Jimenez Takes Control at BMW

By Sports NetworkAugust 27, 2004, 4:00 pm
European TourMUNICH, Germany -- Miguel Angel Jimenez fired a 6-under 66 on Friday to move into the lead after Round 2 of the BMW International Open. Jimenez's 36-hole total of 10-under-par 134 left him one shot clear of reigning U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen and David Lynn.
Fredrik Jacobson, who has an outside shot of making the European Ryder Cup team with a strong performance this week, helped his chances with a 65 in the second round. Jacobson was joined by Markus Brier in a tie for fourth at 8-under-par 136.
Jimenez has already won three times on the European Tour this season and has also locked up a spot on Bernhard Langer's European Ryder Cup squad. The veteran Spaniard still has plenty to play for, however.
'I hope I keep on the same form,' said Jimenez. 'At the moment I'm working very well.'
Colin Montgomerie, who is considered a favorite for one of Langer's captain's picks, continued to play well with a 70 in the second round. Montgomerie finished alongside John Daly, Anders Hansen, Soren Kjeldsen and Bradley Dredge at 7-under-par 137.
Paul McGinley, who is trying to secure his spot in the Ryder Cup, joined Paul Casey, Alex Cejka, Thomas Levet, Mark Roe, Carlos Rodiles, Tino Schuster, Henrik Stenson, Ivo Giner and Johan Edfors in a tie for 11th at 6-under-par 138.
Jimenez picked up his first birdie of the day at the par-3 second at Golfclub Munchen Nord-Eichenried and added another at the par-5 sixth. He then birdied the ninth and moved to 8 under with a birdie at the 11th.
At the par-3 12th, Jimenez knocked his tee shot inside 4 feet and converted the short birdie putt to grab a share of the lead.
Jimenez parred his next five holes before reaching the green in two at the par-5 18th. His eagle try ran by the hole, but Jimenez rolled in the birdie putt coming back to take the outright lead in the clubhouse.
Lynn, who won the KLM Open three weeks ago, started on the back side and struggled out of the gate with a bogey at the 10th. He recovered quickly with a birdie at the 12th and made it two in a row with a birdie at the 13th.
The Englishman drained a 14-foot putt for a birdie at the par-5 18th. He then hit his second shot to 9 feet for a birdie at the fourth and tallied another birdie at the sixth en route to a round of 68.
'I've been playing solid all year,' said Lynn. 'I mean, for a few years now, I've been playing pretty consistently. I just do my own thing, really.'
Goosen, who is playing for the first time since suffering an injury in a jet-ski accident while on vacation with his family about a month ago, held the overnight lead but found trouble early with a bogey at the fourth.
The South African responded with a birdie at the sixth but gave that shot back with a bogey at the very next hole. Goosen got things rolling again at the ninth, however, and ran home a 20-footer for an eagle to get to 7 under around the turn.
Goosen added a birdie at the 11th and sank a long birdie putt at the 14th for a share of first. He faltered to a bogey at the 17th, but closed his round with a birdie at the last to finish one shot off the lead after a 69.
Jacobson has split time on the PGA Tour in what has been a very busy 2004 for the Swede, who took time off earlier in the year for the birth of his first child. The 29-year-old could solidify his hectic year with a victory and a place in the Ryder Cup.
'If it goes your way and you win one, that's great,' said Jacobson, who won three times on the European Tour in 2003. 'If I win one before the year is over, I will consider it a very, very good year for me. It still is, no matter what happens the rest of the year.'
Jacobson started on the 10th and collected a pair of birdies over his first five holes. He missed the green with his second shot at the par-5 ninth, but chipped in for an eagle from off the putting surface to move to minus-5.
He added back-to-back birdies starting at the second and looked to be in trouble after his second shot found the water at the par-5 sixth. Jacobson took a drop and played his fourth shot to 12 feet before calmly rolling in the par-saving putt. Jacobsen then closed his round on a high note with a birdie at the ninth.
'I don't think anybody has heard anything or is promised anything this year for the Ryder Cup,' said Jacobson, who is currently 12th on the Ryder Cup European Points List. 'We are all playing for it. We are all trying to prove ourselves to be the man to pick or the man to make the team. I mean, it's the last call this week.'
The 36-hole cut fell at even-par 144 with 83 players making the weekend. Among the unfortunate were Jean-Francois Remesy and Brian Davis, whose Ryder Cup hopes have all but faded as they missed the cut.
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    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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    Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

    When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

    Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

    "I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

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    The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

    "It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

    "I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

    "If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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    LPGA lists April date for new LA event

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

    The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

    When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

    The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

    The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.