Love Wins First Since 2003

By Sports NetworkOctober 8, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Chrysler Classic of GreensboroGREENSBORO, N.C. -- Davis Love III snapped a three-year winless streak on Sunday by winning the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro.
Love collected his 19th PGA TOUR victory, but first since The International in 2003. That year he won four times, including The Players Championship, but things have certainly changed since.
Davis Love III
Davis Love III reacts to his 19th career PGA TOUR victory.
After the win at Castle Pines three years ago, Love moved to third in the World Rankings. Heading into this week, Love dipped to 26th and he missed his first Ryder Cup team since his debut in 1993.
'After '03, I thought we were on a roll and it just, unfortunately, hadn't happened for awhile so it's exciting,' said Love, who pocketed $900,000 for the win. 'It's a big relief and hopefully the start of bigger things to come,'
He posted a 6-under 66 in the final round and won the title by two shots at 16-under-par 272.
Jason Bohn also carded a 66 on Sunday to finish alone in second place at minus-14. Eric Axley (67) and Steve Flesch (68) tied for third place at 13-under-par 275.
Ryan Palmer shot a 5-under 67 and came in fifth at minus-12.
Love began the final round tied for the lead with Chris Couch and flew out of the gate. He ran home a 5-foot birdie putt at the first, then one from 10 feet at No. 2. That birdie run only saw him tie for the lead as Axley soared up the leaderboard.
Love landed in a bunker at the seventh and his best effort was close to 30 feet from the hole. He missed that putt to post a bogey and fall behind, but that was short-lived. Love sank an 8-footer for birdie at eight, but found himself two behind Axley, who converted a 4-footer for birdie at the 10th.
Axley built a three-shot lead after 12-foot birdie putt at 13, but the tide changed. Axley drove into the trees at 14 and could not save par. Love rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt at the 10th and suddenly Axley was only one ahead.
Bohn made his presence known with a tap-in birdie at 14. He joined Axley in the lead at 14 under par, but Love moved past the pair. At the 13th, Love holed a 3-foot birdie putt to join the fray in the lead. Love holed a 9-foot birdie putt at 14 and was one in front of the pack.
Axley missed a 6-foot par putt at 17 and limped into the clubhouse at 13 under par. Bohn never tallied another birdie the rest of the way, so it was up to Love to protect his lead.
He did more.
At the par-5 15th, Love two-putted for another birdie to grab a two-shot lead. He was never threatened on the way to the winner's circle as he routinely two-putted for par at the closing three holes to earn the streak-snapping victory.
'I'm excited to pull it off here,' said Love, who redesigned Forest Oaks in 2002. 'People want me to win, they expect me to win and especially at a place like this and that's been my problem is expectations. Whether they're mine or other people's, it's nice to put those aside and just play golf.'
First and second-round leader Nick Watney (68), Troy Matteson (68), Ryan Moore (69), Joe Durant (69), Lucas Glover (69) and Daniel Chopra (69) shared sixth place at 11-under-par 277.
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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.