Huston Ties Johnson for Top Spot

By Sports NetworkJune 27, 2003, 4:00 pm
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- John Huston fired an 8-under 63 on Friday to match Richard S. Johnson atop the leaderboard at the midway point of the St. Jude Classic. The duo tallied two-day totals of 12-under-par 130 and own a one-shot lead over David Peoples.
Fredrik Jacobson and David Gossett posted matching rounds of 4-under 67 to share fourth place at 9-under-par 133.
The first round was completed Friday morning as darkness forced the suspension of play on Thursday. There were two different rain stoppages on Thursday but Friday's play went off without delay.
Huston parred the first two holes at the TPC at Southwind but took advantage of the par-5 third hole. He missed the green on the left side but chipped in from 60 feet.
Huston had an even better chance at eagle at the par-5 fifth when his second stopped 12 feet from the hole. He two-putted for birdie and added a four-footer at the eighth to make the turn at 4-under-par 32.
At the par-3 11th, Huston hit an 8-iron to 15 feet and sank the birdie try. Two holes later, Huston found a greenside bunker but holed out from the trap to reach 6-under on his round and 10-under for the tournament.
Huston once again capitalized on the par-5s, this time at the 16th. He missed the green short with his second but pitched a foot from the hole and kicked in his birdie try.
Huston hit a good drive at the 18th and nestled a 9-iron eight feet from the hole. He ran home that birdie putt to polish off his 63 and tie Johnson in first place.
'I played extremely well today,' said Huston, a six-time winner on the PGA Tour. 'I drove the ball really well, so I gave myself a lot of good chances. I chipped in one time, made one from the bunker, so everything pretty much went pretty well.'
Johnson, a tour rookie who played on the European Tour before coming to the PGA Tour, parred his first five holes on Friday. At the sixth, Johnson played a 7-iron to 10 feet and sank the birdie putt.
Johnson parred eight consecutive holes around the turn but closed with a flourish. At No. 15, Johnson once again used a 7-iron successfully, this time resulting in a nine-foot birdie putt.
He knocked a 3-wood from 246 yards out at the 16th to six feet and sank the eagle putt to get to 11-under par for the tournament. Johnson's 3-wood tee shot at the 17th got caught in the wind and he was left with 225 yards to the green. Johnson hit a low 4-iron to 10 feet and drained the birdie to shoot a 5-under 66.
Johnson was one of the players who had to return to the course Friday morning. He played 25 holes and after his first round, he found himself tied for the lead with Jay Haas and Darron Stiles.
'My thought after the first, when I was 4-under yesterday was just trying to go out and play your own game and see what it leads to,' said Johnson. 'It's a long way left. We're only halfway there, but I'm really happy to be on top for the moment. If I can continue playing like I've done, I'm feeling pretty confident that this is going to go pretty good.'
Haas only managed a 1-under 70 on Friday but is tied for sixth place with two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen (66) and Kirk Triplett (67). The trio is knotted at 8-under-par 134.
David Toms, the 2001 PGA Champion, and Pat Bates carded matching rounds of 67 to join Chris Riley in a share of ninth at minus-7.
Len Mattiace, the 2002 champion, shot an even-par 71 and is part of group in 23rd at 4-under-par 138.
The 36-hole cut fell at 1-under-par 141 and among the notable players to miss out on weekend action were: Steve Elkington (143), Bernhard Langer (146) and Ty Tryon (146).

Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the FedEx St. Jude Classic
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.