Na Still in Command at Nationwide Event

By Sports NetworkOctober 6, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Mark Christopher Charity ClassicRANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. -- Kevin Na followed up his opening-round 62 with a 5-under 66 on Friday to stretch his lead at the Mark Christopher Charity Classic to six shots.
Playing on his home course, Na is 14-under-par 128 through two rounds -- bettering the 36-hole tournament record by two shots.
'I started out in the morning knowing it is hard to follow up a 62,' said Na. 'It was going as well as yesterday, but I wasn't hitting it as close. I just tried to stay patient and wait on the birdies to come.'
Thursday, Na played his first competitive round of golf since withdrawing from the PGA TOUR's Shell Houston Open in April. He had been making starts on the PGA TOUR despite breaking his hand in a car door in January.
The 62 he shot in the first round was not only a course record, it also equaled a personal-best at Empire Lakes Golf Course and gave the 23-year-old Rancho Cucamonga resident a two-shot lead.
Now, Na finds himself a comfortable second-round leader at only his second career Nationwide Tour event.
'I just want to keep up what I'm doing,' said Na, who will return to the PGA Tour beginning next week at the Open. 'I'm happy with how I've played so far, but we've still got two rounds to go.'
Friday, Na made six birdies and a bogey. His first birdie came on a 15-foot putt at the par-three second, and he added four birdies during a five-hole stretch from the seventh to pull away.
'There are a lot of birdie holes out here,' said Na. 'I know these greens and this course really well. You can always make a bunch of birdies in a row out here.'
Na stumbled to his first bogey of the tournament at the par-4 15th -- just one bogey, but something he expressed considerable disappointment with afterward.
'My dream is to not have a bogey for 72 holes. Tiger has never done that,' said Na, who recovered the stroke with a birdie at the 18th.
Na's closest challengers are Chris Tidland and Dan Buchner, who are tied for second place at 8-under 134. Tidland had a 3-under 68 on Friday, while Buchner fired a 6-under 65 to climb from a tie for 31st place overnight.
Zoran Zorkic had the round of the day, a 7-under 64 that moved him from 69th into a tie for fourth place with six other players. That group stands at 7-under 135.
The cut fell at 1-under 141 with 64 players moving on to the weekend.
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  • Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

    By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

    Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

    Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

    What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

    Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

    Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

    Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

    Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

    Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

    The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

    Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

    Lexi Thompson:

    Baking time!!

    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

    Jack Nicklaus:

    GC Tiger Tracker:

    Steve Stricker:

    Golf Channel:

    Frank Nobilo:

    Ian Poulter:

    Tyrone Van Aswegen:

    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.