Goosen Harrington Win Exelon Challenge

By Sports NetworkJune 5, 2007, 4:00 pm
LAFAYETTE HILL, Penn. -- Retief Goosen and Padraig Harrington won the Exelon Invitational on Monday, 2 and 1, over Jim Furyk and Charles Howell III.
The event, hosted by Furyk and held at the ACE Club in suburban Philadelphia, switched from a skins game to a fourball match this year.
Goosen and Harrington claimed $80,000 apiece for the victory and Furyk and Howell earned $60,000 each in defeat, but the tournament's real beneficiaries were the Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia, which received a $250,000 donation.
The players kept the mood light.
Furyk hit a bystander with his first approach shot of the day at No. 1, then made birdie after the ball bounced back to within 10 feet of the hole. The woman, standing behind the green, got a hug.
Later, Furyk was forced to hit a lefthanded shot when his tee ball came to rest next to a tree beside the fairway.
'I'd watch out up there,' he joked to a section of the gallery standing further up the fairway.
But the joke was on Furyk. He duffed the shot.
On the 16th hole, Harrington put the internationals 1-up when he holed a 22-foot chip shot from the fringe for a winning birdie. He had pulled a putter, then sent his caddie back to the bag for a couple of wedges.
'What'd you hit?' yelled a gallery member.
'Just a gap wedge,' Harrington abided.
The match was decided on the 17th hole when neither Furyk nor Howell could make par on a large, undulating green. Harrington made a short putt to give the internationals a 2-up lead with one hole remaining.
They played the 18th anyway -- for an additional $25,000 for charity -- and when Furyk wanted to cut a corner with his second shot, he caught a small section of the gallery standing nearby.
'You are all in serious danger,' he laughed.
They moved, and Furyk hit his shot.
But the teams pushed the final hole when Furyk drilled the back of the cup on a short putt and had it pop out. That led to a 'chip-off' from a pot bunker behind the green to determine who would choose the charity for the additional $25,000 purse.
Goosen knocked his shot within 3 1/2 feet to win it.
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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.  

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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.” 

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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.”

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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.