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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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook played a six-hole stretch in 6 under and shot an 8-under 64 in breezy conditions Saturday to take the lead at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook began the run at La Quinta Country Club with birdies on Nos. 4-5, eagled the sixth and added birdies on No. 7 and 9 to make the turn in 6-under 30.

    After a bogey on the 10th, he birdied Nos. 11, 12 and 15 and saved par on the 18th with a 20-footer to take a 19-under 197 total into the final round on PGA West's Stadium Course. The 26-year-old former Arkansas player is making his first start in the event. He won at Sea Island in November for his first PGA Tour title.

    Fellow former Razorbacks star Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were a stroke back. Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 on the Stadium Course. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. They are both winless on the PGA Tour.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

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    Jon Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium Course to reach 17 under. The top-ranked player in the field at No. 3, Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    Scott Piercy also was two strokes back after a 66 at the Stadium.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course, and Harkins shot 68 on the Stadium Course.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium Course to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time.

    The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. The Southern California recruit had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over for the week.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine – and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Mickelson misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

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    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.

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    Defending champ Gana co-leads Latin America Amateur

    By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 11:20 pm

    Toto Gana moved into early position to try to win a return trip to the Masters Saturday by grabbing a share of the first-round lead at the Latin America Amateur Championship.

    The defending champ posted a 3-under-par 68 at Prince of Wales Country Club in his native Chile, equaling the rounds of Argentina’s Mark Montenegro and Colombia’s Pablo Torres.

    They are one shot ahead of Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz and Mario Carmona, Argentina’s Horacio Carbonetti and Jaime Lopez Rivarola and the Dominican Republic’s Rhadames Pena.

    It’s a bunched leaderboard, with 19 players within three shots of each at the top of the board in the 72-hole event.

    “I think I have my game under control,” said Gana, 20, a freshman at Lynn University. “I hit the ball very well, and I also putted very well. So, I am confident about tomorrow.”

    The LAAC’s champion will get more than a Masters invitation. He also will be exempt into the The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event he is eligible to play this year. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

    The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

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    LAAC returning to Casa de Campo in 2019

    By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 8:23 pm

    The Latin America Amateur Championship will return to Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic in 2019 (Jan. 17-20), event organizers announced Saturday in Chile, where this year’s championship is underway.

    The LAAC champion receives an invitation to play the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club every spring.

    The champion is also exempt into The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event for which he is eligible to compete. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

    The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

    The championship got its start in 2015 with Chile’s Matias Dominguez winning at Pilar Golf in Argentina. In 2016, Casa de Campo hosted, with Costa Rica’s Paul Chaplet winning. At 16, he became the first player from Central America to compete in the Masters. In 2017, Chile’s Toto Gana won the title at  Club de Golf de Panama.