OMeara Starts Just One Back in Florida

By Sports NetworkFebruary 23, 2007, 5:00 pm
2005 ACE Group ClassicNAPLES, Florida -- Bobby Wadkins had two eagles and fired an 8-under 64 on Friday, pulling clear of a low-scoring field to take a one-shot lead after the first round of the ACE Group Classic.
Wadkins, a two-time winner last season, birdied each of his last four holes after making his second eagle of the round at the par-5 13th. He had been just 2-under through 12 holes.
Mark O
Rookie Mark O'Meara fired a 7-under 65 in the opening round of the ACE Group Classic. (WireImages)
'I kept my self relaxed,' Wadkins said. 'The four-birdie finish told me I did a good job of staying out of my own way.'
Mark O'Meara, in his second Champions Tour event, shot a 7-under 65 and shares second place with Allen Doyle and two-time champion Gil Morgan. Argentina's Eduardo Romero and Wayne Levi are one shot further back at 66.
In all, there are 30 players at 3 under or better and 48 who broke par Friday at Quail West.
But they are all looking up at Wadkins, who is enjoying his first 18-hole lead since he posted two during a three-month span last year. The first ended with his win at the Boeing Championship.
Two months later, he won his first major at the Senior Players Championship.
On Friday, Wadkins chipped in from 20 yards for an eagle at No. 1, then three- putted from 30 feet for a bogey at No. 3. He landed a 9-iron within two feet at No. 6 to set up his second birdie.
Wadkins knocked a 3-wood onto the green and made his second eagle at the 13th on a 20-foot putt. He birdied the 15th on another 20-footer, drained a 12-footer at the 16th and then made putts of six and 15 feet to finish off his birdie streak.
'I had a really simple round today. Pain free,' Wadkins said. 'Iron shots that weren't good found a way to find the green.'
O'Meara improved by 17 shots over his final-round 82 in last weekend's Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am, which dropped him into a tie for 38th in his Champions Tour debut.
Friday, O'Meara hit 10 fairways and 16 greens in regulation. He also started out with an eagle at the par-5 first.
'Hopefully I'll play well the next two days,' O'Meara said. 'There's a lot of nice names up there (on the top of the leaderboard).'
Doyle posted his best score at this event since he won in 1999, hitting 12 fairways and 15 greens in regulation and making seven birdies. He opened with three consecutive birdies, the last coming on a 30-foot putt at the third.
Afterward, the two-time defending U.S. Senior Open champion was in a joking mood.
'My daughter is married to the producer of The Golf Channel. Maybe I'll hog all of the TV time tomorrow,' he said.
Morgan, the 1998 and 2001 champion, carded his best-ever score at this event and has now posted a sub-par first round in Naples in each of the last nine years.
John Bland, D.A. Weibring, Mark Johnson, Morris Hatalsky, Brad Bryant and Mike Reid share seventh place at 5-under 67.
Defending champion Loren Roberts leads a group of nine players who are knotted another shot further back at 68. Roberts made this tournament his third straight win to begin last season -- a Champions Tour first.
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.