Fisher Grabs Top Spot in China

By Sports NetworkNovember 26, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 Volve China OpenJIANGSU, China -- Ross Fisher posted his second straight round of 4-under 68 on Saturday to grab a one-stroke lead through three rounds of the Volvo China Open. Fisher completed 54 holes at 11-under-par 205.
 
Chawalit Plaphol, who held at least a share of the lead after each of the first two rounds, struggled to a 2-over 74. He was joined in a tie for second place at 10-under-par 206 by Oliver Wilson. Wilson, who played with Plapohl, managed one birdie and 17 pars for a 71 at Shenzhen Golf Club.
 
Asian Tour veteran Lian-Wei Zhang fired a 6-under 66 to move into fourth place at minus-nine. Soren Kjeldsen and Barry Lane each notched rounds of 5-under 67 to climb into a tie for fifth at 8-under-par 208. They were joined there by Miles Tunnicliff, who carded a 2-under 70 on Saturday.
 
Fisher, who is playing in just 11th European Tour event, got off to a slow start with a bogey on the second. He got that stroke back as he birdied the par-3 fifth.
 
The Englishman birdied the eighth for the third straight round, but faltered to a bogey at the next to turn at seven-under. Fisher caught fire on the back nine. He birdied the par-5 12th for the third round in a row.
 
Fisher, whose best finish on tour was a tie for sixth at the 2005 Aa St. Omer Open, moved to minus-9 with a birdie on the par-4 14th.
 
The 25-year-old ran in a long birdie putt on the 16th to grab a share of the lead. Fisher came right back with a 12-foot birdie putt on 17 to take the outright lead. He parred the last to remain there.
 
'This is very uncharted territory,' admitted Fisher. 'I played a few tour events last season, which has been a massive help to me, just to be out there competing with the big boys. I've won a few events, but I don't think anything can compare to this. It was pretty cool to see my name on the leaderboard Friday when I finished and to see it on top now is an awesome feeling.'
 
Plapohl struggled with his swing all day. He went bogey-birdie-bogey-birdie from the third before things took a turn for the worse. At the seventh, his drive stopped against a tree and he was forced to pitch out.
 
The Thailand native came up short with his third. Plapohl pitched within 7 feet, but could only two-putt for a double bogey that dropped him to 10 under. Plapohl found the fairway off the tee at the par-5 eighth, but sent his second shot well right of the green and into the water.
 
After taking his drop and knocking his fourth shot onto the putting surface, Plapohl two-putted for bogey. That dropped him to 9 under and a share of the lead with Wilson.
 
Plapohl steadied himself with three straight pars from the ninth. He got up and down for birdie at the par-5 12th to move back into the lead at minus-10. Plapohl could only par his final six holes to end one shot back.
 
'I just drove the ball badly all day,' Plapohl said. 'On the practice range, the swing didn't feel good and I carried that into the round. It got a bit better on the back nine and I managed to play a bit better. At least that kept me just one off the lead.'
 
Wilson seemed destine to post 18 pars during his round. He parred 15 consecutive holes to start the day. Finally on the par-3 16th, Wilson's 8-foot birdie putt curled into the cup as he moved to 10 under. He also parred the final two holes.
 
Gaurav Ghei carded a 5-under 67 to move to 7-under-par 209. He shares eighth place with Peter Lawrie, Jyoti Randhawa, Fredrik Widmark, Francois Delamontagne, Anders Hansen and Shiv Kapur.
 
Paul Casey and Kenneth Ferrie are among a group of five players one stroke further back at minus-6.
 
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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