Love Tops Crowded Leaderboard

By Sports NetworkOctober 7, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Chrysler Classic of GreensboroGREENSBORO, N.C. -- Davis Love III deflected speculation that not making the U.S. Ryder Cup team has spurred his good play this week.
 
'Not being [qualified for] the Tour Championship right now is a good motivator, and not winning in three years is a great motivator,' said Love, who shot a 4-under 68 on Saturday to tie Chris Couch for the lead after three rounds of the Chrysler Classic.
 
Davis Love III
Davis Love is looking for his first PGA TOUR win since the 2003 season.
Looking for his first win since he claimed four titles in 2003, Love made a 5-foot birdie putt at the 18th hole to take the clubhouse lead.
 
Couch, meanwhile, surrendered a late lead when he made bogey at the 17th hole, but joined Love by saving par from 6 feet at the 18th. He is looking for his second win of the season after breaking through for his first title at the Zurich Classic in April.
 
The duo is knotted at 10-under-par 206 for a one-shot lead over three players.
 
Temperatures hovered in the low 50s Saturday and players endured steady rain.
 
Couch did almost everything right in adverse conditions, keeping the ball in play by hitting every fairway on the way to his 69.
 
'I've been driving the ball really well,' he said, 'so hopefully the same thing will happen tomorrow.'
 
Couch took a one-shot lead with a birdie at the 13th, which put him at 11 under, and was two ahead after making par at the 14th. But he made a mess of the par-3 17th, knocking his tee shot into a greenside bunker and then missing a 15-foot par attempt.
 
It was the first bogey in 42 holes for Couch, but after saving par at the 18th to remain tied with Love, he refused to lament the late mistake.
 
'It didn't really bother me that much, because I just set a record for myself,' said Couch, who ranks dead last in scrambling on the PGA TOUR but is tied for second this week in the stat.
 
Love, the 1992 champion, is one of four players who share the course record at Forest Oaks. But this week is the first time he has made the cut there since his design team rebuilt the host course in 2002-03.
 
His round Saturday included seven birdies and three bogeys. He played the back nine at 3 under par.
 
'I was a little disappointed the last few years here, so it's nice to be on the good side of things,' said Love, who is back after five weeks off.
 
John Senden was tied for the lead with Love and Couch before stumbling to a bogey at the 17th hole, where he nearly chipped in after a bad tee shot put him in the rough.
 
Senden shares third place with Chris Smith (69) and Steve Flesch (69) at 9- under 207.
 
Lucas Glover and Daniel Chopra both shot 6-under 66 and share sixth place with Brett Quigley (68), Joe Durant (70), Jason Bohn (70), Ryan Moore (71) and Eric Axley (71) at 208.
 
Third-round leader Nick Watney had a 2-over 74 and tumbled into a tie for 13th place at 7 under.
 
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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).


    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 phoned 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. 

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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.