Mallon Captures Canadian Open

By Sports NetworkAugust 18, 2002, 4:00 pm
VAUDREUIL-DORION, Quebec -- Meg Mallon managed only a 1-over 73 Sunday but held on in windy conditions to capture the Canadian Women's Open by three strokes. Mallon finished at 4-under-par 284 for her 14th career victory on the LPGA Tour.
 
The strong winds that whipped Summerlea Golf & Country Club throughout the week also made their presence felt Sunday. Overnight leader Catriona Matthew, who had put together three straight rounds of 70, struggled to a 5-over 77. She tied for second alongside Michelle Ellis and Michele Redman at 1-under-par 287.
 
'I played in wind like that in Hawaii,' said Mallon. 'But the combination of factors -- how hard, how firm the course was and how hard the greens were, and then to add that wind on top of that, it was just a nightmare at times.'

Mallon began the day one stroke off the lead and was steady on the front side with a 12-foot birdie at the par-3 sixth. On the back side, Mallon drained a 15-footer for birdie at the 11th to reach 7-under.
 
Matthew, who picked up her only birdie of the day at the opening hole, was also at 7-under after making the turn. However, the wind derailed her consistent play on the inward nine.
 
At the par-4 12th, Matthew was forced to take a penalty drop after her tee shot went left into the bushes. She chopped out and then hit a 3-iron right of the green. Matthew's chip left her within five feet, from where she two-putted for triple bogey.
 
The Scot could not recover and bogeyed the following par-3 13th. Matthew added another bogey at 15 and closed with a three-putt bogey at the last.
 
'It was very tough,' said Matthew. 'Especially since the wind picked up on our back nine. Even holes down wind were playing very difficult. You were just trying really to make pars. I just had a couple of bad swings that got me into a lot of trouble.'
 
Mallon also found trouble on the back with three bogeys, but was still able to hold off her competitors for her first win in two years.
 
'It was really a great test of patience,' said Mallon, who collected $180,000 for the victory and vaulted from 13th into sixth place in the 2002 U.S. Solheim Cup points standings. 'I think the front side was the key, because I got under par and then was able to get some cushion going into the backside.'
 
The 39-year-old's last victory came at the 2000 du Maurier Classic, the now-defunct LPGA major that was played in Canada.
 
Se Ri Pak carded a round of 3-over 75 to finish alone in fifth at even-par 288. Charlotta Sorenstam and Gloria Park were next at 1-over-par 289.
 
Canadian Lorie Kane collected four birdies and three bogeys en route to one of only five under par scores on Sunday. Kane posted a 1-under 71 to finish alongside Laura Diaz and Susan Ginter-Brooker at 2-over-par 290.
 
Karrie Webb, who won the Women's British Open last week at Turnberry, struggled with a final-round 76 to finish alone in 14th at 4-over 292.
 

 
Full-field scores from Canadian Women's Open

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."

Getty Images

Rahm (62) shoots career low round at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 10:33 pm

After a banner year in 2017, Jon Rahm found a way to add yet another accolade to his growing list of accomplishments during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Rahm got off to a fast start at La Quinta Country Club, playing his first seven holes in 6 under en route to a 10-under 62. The score marked his career low on the PGA Tour by two shots and gave him an early lead in an event that utilizes a three-course rotation.

La Quinta was the site of Adam Hadwin's 59 during last year's event, and Rahm knew full well that a quick start opened the door to a memorably low score.

"Any time you have that going for you, you get thoughts come in your head, 60, maybe 59," Rahm told reporters. "I knew that if I kept playing good I was going to have more birdie opportunities, and I tried not to get ahead of myself and I was able to do it."


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


Rahm birdied his first two holes before an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole sparked him to an outward 30. He added four more birdies on the inward half without dropping a shot.

The Spaniard is the highest-ranked player in the field this week, and while many players opted for a two-week stint in Hawaii he instead came home for some practice after opening the new year with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. That decision appears to have paid some early dividends as Rahm gets set to defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

Low scores were plentiful on all three courses during the opening round, and Rahm remained pleased with his effort even though he fell short of matching Hadwin's sub-60 score from a year ago.

"That's golf. You're not going to make every single putt, you're not going to hit every shot perfect," he said. "Overall, you've got to look at the bigger picture. I birdied the last hole, had a couple of great sand saves coming in, shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for."