Harrington in the Hunt

By Sports NetworkNovember 21, 2002, 5:00 pm
TA SHEE, Taiwan -- Jyoti Randhawa of India fired a 7-under-par 65 on Thursday to take a one-shot lead after the first round of the Asian Open at Ta Shee Golf & Country Club.
 
Padraig Harrington, currently ranked eighth in the world, is tied for second place with Maarten Lafeber and Sven Struver. The trio completed 18 holes at 6-under 66 in rainy and windy conditions.
 
Defending champion Jarmo Sandelin opened his defense with a 5-under-par 67 and shares fifth place with Des Terblanche, Simon Yates, Henrik Nystrom and Andrew Pitts.
 
This is the first event on the 2003 European Tour schedule and is a joint venture between the European Tour and Asian PGA Tour or Davidoff Tour. Sixty players from each tour compete but it was the 30-year-old Randhawa who separated himself from the pack.
 
Randhawa chipped in for birdie at the second hole and added another birdie at the par-5 third hole. He dropped his only shot of the round at No. 4 but rebounded with an eagle at the par-5 sixth hole. Randhawa closed his front nine with a birdie at the eighth for a front-nine 32.
 
Randhawa mixed birdies at the 12th, 14th and 16th holes for his lowest score in a European Tour event and his first lead after 18 holes.
 
'I made a lot of putts, 12-footers and 15-footers,' said Randhawa, who missed six months this year after he broke his collarbone in a motorcycle accident. 'Putting is the key for my game.'
 
Harrington, who finished second to Retief Goosen on the European Tour Order of Merit for the second consecutive year, was flawless Thursday with six birdies against no bogeys.
 
'It wasn't quite effortless, but it was comfortable,' he said.
 
Struver was also bogey-free on Thursday while Lafeber carded one bogey to go along with his seven birdies.
 
John Daly, the 1995 British Open champion, shot an opening-round 70 to headline a group tied for 22nd that included European Ryder Cup hero Paul McGinley of Ireland. Daly posted a fine first-round score but seemed more impressed with Randhawa's number in the cold, soggy conditions.
 
'I thought anything under par today would be totally awesome,' Daly said.
 
Fran Quinn, James Kingston, Adrian Percey, Julien Van Hauwe and Arjun Singh share 10th at minus-4.
 
Ian Woosnam posted a 1-under 71 Thursday while Jose Maria Olazabal and 2002 European Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance were eight shots out of first with opening-round 73s.
 
Full-field scores from the BMW Open

Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to trumpgolfcount.com has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.

Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''


Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.