Morgan Off to Hot Start in Rochester

By Sports NetworkJune 16, 2005, 4:00 pm
PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- Becky Morgan fired an 8-under-par 64 on Thursday to take a three-stroke lead after the opening round of the Wegmans Rochester LPGA.
 
Lorena Ochoa, the 2003 runner-up, posted a 5-under-par 67 to claim second place. Maria Hjorth, who shared second place in 2001, is one stroke further back at minus-4.
 
Hilary Lunke, the 2003 U.S. Women's Open champion, carded a 3-under-par 69 and stands alone in fourth place. Laura Diaz, Christina Kim, Se Ri Pak and 2003 Wegmans champion Rachel Hetherington share fifth place at minus-2.
 
Morgan began her round on the back nine at Locust Hill Country Club and got off to a hot start. She rolled in a birdie try at the par-4 10th and then made it two straight with a birdie at the par-5 11th.
 
The 30-year-old dropped in three in a row when her 4-foot birdie try at the 12th fell into the cup. Morgan tripped to a bogey at the 14th, but rebounded with a birdie on the par-5 17th from 8 feet out.
 
Morgan then caught fire on the front nine. She moved to 4 under with a birdie on the third. The Wales native came right back with a birdie on four and made it three straight with a 3-foot birdie putt at No. 5.
 
Morgan, who has never won on the LPGA Tour, ran home a 40-foot birdie putt at six. She made it five in a row with a birdie at seven. She parred the final two holes to close three shots clear of the field.
 
'I suppose it could remind you of the course at home,' said Morgan. 'I just prefer the courses like this. I suppose they're shorter, it played quite long today, but having to think your way around a golf course instead of slugging it off tees and stuff is probably more my game.'
 
Ochoa opened with a birdie on the second, then rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt on four. The Mexican faltered to a bogey on the sixth, but ran off three straight birdies from the seventh to move to 4 under.
 
The 23-year-old parred her next five holes before sinking a 15-foot birdie try at the 15th. Ochoa closed with three pars in a row to take second place.
 
'I'm extremely happy. I finished fairly well,' said Ochoa, who finished four shots behind Hetherington in 2003. 'Today, it was a different day for me. The front nine I played a little bit up and down. I missed pretty much every fairway. And then on my back nine, I was just more relaxed. I started hitting my driver better, hitting more fairways and that was the difference.'
 
Paula Creamer, who won the Sybase Classic four weeks ago in New Rochelle, posted a 1-under-par 71. She was joined in a tie for ninth by 2001 champion Laura Davies, Dorothy Delasin, Natalie Gulbis, Beth Allen, 1991 and 1998 winner Rosie Jones, Emilee Klein, Gloria Park, Stephanie Louden and Angie Rizzo.
 
Kim Saiki, the defending champion, opened with a 1-over-par 73. She stands in a tie for 28th.
 
Related Links:
  • TGC Airtimes
  • Leaderboard - Wegmans Rochester LPGA
  • Full Coverage - Wegmans Rochester LPGA
  • Getty Images

    Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

    New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

    The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

    "Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

    It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

    Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

    Getty Images

    Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

    SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

    Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

    Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.



    The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

    ''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

    Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

    ''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

    Getty Images

    13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”



    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

    Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

    Getty Images

    McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

    It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

    Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

    Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    “I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

    Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

    “Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

    This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.