Late Rally Propels Scott

By Sports NetworkNovember 4, 2006, 5:00 pm
2006 The TOUR Championship presented by Coca-ColaATLANTA -- Adam Scott used a back-nine surge Saturday to move three clear of the field after three rounds of the TOUR Championship.
 
Scott birdied the 14th and eagled No. 15 en route to a 3-under 67 in round three. That moved him to 7-under-par 203, three clear of second-round leader Joe Durant and Vijay Singh. Scott is the only player with three rounds in the 60s this week.
 
Adam Scott
Adam Scott is seeking his first PGA TOUR win of the season.
All three of Scott's PGA TOUR wins came when he held at least a share of the 54-hole lead. His last PGA TOUR win, the 2005 Nissan Open, was unofficial because it was cut to 36 holes by rain. His last official win came at the 2004 Booz Allen Classic.
 
'It's a great position to be in,' Scott said of holding the lead. 'I'm going to need to play another really great round of golf tomorrow.
 
'I think you can see all the great players making a bit of a move today and creeping up the leaderboard, so I've got a lot of world class players right behind me. I'm sure one of them will get out there and make some birdies and try and chase. I've got to keep moving in the right direction.'
 
Durant struggled to a 1-over 36 on the back nine to fall to 4-under-par 206. He managed an even-par 70 in round three. Vijay Singh, the 2002 winner here, was 5 under on the back nine as he posted 5-under 65, the low round of the week. He shares second with Durant at minus-4.
 
A pair of former U.S. Open winners -- Retief Goosen (68) and Jim Furyk (67) -- share fourth place at minus-3 at East Lake Golf Club.
 
Scott and Durant battled throughout the round. Scott gained the upper hand early with a 2-foot birdie putt on the first. Durant tripped to a bogey on three, when he could not save par from a greenside bunker. That dropped him to minus-3, two behind Scott.
 
Durant made his charge late on the opening nine. As Scott was in the midst of running off 11 consecutive pars, Durant erased the two-shot deficit.
 
The 42-year-old Durant kicked in a 3-footer for birdie at the eighth and made it two straight as his 11-foot birdie putt on nine found the bottom of the cup.
 
Durant briefly took the lead by himself with a 4-foot birdie putt on the 12th. Both Scott and Durant bogeyed the par-4 13th.
 
Scott regained a share of the lead when he made a 4-footer for birdie on 14. At the par-5 15th, the Australian sank a 2-foot eagle putt to jump to minus-7. That eagle was just the second of the week for the entire field. Luke Donald posted the other eagle on the 15th on Friday.
 
'That was important for me,' said Scott of the turnaround on 14 and 15. 'It really changed the whole tournament from my end of things. Birdieing 14 was great, but making a three at 15 really pulled me back out in front, in a position I like to be in.'
 
Durant was only one back as he made birdie from 12 feet on No. 15. However, trouble loomed for the four-time winner on the PGA TOUR. Durant missed the green left on 16 and could not save par. Then he three-putted for bogey on 17 to fall three back.
 
'I didn't play particularly well today. My swing didn't feel very good,' Durant admitted. 'I was going over the top of a lot of my shots. You need to drive it well here, and I didn't drive it with any kind of conviction today, really. I was more or less just guiding it around.'
 
Scott two-putted for par on 16 and 17, then got up and down for par at the last to take a three-shot cushion into the final round.
 
Singh was even-par over the first nine holes with a birdie and a bogey. The Fijian converted a birdie putt on No. 10 to move to even-par for the tournament. Singh ran off four straight birdies from the 12th to jump to minus-4 and into a share of second.
 
'I played pretty decent,' stated Singh. 'I was just hanging around on the front nine and got it going on the back nine. I hit some really good shots and made some nice putts.'
 
Tom Pernice, Jr. carded a 3-under 67 Saturday. He was joined in sixth place at 2-under-par 208 by Trevor Immelman, who carded a 69.
 
Ernie Els used a 4-under 66 to move into a share of eighth at minus-1. He stands alongside Donald, who posted 69 in round three. Lucas Glover is alone in 10th at even-par 210 after shooting 66 in the third 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.