Otto Among Leaders in France

By Sports NetworkJune 16, 2005, 4:00 pm
ST. OMER, France -- Hennie Otto posted a 3-under-par 68 on Thursday to join six other players in the lead after the opening round of the Aa St. Omer Open.
Otto finished alongside Martin Erlandsson, Julien Clement, Raphael Eyraud, Neil Cheetham, Per Nyman and Birgir Hafthorsson atop the leaderboard at Aa Saint Omer Golf Club.
Otto, who finished in the top 10 in the 2003 British Open, ran off back-to-back birdies starting at the par-4 third and jumped to 4 under with an eagle at the par-5 seventh.
The South African kept on rolling with a birdie at the par-5 ninth but he found trouble with a double bogey at the par-4 10th. Otto recovered with a birdie at the par-3 11th and moved to minus-5 with a birdie at the par-4 15th.
Otto parred the 16th but suffered the first of back-to-back bogeys at the par-3 17th to close out his round.
'I hit myself in the wrong places twice on the 17th and 18th and had putts up the slopes and down the slopes so if you hit it in the wrong place then you have to fight for it here,' said Otto. 'But I would have taken a 68 this morning before going out there but it's four rounds and tomorrow is another day.'
Clement dropped a shot at the par-5 14th to fall back to 1 under but he countered with birdies at the 16th and 17th holes for his share of first.
Nyman had two bogeys and a birdie over his first four holes but he added back-to-back birdies from the seventh to get into red figures. Nyman tallied a pair of birdies on the inward half to finish at 3 under par.
Erlandsson started on the back side and picked up a lone birdie at the par-5 14th to make the turn at 1 under. He added a birdie at the first and reached 3 under with a birdie at the fifth. Erlandsson stumbled to a bogey at the following hole, but came back with a birdie at the ninth for a 68 of his own.
Hafthorsson birdied three of his last five holes for his share of first while Eyraud struggled to a double bogey at the par-4 eighth that dropped him back to 2 under. Eyraud responded with a birdie at the ninth, his last, to join the logjam in first place.
Jamie Little took the lead with a birdie at the par-4 15th but he bogeyed each of his last two holes for a round of 69. Little was joined by Ivo Giner, Diego Borrego, Jamie Elson, Phillip Archer, Craig Williams, Michael Jonzon and James Hepworth at 2 under par.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Aa St. Omer Open
  • Full Coverage - Aa St. Omer Open
  • Getty Images

    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

    Getty Images

    Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

    What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

    Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    “I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

    McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

    He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

    Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

    “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

    Getty Images

    Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

    Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

    Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials phoned Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

    Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

    Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

    Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial. 

    Getty Images

    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.