Hart Leads as Play Suspended in Scottsdale

By Sports NetworkFebruary 3, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 FBR OpenSCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Dudley Hart carded a 4-under-par 67 on Thursday to lead during the suspended first round of the FBR Open. Stewart Cink and Hunter Mahan are in the clubhouse at 3-under-par 68.
 
Strong winds castigated the TPC of Scottsdale on Thursday, enough to force a stoppage in play in the morning. The difficult conditions persisted throughout the afternoon and while players were able to make their way around the course, the pace of play was hindered by the wind. The first round will resume Friday at 9:30 a.m. ET.
 
'A weather delay because of wind says it all,' said Cink. 'It's only happened to me one other time, at the British Open in '98. Now I've got two.'
 
Hart started on the back side and hit a 9-iron inside 8 feet for a birdie at the par-4 17th. Hart then drained a 30-foot putt for a birdie at the very next hole.
 
The 36-year-old played his second shot within 4 feet of the hole at the par-5 third and converted the short eagle try to reach 4 under. He then played his approach to 18 feet for a birdie at the par-4 fifth, but almost found trouble at the following hole.
 
Hart was scrambling at the par-4 sixth and left his third shot just off the green, but he chipped in to save par. Hart wasn't as fortunate at the ninth, however, and a three-putted from the fringe for a closing bogey.
 
'If you would have told me I would only make one bogey out there today before I started, I would have taken it,' said Hart. 'I've always considered myself a good wind player. It doesn't mean I always play well when the wind blows, obviously.'
 
Cink, the 10th-ranked player in the world, hit his tee shot to 20 feet for a birdie at the par-3 fourth, but he gave that shot back with a bogey at the fifth. Cink recovered at the ninth and hit a 4-iron into the wind that landed within 5 feet of the hole.
 
He rolled in the birdie try and added a birdie at the 11th to get to 2 under. Cink stumbled with a bogey at the 14th, but tallied back-to-back birdies from the 16th to finish within one shot of Hart.
 
Mahan birdied three in a row starting at the par-5 third to quickly move to minus-3. Mahan then mixed a pair of birdies with a couple of bogeys on the inward half for his 68.
 
Heath Slocum was through 16 holes at 3 under par when play was called for the day. Charles Warren was also at minus-3 through 13 holes.
 
Hank Kuehne completed a round of 2-under-par 69 on Thursday. John Rollins, Michael Allen, Franklin Langham and Brett Quigley finished at 1-under-par 70.
 
World No. 1 Vijay Singh collected three birdies and three bogeys to join Ted Purdy and Daniel Chopra at even-par 71.
 
'Normally it blows and the rains are coming down, but this was very unusual, clear skies, beautiful weather, but it's just so windy. I think the greens were a little too fast, as well,' said Singh, a two-time winner of this event. 'But we managed to get out there and finished, and I'm glad I finished.'
 
Defending champion Jonathan Kaye is in the clubhouse at 2-over-par 73. Phil Mickelson is at plus-2 through 16 holes.
 
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    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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    Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

    When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

    Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

    "I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"


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    The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

    "It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

    "I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

    "If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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    LPGA lists April date for new LA event

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

    The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

    When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

    The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

    The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.