Goosen Scott Amongst Leaders in Beijing

By Sports NetworkApril 22, 2005, 4:00 pm
BEIJING -- Adam Scott and Retief Goosen, both ranked in the top 10 in the world, are among the leaders during the second round of the Johnnie Walker Classic.
On Friday, all players completed their first rounds after heavy wind forced officials to stop the action after only three hours on Thursday. Only half of the field teed it up in the second round, while only half of those players completed their second rounds.
Those 36 players who did not finish their second round return to Pine Valley Golf Resort and Country Club at 6:30 a.m. local time Saturday morning. The golfers who need to begin their second round are scheduled to go off at 6:45 a.m.
The plan is to play as much golf as possible on Saturday. Officials will make the 36-hole cut, then send the players out in threesomes off split tees in the third round. The same format may be in play for the final round as it is expected that the completion of the third round will not take place until Sunday.
Scott matched the course record on Friday with a 9-under-par 63. He did not hit a shot in the second round, but was joined in the lead by two-time and reigning U.S. Open champion Goosen (67), Michael Campbell (65) and last week's Open de Espana winner Peter Hanson (65). That trio completed two rounds at 9-under-par 135.
Chawalit Plaphol is 2-under par on his round and only has his 18th hole to complete. He is alone in fifth place at minus-8. Yuan-Chi Chen is also 2 under in the second round and holds sixth place at 7 under par through 14 holes.
Scott completed 10 holes on Thursday before play was called. He returned in style with back-to-back birdies at two and three, his 11th and 12th holes of the first round.
At the seventh, Scott tallied his third birdie on the back nine, and a 4-iron second shot at the par-5 eighth stopped inches from the hole. He tapped in for eagle, then pitched in from 20 feet for birdie at the ninth.
'It was such a shame yesterday. The weather was fine but it was just too windy. The greens were quick, everything was perfect but there was just too much wind,' said Scott, who won this year's weather-plagued Nissan Open on the PGA Tour. 'Today was totally different and I got off to a good start and finished well. It just felt like things were going my way.'
Goosen, who won this title in 2002, started his second round on the back nine and collected three birdies in his first seven holes. He three-putted from 40 feet for bogey at No. 17, but rebounded with a birdie at the 18th.
Goosen recorded only two birdies on his second nine, but it was enough to put the reigning U.S. Open champion into a tie for the lead. Unfortunately, the South African is not sure he will still have a share of first when Scott finishes his second round.
'I'm happy to finish on 9 under and hopefully by tomorrow, I won't be more than about four shots behind,' said Goosen. 'It was a tricky day today because the wind was variable, sometimes it was blowing into you and sometimes it was blowing down.'
Campbell, who won this title in 2000, also began on the back nine and recorded four birdies in his first eight holes. He dropped a shot at the 18th, but posted four additional birdies on his second nine to grab his piece of the lead.
Hanson was only 1 under after his front nine, but torched his back nine with six birdies for a 30.
Hanson picked up his first European Tour victory last week when he defeated fellow countryman Peter Gustafsson in a playoff. The Swede is clearly excited about the state of his game.
'I feel very good about my game at the moment,' said Hanson. 'I am striking the ball very nicely and am just trying to keep my momentum going and keep my focus on this tournament and not think too much about what I did in Spain.'
Colin Montgomerie carded a 2-under 70 in the second round and is in the clubhouse at 6-under-par 138. Prayad Marksaeng and Miles Tunnicliff are both two-under in their second rounds and on the back nine.
Sergio Garcia, who played with Scott in the first round, shot a 5-under 67 and is alone in 10th place.
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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.