Haas Barr Share Sr Open Lead

By Sports NetworkJuly 6, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 U.S. Senior OpenHUTCHINSON, Kan. -- Jay Haas and Dave Barr fired matching 3-under-par 67s on Thursday to share the lead after one round at the U.S. Senior Open.
For Haas, good rounds have become commonplace this year on the Champions Tour, where he has won three times in the last 2 1/2 months. In his first round Thursday, he needed to scramble for a 67 while hitting just 11-of-18 greens in regulation.
Jay Haas
Jay Haas is seeking his second straight major championship on the Champions Tour.
'I wasn't real sharp,' admitted the 2006 Senior PGA champion, 'but I got away with a couple of bad shots.'
Barr was steadier over his 18 holes at Prairie Dunes Country Club. He found 12-of-14 fairways and hit 14 greens in regulation, completing his best round in five U.S. Senior Opens.
'You never really feel comfortable at a U.S. Open. I just happened to keep it in play most of the day,' said Barr, who became the first Canadian to win a Champions Tour event when he captured the 2003 Royal Caribbean Golf Classic.
Behind the leaders lie 41 players who are within five shots of the lead.
A deficit like that is nothing to make up after the first day. Just ask defending champion Allen Doyle, who is tied for seventh at 1-under-par 69.
'I don't get excited after Thursdays,' said Doyle, who came from nine shots back on Sunday to win last year. 'This is just the beginning -- [the tournament] is still in its infancy. But you don't want to put yourself behind the eight ball on Thursday or Friday, so today was a good start.'
Doyle isn't the only former champion within striking distance of the lead.
Graham Marsh, the 1997 champion, shares third place with Massy Kuramoto, Mark James and D.A. Weibring at 2-under-par 68.
Marsh, who hasn't won since 1999, finished tied for 68th last week at the Greater Kansas City Golf Classic. He was one of a number of players in their 60s who shot a 71 or better on Thursday.
'I've been playing quite well. It doesn't show it last week, but this is much more my cup of tea, where the premium is not on brute strength,' said Marsh.
'Because I don't care how strong you are, you're not going to advance that ball out of that rough more than a hundred yards. And so brute strength is not what's going to do it here.'
Prairie Dunes is playing short -- at 6,646 yards -- and a lot of the talk Thursday was about the long rough and tough pin placements.
'I think that they have to put in some difficult pins because, other than the rough, the length is not a defense of the course,' said Haas. 'So if you put the ball in the fairway here you can attack a little bit.'
Players may enjoy the short length even more as the weekend approaches and they have to begin thinking about walking four rounds instead of the normal three rounds.
'It's not long, but there's some up hills, you know, through the sand dunes and things like that,' Haas said. 'I don't think anybody's going to say that they can't get around 18 holes here, but it's not dead flat by any means.'
Joining Doyle in seventh place were Bruce Lietzke, Lonnie Nielsen and Bruce Summerhays. Fred Funk made his champions Tour debut and opened with a 2-over 72 to join nine other players in 34th place.
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    McIlroy 'happy to be back', can 'empathize' with Tiger

    By Associated PressJanuary 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – After a long layoff from golf, Rory McIlroy has some newfound sympathy for Tiger Woods.

    The 28-year-old Northern Irishman is making a comeback at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship after ending his season early last year. He has not played a round since the final day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Oct. 8.

    McIlroy, a four-time major champion who has slipped to No. 11 in the world rankings, last won the Tour Championship on the PGA Tour in September 2016. He injured a rib in his first outing of 2017 – at the South African Open – and felt its after-effects throughout the year.

    McIlroy, who has seven top-five finishes in his last eight starts in Abu Dhabi, said Tuesday he felt mentally low because of his physical issues.

    ''Honestly, I was excited to be done. I could have shut it down after the PGA Championship very easily and taken the rest of the year off, but I didn't. I played six events after that, played OK and had a chance to win one of them,'' McIlroy said. ''But I was just excited to take that time off and get myself just sort of a re-set.''

    Last week, McIlroy also revealed that he has a minor, non-threatening heart condition that needs regular check-ups.

    ''After that 3-plus months of a re-set, I'm very happy to be back. I felt like I needed it physically and mentally. I just felt like it was a little bit of a sabbatical. I've been out here for 10 years, and I want to get ready for the next 10.''

    McIlroy compared his situation to what Woods has been going through.

    ''I've only been through, maybe, not even 5 percent of what he's had to go through. And you can tell from where he was to where he is now mentally, because of physically where he is ... he's a totally different person,'' McIlroy said. ''Of course, I empathize with him, and I know he was in a dark place there for a while. It's just so great to see him out of that and back and excited to be playing golf again.''

    The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will be the first of back-to-back events for McIlroy, who is also playing next week in Dubai.

    ''I think the next two weeks will be a big learning curve, just to see where I'm at,'' McIlroy said. ''I'm obviously coming into the events trying to play as well as I can and trying to compete and trying to win, but I think there will definitely be things I'll have to work on going into that stretch in the States.''

    The tournament, which starts Thursday, has attracted some big names, including top-ranked Dustin Johnson, No. 6 Justin Rose, No. 9 Henrik Stenson, No. 14 Paul Casey and No. 15 Matt Kuchar. No. 18 Tommy Fleetwood is the defending champion.

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    Spieth, McIlroy to support Major Champions Invitational

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:25 pm

    Nick Faldo announced Tuesday the creation of the Major Champions Invitational.

    The event, scheduled for March 12-14, is an extension of the Faldo Series and will feature both male and female junior players at Bella Collina in Montverde, Fla.

    Jordan Spieth, Rory Mcllroy, Annika Sorenstam, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Jerry Pate and John Daly have already committed to supporting the event, which is aimed at mentoring and inspiring the next generation of players.  

    “I’m incredibly excited about hosting the Major Champions Invitational, and about the players who have committed to support the event,” Faldo said. “This event will allow major champions to give something back to the game that has given them so much, and hopefully, in time, it will become one of the most elite junior golf events in the world.”

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    Rosaforte: Woods plays with Obama, gets rave reviews

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:15 pm

    Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte reports on Tiger Woods’ recent round at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., alongside President Barack Obama.

    Check out the video, as Rosaforte says Woods received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon. 

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    Stock Watch: Spieth searching for putting form

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 16, 2018, 1:50 pm

    Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.


    Patton Kizzire (+8%): By today’s accelerated standards, he’s a late bloomer, having reached the Tour at age 29. Well, he seems right at home now, with two wins in his last four starts.

    Rory (+7%): Coming off the longest break of his career, McIlroy should have no excuses this year. He’s healthy. Focused. Motivated. It’s go time.

    Chris Paisley (+5%): The best part about his breakthrough European Tour title that netted him $192,000? With his wife, Keri, on the bag, he doesn’t have to cut 10 percent to his caddie – she gets the whole thing.

    Brooke Henderson (+3%): A seventh-place finish at the Diamond Resorts Invitational doesn’t sound like much for a five-time winner, but this came against the men – on a cold, wet, windy, 6,700-yard track. She might be the most fun player to watch on the LPGA. 

    New European Ryder Cuppers (+2%): In something of a Ryder Cup dress rehearsal, newcomers Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrrell Hatton each went undefeated in leading Europe to a come-from-behind victory at the EurAsia Cup. The competition come September will be, um, a bit stiffer.


    Jordan’s putting (-1%): You can sense his frustration in interviews, and why not? In two starts he leads the Tour in greens in regulation … and ranks 201st (!) in putting. Here’s guessing he doesn’t finish the year there.

    Brian Harman’s 2018 Sundays (-2%): The diminutive left-hander now has five consecutive top-10s, and he’s rocketing up the Ryder Cup standings, but you can’t help but wonder how much better the start to his year might have been. In the final pairing each of the past two weeks, he’s a combined 1 under in those rounds and wasn’t much of a factor.

    Tom Hoge (-3%): Leading by one and on the brink of a life-changing victory – he hadn’t been able to keep his card each of the past three years – Hoge made an absolute mess of the 16th, taking double bogey despite having just 156 yards for his approach. At least now he’s on track to make the playoffs for the first time.

    Predicting James Hahn’s form (-4%): OK, we give up: He’d gone 17 events without a top-15 before his win at Riviera; 12 before his win at Quail Hollow; and seven before he lost on the sixth playoff hole at Waialae. The margins between mediocre play and winning apparently are THAT small.

    Barnrat (-5%): Coming in hot with four consecutive top-10s, and one of only two team members ranked inside the top 50 in the world, Kiradech Aphibarnrat didn’t show up at the EurAsia Cup, going 0-3 for the week. In hindsight, the Asian team had no chance without his contributions.