard track. She might be the most fun player to watch on the LPGA. 

    New European Ryder Cuppers (+2%): In something of a Ryder Cup dress rehearsal, newcomers Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrrell Hatton each went undefeated in leading Europe to a come-from-behind victory at the EurAsia Cup. The competition come September will be, um, a bit stiffer.



    FALLING

    Jordan’s putting (-1%): You can sense his frustration in interviews, and why not? In two starts he leads the Tour in greens in regulation … and ranks 201st (!) in putting. Here’s guessing he doesn’t finish the year there.

    Brian Harman’s 2018 Sundays (-2%): The diminutive left-hander now has five consecutive top-10s, and he’s rocketing up the Ryder Cup standings, but you can’t help but wonder how much better the start to his year might have been. In the final pairing each of the past two weeks, he’s a combined 1 under in those rounds and wasn’t much of a factor.

    Tom Hoge (-3%): Leading by one and on the brink of a life-changing victory – he hadn’t been able to keep his card each of the past three years – Hoge made an absolute mess of the 16th, taking double bogey despite having just 156 yards for his approach. At least now he’s on track to make the playoffs for the first time.

    Predicting James Hahn’s form (-4%): OK, we give up: He’d gone 17 events without a top-15 before his win at Riviera; 12 before his win at Quail Hollow; and seven before he lost on the sixth playoff hole at Waialae. The margins between mediocre play and winning apparently are THAT small.

    Barnrat (-5%): Coming in hot with four consecutive top-10s, and one of only two team members ranked inside the top 50 in the world, Kiradech Aphibarnrat didn’t show up at the EurAsia Cup, going 0-3 for the week. In hindsight, the Asian team had no chance without his contributions. 

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    Langer not playing to pass Irwin, but he just might

    By Tim RosaforteJanuary 16, 2018, 1:40 pm

    Bernhard Langer goes back out on tour this week to chase down more than Hale Irwin’s PGA Tour Champions record of 45 career victories. His chase is against himself.

    “I’m not playing to beat Hale Irwin’s record,” Langer told me before heading to Hawaii to defend his title at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai. “I play golf to play the best I can, to be a good role model, and to enjoy a few more years that are left.”

    Langer turned 60 on Aug. 27 and was presented a massage chair by his family as a birthday gift. Instead of reclining (which he does to watch golf and football), he won three more times to close out a seven-win campaign that included three major championships. A year prior, coming off a four-victory season, Langer told me after winning his fourth Charles Schwab Cup that surpassing Irwin’s record was possible but not probable. With 36 career victories and 11 in his last two years, he has changed his tone to making up the nine-tournament difference as “probable.”

    “If I could continue a few more years on that ratio, I could get close or pass him,” Langer told me from his home in Boca Raton, Fla. “It will get harder. I’m 60 now. It’s a big challenge but I don’t shy away from challenges.”


    Bernhard Langer, Hale Irwin at the 1991 Ryder Cup (Getty Images)


    Langer spent his off-season playing the PNC Father/Son, taking his family on a ski vacation at Big Sky in Yellowstone, Montana, and to New York for New Year’s. He ranks himself as a scratch skier, having skied since he was four years old in Germany. The risk of injury is worth it, considering how much he loves “the scenery, the gravity and the speed.”

    Since returning from New York, Langer has immersed himself into preparing for the 2018 season. Swing coach Willy Hoffman, who he has worked with since his boyhood days as an as assistant pro in Germany, flew to Florida for their 43rd year of training.

    “He’s a straight shooter,” Hoffman told me. “He says, 'Willy, every hour is an hour off my life and we have 24 hours every day.'"

    As for Irwin, they have maintained a respectful relationship that goes back to their deciding singles match in the 1991 Ryder Cup. Last year they were brought back to Kiawah Island for a corporate appearance where they reminisced and shared the thought that nobody should ever have to bear what Langer went through, missing a 6-footer on the 18th green. That was 27 years ago. Both are in the Hall of Fame.

    "I enjoy hanging out with Hale," Langer says.

    Langer’s chase of Irwin’s record is not going to change their legacies. As Hoffman pointed out, “Yes, (Bernhard) is a rich man compared to his younger days. He had no money, no nothing. But today you don’t feel a difference when you talk to him. He’s always on the ground.”