Furyk Flies into Pebble Lead

By Sports NetworkFebruary 7, 2003, 5:00 pm
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Jim Furyk tied for the low round of the day Friday with a 6-under 66 to take a one-shot lead after 36 holes at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Furyk, who stands at 7-under-par 137, is one shot ahead of five golfers.
Tom Lehman, Rod Pampling, Paul Stankowski, Tim Herron and overnight leader Kevin Sutherland are tied for second place at 6-under-par 138. Davis Love III and Mark O'Meara are one stroke further back at 5-under par.
Furyk, who started on the back nine at Poppy Hills, two-putted for birdie at the 10th, but was unable to convert for several holes. He carded six consecutive pars before birdieing the final two holes of his first nine.
'It's just been different,' said Furyk, referring to the dry conditions the first two days. 'I've never seen the golf courses this way in a lot of years playing here. I never realized how much slope there is on some of these greens. I've played here a lot when the greens were very wet, and they're usually slow. Not this year.'
The 2002 Memorial winner birdied the par-five fourth from 35 feet, his third birdie on four par-5s to that point. Furyk then faltered at the sixth with his lone bogey of the day when he was unable to get up-and-down from a greenside bunker.
Furyk responded in brilliant fashion as he birdied the final three holes to climb into the lead for the first time during the tournament.
'I made kind of a bad bogey at six,' said Furyk. 'It was nice to turn around and birdie Nos. 7, 8 and 9. A good finish today means I can go home and get some sleep tonight.'
Furyk, who grew up in Pennsylvania as a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, is paired with former Steelers wide receiver Lynn Swann in the Pro-Am.
'I wanted to be his partner if he was going to play,' said Furyk. 'I figure on my days off, I don't want to talk about golf, so I haven't quizzed him too much (about football).'
Sutherland struggled at Spyglass Hill, the second of three courses being used for the first three rounds of the tournament. He bogeyed the first, but recovered that stroke with a birdie at the next. He wrapped a pair of birdies around his second bogey of the round at the sixth.
The 39-year-old also carded bogeys at 10 and 13, while birdieing the 11th as he fell out of the lead.
Herron, who collapsed late last week to fall out of the lead at the Bob Hope Classic, carded a 3-under 69 at the Pebble Beach Golf Links, the final course being used for the tournament.
'Lumpy' as he is known, birdied the second and sixth to move to minus-5. He bogeyed the eighth, but responded with a birdie at the next to remain 2-under for his round.
Herron birdied the 11th around the turn, but dropped that shot with a bogey at the next. He completed his round of 69 with a birdie at the par-5 18th.
Scott McCarron, Loren Roberts, Rory Sabbatini, Dave Stockton, Jr., Tim Clark and Brad Faxon are tied for ninth at 4-under-par 140. Including the seven golfers at minus-3, there are 21 players within four strokes of the lead.
Defending champion Matt Gogel is in danger of missing the cut, which will come after round three, as he stands at 7-over-par 151.
Related Links
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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.

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    Mickelson starts fast, fades to 70 at La Quinta

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

    Phil Mickelson got off to a fast start in his first competitive round of 2018 - for six holes, at least.

    The 47-year-old is making his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, and only his third competitive appearance since the BMW Championship in September. Four birdies over his first six holes indicated that a strong opener might be in the cards, but Mickelson played his subsequent holes in 2 over.

    It added up to a 2-under 70 at La Quinta Country Club, typically the easiest of the three courses in rotation this week, and left Mickelson eight shots behind Jon Rahm.

    "It was fun to get back out and be competitive," Mickelson told reporters. "I for some reason am stuck on 70 here at La Quinta, whether I get off to a good start or a bad one, I end up shooting the same score."

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Mickelson stunted his momentum with a tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 eighth hole, but he managed to save bogey and otherwise drove the ball relatively well. Instead, he pointed to his normally reliable iron play as the culprit for his back-nine backslide on a day when more than 120 players in the 156-man field broke par.

    Mickelson will now head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course with the Stadium Course on tap for Saturday's third round. While there were several low scores Thursday at La Quinta, Mickelson remains bullish about the birdie opportunities that still lie ahead.

    "This isn't the course where I go low on," Mickelson said. "I feel more comfortable on Stadium and Nicklaus. Neither of them are nearly as tight and I tend to score a lot lower on those other two than I do here, historically."