Gilder Goes Two Clear in Maryland

By Sports NetworkSeptember 16, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Constellation Energy ClassicHUNT VALLEY, Md. -- Bob Gilder fired a course-record tying, 8-under-par 64 on Friday to take a two-stroke lead after the opening round of the Constellation Energy Classic.
 
Gilder's 64 tied the course record that J.C. Snead set in 2002. That number was later matched by Hale Irwin, Wayne Levi and Jim Thorpe in 2004.
 
Dan Pohl and Tom Watson each posted rounds of 6-under-par 66 to share second place. Larry Nelson, the 2003 champion, is one stroke further back at minus-5. He was joined in a tie for fourth place by John Bland, John Jacobs, Hajime Meshiai and D.A. Weibring.
 
Gilder opened with a 20-foot birdie putt on the par-4 first. He came back two holes later with a birdie at the third. After a pair of pars, Gilder rolled in a 30-foot birdie try on the sixth at Hayfields Country Club.
 
The 54-year-old made it two in a row with a birdie on the par-4 seventh. Gilder parred eight and nine before catching fire on the back nine. The seven-time winner on the Champions Tour converted a 25-foot birdie attempt on the par-4 10th.
 
Gilder then birdied No. 11 and made it three straight as his birdie putt on the 12th from 6 feet out found the bottom of the cup. He drained another birdie try on the 14th before parring his final four holes.
 
'I hit the ball really solid today. I started off shaky, but kept the ball around the hole and gave myself a lot of chances,' said Gilder. 'I made more putts than I have all year. I started putting more consistently in Seattle and that gave me more confidence.'
 
Watson got off to a quick start with birdies on one and four. He parred his next five holes. The two-time Senior British Open champion dropped in back-to-back birdies from the 10th to move to minus-4.
 
The 56-year-old took advantage of the 16th and 18th, both par-5s. Watson birdied each of them to get within two of Gilder.
 
'I didn't drive the ball straight. but fortunately the rough is not very deep,' Watson said. 'I had some good angles into the pins. No bogeys today was good.'
 
Pohl came out firing as he poured in consecutive birdies from the second. He then birdied the par-5 fifth to get to 3 under. After a bogey on the seventh, Pohl birdied No. 9.
 
The 50-year-old made it two straight as his birdie putt on the 10th got him to minus-4. Pohl picked up another birdie on the 12th. He posted his final birdie on the 15th before parring out to share second.
 
John Ross carded the only eagle of the day. That came at the par-5 fifth and helped him shoot a 4-under-par 68. He was joined in a tie for ninth place by Mark James, Andy Bean, Jim Colbert, Curtis Strange and former major league pitcher Rick Rhoden.
 
Bob Charles matched his age on Friday as he opened a 3-under-par 69. He was joined there by seven other players.
 
Defending champion Wayne Levi opened with a 1-under-par 71 and stands in a tie for 30th place.
 
Related Links:
  • TGC Airtimes

  • Full Coverage - Constellation Energy Classic
  • Getty Images

    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

    <
    Getty Images

    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

    Getty Images

    Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

    What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

    Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    “I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

    McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

    He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

    Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

    “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

    Getty Images

    Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

    Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

    Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

    Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

    Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

    Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.