Morgan Vaults into Lead Roberts 1 Back

By Sports NetworkJune 3, 2006, 4:00 pm
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- Gil Morgan fired a 7-under 64 on Saturday to grab the top spot through two rounds of the Allianz Championship. He stands at 12-under-par 130 and is one ahead at Glen Oaks Country Club.
Morgan established a new 36-hole record for this tournament with his two-round total of 130. John Bland set the old mark of 131 in the 2002 tournament.
Morgan is in a familiar position. Last week, he held the lead with one round to go at the Senior PGA Championship, but finished alone in third place, two shots out of the playoff ultimately won by Jay Haas.
'Last week was disappointing,' acknowledged Morgan, who finished as the runner-up the first year of this tournament. 'It was an opportunity I let get away.'
Loren Roberts, a three-time winner this season on the elder circuit, posted a 6-under 65 and is alone in second place at minus-11. Hajime Meshiai (64) and Kirk Hanefeld (65) are knotted in third place at 10-under-par 132.
Morgan began the second round two shots off the lead, but recorded a pair of 4-foot birdies to open his round. He dropped a shot at the sixth thanks to a missed green, but caught fire before he made the turn.
He knocked a 9-iron to 5 feet to set up birdie at the seventh. Morgan holed a 15-footer for birdie from the fringe at eight and polished off three birdies in a row with a 12-footer at No. 9.
Morgan notched his next birdie, and took the lead, at the par-4 13th when he ran home a 10-footer from left of the flagstick. Morgan parred the 14th, but returned to his birdieing ways one hole later.
At the par-5 15th, Morgan came up short with his second shot. He knocked his third to 3 feet and converted the short birdie putt to grab the lead at minus-11.
Morgan rolled in a 5-footer for birdie at No. 16 to pad his lead to two shots. He had a pair of decent looks at birdie at both 17 and 18, but missed. No matter as Morgan is in position to earn his first victory on the Champions Tour since the 2004 SBC Classic.
'I started off fast,' said Morgan. 'Everyone in our group was playing well. I seemed to have played a little bit better. I didn't drive it well today, but I putted well and made a couple of good saves.'
If Morgan can visit the winner's circle on Sunday, he will collect his 24th victory on the Champions Tour. That would tie for third on the all-time wins list with Miller Barber.
Roberts posted his first birdie at the fourth when his pitching wedge approach at the fourth stopped 3 feet from the hole. He added a 12-foot birdie putt at the sixth and an 18-footer at the eighth to make the turn at 3-under 32.
On the second nine, Roberts hit an 8-iron inside 6 feet for a birdie at the 12th. He kept pace with Morgan thanks to a short birdie putt at 15 and a 7-footer at No. 16.
'You've got to keep making birdies here. You can't sit still,' said Roberts, who is second on the money list. 'I played real solid today. I'm right where I want to be.'
Defending champion Tom Jenkins, who was the runner-up in 2004, carded a 5- under 66 on Saturday. He is tied for fifth place with John Harris (65) and David Edwards (67). The trio is knotted at 9-under-par 133.
Keith Fergus (65), Tom Purtzer (66), Morris Hatalsky (67) and Jim Thorpe (69) are tied for eighth at minus-8.
First-round leader Scott Simpson only managed an even-par 71 on Saturday and is part of a group tied for 12th place at 7-under-par 135.
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  • McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

    When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.

    Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.

    Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.

    While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

    Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.

    Rahm wins finale, Fleetwood takes Race to Dubai

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 1:42 pm

    Jon Rahm captured the final tournament on the European Tour calendar, a result that helped Tommy Fleetwood take home the season-long Race to Dubai title.

    Rahm shot a final-round 67 to finish two shots clear of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry at the DP World Tour Championship. It's the second European Tour win of the year for the Spaniard, who also captured the Irish Open and won on the PGA Tour in January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    "I could not be more proud of what I've done this week," Rahm told reporters. "Having the weekend that I've had, actually shooting 12 under on the last 36 holes, bogey-free round today, it's really special."

    But the key finish came from Justin Rose, who held the 54-hole lead in Dubai but dropped back into a tie for fourth after closing with a 70. Rose entered the week as one of only three players who could win the Race to Dubai, along with Sergio Garcia and Fleetwood, who started with a lead of around 250,000 Euros.

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    With Fleetwood in the middle of the tournament pack, ultimately tying for 21st after a final-round 74, the door was open for Rose to capture the title thanks to a late charge despite playing in half the events that Fleetwood did. Rose captured both the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open, and was one round away from a two-trophy photo shoot in Dubai.

    Instead, his T-4 finish meant he came up just short, as Fleetwood won the season-long race by 58,821 Euros.

    The title caps a remarkable season for Fleetwood, who won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship as well as the French Open to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes and a fourth-place showing at the U.S. Open.

    "I find it amazing, the season starts in November, December and you get to here and you're watching the last shot of the season to decide who wins the Race to Dubai," Fleetwood said at the trophy ceremony. "But yeah, very special and something we didn't really aim for at the start of the year, but it's happened."

    Battling mono, Kaufman tied for lead at CME

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 2:05 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – Kim Kaufman’s bout with mononucleosis might leave fellow tour pros wanting to catch the fever, too.

    A couple months after Anna Nordqvist battled her way into contention at the Women’s British Open playing with mono, and then thrived at the Solheim Cup with it, Kaufman is following suit.

    In her first start since being diagnosed, Kaufman posted an 8-under-par 64 Saturday to move into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. It was the low round of the day. She’s bidding to win her first LPGA title.

    “I’ve been resting at home for two weeks,” Kaufman said. “Didn’t do anything.”

    Well, she did slip on a flight of stairs while recuperating, hurting her left wrist. She had it wrapped Saturday but said that’s mostly precautionary. It didn’t bother her during the round.

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    “I’m the only person who can take two weeks off and get injured,” Kaufman joked.

    Kaufman, 26, left the Asian swing after playing the Sime Darby Malaysia, returning to her home in South Dakota, to see her doctor there. She is from Clark. She was told bed rest was the best thing for her, but she felt good enough to make the trip to Florida for the season-ending event.

    “We had some really cold days,” Kaufman said. “We had some snow. I was done with it. I was coming down here.”

    How does she feel?

    “I feel great,” she said. “I’m a little bit shaky, which isn’t great out there, but it’s great to be here doing something. I was going a little bit stir crazy [at home], just kind of fighting through it.”

    Kaufman made eight birdies in her bogey-free round.

    New-look Wie eyes CME Group Tour Championship title

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:32 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – Michelle Wie is sporting a new look that even has fellow players doing double takes.

    Bored during her six-week recovery from an emergency appendectomy late this summer, Wie decided to cut and die her hair.

    She went for golden locks, and a shorter style.

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    Wie, 28, fought her way back this year after two of the most disappointing years of her career. Her rebound, however, was derailed in late August, when she withdrew from the final round of the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open to undergo an emergency appendectomy. She was out for six weeks.

    Before the surgery, Wie enjoyed getting back into contention regularly, with six finishes of T-4 or better this season. She returned to the tour on the Asian swing in October.

    Fellow tour pros were surprised when she came back with the new look.

    “Definitely, walk by people and they didn’t recognize me,” Wie said.

    Wie is looking to continue to build on her resurgence.

    “I gained a lot of confidence this year,” she said. “I had a really tough year last year, the last couple years. Just really feeling like my old self. Really feeling comfortable out there and having fun, and that's when I play my best.”