Grob Closing In On Canadian Tour History

By Sports NetworkJuly 8, 2005, 4:00 pm
Canadian Tour-LargeWINNIPEG, Man. -- Mike Grob shot a 3-under 68 on Friday to share the second-round lead of the MTS Classic. Lee Williamson carded a 68 and Daniel DeLeon posted a 67 to join Grob at 5-under-par 137.
Dong Yi fired a 6-under 65 and is alone in fourth place at minus-4. Adam Spiers and Scott Gibson both shot matching rounds of 3-under 68 and are knotted in fifth place at 3-under-par 139.
On Thursday, high winds allowed only five players to break par. Conditions were much better on Friday and scores reflected it.
Grob's biggest shot of the day came at the 230-yard, par-3 ninth. He converted a 12-foot par putt at the hole, but the 41-year-old has his eye on something else.
If he finishes in the top-4, he would vault past Jim Rutledge into first on the Canadian Tour's all-time earning list.
'I'm not sure what to think,' admitted Grob. 'I almost feel like Crash Davis chasing that home-run record in 'Bull Durham'. But I know Jim very well and it would be special.'
Williamson, who along with Grob and Mike Sabo shared the first-round lead, joined the leaders with an 18-foot birdie putt at his final hole.
'When I got out here today and saw the wind was down, I knew two-under wouldn't hold very long,' said Williamson, referring to his score that shared the lead on Thursday. 'I've got to get some more confidence playing on the weekend, so this will be a good test.'
DeLeon had the lead to himself at 6-under par, but a three-putt bogey at his last, No. 9 at Pine Ridge Golf and Country Club, cost him the sole possession of first.
'I said to myself to get aggressive on the first putt and I still left it 10 feet short,' said DeLeon, who broke his wrist last year. 'But I've been playing very well. It should be a lot of fun over the next two days.'
Stephen Woodard is alone in seventh place after a 3-under 68. He finished 36 holes at 2-under-par 140.
Brien Davis (69), Derek Gillespie (67), Berry Henson (67), Pan Singhaseni (64), Todd Tanner (67) and Jeff Wood (68) are knotted in eighth place at minus-1.
The 36-hole cut fell at 4-over-par 146 and 65 players made it to the weekend.
Related Links:
  • Scoring - MTS Classic
  • Full Coverage - MTS Classic
  • Getty Images

    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.  

    Getty Images

    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.” 

    Getty Images

    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.”

    Getty Images

    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.