Inkster Leads Near Home

By Sports NetworkSeptember 24, 2004, 4:00 pm
AUBURN, Calif. -- Juli Inkster, a Hall of Famer and two-time former champion, posted her second consecutive 5-under 66 on Friday to take the lead midway through the Longs Drugs Challenge. She stands at 10-under-par 132 and is one ahead of overnight leader Christina Kim at The Ridge Golf Club.
 
Karrie Webb (66), Angela Stanford (65), Leta Lindley (67) and Michelle Estill (68) are knotted in third place at 8-under-par 134.
 
Inkster, who won this title in 1999 and 2000, opened on the back nine Friday and birdied two of her first three holes. She parred her next four holes, then sank a 5-foot birdie putt at the 17th to go to 8 under par for the championship.
 
Inkster, who lives about three hours from the course, took her first lead at the first hole when she ran home an 8-foot birdie putt. She reached 10 under par at the very next hole when he drained a 2-footer.
 
At the fourth, Inkster had 45 feet for birdie, but ran her putt 5 feet past the hole. She missed the par-saving putt to fall back to 9 under and had an up-and-down finish to her round.
 
Inkster birdied the sixth, but dropped a shot to par at the par-4 seventh and in the process, fell into a tie for the lead with Kim, who was in the clubhouse at minus-9.
 
Inkster birdied No. 8 to go one clear of Kim and take her first 36-hole lead since the 2002 U.S. Women's Open, which she went on to win.
 
'Overall, I played well today,' said Inkster, who has won an LPGA Tour event every year for the last seven years. 'Even on my bogeys, I was in the fairway and had my chances. I hit the ball well.'
 
Inkster has four top-10s this season, but has not seriously contended for a title yet. She tied for second at the Michelob Ultra Open, but was two behind Se Ri Pak and needed several mistakes from the eventual champion in order to visit the winner's circle.
 
'I haven't given myself a chance to win,' admitted Inkster, referring to her 2004 campaign. 'It's about ball-striking and I am usually a good ball-striker. I haven't been this year, but I've been coming around.'
 
Kim, who held the first-round lead thanks to 64 on Thursday, failed to get anything going early on as she parred her first 13 holes. She hit a 4-iron left at the par-3 14th, then failed to save par.
 
She rebounded quickly when she reached the green in two at the par-5 15th. Kim, who is winless since joining the tour last season, two-putted from 60 feet for the birdie and got back to minus-7 for the tournament.
 
At the par-3 17th, Kim hit a 9-iron to eight feet to set up birdie. That same club helped her again at the closing hole when her 9-iron approach stopped 5 feet from the hole. She sank the putt to polish off a 2-under 69.
 
'Very boring,' said Kim, referring to her second round on Friday. 'It was such a long day out there. We had ruling, after ruling after ruling. You get into a lull and you can't be as sharp as you'd like.'
 
Kelli Kuehne fired a 5-under 66 and is tied for eighth place with Amy Hung, a Monday qualifier, who shot a 68 on Friday, and Miriam Nagl, who carded a second-round 70. That trio is knotted at 6-under-par 136.
 
The 36-hole cut fell at 1-over-par 143 and defending champion Helen Alfredsson missed the mark by one stroke. Among the other notable players who will not be around on the weekend are: Carin Koch (145), Sophie Gustafson (147) and Aree Song (148).
 
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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 Web.com 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.


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    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.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    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.