Emersons 63 Forges Outright Euro Lead

By Sports NetworkJune 10, 2005, 4:00 pm
European TourHILVERSUM, Netherlands -- England's Gary Emerson fired a 7-under 63 on Friday to take the lead midway through the KLM Open. He stands at 8-under-par 132 and is one shot ahead at Hilversumsche Golf Club.
Emerson's fellow countryman Paul Broadhurst, who was one of five players to share the lead after Thursday's opening round, shot a 3-under 67 and is alone in second place at minus-7.
Alessandro Tadini posted a 6-under 64 on Friday and has third at 6-under-par 134.
Emerson bogeyed the fourth hole, but rebounded with a birdie at the next. He collected back-to-back birdies from the seventh to make the turn at 2-under 33.
On the back nine, the 41-year-old caught fire immediately after making the turn. He birdied five of his next six holes from the 10th to get to 8 under for the championship.
Emerson dropped a shot to par at the 16th, but reclaimed sole possession of the lead with a birdie at the par-5 closing hole at Hilversumsche Golf Club.
'I finished ninth here a couple of years ago so I love playing it,' said Emerson, referring to the 2003 event. 'It is an old traditional course, a bit like the Sunningdale of Holland, and I enjoy that.'
Emerson is in the middle of an impressive stretch of golf. He opened with a 63 last week at the Wales Open and that was the first time he bettered his previous best score of 64.
'It is a nice habit to get into, isn't it?' said Emerson. 'You have to drive it well around here because the rough is really penal, but I like playing tree-lined courses because it is easier to pick your targets and see your shots a little bit easier.'
Broadhurst was 1 under par on his round until a bad break at the par-4 11th, a hole he bogeyed on Thursday. His drive disappeared in the rough and he had to return to the tee. The Englishman's second drive hit a tree and came straight down. Broadhurst holed a difficult 15-footer to save double-bogey.
'I managed to hole a good 15-foot putt for double-bogey,' said Broadhurst, who won this season's Open de Portugal. 'That kick-started the round really because it was the sort of kick up the behind that I needed.'
Broadhurst birdied the next four holes after the hiccup at 11.
Tadini tallied six birdies and no bogeys in his 64 on Friday. He tied for fifth last week in Wales and believes the success he experienced there will help him this weekend.
'It was a great experience being in contention for most of the week in Wales and I will be amongst the leaders again tomorrow so I am hopeful of using the experience I had there to help me,' said Tadini. 'If I can continue in the same way over the weekend, I have a good chance.'
Richard Bland (64), Markus Brier (68) and Steven O'Hara (65) and 2003 winner and local favorite Maarten Lafeber (67) are knotted in fourth place at 5-under-par 135.
First-round co-leaders Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Guido Van der Valk each carded rounds of even-par 70 and fell into a tie for eighth place. Miguel Angel Martin and Andrew Oldcorn both posted 67s on Friday and joined Fernandez-Castano and Van der Valk at minus-4.
Adam Groom, the fourth of five first-round co-leaders, shot a 1-over 71 and dropped into a tie for 12th at 3-under-par 137, along with defending champion David Lynn.
Henrik Nystrom, the final member of the logjam that occupied first on Thursday, struggled to a 2-over 72 and is tied for 18th place at 2-under- par 138.
The 36-hole cut fell at 4-over-par 144 and 82 players advanced to the weekend.
Related Links:
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    After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

    Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

    Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

    Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

    It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard

    On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

    There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

    He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

    His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

    Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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    Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

    With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

    He picked up one more No. 2, too.

    The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

    In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

    Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

    “It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

    Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

    Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

    He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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    Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

    Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

    Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

    His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

    “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

    Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

    Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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    Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

    Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

    Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

    What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

    Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

    Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

    Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

    Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

    Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

    Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry