Dufner Moving on Up in NY

By Sports NetworkJune 30, 2006, 4:00 pm
Nationwide Tour FINDLEY LAKE, N.Y. -- Jason Dufner posted a 4-under 68 Friday to take a one-stroke lead after two rounds of the Peek'n Peak Classic. Dufner completed 36 holes at 7-under-par 137.
 
First-round leader Dave Rummells managed an even-par 72 in round two. He was joined in second place at minus-6 by Craig Bowden (68), Charlie Wi (71), Nick Malinowski (67) and Andrew Pratt (68).
 
Last week's surprise playoff winner Kyle Reifers fired a 5-under 67. He jumped into a share of seventh at minus-5 alongside David Mathis.
 
Bad weather Thursday forced the completion of round one into early Friday. The back up was no problem with Friday's nice weather as both the first and second rounds were completed.
 
Dufner came flying out of the gates with birdies on one and two. He dropped a stroke on the par-3 fourth at Peek 'n Peak Resort's Upper Course though.
 
The 29-year-old bounced back with a birdie on No. 6 to get back to 6 under.
 
Dufner, who collected his second tour win earlier this year at the LaSalle Bank Open, then birdied the seventh.
 
'The course conditions here are pretty similar to Chicago and the Open,' Dufner said in reference to the LaSalle Bank Open and the U.S. Open. 'The mindset is the same in that you have to hit it in the fairway if you want to have a chance to score.'
 
Dufner ran off nine straight pars before a birdie on 17 gave him the outright lead.
 
'I might have been a little bit rusty after taking a week off. After playing well in Chicago and halfway decent at the Open (T-40), I'm playing with a lot of confidence right now,' admitted Dufner. 'After playing in the Open, the fairways seem wider here and the greens seem bigger here. Everything seems a little easier.'
 
Rummells, a two-time winner on the Nationwide Tour, traded a birdie for a bogey from the fifth. He got to 7 under with a birdie at the par-4 eighth. After bogeys on the 12th and 13th, Rummells got back within one of the lead thanks to a birdie on 16.
 
Bowden opened with a birdie on the 10th. He collected two bogeys and two birdies the rest of his opening nine to turn at 3 under. On the front nine, Bowden posted back-to-back birdies from the second and again from the eighth. In between however, he tripped to a bogey on five to share second.
 
Wi played the back nine first and parred his first eight holes. He then birdied three of his next four to get to 8 under. The 34-year-old bogeyed the next three to tumble to 5 under. Wi got one stroke back with a birdie on the eighth.
 
Malinowski notched three birdies and a bogey on his opening nine. On his second nine, the front side, he carded four birdies and a bogey to move into a tie for second place.
 
Pratt started with three straight birdies from the first. He faltered to a bogey on five, but got that stroke back with a birdie at No. 9. Pratt's lone birdie on the back nine came at the 14th. He parred the other eight holes around the turn.
 
Michael Bradley, Gavin Coles, Glen Hnatiuk, John Merrick, Michael Putnam, Jeff Quinney and Steve Wheatcroft share ninth place at 4-under-par 140. Defending champion Esteban Toledo is one of 12 players a shot back at minus-3.
 
The cut fell at even-par 144 with exactly 60 players moving on to the weekend.
 
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    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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    Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

    What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

    Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    “I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

    McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

    He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

    Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

    “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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    Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

    Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

    Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

    Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

    Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

    Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.