LeBruns 61 Good for 36-Hole Lead

By Sports NetworkJuly 15, 2005, 4:00 pm
Scholarship America ShowdownHUDSON, Wis. -- Steve LeBrun set a new course record on Friday with his 9-under 61 in the second round of the Scholarship America Showdown. LeBrun stands at 14-under-par 126 through 36 holes at Troy Burne Golf Club.
LeBrun's 61 broke Kyle Thompson's course record by one stroke and LeBrun's 36- hole total smashed Thompson's record of 130 from last year.
Chad Wilfong, who played with LeBrun, posted a 7-under 63 to move into a tie for second place at 10-under-par 130. Steven Bowditch, who won the Jacob's Creek Open earlier this season, also moved to minus-10 with a 65.
Anthony Painter, Tim Simpson, Jerry Smith and Jon Mills share fourth place at 7-under-par 133.
LeBrun, 27, was on fire right from the start, opening with birdies on the first three holes. He dropped in a birdie putt on the sixth and moved to 10 under with a birdie at seven. He then birdied the eighth to cap his second run of three straight birdies.
'It was a nice way to start, especially on Friday,' LeBrun said. 'I think my Friday scoring average is probably around 77 going into today. I started off with three birdies and you can't beat that. You get to 8 under and you're not thinking about the cut anymore, you're thinking about trying to win the tournament or getting yourself in position to win it.'
LeBrun stumbled to a bogey on nine to fall back to minus-10. The Floridian converted back-to-back birdie chances from the 11th and got to 13 under with an 8-foot birdie putt on the par-3 15th. LeBrun closed out his round with a 25-foot birdie putt at the last to set a new course record.
'It's definitely my best round ever,' said LeBrun, who has never been higher than tied for 18th after 36 holes in any of his 17 career starts on the Nationwide Tour. 'Chad and I were both feeding off each other, especially early on. We were both making so many putts.'
Wilfong matched LeBrun's run of three straight birdies from the first. He then dropped in a birdie on the fifth to start another run of three birdies in a row.
The 24-year-old parred his next five holes. Wilfong, who made the cut for the second time in seven career Nationwide Tour starts, stumbled to a bogey on the par-three 13th.
Wilfong converted consecutive birdie putts from the 16th to move into a tie for second place.
'I looked at him and said, 'What did you shoot?' and he said '61.' I just threw my card up at that point because 63 is no good,' Wilfong said of his talk with LeBrun walking off the 18th green. 'He played well. It was fun to be a part of it.'
Bowditch opened with a birdie on the first and sank back-to-back birdies from the fifth to move to 8 under. The Australian stumbled to a bogey on the seventh, but came right back to birdie the eighth. He then managed two birdies over his final nine holes to tie for second.
'I started driving the ball better, though I'm still making a few terrible swings,' said Bowditch. 'Because I'm starting to drive it good, I took driver on absolutely every hole I could today.'
First-round leader Brandt Snedeker struggled to a 1-over 71. He stands at 6-under-par 134 alongside John Merrick, David Morland IV, Jason Dufner and Charley Hoffman. Jason Gore, who won the Pete Dye Classic last week, leads a group at minus-5.
The cut line fell at 1-over-par 141 with 65 players moving on to the final two rounds.
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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.