Goosen Leads Daly Monty at BMW

By Sports NetworkAugust 26, 2004, 4:00 pm
European TourMUNICH, Germany -- Retief Goosen, playing for the first time since suffering an injury in a jet-ski accident that forced him out of several events including the PGA Championship, shot a 6-under-par 66 Thursday to take the opening-round lead at the BMW International.
 
John Daly, who won this event in 2001, was one shot off the pace at 5-under-par 67 along with David Lynn, Peter O'Malley and Ryder Cup hopeful Colin Montgomerie.
 
'It doesn't hurt does it,' said Montgomerie. 'Of course it doesn't hurt. Of course there's a bit of pressure on me. And I'm delighted with scoring 67, don't get me wrong.'
 
Luke Donald, who along with Montgomerie is looking to convince Bernhard Langer that he is worthy of a captain's pick for the European squad, was joined by Miguel Angel Jimenez, Raphael Jacquelin, Michael Jonzon and Alex Cejka in a tie for sixth at 4-under-par 68.
 
'He knows the situation, how I'm playing and how everyone else is playing, I'm sure,' Donald said of Langer. 'He'll make a good decision.'
 
With the European Ryder Cup team being finalized at the completion of this event, the early front-runner was playing without the pressures of having to qualify.
 
Goosen played the back side and stumbled out of the gate with a bogey at the 10th. The South African recovered with back-to-back birdies starting at the 11th, however, and added a birdie at the 18th to make the turn at minus-2.
 
At the par-4 third, Goosen dropped his approach inside 5 feet for a birdie and picked up another birdie at the fifth after his second shot stopped within 8 feet of the hole.
 
Goosen kept on rolling with a birdie at the sixth and converted a 6-foot putt for a birdie at the seventh to make it three in a row.
 
The reigning U.S. Open champion found trouble with a bogey at the eighth but attacked the par-5 ninth in search of a closing birdie. He sent his second shot into the crowds to the left of the green, but got up and down for birdie to hold the outright lead.
 
'Last weekend was the first time I tried to hit a few balls, and I played six holes on Saturday to see how it feels walking,' said Goosen, who hurt himself while on vacation with his family. 'It's still hurting quite a bit walking. But, you're playing this well, sort of keeps your mind on the game.'
 
Daly hit a wedge to 12 feet for a birdie at the par-4 fifth. He bogeyed the seventh, but came back with a birdie at the ninth.
 
The American caught fire on the inward half with back-to-back birdies from the 12th and a birdie at the 15th. Daly then chipped his third shot from behind the green to 6 feet at the par-5 18th and ran home the putt for his share of second.
 
'It was one of my better rounds of the year,' said Daly. 'Usually the scores are really low here, but the course didn't play that easy today. The wind was swirling a lot and the rough is up so much, it's not that easy to get it out of the rough and on to the greens as it used to be.'
 
Montgomerie, who has reunited with caddie Alastair McLean, started on the 10th and tallied a lone birdie over his first nine holes. The Scot made a move on the front side with a birdie at the fifth and an eagle at the par-5 sixth. He then drained a 12-foot putt for a birdie at the ninth to finish one behind Goosen.
 
'It's nice to get off to a decent start. I did putt particularly well today,' said Montgomerie. 'The main reason for this is my caddie, actually. I've always put a huge emphasis on who carries my bag around a golf course and I've missed Alastair McLean, the last sort of two years.'
 
Paul Casey, who has all but locked up a spot on Langer's team, carded a 69 to finish alongside Joakim Haeggman, who is one of the many trying to play their way onto the squad this week. The duo was joined by Jean-Francois Lucquin, Henrik Stenson, Jamie Spence, Patrik Sjoland, Mark Foster, Ivo Giner, Emanuele Canonica and Johan Edfors in a tie for 11th.
 
Sergio Garcia was five shots off the pace in a group at 1-under-par 71 while defending champion Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke and Padraig Harrington followed in a bunch at even-par 72.
 
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    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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    Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

    When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

    Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

    "I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"


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    The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

    "It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

    "I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

    "If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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    LPGA lists April date for new LA event

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

    The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

    When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

    The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

    The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.