Gamez Catches Calc in Greensboro

By Sports NetworkApril 26, 2002, 4:00 pm
GREENSBORO, NC -- Robert Gamez posted a 5-under 67 Friday to match overnight leader Mark Calcavecchia atop the leaderboard after 36 holes of the Greater Greensboro Classic. The duo stands at 10-under-par 134 and own a one-shot lead over Rocco Mediate and Phil Tataurangi.
 
John Huston is alone in fifth place at 7-under-par, followed by Carl Paulson, Pat Bates and Lee Porter, who share sixth at minus 6.
 
Gamez is as unlikely a co-leader as one could imagine. He has not cracked the top-10 on the PGA Tour since a fifth-place tie in the 1997 B.C. Open, and his best finish last season was a pair of 11th-place ties.
 
Gamez burst on to the scene in his rookie campaign in 1990. His first victory came in his first PGA Tour event at the Tucson Open, besting Calcavecchia by four strokes. He followed that victory later in the year with a dramatic win at Bay Hill, where he holed a 7-iron from the fairway at the 72nd hole to capture the title by one stroke over Greg Norman.
 
'I said this week that I was going to come out and fire at it and see what happened,' said Gamez, who entered the field this week as the seventh alternate. 'That's the way I've always played in junior golf and college golf and the first four or five years out here.'
 
Gamez was 1-under after his front nine but caught fire on the back. He birdied four holes in a row from the 13th and held on to his piece of the lead with a 30-foot par save at No. 17.
 
Gamez's closest competitors are not surprised that the former Rookie of the Year is at the top of his form once again.
 
'He's still a heck of a player,' said Calcavecchia, who shot a 3-under 69 Friday. 'Everybody goes through tough times in their career and he's been having a tough time for the last five or six years. That doesn't mean he can't play.'
 
'Robert has always been good, he just didn't know it,' Mediate said. 'Whatever it was in 1990 that was in there, it's still in there. He's got to figure a way to get it out. It looks like he's figured that out this week. This guy was all-world in 1990.'
 
Gamez, who hasn't led after 36 holes since he shared the halfway lead with Ben Crenshaw at the 1995 Memorial, admits that he will carry some nerves into Saturday's final pairing.
 
'I'm going to be nervous, I was nervous on the last few holes coming in today,' said Gamez, who has earned less than $10,000 in three events in 2002. 'But it's a good nervous. It's good to have those butterflies. I haven't had those in a long time.'
 
Calcavecchia broke out early with a birdie and an eagle in his first six holes but dropped a shot at his ninth, No. 18 at Forest Oaks Country Club. He ran home a 10-foot birdie at the seventh to reach 10-under par.
 
'I had a lot more birdie chances yesterday,' said Calcavecchia. 'I just didn't have that many chances to roll in any birdie putts. I was basically struggling for pars a lot of the time.'
 
Michael Allen, Jay Haas, Bob Heintz, Chad Campbell, Jerry Kelly and WGC-Match Play champion Kevin Sutherland share ninth place at 5-under-par 139.
 
John Maginnes needed only 19 putts Friday, one more than the PGA Tour record for fewest putts in a round. He two-putted from 20 feet at 18 to miss matching the record but posted a 2-under 70 to tie for 43rd at minus 2.
 
Bubba Dickerson, the reigning U.S. Amateur champion making his professional debut this week, struggled to a 77 Friday. He missed the 36-hole cut, which fell at even-par 144, by six strokes.
 
Full-field scores from the Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic
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Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

Former Web.com Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Web.com Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Web.com Tour Player of the Year.

McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

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Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

Memo to the golf gods:

If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.


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Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

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McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

"I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

"I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

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What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x