Harrington On A Roll In Germany

By Sports NetworkMay 16, 2003, 4:00 pm
ALVESLOHE, Germany -- Padraig Harrington shot a 6-under 66 Friday to take a three-shot lead after the second round of the Deutsche Bank - SAP Open TPC of Europe. Harrington moved to 13-under-par 131, three strokes clear of Retief Goosen.
Two-time defending champion Tiger Woods had a shaky start to his round in his quest to win this event for a third straight year and fourth overall. The top player in the world dropped a shot at the first and after a bogey at the third saw him fall back to 1-under, the possibility of not playing the weekend surfaced.
Woods was not prepared to let that happen, however, and picked up his first birdie of the day at the seventh. He added a birdie at the 13th to reach 3-under and rolled in a five-foot putt for a birdie at the 17th on his way to a round of 71.
The 27-year-old now stands at 4-under-par 140, nine shots behind Harrington. No deficit is great enough for Woods, however. He trailed by 10 strokes at the halfway point of this event in 2001 and went on to win by four.
'Without at a doubt Tiger can win this tournament, but two things will probably have to happen,' said Harrington. 'It would take him to play well and for me not to repeat the scores of the first two days.'
Deutsche Bank Airtimes on The Golf Channel
By the time Harrington teed off at Gut Kaden, Goosen had completed a round of 69 that gave him the clubhouse lead at 10-under. Harrington, coming off a near win at the International Open last week, seemed to start slowly until a birdie at the sixth.
At the par-4 ninth, Harrington dropped his approach inside 10 feet for another birdie. He then birdied the 10th and hit his second shot to four feet at the par-4 11th to make it three in a row and take the outright lead.
Harrington continued his fine play at the par-5 15th where he chipped his third shot from off the green to within a foot of the cup for a birdie. At the par-3 16th, Harrington missed the green off the tee but managed to chip in for his sixth birdie of the day.
The Irishman then parred the two remaining holes to complete his second bogey- free round of the tournament.
'Over the weekend I will try to keep focused on what I'm doing and try to get a better result than last week,' said Harrington. 'I worry about myself more than anyone else. I don't wake up at night or anything like that, but I do think too much.'
Goosen, who is seeking his first victory of the season, got off to an almost identical start as his first round. He birdied his first three holes on Thursday and after a par at the 10th, his first on Friday, the South African ran off another stretch of three straight birdies.
He stumbled with two bogeys for his next five holes but recovered on the inward half. Goosen reached the green in two at the par-5 third and his eagle try bounced off the edge of the cup. He converted the birdied put but missed the green at the fifth en route to a bogey.
Goosen responded with a birdie at the very next hole and sent his second shot from the rough at the ninth to 12 feet. The 2001 U.S. Open champion drained the putt for sixth his birdie of the day.
'I started pretty nicely but hit some bad iron shots and eventually got it back near the end,' said Goosen.
Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland fired a 65 to finish four shots off the lead at 9-under-par 135. He was joined by Sweden's Robert Karlsson, Peter O'Malley of Australia and Scotland's Andrew Coltart in a tie for third.
Paul Casey, who captured last week's International Open at The Belfry, posted a 66 to finish one shot further back alongside Paul Lawrie, Peter Lawrie, Peter Baker, Raphael Jacquelin and Darren Clarke at 8-under-par 136.
The 36-hole cut fell at 2-under-par 142 with 77 players qualifying for the weekend. Among those who didn't make the grade were Adam Scott, Lee Westwood, Paul McGinley and Ty Tryon.
Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the Deutsche Bank Open
  • Full coverage of the Deutsche Bank Open
  • Getty Images

    Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

    New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

    The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

    "Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

    It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

    Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

    Getty Images

    Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

    SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

    Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

    Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.

    The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

    ''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

    Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

    ''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

    Getty Images

    13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

    Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

    Getty Images

    McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

    It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

    Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

    Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    “I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

    Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

    “Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

    This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.