Monty Takes Over Top Spot in St Andrews

By Sports NetworkSeptember 30, 2005, 4:00 pm
2004 Dunhill Links ChampionshipST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- Colin Montgomerie fired a 7-under 65 Friday to take a one-shot lead after two rounds of the dunhill links championship. He stands at 9-under-par 135 after 36 holes.
 
Kenneth Ferrie carded his second straight round of 4-under 68 to take second place at minus-8. Pierre Fulke and Ricardo Gonzalez share third place at seven-under-par 137. Paul Casey and Brett Rumford each shot 4 under rounds of 70 and are tied for fifth place at minus-6.
 
Colin Montgomerie
Colin Montgomerie checks out a short birdie putt during his 7-under 65 round at St. Andrews.
The dunhill links is much like the Pebble Beach Pro-Am on the U.S. PGA Tour as players are paired with amateurs for the first three rounds and spread over three courses.
 
The three courses in use for the first three rounds this week are the Old Course at St. Andrews Golf Club, Carnoustie Golf Club and Kingsbarns Golf Links. The final round will be played at St. Andrews.
 
Montgomerie, who played St. Andrews on Friday, was on fire at the start of his round. The Scotsman sank a 10-foot birdie putt on the first and came right back with another 10-footer for birdie on No. 2.
 
The 42-year-old made it three straight to open his round as he birdied the par-3 third after his tee shot stopped within 2 feet of the cup. After a par on the fourth, Montgomerie ran home a 40-foot eagle putt on the par-5 fifth. He answered with a birdie on six to get to minus-8.
 
Montgomerie cooled off from there, parring seven straight holes around the turn and two-putting for birdie on the par-5 14th. Montgomerie closed with four straight pars to end at minus-9.
 
'I'm comfortable around this course in any condition at this stage, from the first shot to the last shot,' Montgomerie said. 'I'm very comfortable with knowing what to do here. We can play chess with this course right now and we can get it round and that is what we did today.'
 
Ferrie played the back nine at Carnoustie first. He ran in a birdie try on the 11th and made it two straight as his birdie putt on the 12th found the bottom of the up.
 
The Englishman birdied the par-3 13th to move to 7 under and sank his fourth straight birdie on the 14th. Ferrie's birdie run ended with a bogey at the 15th.
 
Ferrie dropped another stroke on the 18th, his ninth. Around the turn, he reclaimed those lost strokes with birdies on the fifth and seventh. He parred his final two holes to end in second place.
 
'All round I am playing well,' said Ferrie. 'I have been doing extra work on my putting and it is paying dividends. It is nice to be in touch at this stage.'
 
Alessandro Tadini, who shared the first-round lead with Rich Beem and David Howell, carded an even-par 72. He shares seventh place with Brian Davis, Peter Hedblom and Terry Pilkadaris at 5-under-par 139.
 
Beem is one stroke further back at minus-4 after a 73 at St. Andrews. Howell, who also played the Old Course, is one shot behind Beem at 3-under-par 141 after carding a 2-over 74.
 
Defending champion Stephen Gallacher is in danger of missing the cut, which comes following the third round. Gallacher shot 74-73 the first two days and stands in a tie for 103rd at 3-over-par 147.
 
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    Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

    Former Web.com Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

    Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

    Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Web.com Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Web.com Tour Player of the Year.

    McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

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    Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

    By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

    Memo to the golf gods:

    If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

    Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

    It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

    With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

    It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

    We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

    We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

    Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.


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    Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

    We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

    In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

    While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

    Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

    Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

    Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

    While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

    Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

    So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

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    McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

    By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

    With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

    The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

    Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

    "I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

    McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

    But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

    "I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

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    What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

    Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

    Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

    Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

    Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

    Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

    Ball: Titleist Pro V1x