Its a Fuzzy Feeling in Hawaii

By Sports NetworkFebruary 1, 2003, 5:00 pm
KAUPULEHU-KONA, HI -- Fuzzy Zoeller equaled the course record at Hualalai Golf Club on Saturday with a 9-under 63, tying him with Larry Nelson and Dana Quigley atop the leaderboard at the MasterCard Championship. The trio matched the 36-hole record of 13-under-par 131 but have several competitors nipping at the lead.
 
Bruce Lietzke and Bruce Fleisher carded matching rounds of 7-under-par 65 and share fourth place at 11-under-par 133.
 
Stewart Ginn and first-round co-leader Steven Veriato are tied for sixth at minus-10.
 
Hale Irwin, the reigning Champions Tour Player of the Year, held a piece of the first-round lead but struggled on Saturday. He only managed a 1-under 71 and is part of a group tied for 14th at 7-under par.
 
Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino, both sponsor's exemptions, were only two off the lead after Friday's opening round. Trevino carded a 1-under 71 Saturday to share 21st at 5-under and is one better than Nicklaus, who is alone in 25th at minus-4.
 
The three leaders equaled Gil Morgan's 36-hole record of 13-under-par 131. Nelson also posted a 131 in 2001 on his way to victory but Zoeller was the player who made the biggest move up the leaderboard on Saturday.
 
Zoeller was 6-under on his round through 10 holes thanks to four birdies and an eagle at No. 10. He dropped a shot at 11 and carded two pars before an awesome conclusion to his round.
 
Zoeller drained a pair of 10-foot birdie putts at the par-5 14th and at 15. He holed a 12-foot birdie putt at No. 16 to reach 12-under par and grab a temporary two-shot advantage. He ran home a seven-footer for birdie at the 17th to make it four in a row and, with a par at the last, reach the clubhouse at 13-under par.
 
'Anyone who plays this stupid game wants to see if they can control it under the heat,' said Zoeller, who tied Tom Kite's course record from last year. 'I worked very hard in the offseason. I played a lot of golf and it was well worth it because it's paying off.'
 
Nelson was flawless on Saturday with three birdies in his front nine but, like Zoeller, his back nine vaulted him up the leaderboard. He sank a breaking 20- footer for eagle at the 10th to get the run started.
 
Nelson, who went winless in 2002, tallied three birdies in a row, starting at the 13th. At 14, he narrowly missed an eagle putt but tapped in the birdie. On 15, Nelson holed a eight-foot birdie putt to tie Zoeller in the lead but Nelson missed some birdie chances on his way in that could have given him the outright lead.
 
The 55-year-old had a 12-footer at 16 but missed that then failed to convert on a nine-footer at the last. Nelson left the course with an 8-under-par 64.
 
Quigley, who also shared the lead after the first 18, reached 10-under par after a birdie at the 13th but his best was yet to come as sharp iron play down the stretch earned him his share of first.
 
Quigley knocked his approach close to the hole at 16 for birdie and made it two in a row with a four-footer at the short, par-3 17th. He drained a seven-foot birdie putt at the last to polish off his round of 7-under 65.
 
'I'm on my game right now and it's kind of fun when you can look up after your shot and see it going towards the flag,' said Quigley, who made his 202nd consecutive start for which he was eligible. 'I'm trying to run the tables and make birdie on every hole.'
 
Kite (67), Allen Doyle (66), Jay Sigel (69), Tom Jenkins (66), Jim Thorpe (66) and Tom Watson (66) share eighth place at 8-under-par 136.
 

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  • McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

    When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.

    Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.

    Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.

    While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

    Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.

    Rahm wins finale, Fleetwood takes Race to Dubai

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 1:42 pm

    Jon Rahm captured the final tournament on the European Tour calendar, a result that helped Tommy Fleetwood take home the season-long Race to Dubai title.

    Rahm shot a final-round 67 to finish two shots clear of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry at the DP World Tour Championship. It's the second European Tour win of the year for the Spaniard, who also captured the Irish Open and won on the PGA Tour in January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    "I could not be more proud of what I've done this week," Rahm told reporters. "Having the weekend that I've had, actually shooting 12 under on the last 36 holes, bogey-free round today, it's really special."

    But the key finish came from Justin Rose, who held the 54-hole lead in Dubai but dropped back into a tie for fourth after closing with a 70. Rose entered the week as one of only three players who could win the Race to Dubai, along with Sergio Garcia and Fleetwood, who started with a lead of around 250,000 Euros.


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    With Fleetwood in the middle of the tournament pack, ultimately tying for 21st after a final-round 74, the door was open for Rose to capture the title thanks to a late charge despite playing in half the events that Fleetwood did. Rose captured both the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open, and was one round away from a two-trophy photo shoot in Dubai.

    Instead, his T-4 finish meant he came up just short, as Fleetwood won the season-long race by 58,821 Euros.

    The title caps a remarkable season for Fleetwood, who won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship as well as the French Open to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes and a fourth-place showing at the U.S. Open.

    "I find it amazing, the season starts in November, December and you get to here and you're watching the last shot of the season to decide who wins the Race to Dubai," Fleetwood said at the trophy ceremony. "But yeah, very special and something we didn't really aim for at the start of the year, but it's happened."

    Battling mono, Kaufman tied for lead at CME

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 2:05 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – Kim Kaufman’s bout with mononucleosis might leave fellow tour pros wanting to catch the fever, too.

    A couple months after Anna Nordqvist battled her way into contention at the Women’s British Open playing with mono, and then thrived at the Solheim Cup with it, Kaufman is following suit.

    In her first start since being diagnosed, Kaufman posted an 8-under-par 64 Saturday to move into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. It was the low round of the day. She’s bidding to win her first LPGA title.

    “I’ve been resting at home for two weeks,” Kaufman said. “Didn’t do anything.”

    Well, she did slip on a flight of stairs while recuperating, hurting her left wrist. She had it wrapped Saturday but said that’s mostly precautionary. It didn’t bother her during the round.


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    “I’m the only person who can take two weeks off and get injured,” Kaufman joked.

    Kaufman, 26, left the Asian swing after playing the Sime Darby Malaysia, returning to her home in South Dakota, to see her doctor there. She is from Clark. She was told bed rest was the best thing for her, but she felt good enough to make the trip to Florida for the season-ending event.

    “We had some really cold days,” Kaufman said. “We had some snow. I was done with it. I was coming down here.”

    How does she feel?

    “I feel great,” she said. “I’m a little bit shaky, which isn’t great out there, but it’s great to be here doing something. I was going a little bit stir crazy [at home], just kind of fighting through it.”

    Kaufman made eight birdies in her bogey-free round.

    New-look Wie eyes CME Group Tour Championship title

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:32 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – Michelle Wie is sporting a new look that even has fellow players doing double takes.

    Bored during her six-week recovery from an emergency appendectomy late this summer, Wie decided to cut and die her hair.

    She went for golden locks, and a shorter style.

    “I kind of went crazy after being in bed that long,” Wie said. “I just told my mom to grab the kitchen scissors and just cut all my hair off.”

    Wie will get to sport her new look on a big stage Sunday after playing herself into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. With a 6-under-par 66, she is in contention to win her fifth LPGA title, her first since winning the U.S. Women’s Open three years ago.


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    Wie, 28, fought her way back this year after two of the most disappointing years of her career. Her rebound, however, was derailed in late August, when she withdrew from the final round of the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open to undergo an emergency appendectomy. She was out for six weeks.

    Before the surgery, Wie enjoyed getting back into contention regularly, with six finishes of T-4 or better this season. She returned to the tour on the Asian swing in October.

    Fellow tour pros were surprised when she came back with the new look.

    “Definitely, walk by people and they didn’t recognize me,” Wie said.

    Wie is looking to continue to build on her resurgence.

    “I gained a lot of confidence this year,” she said. “I had a really tough year last year, the last couple years. Just really feeling like my old self. Really feeling comfortable out there and having fun, and that's when I play my best.”