Kerr Takes Top Spot in Mexico

By Sports NetworkMarch 5, 2005, 5:00 pm
MEXICO CITY, Mexico -- Cristie Kerr posted a 4-under 68 on Saturday to move into the lead during the second round of the MasterCard Classic. Kerr finished 36 holes at 6-under-par 138, two strokes clear of Moira Dunn and Sae-Hee Son.
Annika Sorenstam carded a 71 to finish alone in fourth place at 3-under-par 141. Karrie Webb, Young Jo, Dina Ammaccapane and first-round leader Hee-Won Han were one shot further back at 2-under-par 142.
Kerr played the back side first and hit a wedge to 2 feet for a birdie at the par-4 10th. She then birdied two in a row starting at the par-5 12th and dropped a shot at the par-4 16th after her second shot came up short of the green.
The 27-year-old responded at the par-5 18th and played her third shot to 18 feet for a birdie to reach 5 under around the turn. Kerr then knocked her approach inside 2 feet for a tap-in birdie at the par-4 first.
Kerr missed a short par putt at the par-4 third but dropped a wedge within 20 feet at the par-5 sixth. She drained the birdie putt and parred her way in to carry a two-shot advantage into the final round.
'I will just do the best I can and things will add up where they add up,' said Kerr, who tied for second last week in Hawaii.
Dunn mixed two birdies with two bogeys for a round of 72 while Son collected a pair of birdies and a bogey over her first nine holes. Son then birdied the 10th and got within one of the lead with a birdie at the 13th.
Son stumbled to a bogey at the 15th, however, to join Dunn in a tie for second after a round of 70.
Sorenstam bogeyed the second but countered with a birdie at the fourth. She gave that shot back with a bogey at the fifth but recovered again with back-to-back birdies starting at the par-5 sixth.
The Swede hit her tee shot inside 4 feet for a birdie at the 11th and got within one of Kerr with a birdie at the 13th. Sorenstam found trouble at the 15th, however, when her third shot found a creek en route to a double bogey.
'I thought I played pretty well today,' said Sorenstam. 'I had a few bad breaks or bad bounces here and there and a few bad shots, but then again I made some good putts in the end.'
Natalie Gulbis, Laura Davies, Patricia Meunier-Lebouc, Soo Young Moon, Brandie Burton and Michele Redman share ninth place at 1-under-par 143.
Play was suspended for darkness for the second straight day at Bosque Real Country Club with four players left to complete their second rounds on Sunday.
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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.