Jones Robbins Ahead at Windy Canadian Open

By Sports NetworkAugust 17, 2001, 4:00 pm
Rosie Jones and Kelly Robbins each posted rounds of 3-under 69 Friday to share the 36-hole lead of the Women's Canadian Open. The pair stands at 10-under-par 134 and opened a three-shot lead over Maria Hjorth and Se Ri Pak, who was tied with Jones and Robbins after the first round.
Winds reached 35 miles per hour at the South Course at Angus Glen Golf Club and played havoc with second-round scores.
'It was like another golf course it was so different today,' said Pak, who finished with an even-par 72 on Friday. 'This golf course is really, really hard...I'm happy to finish at even par.'
To illustrate how difficult the winds were, Pak played her approach directly into the wind at the 367-yard 11th hole. On Friday, she used a 4-iron to get on, but the day before she hit a pitching wedge.
Jones hit a 7-iron to 15 feet to set up birdie at the first, her 10th. That birdie gave her the outright lead at 11-under par, a lead she could have doubled but she missed a three-foot birdie try at the next.
She fell back to 10-under with a bogey on No. 7, after she holed a seven-footer for a six on the par-5 hole. Jones chipped her third shot over the green and took two shots to reach the putting surface from a difficult lie near a cart path.
'I was thrilled to get out there with six,' Jones said.
Robbins, who has not missed a cut all season, holed a 25-foot eagle putt at the par-5 14th to get to 10-under before parring the remaining holes.
'I'm very glad I'm not out there now,' Robbins said after her morning round in which she was one of only two players to card a sub-70 round. 'It's a total guessing game with this type of wind situation.'
Robbins three-putted the third green for bogey but she rallied with three birdies on her front side. She made a 15-footer at No. 6 and then had short birdie putts at the remaining par-5 holes on the front, Nos. 7 and 9.
Jones opened with a bogey at her first, No. 10 at Angus Glen, after her approach went into a hazard. She responded with four birdies in five holes later in her front nine.
Jones drained a seven-footer for birdie at No. 13 and followed with a three-foot birdie at No. 14 after she blasted out of a greenside bunker at the par-5 hole. She added an eight-footer at No. 15 and ran home an 18-foot birdie putt at No. 17 for a front-nine 33.
'I couldn't do anything wrong,' said Jones, a two-time winner on tour this season. 'When I didn't hit great shots, I hit great putts. I would have been just as happy with an even-par round.'
Canadian Lorie Kane and Cristie Kerr share fifth place at 6-under-par 138.
Annika Sorenstam is alone in seventh at five-under after a second-round 68.
'I was just trying to play smart, keeping the ball in the middle of the fairways and greens,' Sorenstam said.
The 36-hole cut fell at three-over 147 with 77 players qualifying for the weekend.
Full-field scores from the Bank of Montreal Women's Canadian Open
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Ortiz takes Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

Former Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Tour Player of the Year.

McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

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Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

Memo to the golf gods:

If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.

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Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

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McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

"I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

"I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

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What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x