Howell Shares Lead in Germany

By Sports NetworkAugust 31, 2006, 4:00 pm
European TourMUNICH, Germany -- David Howell, whose spot on the European Ryder Cup team is secured, opened with a 5-under-par 67 Thursday to grab a share of the lead after the opening round of the BMW International Open.
 
Howell, the defending champion, was joined in the lead by Martin Erlandsson, Gary Evans and Garry Houston.
 
Lee Westwood, who is trying to play his way onto the European Ryder Cup team, carded a 4-under-par 68. He shares fifth place with Luke Donald, whose spot on the European team is safe, Jose-Filipe Lima, Matthew Millar, Marcel Siem, Peter Hedblom, Bradley Dredge and David Drysdale.
 
European Ryder Cup captain Ian Woosnam, who opened with a 4-over 76, will select his two captain's picks on Sunday after the completion of this event.
 
Howell, who was paired with Donald and Woosnam, played the back nine at Golfclub Munchen Nord-Eichenried first on Thursday. He played his first nine at even-par with a birdie on 11 and a bogey at 15.
 
The Englishman birdied the par-4 third to get back into red figures, then turned it on down the stretch. He dropped in a birdie putt on the seventh and made it two in a row as he also birdied the eighth.
 
Howell's second shot to the par-5 ninth stopped within 10 feet of the cup and he rolled in the eagle putt to play the last three holes in 4 under par.
 
'I thought I was playing quite nicely today. I hit a couple of bad tee shots on the par-5s, but other than that I played nicely,' Howell stated. 'It didn't seem like it was going to be my day at all and then a nice 8-iron to about 10 feet on seventh. I rolled that one in.
 
'Then a 5-iron to probably 15 feet on the next hole. Then that was the first eagle I made in a long time at the last. So I was delighted to have shot 67 at the end of the day.'
 
Howell has been struggling as of late. His last top-10 came in late May when he won the BMW Championship at Wentworth.
 
'I wasn't looking forward to today too much after the way I played in the pro-am Wednesday,' Howell admitted. 'My form hasn't been great for a couple of months now. I don't mind admitting that. I was delighted with the way I struck the ball today.'
 
Erlandsson, like Howell, played in the morning wave and also started on the back nine. He was minus-1 through nine with two birdies and a bogey. The Swede ran off four consecutive birdies from the third to join Howell in the lead.
 
Evans, the only of the four leaders to play the front nine first, birdied three and four to get his round going. After faltering to a bogey on the ninth, he birdied three of the next four to get within one of the lead. Evans birdied the par-5 18th for his share of the lead.
 
Houston carded his lone opening-nine birdie on the par-4 13th. He parred five in row from there. The Welshman dropped in a birdie putt on the par-3 second. He then birdied three of his final four holes to get to minus-5 and close a bogey-free round.
 
Darren Fichardt, David Lynn and Mikko Ilonen are among 11 players tied for 13th place at 3-under-par 69.
 
Among those trying to play their way onto the European Ryder Cup team are Thomas Bjorn (minus-1, tied for 43rd) and John Bickerton (plus-1, tied for 80th), while Paul Broadhurst and Johan Edfors are tied for 62nd at even-par.
 
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  • Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

    Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

    Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

    SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

    Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey six on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

    ''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

    But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

    In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

    ''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

    Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

    The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his Web.com card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

    ''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

    NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

    Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

    Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

    Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

    "He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

    The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

    Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

    "I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

    Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

    "From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

    "And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

    "There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."

    Move over Lydia, a new Ko is coming to LPGA

    By Randall MellNovember 22, 2017, 5:11 pm

    Another gifted young South Korean will be joining the LPGA ranks next year.

    Jin Young Ko, the Korean LPGA Tour star, informed the American-based LPGA on Sunday night that she will be taking up membership next year. Ko earned the right by winning the LPGA’s KEB Hana Bank Championship as a nonmember in South Korea in October.

    Ko, 22, no relation to Lydia Ko, first burst on to the international spotlight with her run into contention at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Turnberry two years ago. She led there through 54 holes, with Inbee Park overtaking her in the final round to win.

    With 10 KLPGA Tour titles, three in each of the last two seasons, Ko has risen to No. 19 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings.

    Ko told GolfChannel.com Sunday afternoon that she was struggling over the decision, with a Monday deadline looming.

    “It’s a difficult decision to leave home,” Ko said after the final round of the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, when she was still undecided. “The travelling far away, on my own, the loneliness, that’s what is difficult.”

    Ko will be the favorite to win the LPGA’s Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award next year. South Koreans have won that award the last three years. Sung Hyun Park won it this year, In Gee Chun last year and Sei Young Kim in 2015. South Korean-born players have won the last four, with New Zealand’s Lydia Ko winning it in 2014. Ko was born in South Korea and moved to New Zealand when she was 6.

    Ko released this statement through the LPGA on Wednesday: 

    "It has been my dream since I was young to play on the LPGA Tour and I look forward to testing myself against the best players on a worldwide stage. I know it is going to be tough but making a first win as an LPGA member and winning the Rolex Rookie of the Year award would be two of the biggest goals I would like to achieve next year."