Mason Grabs Overnight Lead

By Sports NetworkJanuary 23, 2004, 5:00 pm
KA'UPULEHU-KONA, Hawaii -- James Mason fired a 7-under-par 65 Friday to take the overnight lead at the weather-delayed MasterCard Championship.
Lightning forced players off the course for one-hour, 36-minutes during the first round, pushing the completion of play until Saturday. The 12 players remaining on the course will resume their first round at 8:00 AM local time, with the second round commencing after the first round is completed.
Mason has plenty of company near the top of the leaderboard at Hualalai Golf Club as Jim Thorpe, Dave Eichelberger, Stewart Ginn and Jay Sigel all posted rounds of 6-under-par 66. Joining that quartet is Doug Tewell, who stands at minus 6 through 13 holes.
Mason was steady throughout his bogey-free round. He opened by draining a birdie at the par-4 first and came back with his second birdie at the par-5 fourth.
The 53-year-old took advantage of the next par-5, No. 7, as he birdied that to move to 3 under. Around the turn, it was more of the same as he drained his fourth birdie of the day at the par-5 10th.
He made it four-for-four on the par 5s as he birdied the 14th. Mason capped off his round in fine fashion with back-to-back birdies from the 17th to take the overnight lead.
'I drove it good and just played a solid round,' said Mason, whose lone Champions Tour victory came at the 2002 NFL Golf Classic. 'It could've a little lower and it could've been a whole lot higher. And I played bogey free, which doesn't happen much for me,'
Ginn got off to a hot start with four birdies on the front nine, including birdies on three of the final four holes on his opening nine. He also birdied the 10th and 12th before closing with six straight pars.
'No bogeys was the key to the round,' Ginn said. 'The wind switched when I got to the 10th hole. I haven't played this wind before. I'm patient with this course and I guess that's the key.'
Eichelberger birdied the second and fourth to get off to a quick start. However, he bogeyed the fifth before rebounding with consecutive birdies from the sixth. He dropped another shot at the ninth, but responded with an eagle on No. 10. He posted another bogey before carding three more birdies on his way to the house.
Sigel, who had surgery on both shoulders between the 2000 and 2001 seasons, birdied Nos. 3 and 4, but stumbled to a bogey at the fifth. He came back to birdie the sixth and made two straight birdies from the ninth. He closed with birdies on the back nine par-3, Nos. 12 and 17, for his share of second.
Thorpe, who won the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship last year, had two bogeys and three birdies on his opening nine. On the back side, he bogeyed the 11th, but wrapped birdies at the 10th and 12th around the mistake. He eagled the par-5 14th, before closing with birdies at the 16th and 18th.
Tewell is working on a bogey-free round of his own. He birdied the first and moved to 3 under with an eagle at the fourth. He closed his front nine with birdies at the seventh and nine, before birdieing No. 11. He parred the next two holes before play was called for the night.
Dave Barr, Tom Jenkins and Tom Purtzer share seventh place at 5-under-par 67. J.C. Snead is one behind that trio after a 4-under-par 68. Three other players are also at minus 4, Gil Morgan through 15 holes, as well as Craig Stadler and Fuzzy Zoeller, who are both through 13 holes.
Sammy Rachels, who missed a large portion of the 2003 schedule after he was injured in a motorcycle accident, opened with a 2-under-par 70. Dana Quigley, the defending champion is also at 2 under, but he has completed just 13 holes.
Hubert Green, who returns to the tour for the first time since late June, carded a 1-under-par 71. He missed the remainder of last season as he battled cancer in his throat.
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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.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    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 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.

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    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."

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    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.


    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.