Elliott Increases Cox Lead

By Sports NetworkAugust 7, 2004, 4:00 pm
2004 Cox ClassicOMAHA, Neb. -- John Elliott shot a 5-under 67 Saturday to extend his lead to three strokes through three rounds of the Cox Classic. Elliott, who is seeking his first title since 1997, finished 54 holes at 18-under-par 198.
 
Charles Warren, who won the Canadian PGA Championship two weeks ago, fired a 65 to join Chris Anderson in a tie for second at 15-under-par 201. Doug Barron, Chris Tidland and Lee Porter were one shot further back at 14-under-par 202.
 
Elliott, a two-time winner on the Nationwide Tour, picked up where he left off after the second round at Champions Run with four birdies over his first seven holes to begin to distance himself from the field. Elliott wasn't out of the woods yet, however, and a double-bogey at the par-4 ninth dropped him back to 15 under around the turn.
 
The 40-year-old recovered at the very next hole and reached the green in two at the par-5 10th. Elliott took two putts for a birdie and parred his next four holes before missing the green with his approach at the par-4 15th.
 
Elliot chipped in for birdie and picked up a birdie at the following hole. Elliott then two-putted for a birdie at the par-5 17th to make it three in a row and open a four-shot edge over his closest competitors.
 
At the par-4 closing hole, Elliott hit his drive in the rough and scrambled to a bogey, but still managed to hold a comfortable advantage with one round to play.
 
'I'm real comfortable out there,' said Elliott. 'I hit my irons really good again today and my short game has been really good.'
 
Warren birdied each of the first two holes and added three more birdies on the front nine to make the turn at minus-13. He two-putted for a birdie at the 10th and tallied another birdie at the 14th close in on Elliott.
 
The 29-year-old hit his tee shot in a bunker at the par-3 16th and could not get up-and-down for par. After the bogey, Warren missed the green again with his second shot to the par-5 17th. He recovered well, however, and chipped his third shot from the rough within a foot of the hole for a tap-in birdie.
 
'One of my goals today was to play well enough to get in that last group,' Warren said. 'It will be fun tomorrow. This is always a shootout on Sunday. But if I can progress from today to tomorrow I think I'll be okay.'
 
Anderson ran off three straight birdies starting at the second, but found trouble with a bogey at the seventh. Anderson responded with back-to-back birdies from the ninth and a 14-footer for birdie at the 12th lifted him to minus-15.
 
Anderson, who won this year's Carolina Classic, faltered with a bogey at the 16th, but came right back with a birdie at the 17th to stand within three of the leader after a round of 67.
 
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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.'"


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    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.

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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.

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    "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.