Goosen Stalls Drops Five Back in Thailand

By Sports NetworkMarch 3, 2007, 5:00 pm
European TourPHUKET, Thailand -- For the second straight day, Richard Sterne fired a course record tying 8-under 64 Saturday to grab a one- stroke lead after three rounds of the Johnnie Walker Classic.
 
Sterne completed 54 holes at 13-under-par 203. He is one clear of second-round leader Oliver Wilson, who stands at minus-12 after a third-round 70.
 
South African Anton Haig carded a 2-under 70 Saturday and is alone in third at 11-under-par 205, while Richard Lee is two strokes further back after a 70 of his own.
 
Retief Goosen, the 2002 champion, moved into a share of the lead after three straight birdies from the second, but followed that with three consecutive bogeys. The South African went on to shoot even-par 72 after a closing bogey. He dropped from a share of third to fifth at 8-under-par 208.
 
Sterne, who along with Haig matched Greg Norman's course record of 64 on Friday, opened round three tied for 11th. Sterne started with three pars before posting his first birdie at the fourth.
 
The 25 year old made it two straight as he birdied the par-4 fifth. Sterne birdied the par-5 sixth to make it three in a row and get to minus-8.
 
Sterne birdied the ninth at Blue Canyon Country Club for the second day in a row. He got to 10 under with a birdie on 12. Sterne moved within one of the lead as he birdied 15 and 16, each for the third day in a row.
 
For the second time on the day, Sterne made it three straight birdies as he birdied the par-3 17th to move to minus-13. That gave him a share of the lead. Sterne parred the last to close his second straight bogey-free round.
 
'This year my goal is to get into the top 50 in the world and hopefully get to the United States,' said Sterne of his goals for this year. 'I've never played there professionally. I need to learn how to win, especially in tough fields.'
 
Sterne admitted afterwards that he had checked out of his hotel on Friday before his first 64 helped him make the cut.
 
'I checked out of my hotel and took my bags to the course,' Sterne admitted. 'I had a flight home at 8:00 p.m. that I fully expected to be on. Luckily I played well to shoot 64 and was able to check back into the same hotel.'
 
Early on, Wilson and Haig shared the lead at minus-10 after Haig birdied the first. However, Haig bogeyed the second to fall from the lead.
 
Wilson birdied the third, but was joined in the lead by Goosen, who had run off three straight birdies from the second. Goosen fell off the pace as he bogeyed the following three holes.
 
The 26-year-old Wilson birdied five and six to move three clear of Haig at 13 under. From there, Wilson parred his next 10 holes. Sterne, playing eight groups ahead of the leader, caught Wilson during his par run.
 
Wilson stumbled to a bogey on 17 to slip back to minus-12 and a par at the last meant he finished the round one shot behind Sterne.
 
'It was a shame about the 17th, but I just can't see the shot in there,' said Wilson, whose tee ball at the par 3 came up short, right of the green. 'I tried to cut in a four iron, but it came out a bit thin. I did lose a bit of concentration, but managed to regroup and had a solid par at the last.'
 
Wen-Chong Liang and Aron Price each posted rounds of 5-under 67 to move from a share of 32nd into a tie for sixth at 7-under-par 209. They were joined there by eight-time Order of Merit winner Colin Montgomerie (70), Graeme Storm (70) and Ter-Chang Wang (71).
 
Ernie Els and Phillip Archer each shot 67 to jump from a share of 51st into a share of 11th at minus-6. Also vaulting to minus-6 was Simon Hurd, who fired a 66 to climb 50 places in the standings. Those three were joined at 6-under-par 210 by Richard Bland, Stephen Gallacher, James Nitties and Jeev Milkha Singh.
 
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    After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

    Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

    Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

    Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

    It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


    On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

    There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

    He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

    His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

    Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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    Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

    With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

    He picked up one more No. 2, too.

    The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

    In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

    Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

    “It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

    Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

    Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

    He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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    Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

    Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

    Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

    His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

    “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

    Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

    Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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    Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

    Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

    Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

    What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

    Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

    Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

    Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

    Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

    Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

    Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry