Haas Takes Over Top Spot in Knoxville

By Sports NetworkJune 16, 2006, 4:00 pm
Nationwide TourFARRAGUT, Tenn. -- Hunter Haas fired a 6-under 66 Friday to move two strokes clear of the field after two rounds of the Knoxville Open. Haas completed 36 holes at 11-under-par 133.
 
Brenden Pappas posted a 67 to move into a share of second place at 9-under- par 135. He stands alongside David Mathis, who shot 68 in round two.
 
First-round co-leaders Matt Hendrix and Tim Wilkinson each posted rounds of 1-under 71 on Friday. They are joined in a share of fourth place by Jason Caron (67) and Brendon De Jonge (66).
 
Haas, whose lone tour win was here in 2004, opened his second round on the par-five first and quickly birdied that hole. He settled in to par the next five holes before a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 7 at Fox Den Country Club got him to minus-7.
 
The 28-year-old jumped up the leaderboard with an eagle at the par-5 10th after his approach stopped 2 feet from the cup. Haas came back with a birdie at 12 to move to 10 under.
 
Haas parred his next four holes. The native Texan chipped in for birdie on the 17th and he parred the last to end two clear of the field.
 
'I drove the ball really well. Driving is not as demanding as it has been here in the past, but you still want to get it out there as far as you can,' said Haas. 'I just want to keep plugging away and make as many birdies as I can.'
 
Pappas played the back nine first on Friday and got going with birdies on 10 and 12, moving him to minus-6. He birdied the par-5 18th, then eagled the par-five first to jump to 9 under.
 
The 38-year-old then birdied the second as well. Pappas however gave that stroke back as he bogeyed the par-5 sixth. He closed with four straight pars to end at minus-9.
 
'I've hit it beautifully the first two days,' Pappas admitted. 'I'm a little disappointed with my total. I'm not necessarily putting a bad stroke on it, but I'm reading the greens badly.'
 
Mathis, whose best finish on tour was a tie for 14th two weeks ago, got off to a flying start. He eagled the first, then came back with birdies on two and four to get to 9 under.
 
The 32-year-old slipped to a bogey on the par-four eighth. Mathis recovered that stroke with a birdie on No. 10, but closed with eight straight pars to remain in a share of second at minus-nine.
 
Richard Johnson (71), Joel Kribel (70), Parker McLachlin (70) and Michael Boyd (69) share eighth place at seven-under-par 137. Tom Johnson, Tim O'Neal, Michael Putnam and Boo Weekley are one stroke further back at minus-six.
 
The cut line fell at two-under-par 142 with 70 players moving on to the final two rounds. Among those who missed the cut were 2005 winner Kim Felton as well as former PGA Tour winners Bill Glasson and Notah Begay III.
 
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    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.  

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    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.” 

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    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.”

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    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.