Godfrey Leads US Amateur After Record Round

By Sports NetworkAugust 20, 2001, 4:00 pm
Robert Godfrey, 27, of Clemson, South Carolina, bogeyed the final two holes but still managed to post a record score in the first round of qualifying stroke play Monday at the 101st U.S. Amateur.
Godfrey fired a seven-under-par 63 at East Lake Country Club in Atlanta, GA to break the U.S. Amateur record for lowest 18-hole score in a qualifying round. Phil Mickelson established the previous mark of 64 at Meridian Golf Club in 1990 and Hank Kim matched it at the TPC at Sawgrass in 1994.
Godfrey's 63, which included three straight birdies at the start, also tied the course record at East Lake set by Vijay Singh at the 1998 Tour Championship.
'If you would have told me I would shoot a 63 yesterday, I'd say you're crazy,' said Godfrey, who is appearing in his first U.S. Amateur after failing to qualify in four previous attempts. 'I'm just hoping to reach match play. It's rough out there playing with these college kids.'
The second and final round of stroke play will be held Tuesday, after which the low 64 scorers from the starting field of 312 advance to the match-play portion of the competition.
The 36 holes of stroke play are divided between the 7,091-yard, par-70 East Lake layout and nearby Druid Hills Golf Club, which at 6,561 yards and a par 72, played much easier than East Lake on Monday.
Of the 77 players who finished the day at or under par, only 21 played at East Lake. The East Lake course will host all five days of match play, including Sunday's 36-hole final.
Lucas Glover, 21, of Greenville, South Carolina, shot an eight-under-par 64 Monday at Druid Hills.
'My goal was not to make any bogeys, and I didn't,' said Glover, a two-time All-American at Clemson University.
Opening with a 64 at East Lake was James Driscoll, last year's U.S. Amateur runner-up, who was a teammate of Glover's on the U.S. Walker Cup squad that lost to Great Britain and Ireland last week at Sea Island, Georgia.
Driscoll, who was 0-3 in his matches versus GB&I, was pleased to rebound with a solid round on Monday.
'I felt great,' he said. 'I wish I was a little more solid on a couple holes there on the back nine, where I hit some weak shots but made up for it with my short game. But I was glad to see my short game was there to back me up when I didn't hit a great shot.'
Defending champion Jeff Quinney, who sank a 30-foot birdie putt on the 39th hole to defeat Driscoll in the final last year at Baltusrol in New Jersey, carded an even-par 72 at Druid Hills.
Seventeen-year-old high school junior Ty Tryon, who indicated last week that he would turn pro after the U.S. Amateur, recorded a pair of double-bogeys on East Lake's front nine Monday en route to a 10-over-par 80.
'It was just a tough day,' Tryon said. 'If I missed a shot, I got burned for it, and if I hit a good shot, I didn't get anything for it.'
Tryon became the youngest golfer in 44 years to make the cut in a PGA Tour event after he Monday qualified for the Honda Classic in March. Only 16 at the time, he finished the event in a tie for 39th.
He also played in last month's B.C. Open on a sponsor's exemption, shooting a65 three days and wound up tied for 37th.
First Round Results
(e-East Lake, d-Druid Hills):
Robert Godfrey,Clemson, S.C., 30-33--63e
Lucas Glover,Greenville, S.C., 32-32--64d
James Driscoll,Brookline, Mass., 31-33--64e
Ben Portie,Westminster, Colo., 35-31--66d
Chris Wisler,Dover, Del., 34-32--66d
Graeme McDowell,Northern Ireland,, 33-33--66d
Chez Reavie,Mesa, Ariz., 34-33--67d
Dave Womack,McDonough, Ga., 32-35--67d
Robert Hamilton,Carmichael, Calif., 32-35--67e
Oliver Wilson,England,, 35-33--68d
Daniel Summerhays,Farmington, Utah, 33-35--68d
Richard McEvoy,England,, 33-35--68d
Camilo Villegas,Colombia,, 33-35--68d
Kyle Coody,Plano, Tex., 36-32--68e
Brad Morris,Clay City, Ky., 34-34--68e
Jerry Courville,Milford, Conn., 32-36--68e
Scott Feaster,Columbia, S.C., 34-35--69d
Scott Wingfield,Las Vegas, Nev., 33-36--69d
Paul Simson,Raleigh, N.C., 36-33--69d
Matt Bettencourt,Modesto, Calif., 33-36--69d
Nicholas Thompson,Coral Springs, Fla., 34-35--69d
Brandon Daum,USAF Academy, Colo., 31-38--69d
Bubba Dickerson,Hilliard, Fla, 35-34--69e
Craig Steinberg,Los Angeles, Calif., 31-38--69e
Nick Watney,Fresno, Calif., 34-35--69e
Brooks Kelly,Sierra Vista, Ariz., 35-34--69e
Michael Sims,Bermuda,, 34-35--69e
Brock Mackenzie,Yakima, Wash., 35-34--69e
D.J. Trahan,Inman, S.C., 33-36--69e
Chan Wongluekiet,Bradenton, Fla., 35-35--70d
Kevin Na,Diamond Bar, Calif., 37-34--71d
Jeff Quinney,Eugene, Ore., 35-37--72d
Nick Cassini,Athens, Ga., 36-37--73d
Trip Kuehne,Dallas, Texas, 38-36--74e
Erik Compton,Miami, Fla., 37-38--75d
David Eger,Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., 35-42--77e
Ty Tryon,Orlando, Fla., 43-37--80e
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Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

"Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.

The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

“An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

“I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

“Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.