Irwin Starts in Fine Fashion

By Sports NetworkOctober 10, 2003, 4:00 pm
KAHUKU, Hawaii -- Hale Irwin carded a 4-under-par 68 Friday to grab a share of the lead after the opening round of the Turtle Bay Championship. He was joined there by Rex Caldwell and Dana Quigley.
 
Bob Gilder, Butch Sheehan, Dick Mast and Jerry McGee share fourth place at 3-under-par 69. Joe Inman and Pat McDonald are one stroke further back at minus-2.
 
Jan Stephenson, a member of the LPGA Tour playing on a sponsor's exemption, struggled to an 8-over-par 80.
 
Irwin, the three-time defending champion, is looking to become the first player in Champions Tour history to win the same event four straight years. With his win here back in 1997, he joins Jack Nicklaus as the only players to win the same tournament on four occasions.
 
Irwin got rolling on the Palmer Course at the Turtle Bay Resort with a 10-foot birdie putt on the second. A poor drive off the sixth tee led to a bogey, but he responded in fine fashion.
 
He dropped a sand-wedge within 10 feet for birdie at the seventh and came back with a 12-foot birdie putt at the eighth. He made it three straight with a tap-in birdie on No. 9.
 
Irwin, the Champions Tour's all-time leader in wins, rolled in a six-footer for birdie on the 14th to move to 4-under. Thanks to a pair of nice pars saves, he managed to maintain a share of the lead.
 
'One of the better days as far as my back goes,' said Irwin, who has battled back problems all summer. 'I feel comfortable on this course and I've had a lot of success here. You just have to try to not overpower the wind.'
 
Quigley meanwhile burst out of the gate with three straight birdies from the first. He made nice par saves on the fourth and eighth before birdieing the ninth.
 
On the back side, he knocked a 7-iron to 20 feet to setup birdie at the 11th. He came right back with a four-foot birdie putt at the 12th to get to get to 6-under.
 
The 56-year-old three-putted for bogey on the par-3 13th and dropped another stroke at the 17th to fall back into a share of the lead.
 
'Hawaii has been very good for me,' said Quigley. 'I hit the ball low and with this wind it plays right into my game. If I can play with Hale today, tomorrow and Sunday, I'll have a chance to win.'
 
Caldwell mixed a birdie and a bogey over his opening nine holes. Around the turn, he birdie three of the first five holes, but dropped another stroke at the 15th. He climbed into a share of the lead with back-to-back birdies from the 17th.
 
Stephenson, who came under fire Friday for published remarks that quote her as saying foreign players are 'killing' the LPGA Tour, is tied for 74th place. She became the fifth women this year to play in a men's event joining Annika Sorenstam (PGA Tour - Colonial), Suzy Whaley (PGA Tour - Greater Hartford Open), Michelle Wie, who played in events on the Nationwide and Canadian Tours and Laura Davies (Asian PGA Tour - Korean Open).
 
Stephenson bogeyed three of the first four holes before dropping shots at the sixth and ninth to make the turn at 5-over. She then dropped shots on three straight holes from the 10th. She did manage to card a birdie on the 15th, but bogeyed the very next hole to finish at 8-over.
 
Hugh Baiocchi, Allen Doyle, D.A. Weibring, Tom Kite, Bobby Lincoln and Tom Purtzer are the final players under par as they stand at 1-under-par 71 in a tie for 10th.
 
Related Links:
  • Full-field scores from the Turtle Bay Championship
  • Full coverage - Turtle Bay Championship
  • Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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

    Getty Images

    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.


    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."

    Getty Images

    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.