Four for First at Wachovia

By Sports NetworkMay 4, 2006, 4:00 pm
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Jim Furyk, Rory Sabbatini, Trevor Immelman and local favorite Bill Haas all posted 4-under-par 68s on Thursday to share the opening-round lead of the Wachovia Championship at Quail Hollow Club.
Davis Love III, Lucas Glover and Billy Andrade are knotted in fifth place at minus-3.
Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson is three back after an opening 1-under 71.
World No. 3 Retief Goosen, Paul Azinger, 2003 PGA champion Shaun Micheel, Vaughn Taylor, Justin Rose, Stewart Cink, Robert Garrigus and Bo Van Pelt are tied for eighth place at 2-under-par 70.
The difficult Quail Hollow layout proved tricky once again on Thursday, with just 32 of the 155 players who teed off breaking par. There are 15 players within two of the four leaders.
Furyk, who lost in a playoff to Vijay Singh last year, started his opening round on the back nine at Quail Hollow. He tallied birdies at the 10th and 18th holes, but the 2003 U.S. Open champion surged up the leaderboard with his play on the front nine.
He birdied the third and fifth holes to get to 4 under, but was one behind Sabbatini at the time. Furyk drained a 10-footer for birdie at the eighth to join Sabbatini at minus-5.
The par-4 ninth proved to be trouble for Furyk, the seventh-ranked golfer in the world. Sabbatini bogeyed the hole before Furyk, who then drove into a right fairway bunker. His approach landed in a greenside trap and the best he could do was blast out to 24 feet. Furyk's par try missed, but he tapped in for a bogey and a share of the lead.
'I'll take it either way. It's 68. I think that's pretty interesting,' said Furyk. ' It's a very good, difficult golf course. It's demanding, and you really have to pretty much have all aspects of your game in good shape to play well here.'
Sabbatini, who is fifth on the PGA TOUR money list, mixed four birdies and two bogeys on his opening nine, the back side at Quail Hollow. He was the first player to reach 5 under par with birdies at two, five and seven, but problems were ahead.
At the ninth, Sabbatini drove into the trees and could not reach the green with his second shot. He hit a solid third shot 11 feet past the flag, but the South African missed the putt to fall into the logjam.
'Three weeks off so I was a little rusty out there today but managed to hang in there and played pretty solid golf the whole way,' said Sabbatini. 'I limited my mistakes to a severe minimum.'
Immelman, a South African, began on the back nine, and tallied two bogeys and two birdies. His biggest problem came at the par-4 14th when he drove in the rough, then his approach hopped into the water. Immelman made double bogey to make the turn at 2-over-par 38.
The second nine was a completely different story for Immelman. He knocked his approach to 5 feet to set up birdie at the first. The South African recorded back-to-back birdies from the third, both inside 10 feet, then did it again from the sixth.
At the par-4 ninth, Immelman hit a 6-iron to 4 feet and cashed in the birdie try. All tallied, it was six birdies in his final nine holes that gave Immelman a piece of the lead.
'I just caught some momentum there on that nine holes and it was nice to convert all my chances,' said Immelman, who is winless on the PGA TOUR. 'There's a premium on hitting the ball in the fairway and from there, you can take advantage of a couple of holes.'
Haas, who was born in the Charlotte area, teed off on the 10th and his front nine was horrible. He made bogey from the fairway at the 12th, and drove under a tree at the 15th. Haas made those two bogeys and made the turn at plus-2.
Like Immelman, the second nine was what put him atop the leaderboard. He tapped in a short birdie putt at the second, eagled the par-5 fifth, and recorded three birdies in a row to close his round.
Haas has struggled so far this season on the PGA TOUR. He has made only six cuts in 11 starts with his best finish a tie for 15th last week in New Orleans.
'It's only a 68. It's only 4 under,' acknowledged Haas, whose father Jay and brother Jay Jr. are also in the field this week. 'If it was 64 coming off the year I've had, that might surprise me a little bit.'
Defending champion Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson -- who owns the last two major titles -- and Ernie Els, playing here this week for the first time, highlight a group at 1-under-par 71.
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    Watch: Fathauer dunks one off flagstick for eagle

    By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 17, 2018, 7:45 pm

    The NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest will take place Saturday night in Los Angeles, but Derek Fathauer kicked things off a little early with this eagle in the third round of the Genesis Open.

    Playing his second shot on the par-4 third hole at Riviera Country Club, Fathauer dunked one off the flagstick and into the hole for an eagle-2:

    The shot got the the 32-year-old, in search of his first PGA Tour victory, under par for the round and into the mix early on Moving Day.

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    Luiten in three-way tie at Oman Open

    By Associated PressFebruary 17, 2018, 4:17 pm

    MUSCAT, Oman - Joost Luiten showed a return to form after a mediocre 2017 as he moved into a three-way tie for the lead in the Oman Open on Saturday.

    The Dutchman shot a second straight 6-under 66 - the joint best score of the day - to move to 12-under 204. He was joined at the top by Matthew Southgate (69) and Frenchman Julien Guerrier (66) after the third round at the Greg Norman-designed Al Mouj Golf Club.

    England's Chris Wood (69), another man on the comeback trail, was in fourth place at 11 under, but it could have been a lot better if not for a bogey-bogey finish. Adrian Otaegui (66) was a shot behind Wood while pre-tournament favorite, France's Alexander Levy (67), was at 9 under.

    The 90th-ranked Luiten credited some hot iron play for his success after a cracked driver set him back last year when he had just two top-10 finishes the whole season.

    Full-field scores from the NBO Oman Golf Classic

    ''I cracked my driver in my first tournament of the year in Abu Dhabi and it took me almost six months to get another one that I really liked. Once you are not driving the ball well, it puts pressure on other parts of your game,'' said the 32-year-old Luiten. ''My iron play did not get me into trouble at all today.''

    Southgate was quick off the block with three birdies in his first three holes. But the Englishman then made two bogeys and a double bogey in his next four holes, and a birdie on the ninth saw him make the turn at even-par.

    That forced him to think differently for the back nine and he was rewarded with three birdies.

    ''It was quite funny really,'' Southgate said. ''We birdied the ninth and I walked off and said to my caddie Gary ... 'We've just shot level par, so let's just pretend that we've made nine solid pars and that we haven't holed a putt and haven't made a birdie. Let's just start again on the 10th'.''

    The 32-year-old Guerrier started his round with a monster 48-foot birdie putt and had an eagle, six birdies and two bogeys.

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    J.Y. Ko increases lead; Lydia focuses on positives

    By Associated PressFebruary 17, 2018, 3:33 pm

    ADELAIDE, Australia - Jin Young Ko continued her domination of the Women's Australian Open, shooting a 1-under 71 Saturday to increase her lead to four strokes after three rounds.

    The South Korean, who led after each of the opening two rounds of the LPGA tournament, had a three-round total of 11-under 205 at Kooyonga Golf Club.

    Australian golfer Hannah Green moved into second place after the round of the day, a 66.

    Green, 21, is seeking to become the first Australian to claim her national crown since Karrie Webb won the last of her five titles in 2014. Webb, who is playing a part-time schedule in 2018, missed the cut Friday by one stroke.

    Green birdied her first three holes on Saturday and then added two more on the eighth and ninth. Two more birdies followed on the back nine with her only dropped shot a bogey on the 17th.

    Full-field scores from the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open

    "I was very pleased with my ball striking," Green said. "I have put myself in contention so I'm very happy with how things are panning out.

    "It was a real shame about Karrie missing the cut, but I know she has got different plans."

    South Korea's Hyejin Choi (70), was tied for third, five strokes behind. Australia's top-ranked golfer Minjee Lee was tied for fifth after a 69, six off the lead.

    Former No. 1 Lydia Ko shot a 71 and was eight strokes behind.

    "It's always nice to be able to start the season on a good note, and I've obviously got tomorrow," Lydia Ko said. "Hopefully, I'll be able to finish off on a high note."

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    Cantlay, McDowell, Saunders share lead at Riviera

    By Doug FergusonFebruary 17, 2018, 3:51 am

    LOS ANGELES - Tiger Woods waited 12 years to get back to Riviera and lasted only two days.

    Woods had three straight bogeys early on the back nine Friday and didn't play well enough to make up for his misses. He had a 5-over 76 and missed the cut in the Genesis Open for the first time in nine appearances as a pro.

    He was at 6-over 148, one shot worse than his PGA Tour debut as a 16-year-old at Riviera.

    ''I missed every tee shot left and I did not putt well, didn't feel very good on the greens,'' Woods said. ''And consequently, never made a run. I knew I had to make a run on that back nine, and I went the other way.''

    Patrick Cantlay ran off three straight birdies toward the end of his morning round, starting with a tap-in on the par-3 sixth when he missed a hole-in-one by a fraction of an inch, and shot a 69. He was tied with Graeme McDowell (66), the former U.S. Open champion who is trying to work his way back from a two-year slump.

    They were at 7-under 135.

    Sam Saunders also was at 7 under, making back-to-back birdies until it was too dark to continue. He had three holes remaining in his second round. Ryan Moore bogeyed his final hole for a 68 and was one shot behind at 136.

    Rory McIlroy overcame a few short misses on the front nine for a 69 and was at 2-under 140.

    Full-field scores from the Genesis Open

    Genesis Open: Articles, photos and videos

    Cantlay was coming off a three-putt bogey when his tee shot at the par-3 sixth - the hole with a bunker in the middle of the green - landed above the flag and to the right, and then rolled back down the slope just over the right edge of the cup.

    ''I actually missed a little to the right, but it's a bowl back there so as long as you get the number right, it should be pretty close,'' Cantlay said.

    He followed with a short iron into 5 feet for birdie, a 15-foot birdie on the next hole and then a wild drive that led to a bogey on his final hole.

    McDowell has gone 59 starts worldwide since his last victory and has fallen out of the top 200 in the world. He had missed four straight cuts dating to late last year, though he felt he was hitting it well in practice. What helped was seeing some good scores.

    ''All I'm missing is a couple little numbers and a little bit of confidence,'' McDowell said.

    Defending champion Dustin Johnson shot a 69 and gets to stick around for the weekend. He was at 1-over 143. Bubba Watson, who won in 2014 and 2016, has fallen out of the top 200 in the world after a two-year drought. He shot a 70 and was at 4-under 138, and then headed for the NBA All-Star weekend to play in the celebrity game.