McNulty Impressive in Champions Tour Debut

By Sports NetworkFebruary 21, 2004, 5:00 pm
04 Outback Steakhouse Pro-AmLUTZ, Fla. -- Mark McNulty fired a 6-under 65 Saturday to move into the lead through two rounds of the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am. McNulty, who is making his Champions Tour debut, completed 36 holes at 10-under-par 132.
D.A. Weibring matched McNulty's 65 to move into a tie for second place at 9-under-par 133. He is joined there by Larry Nelson, who posted a 2-under 69. Vicente Fernandez, Tom Jenkins and Tom Purtzer each carded 4-under rounds of 67 to share fourth place with Mike McCullough (70) at minus-8.
McNulty, who is looking for his first victory on United States soil, started the day four shots behind Tom Kite, the overnight leader. McNulty, though, came out firing. He rolled in a birdie at the 10th, his first, and came back with another birdie on No. 12 at TPC of Tampa Bay.
He continued to make up ground with his third birdie of the day at the par-5 14th. He dropped a sand-wedge within six feet to set up birdie at the 16th. The 50-year-old then drained another birdie on No. 18 to make the turn at 9 under with a share of the lead.
McNulty, the medalist at the 2003 Champions Tour National Qualifying Tournament, stumbled to his lone bogey of the day at the first. However, he erased that mistake with a three-foot birdie putt at the fifth to regain a share of the lead.
The Zimbabwe native grabbed the overnight lead when he two-putted for birdie at the par-5 seventh to climb to minus-10.
'I'm excited. I've looked forward to playing the Champions Tour for about a year and a half,' said McNulty. 'I've always been a good wind player.'
McNulty owns 55 wins worldwide, but has never won in the United States. He is looking to become the 12th player in Champions Tour history to win in his first event on tour.
'Most guys on the Champions Tour are champions in the past,' McNulty said. 'Playing in Europe the last few years, I didn't have much in common with the young guys.
'Not many guys compete on the regular tour right up until they're 50. I've taken that experience over to the Champions Tour and I hope to be in position to win several times. You can't buy experience.'
Weibring opened with a birdie at the first and converted another at the par-5 seventh. Around the turn, he ran off three straight birdies from the 12th to climb to 8 under. He capped his day with a birdie on the 16th.
'I hit lots of good shots today,' said Weibring. 'Today I scored much better. I feel good about my game.'
Nelson picked up his first birdie at the par-5 12th. He later faltered to consecutive bogeys from the 17th to fall to minus-6. He then birdied the second and fifth. Nelson's birdie at the par-5 seventh gave him the lead at minus-9 before he was joined there by Weibring and passed by McNulty.
'It was a perfect morning,' Nelson said. 'No excuses for not playing as well. I was a little more cautious and didn't hit the ball as well as I did Friday.'
Dana Quigley and Gil Morgan posted matching rounds of 2-under 69. They share eighth place at 7-under-par 135. John Bland and Graham Marsh are one stroke further back at minus-6.
Kite was looking to halt a streak that has seen no first-round leader or co-leader go on to win the tournament since the event shifted to TPC of Tampa Bay. He stumbled to a 3-over 74 and is joined at 5-under-par 137 by Jim Thorpe (67) and David Eger (72).
Bruce Fleisher, the 2003 champion, struggled to a 3-over 74. He stands at 1-under-par 141.
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  • Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

    Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

    ''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''

    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open

    Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

    ''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

    Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

    ''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

    Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.

    Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

    Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

    Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

    Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

    SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

    Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

    ''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

    But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

    In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

    ''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

    Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

    The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

    ''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

    NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.