Low Scores Abound on Day Two in Hong Kong

By Sports NetworkNovember 30, 2001, 5:00 pm
Taiwan's Yeh Wei-Tze double-bogeyed the opening hole Friday but fought back to post an 8-under 63 for the lead through two rounds of the Omega Hong Kong Open.
European TourThe 28-year-old son of a fisherman topped the leaderboard at 13-under-par 129, one shot ahead of Zaw Moe of Myanmar, who fired a 64 in perfect scoring conditions at Hong Kong Golf Club.
Of the 80 players who survived the 36-hole cut - which fell at 3-under 139 - 68 shot in the 60s in the second round. Twenty-seven golfers were 5-under-par or better for the day.
Defending champion Simon Dyson of England, whose win a year ago propelled him to the Davidoff (Asian PGA) Tour Order of Merit title, had a 64 to finish in a six-way tie for third place at 11-under.
Yeh, two strokes back after one round, quickly rebounded from his first-hole stumble with birdies at the second, third and fourth. He added a birdie at the eighth to make his way out in 2-under 33.
'I got really angry when I double-bogeyed my first hole with a three-putt,' Yeh explained. 'It made me play harder and it was good to bounce straight back with three successive birdies. That got me going and on the back nine, I played really well.'
Although he wiped out a birdie at the 10th with a bogey at 11, Yeh fashioned an eagle at the par-5 12th to make it to 9-under. Four birdies over the final six holes lifted him to the top spot and put him in position to capture his second title in a tournament co-sanctioned by the European and Davidoff Tours.
Check out Yeh's nine-birdie, one-eagle scorecard
'My putting was just brilliant and this 63 is my lowest round as a professional,' said Yeh, who won the 2000 Malaysian Open. 'However, I'm not going to think too far ahead and will take things a shot at a time. I've played pretty average this season.'
Yeh, second to Dyson on the 2000 Davidoff money list, is ranked 25th on that tour's money list this year.
Moe, 34, a Singapore-based golfer with five top-10 finishes in Japan this year, began on the back nine and made his way around the 6,697-yard par-71 layout without a bogey for the second straight day. The big-hitter birdied seven holes, including all three par-5s.
'I holed out from the edge of the green on 11 and that got me going,' he said.
Alongside Dyson at 131 were Swedes Anders Forsbrand (64) and Carl Pettersson (64), 2001 Challenge Tour money-leader Mark Foster (65), Ryder Cupper Paul McGinley (66) of Ireland and first-round leader Adam Scott (67).
Scott, who opened with a 64 Thursday, racked up five birdies against a single bogey in round 2, but feels he'll need to shoot lower to keep up over the weekend.
'The scoring's going to be really good around here, so I've got to hang in there and try to get back to playing well like I did yesterday,' said the 21-year-old Australian. 'I missed a lot of greens and scrambled really well to only drop one shot.'
Two-time Masters champion Jos Maria Olazbal finished at 8-under after a 69, while Michael Campbell's 69 saw the New Zealander move to within six of the lead at 7-under.
Check out full-field scores from the Omega Hong Kong Open
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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.