Lewis Leads Bunch in Las Vegas

By Sports NetworkOctober 8, 2004, 4:00 pm
Michelin Championship at Las VegasLAS VEGAS -- J.L. Lewis fired a 9-under 63 to surge into the lead after round two of the Michelin Championship at Las Vegas on Friday. Lewis finished 36 holes at 14-under-par 130 for a one-shot edge over his closest competitors.
Chez Reavie posted an 8-under 64 to join Alex Cejka and Olin Browne in a tie for second at 13 under par.
Lewis, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour, played the Bear's Best layout on Friday, one of three venues in rotation over the first three rounds this week. He parred his first three holes before running off three consecutive birdies starting at the par-3 fourth.
The 44-year-old collected another birdie at the par-5 eighth and kept moving up the leaderboard on the inward half. Lewis tallied a birdie at the 11th followed by an eagle at the par-5 12th. He then birdied the 13th to reach 13 under.
Lewis cruised down the stretch and added a birdie at the par-5 17th to break the logjam and move into first place alone.
'I struck the ball well and knocked in a few putts here and there,' said Lewis. 'I didn't make any mistakes.'
Reavie, who turned pro after this year's U.S. Open, is making his first start on the PGA Tour since he made the cut at Shinnecock Hills and the Arizona State grad is making the most of the opportunity.
'I'm very pleased,' said Reavie. 'It's fun. This is what I dreamed to do.'
Reavie hit a sandwedge to 8 feet for a birdie at the first and picked up another birdie at the par-3 fifth. He then birdied five in a row around the turn to climb to minus-12.
The 22-year-old missed a 10-foot par save for a bogey at the 13th and dropped another shot with a bogey at the 15th. Reavie responded, however, at the par- 3 17th after his tee shot stopped within inches of the hole for a birdie.
Reavie followed that stellar shot with another at the closing hole at the TPC at Summerlin. Standing 161 yards out, Reavie holed a 9-iron for an eagle at the par-4 18th to finish within one of the lead.
'I'm trying not to get ahead of myself, but the goal is winning,' said Reavie. 'This is a dream to be close to the lead. I'm learning to come out here and play with these guys and not be intimidated.'
Cejka, who finished second at The International in August, managed three birdies and a bogey over his first nine holes. He added five birdies on the back side to complete a round of 65 on the TPC at Summerlin.
'I almost had a birdie chance on every hole,' said Cejka. 'I missed a few short ones but I was patient and kept fighting.'
Browne collected nine birdies and a bogey at Bear's Best for a round of 64.
Jay Williamson shot a 9-under 62 at the TPC at The Canyons to finish two shots off the pace.
'The feeling I have right now is I'm just starting on the mountain and I've got a long way to go,' said Williamson. 'It's not a race, it's how many under par you can get.'
Williamson is tied for fifth with Duffy Waldorf, Tim Petrovic, Dean Wilson and Harrison Frazar at 12 under par.
Phil Mickelson, the fourth-ranked player in the world, carded a 66 to finish within five of the lead at 9 under in a group that features Jim Furyk and Justin Leonard.
Defending champion Stuart Appleby posted a 67 to finish in a tie for 51st at 7 under par.
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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.'"

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    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."

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    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

    "I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

    "If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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    LPGA lists April date for new LA event

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

    The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

    When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

    The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

    The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.