Langham Clings to Lead in Louisiana

By Sports NetworkMarch 25, 2006, 5:00 pm
Nationwide TourBROUSSARD, La. -- Franklin Langham birdied the final two holes on Saturday to shoot 1-under 70 and cling to a one-stroke lead after three rounds of the Chitimacha Louisiana Open. Langham finished 54 holes at 9-under-par 204.
Johnson Wagner bogeyed the 18th hole to card a 2-under 69 for the second straight day. He stands at 8-under-par 205 and was joined in second place by Chad Collins, who posted a 68 in round three.
Tripp Isenhour, who missed the cut here last year, and Cliff Kresge shared the low round of the day as they each posted 5-under 66s. With those rounds, they share fourth place at minus-7. Matt Weibring is one stroke further back at 6-under-par 207 after a third-round 69.
Langham opened with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 first to get to minus-9. He stumbled to a bogey on the par-4 fourth at Le Triomphe Golf & Country Club.
The 37-year-old fought right back with a 12-foot eagle putt on the par-5 fifth to jump to 10 under. Langham parred his next four holes. Once on the back nine though, he would fall out of the lead.
Langham bogeyed the 10th to slip to 9 under. He faltered to back-to-back bogeys from the 15th to slide to minus-7 and into a share of third place.
The two-time winner on the Nationwide Tour got those strokes back though. Langham rolled in a 12-foot birdie putt on the 17th. He made it two in a row as his 35-footer for birdie at the last dropped to give him the overnight lead for the second straight round.
'It was a tough day,' Langham said. 'I had trouble pulling clubs, the wind was up and down all day. I didn't make as many putts as I did the first two days, but I hung in there. It sure left a good taste in my mouth to make those last two.'
Wagner, who turned 26 on Thursday, was steady on his opening nine with eight pars and a birdie on the fifth that got him to minus-7. At the 10th, he sank a birdie try then moved to minus-9 with a two-putt birdie at the par-5 12th.
The former Virginia Tech star three-putted for bogey on the 14th, but was able to reclaim that stroke with a birdie on the par-4 17th. He stood alone in the lead at that point, but another three-putt bogey on the last dropped him one behind Langham.
'I played well. Both bogeys were three-putts which is disappointing,' Wagner said. 'I thought I had a chance on No. 12 to separate myself from the field, but didn't get it done.'
Collins started his round with three straight pars. He got on the board with a birdie on the fourth. Collins came back with a birdie on the par-5 seventh. Around the turn, he birdied the 10th to get to minus-8.
The 2005 Henrico County Open winner ran off five consecutive pars from there. Collins dropped a shot on the par-3 16th, but atoned for that error with a birdie on the 17th to get within one of the lead.
Deane Pappas carded his second straight 2-under 69 to get to 5-under-par 208. He shares seventh place with Glen Day (71) and Dan Olsen (72). Russ Cochran, Bob Heintz, Craig Kanada, Jeffrey Overton and Chris Smith are one stroke further back at minus-4.
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    Watch: 13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, part of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward the back-right hole location, about 25 feet away, closer than both Fleetwood and Johnson.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back after the opening round. He tied for second here a year ago.

    Johnson is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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    McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

    It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

    Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson.

    Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.

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    “I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

    Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

    “Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

    This was his first competitive round in four months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014. 

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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."