Kendall Maintains Top Spot in Louisiana

By Sports NetworkMarch 24, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 Chitimacha Lousiana OpenBROUSSARD, La. -- Skip Kendall claimed two Nationwide Tour wins in 1994. After 13 years and a string of second-place finishes on the PGA TOUR, he is finally staring down No. 3.
 
Consistency has been the name of the game.
 
The 42-year-old lifetime grinder finished birdie-birdie for his third consecutive 5-under 66 Saturday to take a three-shot lead heading into the final round of the Nationwide Tour's Chitimacha Louisiana Open.
 
He is at 15-under-par 198.
 
In 1994, Kendall won the Inland Empire Open and Carolina Classic for his only career victories. Since then, he has posted four runner-up finishes in three PGA TOUR stints and gone without another Nationwide Tour win.
 
Thirteen years of being the bridesmaid is not easy.
 
'I've won a couple of times out here, but it has been a long time,' said Kendall. 'Hopefully tomorrow will be my day. I've got a lot of work to do. Guys are so good out here that if you play conservative you'll get passed up.'
 
Australian Jarrod Lyle fired an 8-under 63 and shares second place with Tag Ridings (64) and Tom Byrum (67) at 12-under 201.
 
Greg Sonnier had the round of the day, a 9-under 62, to move from 60th place overnight into a tie for fifth place alongside Paul Claxton (64). The duo stands at 10-under 203.
 
Behind them, 17 more players are within eight shots of the lead -- probably too many to make up at a vulnerable Le Triomphe Golf & Country Club.
 
Especially with Kendall playing so well.
 
Although he posted his first birdie of the tournament at No. 11, Kendall was able to extend his overnight lead by making six birdies Saturday. He had three birdies on his final five holes, including a holed bunker shot from 40 feet at No 14.
 
'I struggled a little in the middle of the round, but I played good down the stretch,' Kendall said. 'I made a few loose swings today unlike the first two days.'
 
It is Kendall's first 54-hole lead since the 1994 Mississippi Gulf Coast event, where he closed with a 73 and finished tied for third place.
 
'I've got to keep doing what I'm doing and hopefully things will work out,' he said.
 
Brenden Pappas, the 36-year-old South African who fired a course-record 60 on Thursday, continued to slip. He had an even-par 71 Saturday and sits seven shots back at 8-under 205.
 
Pappas was 11-under after the first round.
 
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    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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    Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

    What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

    Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    “I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

    McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

    He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

    Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

    “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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    Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

    Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

    Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

    Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

    Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

    Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.