Furyk Right on Target at Heritage

By Sports NetworkApril 14, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Verizon HeritageHILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- Jim Furyk fired a 4-under 67 on Friday to take the lead midway through the Verizon Heritage.
Furyk is through two rounds at 11-under-par 131, two shots ahead of four players tied for second place. He finished off his round with a 55-foot birdie putt at the 18th hole, his 13th birdie of the tournament.
Aaron Baddeley
Aaron Baddeley is in search of his first career PGA TOUR win.
'It's easy to keep things going when you're rolling in a bunch of birdie putts,' said Furyk.
Aaron Baddeley also had a great finish, holing out from the fairway at the par-4 18th for an eagle -- just the third eagle at the hole since 1983.
The shot gave Baddeley a 4-under 67 and vaulted him into a share of second place with first-round leader Vaughn Taylor (70), Brian Gay (67) and Duffy Waldorf (68) at 9-under-par 133.
'I didn't realize it went in, but that was a great way to finish,' said Baddeley.
Geoff Ogilvy and Billy Mayfair both shared the lead with Furyk late in their rounds, but finished the day in a tie for sixth place at 8 under after rounds of 68 and 69, respectively.
Fred Funk (66) and Tom Pernice, Jr. (69) are also at minus-8.
Furyk couldn't keep up the bogey-free pace he set in his first round, but six birdies made up for the two shots he dropped.
The 2003 U.S. Open winner reached 11 under with four birdies on his first seven holes. Each one came on putts longer than 8 feet, including a 16-footer at the par-5 fifth and an 18-footer at the par-4 sixth.
Furyk quickly dropped two shots with consecutive bogeys at Nos. 8 and 9, three-putting on both holes to make the turn at 9 under.
Furyk's next birdie -- at the par-5 15th -- gave him at least a share of the lead for good. Three holes later, he drained his 56-footer to move two ahead.
'I ran into a little tough spot today with a couple of bogeys and was able to fight through it and play solid starting out the back nine,' said Furyk. 'I had a couple of putts that could have gone in but didn't, [but I] still birdied 15 and 18 and kept a good day going out there.'
Furyk has improved his finish each of the last four times he has played in this event, culminating in a tie for second place last year. His 7-under 64 in the first round, which put him one stroke behind Taylor overnight, was his best Harbor Town Golf Links round ever.
Fourteen players are within five shots of the lead heading into the weekend.
Tim Clark fired the round of the day with a 6-under 65. Last week's runner-up at The Masters, Clark is tied for 16th place at 5 under with seven other players. Among them are John Daly (67) and 50-year-old Loren Roberts (69).
World No. 5 Ernie Els is one shot further back at minus-4 and certainly not out of it. Els, the highest-ranked player in the field, shot a 4-under 67 on Thursday.
Defending champion Peter Lonard made the cut by two shots at 1-under-par 141 after a second-round 70.
Among those who missed the even-par cut line were Irishman Paul McGinley, three-time Masters champion Nick Faldo, two-time Masters winner Jose Maria Olazabal, reigning Rookie of the Year Sean O'Hair and up-and-comer Camilo Villegas.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Verizon Heritage
  • Full Coverage - Verizon Heritage
  • Getty Images

    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

    Getty Images

    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."

    Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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."