Hughes Still on Top at Legend Financial

By Sports NetworkSeptember 2, 2006, 4:00 pm
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Bradley Hughes posted a 1-under 70 on Saturday and he leads by two after three rounds of the Legend Financial Group Classic. Hughes played the opening 54 holes at 10-under-par 203.
 
The third round was played in a steady rain. However, lift-clean-and-place rules were not in effect. Action was halted for 30 minutes late in the round due to water puddling on the greens.
 
'I'll take under-par on a day like this,' Hughes stated. 'You just have to be patient because you know it is going to be the same for everyone. I've had a bit of experience playing in conditions like this.'
 
Chris Baryla (67) and 2000 U.S. Amateur champion Jeff Quinney (69) are tied for second place at 8-under-par 205. Gavin Coles, who briefly held the lead early in round three, carded a 3-under 68 and is alone in fourth at minus-7.
 
Boo Weekley shot 69 for the second straight round and is in fifth at 5-under-par 208.
 
Hughes, who owns four straight top-25 finishes since missing the cut at the British Open, stumbled to a double-bogey on the first. That dropped him to minus-7.
 
Coles birdied the first, then ran off three straight birdies from the fourth to jump to minus-8 and into the lead at StoneWater Golf Club.
 
The 39-year-old Hughes got one of those strokes back with a birdie on the fourth. He got back to minus-9 thanks to a birdie on the par-3 sixth. That gave him the lead as Coles had dropped a stroke on No. 9.
 
Hughes parred four straight from the seventh before a bogey on the 11th dropped him to minus-8 and into a share of the lead with Quinney. Hughes birdied the 13th to regain the outright lead.
 
Before Hughes' group putted on the 15th, the weather delay halted action. The last few greens were gathering plenty of water from the rain and puddles were making some of the greens unplayable.
 
When players returned to the course, Hughes pushed his lead to two shots with a birdie on 17 and he parred the last to remain two ahead.
 
'I didn't really have any close putts today,' admitted Hughes, whose lone tour win came at the 2004 Wichita Open. 'But I was happy with my long approach putts.'
 
Quinney dropped in a 14-foot birdie putt on eight and gained a share of the lead with his birdie effort on 11. He parred his next three then birdied the 15th to briefly tie Hughes for the lead.
 
The former U.S. Amateur champion stumbled to a bogey on the 16th before carding pars on the final two holes.
 
'It was a long day. The weather was tough with the wind and the rain,' Quinney explained. 'I wasn't swinging it great, but I'm happy with the end result.'
 
Baryla, a Monday qualifier, flew up the leaderboard with three birdies over a four-hole span from the fourth. He dropped a stroke on eight, but atoned for the mistake with a birdie on 10. Baryla bogeyed the 11th to slip to minus-6. He climbed into a share of second with birdies on 16 and 17.
 
Cameron Beckman is alone in sixth place at 4-under-par 209 after a 72 on Saturday. Ricky Barnes, the 2002 U.S. Amateur champion, was joined in a share of seventh place by Josh Broadaway, Akio Sadakata, Scott Gardiner, Craig Lile and Jarrod Lyle.
 
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    McIlroy 'happy to be back', can 'empathize' with Tiger

    By Associated PressJanuary 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – After a long layoff from golf, Rory McIlroy has some newfound sympathy for Tiger Woods.

    The 28-year-old Northern Irishman is making a comeback at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship after ending his season early last year. He has not played a round since the final day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Oct. 8.

    McIlroy, a four-time major champion who has slipped to No. 11 in the world rankings, last won the Tour Championship on the PGA Tour in September 2016. He injured a rib in his first outing of 2017 – at the South African Open – and felt its after-effects throughout the year.

    McIlroy, who has seven top-five finishes in his last eight starts in Abu Dhabi, said Tuesday he felt mentally low because of his physical issues.

    ''Honestly, I was excited to be done. I could have shut it down after the PGA Championship very easily and taken the rest of the year off, but I didn't. I played six events after that, played OK and had a chance to win one of them,'' McIlroy said. ''But I was just excited to take that time off and get myself just sort of a re-set.''

    Last week, McIlroy also revealed that he has a minor, non-threatening heart condition that needs regular check-ups.

    ''After that 3-plus months of a re-set, I'm very happy to be back. I felt like I needed it physically and mentally. I just felt like it was a little bit of a sabbatical. I've been out here for 10 years, and I want to get ready for the next 10.''

    McIlroy compared his situation to what Woods has been going through.

    ''I've only been through, maybe, not even 5 percent of what he's had to go through. And you can tell from where he was to where he is now mentally, because of physically where he is ... he's a totally different person,'' McIlroy said. ''Of course, I empathize with him, and I know he was in a dark place there for a while. It's just so great to see him out of that and back and excited to be playing golf again.''

    The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will be the first of back-to-back events for McIlroy, who is also playing next week in Dubai.

    ''I think the next two weeks will be a big learning curve, just to see where I'm at,'' McIlroy said. ''I'm obviously coming into the events trying to play as well as I can and trying to compete and trying to win, but I think there will definitely be things I'll have to work on going into that stretch in the States.''

    The tournament, which starts Thursday, has attracted some big names, including top-ranked Dustin Johnson, No. 6 Justin Rose, No. 9 Henrik Stenson, No. 14 Paul Casey and No. 15 Matt Kuchar. No. 18 Tommy Fleetwood is the defending champion.

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    Spieth, McIlroy to support Major Champions Invitational

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:25 pm

    Nick Faldo announced Tuesday the creation of the Major Champions Invitational.

    The event, scheduled for March 12-14, is an extension of the Faldo Series and will feature both male and female junior players at Bella Collina in Montverde, Fla.

    Jordan Spieth, Rory Mcllroy, Annika Sorenstam, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Jerry Pate and John Daly have already committed to supporting the event, which is aimed at mentoring and inspiring the next generation of players.  

    “I’m incredibly excited about hosting the Major Champions Invitational, and about the players who have committed to support the event,” Faldo said. “This event will allow major champions to give something back to the game that has given them so much, and hopefully, in time, it will become one of the most elite junior golf events in the world.”

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    Rosaforte: Woods plays with Obama, gets rave reviews

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:15 pm

    Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte reports on Tiger Woods’ recent round at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., alongside President Barack Obama.

    Check out the video, as Rosaforte says Woods received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon. 

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    Stock Watch: Spieth searching for putting form

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 16, 2018, 1:50 pm

    Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.

    RISING

    Patton Kizzire (+8%): By today’s accelerated standards, he’s a late bloomer, having reached the Tour at age 29. Well, he seems right at home now, with two wins in his last four starts.

    Rory (+7%): Coming off the longest break of his career, McIlroy should have no excuses this year. He’s healthy. Focused. Motivated. It’s go time.

    Chris Paisley (+5%): The best part about his breakthrough European Tour title that netted him $192,000? With his wife, Keri, on the bag, he doesn’t have to cut 10 percent to his caddie – she gets the whole thing.

    Brooke Henderson (+3%): A seventh-place finish at the Diamond Resorts Invitational doesn’t sound like much for a five-time winner, but this came against the men – on a cold, wet, windy, 6,700-yard track. She might be the most fun player to watch on the LPGA. 

    New European Ryder Cuppers (+2%): In something of a Ryder Cup dress rehearsal, newcomers Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrrell Hatton each went undefeated in leading Europe to a come-from-behind victory at the EurAsia Cup. The competition come September will be, um, a bit stiffer.



    FALLING

    Jordan’s putting (-1%): You can sense his frustration in interviews, and why not? In two starts he leads the Tour in greens in regulation … and ranks 201st (!) in putting. Here’s guessing he doesn’t finish the year there.

    Brian Harman’s 2018 Sundays (-2%): The diminutive left-hander now has five consecutive top-10s, and he’s rocketing up the Ryder Cup standings, but you can’t help but wonder how much better the start to his year might have been. In the final pairing each of the past two weeks, he’s a combined 1 under in those rounds and wasn’t much of a factor.

    Tom Hoge (-3%): Leading by one and on the brink of a life-changing victory – he hadn’t been able to keep his card each of the past three years – Hoge made an absolute mess of the 16th, taking double bogey despite having just 156 yards for his approach. At least now he’s on track to make the playoffs for the first time.

    Predicting James Hahn’s form (-4%): OK, we give up: He’d gone 17 events without a top-15 before his win at Riviera; 12 before his win at Quail Hollow; and seven before he lost on the sixth playoff hole at Waialae. The margins between mediocre play and winning apparently are THAT small.

    Barnrat (-5%): Coming in hot with four consecutive top-10s, and one of only two team members ranked inside the top 50 in the world, Kiradech Aphibarnrat didn’t show up at the EurAsia Cup, going 0-3 for the week. In hindsight, the Asian team had no chance without his contributions.