Harrington Moves into First Alongside Furyk

By Sports NetworkJune 25, 2005, 4:00 pm
HARRISON, N.Y. -- Padraig Harrington posted a 3-under 68 on Saturday to join Jim Furyk atop the leaderboard after three rounds of the Barclays Classic. Furyk, who shot a 1-under 70, and Harrington are knotted at 9-under-par 204 at Westchester Country Club.
Brad Faxon fired a 5-under 66 and shares third with Brian Gay, who carded an even-par 71 on Saturday. The duo is tied at 7-under-par 206, one shot better than two-time former champion Vijay Singh (69), John Senden (72) and Kenny Perry (72).
Padraig Harrington
Padraig Harrington fired 3-under 68 to tie Jim Furyk for the lead at the Barclays Classic.
Harrington trailed by two heading into the third round and made that up with birdies at two and nine. He took first with a 20-foot birdie putt at the 10th, but he and Furyk exchanged the lead throughout most of the back nine.
The Irishman struggled after the birdie at 10. He three-putted from 18 feet for a bogey, then missed the green at the next to drop another stroke.
Harrington rebounded with a 15-foot birdie putt at the 13th, but collected his third birdie of the back nine at the 15th. He chipped in for birdie at the par-3 16th to reclaim a one-shot advantage.
Furyk once again tied him, but Harrington, playing one group ahead of Furyk, two-putted from 25 feet for a birdie at the last.
'I've got to be pleased with the final score,' said Harrington, a three-time European Ryder Cupper. 'I just have a better attitude to this week, that's it. I'm probably not being as hard on myself or something along those lines. It's not nothing but that.'
Harrington finally earned his first PGA Tour victory in the United States earlier this year. He captured the Honda Classic in March when he defeated Singh in a playoff.
He thinks the breakthrough will help him come Sunday.
'After winning once on the tour, at least it's a little bit of a monkey off my back,' said Harrington. 'I didn't feel it but certainly there was. It could have been there, and that's obviously gone. It's just a chance to win my 14th event of my career tomorrow, and go out and do the same things.'
Furyk broke into red figures at the par-5 fifth when his 3-wood came up short of the green. He hit a wedge 15 feet right of the pin and ran home the birdie try.
The 2003 U.S. Open champion ran into trouble at seven. His drive found the rough, but he muscled his second to the middle of the green. Furyk misread the putt, leaving it 4 feet short, where he missed again, leading to bogey.
Furyk parred his next seven holes, then split the fairway at No. 15. He was on a severe downslope and hit his wedge approach heavy into a front bunker. Furyk blasted out to 20 feet, but missed the putt and fell to 7 under par for the tournament.
At the par-3 16th, Furyk hit a 3-iron to 10 feet to set up birdie and draw even with Harrington. The Irishman pulled ahead with a birdie at the 18th, but Furyk caught him on the same hole.
Furyk used a 3-wood for his second at the par-5 closing hole at Westchester, but dumped the ball in a greenside bunker. He played his third to 4 feet and he rolled in for a share of the lead.
'I was very happy with the score I shot. Really, I thought the golf course played very difficult,' said Furyk. 'Obviously I'm happy with the way I'm playing. The big step is to go out tomorrow and play a good round and try to win the golf tournament and not really putting the cart before the horse.'
Furyk is looking for his first victory since the Buick Open two years ago. His next win would be his first since wrist surgery, but Furyk knows how to get it done.
'It doesn't matter what name is chasing you,' said Furyk. 'It's all about playing your style, attacking the golf course the way you want to, and I can't affect how the other guys are playing. I can only affect the way I'm playing so I don't really worry about it.'
Dean Wilson (66), Pat Perez (68), Brett Quigley (68) and Len Mattiace (73) are tied for eighth place at 4-under-par 209.
Defending champion Sergio Garcia struggled to a 2-over 73 and is part of a group tied for 48th at plus-3.
Related links:
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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.

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    Ortiz leads LAAC through 54; Niemann, Gana one back

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 8:15 pm

    Mexico's Alvaro Ortiz shot a 1-under 70 Monday to take the 54-hole lead at the Latin America Amateur Championship in Chile.

    At 4 under for the week, he leads by one over over Argentina's Jaime Lopez Rivarola, Chile's Toto Gana and Joaquin Niemann, and Guatemala's Dnaiel Gurtner.

    Ortiz is the younger brother of three-time Web.com winner Carlos. Alvaro, a senior at Arkansas, finished tied for third at the LAAC in 2016 and lost in a three-way playoff last year that included Niemann and Gana, the champion.

    Ortiz shared the 54-hole lead with Gana last year and they will once again play in the final group on Tuesday, along with Gurtner, a redshirt junior at TCU.

    “Literally, I've been thinking about [winning] all year long," Ortiz said Monday. "Yes, I am a very emotional player, but tomorrow I want to go out calm and with a lot of patience. I don't want the emotions to get the better of me. What I've learned this past year, especially in the tournaments I’ve played for my university, is that I have become more mature and that I have learned how to control myself on the inside on the golf course.”

    In the group behind, Niemann is the top-ranked amateur in the world who is poised to turn professional, unless of course he walks away with the title.

    “I feel a lot of motivation at the moment, especially because I am the only player in the field that shot seven under (during the second round), and I am actually just one shot off the lead," he said. "So I believe that tomorrow I can shoot another very low round."

    Tuesday's winner will earn an invitation to this year's Masters and exemptions into the The Amateur Championship, the U.S. Amateur, sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open, and final qualifying for The Open.