England Fires 59 to Lead World Cup

By Sports NetworkNovember 17, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 Algarve World Cup in PortugalVILAMOURA, Portugal -- English tandem Luke Donald and David Howell combined to fire a 13-under-par 59 in Thursday's best ball format to take the opening-round lead of the World Golf Championships - World Cup.
India's team of Arjun Atwal and Jyoti Randhawa and the Australian pair of Peter Lonard and Mark Hensby are tied for second place at 12-under-par 60.
David Howell
David Howell teamed with Luke Donald to give defending champion England the day one lead.
The Welsh squad of Stephen Dodd and Bradley Dredge and the Swedish duo of Henrik Stenson and Niclas Fasth are knotted in fourth place at minus-11 at Victoria Clube de Golfe Course at Vilamoura.
There are 24 two-man teams from all around the world competing this week. On Thursday, play was contested as a four-ball and that will be the format on Saturday as well. On Friday and Sunday, it will be alternate shot or foursomes.
The English team won last year in Spain, but it was Donald and Paul Casey. Donald, who was the highest-ranking British player and thus got to pick his partner, chose Howell, who won last week's HSBC Champions Tournament in China.
England parred its first hole, then went on a fabulous run of golf. They went 8-under par over their next seven holes, including an eagle at the par-5 third.
Donald drained a five-footer for birdie at the ninth to make the turn at 9-under-par 27. Howell did his part at the 10th when his 30-foot birdie putt fell into the bottom of the hole.
'The way we were playing, we had so much momentum on our side,' Donald said of being 10-under through 10 holes. 'We were thinking we could birdie every hole.'
Donald had a 20-foot birdie look at the 11th, but his putt skimmed over the hole. He tapped in for par, the first for the English team since the opening hole.
'As soon as we made that par on 11, you know, we just lost the momentum a little bit,' Donald admitted.
The par did stall the English side -- they made pars at 12, 13 and 14 -- but it wasn't long before they returned to making birdies.
At the par-4 15th, Donald's approach was headed toward the flag, but spun back to 15 feet. No matter, as the No. 15 player in the world converted the birdie try to send his side to 11-under par.
Donald hit a beautiful tee ball at the par-3 16th that landed inside three feet. He holed that birdie putt, then Howell drained a six-foot birdie putt at the 17th to give England the lead.
Neither player mentioned to the other the chances of shooting a 59 with a par at 18.
Arjun Atwal
Arjun Atwal helped lead India to an opening round 60.
'We both knew,' Howell said.
'We didn't say anything,' added Donald.
India was 6-under par on its front nine with six birdies and three pars. India flew out of the gate on the back nine Thursday with three birdies and an eagle on its first four holes.
Atwal collected a birdie at the par-five 17th to put the relatively unknown team in the hunt.
'We didn't even know we were playing until two weeks or three weeks ago,' said Atwal. 'The Asian Tour let us know we got in. They asked him and he picked me and I'm lucky.'
The Australian team was flawless on Thursday with 12 birdies and no bogeys. The 12 birdies included a run of six in a row from the 10th.
'Mark did all the work on the front nine, then let me in on a few holes just to make myself feel wanted, then took over later on,' said Lonard. 'It was a good day all over.'
Spain's team of Sergio Garcia and Miguel Angel Jimenez shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday and are tied for sixth place with the team from Chinese Taipei.
Paraguay, France, Japan and the Netherlands are knotted in eighth place after posting opening rounds of 9-under-par 63.
The American team of Stewart Cink and Zach Johnson carded a 7-under 65 and are part of a group tied for 13th place.
Related links:
  • Scoring - Algarve World Cup

  • Full Coverage - Algarve World Cup

    Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
    Getty Images

    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

    Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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