Lefty Trails by One in Scotland

By Sports NetworkJuly 13, 2007, 4:00 pm
2006 Barclays Scottish OpenGLASGOW, Scotland -- Frenchman Gregory Havret fired a 7-under 64, while Spain's Jose Manuel Lara managed a 65 on Friday. That put the pair into a tie for the second-round lead of the Scottish Open.
 
The duo is knotted at 10-under-par 132, one shot clear of world No. 3 Phil Mickelson.
 
The three-time major winner, and co-leader after round one, shot a 3-under 68 on Friday at Loch Lomond. Mickelson is playing this week to prepare for next week's British Open Championship, but now has the benefit of trying to pick up some momentum with a win.
 
'I am looking forward to it' said Mickelson. 'It's going to be a lot of fun. I hit a few bad shots but I was able to keep it in play, make a few pars and a couple of birdies coming in.'
 
Mickelson was 1-under par after his opening nine, but he reached 8-under par for the championship thanks to a short birdie putt at the par-5 13th, a hole he eagled on Thursday.
 
He had a good look at birdie from 7 feet at the 15th, but missed, then found some trouble. Mickelson drove into the rough at 16, but saved par. He missed the putting surface at the par-3 17th and it was his vaunted short game to the rescue. The left-hander chipped to 3 feet and converted the birdie putt.
 
At the closing hole, Mickelson found the fairway off the tee, then stiffed his approach 7 feet from the hole. He sank the birdie putt to get within one of the lead.
 
'I was very fortunate to have shot under-par today,' said Mickelson. 'I wasn't hitting it where I wanted to. Hopefully I can get it turned around for the weekend to have a chance.'
 
Fellow American Boo Weekley (66), Simon Khan (67) and Andres Romero (67) share fourth place at 8-under-par 134.
 
Havret started well on Friday with two birdies in his first four holes. He parred the remaining five holes before the turn, then went on a run that vaulted him up the leaderboard.
 
He birdied four in a row from the 11th to move into the lead on his own at minus-9. Havret grabbed the clubhouse lead at 10-under par with a birdie at the par-4 16th.
 
Havret has played very well in recent weeks with a tie for 15th at the Open de France and a share of third last week at the European Open. He credited the turn in success to a belly putter.
 
'I went to my flat and was searching around and I saw the belly putter and said, 'oh, why not give it a try' because I was struggling a little bit on the greens. And since that my putting is a lot, lot better,' said Havret, whose only win on tour came at the 2001 Italian Open.
 
Lara did not start as well as his fellow co-leader; instead he birdied three out of four to close his front nine at Loch Lomond. He dropped a shot with a bogey at 10, but joined Havret in first with a spurt on the back nine.
 
He drained an 18-foot eagle putt at the 13th to get to minus-8. Heavy rain came into Loch Lomond, but the Spaniard collected back-to-back birdies at 15 and 16 to get into a share of first.
 
Lara has battled an Achilles injury all year and found the cure -- acupuncture.
 
'I had tried everything and was getting desperate. They said it was coming from my back and I had all sort of tests done but the only thing that made me feel better was the acupuncture,' said Lara, who picked up his only European Tour victory earlier this season at the Hong Kong Open.
 
Three-time major winner Ernie Els got back into the tournament on Friday. He shot a 5-under 66 and is tied for seventh place with Pelle Edberg (68), Miles Tunnicliff (67) and Steve Webster (67). The group is knotted at 7-under-par 135.
 
Mickelson's fellow first-round co-leaders struggled on Friday. Graeme Storm (72), Soren Hansen (73) and Lee Westwood (74) all plummeted out of the top 15.
 
U.S. Open champion Angel Cabrera posted a 1-under 70 in round two and made the cut on the number at 1-under-par 141.
 
Among those unfortunate players who will not be around on the weekend are: Retief Goosen (143), Trevor Immelman (143), Colin Montgomerie (143) and 2006 winner Johan Edfors (149).
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Barclays Scottish Open
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    Rahm (62) takes early lead at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

    Getty Images

    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

    Getty Images

    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.

    Getty Images

    Mickelson starts fast, fades to 70 at La Quinta

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

    Phil Mickelson got off to a fast start in his first competitive round of 2018 - for six holes, at least.

    The 47-year-old is making his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, and only his third competitive appearance since the BMW Championship in September. Four birdies over his first six holes indicated that a strong opener might be in the cards, but Mickelson played his subsequent holes in 2 over.

    It added up to a 2-under 70 at La Quinta Country Club, typically the easiest of the three courses in rotation this week, and left Mickelson eight shots behind Jon Rahm.

    "It was fun to get back out and be competitive," Mickelson told reporters. "I for some reason am stuck on 70 here at La Quinta, whether I get off to a good start or a bad one, I end up shooting the same score."


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Mickelson stunted his momentum with a tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 eighth hole, but he managed to save bogey and otherwise drove the ball relatively well. Instead, he pointed to his normally reliable iron play as the culprit for his back-nine backslide on a day when more than 120 players in the 156-man field broke par.

    Mickelson will now head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course with the Stadium Course on tap for Saturday's third round. While there were several low scores Thursday at La Quinta, Mickelson remains bullish about the birdie opportunities that still lie ahead.

    "This isn't the course where I go low on," Mickelson said. "I feel more comfortable on Stadium and Nicklaus. Neither of them are nearly as tight and I tend to score a lot lower on those other two than I do here, historically."