Els Just Two Back in South Africa

By Sports NetworkDecember 10, 2005, 5:00 pm
European TourNELSPRUIT, South Africa -- Ulrich Van den Berg fired a 7-under 65 on Saturday to grab a two-stroke lead after three rounds of the dunhill championship. Van den Berg completed 54 holes at 12-under-par 204.
 
Ernie Els, a three-time winner of this event, posted a 4-under 68 to climb into second place at 10-under-par 206. Els is playing for just the second time since injuring his knee in late July.
 
Charl Schwartzel, the defending champion, moved into a tie for third with a 2-under 70. He was joined at 9-under-par 207 by Louis Oosthuizen (71). Jaco Van Zyl is one stroke further back at minus-8 after a third-round 69.
 
The tournament is back on track as the second and third rounds were completed on Saturday. Action was delayed Thursday for over two hours causing things to be pushed back. Sunday will have players teeing off split tees with the threat of more bad weather Sunday afternoon.
 
Oosthuizen was the early leader with an eagle and two birdies over the first six holes at Leopard Creek Country Club. However, he fell off the pace as he played the final 12 holes in plus-3.
 
Van den Berg birdied the par-5 second to get going. He stuck his approach within 3 feet at the third for another birdie.
 
The South African tripped to a bogey on the par-3 fifth, but quickly erased that mistake. Van den Berg eagled the short par-4 sixth to jump to minus-8.
 
Van den Berg kept rolling around the turn with a birdie on No. 10. He knocked his approach inside three feet to setup birdie on the par-3 12th.
 
The 30-year-old made it two in a row as he rolled in a 5-foot birdie effort on 13 and that birdie gave him the out-right lead. Van den Berg two-putted the par-5 15th for birdie to get to 12 under. He parred his final three holes to remain there.
 
Van den Berg will go for his first win on Sunday. If he is successful, he will be the seventh straight first-time winner at this event.
 
'It's going to be a tough day,' Van den Berg said of Sunday. 'But I've been working hard for this. I've been killing myself in the gym one hour a day six days a week. I've also been through a bit of personal drama and everything feels like it's falling into place now. But I can't worry about Ernie or think about all that comes with a win. I've just got to go about my business.'
 
Els parred his first seven holes before dropping a shot at the eighth to slide to minus-five. The back nine was a different story though. He birdied the 10th and 12th to start making his move up the leaderboard.
 
The 36-year-old birdied the 15th to get to 8 under. Els finished his round with an eagle on the par-5 closing hole to end at minus-10.
 
'I was putting terribly at the Nedbank Golf Challenge last week,' Els said. 'This week, I've just been trying to feel my way back into the putting and trying everything. It came together on those last five holes and hopefully I can keep the rhythm going.'
 
Keith Horne matched the low round of the day with his 7-under 65. That moved him into a sixth place tie at 7-under-par 209. He was joined there by Titch Moore (73), Christian L. Nilsson (70), Doug McGuigan (72) and Alan Michell (71). Phillip Archer, Mattias Eliasson, Sean Farrell and James Kingston are one stroke further back at minus-6.
 
Second-round leader Michiel Bothma struggled to a 4-over 76. Bothma, who was battling a bout of the flu on Friday, carded one birdie, one bogey and three double bogeys to drop to 3-under-par 213.
 
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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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.